The shocking truth behind men behaving badly

By June 17, 2022 No Comments

The real estate industry has been challenged to “champion fairness, not aggression” by one of Victoria’s most respected agents.

Holly Longmuir – a third-generation agent based on the Mornington Peninsula – told the 2022 Rise conference the industry must “work together for an equal future”.

“We want assertive women, and that goes hand-in-hand with respect,” she said. 

Holly urged principals to stop tolerating bad behaviour and allow gross commission income (GCI) to “lead your decisions”.

“I challenge all of us to champion fairness, not aggression, and to watch for respectful language,” said Holly, an agent with RT Edgar. “Gender does not define our work, values do.”

She called on the industry to “work together for an equal future”.

Holly shared with the Rise audience of more than 1000 real estate professionals how her father had tried to prepare her for the behaviour of male colleagues.

“My dad would say, ‘don’t let the bastards get you down, and most men are bastards’,” recalled Holly. “I was cajoled and told to minimise empathy – not just by my dad but the sales team. 

“They’d say real estate was hard, and you need a thick skin. Empathy – not a chance. This created internal unease. My integrity was out of whack.” 

Holly gave some examples of her worst experiences. 

“I’ve been called a ball-breaker, aggressive, unstable, unreasonable, and many other names by men I’ve challenged or didn’t agree with,” she said. 

“I’ve had men stand over me, scream in my face. I’ve been locked in a room. At a function, I was asked deeply personal, sexually-leading questions.”

“The truth is, I want to feel safe. 

“I want to know that I’m not going to be taken advantage of.”

Holly wondered what had happened to the young women of her generation who had not had the “all men are bastards” talk.

In her Five Minutes of Wisdom talk, Holly said she realised the “men in the room will be shocked by what I’ve said”. 

“We need you to stand up for us and call out bad behaviour,” she said. “Don’t walk past it. I challenge all of us to champion fairness, not aggression. I ask you to search for vulnerability and create safe spaces to talk.”

Referring to her team at RT Edgar, she said: “We respect each other for our skills. We are all real estate agents. We work towards common goals. This is my dream to change the industry.”

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