By Stan Albert

Here’s why, in my opinion, women are better suited for real estate than we guys are.

When the hit song I am Woman was made famous by Helen Reddy, it was at a time when women started taking larger roles in all phases of the business world. Fast forward to today, and in our particular business we find the distaff side of our field has come to the fore. Most of the top producers and top managers and broker/owners are women.



We all know that developing and building a successful career in real estate is a never-ending process. I’ve been an observer of human traits and personalities for nearly 50 years.

Here’s what I know about why women are better at our business:
  1. They’re better organizers. Not only better, they excel! Think about it. Most women in our industry have to be excellent at multi-tasking, taking on the roles of mother, wife, nurse, transportation arranger, disciplinarian, cook, shopper and scheduler. They make sure the family is fed, dressed for school, have a lunch and are ready to catch the bus for school, as well as making sure hubby has his morning cup of Java. Then comes tidying up the kitchen and planning what to serve for dinner, and all before they even begin to think about getting ready for their own day.
  2. Once the above is accomplished, they plan their day as a real estate professional, checking/making appointments and placing some early morning calls.
  3. They arrive at the office fully prepared. After checking their calls and returning those that require quick responses, they set out to inspect properties.
  4. When showing properties, they seem to have a better way of illustrating the features to the prospects; a more intrinsic method of showcasing the home’s best features.
  5. They are more efficient in handing in the paper work, and in a timely manner.
  6. They are social activists, event planners and conflict resolution experts and seem better at handling irate/upset clients.
  7. They attend, on a pro rata basis, more training sessions than we guys do.
  8. They give freely of their time and expertise to help others just starting out in the business, offering suggestions. They are social, generous and thoughtful.
  9. They excel in doing open houses by being better prepared.
  10. And last but not least, they will take a leadership role in charitable causes and usually raise more funds.

So I tip my hat to the professional women who bring so much to our industry.

Now, having raised the ire of the male readers of this article, my opinion is just that, my opinion. It doesn’t mean that you have to be a female agent to attain the foregoing attributes, so, don’t be sending me hate mail. It’s just this old guy’s opinion and that’s all.

I wish you all a great summer and fall campaign and the best of everything.  I encourage all of you to ramp up your activities for the rest of 2015.

Got a topic you’d like to see me weigh in on? Contact me at the email below.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Taking note of Jim’s experience, and accounting for Stan’s current article, lawyers sometimes take the stand as presented, out of personal jealousy, thinking REALTORS earn too much money, perhaps – nonetheless – the story felt and told and experienced by many real estate agents.

    Aside from that, the seller’s lawyer will say, if the problem, whatever the problem is, doesn’t go to root of title, then the buyer is obligated to close. And, yes, as Jim stated, figure out the “details” later. Sometimes, if only based on principle.

    We frequently used to hear of holdbacks; not so much so in recent years.

    Here is how we solved a closing problem, many years ago, in sub-agency days. It was my listing. Mr. Seller had lost his job, so owners had elected to sell their townhouse. The wife had a full time job.

    There are some things listing agents do not search. They ask the right questions, but they don’t always get the right answers, unknowingly. Typically agents don’t do title “searches” and personal property “contract” searches; sometimes perhaps they should?

    Here is the example, in days before SPIC forms were activated:

    As an inclusion, among other items was a quite new air conditioner.

    Answer to question, were there any rental contracts? Only the hot water tank, as is often the case.

    Property sold. The market values and sale prices had dropped a little and the net to the seller didn’t leave a whole lot of cash in hand.

    Both sellers were heavy smokers and there were many empty beer and liquor cartons in the basement. I only note that not to criticize but to point out the costs likely output; didn’t matter to me one way or the other – until I was invited by the seller’s lawyer to participate in their closing costs… how and why? I had never heard of their lawyer but I was about to hear from him. He had been invoiced in typical fashion by the listing company.

    It was mid-afternoon, Friday of a long weekend. My secretary informed me the lawyer for seller’s address was on the phone. Of course I would take his call.

    He informed me the transaction couldn’t close. I was very fortunate and my deals closed, typically without wrinkles. I was ten years in the business and what I was about to hear was a first. Lucky me.

    He was about to invite me to cover the missing funds necessary to close. Ya think? Or the transaction would not close.

    He stated that it was always his practice to contact the agent in such a situation and advise he needed to receive an immediate faxed agreement adjusting the listing company commission by the missing amount.

    I said, I don’t think so. I’ve done my job, and so had the offer-agent, and in fact we got for the sellers the highest price the complex had seen, even in a coming downward cycle.

    Here was the issue. No, the air conditioner wasn’t a rental but it had been purchased under contract with the seller’s gas company. And there was an outstanding balance.

    The sellers had not disclosed. The unit had been acquired only a few months before, in the autumn, and the house sold in February, closing in cold weather March.

    It seems like the sellers either forgot to mention, or hoped that no one would notice, perhaps.

    The lawyer was gobsmacked that I refused to agree to adjust our company invoice. He said, agents always agree; you mean you would let this transaction not close?

    He had not done his seller property searches till the last minute. And seemed the buyer’s lawyer, not either. That’s my fault? I hardly think so.

    I didn’t like his attitude. English was not his first language and he was borderline disrespectful. And quite firm. So was I, firm. But never disrespectful. Not my style.

    Maybe he was in the habit of treating woman that way. I wasn’t having any part of it. I was firm, but polite.

    Turns out he was new to town; that’s why I had not heard of him. He was a longstanding member of the Alberta bar, and only currently active here, at that time.

    So I started by saying: let’s see… Are you prepared to adjust for the missing funds by contributing part of your fee? Likewise, the buyer’s lawyer – have you approached him? Or the buyer’s agent? Let’s calculate the breakout of the numbers and see if WE ALL can save this transaction.

    He was having none of it. HA!!! So I said, here is a suggestion. You have a few hours left till closing at the registry office.

    Call your clients, the sellers and tell them to call the gas company, and you work with them to give an undertaking to the gas company that the sellers will give a series of post dated cheques on Monday to be given to the gas company. That way, the transaction can close. Okay? Bye for now; I’m sure you will work this out.

    Long story short: the sellers called the gas company who agreed to accept their post-dated cheques and the deal closed as planned.

    The lawyer called me to come collect the full commission cheque. Of course he had got paid first.

    We became business friends thanks to his quite wonderful wife who ran his office. And I actually sent him (her) clients, and my secretary and I were invited to their grand new office opening event.

    Many potential issues were solved. He’d never met an agent like me, he said repeatedly.

    No one had ever “taken him on,” just complied with his demands:requests.

    He said he learned a lot that day, not just how to treat businesswomen with the same respect he reserved for male colleagues.

    But to think of creative salvage methods of difficult closings, other than penalizing agents. Good idea!

    Maybe this post will help a newbie along the way, or a not so newbie?

    Carolyne L 🍁

  2. Stan,

    Quite a number of years ago, I said something about something to my significant other, and she looked up at me and said: “and what I am supposed to do with that information?” Her point was that the issue at hand was something that she didn’t understand, didn’t want to understand, or couldn’t change — even if she wanted to understand it. My point would’ve been that she was being a little grumpy and that I was just trying to keep her in the loop, but if I was right with my point the smart thing to do was just: shake my head and smile — I did the smart thing.

    So Stan, I would ask you that same question, but justifiably, about your subject article: what is anyone supposed to do with this information, or actually more to the point, opinion? Many different opinions about many different things have covered the pages of REM Magazine, but for the most part the material has been such that it could be agreed with, disagreed with, or maybe a reader would take away some of it as being of value. In any event, most of what appears on REM would be of a nature that it really couldn’t usually harm any identifiable group or segment of real estate practitioners.

    Stan, the points or general claims that you’ve made in your impish article are such that they are essentially untouchable. You’ve written a piece that you should have understood that the male practitioners could only stare at, as though it was protected by electrified titanium bars that we had to walk through water even to be close enough to touch. Stan, this battle may be behind you now, but you didn’t give any thought here to the young men who may be struggling to do their best — to make a go of it, in this industry! Your article is irresponsible.

    Here’s what I know. When I first started in this industry my main mentor was one of the senior male agents (who just gave of his time freely) — not to say that some of the female agents weren’t gracious. However, the least gracious agent (colleague) was an award winning female practitioner — who would never give of her time to help a junior agent. As a matter of fact, this particular (award winning) female agent even rudely and abruptly leaned in front of me, on one occasion, and started typing on the computer keyboard that I was using, at that moment — a man would never have done this. This aforementioned (award winning) female agent (colleague) was also sanctioned by the Brokerage to speak to the media.

    Stan, what I also know is, that most Managing Brokers or Broker’s of Record are not in the practice of making: field spot-checks — to verify the accuracy of the information on a property that is listed with their Brokerage. Consequently errors on property listings are usually only identified as a result of a formal complaint process — if that happens. The largest measurement related mistake I ever personally observed, on a residential property, was made by a very experienced female (Broker of Record) wherein the “Main Living Area” (MLA) field was indicated as being just over 700 square feet less, than what was actually the case.

    Stan, did you ever conduct field spot-checks, on any of your practitioners, male or female?

    • Alan. “Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts”.

      E. B. White

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