Courageous Conversations: Emma Brown-Garrett on finding your niche, the power of a great mentor and why her career has only just begun

It’s easy to look around the real estate industry and believe success happens overnight. That’s not auctioneer Emma Brown-Garrett’s experience. Here she shares how it took two decades to shape a successful real estate career, and why patience, perseverance and a great mentor all helped her find her feet.

Looking back on a 20-year real estate career, Sydney auctioneer Emma Brown-Garrett has two key pieces of advice: have the patience to find your niche and seek out someone who will mentor and believe in you.

Emma notes it wasn’t until both these elements fell into place that she found her true calling as a highly successful female auctioneer.

And it took her a lot of false starts, a whole host of perseverance and a near exit from the industry to get where she is today.

Now two decades into a career that initially appealed for its glamour and excitement, Emma has truly found her feet as an auctioneer at Menck White who also thrives on the challenge of auction competitions.

In this Courageous Conversation with Leanne Pilkington, Emma shares her real estate journey, including why she feels her real estate career has just begun, and how she persevered to get where she is today.

She discusses what success looks like and why it’s deeply personal, the achievements she’s most proud of, and how she balances a career with family life.

Emma also looks at the importance of finding a good mentor, and how her mentor took her career to the next level by identifying a skillset she never knew she had.

She offers an insight into the relentless commitment to training which keeps her at the top of her game, shares some thoughts on female leadership in the industry, and offers some key tips for young agents starting out who may not yet know where their destiny lies.

In the process, Emma discusses the work/life balance that comes with raising a family and why it’s okay to have goals and aspirations that extend beyond the role of motherhood.

She also offers some sage advice on why success is something you find when you least expect it, and how it’s important to believe in yourself, back your ambition and have the patience to know if you work hard, train hard, and surround yourself with the right people, your time will come.

“I’ve just started my career and this is something that I wish someone had told me when I was younger. If they’d said to me that at 44-years-old you’ll be starting your career. Everything else leading up to it is steps and they’re chapters in your book that lead you this amazing chapter. But I cannot believe that I’m now really embarking on my true career.” – Emma Brown-Garrett

Emma and Leanne also discuss:

  • How Emma came into real estate, and why it took tenacity, perseverance and a jar of Keen’s Mustard to get a foot in the door of real estate sales.
  • Why her career faltered on numerous occasions, and included sales and property management before she realised auctioneering might just be her true calling.
  • How Emma’s previous experience as a sales agent is one of her greatest auctioneering strengths.
  • Why she almost exited the industry and how a chance phone call from someone who believed in her turned it all around.
  • How competitive auctioneering helps Emma hone her craft, and why she would love to see more women join her in the competition space.
  • Why getting into auctioneering proved a chicken and egg scenario where you need the experience to get the job and the job to get the experience, and how Emma overcame this.
  • How Emma juggles a career with a young family and why she believes it’s important her children see her ambition and success.
  • What Emma is most proud of in a lengthy real estate career and what she would tell her younger self about the definition of success.
  • Emma’s advice to younger agents starting out in the industry and why there’s a niche for everyone.
  • Why she now feels more connected to the real estate industry than ever before and how it revolved around the realisation she has finally found her place.

And much, much more…

Leanne Pilkington will be on hand at Elite Retreat from 31 July to 3 August, helping attendees create memorable mission statements and marketing that allow them to find their point of difference and stand out from the crowd.

You can find out more about Elite Retreat and the lineup of speakers and experts attending here.

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Leanne Pilkington

Leanne Pilkington is Chief Executive Officer and Director of Laing+Simmons.


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