Meet the President: Anita Davis
Women's Council's 2013 president talks relationships, building a real estate career and empowering women to go after leadership roles.
When Anita T. Davis, ABR, CRS, GRI, PMN, an associate broker with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., in Baltimore, receives a business referral, it's sure to come from another Women's Council member. And, when Davis needs to brainstorm about a business idea or chat about her local market, she immediately calls one of a handful of Women's Council members who she says she trusts implicitly.
"If I could name one benefit of belonging to Women's Council, it would be the relationships you build," says Davis, who is the 2013 national president. "The bonds you build with fellow members and officers are forever. It's not unusual for me to be on the phone with Bobbie Nelson (Women's Council's 2012 president) at 1 a.m. my time," laughs Davis. "I know I can pick up the phone and talk honestly about what's going on in my business, and they can do the same for me." And, in a competitive business such as real estate, that is priceless.
In the Beginning
Davis started her real estate career as a single mom. "I worked at an airline for about 10 years when I decided to get my real estate license. I liked the fact that in real estate, you're providing a service that people really want. The airline industry wasn't a stable industry, so I thought real estate would be," laughs Davis. "Well, it wasn't more stable, but my schedule was more flexible. I loved the industry right from the start because I got involved immediately — serving on the local association board and joining Women's Council of REALTORS®."
Davis first got involved in Women's Council through her mentor and now business partner, Judy Morris, who was a local chapter president at the time. "It was the place for me to meet movers and shakers in the industry," she says. "Once I started attending Women's Council meetings, I developed amazing relationships that would only help my transactions." Davis is a self-proclaimed "joiner" who says that, "once you start volunteering with Women's Council, it gets into your blood. You want to keep giving back, because the people in the organization have given you so much."
And, what began as a way to earn business has become a way to share business.
"I just sent a referral to another REALTOR® here in Maryland. The client wanted to do a transaction in an area I don't service. Because of my relationship with this Women's Council member, I knew she would take care of that buyer the same way I would. I know her commitment to the industry," Davis says.
And, she receives quite a few referrals from other members as well. "The relationships have helped my dollars-and-cents business. It's a nice perk, but it's the cherry on the sundae. The fact that you have these relationships to turn to is the true benefit," she says. "Women's Council has provided a national platform, and I've been able to build relationships coast to coast."
Davis doesn't just talk business with these fellow members. "We can bounce ideas off one another about what's happening in our market and still have that personal bond. We talk about our families and our kids. That's what I treasure most about Women's Council. I can name 15 people whom I know closely both professionally and personally."
Power and Confidence
As for her presidency, Davis says, "It's really important to note that in today's society we women think we are equal to men, but we are still the minority in business leadership roles. The important message I want to get across this year is that women need to be confident and ask for what they want. Don't wait for someone to recognize the good job you've done. Go out and tell them, 'I'd be great for this job. I can do it.'"
In addition, Davis recognizes that market conditions continue to be challenging. "I want to make sure our members stay up to date on all the many changes that continue to happen in this market. Women's Council educates better than anyone," she says. Frequent business resource meetings mean that Women's Council is able to provide the latest information on the real estate industry to members. And, says Davis, "Women's Council constantly develops tools for members to use to enhance their business."
Overall, though, Davis wants to stress how important it is to have a good attitude, create a solid support team and get involved. "This is the industry where we make our living. If we're getting something from the industry, we must give back to it. That give and take helps everyone."
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