The assumption that women are weaker than men in the real estate industry seems outdated in 2021. Nevertheless, women still face challenges in this traditionally male-dominated industry. Historically, women have been without community when it comes to investing and were unable to even purchase credit without their husband’s co-signature on a credit card until 1974. With less encouragement than their male counterparts, it’s understandable women can be hesitant to join what can be viewed as a man’s world.
Jana Vecerkova, co-founder at BrikkApp, a real estate investment crowd-funding app, shares her thoughts on how women in real estate can strengthen their presence.
It’s a false belief that women are more risk-averse than men. However, women are often still perceived to be more cautious, affecting how they are treated within the industry. This is a stereotype, and it’s time to start seeing women as less risk-averse and more risk-aware. In reality, gender is a minor influence in choosing a high or low-risk investing strategy.
Industry leaders such as Barbara Corcoran, Lubna Olayan, and Debra Cafaro provide much-needed inspiration for other women in the industry and have been sowing seeds for the next generation. The secret to success in the real estate market doesn’t depend on your gender, but discovering how leaning into softer qualities such as compassion and empathy can work for your benefit. With more females investing than ever before, now is the time to think about best practices for women to strengthen their presence in the real estate industry.
Know yourself to build trust from others
While we may talk lightly of the idea of self-care, looking after yourself can be the first step to transforming other areas of your life also. Influential investors have confidence in themselves as well as in the deals they are negotiating.
Start by asking yourself why you are investing in real estate. What are your goals and desired outcomes? Assess your finances thoroughly to make sure you don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. Confidence grows with knowledge, so set intentions and strategise on how to achieve them.
Thinking about how you can stand out in the market and connect with an audience is just one way to go ahead. Women entrepreneurs use social media as their primary tool for growth because it allows them to network with like-minded people and make important contacts in the industry. Real estate is a highly competitive market, and social media is also a great way to showcase your expertise and build name recognition and trust. Networking online allows you to talk options through with your peers, as well as grow an audience of potential clients and investors also looking to learn directly from industry professionals.
Experiment to find your strategy
Focus your attention and do your research. Ask yourself: What type of investor am I? Will your strategy be all or nothing? If you’re just beginning, it can be best to start small and try out several options first. It’s essential to learn about processes when starting rather than expect to make big money.
First, you need to learn how investing works and what impact fees and currency exchange have on your profitability. When you compare different investment scenarios, you can categorise options by risk and potential return. Crowdfunding, for example, is a much lower-risk investment option and allows investors to start with small budgets. This type of investment might be a better option for beginners, as you don’t risk losing all your money at once.
Whatever investment strategy you choose, the key is learning that sometimes it’s okay to lose money because it forces you to reflect on your decisions and develop your skills faster. Over time, you can do more research and slowly invest profits in larger projects. One way to do this is to diversify your real estate portfolio. Why not try a portfolio that combines different risk scenarios? That way, you can slowly work your way up to riskier projects. Experimenting can help you find an investment strategy you feel most comfortable with.
Use female personality traits to your advantage
While men and women might not differ so significantly regarding risk-aversion, they differ in their preferred investment strategies. When it comes to investing, women who outperform men often do so because they have favoured spreading their investment over more companies to diversify their portfolios and reduce the impact of losses. Conversely, men tend to hold on to falling stock and are more likely to speculate on the stock market.
When making long-term investment decisions, more traditionally female traits such as empathy and intuition can help give you the emotional intelligence needed to negotiate a deal. Being empathetic and intuitive can give you a greater awareness in complex situations, such as building a new housing project and rental fee predictions, contributing to a deeper understanding of the nuances and thinking about the market’s future.
However, too much compassion can hinder women in business. In 2021, women are still less likely to negotiate on starting salary for a new job. Women can often feel out of place at an industry event on investment decisions or networking in a male-dominated world. If you find yourself the only woman in a situation, don’t be afraid to give your opinion and show your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Be confident in discussing any potential concerns for certain portfolios or investment projects you might have. Remember to speak up and speak out if you feel you have strong advice on projects.
Create supportive networks and industry role models
Men have for a long time benefited from near-exclusive access into the world of real estate. Women meanwhile have lacked role models and may not even consider investing an option for them. Still, conversation and community are vital for learning and discovering about investing in the real estate market. If women are left out of these networks, they fall behind in the opportunities available to them.
If networks and role models aren’t available to you, then now is the time to make them for yourself. By creating groups and self-organising, whether it’s an in-person coffee networking morning, connecting via social media, or looking for online groups, women can unite in supporting one another as mentors and peers.
Success in the real estate industry comes from having conversations, a network, and accessible educational resources. Whether investing is your full-time job or a part-time hobby, women in real estate can strengthen their presence widely in the industry by coming together to share resources and knowledge.