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In today’s competitive business arena, a minute detail or decision can mean the difference between long-term success and immediate failure. In the real estate industry, where networking and connections play a significant role in business performance, what you and your business connote is particularly vital.

As a professional in this highly competitive marketplace, not utilizing the business classifications at your disposal is an oversight. Tailoring to your community is a strategy as old as the industry itself. You must play to your strengths, and increasing your business’ appeal to a particular market, including potential homebuyers, is essential. For women business owners, the utilization of a women-owned business classification is vital.

According to 2014 Census Bureau data, there are currently 18,057,000 female homeowners in the United States. As women make advancements in their careers and their wages grow in parity to those of men, women’s homeownership will continue to grow. With this extended buying power, we’re seeing the emergence of more women homeowners and a specialized niche for real estate professionals. This growing market is evidenced by the fact that 10 million American women homeowners live alone.

Utilizing the fact that your company is women-owned will situate your business to potentially capitalize on this emerging market and introduce you to businesses and government agencies that have strong corporate social responsibility.

An incredible value-add to marketing your women-owned business classification is that all employees and independent contractors who hang their license with you will benefit and increase your bottom-line profits.

This isn’t to say women homebuyers automatically want to work with women-owned companies, but those who know they want to use a women-owned business from the start will be especially receptive to your marketing. It’s about growing your book of business by meeting a demand that’s already present.

Promoting yourself as women-owned also has the potential of opening business avenues in addition to single-women homeowners. As a recent Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) Hispanic Women Survey reveals, when couples buy homes, women often lead the way.

The survey, which focuses on Hispanic buying trends and activity, shows that 73 percent of the women surveyed preferred to work with a female real estate agent. This is a crucial preference because it shows that a majority of women trust other women with the biggest transaction of their lives.

The Better Homes and Gardens and NAHREP study also found that of participants currently searching for a home, 48 percent prefer a Spanish-speaking agent. Just as it’s beneficial for Spanish-speaking agents to market themselves as such, women real estate agents need to exploit their identity as women-owned. Marketing to your community is a powerful tool to augment your book of business; it’s a valuable resource that can mean higher bottom-line profits.

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions a person will ever make; it follows that within this transaction, the need to feel connected to with whom you’re conducting business grows. Buyers want to feel secure and supported; the importance of this purchase weighs heavy. Making them feel confident in your ability as an agent is half the battle. Exploit your uniqueness and individuality. Advertising that you work for a women-owned company securing large or privately-held contracts is priceless.

Desirée Patno is founder and CEO of the National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB).

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