Women on the Rise in Minnesota Real Estate

By MNR News posted 03-28-2022 20:29

The state has more female Realtors® than ever before. And their ranks are growing.
Women have been working in the real estate business almost as long as the United States has been a country. Though most served in subordinate office and clerical roles in the early decades, by the 1880s some women were pioneering roles as agents, and even brokers. Still, despite these trail-blazing exceptions, the real estate profession remained the domain of men well into the 20th century.

In Minnesota, the glass ceiling began cracking in 1955 when Emma Rovick purchased a small, struggling brokerage and transformed it into the real estate powerhouse, Edina Realty. During her career, Rovick mentored many women who made successful careers as Realtors®, sales managers, and real estate executives. Some even went on to start brokerages of their own. Many of these women, in turn, brought more women into the business. In a sign of the changing times, Marilyn Stewart, a Realtor® and broker at Edina Realty’s Rochester office, became Minnesota Realtors’® (MNR) first female president in 1989.

By 2021, 47.6% of Minnesota’s 21,000 Realtors® were women.
While that trails the national trend of 65%, among agents with four years or less experience, women outnumber men, 52% to 48%. See chart below for more details.
Typically, women come to the real estate profession later in life. The average Realtor® in Minnesota is 52 years old. Many are college educated, and have had previous careers in management, business, and finance.
Although women have made great strides in the real estate profession, many still struggle to earn a living from it. Given the state’s chronic shortage of affordable homes, it is a difficult time for newcomers to get established. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the gross annual median income for a Realtor® with two years or less experience is just $8,500. By contrast, a Realtor® with 16 or more years of experience grosses a median average of $75,000 per year. In Minnesota, women comprise only 45% of this category.

For today’s women in real estate, the keys to success have not changed much from the era when Emma Rovick gambled her family’s nest-egg to pursue a dream. Hard work, determination, honesty, and integrity were the foundation of her business ethos. And while these qualities do not guarantee success, no successful career can be built and sustained without them.