Hills Gazette - - RESIDENTIAL -

WITH women mak­ing up an es­ti­mated 46 per cent of real es­tate agents in WA – and out­num­ber­ing their male coun­ter­parts in prop­erty man­age­ment – it is prob­a­bly sur­pris­ing that it was only just over 30 years ago that the brave few forged a path­way to bring gen­der equal­ity to the in­dus­try.

As part of REIWA’s cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tions this year, the in­dus­try body has ac­knowl­edged the ex­tra­or­di­nary women that were pioneers in WA’s real es­tate land­scape in a new book, A cen­tury of ser­vice.

Of them, Lyn Muir was one of the first women in WA to lead a suc­cess­ful prop­erty agency, al­though she seem­ingly fell into the in­dus­try.

“It was the fault of a kan­ga­roo,” Mrs Muir said.

“An early morn­ing mishap in­volv­ing a col­li­sion with one on the road from Kal­go­or­lie to Perth re­sulted in me be­ing picked up off the side of the road and sit­ting next to a real es­tate agent in his car for the next seven hours.

“By the time I got to Perth, I’d com­mit­ted to work­ing for him.”

Mrs Muir said the in­dus­try was al­most to­tally male-dom­i­nated at the time when she was first reg­is­tered in 1979.

“I opened the Yel­low Pages and I did man­age to find two com­pa­nies with what ap­peared to be ladies’ names in their ti­tles,” she said.

“That made me feel bet­ter about the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing my own agency un­der by own name – surely if they could do it, so could I. It was not un­til many years later I dis­cov­ered that both Hi­lary Hol­land and Loris La Ferla were men.”

To­day, Mrs Muir is a se­nior sales con­sul­tant with Pro­fes­sion­als Prow­est in Wil­let­ton.

Joss Hampson was another trail­blazer who be­gan her real es­tate ca­reer in 1976 with Robert­son Bros and ob­tained a li­cence in her own name two years later.

By 1988 Mrs Hampson be­came the first woman elected to REIWA coun­cil, serv­ing for three years.

Her ten­ure co­in­cided with rapid change in the in­dus­try’s gen­der de­mo­graphic, with REIWA record­ing 1500 women reg­is­tered for 40 per cent of the study cour­ses avail­able back in 1992.

Mr Hampson’s coun­cil po­si­tion un­doubt­edly paved the way for many other women in the in­dus­try to fol­low in her foot­steps, most no­tably Kareena Bal­lard AM.

Mrs Bal­lard, at the urg­ing of her fa­ther, left a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in nurs­ing at Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal to be­come a prop­erty agent.

*A cen­tury of ser­vice is avail­able for view­ing at the State Li­brary of WA as part of the pub­lic ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brat­ing a cen­tury of REIWA ser­vice. The ex­hi­bi­tion is in the State Li­brary’s Ground Floor Gallery un­til May 31.

Kareena Bal­lard (right) pre­sent­ing Su­san Bai­ley from Homes­tart Realty with the mul­ti­ple list­ing ser­vice an­nual award in 1987.

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