Women have been in the Real Estate game since the late 1800s. This long line of strong working women has seen it all, or at least a good part of the all when it comes to pay gaps, glass ceilings, “the good ole’ boys club,” and more. Women have succeeded in making the Real Estate industry one of the best professions to build a life from, but it has not been without trials and tribulations along the way. There are still a few obstacles that require close attention, diligent planning, and more than a second thought. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly, and ‘what to do about it now’ situations that every female Realtor needs to pay attention to.
Back in the day, a cold call was exactly that, pick up the telephone and try to persuade the person on the other end to meet up to discuss the possibility of putting their property for sale. Showing up to tour an unfamiliar home was the only way to get a listing. Every lesson taught about not talking to or meeting up with strangers was tossed out the window at this point. The way to sign the deal was to arrange a time and arrive at the alien residence ready to measure up the place. Listing signed, good job, next order of business, an open house or two, and schedule showings with some anonymous callers.
But what about safety? Technology, like 3D tours, virtual tours, and accurate floor plan tools, did not exist when many women began their real estate careers. It was and can still be a scary, often life-changing experience to encounter stranger after stranger just to earn a living. Fortunately, today there are better ways to pre-qualify a buyer and limit risks.
So how do women real estate professionals protect themselves from the possibility of assaults while performing their duties? Start with a facelift. Only use professional headshots on business-related accounts with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other online media. You don’t want to attract unnecessary attention, which does not drive business. Use the online platform for what it is designed for – Real Estate Marketing and virtual tours.
Hiring someone to do your Real Estate Photography can help prevent some risky situations. Square footage calculations, floor plans, and 360° tours can all be done during the photoshoot for your listing. Consumers get online access to all the specifications about a particular property without ever having to set foot in the home. Virtual open houses are a perfect way to showcase a home without having to sit in an empty space by yourself for the better part of the afternoon.
Statistics show that sitting in an open house, all alone can be unsafe and often dangerous. Always consider safety in your working environment whenever possible. Work in teams, notify someone of your whereabouts, make sure your communication devices are sending/receiving correctly, and speak up if you feel uncomfortable in any situation. Given the challenging circumstances you may ask yourself why women outnumber men when choosing Real Estate as a profession?
According to NAR, women make up 67% of all Realtors, and the typical age is 54. That means there are about 1,300,000 women realtors as of 2020. Why do women find the profession of a realtor so attractive? Perhaps the flexible schedule, high potential earnings, and the challenges of the industry are a big draw for them. Real Estate careers offer opportunities to work alongside peers both, male and female, without having to struggle with the pay gap that many industries face today. Because the income is based on commissions and commissions are determined by dedication to the profession, the only real competition is against yourself. The sky’s the limit because, in Real Estate, the glass ceiling is actually an opening moonroof.
When real estate courses were developed many years ago, everyone was taught how to create floor plans, add room dimensions, and use square footage calculations correctly. With current property tech tools like virtual tours, 3D tours, and some excellent real estate photography, it is much easier today. Armed with the most accurate measurement tools of the trade, being your own boss, and sharing your experiences with other women leads to a fulfilling career individually, as well as collectively.
Women have come a long way since 1910 when the first woman officially was permitted to join the ‘National Association of Realtors.’ Today there are some great organizations like the ‘Women’s Council of Realtors’ that champion women in the real estate profession. Female realtors certainly have traversed some steep boundaries to get where they are today and have an equal playing field in Real Estate. Whether working in left field, right field, or centre field, it’s the collaboration, inspiration, and dedication that make all the difference.