Local Realtors Get "At Home With Diversity" In The Face Of An Increasingly Diverse Market

Thursday, October 27, 2016
GCAR Diversity class
GCAR Diversity class

As the face of real estate grows and changes— reflecting the diversity of today’s home buyers and sellers— the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors united real estate professionals in a conversation this week designed to highlight how the market is changing and how local Realtors need to adapt. Through GCAR’s At Home With Diversity course, participants took an in-depth look at the hot topics of fair housing, diversity and cultural differences, learning to approach real estate in a way that is culturally competent.

“Having the proper sensitivity and respect for a home buyer or seller—regardless of their race, religion, gender, familial status, handicaps, etc.— is critical to not only being an effective Realtor but also a good neighbor,” said Nathan Walldorf, Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors President. “We’re called to be both, and continued education opportunities like these are vital to fostering a housing community in Chattanooga that’s healthy, vibrant and transcends cultural barriers.”

First launched in 1998, At Home With Diversity has since equipped more than 20,000 realtors nationwide with practical tools to service today’s increasingly diverse pool of homebuyers and sellers. Tooled into a seven to eight hour class, the course helps real estate agents, brokers, association executives and other industry professionals assess and understand what diversity looks like in their local markets, as well as create a business plan and selling strategy that caters to all clients.

“There’s no single snapshot that can capture today’s buyer or seller,” said Mr. Walldorf. “From foreign buyers to single women to millennial first home owners to disabled veterans, today’s marketplace is a spectacularly diverse one.”

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate, international buyers in the U.S. purchased $102.6 billion of residential property from April 2015 to March 2016— a decrease from $103.9 billion in the previous 12-month period but a significant increase from the close to $66 billion invested by foreign buyers in 2011. Additionally, in this year’s annual survey of Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends by the NAR, single females have emerged as the second most common group of home buyers after married couples.

Delving into this diversifying market, GCAR’s At Home With Diversity course enables Chattanooga Realtors to apply for national At Home With Diversity certification, earn continuing education credit and receive credit toward the ABR, CIPS, CRS, RSPS and PMN designations. Topics addressed at this week’s seminar included: a national cultural forecast, globalization, adapting for the future, the philosophy of inclusion, predatory lending, fair housing laws and more.

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