Among the more than 1.16 million real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors, more than half — 58% to be precise — are women.
Women have played a significant role in real estate since the career option began in 1794, climbing the ranks from office and clerical help to agents and brokers. Today, women brokers dominate the residential real estate market in the U.S., according to NAR.
Caroline Bass exemplifies success among today’s women real estate agents. Her team, the Bass Team, is the team of the year companywide, in sales and overall production, at New York City-based Citi Habitats. And Bass, an associate broker with the firm, has been singled out by Forbes as one of its “30 under 30” in real estate.
Bass said there are challenges to being an all-female top sales team in residential real estate.
“My team is made up of five women and over the years the biggest challenge we’ve faced is that we have to prove ourselves — no matter how many accolades or how much experience we may have within the real estate industry,” Bass said. “In general, we’ve had to prove our pricing strategies to sellers; we’ve had to prove to buyers we are negotiating in their best interests; and we’ve had to prove to our peers that we can’t be pushed around or bullied into a corner.”
At the same time, women naturally have attributes that give them (and their clients) advantages in real estate.
“The women I work with listen closely to their clients; they are patient; they fully explain each step of a transaction and they are extremely detail-oriented,” Bass said. “We are also adept at helping clients envision furniture layouts, which can greatly help when looking at a vacant home.”
Bass, who according to Forbes, has an estimated $30 million in rental deals alone in the last decade, shares these three tips for women in residential real estate:
• Learn as much about the inventory as you can. Learn every house, neighborhood, price per square foot and apartment. “The confidence you will gain from this knowledge will greatly help you overcome a challenge,” Bass said.
• Be consistent. Whether emailing a monthly newsletter, sending birthday cards, delivering move-in welcome packages or just making a phone call, make sure you are consistent in your practices. “It will pay off in the long run,” Bass said.