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Each week on The Download, Inman’s Christy Murdock takes a deeper look at the top-read stories of the week to give you what you’ll need to meet Monday head-on. This week: How the anonymous poster TenDashFive is holding Realtors accountable for hate speech.
“Relax with the pride stuff.”
“Homophobic? Did you mean normal?”
“America might need to go down in flames.”
These are just a few of the comments highlighted on the Instagram account @tendashfive. Some other comments, especially those directed at Black women by a Texas real estate agent, were too vulgar to include here, though not, apparently, too vulgar or hate-filled for her to post publicly.
In a time of increasing division and hate-fueled violence, an anonymous Realtor has started to share hate speech from other Realtors, clear violations of NAR’s Standard of Practice 10-5.
“Most of the hate speech that Realtors are using is out in very public places like on the social media posts of NAR and the associations and the big brokerages. It’s very frustrating that we have the hate speech rule, that not only is it not being enforced, but most of the hate speech is in very obvious places, and people are doing nothing about it.”
Nearly three years after the National Association of Realtors passed a policy barring its members from using racist and discriminatory speech and behavior, a Realtor has begun calling out social media posts and comments he believes violate that policy on NAR’s own social media accounts and elsewhere.
Although speaking out and creating a platform to do so is a powerful impulse, it will ultimately fall to each individual Realtor to “be the change” they want to see in the real estate world. That means becoming educated about issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion. And it requires something more — empathy, self-awareness and a capacity for entering into the experiences of others.
Here are just a few of the recent DEI-related articles our contributors and staffers have written so that you can benefit from an array of voices and perspectives — then share them with others in the industry.
Current and pending laws nationwide represent an invitation for discrimination against the AANHPI community. Real estate agents should be leading the fight against them, Asian Real Estate Association of America President Kurt Nishimura writes. That’s because these discriminatory laws put agents in danger — not just the AANHPI people or other diverse groups.
Many of the hateful comments TenDashFive has exposed are directed at membership in and acknowledgment of the LGBTQ+ community, emboldened by the legal and legislative discrimination on display in many states. Erin Morrison, 2023 president of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance and proud Texas Realtor, is afraid. And so are some of your clients. She offers insights into the challenges the community is facing and the responsibility Realtors have to help.
If someone with a disability wanted to attend your next open house, would they be able to tour the property? If your client has hearing or low vision issues, how will you pivot quickly to change your communication in the transaction? An estimated 26 percent of Americans have a disability recognized under the ADA, meaning that potentially one in four of your customers face some mental or physical barrier when navigating life. Here’s how to help ensure equal access to homebuying and selling opportunities.
Taking allyship seriously is an essential part of the responsibility that comes with following the Realtor Code of Ethics. Henderson, Nevada, broker Scott Beaudry writes that real estate leaders have an important responsibility to help create a world without obstacles to homeownership. “Allies who actively engage in and promote diversity, equity and inclusion can help be a force for change.”