It’s no secret that real estate investing has been a field mostly dominated by men. Historically, real estate was a family enterprise usually passed on through sons and not daughters – though women have been involved in real estate almost since its inception, it’s been mostly in filling office and clerical roles. But women are gradually changing things. In fact, women and real estate investing are words slowly becoming synonymous with each other.
Nationwide, women brokers dominate the residential real estate market, but haven’t yet been able to make their major entrance into the more profitable commercial market.
Women and Real Estate Investing
How do we get more of us to think of women and real estate investing as compatible terms? There are two major factors keeping women from real estate investing; the first one is the lack of knowledge.
Investing can seem like a daunting task at first, and many women have no idea where to turn to. There are many ways to combat this however.
Joining a real estate investment club (such as the National Real Estate Investment Association which has 230 chapters nationwide) is a great way to bring women and real estate investing together. And joining a club has a two-
fold attraction – not only will women have a place to learn the inner workings of real estate, but there are also seasoned women members who can act as mentors and as a great networking group for any newcomers interested. Another great aspect of joining a club and attending meetings are the guest speakers that sometimes attend – seasoned professionals who are there solely for your benefit to answer questions and for you to glean information from. However, newcomers should always be careful to evaluate and research everything a guest speaker says. Try to attend only to learn for the first few meetings, until you fully understand how everything works.
The second factor keeping women and real estate investing apart is the fear of risk-taking. There is of course always going to be a level of risk involved when investing, and men are usually more adventurous when it comes to risky ventures.
Women are afraid of losing money, afraid of not making the right decisions, afraid of credit issues that may be involved, and afraid of not having enough money. Though the upfront capital may be expensive, there are creative strategies around that, such as lease options. In a lease option, a property owner leases a property to a tenant with an option to purchase at or before a set date.
Another cheap strategy is to invest in pre-foreclosures and foreclosures, by ‘flipping’ or ‘assigning’ contracts.
Rehabbing and flipping properties is another area in which women and real estate investing can come together. Rehabbing houses is an area thought to be a great one for women to excel in, as it requires establishing strong relationships, and strong compassion and empathy – traits women more often hold over men – traits that can strengthen dedication and greatly improve an area’s economic outlook.
In recent years women and real estate investing have definitely become words more synonymous with each other. However there is always more that can be done to bring more women in, to make them feel more comfortable in what can
be viewed as a male dominated field. Encouraging newcomers to follow what they’re passionate about, mentoring women and showing them the ropes. Sticking together in general is a great way to bring more women to the field.
As a woman in real estate investing and now as a mentor, I am definitely a minority in this men dominated industry. I understand the challenges and needs of women in this career, who also try to strike a balance with family and responsibilities. I have started real estate investing as I was raising 3 small children and going through a difficult time in my life, while keeping a positive outlook and a strong determination.
Now, you can add a big helping of proven knowledge and shared experience by joining our VIP Women Real Estate Investing Club – and the sky will truly be the limit!