Why Women are Shaking up the Real Estate Industry
Who run the real estate world? Well, not girls yet. But we’re sure working on it. While the majority of the top jobs are still held by men, women now account for 65% of the industry. A far cry from the real estate industry of the 1950s, where only 15% of women worked in the male-dominated industry.
So why the increase? Well, lifestyle is one reason. Beyonce was right about one thing – we’re strong enough to bear the children and get back to bi’ness. The flexible hours that the industry promises are perfect for the mom juggle. The natural peaks and troughs of the industry also just happen to coincide with the school holidays. And now you can work from anywhere thanks to cloud-based software.
Of course, flexibility is just one reason why we’re seeing more females enter the industry, but there are many reasons why women are staying, having more success and even changing the face of the industry. Gone is the image of a grubby, manipulative snake oil salesman. Now we picture something far more gentle. And the men are often learning a thing or two from the women in the industry. Here are a few reasons why women are succeeding.
Women listen more
Various research studies around the world suggest that women are better listeners than men. In a Forbes study, it was noted that women actually prefer listening more than men. Women also tend to communicate more naturally, so come across less ‘selly’. For men, conversation often turns into a competition where someone has to ‘win’ because of their natural and instinctive desire to compete. No judgement, this is just human psychology in action. And because of these innate primal qualities, men are less likely to stop and absorb what they’re hearing.
Women pay more attention to detail
According to a recent British study recorded in the British Journal of Psychology last year, women are better at focusing on things at close range, while men consider the big picture. This is possibly due to the hunter-gatherer past and how we’ve evolved over time. Paying attention to detail is critical for the real estate industry. Paying attention to small details, statements, concerns and opportunities puts you in a very good selling position. When you pay attention, you’re better set to provide solutions.
Women are easy to deal with
Buying and selling property is a massive financial and emotional commitment. And it can be quite stressful. It’s a big deal. You need to build a relationship with the person that’s representing your sale or purchase. It’s often easier to build that relationship with a female as women tend to nurture the relationship more and build trust.
Women also tend to have more empathy, which is critical to a good relationship. You know that expression “I feel your pain”, women really do – studies conducted at UCLA released last year showed that when females watched someone in pain, the sensory area of the brain associated with pain reacted significantly higher than their male counterparts. In the real estate industry, females sense how buyers/sellers are feeling and help smooth the waters during stressful times.
Women have a different work ethic
Cold calling is something that’s commonplace in the industry. And by no means is it easy, but it seems to work. Many agents are reluctant to do it, but women are apparently 25% more likely to make cold calls than men. They know it helps, so they just get on with it.
Overall, the shift towards equal gender arrangements is truly changing the sales techniques agents employ. The fast-talking, assertive, dominant style is a thing of the past. The more empathetic style is proving more successful. With the majority of the purchasing decisions being made by women in Australia, the game is changing. Market research has shown female clients prefer to work with female agents. To respond to this demand, we’re even seeing all-female offices. Times sure have changed, before long we may see women dominating the top real estate industry jobs too.
Someone’s gotta run this world.