Real estate agents…pay attention. Statistics show that now is the time to tilt your real estate businesses to serving women of color.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates women of color will increase their participation in the nation’s work force by

– Latina – +30.3%
– Asian – +24.3%
– African American – +_11.3%

Additionally, women of color are increasingly joining the ranks of our nation’s business owners to the tune 5.4 million businesses, according to the latest American Express State of Women Owned Businesses Report. This is an increase of 467% over the past 20 years.

These 5.4M businesses owned by women of color

– represent 46% of all women-owned firms
– generate $361B annually
– employ 2 million people

Such strides among women of color, despite overwhelming odds against them, are and will obviously be felt in the housing industry as well as the overall economy. Clearly, it behooves real estate agents to focus on this demographic particularly since the number of women overall and the number of women of color are increasingly purchasing their own homes. STEM and Millennial women are predicted to top 15M women homeowners by 2020.
Since trust and empathy are such tremendous elements of the agent-client dynamic, it is imperative that real estate agents be aware of and sensitive to obstacles women of color face in the business world.

Financing is one such obstacle. Women of color face higher interest rates on business loans than any other demographic despite having lower default rates than any other demographic. The annual percentage rate (APR) can range anywhere between 24 – 99% for a woman of color. The same may/may not be true for a woman of color when pertaining to home mortgage loans so head’s up, real estate agents.

Women of color have higher poverty rates ( 21.4% African American women; 18.7% Latina), according to the US Census Bureau, among the 12.5% of women overall who are impoverished. And women of color experience a wider women/men wage gap (59% African American on the dollar; 85% Latina on the dollar; 87% Asian women on the dollar) than women overall who experience an 80% on the dollar wage gap. Again, head’s up, real estate agents.

When/if our society advances to gender and ethnic parity, the World Economic Forum estimates $1,750B would be added to the nation’s GDP. Certainly a portion of such a capital infusion would filter into the housing industry. Best to be ready.

For further information, contact Desiree Patrio, CEO and President of the National Association of Women Real Estate Businesses.

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