Lana Rademaker - Focus & A Resilient Mindset in the Bahamas
Lana Rademaker is co-owner and Chief Brokerage Officer for Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty and Lyford Cay Sotheby’s International Realty in Nassau, The Bahamas. Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty was established in 1945 by Lana’s grandfather, Nick Damianos, and is now a third-generation, family-owned business. Since joining the family company in 2002 as an estate agent, Lana has firmly established a reputation as a trusted adviser with a strong commitment to the highest level of professional service and who provides undivided attention to her clients and her team.
When Lana Rademaker launched her real estate career in 2002, she was one of four women working for Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty, and one of those was her mom and co-owner of the company, Virginia Damianos.
Eighteen years later, Rademaker is now Chief Brokerage Officer for the firm, owns half of the company (Rademaker stepped into her mother’s role after Virginia passed in 2014), and oversees 33 agents, 16 of whom are women. “The number of female agents in our company has increased significantly in the past five-and-a-half years, and there’s this kind of unspoken competitiveness among them,” Rademaker said. “They’re from all different backgrounds and each has a unique focus on their success and are invested in their path. They’re not here to look pretty and be accessories. I enjoy watching them become power agents in the firm and establishing their presence in the business community.”
Rademaker attributes this increase in the number of women agents to the company’s culture which encourages support of one another and professional development along with the day-to-day face time every team member receives from her. “We have a holistic approach to teamwork and the agents work directly and closely with me and our leadership team,” Rademaker said. “The relationships we have are transparent and offer a constant support system through coaching, mentoring and a peer-based accountability program.”
It’s the same support that Rademaker herself received from her mother, Virginia, who took over the family business in 1995 along with her brother after their father passed away. “My mom was the best mentor I could have asked for and the epitome of what it means to be a Power Woman long before anybody recognized women in this way,” Rademaker said. “She genuinely cared for those around her and had an interest in making them the best version of themselves. Her smile could light up a room and people just felt that energy flowing from her. I try to embody that.”
Rademaker is quick to point out that her uncle and business partner, George Damianos, has also had a significant influence on her career trajectory. “Mom and George are and were excellent teachers and coaches. Both were extremely deliberate in the way they went about teaching me the ins and outs of the industry,” Rademaker said. “They taught me how to conduct business, write contracts, navigate negotiation terms and resolve pricing issues with professionalism and ethics always at the core of anything I do.”
“They also instilled in me the importance of avoiding shortcuts and to think strategically and long-term. This was all done in such a methodical, consistent way that over time these tenets became my natural instincts.” Perhaps most importantly, Rademaker said, they taught her the value of never making anybody feel like they’re being used. “My mother’s passion was this business and our team,” Rademaker said. “She was a stickler for honesty and sincerity. She always made decisions that were in the best interest of our clients and our team members, and she impressed upon me to do the same. This remains the foundation of our corporate culture, and what attracts high-level talent to our company.’
Woven into the training of how to thrive day-to-day in the real estate business was the consistent drumbeat of maintaining a positive mindset—specifically, to embrace the ‘get to’ mindset over the ‘have to’ mindset.
“As a leader, a huge part of supporting people’s personal and professional growth is emphasizing the value of a positive mindset not only through words but also with actions,” Rademaker said. “To me, a Power Woman is a person who gets up every day with a fresh outlook, no matter what happened the day before. She’s focused on moving forward and not getting stuck in the negative. Most of all, she remains positive in front of other people. I personally accomplish this by surrounding myself with people whose energy I can draw on for inner strength. It’s very much a reciprocal relationship. No true Power Woman stands on her own, nor does she want to. It’s all about give and take.”
To further hone her leadership skills, Rademaker worked spent most of 2018 working with an executive coach. “I strongly recommend executive coaching to anyone who wants to be a better leader—not just women,” Rademaker said. “My coach and I worked together to identify my strengths, challenges, blind spots and opportunities for growth. This process taught me how to better communicate with my team based on their personality types and their innate motivations. Gaining an understanding for the frequencies that different people operate on allowed me to adjust my own style and language so that both parties achieve what they need to from the conversation. It was very eye-opening. It improved my relationship with about 50% to 60% of the people I work with every day and my ability to lead them.”
This focus on sharpening specific areas of expertise rather than casting a wide net is partly due to the real estate guidance Rademaker received from her mother and uncle who emphasized excelling in targeted markets rather than settling for mediocrity in all levels of the market. It’s also a result of what Rademaker has come to learn through her own experiences as a mother, a wife, a business owner, and a leader in the community.
“Ultimately, being a Power Woman doesn’t boil down to ‘leaning in’ or trying to be a superhero,” Rademaker said. “It simply means remaining positive in the face of adversity so you can push through and inspire those around you.”