When it comes to selling houses, one of the advantages of being female is the ability to think laterally and find a solution, an Auckland-based real estate agent says.
And when it comes to buying, it’s usually the woman who makes the final decision.
Despite a gender pay gap of 9.5 percent (Statistics New Zealand, June 2020), Nadja Court, a North Shore-based salesperson with Barfoot & Thompson estimates the total value of houses she’s sold at $2.8 billion. To commemorate International Women’s Day, Newshub asked her about the benefits of being a female in real estate and her top tips for women starting out in sales.
In a competitive industry where commission-based salaries are the norm, in Court’s experience, one of the key advantages is the ability to think laterally.
"In real estate, what often happens is men end up butting heads with other men….it’s all about winning, whereas women are used to being a bit more fluid and can find a solution," Court says.
"And even if men find a property, within all cultures, women usually veto it because they choose the homes," Court adds.
She says life experience is also a big advantage - and that includes being willing to compromise.
"It’s realising you’re not always right - there’s always a middle ground and ways to make everybody happy and compromise - women learn that."
Having started in real estate 24 years’ ago as a single mum, Court says her top tips for female real estate agents starting out are to talk to people, structure work around family commitments - and to take decent breaks.
"Be honest with yourself and to your values...I think if you do that and don’t give up, you’ll be successful," Court adds.
Homeowners looking to sell their home generally don’t have a bias towards female agents, preferring to choose someone they like or feel comfortable with, who is referred to them or has a presence in their local community.
But as many women have learnt to juggle children and other commitments, they may find these same skills come in useful in their career, whether that’s in real estate or a related field.
"Use the fact that you’re a woman and that you have empathy - and show who you really are."
For women wanting to get ahead and get noticed, Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose founder Catherine van der Muelen says women can be leaders irrespective of the current role they’re in.
"No matter what industry you’re in or the roles you play, be yourself, your whole self, your authentic self," van der Muelen says.
When people judge themselves against others, this creates disparity.
"Knowing you are enough and bringing your whole self will support in rising above the disparity," van der Meulen adds.