In her 10 years as a San Diego-based real estate agent, Joda Mize, 36, saw one thing over and over again.
Women were, overwhelmingly, the most engaged real estate clients she had. They asked more questions; they responded more quickly to phone calls and emails; and they were more deeply engaged.
Women were also emotionally invested in the real estate process in a way that her male clients were not, and when she looked around, Mize felt that they were underserved with real estate information. It wasn’t tailored to them and the way they think.
So, a year and a half ago she pulled back from her real estate career and began working on what would become the online publication Girl’s Guide to Real Estate, which debuted Feb. 21.
“We want to be the ultimate resource for women in the world of real estate,” Mize told Inman News.
The site’s content, which will be produced by freelancers, agents and a handful of regular contributers, will include info about buying and selling homes, investing and financing, she said.
The site will include the latest trends and happenings in real estate presented to women as if by their best friend, Mize said. It will be a contrast to the dry, boring way real estate news is most often delivered, she said.
A few article titles give a scope and flavor of the site’s content: “Land Lady: How to Invest in Land with your IRA,” “Goodbye Louboutins, Hello Real Estate: What You Should Know Before Buying Your First Home,” and “Street Scouting 101: 8 Tips to Choosing a Good Neighborhood.”
It’s not only that women are underserved with real estate information presented in a way that speaks to them, Mize said. They’re also the drivers of the real estate process in many cases.
“Women are the initiators in real estate,” Mize said. “Women are breaking out and being independent.”
Mize’s convictions are supported by statistics, and further validated by the marketing strategy of a real estate portal with a $1 billion market cap, Trulia.
In 2013, single women made up 16 percent of homebuyers, almost twice the amount of single men (9 percent), according to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
Last week, Trulia — based on in-depth audience tests — announced that its $45 million first-ever national marketing campaign would target its most abundant users: women.
Trulia Chief Marketing Officer Kira Wampler revealed that women made up 66 percent of the site’s audience. As a result, the firm decided to target college-educated women 25 to 44 years old in its campaign set to launch next week, she said.
Mize, who plans to retain her real estate license, is working on the magazine full time now and has hired former newspaper reporter and Pulitzer Prize-nominee Phuong Cotey as editorial director who will oversee the content on the site. Eventually, the site will include three to five feature stories per week, Mize said.
Girl’s Guide to Real Estate’s header epitomizes the online magazine’s style, founder Joda Mize says. The header rotates through images that link to the site’s recent stories.
Mize pointed to two recent articles she felt epitomized the site: “Of Hearts and Heads,” a list of seven tips for how to stay calm during the house-hunting process, and “Design Digs,” a Q-and-A interview with a Los Angeles-based home designer that discussed how to approach homebuying when a buyer thinks she might want to remodel and stamp her style on her new place.
Girl’s Guide to Real Estate was built to have a style women cared about and could connect with. Mize wanted it to be fun, stylish, relevant and facilitate an intimate, one-on-one experience while being informative.
The site’s image-heavy design, exemplified by its unique interactive header, reflects those design goals, Mize said.