Before I got into real estate, I went to graduate school for marketing. My final thesis was about all the annoying ways women are marketed to. Here are some insulting examples: the color pink, the word “fierce,” being told constantly women own/run/make the world.
Implying to me that I can be convinced that cheaply is definitely NOT a celebration of women!
Let’s talk about gender in terms of investing. Here are some basics on how women are the same as men when they purchase an investment. We like money. We like when our money makes us more money. We like doing very little for that money and then obsessively watching it build up our bank accounts.
Annnnd, we are different. I know, I know. No one likes hearing this, but if you don’t believe me, ask yourself the following questions: Who pays for prostitutes? Who buys makeup?
4 Ways Women Differ From Men When Investing
Now that we’ve established there are some general differences between the sexes, here are some ways women are different than men when it comes to buying properties.
- If we’re married, we have much more buying power than our husbands. In fact, studies show we make 80 percent of all consumer decisions. (1)
- Women tend to buy cyclically, and men tend to buy in a linear pattern. (2) Women like to get the same information from several sources over time before buying something. So, this exposure would look more like books, podcasts, social media, and friends and then waiting and revisiting the idea.
For men, an investment looks more like this. Someone they know has investments/tells them they should invest; they get on BiggerPockets; they buy and read a book; they look at properties; and then they buy a property.
- Women are driven by emotions and men are driven by features. (3) This one pissed me off, too, but hear me out. A guy might be motivated to buy an Airbnb property because it has a walkout basement, which is a feature he’s read you should look for in a short-term rental. And a woman might say, “Yeah, it has that, but it’s also really ugly and I’d never book this, which makes me think other people would never book it.”
This is a somewhat weird feature of females: they need more info and education before buying, but they are also more sensitive to their feelings.
- Women are less driven by conquering messages and more driven by everyone winning. (4) That said, if communicating to a man, you might say, “You’re going to cash flow $800/month, which is way better than the average investor.”
And to a female you might say, “You’re going to cash flow $800/month, which is better than the average investor. Added to that, the proximity of this property to the hospital will keep it rented out but might also help support families who need to be near sick loved ones.”
Note on this: Women are businesspeople. The thrust here isn’t helping others; the thrust is making money with the added benefit of helping others.
Married men who want to close a deal need to involve their wives early and often. To begin with, the male investor may have found me on BiggerPockets or Google, while his wife is more inclined to use a referral from her best friend. (I definitely need to know this.)
Also, you might have different motivations that you think you’ve worked out, but you haven’t. (Case in point: We just had a husband hire us specifically because of our expertise in getting income-generating, Airbnb properties—aka a basement—and when we met his extremely pregnant wife, she never once said “Airbnb” or “income-generating.”)
Finally, our success rate (and therefore, your success rate) is much higher when a spouse is onboarded. If it’s a good idea and the property makes sense financially, your spouse will get on board—they might just need to come to that decision in a different way than you do.
- Hanson, Sarah. 2009. Beyond pink. Director Magazine (January). http://www.director.co.uk/magazine/2009/1%20Jan/marketing_women_62_6.html [accessed May 19, 2013].
- Edwards, Chris. 2012. What women don’t want. Engineering & Technology, (January).
- Brennan, Bridget. 2009. Why she buys. New York: Crown Business.
Do you agree or disagree with the above? What other differences have you noticed between the way men and women invest?