Bob Goldberg reminded attendees at Inman Connect Now that the current situation is a long-standing one, and equality and fairness in housing is the trade group’s mission.

If you’d like to catch a video replay of this Connect Now session, and access the other 25+ hours of video content from Connect Now, tickets are still available. Click here to access.

As the nation reels from the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer, and its aftermath, National Association of Realtors CEO Bob Goldberg reminded attendees at Inman Connect Now Thursday that the current situation is a long-standing one.

“It’s a terrible situation, that we’re all living a part of. But this is not a new issue. It’s been ongoing in our country for years,” Goldberg said.

On Monday, NAR President Vince Malta put out a statement saying that NAR is committed to leading the way on policies that address racial justice, while highlighting that fair housing, equality and inclusion, are among the association’s most cherished values.

“The shocking, senseless death of George Floyd is tragic,” Malta said.

“Our deepest sympathies are with the Floyd family and other families who understand and feel this pain and grief,” Malta added. “Our neighbors in the communities where we work and live across America should feel safe and free from discrimination.”

Bob Goldberg at Inman Connect Now

The trade group “felt very strongly” about that statement and letting America know how important equality and fairness in housing are, according to Goldberg.

“That is what our mission is. And this is not a new mission for NAR and our state or local associations and our members,” he said. “What I feel really good about is that months ago before all this situation started we doubled down on fair housing.”

He noted that NAR hired a director of fair housing at the end of last year, Bryan Greene, and announced a fair housing action plan in January called “ACT,” which stands for Accountability, Culture Change and Training. The goal of the plan is to “ensure America’s 1.4 million Realtors are doing everything possible to protect housing rights in America,” according to a NAR statement at the time.

“Specifically, the nation’s largest trade association will take new actions to ensure members uphold the fair housing standards incorporated in NAR’s Code of Ethics; begin integrating fair housing into all conferences and engagements; and form partnerships with fair housing advocates to pursue shared goals around accountability and training, among countless other initiatives,” the statement added.

“It really deals with how you make sure that the industry is better prepared. What can we do to make sure housing is at the forefront of everything?” Goldberg said Thursday.

NAR announced the plan after an investigation from Newsday revealed rampant racial discrimination in the real estate industry on Long Island, New York.

“We didn’t want there to be unconscious bias, which we know there is. So we’re providing training programs out in the industry with top professionals to help us on this. We have to change the culture of the country in the housing arena,” Goldberg said.

“This gives us another opportunity to also have a voice with consumers and with our members to say, ‘Despite the terrible situation and the unjust situation that has occurred and has been occurring, let’s put our stamp on the important parts of the industry that we serve,'” he added.

Fellow panelist Margy Grant, CEO of Florida Realtors, said her colleagues and members “stand united against racism.”

“When you look at the events that are going on nationwide, it is so incredibly tragic. I have conversations with my own teenagers and explain how every one of us has not just the obligation to say something, but to do something,” Grant said.

“I commend my colleagues across this country for stepping up and speaking up about this issue, and to the brokerage community and the Realtor community as a whole,” said Grant. “Realtors are so incredibly resilient, but there is also no group of people who care more about their communities.”

If you’d like to catch a video replay of this Connect Now session, and access the other 25+ hours of video content from Connect Now, tickets are still available. Click here to access.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.
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