SPOTLIGHT ON: Ruth Lara Deane

While 62% of the National Association of Realtors is comprised of women, a little less than 20% are Broker/Owners. “We have advanced as women in leadership, but we’re still not there in terms of being equal to our male counterparts,”

SPOTLIGHT ON: Ruth Lara Deane
Ruth Lara Deane

A Firm Believer in Women’s Empowerment

Even as a teenager, Ruth Lara Deane knew that her career would be centered around real estate. The 2024 President of the Women’s Council of Realtors, Westchester and Broker/Owner of Seer Realty, LLC in Yonkers actually began her career as a high school senior. She managed to land a job as a receptionist for a property management firm and began learning everything from the ground up.

“At that time, though, I wondered why anyone would hire a property manager when they could just do everything themselves,” she laughed. “But I quickly discovered all of the work involved and then I understood!”

Within just a year, she was handling their accounts payable and a few years later, she decided to get her real estate license. She and her husband also made their first home purchase in 2018—a two-family property in New Rochelle. “We were paying a lot of rent in Yonkers, and I thought—what are we doing—this just doesn’t make any sense to me,” Deane recalled. Soon, their home became an income-producing property from the monthly rental.

In 2020, Deane embarked on what she calls “a leap of faith” by opening her own property management firm, Stonebridge Realty Management. One year later, she earned her broker’s license and took on her first sales transaction. “It’s so rewarding helping buyers through what probably is the biggest expense of their life, and I love being part of that process,” she said. “Giving the buyers the key at the end and seeing their faces is an awesome feeling!”

In 2021, Seer Realty was born, and Deane made the decision to expand her horizons by getting involved with the Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR). “It was a natural choice for me,” she recalled. “I’m a firm believer in women’s empowerment and the commitment to growth and success.”

With her first event, she knew she had made the right choice. “I was new there and I remember meeting Barbara Peterson. She welcomed me and talked to me like she had known me for years,” Deane remembered. “That made me feel so welcome, so it was a no-brainer when it came time to join.”

Using her bookkeeping and property management skills, Deane soon made her way to Treasurer of WCR and this year, she snagged the top spot. It’s also a special year for Deane, as the local Westchester group is celebrating its 50th anniversary. “We have so many exciting plans for this year, including more educational events and a newsletter to keep people informed,” she said.

Deane explained that the national WCR was established in 1938 at a time when women were actually barred from joining many local Realtor associations. The original WCR had just 37 women from nine states. “This was a very important time in history for women,” added Deane, “but there is still work to be done.”

While 62% of the National Association of Realtors is comprised of women, a little less than 20% are Broker/Owners. “We have advanced as women in leadership, but we’re still not there in terms of being equal to our male counterparts,” said Deane. “In the commercial real estate industry as well, the majority are still men.”

Deane admits that women often struggle with balancing their time between work and their families. “We sometimes feel guilty about spending less time with our kids and we limit ourselves,” she noted. “We have to adopt the mindset that trying to do something good for ourselves does not mean we’re lacking in our role as mothers.”  

Deane and her husband have two boys, ages 4 and 9 and the family recently purchased a single-family home in Mahopac. However, her roots remain in Yonkers and Deane still finds time to volunteer and donate school supplies and toys to the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Yonkers.

She has also taught financial literacy classes to Yonkers High School students. “I think it’s important to teach kids at a young age about financial freedom,” she said. “Growing up, my father owned property and now I take my 9-year-old with me when I look at properties that we’re considering buying to renovate and flip. We have to educate the community about the whole home buying process and let them know how owning real estate will help them.”

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