Stacey Bernal, author, global speaker, and diversity trainer with See Stacy Speak, shares tips for inclusion in the real estate industry. Real estate agents often find themselves in uncomfortable situations, responding in ways that may be biased, often without awareness. In her discussion, Stacey emphasizes the need to recognize and address biases to avoid awkward interactions.
One example Stacey frequently cites involves an advertisement sent out by a brokerage. The ad featured a picture of a busy woman multitasking with work and childcare; juxtaposed with two men in business suits. The caption implied a comparison between a part-time agent and full-time professionals. Potentially conveying a sexist message unintentionally perpetuating biased beliefs.
Stacey encourages real estate agents to be mindful of biases and highlights the relevance of the Realtor Code of Ethics, specifically Article 10, which emphasizes the equal treatment of customers regardless of various factors. Acknowledging personal biases is the first step, and Stacey prompts real estate agents to challenge assumptions associated with common words and consider different perspectives.
Additionally, Stacey advises caution in marketing efforts, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity. Agents should be attentive to their body language, as biases can manifest unconsciously. Lastly, she encourages a conscious effort to broaden circles and diversify connections. You can do this by engaging with organizations such as LGBTQ+ associations, the Women’s Council of Realtors, and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.
In conclusion, Stacey advocates for a thoughtful and proactive approach to uncovering biases. By actively seeking understanding social circles and inclusion in the real estate industry, agents can avoid uncomfortable conversations and become more well-rounded individuals.