Women’s History Month: Overcoming Challenges in Real Estate

By Hope Walborn | March 27, 2024 | 4 min. read

To conclude Women’s History Month, PAR celebrates one more woman in real estate and shares the story of how she got here.

Angel Ivey, a member of the Realtors® Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh, has been a Realtor® for 15 years, but she didn’t first begin her career in real estate. A Pittsburgh native, Ivey earned her associate degree in travel and hospitality management before working for nearly six years for Microsoft. In 2011, she quit her job to pursue real estate full-time.

“I became a Realtor® because I enjoy serving people,” she says. “But also, there aren’t very many successful African American women in this field. I wanted to help change that fact, to show that we can be very successful in this industry if we work hard and then reach back/dedicate ourselves to helping more of us become successful.”

Ivey has since become very involved in the real estate industry. She has served on the RAMP Board of Directors since 2019, was a 2022 PAR and NAR director and has been the co-chair of RAMP’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee since 2022.

“I have two accomplishments that I’m most proud of,” she says. “I am most proud of being the first and only African American manager for my previous brokerage, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, The Preferred Realty, and my current brokerage, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Property Management Company. I am also very proud of being voted RAMP’s 2022 Realtor® of the Year.”

“Real estate has given me wonderful opportunities to do things I enjoy and am naturally good at, like teaching and mentoring agents and being a leader in the industry,” Ivey continues. “I didn’t go to college, however, I’ve always enjoyed mentoring and teaching what I’ve learned. Getting into real estate and then becoming an associate broker has opened that door for me. I’ve had a number of teaching opportunities, something I didn’t think would be an option for me since I don’t have a four-year degree.”

A leader by nature, real estate has given Ivey the space to showcase her leadership skills, especially as she manages an office of over 50 agents in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. “I’ve enjoyed every moment of managing, something I do not take lightly and am very grateful for,” she adds.

When asked what she most enjoys about working with buyers and sellers, Ivey highlights the dream of homeownership, saying, “I absolutely love helping buyers realize their dream of homeownership and helping sellers move on to their forever home, downsizing or realizing the freedom of traveling the world. I’m honored that I’m trusted by both buyers and sellers to walk alongside them to their next adventure/journey/milestone.”

However, like any career, a career in real estate comes with its challenges. Ivey reflects on the challenges and hardships she’s faced, but knows they’ve helped her learn along the way.

“Really, the only time I’ve encountered a hardship in real estate was managing my first office,” she says. “I hit a brick wall of racism and difficult agents that tried their best to destroy my spirit and my office. I won’t go into details, but I will say it was a very difficult time in my life and career, but I’m grateful for every single situation that happened in that office. I needed that very eye-opening experience to teach me just how strong and resilient I am. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, but I wouldn’t change one thing. I’m very thankful!”

Ivey’s one piece of advice for other Realtors®?

“Stay committed,” she shares. “When it gets hard, not if, but when, stay the course. It’s easier to walk away, but go against the grain, commit to making it work, find accountability, go into the office, write notes to clients and make calls. It sounds old-fashioned, but it works!”

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