Real Estate

Today's Latinas Hold the Keys to Homeownership in Their Communities

Today's Latinas Hold the Keys to Homeownership in Their Communities
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Increasingly, Latina women are a driving force in the U.S. economy, a statement that reflects, yes, their impressive buying power and their contribution to the growth -- and influence -- of all American women. But there's also something more about Latinas.

Related: 4 Reasons Your Business Should Market to the Hispanic Community

In fact, countless studies and articles have cited their entrepreneurialism, tech savvy, community mindedness and increasing education. And in combination, these factors position Latinas as the ones to watch in real estate, as well. 

In fact, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate recently conducted a national survey, along with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), to find out more about how Latinas’ business and community savvy extends to the housing space. 

The study's findings about more than 1,000 Latin American/Hispanic women ages 25 to 60 revealed that 91 percent of respondents surveyed considered buying a home the best financial investment they could make. They also said they were taking charge of this commitment as their families' primary decision-makers on household matters.

Homeownership, more than any other purchase, has an enormous upside on multiple fronts: It enhances the owner’s wealth, builds communities and provides a nucleus for families and extended families.

Latinas, according to the joint study, are knowledgeable of these trends and strongly optimistic about homeownership in their own lives. Approximately two-thirds (66 percent) of those surveyed who had never owned a home said they thought they would own one at some point in their lives.

Millennial Latinas surveyed were even more confident, with 84 percent stating they would buy homes in their lifetime.

Further, 61 percent of Latina respondents predicted that they would play a larger role than their significant other with their next home-buying decision. In addition, were they to move, 62 percent of Latinas surveyed said they would be likely to rent out their home as an additional source of income, rather than sell it.

This demonstrated the influence and business savvy of this particular consumer segment. 

Related: Obama Picks Maria Contreras-Sweet to Lead the SBA

On this note, real estate as a career path can be a tremendous business opportunity for Latinas. Real estate professionals are entrepreneurs, in control of their professional destinies (and schedules). They are plugged into their communities and play a direct role in empowering people to achieve their own financial and personal goals. 

Beyond entrepreneurship, success in real estate depends upon tried-and-true characteristics: integrity, ability to multi-task, community knowledge and the ability to develop meaningful relationships.

According to a report commissioned by American Express OPEN, The State of Women-Owned Businesses, the number of Latina-owned firms between 1997 and 2014 more than tripled (an increase of 206 percent). Their employment rate has risen 85 percent, and their incomes have more than doubled (up 160 percent). The University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business also recently found that Latinas were launching businesses at six times the national average.

So, beyond its potential to develop new and thriving households in the United States, the Latina impact on real estate will likely prove to be profound in a truly fundamental way: helping to build the next generation of real estate professionals.

In fact, in the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/NAHREP study, nearly two in five Latinas put a high priority on working with a real estate professional who speaks Spanish. Some 26 percent of respondents said that agents' bilingual ability would make them feel more at ease with the home-buying process.

It would also make them view the agent as better understanding of their culture and lifestyle (26 percent), help avoid the problem of miscommunication during the negotiation phase (26 percent) and help agents better connect with respondents' extended family members (22 percent of those surveyed).

For marketers in any industry, then, there are tremendous opportunities to becoming a trusted brand marketing to the Latina segment. 

So, take the time to understand this critical part of your consumer base. Partner with thought leaders in your industry to gain first-person points of view on ways to connect with and develop relationships with Latinas. And benefit from the existing, seismic-level business shift occurring around you and the opportunities it will provide.

Related: What I Learned From the Hispanic Community About Entrepreneurship