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GCAAR

Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors®

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About this guide

This document is intended as a collection of diversity, equity and inclusion-centered resources that can be beneficial for REALTORS®. Check back regularly for new resources! 

Increasing your DEI knowledge

Articles/websites

Fair Housing Action Plan: ACT! 

ACT! is NAR’s cornerstone fair housing initiative supporting accountability, culture change and training to advance fair housing in our industry. 

The Redress Movement NAR Story Map 

You may have heard of redlining, restrictive covenants, highway clearance or urban renewal. If you’ve already read Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law (2017), you’re likely well aware of the role that the federal government has played in creating racially separate and unequal neighborhoods. What you might not have heard is that the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), even more so than the federal government, orchestrated these foundations of modern-day segregation, stitching them together from the grassroots upward. 

The Urban Institute Housing Related Research  

Housing provides a foundation for social and economic mobility, with profound consequences for people’s health, safety, education, employment and wealth building. Urban assesses housing affordability and options, evaluates housing programs, and studies how housing affects people’s well-being. They also propose strategies to help the people and places most in need and redress the harms of structural racism in housing markets. Policymakers, program designers, implementers and advocates rely on Urban’s expertise to ensure all people have equitable access to healthy, sustainable housing. 

Perception Institute 

NAR has also partnered with the Perception Institute to offer implicit bias testing to help members identify where their unconscious biases might lie.  The term “implicit bias” describes when individuals have attitudes toward people or associate stereotypes with them without conscious knowledge.  Being aware of any implicit bias can help people avoid acting according to biases that are contrary to their conscious values and beliefs. 

Videos

Level Up: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

In July’s edition of Level Up: The Real Story from REALTORS®, Ryan Davis, NAR’s vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion takes a deep dive into DEI and why it matters to members. He is joined by James Cristbrook, 2022 chair of the NAR Diversity Committee; Anthony Domathoti, 2022 president of Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS®; and Amy McCoy, 2023 vice chair of the Federal Financing and Housing Policy Committee. Together, they cover the concepts of intersectionality, belonging, how NAR supports DEI initiatives, and what associations and members can do to continue these efforts. Join them as they share personal stories of how DEI impacts our lives, communities and businesses. 

NAR’s Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing video  

The mind science experts at the Perception Institute present an online workshop to help members avoid implicit bias in their daily business interactions. Drawing upon the latest evidence-based research, Perception explains how our brains’ automatic, instant association of stereotypes with particular groups can cause us to treat those who are different from us unfairly, despite our best intentions and often without our conscious awareness. Perception then applies these concepts to the everyday work of REALTORS®, and offers strategies to override bias in order to convey respect, ensure fairness and improve business relationships. 

Want to go deeper? Take the Implicit Bias test, and watch for future offerings from Perception and NAR. 

 

Bias Override Video Series from NAR 

Bias Override Video Series, Part 1: What is Implicit Bias? 

What is Implicit Bias? Learn how our unconscious brains use assumptions as shortcuts that can affect our thinking and behavior. 

Bias Override Video Series, Part 2: Unintended Violations: Implicit Bias and Fair Housing 

Unintended Violations: Learn how implicit bias can result in fair housing and NAR Code of Ethics violations that may harm others and undermine the experience of purchasing a home. 

Bias Override Video Series, Part 3: Strategies to Interrupt Implicit Bias 

Strategies to Interrupt Implicit Bias: Learn concrete and easy steps to interrupt implicit biases and stereotypical thinking that get in the way of fairness and equal professional service. 

 

Reno/Sparks (NV) Association of Realtors Did You Know Video Series  

Love Letters   

This video discusses fair housing issues that could arise with love letters. 

Fairhaven 

This video discusses the benefits of the Fairhaven program. 

Implicit Bias 

This video discusses advertising’s impact on implicit bias. 

Korn Ferry: Race Matters Series 

The Virginia Realtors® shared this powerful video series with all Associations to showcase how race and other differences still impacted the lives of people in 2020.  Their website states that “while diversity and inclusion in the workplace have been championed in businesses across the globe, the reality is many people still are not treated equally and feel like they don’t have a voice. They earn less, are woefully underrepresented in top jobs, and struggle to get equal recognition and opportunity.” 

Courses

NAR’s Fairhaven fair housing simulation 

A new fair housing simulation training for REALTORS® that uses the power of storytelling to help members identify, prevent and address discriminatory practices in real estate. Inspired by real stories, this innovative online experience has agents work against the clock to sell homes in the fictional town of Fairhaven, while confronting discrimination in the homebuying process. Learners will also walk in the shoes of a homebuyer facing discrimination. The training provides customized feedback that learners can apply to daily business interactions. 

REALTOR® L.E.A.D. – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Course (learning.realtor) 

This course is meant to provide REALTOR® leaders with a better understanding of the concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as an introduction to some of the social psychology that makes it either easier or harder to live out DEI. This course ties many concepts together, all of which are designed to help you better understand how to be a great leader at your association, your office and in your community. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Self-Study Module 

This course is designed to increase awareness and generate greater understanding among REALTOR® association leaders, members and staff of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues. 

Fair Housing Self-Study Module 

This course is designed to increase awareness and generate greater understanding among REALTOR® association leaders, members and staff of fair housing issues. 

The Redress Movement Curriculum 

The Redress Movement initially emerged in response to Richard Rothstein's book, The Color of Law, which documents the intentional laws, covenants, and processes that created housing segregation along with other seminal works published in recent years. In response to the book, a group of national civil rights leaders, convened by Ted Shaw, the former President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Director of the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina, decided to create an organization to take on redressing racial segregation. The New Movement to Redress Racial Segregation, as it was initially named, was formed. 2021 was spent raising the initial funds that would allow the organization to be formally launched in early 2022 as The Redress Movement. 

They have developed a curriculum of helpful resources: 

  • Module One: Racial Wealth Divide 
  • Module Two: Displacement 
  • Module Three: Unequal Opportunities 
  • Module Four: Exclusion 
Certifications/Designations

Alliance Certified Ally Certification 

This thought-provoking and interactive session will help you develop a better understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and provide you with knowledge on how to work with potential homebuyers and sellers who identify as part of the community. Intended for straight allies, this course will open your eyes to discrimination issues LGBTQ+ clients face and help you start your journey in building cultural competency. 

The At Home with Diversity® (AHWD) certification course 

REALTORS® know the importance of adapting and remaining relevant in today’s marketplace. By developing a business practice rooted in inclusion and equality, REALTORS® can help buyers of all cultural backgrounds achieve the dream of homeownership. The At Home With Diversity® (AHWD) certification course covers how to work effectively with diverse populations so that you can build business success in today’s multicultural real estate market. 

Certified International Property Specialist Designation (CIPS) 

Global real estate opportunities are everywhere. People move to the U.S. from other countries every day and foreign-born individuals residing in the U.S. move to new markets. Americans in your current market may look to invest in property overseas. No matter which audience you cater to, the CIPS designation will provide you with the knowledge, research, network and tools to globalize and expand your business. 

Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing training from NAR 

REALTORS® are committed to abiding by fair housing laws and the Code of Ethics. But sometimes, our brains take shortcuts that can lead us astray. 

Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing is an NAR certificate course that helps real estate professionals interrupt stereotypical thinking so they can avoid fair housing pitfalls and provide equal professional service to every customer or client. Participants will learn about the mind science of identity, study how implicit bias can result in fair housing violations and engage in interactive exercises to enhance communication skills and business relationships with clients of all backgrounds. 

 

Pathways to homeownership

Articles/websites

Making Unfair Housing History (realtorparty.realtor) a Resource from the Realtor Party  

Here’s a checklist of ways to get involved, inspired and informed – so you can join us in expanding homeownership and building diverse, inclusive communities. 

Get involved with these resources: 

  1. Apply for fair housing grants to support state and local association events and education that further the mission of fair housing. 

  2. Bookmark the new Fair Housing Toolkit for specific suggestions on how to use fair housing grants. The kit provides examples for associations and helps staff easily activate these initiatives. 

  3. Use Fair Housing Month assets, including social media graphics and posters, to promote your commitment to fair housing. 

  4. Listen to the latest episode of REALTOR® Magazine’s new Drive with NAR podcast, “Fair Housing: Who’s Being Left Out of the Conversation?” featuring REALTORS® Tim Hurr, Stephen Beard and Lorraine Arora discussing the Fairhaven fair housing simulation, ACT plan, accessibility and appraisal bias. 

  5. Take four minutes to watch this Window to the Law video for important, practical tips to ensure your advertising does not violate fair housing laws. 

  6. Share recent NAR research such as the Double Trouble and 2022 Obstacles to Home Buying reports  that illustrate how low inventory and high prices are making it difficult for many Americans – and particularly Black Americans – to achieve homeownership. 

  7. Check out this documentary from the Fair Housing Center called ZIP Code Matters, which explores why a person’s ZIP code has been shown to have a greater impact on health and well-being than genetic code, affecting access to education, transportation and wealth. 

Pathways Home: A Native Homeownership Guide 

The Third Edition of Pathways Home: A Native Homeownership Guide was developed by the National American Indian Housing Council with contributions by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It has been more than 15 years since the first edition and eight years since the second edition of this book, which provides housing counselors with tools to educate homebuyers in native communities. The popular reception of the book and the changes in the mortgage lending industry, resulting from the 2008 housing crisis, necessitated a third edition. 

HomeAbility (maryland.gov)

HomeAbility is a special product designed to assist Maryland homebuyers with disabilities to finance their home purchase.  

Videos

How Diversifying the Real Estate Agent Profession Can Benefit Both Homebuyers and Agents of Color 

Join the Urban Institute for a discussion about sustainably diversifying the real estate agent profession to benefit both homebuyers and agents of color. Speakers will present recent research findings on the state of the profession and outcomes for agents of color. The research evidence will be followed by a panel discussion with real estate industry leaders, who will share their thoughts on key steps to close diversity gaps in the profession and ensure that agents of color thrive. 

Courses

Buyers by Generation: Success in Every Segment (learning.realtor) 

As a real estate professional, you have learned from experience that although no two homebuyers are the same, they do share some common tendencies based on life stages and generational groupings. The goal of the Buyers by Generation: Success in Every Segment course is to instill a better understanding of these generational characteristics and to help you adapt your communications, marketing and face to-face interactions to provide the services that buyer-clients value. 

Additional Information:

Certifications/Designations

Housing Opportunity Certification from Maryland REALTORS® 

Originally called Workforce Housing Certification (WHC), this program was renamed to avoid some of the unfortunate stigma attached to the term "affordable housing." In some circles, affordable housing is equated to public or subsidized housing. Although voucher programs are important in discussions about housing options, this REALTOR® education focuses on first-time and middle-income buyers. Maryland REALTORS® Housing Affordability and Equal Opportunity Committee found that the term workforce housing was still confusing for some, and undertook the task of evaluating and improving the program. Now, through an expanded partnership with the state of Maryland, Housing Opportunity Certified REALTORS® will have more exposure to consumers through the Maryland Mortgage Program website, and through the www.marylandhomeownership.com consumer website. 

Additional Resources

Home Financing 101: GCAAR’s Guide to Financing Opportunities in D.C. and Maryland  

Read (and share!) this list of financing opportunities in Montgomery County, MD and the District of Columbia to help make the American dream possible for potential homebuyers who might need a little extra help. 

Racial covenants

The GCAAR Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee has compiled this information to educate our membership about racial covenants.

Additional homebuying assistance programs

Montgomery Homeownership Program 

The Montgomery Homeownership Program VI, an initiative of the Maryland Mortgage Program in partnership with Montgomery County​, gives eligible homebuyers in Montgomery County up to $25,000 in down-payment assistance. The DPA loan is in the form of a 0% deferred loan of up to $25,000 per home, the maximum amount being 40% of the total household income. The DPA loan funds are from Montgomery County and are distributed by the Community Development Administration (CDA). You do not have to be a first-time homebuyer, but you cannot own any property at the time of closing.  

DC4ME 

DC4ME provides D.C. government employees a first trust mortgage at a reduced interest rate. The rate comes with or without the option of three percent down-payment assistance with a zero percent deferred subordinate loan. 

DC4ME is offered to current full-time District government employees, including employees of District government-based instrumentalities, independent agencies, District of Columbia public charter schools and organizations, provided the applicant/borrower’s employer falls under the oversight of the Council of the District of Columbia. 

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) 

With DCHFA’s Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC), qualified borrowers have the ability to claim a federal tax credit of 20% of the mortgage interest paid during each calendar year. 

 

 

 

Difficult conversations

Articles/websites

What Real Estate Agents Can’t Talk About 

An article that discusses topics that must be avoided per the Fair Housing Act. Also discussed are some topics that you can engage in when talking with a REALTOR®.   

Videos

Mel Robbins: How to have difficult conversations 

How do you handle having to face a difficult conversation? Most of us try to avoid them altogether. But when we do that, we miss prime opportunities to get what we want, connect and learn something about ourselves in the process. In this video, I teach you the four techniques I use that can help you improve your communication skills. Using them will help you build your confidence and improve the chances that you reach your desired outcome. 

What is Fair Housing?

Know your rights under federal and state fair housing laws. 

Fair Housing: What REALTORS® Need to Know

Jinada Rochelle, assistant director of enforcement at the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, shares some tips that Realtors®–and all real estate agents–should follow when working with clients. 

 

Generating leads

Videos

7 Social Media Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Agents 

Social media marketing for real estate agents starts with a social media marketing business plan. Follow this up with some social media marketing best practices, and maybe even a dash of social media marketing help. This video delivers some rock-solid social media marketing ideas for your real estate business, whether it's social media marketing on Facebook, Instagram or even on LinkedIn. 

 

DEI-related book recommendations from NAR

Book recommendations

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson 
In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. 

Erasing Institutional Bias: How to Create Systemic Change for Organizational Inclusion by Tiffany Jana and Ashley Diaz Mejias 
All humans have bias, and as a result, so do the institutions we build. Internationally sought-after diversity consultant Tiffany Jana offers concrete ways for anyone to work against institutional bias, no matter what their position is in an organization. 

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi 
Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society. 

Inclusify: The Power of Uniqueness and Belonging to Building Innovative Teams by Stefanie K. Johnson, PhD 
In this groundbreaking guide, a management expert outlines the transformative leadership skill of tomorrow—one that can make it possible to build truly diverse and inclusive teams, which value employees’ need to belong while being themselves.  

Lies My Teacher Told Me:  Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen 
What started out as a survey of the twelve leading American history textbooks has ended up being what the San Francisco Chronicle calls "an extremely convincing plea for truth in education." In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James W. Loewen brings history alive in all its complexity and ambiguity. 

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult 
With richly layered characters and a gripping moral dilemma that will lead readers to question everything they know about privilege, power and race, Small Great Things is the stunning new page-turner from Jodi Picoult. 

Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism by James W. Loewen 
In this groundbreaking work, sociologist James W. Loewen, author of the classic bestseller Lies My Teacher Told Me, brings to light decades of hidden racial exclusion in America.  

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein 
In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation―that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. 

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee 
One of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color. 

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson 
In this beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. 

We Can’t Talk About That at Work: How to Talk About Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics by Mary-Frances Winters 
As a thought leader in the field of diversity and inclusion, Mary-Frances Winters has been helping clients create inclusive environments for over three decades. In this concise and powerful book, she shows you how to lay the groundwork for having bold, inclusive conversations. 

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo 
The New York Times best-selling book explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.