PHOTO:  Laing+Simmons’ Leanne Pilkington

Australia’s leading real estate professionals travelled to Melbourne last week for the Annual REA Excellence Awards (AREAs).

People from every state were in the Victorian capital where 21 awards were presented to recognise excellence and best practice in innovation, service and marketing excellence, and community.

“The AREAs celebrate the success and achievements of our customers and partners across the property and media industry,” REA Group CEO Owen Wilson said.

“It is just wonderful to get the recognition,” Ms Pilkington told Real Estate Business.

She has been lucky in her career to have worked for incredible people who have allowed her to progress her profession with reassuring support.

Although there is a large number of women in the real estate industry, the balance in leadership roles is male-dominated. But Ms Pilkington believes if women break through their own barriers, they can be industry leaders, too.

“If you surround yourself [with] the right people and put your mind to it, you can achieve what you want to achieve,” she said.

She acknowledged that some of the barriers she had to overcome were self-inflicted.

“When I first joined the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales board, I had to be asked,” she said. “It didn’t occur to me that I had a voice that could be of value.”

Ms Pilkington supports these industry events and believes they are essential for the industry to come together and recognise achievements.

“It is important women can come and see other women be recognised and say, ‘If she can do it, I can do it, too’.”