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Although many perceive real estate as a male-dominated business, the most recent survey of National Association of Realtors members showed that the majority of real estate agents nationwide are women (65%) – and their presence is poised to continue growing as The Great Resignation inspires more women to succeed in the industry.
Although they outnumber their male counterparts, leading real estate brokers Katie Kossev, Jessica Edwards and Kye Sampson said women still struggle to climb the entrepreneurial ladder, due to stereotypes about the meaning of women’s affairs and the challenge of balancing work and family.
“I think a lot of us got into the business because we thought this career path would give us the flexibility to spend more time with our family and to travel, and just a bit of money. extra here and there,” said Kossev, who moderated the session. “And then we got good, right? Occasionally [our job] completely dominates [our] life, holidays and spending time with [our families] can accidentally fall by the wayside because we are so deeply engrossed in what we are doing.
Edwards and Sampson said they struggled to maintain their flexibility over the years, especially after getting married and becoming mothers. Both women said they had to leave the dinner table to answer frantic phone calls from customers, make other arrangements for their children to be picked up from school or attend late events.
“I think there can be some flexibility in real estate, depending on what you want out of it,” Sampson said. “If you’re in a leadership role, you might have to step away from that dinner and you might have to take a call.”
However, both panelists said the coronavirus presents the valuable opportunity to slow down, rethink their priorities and create a business structure that allows them to maintain a high level of service to their customers while setting aside time to take full advantage of the benefits. fruits of their labor.
“Success is having that peace of mind and happiness on all levels. It’s about life balance,” Edwards said. “COVID, for me, had positives. Me and my team members, we’re all moms, and I think it was interesting to be able to slow things down a bit and spend more time with the kids and realize, ‘Oh, you know, I can go pick them up at school.’
“Sometimes it’s a constant challenge, depending on what’s going on,” she added. “But it’s just really [comes down to] plan and really plan things to the best of your ability and of course that doesn’t always work.
Beyond day-to-day scheduling and planning, Sampson said she’s learned to accept life’s natural ebb and flow and adjust her approach to business to meet her family’s needs.
“I have a three-year-old and had a full team before. After having my child, I let my team down. I cut my budget because I wanted to spend more time with my child,” she said. “Now that he’s three and a half [and going] at school, I restarted my team. So I think it’s all about planning and [determining] what you’re trying to get out of it. So I don’t know if there’s ever a complete balance.
Although being a woman in real estate presents challenges, Kossev, Edwards and Sampson said they learned to use their strengths as women, especially when it comes to mastering multitasking and using the emotional intelligence to connect with current and potential buyers and sellers.
“I think some women might not want to hear that, but we’re able to see the emotional side of things,” Edwards said. “I think women [aren’t] necessarily more emotional overall, but maybe we’re just more in tune with emotions and buying or selling a home, especially right now, is an emotional process. It’s always like that.
“For buyers [with] several missing offers, it can be frustrating,” she added. “Having that nurturing side or being able to have that calmness and be in tune with the emotions of our clients is a huge part of [the] women against men [debate]If you want.”
Meanwhile, Sampson pointed to women’s ability to multitask and pay attention to detail as a valuable asset that some people may undervalue. “As women, we’re so used to wearing so many different hats,” she said. “We also have our attention to detail.”
Now that the market has peaked ahead of spring, both women said there’s pressure to jump on the latest trends and start overloading their schedules again. “I think video is so important, but TikTok reels aren’t for everyone,” Edwards said with a laugh of the temptation to be present on all platforms.
Simpson agreed and added: ‘It’s about being intentional [and] you don’t have to compete with everyone online. If you don’t like being on camera, maybe start visiting houses and recording houses instead of being on camera.
Finally, the three women encouraged session viewers – especially their fellow women – to stay nimble, cast off fear, and embrace changes in their personal and professional lives.
“I had a conversation with someone a few months ago and it was a flash moment. It was normal that maybe your business and your life and everything is not like it was before COVID” , said Edwards. “I think it’s okay if you don’t feel that intensity like before. It’s [about] accept it and then channel it into how you’re going to work differently and what it’s going to look like.
Email Marian McPherson