Women need to know industry lingo, find a mentor and network to become savvy in the male-saturated field of real estate investing, says a leader at one of the country’s top female-owned real estate agencies.

Women are the key decision makers when buying their own home, but few move beyond a personal purchase and invest in real estate,” says Camaron Pruiett, broker and co-owner of Coldwell Banker Properties Unlimited. “They keep their money in savings or checking accounts rather than investing those funds because they aren’t confident investors and they lack industry knowledge,” she says. 

Camaron Pruiett, broker and co-owner of Coldwell Banker Properties Unlimited. Three generations of women founded and then expanded the agency, which is the largest female-owned real estate firm in the region.

Pruiett says statistics show women feel confident in managing daily financial responsibilities such as balancing a checkbook (69 percent), managing a household budget (59 percent) and making large purchases (47 percent) such as a car or home. But only a small percentage of those women said they had confidence in selecting the right financial investments. In fact, only 30 percent of property investors are women and only 29 percent of women view themselves as investors at all, she adds.

Use the following tips to break this trend, according to Pruiett:

1. Encourage confidence. Studies show women lack confidence to invest. Learn what you can and don’t take anyone else’s word for it. Investigate the possibilities and the real-world profits investors in real estate are seeing. Learn about commercial real estate and investment and try to observe how other real estate professionals act. 

2. Network to find the best deals. Local investment clubs, Rotary clubs, chamber of commerce events, economic development councils, local Realtor agencies and more can assist in finding a good investment opportunity.

3. Find a mentor or coach. Look for a Realtor, investment counselor or an investor who’s had success in a similar market. Make sure it’s someone who understands the market, costs before profit, the time period before you see a profit and additional aspects you need to consider to make the best purchase. It’s always best to have someone with experience whom you can trust to direct you to make the right decision on a property.

4. Know the lingo. Statistics show that women shy away from real estate investing because they do not understand the industry terminology. Listen to podcasts and read top real estate news from sources such as Inman, REAL Trends, and Realtor Magazine.

5. Start small. Adding one rental property to your portfolio every few years can set you up for retirement or help you reach future financial goals.