The rising economic bang of women is perhaps one of the most significant shifts in recent decades. Not only are women generating and managing increasing amounts of wealth, they are also directing the economy itself, heading up major corporations and being pivotal economic players like the International Monetary Fund and until recently, the U.S. Federal Reserve.
2020 is the year of women where the matrons are breaking all bounds and leaps in every sector. The Real Estate industry is also one such. Women have not only become stead-fast as a consumer group but they are also aiming towards active and passive investment choices. They are taking hold of their financial future in a better way. Today, more and more women are taking up positions as real estate agents, brokers, architects, appraisers, builders, etc., previously perceived to be ‘the men’s thing’. In fact, women are now basically pushing dirt for real!
It has been noted that women are more vigilant when it comes to investing. They incline more towards research by taking advice from professionals and opt for those properties that have lesser risks, yet with nominal returns. They aim at long-term investments rather than short-term because they focus on life-priorities rather than getting better out of the market for only today.
For decades, real estate was considered to be a man’s world. Breaking into the industry was difficult for women, so much so that up until the 1980s they could not even buy real estate property without a male co-signer. Even though historically, there have been women in real estate almost since the industry’s establishment as a legitimate line of business in the 1840s. The first female agent joined the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in 1910 as women have had to struggle for nearly five decades to be able to serve on real estate boards. However, with the sector getting more organised, competitive and accepting, there has been an increased penetration of women in the industry.
According to industry data, there are more female real estate agents in all states across the US, outnumbering male agents by approximately 50%, putting the female to male ratio at 2:1, bringing an entirely new dimension to the traditionally male-dominated sector. Aspiring female realtors have had to work really hard to prove themselves like in every other male-dominated profession, but gradually they have been able to turn the table, and we are witnessing the emergence of more and more women in all real estate related works.
The Recent Shifts in Standards and Power
Being one of the most recognized sectors in the U.S, and the second largest employer after agriculture, the real estate has typically been a masculine landscape where women have largely remained underrepresented. However, in the past few decades, we have witnessed a significant pattern shift all across the ecosystem, including the real estate industry which has led to the expansion of firms and the inclusion of female talent from agents, brokers, architects, appraisers, builders etc. Real estate is no longer a man’s affair; as per industry sources, over 30% women now lead property-related decisions in their families and approximately 50% women are the joint decision makers with other family members.
Meanwhile the gender role reversal has definitely been a game-changer, the industry itself has undergone a transformation, evolving into a field with a higher degree of professionalism that’s well suited to women. Firms now offer an inclusive workplace culture that values diversity, thus encouraging more women to take up the profession irrespective of the role.
Based on the report of NAR’s 2017 research, women make up for 56 per cent of licensed brokers, 63 per cent of full-time sales agents and 69 per cent of part-time sales agents of the entire real estate workforce. Many large developer groups, real estate-focused lending institutions and even private equity firms now recognize the extra measure of multi-tasking, empathy, insight and assertiveness that a female brings to the table, and boast of multiple women holding senior executive roles. A broader market vision, nurturing outlook and corporate goodwill enable women to balance out and offer the essential synergies required to run the business, while their inherent multi-tasking abilities help them cope in today’s competitive world.
The Female Advantage?
There is an increasing number of women who have learnt the complexity of the business and are now taking up real estate as a profession and working independently as agents, brokers, and builders alike. The line of work not only offers personal and professional growth prospects but also allows women the flexibility to choose their own working hours from the comfort of their homes.
There are instances where partners have quit corporate jobs to join their wife’s part-time real estate initiatives, turning it into a full-fledged business. Kim Howard, a well-known name in the US real estate, quit her corporate job when she recognized her passion for sales and entrepreneurship, and ended up founding her own real estate firm Howard Homes Chicago. It wasn’t long before she recruited another player into her business - her husband of course!
Some elementary competencies required for both men and women to be good and productive in the real estate agent business are active network connections, familiarity with local areas, real determination to breach boundaries, and firm negotiation skills. Since these attributes come naturally to most women, they are becoming quite successful at their demanding real estate jobs, gradually redefining the industry altogether. Women are generally known to display a greater level of empathy, and persistence. They also tend to be more sensitive and patient towards the client’s need leading to higher client satisfaction ratio. Impressive indeed!
Generally good at balancing family with work, women are better at multi-tasking, and which is a critical aspect of real estate. While many careers demand them to choose between fixed long hours and working in a caring capacity as a home-maker, real estate enables them to fulfill both goals while working with a nominal initial investment. All one needs is a phone and a laptop to get started.
The Scope of Professional Opportunities
Majority of firms today recognize the benefits of diversity under the current “she-economy.” Female buyers now control 70-80% of all purchases, and companies are slowly moving the needle by embracing the rise of female talent into executive roles creating opportunities where they will lead the industry and break traditional barriers.
The current real estate market not only provides ample opportunities to engage with a wide array of people- right from owners, developers, customers which is a great confidence booster but also brings exciting daily challenges that accelerate the learning curve for the beginners. Most women today begin by featuring at the entry-level and administrative positions in the real estate industry and climb up the corporate ladder swiftly with hard work and talent. Imagine starting as a real estate investor today, an agent, broker, builder, appraiser or architect tomorrow, and an eventual successful CEO the day after! On the brighter side, some women move on to form bigger trailblazer construction teams in association with other small entities, while some even end up hiring their own team and setting up their own real estate firms.
In a survey in the US, it was discovered that 68 per cent of persons either aspired to hold executive positions in their real estate companies or own their own businesses.
Apart from paying well, a career in real estate also presents diverse possibilities for women’s professional flowchart. While a month can bring up to $5-10, enabling them to significantly contribute to the household income or their own savings, it also acts as a stepping stone towards future ventures. With some substantial experience on hand, women could also take up training and mentoring of new property advisors at various institutes that offer certification and degree courses in the field.
There are many instances where women have set up their own one-stop-solution destinations for all services required by a real estate seeker/potential buyer such as vendors, loan assistance and architectural and interior designing help etc.
Is A Career in Real Estate A Piece of Cake for Women?
Unfortunately, even though women have now proven their worth in the business at virtually all levels, it has not exactly been easy. Like every other male-dominated industry, women have faced their fair share of gender discrimination, but there are more equal work possibilities in the real estate business for both the sexes today. Unlike earlier, today’s challenging real estate business presents competitive and suitable chances for women to market themselves to key actors since there is genuine comprehension of the strength, intelligence and an increased corporate goodwill they bring.
It is absolutely pointless to say pursuing a career in real estate is both challenging and rewarding. Looking at the contemporary world today, it seems women in real estate are gradually reaching the tip of the iceberg. Firms are now placing women in top leadership positions due to the distinctive skill sets they bring to the table, outlook and life experiences that not only expands the firm’s vision but also yields on-ground results. The future of women in real estate is exceedingly bright and transformational, and the world is just getting glimpses.
Today, a staggering majority of 63 percent Realtors are women, according to the NAR 2017 Member Profile. The typical real estate agent is a 53-year-old white woman who attended college and is a homeowner, according to the National Association of Realtor’s 2017 overview of the real estate market. Women are taking the real estate business by storm. Both the young and ageing. It is common to see a woman taking agent roles, architects, appraisers, builders etc. The below chart shows the percentage comparisons of women and men in the real estate business.
The Lack of Women in Leadership Roles
Nowadays, women are taking over the baton as they dominate the real estate industry in general, except in the lucrative commercial real estate market where men still have an edge. Moreover, women still don’t occupy as many executive-level positions as men, according to the Urban Land Institute’s 2015 survey of women in leadership.
For instance, women make up 25% of the membership of the real estate and land use organization. But they only account for 14% of its CEOs, the survey found. “Women are much more likely to be at the helm of smaller organizations.” Some start their own businesses to create a workplace that reflects their values. Others find it easier to advance in smaller firms than larger ones, according to the study by the Urban Land Institute’s Women’s Leadership Initiative.
Only 12% of those surveyed are in president, CEO, executive director, or similar roles. And of the female CEOs, only 7 percent lead companies with more than 100 employees. Well, being a woman does not mean staying behind and playing the second role, while leaving men to take all the credits. Times are most definitely changing, with more women bracing themselves and standing out to do those things originally perceived to be reserved for men only. However, women make better choices in all aspects of life. This is simply because:
1. They are conventional
Being conventional has its pros because women, as a conservative investor will stick to the traditional assets that give minimum ROI (return on investment) where this process can strengthen her investment. Women will not be inclined towards new investment trends like Bitcoins, and if this process is properly structured, the conventional investment strategy can definitely work in her favor.
2. They are better at building relations
Women are more likely to build better trustworthy relations with their advisors, employers, employees, and coworkers alike. Hence, they will not tend to seek help from those who tend to flash out new investment trends. They stick to places that will help them make better investment decisions
3. They focus on the bigger picture
Men often dive into real estate investments with a single goal of increasing their monetary gains, whereas women aim to be more rational when it comes to their intentions of investing. Women think of future goals when they want a return on investment and it is for this reason that their assets are more structured. Since women are more calculative with their investments, they invest by focusing on the bigger picture.
4. They are better researchers
Men often get pulled into new investment schemes without doing their research whereas women rarely tend to focus on the new arena when it comes to investing. Women tend to do a lot of research before getting their hands on something which further saves them from failed investments. They are more perceptive and tend to draw better conclusions when it comes to dealing with a new investment.
5. They always seek assistance
Since women are better at doing their research, they seek guidance from the experts which can be beneficial in the long run. It is better to ask for advice than making rash and regretful decisions.
Apart from investment, when it comes to the real estate work-force, a lot of women are stepping up into the world of business and are taking up real estate as their full-time profession where they are changing the world of real estate industry by working independently across all related functions.
The Bottom Line:
All-in-all, women’s role in real estate is mushrooming vehemently since the sector is becoming diversed with leadership roles and in turn, this movement is motivating the younger and ambitious women. Gone are the days when men had the absolute control over the business. Women are now getting involved and pushing dirt harder than ever before. The future will reveal countless success stories. Every ambitious woman should wake up from sleep and actively join the real estate business today.
Cheers to womanhood!