A history of females in the real estate industry

Private Property South Africa
Press

Given that so many real estate professionals are female these days, it can be easy to forget that, much like most other industries of the day, the real estate industry was once a ‘boys only’ club. In fact, RE/MAX was considered incredibly progressive back when Dave Liniger first started the brand in Denver, Colorado in 1973, with three of his four first-ever recruits being female.

To quote a paragraph from Everybody Wins, a biography that recounts the story of the RE/MAX brand:

“Another thing about those original four agents was telling: Three of the four were women. To understand how radical this seemed, consider this: Van Schaak, the top firm in town, had 300 agents, all of whom were men. Moore and Company, the second-ranked firm coming up fast on Van Schaak’s heels, didn’t have any female agents either […] the very best firms were sealed off and out of bounds to women.”

Liniger was one of the first to recognise that having females on board his team would count as a huge advantage rather than disadvantage towards the success of his company. Particularly within that era, women understood the importance of homes to families in a way that men simply could not. Women therefore often turned out to be some of the most effective real estate professionals in the industry.

Despite this, gender exclusion persisted across the top real estate firms both internationally and locally. When Peter and Val Gilmour first brought the brand into South Africa in 1995, just four of the eleven (36%) RE/MAX recruits were female. But, within a year, eleven out of twenty-four (46%) RE/MAX affiliates were female. Today, some 24 years later, female associates have come to outnumber their male associates within the RE/MAX network.

“It is amazing to see how far the industry has come since the days when RE/MAX first started. Currently, 52% of the global network and 60% of the RE/MAX of Southern Africa network is female. Not only are there more women in real estate than ever before, females are also some of the top performers within the RE/MAX network. Year-to-date, eight of our top ten earners nationally are female. I am also privileged to share the responsibility of regional owner with two highly capable females, Amanda Cuba (COO) and Vicky Goslett (CMO). There can be no doubt that women play a valuable role in the success of our network, and I would like to thank every one of them for their hard work as we celebrate Women’s Month this August,” Goslett concludes.

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