The Women’s Real Estate Network’s sphere of influence is growing, as evidence by their presence at the Women in Real Estate masterclass in Toronto yesterday.
“We’re encouraging women to become bigger players in the Canadian real estate industry across all fields, whether they’re experts, educators, investors or first-time homebuyers, giving them the confidence to connect, build their team and make good buying decisions,” said Liza Rogers, WREN’s founder.
“There definitely are some barriers, whether they’re perceived or real,” she continued. “When I started the Victoria Real Estate Investment Expo, I had some of the old boys’ club laugh at me, so it’s a combination of understanding that there are barriers and pushing through them.”
The Women’s Real Estate Network does more than merely encourage women. It is, in fact, a large network of high-powered women in the real estate industry who endeavour to broaden the horizons of women with keen interests in real estate.
While there’s no shortage of women who become realtors, there’s a notable dearth who start investment companies, and WREN is changing that with educational and networking programs.
Perhaps WREN’s greatest asset is that it’s unapologetically assertive—just as it teaches women in the real estate industry to be.
“As women business leaders, we’re helping educate women to understand finance and budgeting,” continued Rogers. “We get them on track with their goals. A lot of companies do this as non-profit but women need to realize that they have to run for-profit businesses. WREN is for-profit because we have to be unapologetic about women realizing it’s okay to be wealthy, healthy and wise. Men don’t have a problem with that, and women need to realize that they don’t have to either.”
Darlene Smith, WREN’s director—who’s also an award-winning motivational speaker—says both education and community are integral to imparting knowledge and further changing the real estate landscape so that there truly is equal opportunity for all.
“Women are driving the market out there and we need Canadians who are successful and who can transfer some of their education,” said Smith. “We provide that education; we build up their confidence and get them involved in the real estate game.
“We’re giving away a budget template in the New Year to help women understand where they are, where they want to be, and what’s missing in between. The goal for us is to show women how real estate can fill the gap for what’s missing in between.”
As much as real estate is a business, both Rogers and Smith stress that it has to be fun, and that’s why WREN will be hosting Real Estate at Sea in April—a weeklong boat cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver where attendees can learn, network, and enjoy themselves.
Said Rogers: “Yes, it’s about real estate, but it’s also about life and having fun.”