How Does Tanika Donnell Structure for Success?
March is Women’s History Month, so it’s only proper that we shine a light on one of Dallas/Fort Worth’s female real estate pros: Tanika Donnell. She’s the brains behind the brokerage firm TDRealty, one of the largest and most successful female-owned and Black-owned real estate brokerages in Dallas.
Her secret? Besides a lot of hard work, persistence, and experience, Donnell changed her business model in a way that supports her brokers, many of whom are women. Of the roughly 90 brokers at the firm, the majority are women of color.
While women and real estate go together like the Texas State Fair and deep-fried goodness, Donnell’s business model and overwhelming success are especially important. According to data from the National Association of REALTORS®, 64.0% of all residential real estate agents are women, but fewer than 6.0% of real estate agents are Black.
Still, the real estate industry can empower any individual with ambition, a strong work ethic, and a genuine desire to help others. Donnell understands that. That’s why her brokerage structure offers all of the benefits of a traditional brokerage but without the large overhead costs associated with starting at a new firm.
“Technology and our partnerships have made this an affordable and sustainable model for us,” Donnell said in a press release. “The cost to run your brokerage has decreased with the advancement of technology, but many large brokers continue to apply the old model of doing business, thus increasing their profit margins and pushing the burdens on the agents.”
It’s clear Donnell has taken a new-school way of thinking to an industry that sometimes gets caught up in the past. That’s why it’s important to always be innovating and moving forward. As Donnell might tell you, it pays better that way for her and her agents.
Women and Real Estate
In the United States, ~64.0% of all residential real estate agents may be women but it wasn’t always that way. Women have played an essential role in the industry as early as 1794, though it wasn’t until the early 1950s that women began to equalize the field.
Even in today’s larger, more-inclusive industry, there’s a lot of work left to be done. Women only make up 36.7% of the commercial real estate industry — a figure that’s remained stagnant for the past 15+ years.
The CREW 2020 Benchmark Study Report also notes that women in commercial real estate earn approximately 10.2% less than their male counterparts, and the commission and bonus gap remains staggering at 55.9%. Still, progress is being made. CREW’s 2020 Benchmark Study on gender bias in the industry saw a “5.4% increase in female respondents 39 years old and younger, indicating a growing generation of young and emerging women professionals in commercial real estate.” In other words, there are a greater number of younger women entering the field than ever before and they, like Donnell, have their sights set high.