“I felt like I was holding myself back, it was self-love to go back and redeem my dream, my path,” Ms Ile said. “I went from being heartbroken, to being lost, to being confused, and in just one year I managed to get that nearly half a million in property.
In the process, she became active in both landlordism and real estate investing, connecting with others like her. “Many have gone from marriages and relationships and lost everything, but they took what little money they had and put it into real estate,” she said.
Their story eased her fears that she had taken too big a risk.
But there are pitfalls often associated with gender bias. A 2020 paper from the Yale School of Management found that single women earn significantly less from buying and selling real estate than single men.
The HER message boards of Lady Landlords and Real Estate Investing are full of questions and complaints about how to address unequal treatment. “Hey, I get a post about what kind of flooring to buy,” Ms. Nova said. “And a post like, ‘Hey, contractors come and ask me where my husband is or I have a male tenant and he’s not paying rent, what’s the best way to ask safely?’
Ms. DeVoe said she felt a great deal of imposter syndrome during the renovations. “Working with contractors was a nightmare being a woman,” she said. At work, if her father was around, the boys would always talk to him. “And my father, being this wonderful man, would be like, ‘I’m not the boss, you have to talk to her.’ And they look confused.”
Even the paperwork is sexist, she said. On Mrs. DeVoe’s estate book, next to her signature, are three words in all capitals: Unmarried Woman. “You’re rubbing my face,” she said. (The state of Montana does not require deeds to list marital status.)