History of Women in Real Estate

History of Women in Real Estate

In addition to marking the beginning of Spring and being the month, we lose an hour of sleep due to Daylight savings time; March is also Women’s History Month.   I thought it would be fun to take a brief look at some highlights in history of Women in Real Estate.

Real Estate was established as a legitimate business in the 1840’s, and in 1908 that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) was founded with an ALL-MALE membership, despite 3,000 women working as brokers nationally. Their first female member, Corrine Simpson, a broker from Seattle, Washington, was finally allowed to join in 1910, but women continued to struggle for the next 40 years to serve on real estate boards.  Because although the NAR didn’t explicitly ban women from joining, they did require local board membership, and those boards did explicitly ban women. To combat this exclusion the Women’s Council of Realtors was formed in 1938 as a parallel organization to the NAR. Most boards dropped gender restrictions by the early 1950s, but it would be 1992 before the first woman, Dorcas Helfant-Browing, was elected to lead the NAR.  Locally the first female President of the Granbury Association was Liz Drake in 1976, just 4 short years after its inception.

Ebby Halliday, who, according to Wikipedia is recognized as the "First Lady of Real Estate" started building her real estate empire in 1945 and Wikipedia quotes John S. Baen, a professor of real estate at the University of North Texas as saying ''she was the first woman to enter what was a chauvinistic profession in a macho state'' and ‘'she beat those ol' boys at their own game.''

Granbury too has a rich history of Women in Real Estate.  Shirley Hooks / Century 21 S Hooks; Joy Paris / Re/Max Lake Granbury; Lola Wesson / T & M Real Estate; Jeannette Black / Coldwell Banker; were some of the first women owned real estate firms in Granbury.  I am proud to say I followed those examples of entrepreneurship by opening the first Keller Williams office in Granbury in 2002, before deciding to open an independent office under my own name, Knieper Realty, Inc. in 2006. 

The Top Producing Agents in Granbury have historically been women as well.  Sorry fellows, no disrespect intended, but since the early 1990’s I know the title has been carried almost exclusively by women.  Linda Blankenship, Suzi Lewis, Vickie Davies, just to name a few, and if I may brag for a moment Pam Knieper (that’s me) has been the Top Producing Agent in Hood County for 18 of the last 19 years, starting in 2001.

It’s a great profession and one that has been good to me and my family as we continue to grow our family business in this great community, we call home.  If you are interested in pursuing a career in Real Estate, give us a call at 817-219-0456. 

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