According to the National Association of Realtors, 65% of Realtors today are women — a massive shift for what was once a male-dominated field. And it's no wonder why: real estate agents have the flexibility to set their own hours and be their own boss. In the post-pandemic world, that level of freedom is more attractive than ever.
But is a career as a real estate agent right for you? We spoke to agents from around the country to get an up close and personal look at what it's like to be a woman in real estate today — and how you can set yourself up for success as an agent.
Secure Solid Mentorship
Even though the number of women in real estate has exploded in the past decade, there's still a lack of women in leadership positions in the field. That often means women who are just starting out struggle to find mentors who understand their challenges, including balancing work and family. For novices, joining a brokerage with more experienced agents can help.
"One fatal mistake many agents make is starting off on your own," explains Lisa Cole, Realtor and Success Coach at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Cleveland. "When you are a single agent and trying to figure it all out, it's very isolating, confusing, and overwhelming,"
Cole began her career as an agent in 2003 but nearly quit the business altogether after struggling to gain traction alone. Instead, she joined a great team and sold 36 homes in her first twelve months. "They taught me everything I need to know, and I did everything they told me to do. Simply put: who you partner with matters."
Find Your Balance
Real estate is such an intense industry that many women burn out early. Though Cole is heading into her twentieth year in the business, she points out that "87% of agents don't last longer than five years." To combat burnout, Cole recommends women learn to put themselves first.
"Schedule your workouts/meditating/journaling/praying time in first. Make sure to eat clean, and make your health a priority. This business is a mental game, and if you want to be on top of yours, take care of you. Anything you do to better yourself will have a direct impact on your business. Trust that."
Dress for Success
Is it fair that women have to spend extra energy thinking about their appearance? No. Is the right clothing still important? Yes. But that doesn't have to mean extra makeup and stiletto heels.
"Dress for yourself, not what you think the client wants," advises Abra Chouinard, Founder and Realtor of the Living in Northern Idaho Team. "You will stand out from the crowd of other real estate agents and show your client you have 100 percent confidence. In North Idaho, we have to walk property lines that are often acres into the forest. I wear my Salomon outdoor trail running shoes for showings, and my clients comment on how they wished they had brought better footwear like I was wearing!"
Know Your Stuff
At some point, nearly every woman in real estate has felt the need to prove herself.
"One of the hardest parts about being a woman in this industry is overcoming the stereotype that women are not good at math or finance," explains Jennifer Spinelli, Founder and CEO of Watson Buys in Denver. "This is simply not true, but it can be a challenge to prove yourself to others. Additionally, women sometimes have to work harder than their male counterparts to be taken seriously in this industry."
As someone who recently started her own real estate business, Spinelli is also acutely aware that it can be harder for women to raise capital to launch and invest as well. One solution is to double down on your knowledge and skills.
"I am firm about my offer, I explain why the offer is what it is, sharing what is going on in the market and what is expected to happen," says Amy Kite, owner of The Kite Team - Keller Williams Infinity in the Chicago area. "The more data [and] knowledge you can provide, the more they realize you really do know what you are talking about." Kite stays current by attending investment group meetings, taking classes, and asking lots of questions.
Continuing education is important for agents of all experience levels. Whether you're first starting out or have decades of experience, Aceable Agent offers online continuing education courses to keep you at the top of your game. Find out more about our post-license course options today.