Written by Jill Nesloney, Director at Lee & Associates – Houston
Historically, the commercial real estate (CRE) industry has been a male dominated industry and is still very much that way. Over the last two decades, we have seen more and more women enter and stay in the CRE sector in Houston; however, it can be an extremely intimidating and competitive industry. What makes it such an intimidating industry for women to enter into? And why should women stick with it? Here are my thoughts on how women can thrive and succeed in a male dominated industry.
Getting Started in the Industry: The hardest part is getting started, whether female or male, because the beginning is the most critical period. Finding the ability to survive the first few years of your career is extremely challenging regardless of your gender. Since the industry is heavily production-based, the first few years are critical for learning the industry, the market and how to ramp up your sales. These years are strenuous and often have little compensation; therefore, being able to live conservatively in between closing transactions is important. This is where I think most women get nervous about taking a leap of faith and miss the boat. If you put in the time, the earning potential can be limitless. We must think of these first few years as getting your “masters” in CRE. It will be painful, and you will struggle financially, but once you’re outside of those first years, you will begin to see your earning potential take off.