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Women in real estate sector ‘marginalized’

Fatin Abrash calls for union to ensure full female participation

Last updated: Sunday, September 15, 2013 11:56 AM
Fatin Abrash in her office. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH — According to leading realtor Fatin Abrash, women play an important role in completing most successful real estate deals in the Kingdom.

Abrash began working in the real estate sector nearly 10 years ago in Makkah on a limited basis as no real estate licenses were issued to women at the time.

She began working in a real estate company, marketing land schemes and property to women teachers. As her company became more established, they gradually expanded.

A few years later, after Abrash felt she had gained enough experience, she applied for a realtor license and opened her own office.

“At the time, I was one of the few women property appraisals in the real estate sector. I faced many difficulties in the beginning and the work was tiring but I worked hard, educated myself and was eventually able to overcome these obstacles and difficulties,” she told Al-Madinah newspaper.

Although women have made great strides and established a name for themselves in the sector, Abrash believes that women’s role in the sector is marginalized. She hopes for a union of realtors and appraisers where women can actively participate as full members.

“Women play a very important role in the real estate sector and they play an even larger role in marketing and concluding deals. These roles need to be recognized in courts, especially when women play a direct role in concluding deals,” she said while adding that society’s attitudes toward women realtors needs to change.

“Some members of society look down at women who work in the sector, despite the fact that women realtors are in some way responsible for 90 percent of successful real estate deals,” she added.

Abrash believes one of the main reasons women have been so successful in the real estate sector is their ability to arbitrate disputes between sellers and buyers. She wants to train more Saudi women and encourage them to join the sector.

“Women possess all the qualities to become successful but they often lack the necessary courage to begin. Training institutes and support groups would go a long way in helping women take the first big step,” she added.

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