We’re Celebrating Women in Real Estate With These Five Important Facts
Over the past 40 years, female real estate agents have come to dominate the residential real estate market, but it wasn’t always that way. When the National Association of REALTORS® was created in 1908, the group admitted zero female real estate agents. Over the years, a few select women were admitted, but because NAR restricted membership for sales agents - a designation held by the majority of women in real estate - the vast majority of women could not join until 1973. However, less than a decade after the title restriction was lifted, women made up 45% of NAR, amassing over 300,000 members. That number continued to grow as we entered the 21st century.
Women now dominate the residential real estate field, and for good reason. The flexibility and independence of the role grants women an unprecedented amount of freedom, particularly in terms of scheduling. With a job in real estate, women don’t have to choose between being able to go to their kid’s soccer game and having a fulfilling career - they can do it all. It’s also a field where men and women can generate their own sales and negotiate their commission with their brokerage. Between the independence, flexibility, and ability to negotiate one’s worth, women are better able to take control over their professional destiny with a career in real estate.
5 Important Facts About Women in Real Estate
Since the ‘80s, women have come to dominate the real estate industry. As long as bias continues in other similar fields, this number could continue to grow heading into the new decade.
In 2016, NAR researched and discovered that single women made up 17% of homebuyers. As the leaders of the household in a society that’s slowly finding equal ground between men and women, this independence is a positive sign of a real estate market with more potential buyers and thus greater demand.
In 1938, the Women’s Council of REALTORS® was created due to the gender restrictions other associations placed on women. The majority of associations dropped these restrictions decades later. However, the council continues to exist and thrive to this day.
In residential real estate, women have been able to take on larger roles and attain broker status (dependent on state) - but the fight for equality continues. The number of female NAR brokers has increased by 20% from the past two decades, but only 41% of brokers who have over 20 years of experience are women.
While pay remains relatively equal in residential real estate due to commission structures, women working in commercial real estate make 30% less in salary and bonuses compared to their male counterparts. Being in a sub-industry like residential real estate provides for an “earn it, you make it” environment not provided in other fields.
Challenges Women Face and What You Can Do to Help
Regardless of industry, women around the world are subjected to unequal opportunities and pay. As agents, there’s also the fear of personal safety issues for women working by themselves. Whether you run a team, work with a team, or run your own brokerage, here are some ways you can support women in the real estate industry.
- Create a Fair Environment
- Provide Mentorship
- Conduct Unbiased Recruiting
- Encourage Achievement
- Re-evaluate Day-to-Day Language and Behavior in Office
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