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Pronounced demographical underrepresentation in certain real estate sectors
The real estate world is becoming more egalitarian, but a couple of segments in particular are lagging.
Women are underrepresented among brokerage owners and real estate investors, says Erica Mary Smith.
“When you’re in residential sales and you’re working with women, they definitely have more of a pull when you’re looking for a home,” said Smith, broker of record and co-founder of Stomp Realty. “They have more of a say when they’re shopping with their husbands. With investors, I hate to say this, but 95% of the time it’s men making that investment. I have a client couple now looking for a home and I’m mainly dealing with her, but I have an investment couple as well and I’m mainly dealing with him.”
Smith also notes that commercial real estate is preponderantly male. The paucity of women can be explained, she says, by the fact that residential real estate involves myriad more components, many of which women easily tap into, than the numbers-driven world of commercial real estate.
“The commercial world is totally male-run,” said Smith. “Women who try to make it in that industry have a hard time. In residential, you’re looking for homes, for condos, there’s an emotional aspect you have to manage with your client, but commercial is mostly numbers. If the numbers don’t make sense, the deal doesn’t make sense.”
According to Kathleen Black, a real estate consultant and coach, there are many savvy women investors out there, and she counts clients among them.
“Some of my clients are very savvy investors,” said Black, president and CEO of Black Coaching & Consulting. “They’re fantastic and some of them are women as well. Their entire real estate teams are built on supporting their clientele to make real estate investments so that they have choices and freedom in their lives. I think in that area, I still don’t see as many women as widely, but in our network we have massive success stories in that regard. Those doing it establish the way to feel more confident. When you see somebody else as a single woman, for example, doing massive real estate investments and educating you on it, you’ll feel more confident to do it yourself.”
Black’s consulting and coaching businesses regularly brings in different experts, many of whom are seasoned investors who flip homes and reap long-term rental incomes.
Black will also be a speaker at Women in Real Estate on November 15 in Toronto where illuminate onlookers about the ins and outs of entrepreneurship, among other things.
“We’ll be talking about what it takes to run a business and how committed you need to be,” she said, “and how to have full immersion in your business, because a lot of people make small changes expecting big results. We’re looking to support people to be world-class and expect to make massive changes to garner great results back. I want to support them to be confident enough to build the lives they want.”