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For decades, real estate was considered a man’s world. Breaking into the industry was difficult for women, so much so that until the 1980s they couldn’t even buy real estate without a male co-signer. Although historically there have been women in real estate almost since the industry was established as a legitimate business in the 1840s, – the first female agent joined the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in 1910 – women had to struggle for almost five decades to be able to sit on real estate boards. However, with the sector becoming more organised, competitive and tolerant, there has been an increased penetration of female agents into the industry.
According to industry data, there are more female agents in every state in the United States, outnumbering male agents by approximately 50%, bringing the female to male ratio to 2:1, bringing a whole new dimension to the traditionally male-dominated sector. Aspiring real estate agents had to work very hard to prove themselves like in all other male dominated professions but little by little they managed to turn the tide and we are witnessing the emergence of more and more real estate agents feminine.
Recent Paradigm and Power Shifts
One of the most recognized sectors in India and the second largest employer after agriculture, Indian real estate has been inherently a male landscape where women have remained vastly underrepresented. However, over the past few decades, we have witnessed a significant paradigm shift across the entire ecosystem, including in the real estate industry, which has led to business expansion and the inclusion of female talent. . Real estate is no longer a man’s business; According to industry sources, more than 30% of women now direct property-related decisions in their family and approximately 50% of women are co-decision makers with other family members.
While the reversal of gender roles has definitely changed the game, the industry itself has undergone a transformation, evolving into a field with a higher degree of professionalism that suits women well. Companies now offer an inclusive work culture that values diversity, encouraging more women to enter the profession.
According to 2017 NAR research, women make up 56% of licensed brokers, 63% of full-time sales agents, and 69% of part-time sales agents of the entire real estate workforce. Many large developer groups, mortgage lenders, and even private equity firms now recognize the added measure of multitasking, empathy, insight, and assertiveness that a woman brings to the table, and boast of several women in leadership positions. A broader view of the market, nurturing perspectives, and corporate goodwill allow women to balance and deliver the essential synergies needed to run the business, while their inherent multitasking abilities help them do face in this competitive world.
The feminine advantage?
More and more women have learned the intricacies of the business and are now taking up real estate as a profession and working independently as agents. The line of work not only provides opportunities for personal and professional growth, but also allows women to choose their own working hours from the comfort of their own home.
There are instances where partners have left corporate jobs to join their wives’ part-time real estate ventures, turning them into a full-fledged business. Kim Howard, a well-known name in American real estate, quit her corporate job when she recognized her passion for sales and entrepreneurship, and ended up founding her own real estate company Howard Homes Chicago. It wasn’t long before she recruited another player into her business – her husband.
Some basic skills required to become a good real estate agent are strong and active networking relationships, knowledge of local areas and strong negotiation skills. Since these attributes come naturally to most women, they do quite well in their jobs, gradually redefining the industry. Women are generally known to show a higher level of empathy and perseverance, they also tend to be more sensitive and patient towards the customer’s needs, which leads to a higher customer satisfaction rate.
Generally good at balancing work and family, women are better at multi-tasking, an essential aspect of real estate. While many careers require them to choose between long, fixed hours and working in a caring capacity as a housewife, real estate allows them to achieve both goals while working with a nominal upfront investment. All one needs is a phone and a laptop to get started.
The range of professional opportunities
Most businesses now recognize the benefits of diversity in today’s “women’s economy”. Female buyers now control 70-80% of all purchases, and companies are slowly shaking things up by embracing the rise of female talent in leadership positions, creating opportunities where they will lead the industry and break down traditional barriers. .
Today’s real estate market not only offers many opportunities to engage with a wide range of people – owners, developers, clients, which is a great confidence booster, but also brings exciting daily challenges that accelerate the curve. learning for beginners. Today, most women start out in entry-level and administrative positions in the real estate industry and quickly move up the corporate ladder through hard work and talent.
Some then form larger teams in association with other smaller entities, while some even end up hiring their own team and starting their own business.
A survey conducted in the United States found that 68% of real estate agents aspired to take leadership positions in their company or own their own business.
In addition to paying well, a career in real estate also presents various possibilities for the occupational chart of women. While a successful transaction in a month can earn up to INR 30-35,000 allowing them to contribute significantly to household income or their own savings, it also acts as a stepping stone to future endeavours. With substantial experience, women could also train and mentor new real estate advisers at various institutes offering certifications and degrees in the field.
There are many instances where women have set up their own one-stop destinations for all services required by a potential property seeker/buyer, such as salespeople, loan assistance, and assistance with architectural design and interior, etc.
Is a career in real estate child’s play for women?
Unfortunately no. Despite the fact that women have now proven their worth in the business, it hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. Like every other male-dominated industry, women have faced their share of gender discrimination, but there are undoubtedly more equal opportunities for both genders now. Unlike before, the industry today presents a strong opportunity for female real estate agents to market themselves to key clients as it understands the strength, intelligence and increased entrepreneurial goodwill that a female real estate agent thrives on. bring with it.
Needless to say, a career in real estate is both challenging and rewarding. Looking at the current scenario, it seems that female real estate agents are just beginning to touch the tip of the iceberg. Companies are consciously placing women in leadership positions because of their distinctive skills, perspectives, and life experiences, which not only broadens the company’s vision, but also drives results on the ground. The future for women in real estate is extremely bright and transformative, and the world has just had a glimpse of what they can do.