We’ve known for a while now that women – as breadwinners, family organisers, decision-makers and consumers – are a force to be reckoned with.
Greater financial independence and higher levels of workforce participation means women are now making many of the major purchasing decisions around the home.
This is especially true when it comes to real estate. In the US, a staggering 91% of new home sales are predominantly made to women while closer to home in Australia, 61% of women own their own home compared to 58% of men, according to the latest ABS census data.
So what’s the best way to engage these women with properties on the market?
The biggest mistake marketers often make is relying on stereotypes. While it’s all too easy to slot women into neat little categories such as the germ-obsessed housewife, the soccer mum, the career woman, the ‘elderly’ retiree, this misunderstands how complex women are as consumers.
By moving beyond clichés, real estate agents have a better chance of understanding what women value and want in a new home. With this complexity in mind, here are three things to be aware of when marketing real estate to women.
The future is online
Women are currently driving the surge towards digital technology. Last year, there were nine million women online, with greater numbers browsing social media profiles and accessing the internet on their phones compared to men.
Furthermore, over half of the unique audience on realestate.com.au are women, according to a recent Nielsen survey. A breakdown of their search habits revealed 52% of these women were staying up-to-date with the performance of the housing market, while 37% were seriously planning for the future.
In order to reach tech savvy women, real estate agents must be where they are: actively participating in the online platforms and social media sites that are relevant to them.
Both emotions and rationality matter
Research shows women tend to use both the logical and the emotional side of their brains when making major decisions: combining both intuition and logic when solving a problem, completing a task or making a major purchasing decision – such as buying property.
This means selling women property is not just about listing cold facts about a residence, but connecting them emotionally with a home – whether it’s through a video walkthrough, a glimpse into the local area, copy that highlights a lifestyle the property can offer, or staging a home to enhance its possibilities.
But a word of warning before going overboard with the scented candles: don’t assume being emotionally aware means women check their brains at the door. More and more women are now investing in property, with a number of lenders now offering specific, female-centric services to meet the demand. A strong return on investment is also a high priority for women.
Australian women value many things outside of career, one of the most important being family. According to national research by SheSpot, three quarters of women rank family as their first priority.
Helen Graney, managing director of marketing agency Jack Morton Worldwide, says “while men generally seek to accumulate money, women see it as a way to care for their families, improve their lives and find security.” They are therefore more likely to pay attention to real estate agents who can genuinely connect with family as an important value.
But don’t forget single women: a quarter of Australian homes are now occupied by one person – many of them are older women, although 26% of women who live alone are under the age of fifty.
A study by the Australian Institute of Family shows young women living alone are more likely to have professional jobs, be better educated and earn more money than those who live with others.
These women are successful, savvy and motivated and it comes to purchasing property: all important factors to keep in mind when selling them real estate.
 Source: Greenfield Online for Arnold’s Women Insight Team