Amela Smailbegovic: Life On Top of a Male-Dominated Industry


The gender equality tides are shifting for the better. According to the World Economic Forum, 49% of new businesses on a global scale were started by women. This a tremendous shift in just two years, where women started only 28% of new companies in 2019. However, many obstacles still surround female entrepreneurship – considering that men outnumber women in recent business ownership statistics.

A male-dominated industry – with a twist

There are some exciting trends to look at when grasping the accurate picture. On average, women have been more educated in recent years than men. Women hold a slight advantage in completing college, and new female business owners are more likely to have a college education, as per Statista. In the USA, almost nine million employees are working for female-owned businesses.

In the real estate industry, the trends are somewhat reversed. As per research conducted by Adfenix in 2019, men make up 65% of the commercial real-estate workforce. Only 15% of top real-estate management positions are held by women, as per The Commercial Real Estate Women Network (CREW). These trends show that this industry remains male-dominated, but one crucial factor must not be overlooked – women are the better-performing agents.

One of the more successful examples of this trend is Amela Smailbegovic, a Croatian-born real estate magnate operating across the USA. Her team holds some of the best-performing agents in the country, with accrual production between 30 to 40 million USD per year. Her team also has a unique position of doing business in both commercial and residential real estate. Smailbegovic also owns and rents out properties overseas, in her home country of Croatia, making her business a global success.

Key factors to consider

Smailbegovic says that she stays grounded in her core beliefs that resilience is what builds a successful business. Not showing weakness and constantly being able to produce without hindrance is no easy feat for anyone. However, it’s what is celebrated today and expected of women daily, especially in the high-performing real estate industry.

Like she says: “It’s not all about the money. Anyone could easily make hundreds of thousands of dollars. Still, no amount of money that infringes on who I am and what I’m about can be presented. If I’m going to do it, I’m going to succeed the right way, the correct way.”

She thinks many new generations have “lost themselves in the clouds and social networks.” For her, the core of business motivation lies in creating something tangible and worthy of mention. Cultivating high morals and ethical standards is the key to winning the business game, as per Smailbegovic.

She points out that one of the successful individuals’ key traits is knowing who they are. Her advice on standing out as a woman in a masculine environment is to stay true to yourself and remain independent. Not craving outside validation and staying true to her beliefs helped her build an internationally acknowledged business: “Even if no one talks to me for the rest of my life, I’ll go on with my head held high because I know what I’m about.”

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