Lindsay Listanski is the Head of Marketing for Climb Real Estate. She is one of the key members at Realogy working on the strategy and launch of Climb’s national franchise expansion. Lindsay is responsible for driving Climb’s national marketing efforts including brand marketing and media as well as aiding in the development of the brand’s technology stack. Prior to Climb, she spent nearly seven years at Coldwell Banker Real Estate where she led national advertising and media efforts.
A digital native, Lindsay regularly speaks at brand and industry events on social media, technology and millennial trends. Lindsay was named one of the top 20 social influencers in real estate on Stefan Swanepoel’s Power 200 rankings as well as a PR News Mover and Shaker in 2017 and 2018.
1. How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I have been blessed when it comes to life experience. I have a tremendously supportive family, incredibly smart and driven colleagues, and have always felt like I was given the chance to earn a key seat at the table with every company I have been with, regardless of tenure. Now, as a leader, I strive to go into every project I take on with kindness in my heart, a competitive spirit and a desire to lift those around me just as others have done for me.
2. How has your previous employment experience aided your current role?
Even after a little over a decade of working, I believe my internships had one of the greatest impacts on my career trajectory. I studied marketing in college which gave me a wide-open path in terms of what I really wanted to hone in on. Social media and digital marketing were just gaining full adoption as I was getting ready to graduate, which meant professors didn’t have any curriculum in place based on best practices, strategy, etc. My internships provided me a jumpstart into applying social media, SEO and digital marketing strategies in e-commerce, legal and CPG industries, which gave me a competitive edge when I was ready to start my career. Prior to my current role, I was fortunate to work in several positions for the Coldwell Banker Real Estate marketing team. I gained incredible experiences leading marketing, advertising and media initiatives that enabled me to feel prepared to take on the role of Head of Marketing with CLIMB. I attribute so much of my success to my mentor and prior manager, David Marine, so a hat tip to him!
3. What have the highlights and challenges been during your current role?
I’ve been in my current position as the Head of Marketing at CLIMB for about eight months. In that time, the biggest challenge has been knowing when to push the boundaries with fresh thinking and when to “not recreate the wheel.” Being in startup mode allows you to think with limitless boundaries, but balancing that with practicality and ruthless prioritization is the key to success. The biggest highlight has been leading marketing for this new brand. Realogy is a powerhouse in the real estate industry and there is a huge spotlight on this project. I am very proud and grateful for being trusted to lead marketing for such a key initiative.
4. What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry?
My advice is to jump right in. Real estate is one of the best industries to work in as a woman because it allows you to “be your own boss,” with an unlimited wealth of opportunities and flexibility.
5. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?
More than just a career lesson, but a life lesson is to stop chasing tomorrow. It is good to have dreams and goals, but sometimes the joy of chasing tomorrow steals from the joy of what you have and what you’ve accomplished today. I am constantly having to remind myself of this.
6. How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Work life balance, as a phrase, makes it seem like it is one or the other, although we know that is very rarely the case. Work is a very large part of my life, but in my opinion, balance is almost impossible. I maintain the closest thing to what one could call balance by sticking to key boundaries, especially when it comes to my husband and son. Things like holidays or birthdays, making myself available to say goodnight when I am traveling for work, etc. are hard boundaries and when I can stick to them, it gives me a feeling of control. Speaking of work/life balance, this photo that my husband took of me working from home while my son was scaling my back reminds me that you must find joy and humor in “the balance”…
7. What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
I read recently someone say “work, family, fitness, friends, sleep…pick three,” and I just shook my head and agreed. The biggest challenge for women in the workplace is not just balancing their career, but also their “home life,” and personal needs as well such as fitness, friends and hobbies. This isn’t to say men don’t struggle with this too as I am sure they do. We are in a world where dual income families are the norm and that puts more pressure on people to prioritize taking care of their home and family (if they have one), while still finding time to do things they love.
8. How can we encourage more women to start their own business?
Encouragement is a great first step, and a close second is mentorship and resources. Being generous with whatever you have, whether it be time, advice or funding, are crucial to ensuring we support women entrepreneurs who are the change makers and the future.
9. How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Mentorship has made a tremendous impact on my career both personally and professionally. My mentors have come in at every stage of my career, including my latest chapter re-entering the workforce as a working mom. As soon as I had my son, a “secret club” of working parent mentors I never knew existed opened up, and that has been incredibly helpful. My closest mentors are the ones who are willing to give me honest feedback and sometimes tough love because when they do, I know they truly care about me and my growth.
10. Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
There is no woman leader I admire more than my mother, especially at this stage in my life where I am just starting to understand how much she sacrificed as a working mom and still managed to be the most incredible mother and wife with immense patience and poise. At my own company, I am fortunate to be surrounded by several inspiring women leaders including Sherry Chris, who launched the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand; Tanya Reu, who leads our human resources department and has been an incredible resource to me as a working mom, and Jennifer Marchetti who is the Better Homes and Gardens CMO and my marketing coach. In my industry, I admire Sara Sutachan and Debra Trappen for their work to empower women in real estate through WomanUp! On a global scale, I have immense respect for Indra Nooyi, Sheryl Sandberg and Priscilla Chan.
11. What do you want to professionally and personally accomplish in the next year?
Professionally, I want to exceed all expectations that have been set for the national launch of the CLIMB franchise that I am working on and I am truly confident our team will deliver. Personally, I would like to make working out a priority for how I spend time. I can’t blame it on “baby weight” anymore since my son is 2 ½. 😊
12. What are the top three tips you can offer to an entrepreneur starting out?
My top three tips for entrepreneurs starting out:
1) Win the Day: Focus on being the absolute best you can be each day and if you do that, you will keep a clear heart and mind.
2) Surround Yourself with Honesty: Find people who will tell you like it is. When you are just starting out, it is important to surround yourself with people who push you to think and work outside the box, and are comfortable challenging you to do so.
3) Have Fun: If you are just starting out and not having fun, then your heart will never really be in it.