Why Are Women in Real Estate Less Likely To Quit Than Men?
Real estate is one of the largest industries in the world, and with the number of real estate agents and brokers growing every day, it’s no wonder that there are tons of job opportunities. But, multiple studies have shown that women might actually be less likely to quit their jobs than men. This blog explores why this trend exists and what you as a realtor can do to encourage your female clients to stay in the industry despite this trend.
Luckily for you, CORE Member, you’ll learn what factors are most likely to predict success and which practices have the strongest relationship with retention. Furthermore, we’ll take a look at why women might be more inclined to stay in their jobs in the first place.
Here’s why women who work in real estate don’t join the Great Resignation
Experts wring their hands about the future of the American workforce from Washington to Wall Street.
Millions of women resigned or downshifted their professions during the pandemic to emphasize their children’s education or their personal work-life balance. They’ve become acclimated to more flexible, supportive schedules, and they have no desire to go back to “normal.”
If employers take note of what has allowed women to thrive in the real estate labor market, the so-called Great Resignation of workers from the 9-to-5 grind could result in the Great Realtor-ization of our workforce.
While many employers see the Great Resignation as a problem, one business has been ahead of the curve in realizing the need of work-life balance: real estate.
People’s lives have always been organized around real estate, not the other way around. That’s why it’s one of the few professions with a female-dominated workforce today.
The specific circumstances of living as a real estate agent could account for this hallmark flexibility. For most clients, showing, staging, and visiting houses just during “normal” business hours is ineffective. The sector has evolved to accommodate various schedules: some workers are available during the day, while others are available after hours or on weekends. There’s also the extra perk of remote job alternatives, thanks to virtual technology.
Many white-collar workers today desire to maintain some degree of job flexibility–a flexibility that Realtors have always enjoyed.
Our sector was also one of the first to actively empower and reward women. Women realtors not only compete on an equal footing with their male competitors, but they also achieve on their own terms. Many of the old power dynamics that still penalize women in other sectors are absent in ours because every realtor, in fact, owns his or her own business. The entrepreneurial system, which prioritizes hard work and initiative over gender, guarantees that realtors are evaluated only on their abilities.
These are some of the factors that have contributed to our industry’s growth during the pandemic. More than 250,000 people have joined the National Association of Realtors since January 2021, with more than half of them being women.
Employers wishing to keep top talent should take note: pay women fairly and let them choose how they work.
Mentorship programs, both official and informal, can help companies retain and grow their top female employees. Every realtor learns from others by watching and listening. Ebby Halliday, my mentor, lived to reach 104 years old.
She was the first woman to be selected Texas Realtor of the Year, and she entered the business in 1945, overcoming sexism of the time to beat “those ol’ males at their game.”
Finally, legitimate leadership opportunities are sought by women. For the first time, women make up the majority of the National Association of Realtors leadership team. Many other industries should consider why they are unable to say the same.
Our industry’s professional flexibility and assistance are not only beneficial to part-time workers and full-time mothers, but they are also profitable.
In a post-pandemic America, the workforce will be dominated by women in a way that the antiquated concept of the “corporate ladder” never did.
That is how leaders and businesses should view the impending flexibility revolution: as a net gain for their organizations, their clients, and their own long-term capacity to attract and retain top-tier talent, rather than a loss for their bottom line or corporate culture.
We’ve been fighting for a more balanced, human approach to corporate success for a long time. As a realtor, I’m proud of my profession’s history. However, as a woman, I’d like to see every profession learn from our mistakes.
Why women make better agents – from a man
Most of the time in residential real estate, women make the decisions about where they want to live and what house they want to buy, and men accompany them.
Before you get all worked up about generalization and “such a broad statement,” know that I am speaking from personal experience.
If you read this column often, you know that Carolyn and I recently downsized from our 15-year-old home to a three-bedroom condominium at Woody Point on the Redcliffe Peninsular. Guess who found it and announced that it was time to move one morning?
Finally, let’s get to the crux of the headline: why women make better agents. If women make the big decisions and can relate to other women, then the advice given by women agents can be trusted. Women are also more in touch with their emotions and hence have a greater capacity for empathy.
Compare the home process to the analytical commercial property buying process for more proof that buying and selling residential real estate is an emotional event. Could this be why commercial real estate is dominated by men?
HERE ARE SOME MORE THOUGHTS THAT WILL SUPPORT OUR VIEW:
Telling isn’t the same as selling. In other words, as a real estate agent, listening is more important than talking. We were born with two eyes, two ears, and one mouth for a reason: talking should account for 20% of all we do. According to a study from Indiana University School of Medicine, men only use one side of their brains when listening, whereas women use both. Parts of the female brain associated with emotions, risk calculation, and listening ability were more prominent, according to a Cambridge University study. Men are more likely to be action-oriented listeners, while women are more likely to be people-oriented listeners, according to research.
WOMEN GET A BIG TICK ON EMOTIONAL LISTENING!
A certain sweetness or tenderness is elicited by most (but not all) ladies. Many girls are criticized for their feelings, but it is these feelings that make them open and approachable. Would you embrace your customers, if you were a man agent? How would you behave if a female customer informed you that she was divorcing? Do you ever inquire about your buyer’s ‘feelings’ during the selling or buying process? Why would you do something like that? Women genuinely care about the other person’s well-being. There’s a reason why men have trouble mastering women’s softer abilities. They are a product of a strong macho culture that encourages people to be tough and suck it up. Males are under a lot of pressure to conform, thus having feminine qualities is not acceptable. They are, nonetheless, valuable in sales.
WOMEN GET A BIG TICK ON EMOTIONAL ENERGY!
Women are thought to have more intuitive abilities than men. That is why it is referred to as female intuition rather than male intuition. Men’s brains are neurologically wired to be more logical, making them better at connecting perception to action. When it comes to real estate, how productive is the “less logical” brain? It works because superior people skills translate to happier clients, better relationships with other agents, a better ability to read the body and emotional language of those clients and agents, and a faster capacity to pick up on motivating elements during the sale and negotiation process.
WOMEN GET A BIG TICK ON EMOTIONAL INTUITION!
Are women better at selling than men? It boils down to the individual, as it does in any industry. Our sector is full of men with exceptional sales skills and the evidence to back it up. There may be scientific evidence that women are better listeners, nicer, less threatening, more charming, and determined than men, but as with any advantage, if it is not used, it is no longer an advantage.
Why Women Might Beat Men at Negotiating a Real Estate Deal
Women or men, who can negotiate a better real estate deal when buying a house?
While men may believe they are the masters of negotiating a good bargain on a property (and much more), some study reveals that women are more naturally adept at doing so.
According to Cindy Watson, attorney and author of “The Art of Feminine Negotiation,” “the myth or misconception is the belief that negotiation is all about toughness, the bark and bite.” The reality, however, is that 5 of the 6 key skill sets that make and mark the most effective negotiators are traits that most people would consider feminine.
Furthermore, when it comes to house hunting, women appear to be in charge more often, with one Harvard Business Review study revealing that women make the final decision in 91 percent of transactions.
“Gender roles in residential real estate are broken down in studies, and women lead in most phases of the process, including problem recognition, information search, how much to pay, and ultimate choice,” Watson explains. As a result, they may be more prepared to come to the negotiating table prepared from the start.
While women may be born with greater skills that could make them the hidden weapon in a great real estate sale, the good news is that anyone, male or female, can learn to apply these strategies effectively. Here’s some advice to consider.
The “deadly sins” of negotiating a real estate deal
To begin, Watson claims that women are less likely to indulge in the “deadly sins of negotiation,” which are the behaviours you should avoid when entering a real estate discussion:
•First, ego: This might manifest as a desire to win, a desire to seem good, an inability to accept ignorance, or simply talking too much.
•Second, Attachment: This could manifest as a strong desire to complete the deal in your favour, to the point where you continue to bargain after it no longer makes sense.
•Third, Reactivity: When you get angry or otherwise react in a negotiation, you lose objectivity and equilibrium, making it more difficult to make sensible, informed judgments.
•Fourth, Not Listening: Active listening is essential for successful bargaining, and women are generally better at it.
• And lastly, Jumping straight to business: Men are more prone to get right down to business without first establishing the required connection and trust in order to grow their influence.
“Whenever you find yourself negotiating solely for yourself, stop and reset,” Watson advises. “Paying attention to the other party’s wants and opinions will always lead you further.”
How to Negotiate a Real Estate Deal Effectively
You’re now ready to learn how to negotiate utilizing six key characteristics that experts recommend: assertiveness, rapport, empathy, flexibility, intuition, and trust.
Watson has devised a simple mnemonic to aid in the recall of these essential skills.
“Just believe you’re ‘FIT’ to be a brilliant negotiator,” Watson adds, explaining how each ability can be applied in both traditionally male and feminine negotiation styles—and how to change the script if necessary.
“The sole talent of the sextuplet that is considered a masculine attribute is assertiveness,”. “However, that perception is founded on a misunderstanding of aggressiveness and assertiveness, which are not the same thing.” “Being assertive does not imply being difficult just for the sake of being strong, or any other erroneous notion of boldness or forcefulness. It implies being self-assured and confident in your abilities to maintain the line when necessary.”
That self-assurance stems in part from knowledge gained through hard effort and preparation.
On the Masculine approach: Consider an aggressive negotiator attempting to lower an offer’s price.
“This property is a dump and needs a lot of work,” he would say. I’ll most likely have to bulldoze the place. You’re not going to get what you’re asking for.”
For the Feminine approach: On the bottom line, you may be firm—or assertive—while still bringing understanding, respect, and compassion to the table.
“I can see why you adore this property,” a feminine negotiator would remark more successfully. This house was evidently built with great care and devotion. I’d welcome the opportunity to bring a new generation of love to it. Unfortunately, my financial condition only permits me to go up to this sum.”
Relationships are at the heart of building rapport.
“Women were forced to develop this talent in a world where they had fewer rights for far too long,” Watson adds. “Learning to build relationships was critical to our existence.”
On the Masculine approach: A male negotiator is more inclined to get right down to business, discussing the offer/numbers, but this approach may result in missed possibilities for a better bargain that could come from getting to know the person on the other side of the table.
For the Feminine approach: A feminine negotiation tactic would be to try to break the ice with “safe” small conversation unrelated to the real estate deal at hand at the start of the negotiation. Use the other person’s name early in the conversation and try to interject comedy, make a genuine compliment, or ask anything along the lines of “tell me about yourself.”
A competent negotiator will also pay attention to body language and will attempt to maintain a relaxed open posture while maintaining eye contact.
Mirroring methods, such as carefully replicating the other person’s body language, tone of voice, tempo, and word choices, are also successful. This makes your “opponents” feel more at ease and as if you understand them.
“The ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes, the capacity to understand another’s sentiments from their point of view, to demonstrate compassion, understanding, worry, and consideration,” Watson explains. “Studies appear to show that women have greater abilities to recognize and respond to what others are thinking.”
As a result, Watson believes that really understanding the perspective and motive of the opposing party is a valuable instrument in any negotiation.
On the Masculine approach: Assume the seller is an elderly woman who has recently lost her spouse. A gruff negotiator may not give a damn about the conditions as long as he gets the numbers and terms he wants.
For the Feminine approach: In the identical scenario, a female negotiator would think about the widow’s dread, attachment, and probable reactivity. She would empathize with her predicament and ask probing questions that would uncover that the highest-priced offer pales in contrast to this widow’s fear of change and losing the many lovely memories she has in the house. A female negotiator at that moment would suggest options to suit those demands, such as a longer closing so the widow could take her time packing.
Flexibility—the ability to adapt, pivot, or bend as needed—is critical to the process and outcome of any given negotiation.
“Women often thrive in the area of flexibility. Some would argue that this is due to need,” Watson says. “The ability to juggle numerous balls at once, to multitask in multiple areas, equips us to bring flexible ways to life and negotiations, and to adapt as needed in any given situation.”
On the Masculine approach: Assume the sellers inform you that they will be unable to make the deadline. “I don’t care, make it work,” a male negotiator would say, insisting on meeting the contractual closure, threatening legal penalties, and claiming that this would jeopardize the agreement.
For the Feminine approach: In the same case, a negotiator can be willing to accept a later closing date in exchange for more advantages or bonuses. “If I move forward with the closing by a week, would you be open to hiring a professional cleaning service for the house before I move in?” she would ask. ”
In negotiations, the ability to rely on gut instinct, read your rival, and pick up on verbal and nonverbal signs is a useful asset.
On the Masculine approach: Consider a real estate transaction in which you must make quick decisions in the face of multiple offers. A traditionally male negotiator can take his time presenting a counteroffer, failing to notice indicators that a home seller is keen to close. As a result, he risks losing the deal to a competitor who can close quickly.
For the Feminine approach: It’s all about picking up on the seller’s subtle cues. A negotiator, for example, can get the strong impression that the seller urgently needs the money and wants to close quickly. As a result, this homebuyer may propose a counteroffer that moves the closing date forward as soon as possible while maintaining her pricing. If her instincts are true, she may be able to beat out someone who offered more money and a later closing date, all because she was able to read between the lines.
Whether or not this is justified, Watson claims that in negotiations, people prefer to trust women more.
“Perhaps it’s because we’ve never been seen as a threat,” Watson speculates. “Or maybe it’s because women are thought to be more open with their feelings, which is seen as transparency and candour.”
Whatever the case may be, trust is a valuable commodity in any discussion.
On the Masculine approach: Because a more manly negotiator may keep his cards close to his breast, he may not reveal how much the home seller loves his patio furniture. But what if the home seller didn’t like the furnishings and wanted to get rid of it? Both the home seller and the buyer lose out in this situation since they didn’t trust each other enough to talk about the furniture.
For the Feminine approach: A negotiator may express her fondness for the patio furniture, or the home sellers may express their desire to leave it behind. In either instance, it’s possible that the patio furniture will end up as a thoughtful parting gift because you treated these home sellers like people rather than transactions.
As Watson says, “Whenever possible, bring human connection to the equation.”
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