These Alabama Women Are Making Moves in Commercial Real Estate
Women and real estate go together like biscuits and gravy, and it shows. The majority of real estate professionals are women, but there’s still one area of the industry that’s still very much a boys’ club: commercial real estate. Two Alabama women, Rachel Nichols and Lyndsy Yim, however, are working diligently to take their slice of this lucrative pie.
Women and Real Estate
In the United States, ~67.0% of all residential real estate agents are women. However, it wasn’t always that way. Women have played an essential role in the industry as early as 1794, but 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.
Trailblazing Commercial Real Estate
In addition to successfully pursuing her own commercial real estate ambitions at LAH Commercial Real Estate, Nichols, who currently serves as the treasurer of CREW Birmingham (Commercial Real Estate Women Birmingham), is paving a way for future generations of women who wish to get into the business. An all-around real estate pro, she’s an established commercial agent who’s also served several stints as the chapter’s president.
“Our industry is shifting away from the old boys’ club, and it is so exciting to be part of that,” Nichols told Bham Now.
Meanwhile, Lyndsy Yim, who currently serves CREW Birmingham as the Networking & Social Chair, found an opportunity and seized it. Yim is of Korean descent and discovered that non-English speaking clients didn’t have an agent that could cater to their needs. She has since filled that gap, quickly becoming a real estate rising star.
As if that weren’t inspiring enough, she is also the Director of the Birmingham Commercial Realtors Council (BCRC), the co-chair of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network’s Diversity and Inclusion (DE&I) Task Force, and co-founder of the Asian-American Business Group.
“I love that the commercial real estate is a boys’ club because clients remember when they meet a female, Asian-American commercial real estate broker. It’s harder to get your foot in the door, but once we’re in – clients are very loyal,” said Yim.
Founded in 1989, CREW is an international organization that aims to help women advance in the real estate industry. Over time, it’s become a network of over 12,000 members who specialize in many aspects of commercial real estate. From business development support to networking, joining CREW is highly recommended for women looking to help change the face of commercial real estate as they’re dedicated to improving equality in this industry.
Furthermore, the CREW 2020 Benchmark Study Report 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.”
There are a greater number of younger women entering the field than ever before and they, like Rachel Nichols and Lyndsy Yim, have their sights set high.
For more information about CREW Birmingham, including a schedule of events, visit them online.
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