Does Gender Bias Exist in Real Estate Sales?

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Real Estate Services with Marte Cliff Copywriting

For about the past week I’ve been following a discussion on Copy Blogger – a blog where copywriters hash over various aspects of our business.

This discussion started with a post entitled “Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants,” and the last time I looked, it had 528 comments.

Obviously, the subject matter hit a nerve with a whole lot of people.

The essence of this post was that James is not really James. She’s a woman who was struggling to provide for her children and was making a dismal income writing as a woman. So she “became” a man.

When she began writing as James she landed higher-paying jobs, along with more respect. At first she even competed with herself for a few projects, and James always won out over her female persona.

So my question for you today is this: Does gender bias exist in real estate sales? And if it does, does it favor men or women?

When I opened my office all those years ago I was the first female Owner/Broker in our area, and some people were shocked at the idea. After all, what self-respecting man would want to work for a “woman boss?”

It worked for us, and now I believe every agency in our small town is headed by a woman.

So what has been your experience? Bias? No bias?

Just curious…

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Rainmaker
748,863
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Suzy - that's a good thing! It should all come down to the job you do.

December 28, 2009 06:42 PM
Rainmaker
191,173
Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team
Trust Your Family's Move To Our Expertise!
Keller Williams Partners Realty-GreatFloridaHomes Team

My male partner is my younger brother.  The blessing is that we both have very different personality types that fit with clients. 

We have both been rejected by a client because I was too strong or he wasn't strong enough or because I was a female and he was a male.

We take it all in stride and count our blessings we are family and a team.

As my brother he has a ball telling his friends, "Wait till you meet my sister, she's not one, but two guys trapped in a woman's body!"  I'm just glad he's my business partner and brother!    Joy

December 28, 2009 08:22 PM
Rainmaker
748,863
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Joy - You two really are fortunate! You're what family is all about.

December 28, 2009 11:57 PM
Ambassador
1,268,960
Loreena Yeo
Realtor® | Frisco TX Community Ambassador
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co.

Marte - What an interesting topic and even better comments. We are all agents of first impressions. Whether or not we like it or believe it.

I've worked with singles and single widows who reached out to me because I was a woman. They just feel more comfortable being in a presence with a woman when showings houses and riding in a car together. That's very understandable.

At the same time, I could only potentially be "me" - a woman and I'm sure it happens the same to our man co-workers whose preference would be to work with men.

In the past, when I was not an agent and selected an agent to work with, my husband and I selected a very professional, pretty looking woman just based on her photo. Men look sharp in a suit and tie but it's a different presentation when a lady presents herself in a suit (no tie, of course) in a professional photo.

In the end, once the relationship is formed, it doesnt matter if you are a man or woman. It's how you treat them and how you carry yourself that matters.

No one can deny that we are in the first impressions business. That's why we do the things we do.

The fact that woman is in ALL industries but I'm always surprise that Men dominates them. Like chefs too.

January 01, 2010 05:34 AM
Rainer
3,651
John Armstrong
Armstrong, Flinders & Associates @ Realty Executives of Utah

My Grandmother got her agents license in 1963 and became a broker in 1968... she was the first WCR president in Colorado... And I believe the first female Broker in Colorado... That being said... At this point I will not participate with the sexist orginization WCR;-) There are more women in Real Estate nationally because as my grandmother said... After 3 years she out earned my grandfather but for those first three years his job paid to put gas in her car to show houses... It is hard to get started in Real Estate and being a second profession in a household makes for an easier beginning... as does the fact that there is a low bar to entry. There are some reasons why men are in many cases a bit more successful at this. Most of the time it has to do with gender roles and the fact that for men this is usually the primary supporting profession. I for example take 2-5 days off for a new baby... my wife on the other hand is out of action for a much longer period with family obligations... My obligation is the house and mortgage... hers falls more to making my kids into responsible adults... Yeah... I know those roles do overlap but in general... This explains why now there are more women than men and in my experience a greater percentage of the top producing agents are men... Again... not to say there are not some incredibly talented and powerful women who are top producing agents...

 

Drew

August 19, 2010 02:19 PM
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Author Bio: Marte Cliff is a freelance copywriter who specializes in writing for the real estate profession.

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