Diversity, equity, and inclusion are more than just buzzwords. These concepts go beyond legal requirements to treat all clients equally and the REALTOR® Code of Ethics zero tolerance for discrimination. The National Association of REALTORS® has championed DEI for years, yet stark societal divisions and disparities, including disparate homeownership rates, provide a clear imperative for all of us to embrace DEI in our businesses—and in everything we do.
DEI terms are related, but each carries its own meaning:
- Diversity describes differences in characteristics like race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, and ability.
- Equity ensures everyone receives fair treatment and equal access to resources, opportunities, and success.
- Inclusion is about fostering a sense of value and empowerment and engaging everyone to contribute, participate, and succeed.
NAR offers a range of resources that can help you take a leadership role in DEI and meet the needs of increasingly diverse markets. Explore these essential resources to expand your worldview, recognize your own biases, and learn specific, meaningful steps to increase DEI in your business and beyond:
Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing
Developed by mind-science experts drawing upon the latest evidence-based research to help REALTORS® avoid implicit bias, this online workshop offers strategies to override automatic, unconscious bias and convey respect, ensure fairness and improve business relationships. View the workshop at http://t.ly/11fH.
Fairhaven: A Fair Housing Simulation
Designed to combat discrimination, Fairhaven uses the immersive power of storytelling to promote equity in the housing market. Using an online, interactive platform, you'll work against the clock to close deals, confronting scenarios involving discrimination. This innovative training provides customized feedback to help REALTORS® incorporate fair housing principles into their daily interactions. Visit Fairhaven at nar.realtor/fairhaven.
At Home With Diversity® (AHWD)
This NAR certification program addresses DEI, fair housing, risk reduction and more. Through this course, you'll develop an increased awareness of cultural and personal biases that may inhibit you from fully embracing diversity; learn inclusive, multicultural marketing strategies to broaden your client base; and formulate an inclusive business plan to help you successfully adapt to an ever-changing marketplace. Enroll now at nar.realtor/at-home-with-diversity.
L.E.A.D. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Course
This invaluable L.E.A.D. (Learn. Elevate. Accelerate. Deliver.) course helps you gain a solid understanding of DEI concepts and acquire the tools you need to rise as a REALTOR® leader. Find out about the social psychology that drives how DEI is practiced, study how stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination can impact behavior, and learn ways to foster a sense of belonging and promote distributive justice as you assimilate DEI into your leadership style. Learn more at nar.realtor/education/leadership-development.
Be the Change
Change begins with culture, and as your team's leader, you set the tone. "Walk the walk" at work by creating a diversity taskforce, developing DEI policies, ensuring fair hiring and promotion practices, implementing training and soliciting feedback. Expand your DEI efforts outside the office by reaching out to your local association to volunteer for a committee, partner on an NAR Diversity Initiative Grant or collaborate on a meaningful event.
Incorporating DEI may seem difficult and intangible, but with some education and effort, it can become a concrete, actionable part of any business strategy. Embracing DEI is not only the "right thing to do," it brings many benefits—from attracting candidates and engaging employees to enhancing branding and increasing the bottom line.
Championing DEI is critical to business success in the 21st century and to advance the real estate industry. Turn to NAR for the help and support you need, and encourage your agents to take advantage of NAR's DEI resources. Plus, keep an eye out for new resources to come throughout 2022.