Real estate diversity groups come together to ‘stop hate’
Stop Hate In Real Estate, a collaboration between the LGBTQ+ Alliance, AREAA, NAHREP and WomanUp!, aims to fight discrimination.
- The project is an unprecedented alliance between four major real estate affinity groups.
- Education and an anti-discrimination pledge are at the heart of the program.
- Real estate agents can play a key role in helping uprooted families feel safe in a new state.
Brianna Hurley's family thought they had put down strong roots in Fort Worth, Texas. But laws targeting gender affirming care and community reactions when her son came out as trans changed everything.
"We put our home up for sale just as interest rates sharply rose, and it sat on the market for five months," Hurley said. "We took a huge loss, and the move financially wrecked us, but none of that matters because my baby is safe."
Hurley shared her family's story at a press conference Tuesday announcing the "Stop Hate in Real Estate" initiative.
"We should never have been forced to move because of who my child is," Hurley said. "We tried to stay and fight but couldn't risk sacrificing him to the cause."
Stop Hate in Real Estate is a collaboration between the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), and WomanUp!, a project of the California Association of Realtors.
It marks the first collaboration between four major real estate affinity groups aimed at fighting what they say is growing divisiveness and harassment in the nation as a whole and real estate in particular.
"From this day forward, we fully acknowledge that an attack on one group is an attack on all of us," said Erin Morrison, president of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.
The collaboration was the brainchild of the Alliance, but all four partners are committed to fighting discrimination.
"I'm not sure that anything has risen to the level of this joint effort on Stop Hate in Real Estate, said AREAA CEO Hope Atuel.
In addition to making a commitment to stand together to fight discrimination in real estate, the group has launched a website where other real estate professionals can sign a pledge to work toward making change.
The pledge reads:
I believe we have the power to help change the trajectory of our nation so that we don't have to wake up each morning to headlines of discrimination and hate.
I want to advance the right to homeownership for all.
I support the positive impact the real estate industry can make in stamping out discrimination and hate.
I believe that I can be a positive influence within my sphere of influence and community and do what I can to combat discrimination and hate when I see it.
The group will provide social media and marketing assets as well as educational opportunities for real estate professionals looking to better serve diverse communities.
Nuria Rivera said a Brookings Institute survey showed that anti-immigration TV ads "are having a profound impact on our Hispanic community." More than two-thirds of Hispanics said the ads made them feel nervous.
"I, myself, have experienced injustice, discrimination. I am an immigrant myself. I arrived to the United States when I was 11 years old," Rivera said.
Hurley, along with two other families forced to relocate due to anti-LGBTQ legislation, said real estate agents need to have not just empathy but understanding and knowledge of resources and neighborhoods that will welcome families like theirs.
One family, who asked to remain unnamed, described moving from North Carolina to San Diego.
"Having been uprooted … we really needed someone who could hold our hand, take us out, show us neighborhoods, talk to us about the LGBTQI community in those neighborhoods and how safe we would be," the mother said. "We quickly learned that there needs to be more Realtors out there that understand what our needs are."
Sara Sutachan, SVP and chief strategy officer for WomanUp!, said the recent allegations of sexual harassment in real estate were another factor in launching the initiative. "It shows why it's so important for us to come together and work to lessen the divisiveness and the discrimination."
"We've seen that type of courage in our industry where women have stepped up and come forward with their stories of sexual harassment," Sutachan said. "These are not one-offs. It's systemic, and we are committed as an organization at WomanUp!, at the California Association of Realtors and all of the organizations represented here to break down and root out discrimination and harassment in our industry."