For Women Only

Written by: David Wilkening

If you ask me why I think this blog is for men, I really don’t have an easy answer. Maybe because I think of do-it-yourself men wearing tool belts strapped to their waists as the dominant image for real estate investors, retired or not. But woman can also wear more than lipstick and be good with home repairs, of course.

I am wary of this subject because of an obvious risk: being called a sexist or chauvinist, for example.

But whether or not they are as inclined as men to take charge of plumbing repairs or analyzing whether to buy one property or another, here are some thoughts on women only investors.

I have talked to some women real estate investors. And I found one major reason why they at times shy away from this type of activity is safety. Women often appear far less inclined to enter vacant buildings alone than men. Simple as that.

On the other hand, if I may generalize, women have major advantages over men, They tend to be more empathetic. That helps when negotiating to buy a property or cut another deal.

Their general feeling of women I talked to was that they have a natural inclination to be able to gain trust, build relationships, and most of all, network. The later is invaluable in this business. But still another is that women have better design instincts.

With that in mind, I asked some women for their advice on real estate investing. There were far too many to be included here (or in a book) but here are a few thoughts:

—Women are often viewed as less likely than men to take the risks required of investors. Why that is so (perhaps because traditionally they have earned less), I don’t know but a realization that this business involves risk is equivalent to a first grade primer.

—Never be afraid to ask for help. And find a mentor. Male or female. No matter.

—You will at times encounter people who prefer men because that is a past pattern. You can overcome this by asking a (presumably) male husband/friend for assistance.

—Know what you’re talking about. If you don’t, avoid the subject (an example may be the intricacies of electricity in a home).

—Master marketing. Develop a plan. Follow it.

—Be yourself. Never compromise your values. Your reputation is a huge asset.

—Study the numbers. Cash flow, etc. Not always a popular subject but guesswork is not a good idea.

—Be unafraid to take positions and, when necessary, be an authority figure or leader who is hesitant to show those doubts we all share.

—When something looks difficult or someone says it can’t be done, take another look at it. Don’t necessarily accept what others predict as failures.

Come to think of it, all the above is not different from advice for both men and women. The title above is wrong. Unisex is the byword. Including tool belts. ###


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