The New Hot Property: Gender Equality

As the first female Chief Executive of the REIQ, Antonia Mercorella has been responsible for leading the charge in achieving gender equality, both within the organisation and the broader Queensland real estate profession. The lawyer-turned-CEO strongly believes gender equality starts at the top, which explains her vision to cultivate a peak body that represents inclusivity, modernity and progressiveness for its members and wider profession. Despite its 103 year legacy, the REIQ has fundamentally embraced change that fosters a culture of equality.

“It’s really important that the organisation continues to modernise and adapt to current circumstances,” explains Antonia Mercorella. “What we know today is that females play an incredibly important role in real estate. Further, the outcomes are always better when there’s diversity in a workplace. For the REIQ to be sustainable and continue to serve its members for another 100 plus years, it’s incredibly important we have a board and staff that are diverse, inclusive and respectful of all genders.”

Now seven years in the role, Mercorella has led some revolutionary modifications to the organisation – most notably, constitutional changes in 2018 which ensure two member-director positions on the board are reserved for females plus an additional seat for someone aged under 35-years. Such a change brought about some difference of opinion; some argued that quotas and mandates have no place in the boardroom. That said, the changes were adopted and positively resonated with both REIQ members and the broader real estate community.

“As an organisation, we wanted to send an important message to our membership – that we want more women at the boardroom table where the decisions are made,” further explains Mercorella. “Since the introduction of constitutional reforms, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented level of women nominating for a position on our board. And that was our intention – to create momentum and send a message to women that they matter to us; and, we want them in leadership positions.

“Women can get to where they need to get to on merit, but I think we need to take positive action, change our systems, policies and methodologies to do all that we can to let women know that they are welcome.”

Enjoying this article on gender equality? You might also enjoy real estate: no longer a man’s world.Women in Real Estate Event 12 March 2021

Queensland’s real estate ecosystem has transformed tremendously since the organisation’s inception in 1918. Where females once dominated administrative roles, the profession is now seeing more women thriving in areas including sales, property management, business development and, more importantly, as business owners. That age-old stigma of real estate being a ‘boys’ club’ is within earshot of its death rattle.

“You only need to look across our great industry to see the number of females really excelling in real estate,” adds Mercorella. In fact, some of our best performers, both across residential sales and property management, are female. And with the ever-increasing number of females entering real estate is evidence we, as a peak body, are doing a good job of encouraging them to join the profession.”

Despite the progress being made both within the REIQ and wider profession, there’s always room for further improvements. On a grassroots level, Mercorella points to business owners quashing negative stereotypes and sexism in order for their staff to thrive. “Offering flexibility to staff in your business is a great first step to take, and not just for females,” she further explains. “It’s about offering flexibility for males too so we can break stereotypes about who’s the breadwinner and who’s the primary caregiver to children for example. Keeping an eye out for any forms of ‘casual’ sexisms that can emerge in a real estate office and calling it out if it happens is really important. Everyone has a role to play in this if we’re aiming to achieve total gender equality in real estate.”

The REIQ proudly recognises the enormous value women bring as leaders and decision-makersin a range of fields within our industry and to those agencies which actively encourage and support women starting out in or returning to the workforce as well as moving forward with their careers.

As part of International Women’s Day, the REIQ is excited to welcome back one of its premier signature events in 2021 – Women in Real Estate. Served up against the backdrop of a gourmet champagne breakfast, this year we welcome the most successful female surfer in the sport’s history and 7-time world champion Layne Beachley AO* as keynote speaker. 

With REIQ Platinum Corporate Partner realestate.com.au as this year’s principal sponsor, this is one event you don’t want to miss! Of course, men are more than welcome to also attend.  

To book your tickets to WIRE 2021, click here.

Here’s what others have to say

Blake Richard
Blake Richard
01:34 05 Mar 18
I wasnt sure that I would get through the Agents and Licence course with everything I had on, made an attempt a year ago with another provider that went totally pear shaped but the REIQ course is structured in a way that made sense. While all of their trainers are experts in their field, they offer onsite student support on Tuesdays with Rachel providing the right advice and reassurance to get you there, even if you havent studied for a while. If you've ever wanted a career in Real Estate this is where you get started!
Lynette Nitson
Lynette Nitson
01:48 13 Jan 20
I contacted REIQ, as I wanted to upgrade my real estate licence to a full licence. I have now completed the necessary upgrade and I just wanted to thank all the staff and trainers who were my guides during this time. Particular mention to Rachael Wilschefski who did everything she could to help me and was a joy to talk to, Trudi Fleet was a fantastic support to me and a big thank you to the assessing team. If anyone is considering using REIQ to get their licence or upgrade, I highly recommend using REIQ. Once again, thank you. Helen Knight
Helen Knight
Helen Knight
00:31 05 Mar 21
Good course. Materials and tools given to finish the course easily. Was no problem to finish. Support is there if needed it.
Jade Dodds
Jade Dodds
09:11 09 Oct 20
In February I decided to take steps to buy management rights to a unit complex. As I have not studied for some time I chose REIQ to do my RLA course. Initially I didn’t engage the help through student support but it came to a point I needed some assistance. Selina Randall and Connie McKee were wonderful help. I personally feel they went over and beyond to help me complete the course and enable me to follow through with final settlement of the new business in just a few weeks Thank you so very much ladies. You were both amazing
Irmy Thomas
Irmy Thomas
06:35 18 Jun 21
Adam Milton
Adam Milton
01:52 22 Nov 17
Great training course was very informative. I feel I gained lots of knowledge and there is a lot of support from the REIQ team online, via phone and in person and am looking forward to starting my career in the real estate industry!
Laura Stills
Laura Stills
08:14 22 Oct 20
Helpful staff. Useful networking events and training videos.
Eagle Real Estate
Eagle Real Estate
02:27 25 Jul 18
Katie Cotton
Katie Cotton
10:04 31 Oct 17
Haydn Denovan
Haydn Denovan
02:51 20 Mar 18
Jacqui McKeering
Jacqui McKeering
02:01 08 Mar 18
Had Melissa Sullivan conducting the sales registration course for the past two days I have to say I think this woman is inspiring she kept the class focused and engaged throughout the two days. I dont normally complete surveys but felt that I wanted to share that this lady has inspired me to give sales ago and I never thought i would say that as i have been a PM and honestly never thought I could see myself as a sales agent... Thanks Mel for such a great two days
Karen Riddell
Karen Riddell
07:04 03 Aug 17
Very impressed with the trainers that I have had for the past 3 days. Each individual trainer was very helpful and made sure that everyone in the class understood everything before we progressed through the modules.
Shannon Goldsworthy
Shannon Goldsworthy
04:34 23 Oct 19
Jason Bond
Jason Bond
10:29 19 Jun 18
Great friendly environment
David Priest
David Priest
22:47 19 Nov 19
Proud to be a member of such a prestigious organisation. Thank You for the support 🏡
Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith
07:28 07 Mar 18
I found the REIQ Real Estate Licence Online Training Course was very good, easy to access, with brilliant course materials to read and assignments that really checked on your understanding of the details of every aspect of real estate practise. I enjoyed the course even though it took a few months due to working full time and found the support of the trainers and assessors very helpful and encouraging. Thanks REIQ Training team for helping me through!
Lindy Lear
Lindy Lear
10:47 18 Oct 20
Recently completed my Licence course and thoroughly enjoyed the in-class tutorials taught by highly professional trainers with many years of industry experiences. The student support that is available every Tuesday is an extremely helpful resource, again with very experienced trainers to ensure you get the right advice the first time. REIQ has really structured the entire full Licence course end to end thoughtfully, especially when you’re new to this industry. Highly recommended!
Julian Phua
Julian Phua
07:01 02 Oct 19
Great staff that are always helpful.
Kensington Ràpoza
Kensington Ràpoza
11:20 28 Dec 19
Gerry MacKenzie
Gerry MacKenzie
06:53 12 Oct 20
I cannot recommend REIQ enough. The training, environment & staff were beyond my expectations. A special mention for Rachael who is a trainer at REIQ. Rachael knows her stuff. Her knowledge of the industry and style of delivery helped me get across the line and score my dream job.
Paul Conway
Paul Conway
05:11 15 Jan 20
Welcoming and friendly staff, always available to support their members. The Property Management Support Team is particularly helpful. Well worth the subscription fees just to have access to advice from these experienced practitioners.
Laura Valenti
Laura Valenti
21:29 16 Jun 18
Liam Hanlon
Liam Hanlon
12:06 05 Sep 17
Recently I completed the Real Estate Licensing course at REIQ and was blown away by the help and support provided by Ms. Connie McKee who is a trainer at REIQ. Connie is very professional and has years of knowledge and work experience in the Real Estate Industry.I am glad I chose REIQ as my pathway into the Real Estate Industry.
Kaizan Irani
Kaizan Irani
00:23 30 May 19
Jodie was an amazing help throughout the training. We had a few technical issues and I knew that I could call and get it sorted alongside her. She was always supportive and no task was ever a bother for her. Thanks again Jodie !!
Kirsty Bohn
Kirsty Bohn
04:40 30 Jun 21
Michelle Wright
Michelle Wright
04:07 26 Feb 18
I would like to share with you our experience that we have recently had through the REIQ Professional Development Team.We have had an awesome start to 2020 thanks to the great service provided by the REIQ Professional Development Team. Congratulations to Liz who started and finished her Certificate of Registration Course with the REIQ in December 2019. She loved the training, particularly the fact the trainers are experienced and still walk the talk and are active in real estate. Fast turnaround for marking of the assessments with help on hand by way of tutoring if needed meant she could get the Application to Office of Fair Trading for her registration happening quickly. We are thrilled, from start to finish with the course and application to Fair Trading she had her Certificate of Registration within 5 weeks. Really impressed with the training, help and support team REIQ gave Liz and the quick processing time by the Office of Fair Trading.We also regularly use the Property Management Support Service and General Agency Advice Service and believe it offers great value for our membership. The PMSS team provide practical advice by practising property management professionals who can relate to the everyday challenges property managers face.Keep up the good work Team REIQ,
RE/MAX Ignite
RE/MAX Ignite
05:56 21 Jan 20
Just done two days interactive training with Melissa Sullivan. Sensational! Such a great presenter and electric delivery of material. Quick paced and hands-on!Very glad to have been in this class!!! Awesome
Miles Griffiths
Miles Griffiths
07:01 26 Jun 18
Tina Nenadic
Tina Nenadic
12:57 02 Mar 18

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