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Growing real estate opportunity to serve Hispanic consumers

Consultant: Agents must step up their outreach

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SAN ANTONIO -- Real estate professionals, as a whole, have been slow in adapting to the needs of Hispanic buyers and sellers, which represents a large and growing market segment, noted Oscar Gonzales, founder and managing partner for the Gonzales Group, a multicultural consulting group. "The banking industry -- they're light years ahead of the real estate industry in accommodating (the Hispanic) segment," said Gonzales, who has served in executive staff positions with Realtor associations and in 2009 served as a liaison to Mexico for National Association of Realtors leadership. Gonzales spoke Thursday during a session at the annual National Association of Real Estate Editors conference. "A lot of Realtors and builders have been in preserve-and-sustain mode since the bust. Now they're seeing that the customer base has changed and what they're doing isn't necessarily working." The population of U.S. Hispanics was 50.5 million in 2010, according to the U.S. ...