5 Reasons Why Gen Z Women are Flocking to Careers in Real Estate

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As Generation Z enters the workforce, they are disrupting industries from coast to coast. But there’s one industry that feels tailor-made for Gen Z: real estate!

Gen Z has been criticized by older workers for their perceived inability to join the work systems in place. This generation saw their parents become overworked and overstressed, and they are saying no thanks to traditional salaried jobs that require overtime for no extra payoff. This generation is refusing to live to work and insisting on working to live. And real estate is proving to be an ideal fit for this mentality.

In a recent survey of 611 female real estate professionals, over a quarter of respondents (26.5% to be exact) were members of Gen Z. Gen Zers were born between 1997 and 2012, meaning that the oldest Gen Zers were 26 at the time of the late-2023 survey. And this new generation of real estate agents had a lot to say about why they chose a career in real estate.

The data collected from this group indicates five clear reasons why Gen Z women are flocking to the real estate industry. Here they are…

Reason #1: Flexibility

Of the Gen Z women surveyed, 72% of respondents report that having a flexible work model is an important factor in choosing real estate. This is the single most popular motivator among Gen Z respondents.

Members of Gen Z value flexibility than other generations, being 18% more likely than the average respondent to be drawn by the appeal of flexibility in their careers. Additionally, Gen Z’ers were 13% more likely than average to report that poor work-life balance pushed them away from their old job.

This desire for a flexible career that supports a healthy work/life balance is no surprise. In fact, Gen Z is leading the revolt against the hustle culture that promotes maximizing work hours and monetizing off-work hours.

Flexibility In Real Estate

What Makes Real Estate Such a Flexible Career Path?

Real estate has an established history of being a highly flexible field for multiple reasons:

  1. There are multiple career paths within the industry. For example, you could become a commercial agent, real estate broker, leasing agent, or property manager.

  2. Most real estate professionals make their own hours. Agents typically decide how much they work and when. This scheduling flexibility allows you to plan around other important things in your life, like family, volunteer work, or day jobs that help you pay the bills while you build your real estate business.

  3. You get to be your own boss. Most brokerages allow agents a high level of autonomy. As long as you operate your business within the bounds of real estate law, local regulations, and ethical dealings, you can generally do what you feel is best for your business.

Are Gen Z Women Finding Flexibility in Their Real Estate Careers?

So, young women are coming to real estate in search of flexibility. But are they finding it?

The data shows an emphatic yes!

91% of respondents confirm that they currently have a flexible work schedule. And an impressive 98% report being satisfied with their work-life balance.

Gen Z women report that they are seeing the following benefits since starting flexible work:

Having more time to spend with family (68%),

Feeling more fulfilled by being able to spend time on non-work pursuits (72%), and

Saving money on childcare (73%).

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Reason #2: Income Potential

Gen Z may want a strong work/life balance, but they also want to earn a respectable income. Gen Z women are well aware of the growing gap between median incomes and expenses like housing, healthcare, and education. They’re also aware of the shrinking Social Security safety net, which increases the importance of saving for retirement.

The Gen Z women we surveyed reported wanting to earn enough money to:

  • Become financially independent (52%),
  • Generate wealth (49%), and
  • Pay off debt (43%). Interestingly, Gen Z respondents were 26% more likely than average to say they are looking to pay off debt. This could be because Gen Z is the most indebted generation in US history, largely due to the financial burden of college. It’s also interesting to note that, while a college degree is not required for a career in real estate, 99% of our Gen Z respondents held a college degree.

What Makes Real Estate a High-Income Career Path?

Most real estate agents and brokers are paid on commission. This means that you earn a percentage of each sale, rather than earning an hourly wage or annual salary. And this pay structure means that agents who work hard and/or smart can make a good living.

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median earning rate for real estate agents is $52,030 per year. Not bad for a fulfilling job that doesn’t require a degree. But even this figure is likely skewing low. This is because the BLS includes income from both full-time and part-time agents in their calculations. So this figure isn’t representative of the median full-time income.

Additionally, pay can vary widely by market, depending on property values. In California and Texas, for example, agents typically make over $75,000. In New York, the mean wage is over $90,000.

Are Gen Z Real Estate Agents Happy With Their Incomes?

We asked survey participants to indicate their annual income and found the following:

  • 1% of respondents make less than $32,000 per year.
  • 16% of respondents make between $32,000 and $55,000.
  • 43% of respondents make between $55,001 and $75,000.
  • 35% of respondents make between $75,001 and $100,000.
  • 6% make over $100,000.
Income Distribution for Gen Z real estate agents

Remember, this information is for real estate professionals under 27 years old. And they are making money to rival managers with decades of work experience. No wonder 97% of Gen Z women surveyed say they are satisfied with their real estate income!

Reason #3: Fulfilling Work

Gen Z doesn’t simply want to work a job. They want a fulfilling career…something where they can make a difference in the lives of others.

Of those surveyed, 57% report that a passion for helping others find housing was a driving factor in choosing their career in real estate.

What Makes Real Estate Fulfilling Work?

Who hasn’t fantasized about a career as a real estate sales agent while watching one of HGTV’s house-hunting shows? Being able to help someone find a home (or sell a home so they can move forward into their next chapter) is satisfying work. And often a lot of fun!

Do Gen Z Women Find Real Estate Fulfilling?

A whopping 90% of Gen Z agents surveyed report feeling fulfilled in their real estate careers!

Encouragingly, 89% of this survey group report feeling empowered and having the same opportunities as men in the field. While we’d love for 100% of women to feel as though they have the same professional opportunities as their male counterparts, 89% is a notable improvement over previous generations of real estate agents. As we discussed in our article, Women in Real Estate: The History, the Challenges, and the Opportunities, women were initially barred from joining the National Association of REALTORS. Even in 1975, only a third of REALTORS were women.

So, to have 89% of women feel that they are treated as equals is a big step in the right direction.

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Reason #4: Investment Opportunities

As we mentioned, Gen Z women are acutely aware of the financial challenges they’re facing. Loaded with student loan debt, spending higher percentages of their income on necessities, and lacking systemic retirement funding, these well-educated young people are looking for investment opportunities.

Of those surveyed, 60% report that the opportunity to invest in real estate was a contributing factor to their decision to choose this field.

This group is particularly interested in finding investments with ongoing cash flow potential, which could be used to supplement their incomes, provide financial stability in the event that they are temporarily unable to work (like maternity leave or extended illness), and even fund their retirement. 56% of respondents report that establishing passive income is one of their financial goals.

How Does a Real Estate Career Support Investments?

As we have established, real estate rewards hard workers with strong income potential. A portion of this income can be used to invest in any number of investment vehicles, including stocks, bonds, and index funds.

But a career in real estate is particularly helpful in opening doors to real estate investments. Consider how working in real estate gives you an edge as a real estate investor:

  1. You’re always watching the market, so you’re among the first to see new potential deals.

  2. With your finger on the pulse of the market, you can instantly recognize an opportunity that others might miss.

  3. As an expert negotiator, you’re able to negotiate a favorable price and favorable terms on your transactions.

  4. You have a built-in network of industry connections to help you with everything from financing to construction.

  5. You have the skills to manage your rental properties directly, rather than hiring a property manager, which would cut into your returns.

Do Gen Z Agents Have an Edge as Investors?

As the oldest Gen Z agents are still in their mid-twenties, many of them are not yet established enough to delve into real estate investing. However, there are already early signs of success in the way young female agents are handling their finances. 82% of those surveyed report that real estate has allowed them to achieve financial goals they didn't think were possible in their previous careers!

Reason #5: Accessible Licensing Programs and Training

Of the Gen Z women we surveyed, 55% chose real estate as their first career. This is interesting because real estate was traditionally a second, third, or even fourth career path for previous generations of women. It’s exciting to see young women recognize the benefits afforded by the real estate industry and jump in early in their careers.

While 70% of respondents are working full-time in real estate without another job, 28% work in real estate part-time while simultaneously working another job (with nearly all of those agents planning to go full-time in real estate soon).

Accessible licensing courses and training programs are one of the key reasons agents are able to launch their real estate careers while they’re young.

How Real Estate Provides Accessible Licensing and Training

With real estate, you don’t need to spend four years of your life (and untold tens of thousands of dollars) on a college degree. You simply need to complete your state-required real estate course and pass your state exam.

Just as importantly, you don’t have to commit to an on-campus class schedule to complete your real estate course. With today’s online real estate license courses you can work at your own pace, around your schedule, from anywhere with an internet connection.

And once you’re licensed, ongoing support and training are readily available. Your broker might offer training. Or you might find professional growth programs through your local Association of REALTORS. There are also several books and podcasts specifically for women in real estate.

Flexible Learning

Are Gen Z Agents Getting the Training and Support They Need?

Of those we surveyed, 42% used an online or hybrid program to complete their state-required real estate education. We were surprised that the majority of students in this tech-savvy demographic took an in-person real estate licensure course. However, it’s possible that many of these Gen Z agents completed the required course as part of their college degree program (perhaps as an elective for a degree in business in general or real estate in particular). Either way, these agents found a way to complete their real estate course that worked for them.

Once licensed, the professional support continued. Of the Gen Z agents surveyed, 85% report receiving mentorship and support that was pivotal to their success in the industry.

Start Your Move to Real Estate Today!

A key takeaway from our survey of Gen Z women in real estate is that 86% wish they had started working in real estate earlier. If you’re thinking of starting a career in real estate, this is your sign to make your move!

Enroll in your online real estate course today. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to work with buyers and sellers, enjoying the benefits of flexibility, high-income potential, investment opportunities, and fulfilling work.