South Africa

Women winning in real estate industry

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A woman holding up a set of keys with a house-shaped keyring

This Women’s Month, what is the state of play for women in real estate?

Looking at the numbers, it’s a sector where growing numbers of women are making their careers. Statistics South Africa’s 2020 Real Estate Report says 57% of the real estate workforce is female, up from 43% in 2016.

Women’s representation is even higher in the residential rental sector. More than three quarters – 75.1% – of the property professionals who responded to PayProp’s most recent State of the Rental Industry Survey were women, including rental administrators, agents, business owners and more.

On the client side too, women are enjoying increasing influence. According to statistics released last year, they make up a growing share of homebuyers.

Building on success

All that adds up to a positive outlook for women in real estate. But according to Michelle Dickens, CEO of PayProp South Africa, there is still progress to be made. Women are still concentrated in particular roles and subsectors in the industry.

“There is a lot of female representation in administration and rental management, and we’ve seen an increase in female ownership of properties, but there’s work that can be done in terms of getting equity into the hands of female business owners,” says Dickens.

“There are also differences across different types of real estate: commercial property versus residential property versus construction. And female representation in the residential sector is higher than it is in construction, for example.”

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