The battle of the sexes has never been more relevant in real estate. While men and women are fairly equally represented in the industry according to the ABS a closer look at job roles shows the numbers skewing,
The battle of the sexes has never been more relevant in real estate. While men and women are fairly equally represented in the industry according to the ABS (51% men and 49% women), a closer look at job roles shows the numbers skewing, with women more likely to be property managers and in admin roles, while men dominate sale roles and principals.
Encouraging more women to become sales agents could be one of the most effective ways to improve the perception of the industry amongst buyers and sellers. The data shows female agents are overwhelmingly more competent at the “human” skills of empathy, communication and accountability that vendors regard as the hallmarks of an “excellent” real estate experience.
The recent Consumer Perceptions of Real Estate Agents survey by CoreLogic RP Data identified there is a significant difference in the satisfaction levels that vendors experience when dealing with a female sales agent compared to a male agent.
Women were perceived as more helpful by vendors with 40% of respondents rating their agent’s ability to ensure they understood all elements of the sales process as Excellent compared to 32% of male agents.
The data showed 66% of vendors with female agents felt they were very well prepared before going through the sales process, compared to 56% of vendors with a male agent.
The interesting thing about the data is that at no time were respondents asked to judge or attribute the behaviour of their agent based on sex. The survey – of more than 300 property sellers – simply asked early in the piece what the gender of their agent was. And then separately and across the survey, asked questions about the behaviour of their agent generally. By cutting the data according to sex, we were able to then see how those behaviours compared by male and female agents.
The most significant difference was in the consistency of experience vendors had across the sales process.
Before the sale process started, 59% of female agents and 58% of male agents were able to inspire confidence in the minds of their vendors that they would do a good job and get a good price for their property.
Once the sale had started however, while confidence levels in female agents eased to 55%, male agents fared much worse, falling to 48%.
Once the property had sold 45% of vendors with female agents reported feeling delighted with the final outcome, compared to just 39% of those with male agents.
The survey also found the female agents used by vendors in our survey were consistently more likely to be rated as Excellent at key skills than their male counterparts.
Female agents significantly outperformed their male counterparts in the skills of handling open for inspections (41% women agents rated as excellent compared to 33% men), providing regular feedback (45% of female agents rated as excellent compared to 31% of male agents), following up of potential buyers and leads (43% of female agents rated as excellent compared to just 29% of male agents) and negotiation skills (38% of female agents rated as excellent compared to 28% of male agents). Female agents were also overwhelmingly more than twice as likely to be identified as excellent at managing the sales process – 42% for female agents compared to just 28% for male agents.
One of the most telling insights from the survey was that obtaining the expected – or better – price is a hygiene factor for vendors. They expect their agent to get the number they say they will.
And the survey showed there was little difference in the final price performance of men and women. Male agents were slightly more likely to sell a property above the expected price of a vendor than female agents (24% to 22% respectively) with 49% of male agents selling around the expected price compared to 52% of female agents, and both sexes evenly represented at 21-22% in selling below expectations.
Gender also made no difference in the likelihood of a vendor recommending them to friends and family with 68% of vendors with male agents and 69% of vendors with female agents saying they would happily recommend.
Kylie Davis is the Head of Marketing – Property Solutions for CoreLogic RP Data. Follow her @KDavisCoreLogic