Women Entrepreneurs: New Faces in Real Estate

According to 2012 statistics on small business development, the US is home to around 10 million women-owned businesses. Life changes, reductions in retirement pensions and Social security, and a longing for financial freedom are among the reasons more and more women are turning to entrepreneurship to create a stable, independent future. Real estate investing in today’s markets offers virtually unprecedented opportunities for entrepreneurship; yet many women are hesitant to give it a try.

As Jason Hartman points out, investing in rental real estate creates a stable, long-term income stream that’s independent of employers – and overseeing that real estate yourself, without resorting to third-party management agencies, is an important aspect of that independence. Becoming a real estate entrepreneur, rather than an absentee investor, also opens the door for numerous tax breaks aimed at supporting the hands-on rental property owner.

Given the advantages of becoming an entrepreneur through real estate investing, what makes women reluctant to enter the market?

According to a recent NuWire report on women in real estate, a lack of knowledge about real estate investing, fear of risk, and misperceptions about the process hold back many women from becoming real estate entrepreneurs and freeing themselves from a dependence on pensions and Social Security checks. Some simply don’t know where to start.

Women may perceive investing as a man’s game, not open to women. But throughout the United States, networking groups for women investors are springing up, offering potential real estate investors a way to talk with others and get information and support. These groups empower women to envision a future as entrepreneurs, and offer ways to meet successful women investors and learn from them.

Likewise, groups for women business professionals and entrepreneurs such as the National Association of Women Business Owners offer ways to learn about being your own boss, managing a home office and handling taxes – all essential skills in managing rental real estate.

But one crippling factor for many women is fear. Lack of confidence and a fear of risking limited finances can stop a new investor before she even gets started. Credit issues, not knowing where to get funding for a purchase, and uncertainty about the future also add concerns that keep women out of real estate investing. Even smaller issues such as having to manage repairs and upkeep on rental properties, or dealing with problem tenants, can derail a potential investor from taking the first step.

The keys to overcoming these fears are education and preparation. Defining goals and identifying ways to overcome potential obstacles such as funding can help to create a realistic picture of what’s possible. Learning about real estate in general, and the investing process in particular, helps create confidence as well.

The aftermath of the recent real estate crisis has created a climate rich with opportunities for women who want to take control of their financial futures. As the ranks of women entrepreneurs in all areas continue to grow, there’s never been a better time to follow Jason Hartman’s strategies for creating an independent income through rental real estate. (Top image: Flickr | JodiWomack)

The Jason Hartman Team

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