3 things to watch out for as a woman in real estate

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It all came down to setting yourself apart from the competition.

It all came down to setting yourself apart from the competition.

By Yanika Liew

With commission percentages, flexible hours and the potential to be your own boss, the real estate industry promises a high-risk, high-reward independence to its professionals that captivates many. 

As more women enter the real estate industry, there are many challenges they must navigate to fully take advantage of these flaunted perks. Regardless, there are unique vulnerabilities to being a real estate professional.

  1. Working on-the-go

There are safety concerns, Homefield Real Estate Sdn Bhd director Munirah Mohammad said. Female real estate agents often meet with strangers during property showings, they may need to enter vacant properties alone, which can put them at risk of encountering squatters or other dangerous individuals.

They may need to travel to remote locations to show properties, which can be challenging if the location is unfamiliar or lacks cell phone coverage.

“Imagine, when I went into practice 34 years ago, no cell phone, no college to accompany me to a construction site. Thinking now about what I went through, I'm proud of myself that I'm still here as a woman in real estate,” Munirah said.

  1. Sexual harassment

This is a serious issue that women are exposed to in this industry, Munirah added. Sexual harassment can take many forms, including unwanted physical contact, lewd comments, and inappropriate behaviour. It can be perpetrated by colleagues, clients, or even superiors in the workplace, and can have a significant impact on the victim's mental health, confidence, and career prospects.

“Real estate companies should provide awareness and a safe, supportive environment for their real estate negotiators. We in the real estate industry should establish a support group to help victims of sexual harassment," Munirah pointed out.

  1. Flexibility

Informed by her experience as a mother, Munirah pointed out that maternal obligations require a high degree of flexibility, and this skill can be similarly valuable in the real estate industry. However, the promised flexibility can be a double-edged sword. 

Real estate agents often work irregular hours and need to be available to clients outside of traditional business hours. A real estate agent who is a mother may be better equipped to juggle these demands, but it may also be an enormous pressure without the support of her partner.

What about the upside?

Regardless, Munirah wanted aspiring real estate professionals to know that there are unique advantages to being a real estate agent and a mother.

“As a mother, a woman may have a greater understanding of the unique needs and preferences of families looking to buy or sell a home. This can help her to connect with clients on a deeper level and provide more personalised service,” she said.

“Women who are mothers may have access to unique networking opportunities, such as school events or playgroups. These opportunities can provide a way to connect with other parents in the community and potentially generate leads for the real estate business,” she added.

It all came down to setting yourself apart from the competition.

“Building a strong reputation and brand as a real estate agent can also help you stay relevant in the market. This can involve establishing a niche or specialisation within the industry, providing excellent customer service, and building a strong referral network,” Munirah said.

Embrace technology, and invest in ongoing education and training to expand your knowledge and expertise.

“In summary, being a woman and a mother can provide some unique advantages in the real estate industry. Women who leverage these advantages can set themselves apart in a competitive industry and build successful careers in real estate,” she said.


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