Real estate agent and founder of Emma Leigh & Co., Emma Hernan talks about Season 5 of Selling Sunset and shares what has made her into the successful woman she is today.
Emma Hernan joined Selling Sunset because she wanted to inspire other women with her entrepreneurial journey. Her motto? Be positive and always take the high road. She believes that knowledge is power and that being confident is crucial. We had the pleasure of chatting with the reality star about friendships, investing advice and tips on how to be confident.
Q: What kind of person would you consider to be a good friend?
A: Someone who has your back through thick and thin. Someone who will be there for you the same way you’ll be there for them. If you need someone to pick you up at 3 a.m. because your car stopped working and needs a jump, they’ll be there. I’m that type of friend. I go above and beyond for everybody in my life, and everybody would say that. And the people I choose to have in my life would do the same for me. I treat everyone in my life like family, and I think there’s something to be said about that. I don’t treat my friends like casual friends; I treat my friends like family.
Q: You invested in the stock market at a young age. Any advice for people looking to invest?
A: I definitely think it takes some reading, and that’s how I got into it. For three months before I put money anywhere, I read about the different options. There are risky plays and then there are safer plays. The great thing about it is that, by starting younger, you can take more risks. And I think that’s played a huge role in my success. I started investing so young, so I was fortunate enough to be a little riskier when it came to the investment. You know, I started investing in health care when I was 15 years old — not the sexiest thing to invest in, but very beneficial for the future because you always want to invest in things that will make a positive influence on the environment.
Q: Can you give us some insight into the not-so-glamorous side of real estate?
A: We don’t go into every little showing in six-inch stilettos. I’ve gone crawling in a house trying to find the light switches and going to inspections with my clients. You’re looking at the most luxurious homes in the entire world, but the interesting thing about real estate is that it’s 24-7. It’s not nine to five. I know personally; I have clients overseas in Singapore, so we literally are working non-stop. I’ve gone to houses that are completely under construction. We’re in sneakers and a hard hat. It’s not always glamorous, but that’s what makes it fun.
Q: How do you navigate working in male-dominated industries?
A: Definitely take the high road on that one. The number of times I was looked at funny or told that I was in the wrong meeting place is endless, and I used that to my advantage. When I walk into an investor meeting or if I’m walking into a meeting representing my company or another company, a lot of times it’s assumed that I’m somebody’s girlfriend. I wait for my turn to talk. These are CEOs of major Fortune 500 companies, and their jaws all drop to the ground by the time I end what I’m saying because I know exactly what I’m talking about. Knowledge is power. I’m very intelligent, and I know people judge based on looks, and that’s why I use that to my advantage. I explain the situation and I tell them exactly what we’re going to do, and I will take control of the room. For me, it’s fun to watch because I go from being judged to people thinking I’m more involved in the company.
Q: Do you have any advice on how to build your confidence?
A: I’ve walked into a meeting before and I didn’t know what they were talking about. I was at a super-high-level meeting, and I wrote down every single thing that was said and learned about it. We don’t always know everything, but you put a smile on your face and you go back and you figure it out. Knowledge is power, and you’re going to have days when you’re down, but you should make the best of everything.
Q: What’s the key to living la dolce vita?
A: That’s so funny. I feel like I use that quote all the time. I actually texted it last night to a couple of friends. I think it’s just so important to live your best life. Don’t worry about the small things. Put all your energy into positive vibes. And, just have the mantra “YOLO” [You Only Live Once]. I do think you will live your best life if you focus on the good and you put your everything into everything that means something to you.