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Ryan Schneider, CEO of Realogy, believes that the agent population in the U.S. is not sufficiently diverse, and said the industry faces a “real challenge” when it comes to becoming more racially inclusive.
Schneider weighed in on diversity while discussing trends in the industry during an Inman Connect Now session Tuesday dubbed “The Great Shifts of 2020.” Among other things, during the session he pointed out a number of positive changes such as more of the real estate experience moving online, and a generally busy market.
But when it comes to racial diversity, he said there’s still more work to do.
“I actually think the agent population isn’t diverse enough,” Schneider argued.
In real estate specifically, that discussion led last week to a new effort to increase diversity on corporate boards. Zillow and Redfin are among the firms leading that effort.
During his Connect Now Session, Schneider alluded to the ongoing recent national conversation about diversity, saying there has been “this incredible social shift in the last six months” as people have pushed for greater racial inclusion across the board.
“This is important,” he said. “It’s important to our employees, it’s important to our agents.”
Schneider went on to say that corporate leadership in U.S. companies generally needs to be more diverse, and that it’s important that everyone have access to housing. And he further noted that Realogy has made efforts to support greater diversity in real estate.
But he also argued that the agent and broker community needs to be more diverse, because among other things, that would actually help improve diversity at all levels of the real estate business.
“I think there is more opportunity to help expand the agent and broker diversity in our industry,” he said, which “is another way to populate the executive ranks.”