A visionary & multifaceted leader, Swapnali started her career with high-end real estate projects like “God’s Gift”, “God’s Grace”, “God’s Blessings” (Pune City’s first 100-meter tower) & “Verde Residence Collection.” Swapnali is an alumnus of Symbiosis College. She holds a master’s degree in Economics, Banking & Finance from Cardiff University, UK & OPM degree from Harvard Business School, she just completed a 6-month online course called EPM from Cornell University.
India was a country where a woman owning a bank account was considered a major benchmark. However, it currently has over 15.7 million women-owned enterprises, with women leading the start-up ecosystem.
20.37% of women are MSME owners which accounts for 23.3% of the total labor force. India has 432 million working-age women and 13.5 –15.7 million women-owned businesses that provide direct employment to 22–27 million people.
Being in the real estate domain, I believe that there is a huge potential for more women to take up careers in this industry. Like any other field, real estate has numerous opportunities that have the potential to change your life forever. While pursuing my higher studies in the UK, I was fascinated by the accommodation facilities for students. The availability of resources and the comfort of the living spaces inspired me to find a niche. Incorporating technology, hospitality, and my expertise in the real estate domain, we created a co-living space that is worthily recognized as a premium co-living brand in India. While leading a startup with its presence in multiple cities throughout the country, we often come across situations where I realize that women can do this job well!
There is extensive data available that suggests that women-led companies and businesses perform better. Real estate is no different, women have taken numerous roles at different levels, proving their worth individually and collectively. Women in the real estate industry have reason to be both optimistic about and hopeful for the future. Progress comes when culture shifts, equity is sought, and respect is earned; every year, more women are earning advancements due to an organic change. Overcoming the common notion that Indian real estate is a male-dominated industry, women of our country are establishing their presence in various capacities-as consumers, sales executives, developers, architects, and founders of some of the well-established real-estate entities. An inclusive workspace culture has also contributed to the increase in women leadership, as much as their willpower. Here are a few impacts of women leadership in the real estate industry:
Recognition & Retention
Recognition in the form of admiration, regard, esteem, and remuneration motivates the workforce. It is evident that women are more considerate and it reflects in their actions and decisions. One out of many factors why people prefer women in senior roles, recognition has actually helped in lowering the iteration rate. Though the real estate industry has been through a rough patch, it has picked up recently and the graph only keeps going up day by day. It has been observed that women have managed to retain more employees and clients compared to men. Real estate sales in women-led companies also performed well in comparison to the ones led by men. Internationally, according to NAR which is a North American trade association for people working in the real estate industry; close to 63% of all real estate agents are women. India is also has a huge potential for women’s employment in the real estate sector, and women taking leadership roles inspire the aspiring youth of our country even more.
Driven by their innately empathetic nature, women are more considerate and concerned about the impact their work has on society: or surroundings. Their approach towards technology and resources is centered around sustainability, thereby promoting organic growth in both business and the ecosystem. Construction technology has advanced exponentially and the industry has inclined towards a reduced carbon footprint. This is also complemented by various other parameters that consumers consider. Strategic location, use of appropriate materials, smart designs, use of eco-friendly materials, and much more are accounted for when a project goes live. In fact, sustainability is a very important virtue of every project that we take up. Our residential spaces are also designed to be eco-friendly and they consume minimal resources, with more preference given to non-conventional resources like solar power.
Better performance & engagement
As per a survey conducted by psychologists at the University of Hertfordshire, When women and men were given two tasks at the same time, women slowed by 61%, whereas men slowed by 77%. Moreover, women are found to be better than men at envisioning opportunities.
Women are great multi-taskers as a majority of them juggle multiple things at once. Their attention to detail and their ability to handle multiple tasks are virtues that the real estate industry demands. May it be the execution of projects or sales, women leaders ensure smoother operations. On the sales front, statistics indicate that women sales executives fetch more engagement and sales, contributing to the overall growth of the industry. Credit Suisse recently published a research report showing that companies with more female executives in decision-making positions continue to generate stronger market returns and superior profits.
Iconic projects and real estate
Though stereotypically dominated by men, architecture and real estate fields have seen some of the most iconic creations created by women. From design, concept, execution to sale, women have proven to take ownership of every domain within the real estate industry. We have already seen women gaining recognition in the fields of architecture, interior design, project management, and top positions in multinational companies. Investment in the real estate sector is also a dimension that women have ventured into. Our ventures in the co-living, commercial real estate, and investment domain have been an inspiration for many. It is just a matter of time before more women will be recognized for their work in the industry.
Breaking the stereotypes, women have excelled in all domains that they chose to pursue. With cooperation from society, the government, and the industry, women will soon stand shoulder to shoulder with men, creating an ecosystem that is efficient, sustainable, and futureproof!