Sexism in REI getting under my skin

13 Replies

I generally consider myself someone who has really thick skin, but this week is really getting to me. I realize in real estate investing we’re gonna receive a lot of hate, “f” off’s and more. I’ve received my fair share and that’s never bothered me. I realize what we do has a bad reputation out there, mostly from those who are uninformed, and it’s easy for me to write those off in my mind.

But this week, the sexism has been off the charts! I can’t even count how many men have asked me to handle their D, suck their D, ask if I’m single, tell me I sound hot, and more.

But what really was the cherry on top was when I called a hard money lender to fund my first fix and hold. This company was probably the 5th that I had called as I’m doing my research and due diligence on lenders. I’ve never in my life been spoken down to in the way this man did.

He literally did not ask me one thing about the property and immediately started telling me that doing a fix and hold was pretty risky and that I’d probably be better off just working with a real estate agent who could find me what I’m looking for. He went on like this for a solid 10-15 minutes. Never asking me one thing about the property, my experience, what I did or didn’t know, nothing. The tone of his voice was nothing short of an obvious, “oh silly girl wants to do real estate investing.”

Throughout the 10-15 minutes I had to endure, here are the assumptions he made:

I’m not a real estate agent (I am)

I have no idea what comps are (I do)

I don’t know the area I’m buying the house in (I do)

I had no idea what criteria to look for in a fix and hold property (I know exactly what I’m looking for and found this driving for dollars)

I hadn’t done my due diligence on the property or what it would take to fix it (I have)

I didn't understand what ARV is (I do)

I haven’t already determined with a contractor approximately how much it will take to repair the house I’m purchasing (I have)

Since I’m clearly uninformed (because I’m a woman?) I should just find a house that’s move-in ready to use for a rental property (this guy is a moron!)

I’m not really asking for advice, more just venting and/or providing a space for other women to comment/vent about their frustrations in this profession. I’m not going to quit or give up, but this week has just been one heck of a week in regards to how people have treated me. It’s just nuts.

It is not a fair world.

My wife was in corporate sales for 27 years and shares your pain.

Use this mis treatment that men have given you and show them that you will not 

only survive but you will be very successful.

I have fought all my life with medical issues that don't allow me to be a contractor.

I have snubbed the doctors and proven them wrong!

I am truly sorry for your mis treatment.

Maybe the next loan ( hard money ) will be a classy women.

One reason why I don't use hard money .

They are total jerks!

@Elizabeth Beard that is freakin’ crazy. Sorry that happened to you! I’m looking at my pipeline now and 40% of my borrowers are female, and they all have better deals than the men lol.

@Elizabeth Beard 100% agree and I am sorry that happened. I said last year that I wanted to find my women in REI and in the last 8 months we have built a group of around 40 women in that Tampa Bar area that all work in some form of real estate investing. It has been a true blessing. I hope you can find your group so you can just share resources!

I would've hung up on the clown after his first 2 minutes of ranting.  I don't waste time with people like this.

If I can offer you one piece of advice I wish someone would have offered me when I was a newbie it is this: "Treat your time as precious."

That one piece of advice taught me how to limit the amount of time and energy I spend dealing with difficult people, mostly by avoiding them.  There is no shame in cutting into the conversation with, "Well, it looks like this isn't going to work out for you or me, but thank you for your time...good bye" (*click)

One other example is with prospective tenants.  I used to listen to callers drone on and on for 15-20 minutes with all their sob stories and how their last land lord was a total S.O.B. slumlord who never fixed anything and how their ex-husband had done them wrong and that's why they were being evicted and ..... UGH!

So now I don't even take calls on vacancies.  I have a strict "All calls go to voicemail" for my Google Voice number that I use on our online ads for vacant rentals.  My voicemail message tells all callers specifically what to do if they want more information or to set up a tour for our property.  We do pre-screening forms on our website that asks 5 simple questions that weed out 90% of respondents as totally, obviously unqualified (not enough income, currently being evicted, etc).

Do I missed a few qualified tenants?  Probably.  Do I avoid wasting time with hundreds of unqualified looky-loos and tire-kickers?  Oh yeah!

Learn to value your time.  It is precious.  Don't allow goof-balls to steal from your time and energy.

My project manager (and my best friend) is a woman. We both flip two properties at a time normally. She looks young, but she knows more than all of the contractors put together. I fire anyone who treats her poorly or asks anything overtly sexual and then let them know I'd be happy to write a review about what happened. I agree it's pretty gross in terms of sexism, but I hope it's changing as people realize that gender or orientation has nothing to do with REI knowledge and know-how.

I agree with Eric W. (won't let me tag him for some reason). Your time is all that matters... just move past all those people as quickly as possible. No point in sticking around, it'll only cause stress and annoyance, and they aren't going to help you in your real estate journey anyway. Stick it to all those a-holes by flying through your journey successfully with middle fingers up. Who cares what they think or how they feel about women.

Hello Elizabeth Beard from Nashville. This is not the place to talk about all the abuse that the ladies put up with in the workplace...look at the Governor of New York. What a creep! This world is full of Animals. Trying to do a Flip with Hard Money at this time does not sound like a lot of fun to me. But, it's a good way to make some money, if you have your ducks all lined up to make it work. One example of how hard it is to make it in the Real Estate Business is the Barbara Corcoran story on Shark Tank. She started out as a waitress with Dislexia and became one of the biggest R.E. firms in New York.

@Michael Haynes I disagree. This platform is here to talk about all things real estate related. This topic is real estate related. I think it is important that all of us understand that this is part of our industry. I hope that if/when my daughter gets into REI the industry will be better than it is now. I'm happy that the OP shared her story.

@Corey Hawkinson Thanks :)

It’s hard as an entrepreneur to stay focused on the positive and the end goal when there’s so much hate for this industry, especially aimed at women. I am pushing through, but it has taken me by surprise that some of the comments even here are hateful. We should support each other and cheer each other on. This business is hard enough as it is. I appreciate your support for me even bringing this topic into the conversation. I wasn’t trying to stir the pot, just venting and looking maybe for a word of encouragement or two, but I also know that I have to pick myself up and turn the other cheek to all the haters and keep going.

maybe its just west coast but our RE industry is Women dominated.. far more female agents than male

and when i was in the SF bay area I would say it was 80% female and some of those ladies are pretty tough negotiators..  Also we see women in the trades for years when i was logging my main logger had his sister on the log loader/ excavator  and last project I did 35 new homes we had a women super..  And of course I am married to a veteran real estate broker who ran 2 C 21 offices in the 80s and 90s  and was a trainer for Floyd Wickman . now granted she gets the creep calls .. and as a women in the business you do need to have diligence with the weirdos out there.. .. keep at it.. 

But I am a HML and have been for years and I tell men and women this is a very tough thing to do.. And we do warn them..

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you