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Discrimination in Real Estate

Skin Has No Business in the Real Estate Game

I don’t get on the angry bus very often. I can’t meter it. It takes me over and away from doing things to help the people I can. But this report is so disturbing, I can’t ignore it.

Discrimination is still happening in real estate

Recently, Newsday just released a report based on the Long Island Racial Discrimination probe.  It proves discrimination is still happening in real estate, and it’s happening in a place, that for the most part, celebrates diversity: Long Island, New York.

The Long Island racial discrimination probe

The probe is no slouch. Newsday paired several undercover testers to investigate claims of racial discrimination and Fair Housing violations over three years. The findings are infuriating and scary.

But before you say, “Wow, those Long-Island real estate agents are terrible,” let’s get real; it is happening everywhere, including here in Oakland County, Michigan. And we all know it.

The Agent’s Responsibility

How is this still happening in 2019? In my opinion…

  • Good agents don’t speak up when they see it
  • Because real estate managers and trainers are too focused on recruiting and generating “leads” rather than adequately training new agents
  • And because some people are just ignorant

Subjective or overt, we have to become aware of all prejudices, including our own. We must take personal responsibility for our own education. We should hang our license with reputable brokerages who attract socially evolved people. Agents need to understand People are not “leads,” and we are not “selling houses;” we are managing other people’s WEALTH. It’s a weighty responsibility. And if an agent can’t get behind this credo, then they need to go do something else.

Best Practices

In an industry where we work hard to stand out among the masses, some things should be the same.

Every agent should have a standardized procedure for conducting business. And we should use it with every client, beginning with the very first contact:

  • Ask the same questions
  • Give the same courtesy
  • Offer the same advice
  • Implement the same processes
  • Use the same procedures
  • Have the same commitment to the client’s best interest
  • Feel the same passion for their experience
  • Provide the same level of service

 SAME. SAME. SAME.  Treat everyone the same.

Our fiduciary responsibility to our client is not a choice

A fiduciary duty is a condition of our real estate license. Fiduciary means to represent the best interest of any client or customer with whom we agree to work, regardless of race, color, disability, sex, familial status (including our LGBTQ neighbors!), or national origin. This little reminder brought to us by Fair Housing laws, vintage 1968. Come on.

It begs the question

Are agents paying attention to the right issues?

We are hammered daily with ads and information on improving our business. We are urged to adopt the latest technology, return calls within 4 minutes, shoot Hollywood-worthy video, and stage our homes like they are 5-Star resorts, and YET…

Here we are in 2019, failing at the very cornerstone of our profession — our Fiduciary to our clients.

Real estate agents worthy of a license are passionate about equality. The rest need to go.

As for me, if I see something, I’m saying something–everywhere. To the culprit directly, to their manager, to the Board, and to the State.

It’s time to clean up this industry, and I mean radical censure and loss of licenses. I love my profession. And just like I love my lake, I won’t stand for anyone dumping their toxic crap into it.

Report hate to the State.


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