insider information


For the past few years, statistics show that in some places in the US single women are buying homes at twice the rate of single men. While in Australia more women own their own homes than men- which is extraordinary giving that a mere 30 years ago women in Australia could not get a mortgage without needing a male guarantor.

It’s clear that not only has the market shifted significantly but it is likely to grow as women consider either buying a home (rather than pay extraordinary city rents) or invest into an investment property.

The real estate world can be perceived as somewhat of an ‘old boys club’. So we decided to speak with three global women on how they have found success in the property world and the advice they would give to anyone starting out on their own in the industry.

From Dubai: The Industry Professional

Maria Morris is a Dubai-based Partner at Knight Frank, and heads the Residential team in the Middle East.  She works across a number of developments including the city’s first ‘super-prime’ branded residences, The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences. 
“After 17 years in real estate, I have had the pleasure to work alongside many industry leaders.  However, in the early stages of my career, I was lucky to work under a true female pioneer who helped shape me and encouraged my development from the get-go.”

“Within a working environment which was, at that time, very male orientated, she was the definition of a strong and successful female leader. Many of the leadership qualities that I have to this day, I truly believe came from working for such an inspirational mentor at a formative stage in my career.”

“Regardless of gender, I think it is imperative to have the right attitude – a positive can do mentality and a willingness to get stuck in or and to be involved in additional tasks and responsibilities.  My best piece of advice – integrity is key, the way you treat people will be your legacy.” 
“My company is part of an international network that has taken me all over the world, which has allowed me to learn about different cultures and ways of working.  The world is now a very small place and most of my clients are ‘global citizens’, understanding this is invaluable.”

“Geographically located where the east meets the west, Dubai is such a vibrant and cosmopolitan City. It’s evolution has been truly remarkable to witness.”
“I love to take our clients to Nobu in Atlantis The Palm; the food and service are exceptional. I love to relax at an amazing restaurant called 101 at the One&Only The Palm.  It’s located on the water and has the most amazing backdrop of the city skyline.” 

From Los Angeles: The Investor

Sara Gai, a graphic designer, began investing in property after she received an inheritance payout when her grandmother passed away. She now runs an Air B and B business to supplement her freelance income in Silver Lake California.

“I was a bit embarrassed when I started looking for my first investment property- all my friends rent and that I was suddenly in the position to be ‘a homeowner’ felt like I was standing out in some way. But I’d received an inheritance and I felt more comfortable putting it into something that was real than stocks and shares- which I know nothing about.”

“I started looking round pretty privately and was sure that most real estate agents I contacted must have thought I was a joke. I’d get asked if I was married and had a family a lot, it felt so awkward to keep saying ‘no.’”

“My tip is to look around as many places as you possibly can. It can start to feel like a full time job but it’s definitely worth it. I had agents tell me properties were ‘a great deal’ at asking price and then I’d see them selling six months later for way less than what they were saying was a bargain. You have to get a sense of what is worth what.”

“My other tip is to not get too attached, I saw one place I wanted so badly and I was devastated when I got out bid. But a few months later, that led me to the right place, which I now make a great income of sub-letting.”

“I was also pretty scared when it came to my first Air B and B sub-let. My mom thought I was crazy. But it’s been such an amazing experience. I’ve made friends all over the world from it and it’s given me supplementary income – which has taken extraordinary pressure off my work and allowed me so much peace of mind.”

“Freelancing in LA is amazing. I’m obsessed with Moon Juice in Silver Lake and Venice- get the Turmeric Cup. It’s so good. For coffee it’s all about Alfred on Intelligentsia or you’ll find me at a tasting at Silver Lake Wine.”

From London: The Finance Professional

Anoushka Malde is a Senior Associate at Real Asset Partners, a London based Private Equity Real Estate advisory firm. Anoushka is responsible for assisting in the raising of capital and the selection of Real Estate managers across the UK and Europe. 

“After reading Economics at University, I always knew I wanted to go into something relating to Finance and fell into working within Real Estate during my first role at The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). I love the constant entrepreneurial drive from working with people in Real Estate and working on an asset class which is tangible.”

“Working and spending time in different countries and cities has helped shape my view of the industry. I was frequently traveling between Barcelona and Madrid after the financial crisis and I loved seeing the design apply to developing buildings. It showed how, despite still being within Private Equity Real Estate, there was definitely a creative element needed.”

“The best advice I can give is to always keep up good relationships with current and ex-colleagues, the Real Estate world is so small that everyone ends up working with an ex-colleague again. The network effect in the industry is invaluable.”

“I would advise women starting their career in the industry to accept all the invitations you receive for networking events. It can be a bit daunting at first, especially if you go on your own, but you will meet people that will be very useful to you. Leverage from your boss’ network too, as it carries good weight when you say you work for someone with an excellent reputation.”

“London is an amazing city to work in, there is so much to do and the summer is the best time with all the sporting events too, especially when there is good weather. There’s nothing better than London sun and drinking some rose wine on a rooftop! I think it’s great to take clients where there is a view and real atmosphere of the city. Aqua Spirit rooftop or Kingly Court in Soho has a great ambiance when the weather is nice, especially on a Thursday evening when it’s bustling.”

“Working in property can be demanding at times, especially as it’s an industry always on the go, so to relax I enjoy a high intensity spinning session at Psycle London or unwind during a yoga session at Heartcore. Anywhere around Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath is so peaceful to walk around, especially on a Sunday.”

Suzi Boyle Suzi Boyle

Suzi is Editor-In-Chief of The Chosen Club and Executive Coach at She Chose Love. She works with high-achieving females to help them focus and achieve their biggest life goals. Suzi lives in LA but works and travels globally.