This winter, Inman is obsessing over leadership in real estate. We’re publishing profiles, Q&As, strategy guides, and an in-depth 5-part report on what the industry wants from its leaders. Then, on March 26-28, we’re going to gather those leaders in the California desert to digest all of these inputs and figure out where to go from here.

This is a collaborative process. Please engage with our posts, and send us feedback to And if you are a leader who wants to join us in the desert in March, or if you want to recommend a colleague, send a note to and tell us why.

Fueled by a passion for social entrepreneurship, Caroline Pinal helped create Giveback Homes to empower real estate agents to turn their everyday business into an opportunity for social change. Caroline and her team deliver innovation and impact to their network of like-minded agents, which are the driving force behind the movement to provide safe homes for families throughout the world. We had the opportunity to ask Caroline for her thoughts on the future of real estate leadership.

Caroline Pinal

As a leader, what keeps you up at night?

The global housing crisis can feel insurmountable at times, and at the same time I think a lot about how to balance the ongoing needs in communities we serve with mobilizing responses to current events and how to better prepare the companies we work with to assist.

If you could change one thing in real estate, what would it be?

I wish all real estate developers in the entire world were required to build affordable housing solutions into each project.

How have your expectations of your management team changed over the past two years?

Two years ago, the expectation was to do everything, be everything, to everyone 24/7. Today, the expectation is to stay focused on our members and partners and what we’re aiming to do next. Reminding ourselves what we’re not doing is equally important. This has made it easy to say no to certain things, resulting in less distractions and better service to our people.

How do you keep your team competitive?

The no. 1 question we get asked is, “how much do other people typically give?” and I used to think this is such a strange question. But I’ve learned that people are more likely to give more, if they know the amount that their peers/colleagues are giving. And often the amount that people donate is related to how much they believe others are donating.

It’s naturally competitive, but ultimately the more people that give, the more everyone wins. That’s why it’s important to share how and who is giving, because it will always inspire others to give in one way or another.

With so much disruption in real estate, what’s your best advice for managing change?

Cultivate change before it’s a trending topic. Your enthusiasm will always be the driving force behind whether something is successful or not.

Want to connect with Caroline? You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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