Is There Gender Bias in the Commerical Real Estate Business?

A new study by scholars at the Culverhouse College of Business at the University of Alabama finds that commercial real estate properties listed by women agents sold at a significant discount compared to those marketed by men. Also, individual female agents were involved in far fewer property transactions than their male peers. However, researchers found that when sales were adjusted for property attributes, there was no significant difference between male and female real estate agents in price or a property’s time on the market.

“These results suggest that initial gendered differences in sales price and time on market are due to industry-driven agent selection where women do not fully participate in the largest and best part of the office market,” said Alan Tidwell, associate professor of finance and co-author of the study.

One possible reason for this is an affinity bias known as homophily, defined as someone who trusts and prefers to work with people like themselves such as in gender, race, and ethnicity, according to the authors. In other words, the gender of buyers and sellers often mirrors the gender of their respective agents. Most sellers and buyers of commercial real estate are men, and they also tend to deal in larger higher-end properties than their female peers.

The full study, “Is Commercial Real Estate Gendered?” was published on the website of the Journal of Real Estate Research. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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