When the National Association of REALTORS® launched its Fairhaven interactive fair housing tool in 2020, Virginia REALTORS® embraced the platform immediately and wanted to get more members on board for training. So Beth Dalton, the association’s 2021 president, challenged the state’s more than 36,000 REALTORS® to complete the self paced, no-cost program.
“After seeing how real the scenarios were and realizing that I did not know as much about fair housing as I thought I did, I knew it was essential that Virginia REALTORS® push this out to our members,” Dalton says. “The Fairhaven Challenge [was] a major priority during my presidential term, and I am so glad NAR created such an informative, user-friendly platform.”
The Fairhaven Challenge fostered friendly competition among Virginia’s 28 local associations. Each month, Virginia REALTORS® sent a status report to local association executives with the total number and overall percentage of Fairhaven completion among their members. Many local associations took the challenge to the next level by congratulating members on social media after they completed the module or requiring Fairhaven at their new member orientations.
The initial promotion and the “Fairhaven Fridays” Virginia REALTORS® held during Fair Housing Month helped make REALTORS® more aware of the tool and the Fairhaven Challenge. The challenge attracted national attention and inspired other state associations to follow suit.
The five Virginia associations with the highest percentage of Fairhaven completion were honored with an award at the association’s annual convention and centennial celebration in September 2021. The winning associations were:
- Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS®
- Bristol Tennessee-Virginia Association of REALTORS®
- Chesapeake Bay and Rivers Association of REALTORS®
- Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of REALTORS®
- Lynchburg Association of REALTORS®
Although the challenge has ended, Virginia REALTORS® continues to promote Fairhaven among members and encourages other states to join the effort to ensure that housing is indeed fair.