Female Founders: Stephanie Lanier
This next installment of the Female Founders series on Union Street Media’s YouTube channel features Stephanie Lanier. Lanier is an award winning entrepreneur and advocate for women. She started and sold her own real estate company, is currently the leader of Lanier Property Group, a highly successful team at Intracoastal Realty, and created and runs the Inspiration Lab, an organization that helps women pursue more manageable and meaningful lives. Lanier is a winner of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® Rising Star Award and was named to Wilmington’s inaugural Power 100 list in December of 2019, among other accolades. And she’s also a kick-ass mom. Click the video above to watch the whole interview.
By most standards, Stephanie Lanier had a nontraditional entry into real estate. When her son Oliver got sick, Lanier’s husband told her she’d be a good real estate agent. She decided to take a class, figuring the money would help with their medical bills. “So I took a class and fell in love with the industry and with the people,” Lanier reflects, adding “It felt right.”
“I love this industry and I love that…you can never get bored with it.”
Lanier talks about her experience a lot, hoping it can help others. Lanier says that it feels like people just wait around for permission or “a door to open, and I’m like ‘no you need to build the door, you gotta build the table you want a seat at.” She goes on to say that “in many ways real estate is very much about creating a thing you wish existed, instead of waiting for it to happen to you.”
That said, Lanier recognizes she has a unique perspective. Oliver being sick “always gives me perspective,” says Lanier, adding “It helps me be a little bit more brave and bold in business.” “I want my business to be successful, but if it wasn’t — if something really bad happened, I would still be okay and I think we in real estate have to remember that.”
At the heart of her success is the fact that she centers her goals around those that are “self care oriented and oriented around opportunities to be creative and to be a person who is somewhat balanced.”
“We design goals so that we can crush them, not so they can crush us.”
Lanier says, “I think that ability to be resilient and to pivot and just be like ‘okay well we thought we were going in this direction and now we’re going to different’ is important.”
Resilience is something Lanier could write a master class on, and in many ways, she has. Lanier’s leadership is built around delivering the fundamentals her team, and her business, needs, in the most authentic, deeply personal way. “Obviously in this market and — in any market — if you have people on your team, you need to feed them good quality leads,” says Lanier, adding “that’s part of why they’re on the team.” You also have to “create a bubble where there are growth opportunities,” says Lanier and make your agents feel loved and taken care of. “Just understanding what makes people tick is really key,” she explains.
“I think it’s the simple little things that make a huge difference and I spend a lot of time and resources on that for my team.”—Stephanie Lanier
As one example, Lanier talks about a spreadsheet she created called “Deets on Peeps” where she keeps track of all of the things the people in her life love, like coffee orders, favorite flowers, or favorite animals. Having a catalog of their favorites enables her to seek surprise and delight moments like when she sees something when she’s out running errands that she knows one of her agents or clients will love. She doesn’t hesitate to get it knowing it will be really meaningful to them.
Another example of Lanier taking care of people is the creation of the Inspiration Lab. Lanier reflects on why she started it, saying that at conferences, so many women would present themselves as having everything together on stage, yet reveal that they’re struggling when talking to a group of agents offstage. She decided that these conversations needed to be had and creating a “a safe place where we can be authentic” would be key.
“You bring your whole self to work and you bring your whole self home,” says Lanier, adding that “trying to make some distinction was confusing to me, so I was like ‘let’s just get these women together’ and it started as a luncheon series— it was like like a passion project for me.”
With the Inspiration Lab, her goal has always been to have a place for “women to come together and breathe and share and talk about things they felt like they couldn’t talk about.” Lanier reveals that “my whole MO for life is to create the things you wish existed, which is how I ended up at like a boutique brokerage and then [creating the] Inspiration Lab and things like the Deets on Peeps worksheet.”
This holds true for every aspect of her life and her business. From motivation to marketing, Lanier believes that if she can’t find something that works, “We’ll just create it. Why not?”
To learn more about Stephanie Lanier and Lanier Property Group visit: https://www.lanierpropertygroup.com/
To learn more about the Inspiration Lab visit: https://www.theinspirationlab.co/