“Nothing changes the gender equation more significantly than women's economic freedom.”
- Gloria Steinem
Women in American society have a very different experience than their counterparts, especially in the professional world. However, things are drastically changing. Between 1997 and 2014, the total number of businesses in the United States increased by 47%, but the number of women-owned companies increased by 68% — a rate of one and a half times the national average. Not only that, it is proven that organizations are more effective when they increase leadership opportunities for women. Simply put, women’s economic equality is good for business. And as the gap between male and female wages continues to decrease, a career in the real estate industry means that women have the ability to earn more by taking control of their commission. A career in real estate provides women with flexible schedules and the opportunity to independently run a successful business. In this article, we will take an in-depth examination of women’s roles in real estate.
Women Working in the Real Estate Industry
Female representation in real estate is nearly equal to that of men, as 55.5% of agents and brokers are female, and 45.5% are male. The ratio specifically for REALTORS® is slightly higher, with 63% of all REALTORS® being female, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Women in real estate are starting to gain momentum and take hold of more prominent roles, as evident from this list of the top leading women in real estate today.
It’s likely that female representation in the real estate industry is so high because it offers women many perks that other industries do not. As a real estate agent, you have control over your own schedule and can work whatever hours are best for you. This is particularly advantageous for moms who want to work part-time or who are eager to rejoin the workforce. Real estate also offers the capability to work from home, making it easier to work when it’s convenient.
Female Home Buyers and Sellers
The home buying experience for women is changing in the market. Single women now account for 17% of homebuyers in the U.S., versus 7% of single men. First-time homebuyer Grace Ami explains why buying a home as a single woman was such an important milestone for her: “My real estate broker was really helpful in explaining each step of the home buying process, what I should be looking out for as a buyer, and how to make sure I was making an investment that made sense for me. That power of education throughout the home buying process helped me confidently step into homeownership as an independent, self-sufficient woman.” Many single women see purchasing real estate as an opportunity to control their financial situation. As a real estate agent, you can make a difference in women’s lives by helping them achieve economic independence.
Establishing Equality in Your Career
If you’re a woman in the real estate industry, you can take control of any gender disparities you may be experiencing. There are several ways to do this.
- Never stop learning. Seize every opportunity that will help you grow in your career. The more education and training you receive, the easier it will be to rise through the ranks.
- Ask for that promotion. Taking on more leadership roles will not only help further your own career, it will also show other women in similar roles that advancement is possible.
- Lend a helping hand. It’s important to connect with your peers and help each other succeed. Take on a mentoring role with other women in your brokerage office. Start a weekly training session with others so you can all learn new skills.
You can truly make a difference in your career, in our economy, and throughout your community if you implement these practices. Your success shows others that they too can achieve great things and will collectively help women reach economic equality. As REALTOR® Magazine states, “Women need to collaborate and boost each other up to succeed in any industry, but especially in high-demand commercial real estate.”