Boss Lady

Women still face challenges in the real estate industry


In this world of what is supposed to be growing gender equality, it is concerning that women still face challenges in the real estate industry.

This was highlighted by Dr Louise Mahler at the recent REINSW Women In Real Estate conference, when she stated: “We need to visualize women in real estate are the new norm.” Having worked in the real estate industry for approximately 20 years, I was able to relate to the sentiment!

Whether your position in the industry is in sales, property management, office administration, auctioneering, we all have faced this challenge – and probably will do as females in the future just like in any other corporate environment.

Predominately the perception in the industry and market place is that males are more capable of achieving a better result for clients. Well … times are evolving, with more and more females entering the real estate world as their chosen career.  It’s time the ‘norm’ was reevaluated!

Women bring a diverse group of qualities to the clientele, with compassion and empathy standing out when dealing with a stressful real estate transaction. They say selling your home can be the most stressful time in one’s life and people are increasingly warming to females as their preferred sales agent or property manager – and at a rapid rate. Clients want understanding, compassion and a strong negotiator — whether that be male or female — and are now realising that not only males are capable of this.

But it’s not just the ‘normative’ challenge. Women face extra hurdles in combining a demanding real estate career with an equally demanding home or family life.

Cathy Baker spoke of the challenges of her decision to commence her real estate career and the emotions she experienced as an individual, a mother and a wife. She explained the mixed feelings during this transition to become an independent career woman, saying: “we feel both mental change but also very much a  physical change in ourselves.

“At this point in our career we may decide to put our career on hold and prioritise the needs of others or we may decide to try juggle them all. In our mid-lives we may decide to find our true passion and change our career pattern or we may decide to continue on with our career we are already at.

“In our 60s and 70s we may decide that we want a more relaxed lifestyle or want to move back to part time work or we might enjoy the role of a grandmother, a role where we combine all of our skills. Its no wonder women make such great real estate agents. We combine all the skills that we’ve learnt in life”

Other speakers highlighted that we aren’t alone in our emotions, challenges, torment of running our households and families whilst having the drive and determination to push forward for a career of our own. As Helen Sylvia stated: “Sharing knowledge and power of voice or striving to reach our own potential.”

Among the other highly distinguished guest speakers at the event were Veronica Morgan, Ewan Morton, Moo Baulch, Imogen Ball, Louisette Geiss and a panel consisting of Kylie Walsh, Sarah Bell, Corissa Dimitrakopoulos and Amanda Gould.

The conference brings together like minded real estate professionals, majority of them female however it was fantastic to also see some males in the room. It was an opportunity to network amongst our fellow competitors, colleagues, trainers and mentors and seek support as females working in the real estate industry – reinforcing that we are not alone in the challenges we face every day.

About Karen Morris

Karen Morris is a writer and businesswoman with years of experience in the real estate industry.

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