(Updated April 2013)
There are few industries remaining today that have not seen a drastic change in the role that women play, and real estate and relocation are certainly not immune to these changes. Historically, women have been involved in real estate almost since its inception in 1794 and its establishment as a legitimate business in the 1840s. In real estate's early days, women filled office and clerical roles, but by the 1880s, women were already moving into the roles of agents and brokers, though at a relatively slow rate. Nationwide, women brokers dominate the residential real estate market, but have yet to make a major entrance into the more lucrative commercial market. This page includes articles, books and web sites related to issues facing women in the real estate industry. (D. McCormick, Operations Analyst)
Demographic Characteristics of REALTORS®
The demographic characteristics of REALTORS® have not changed significantly in recent years. The median or typical REALTOR® is a 56-year-old white female, who has attended college and is a homeowner. The majority of REALTORS® (60%) are female. 18% of members had a previous career in management, business or the financial sector and 15% had a previous career in sales or retail. Only 5% of members reported real estate was their first career. 76% of REALTORS® said that real estate was their only occupation, and that number jumps to 84% among members with 16 or more years of experience.
Source: 2012 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile, (Washington, D.C.: National Association of REALTORS®, 2012).
Women and the Real Estate Profession
Real Estate Needs More Women in Leadership Roles (inman.com, Mar. 21, 2013).
U.S. Women Gain in Real Estate with Long Way to Go (Bloomberg.com, Jan. 9, 2013).
Where Are All the Women Leaders in Real Estate? (next.inman.com, Aug. 20, 2012).
Is Real Estate a Man’s or Woman’s World? (truliablog.com, Oct. 13, 2011).
Who are the “Trixies” and are they hurting Women in Real Estate? (thegrindstone.com, Sept. 6, 2011).
Women making great strides in Nevada business (Vegasinc.com, May 8, 2011).
In charge of her own destiny (Dallas Business Journal, Dec. 8, 2006).
Myth Buster: Women entrepreneurs prepare as well as men when selling businesses (RisMedia.com, Nov. 6, 2006).
Few Women in Real Estate Development are Paving the Way (The Business Journal of Milwaukee, Oct. 31, 2008).
Family focus drives realty to success (Charlotte Business Journal, Jan. 10, 2005).
Industry works to boost ranks of women leaders (Boston Business Journal, Oct. 25, 2004).
"Rosie the REALTOR®" and the re-gendering of real estate brokerage, 1930-1960 (Enterprise & Society, June 2002). Q
Number of women agents skyrocketing (Sacramento Business Journal, June 28, 2002).
Women still rare in business realty: But more than half of U.S. residential REALTORS® are women (Minneapolis/St. Paul City Business Journal, Sept. 28, 1998).
Women in Commercial Real Estate
Women In Commercial Real Estate Speak Out On Industry’s Increased Diversity, Room for Improvement (commerciaobserver.com, Dec. 11, 2012).
Real estate offers good careers for women (The Business Times, Nov. 20, 2012).
Women In Commercial Real Estate: Profiles In Success (Commercialsource.com, Aug. 9, 2012).
Women In Commercial Real Estate: High Time We Bridged the Gap (blog.picor.com, July 3, 2012).
Men earn more in commercial real estate (Insidebiz.com, Apr. 22, 2011).
More Women Entering Commercial Real Estate, But Wage Gap Endures (Buildings, Dec. 2010). Q
Women aim to grow in commercial real estate (Boston Business Journal, May 10, 2010).
Women Lose Ground in C-Suite (National Real Estate Investor, Sept. 1, 2009).
Women Take the C-Suite (National Real Estate Investor, Sept. 2008). Q
Empowering Women (National Real Estate Investor, Dec. 2006). Q
Women pry open door of male preserve: commercial real estate (Business Review, Nov. 6, 2006).
Recruiting and promoting women needs to be an industry standard (Baltimore Business Journal, Nov. 3, 2006).
More women are now entering field of commercial real estate (Denver Business Journal, July 28, 2006).
Women rising in commercial real estate (Buffalo Business First, Apr. 14, 2006).
Virtually no gains (National Real Estate Investor, Dec. 2005). Q
Two women top ranks in commercial real estate (Wall Street Journal, Mar. 9, 2005). Q
Women gaining ground in real estate (Business Journal of Milwaukee, Nov. 1, 2004).
Commercial real estate company gives boost to women employees (Houston Business Journal, Sept. 13, 2004).
Powerful woman soars in a mostly male industry (Atlanta Business Chronicle, Feb. 6, 2004).
Industry aims to attract more women to its ranks (Philadelphia Business Journal, Feb. 7, 2003).
Perseverance is critical for women in real estate field (Boston Business Journal, Dec. 6, 2002).
Women's work (Journal of Property Management, Sept./Oct. 2002). Q
Building lifelong relationships; The CREW Network not only develops real estate leaders, but also fosters friendships (National Real Estate Investor, Dec. 2001). Q
No longer an all-men's club (National Real Estate Investor, July 1, 2001). Q
Organizations for Women in Real Estate
Books, eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Ask for It (Kindle, Adobe eReader)
Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur (Kindle, Adobe eReader)
Corporate Tribalism (Kindle, Adobe eReader)
Down to Business (Kindle, Adobe eReader)
For Women Only (Overdrive Audio)
In Good Company (Adobe eReader)
Kiplinger's Money Smart Women (Overdrive Audio)
The Myth of Work-Life Balance (Adobe eReader)
Smart Women Finish Rich (Adobe eReader)
Time Management Secrets for Working Women (Kindle, Adobe eReader)
Women and Equality in the Workplace (Adobe eReader)
Women & Money (Overdrive Audio)
Women Count (Kindle, Adobe eReader)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.
Ebby Halliday: The First Lady of Real Estate (Brown Books Publishing Group, 2009). HD 1382.5 H15
Framing a domain for work and family: a study of women in residential real estate sales work (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2002). HD 1375 W55
workingmoms.calm: How smart women balance family and career (Thomson-Southwestern, 2003). HQ 536 K38
Progress of Women in Real Estate: 50th Anniversary (Chicago, IL: Women's Council of REALTORS®, 1988). HF 294 W84p
Personal Power: the guide to power for today's working woman (Boulder, CO: Career Track Publications, Inc., 1985). BF 637 L11
The Woman's Guide to Selling Residential Real Estate Successfully: A Step-by-Step Career Program (New York, NY: Everest House, 1981). HF 5438 J25
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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.