Women are powerful players in the real estate industry. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, more than 60 percent of REALTORS® are women. In addition, women hold the majority of broker licenses (60 percent are women, per NAR).
During Covid, though, restrictions might have affected sales, listings and showings…and income for real estate veterans. Now homes are moving quickly, supply is low and prices are high. More women may be considering a move into real estate, as the pandemic has influenced some employees to reflect on their careers. HomeSelfe compiled a list of resources for women in real estate or for those dreaming of a future in this industry.
While women do, in fact, make up the majority of REALTORS® and licensed brokers, networking and support could help those entering the industry. Starting from the bottom can be intimidating, but the real estate industry offers many organizations, networking groups, and professional associations that can provide resources to those who are beginning their career.
Becoming a REALTOR® or Real Estate Agent
There are many roles women can hold within the real estate industry. REALTORS, real estate agents or brokers are well known positions, but women in the industry also include architects, engineers, and many other professionals.
However, for women who are interested in pursuing a career as an agent or REALTOR® but not sure how to begin their journey might wish to schedule a meeting with a local broker to discuss how to get licensed and the process of becoming an agent. In the beginning, REALTORS® and real estate agents may need to get help from colleagues or even answer phones at the brokerage to, hopefully, land a few potential buyers or sellers.
The beginning may be a lot of work. Even the first sale can take quite a lot of time between signing a contract and closing. Starting out in the industry may mean finding a few trustworthy colleagues that serve as mentors. Some new agents also work under larger agents—this could include a salary.
Professional organizations also could help answer questions about getting started in the industry.
One of the easiest ways to get involved locally and within the industry is to join a professional organization or association. The real estate industry offers numerous organizations, and some are even exclusive to women in the real estate industry. Join one or several and reach out to others in the industry, boost visibility by utilizing tools offered by the organization and take advantage of classes, seminars and conventions that offer opportunities to grow professional knowledge.
The term REALTOR® is a registered designation that is tied to the National Association of REALTORS. To hold the designation of REALTOR®, an individual must be a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. In fact, the association clearly states on its web site that “Only members of NAR can call themselves a REALTOR®.” For this reason, the terms real estate agent and REALTOR are not necessarily synonymous or interchangeable.
Joining NAR can provide a wealth of benefits for women in the industry. The association offers local branches, and branches may host events, continuing education classes and other industry programs that allow members to network and gain additional knowledge about the industry.
Members of the National Association of REALTORS must abide by the REALTOR Code of Ethics. Membership dues are paid yearly.
WIRE is an organization for women in private equity real estate. Membership in WIRE is free, and members have access to many networking events. There are WIRE chapters in New York, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco. Women working in positions within commercial real estate can join; members could include real estate attorneys, brokers, architects, consultants, investment managers and more. Even students are invited to join. WIRE’s web site home also includes job listings for the industry and a listing of all upcoming events for the organization and its chapters.
Ladies of Real Estate boasts more than 70,000 members and was founded in 2016 in response to the disparity of women in leadership roles within the industry versus the majority of agents being women. The organization offers women numerous tools to help elevate their business and their visibility within their community. Members have access to coaching services to help them with social media, marketing, and branding. Members also can get help with social media, their professional web site and more. Members are charged per month, as membership provides access to all the online tools.
The network “exists to transform the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally.” CREW chapters can be found across the U.S. Members have access to a wealth of networking opportunities, including membership forums that allow them to connect with other members, post jobs, ask questions and more. The network also provides members with leadership training opportunities. Members also receive a discounted price for the Network’s yearly CREW Network Convention and Leadership Summits. Those who live in areas without a local chapter can join the Network as an at-large member to receive full membership privileges.
National organizations typically offer local chapters for members to become actively involved. However, there are other opportunities within the community for women to get involved beyond professional associations and organizations. Networking with others in the community can help elevate visibility and be a part of local and community events.
Chamber of Commerce
Cities and towns might offer a Chamber of Commerce for businesses to join for networking. Each Chamber may offer different member benefits. Membership dues may vary per Chamber. Membership benefits typically include access to various networking events (like lunches, golf tournaments, etc.), inclusion in the membership directory, and perhaps the Chamber may offer help to businesses starting up in the community. Find the local Chamber and reach out for more information and to inquire about membership pricing and benefits.
Small and large communities often host various local events; some may offer businesses the chance to host a booth to provide information to community members. Festivals and parades can be a great way for new real estate agents to introduce themselves to their community. Pass out a brochure, cards or maybe even some fun branded swag (if the budget allows).
Being present within the community can help a new agent gain visibility, but social media also can elevate awareness. Not every agent wants to engage on every single social media channel. However, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram could be great options.
Facebook is popular with different age groups and offers agents the opportunity to post info on new listings; this could include a link to pictures or maybe even a video. Twitter is a great way to provide short updates about listings to followers. And Instagram is all about the photos! Agents can highlight new homes or unique aspects of their listings.
Agents don’t have to just post updates about new homes or listings, they also can post or link to articles about home decorating or any topic that might interest their followers. Social media is all about engaging and it doesn’t always have to be serious.
Read All About It
New to the industry? Want some tips and advice? There is so much information via professionals and professional organizations online. Membership to any organization provides benefits, and members should take advantage of those benefits…including online resources. If a new agent is struggling, there could be resources to help.
However, real estate professionals also could have questions related to time management, stress management or just regular business issues. The business and professional sections of a bookstore (or online book seller) can be the perfect place to find resources and help related to other business conundrums.
Is This the Right Industry?
For individuals unsure if the real estate industry is the best industry for them, research, research, research! Choosing a new career path isn’t always smooth sailing, although, for some, it could be an easy transition.
Before jumping in the deep end, take time to research all aspects of the decision. Find out what it takes to become an agent or licensed REALTOR®. Inquire about commission, dues and other issues related to the business. Maybe new professionals would feel better about starting in the industry as an employee of another agent. This could be one way to begin a career without going solo.
There are many other positions and professional careers in real estate beyond the agent and broker, though. Take time to investigate different opportunities within the real estate industry to discover the right path…and the role that fits both the individual’s personality and their lifestyle needs. A career in the real estate industry can be extraordinarily rewarding, and it also can be financially rewarding, too. However, for many agents, success takes time. Reach out, research and find the role for you.