T3 Sixty, a real estate consulting and search firm, announced Monday the launch of a new management consulting division focused on increasing diversity in the real estate industry.
The initiative, led by Texas Realtor and Houston Association of Realtors board member Kenya Burrell-VanWormer, will focus on helping companies improve diversity with different strategies and initiatives.
“The desire by T3 Sixty to help improve diversity in the residential real estate industry was born out the frustration in seeing ongoing discrimination and the lack of opportunities that exist for people of color,” T3 Sixty Chairman and CEO Stefan Swanepoel said in a statement. “We must treat people of all backgrounds and race groups fairly and justly.
“It is extremely important to create role models and road maps to success for anyone to follow,” he added.
Burrell-VanWormer has been a licensed Realtor for two decades and served most recently as a vice president at Bank of America where she managed relationships with Realtors. She’s also worked with JP Morgan Chase in their affordable housing programs.
In 2018, she served as the chair of the Houston Association of Realtors, where she made waves as the head of the opposition against the National Association of Realtors’ effort to raise dues. She was Inman’s person of the year in 2018.
“We and others are striving to be more diverse and inclusive in the industry and your leadership is respected and valued,” Houston Association of Realtors CEO Bob Hale said in a statement. “You also could not have made a better choice than Kenya Burrell-VanWormer to lead this initiative. Kenya is an amazing leader and has the passion to make this vision a reality.”
The launch of the new division comes amid renewed calls to focus on increasing diversity, in the light of national protests against racism and police brutality. Compass CEO Robert Reffkin, in June, encouraged his own agents and those with other companies to dedicate a bigger portion of their vendor spend on Black-owned businesses. Other companies have committed to examining their own hiring and promotion practices to increase diversity.