Veteran Agent Linda Nystrom Has Sage Advice for Women in Colorado Real Estate
While women in residential real estate began outnumbering men in 1978, some female agents still struggle to receive equal pay, achieve leadership positions, and break into more heavily male-dominated sectors, such as commercial real estate. For instance, female agents in residential real estate made an average of $60,869 in 2020 as compared to the $97,188 collected by their male counterparts. The discrepancy is even more bleak in commercial real estate, where women earn $103,900 per year on average as compared to the $169,200 men earn per year on average.
Despite these unfortunate figures, the tides are turning. Female agents across the nation are setting sales records, earning advanced licensure, and making waves in real estate. In fact, powerful female agents like Colorado’s own Linda Nystrom are making history and leading the charge.
History of Women in Real Estate
While women now make up the majority of residential real estate agents nationwide, the industry has a long history of exclusion. It’s believed that women were working in real estate as early as the 1700s, although they were likely limited to administrative duties at the time. In the late 1800s, however, women finally stepped into agent and broker roles.
Women in early real estate were often either the widows or daughters of men in the industry, half of a mother-son or husband-wife real estate team, or newly working professionals pushed to sell due to financial necessity. These pioneering women were largely on their own as networks and groups for women in real estate had not yet been established. In fact, it wasn’t until 1908 that the National Association of REALTORSⓇ, America’s largest trade association to date, was formed.
Today, ~67% of all residential real estate agents are women. Female agents are building businesses, supporting clients, and growing the real estate industry at rates never seen before. We sat down with Linda Nystrom, a veteran Colorado broker, to discuss what working as a woman in real estate looks like today.
Nystrom is the founder of Envision Realty and a 10-year veteran of the industry with her passion born from a love of architecture and interior design. She primarily serves the Denver-metro area and the Rocky Mountains, but has worked as far north as Loveland and as far south as Colorado Springs. Envision Realty is a one-woman show, with Nystrom managing all aspects of the business. “It’s just me, myself, and I,” said Nystrom. “I do it all.”
Advice for Women in Real Estate
Nystrom offered some sage advice for women in real estate and beyond. First and foremost, don’t let anyone scare you off. “It’s a male-dominated world in every aspect,” she said. “You always have a few that think it always should be only men.” Instead of feeling intimidated or out-of-place, she recommends women in real estate simply demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge, not unlike their male colleagues.
Nystrom also recommends tapping into your emotions, particularly those that are more traditionally attributed to women. “You do a lot of psychology [in real estate],” said Nystrom. “You do have to really listen to [your client’s] emotional state. As a woman, that might be a little bit of an advantage because we might be able to pick up on that a little bit faster and easier.” As it turns out, tapping into emotional intelligence can actually lead to improved negotiation skills, likability, and trust in real estate agents.
Finally, Nystrom recommends investigating local women’s organizations and building a community of support. “There are lots of organizations around for women specifically … that hone in on what they do, how they present themselves, and give them a little bit more of a focus,” said Nystrom. “These groups that are out there, they all have different directions and different things that they’re wanting to hone in on but a lot of them are totally women-based, women in business, women in real estate,” so whatever your interests may be, there’s sure to be a group for you. Whether you opt for the Colorado Women’s Council of REALTORSⓇ or CREW Denver, surrounding yourself with like-minded professional women is one of the quickest ways to uplevel your career.
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