In a field so well-suited for women, why are more not playing?
When I went to my first real estate investment conference, I was so excited about all I had to learn. During our first bathroom break I noticed something unusual — no line for the women’s room. The men’s room had a line going out the door. That was strange. When we filed back into the room at the end of our break, I understood why. In a room of 120+ people, there were only eight women.
Nearly every other real estate investment event I’ve attended since has had similar demographics. Why? Real estate investing is such a great option for women. It provides passive income streams that give much-needed flexibility (especially for moms), and it can help erase the incredible gender wealth gap.
A lot of attention is paid to the gender pay gap, which is important. Women make, on average, 80 cents on the dollar compared to men. But much less focus is put on the gender wealth gap, which is more concerning. For every dollar of net worth that a single man has, a single woman has only 32 cents. That disparity is astounding.
While wealth is the difference between a person’s assets and liabilities, real-life experiences with wealth mean so much more. Wealth is the ability to pay for an emergency or other unexpected expense, the freedom to buy a home or pursue higher education, and the security of saving for retirement. In short, wealth offers stability and opportunity — for us, and for the generations that follow.
Real estate is one of the greatest ways to add to our resources — to increase our net worth. So, why are so few women learning about real estate?
For women who want to improve their stance in the industry, here are three things to do:
#1. Allow yourself to stand out. In this business, women automatically stand out because there aren’t many in the REI space, but having a memorable characteristic will make it easier to establish a reputation. Just make sure it’s a good reputation!
#2. Ask for help. When women ask for help, most male colleagues in the field will step up. When you find yourself stuck, ask for help.
#3. Tap into sisterhood. Studies have shown that women release oxytocin (the feel-good bonding hormone) by being in the presence of other women. Plus, stress levels decrease, learning increases, and memory improves. Find a supportive community of female real estate investors in which you can partner, learn, and do business together.
There is plenty of room for women in the real estate investing sphere. When women become resources for other women, everyone wins.