NAR Apologizes for Racism – Trevor Noah Blasts Realtors
We’ve been looking for solutions to an ethics crisis that has been gaining attention in the last 12 months since “Long Island Divided” was published by NewsDay where inequality in housing, steering, and overt racism were uncovered by the 3 year long study that we covered here. We specifically looked at the amazingly shocking and damning testimony of real estate agents who denied wrong doing. This painted the industry as a whole very poorly.
Recently, I was invited to participate in an Inman Connect Ethics panel that discussed NAR’s changes to the code of ethics that in my opinion made for an insignificant move forward – akin to putting a BLM patch on jerseys or stickers on courts in pro athletics. (nice that they did it – but now what)
We also examined how the National Association of Realtors is in a tough position, but they need to make a move to a strong position on racism – they need to take control or run the risk of cutting off their revenue stream(s) and could become irrelevant.
NAR will face increasing pressure from the media and the public and attorneys and the government to take action against poor actors. (And no, we are not talking about Lindsay Lohan or Nicolas Cage.) NAR must take action.
Mr. Oppler, NAR President
Last week, the new President of NAR, Charlie Oppler admitted and apologized for past atrocities that occurred under their watch. This was a good move. Admitting is the first step… and hey, that’s we suggested as the first step:
I’d suggest a strong, unified front. Specifically, I’d suggest we start a conversation around a go forward plan for 2021 that involves these key points:
-Admit you have a problem and can do better (partially resolved via edits to code of ethics)
“What Realtors® did was an outrage to our morals and our ideals. It was a betrayal of our commitment to fairness and equality. I’m here today, as the President of the National Association of Realtors®, to say that we were wrong.” Oppler said. “We can’t go back to fix the mistakes of the past, but we can look at this problem squarely in the eye. And, on behalf of our industry, we can say that what Realtors® did was shameful, and we are sorry.” Source: NAR Newsroom
Mr. Oppler, well done. I hope it’s a signal of what is to come. We need more in the industry to echo your words. This is the path to progress.
Trevor Noah & The Daily Show
Last night, the NAR pressure cooker went up a few PSI on Late Night TV.
Depending on your position, last night was a big deal. Trevor Noah, host of the Daily Show, shone a national spotlight on our industry – exposing the serious issues with a mix of sincerity and humor.
To Roy Wood Jr’s point in the video on home whiteification? Yeah, he nailed it. My house defiantly has multiple boat paintings, kayaks and skis in the garage… Yikes.
The problem? This media attention is exactly what we predicted would happen. The media loves to poke holes in companies and industries that are harming people – and with the election behind us, salacious news is “in demand”.
With data comes great power and with great power, great responsibility. We want to help the situation, and prevent others from being denied equal housing going forward. At Revaluate, we don’t have as much clout as NAR, but we’ve decided to take a stand and are working towards multiple solutions. This began with our Digital Marketing Manifesto. We will continue to seek input from you and other topical experts as we learn from the past to improve the future.
It’s called unconscious bias – because you don’t know… it’s unconscious. You ought to begin to think about your data, your marketing and how you may be inadvertently working in a grey area. We are open to discuss.
For all of us in and around the industry – the spotlight on racism is growing brighter. The time to act is now. Let’s follow NAR’s lead. After admitting it’s past errors, its time to start moving forward. While a seemingly small gesture, this apology and admission is progress.