In the next two months, realtor.com, the official listing site of the National Association of Realtors, will launch a new microsite focused on providing fair housing resources to renters and homebuyers, realtor.com CMO Mickey Neuberger said at NAR’s midyear conference Thursday.
The new site will be called realtor.com for Everyone and feature fair housing news and insights, renter and homebuyer resources and tools, the ability to search for Realtors who have taken a diversity course, and consumer success stories, including links to realtor.com’s branded reality TV series, Beyond the Block.
“One of the reasons I took this role as CMO 10 months ago was to advance realtor.com ‘s efforts on fair housing,” Neuberger said during a Fair Housing Policy Committee meeting at the Realtors Legislative Meetings.
“We believe every person, regardless of their background or their race, deserves an opportunity to make a house that fits them. Here we say consumers are a North Star, and we have a lot of them. We have 90 million unique users visiting our site every single month. And with that comes a big responsibility to educate them on their rights and to educate them about fair housing.”
Consumers will be able to search for Realtors who have completed NAR’s At Home with Diversity certification.
“Our intent for this new resource is to help renters, buyers and sellers search for and find real estate professionals who have completed training on cultural differences and are committed to working with today’s increasingly diverse communities,” Stephanie Singer, spokesperson for realtor.com operator Move, told Inman via email. Move is a subsidiary of News Corp.
Asked whether consumers will be able to search for Realtors who have completed other fair housing education such as a course offered by their state association, the implicit bias training NAR has just piloted in New York, Washington and Texas, or NAR’s interactive fair housing training Fairhaven, Singer said, “Not at initial launch,” but that the site would evolve over time.
“The primary audience is consumers; agents and brokers will be able to use the site to learn more about what Realtor.com is doing in the space, who we are partnering with, and what programs we offer,” she said.
“We intend for this microsite to evolve over time as we collaborate with industry stakeholders to offer programs and resources specifically focused on advancing homeownership and supporting fair housing for everyone.”
According to Neuberger, consumers crave working with people who care about fair housing.
“Consumers really want this,” he said. “We hear that over and over again when we do research. They want to be connected with Realtors that have completed implicit bias training, that have completed Fairhaven. And we have a platform to enable that, so we’re really excited about that.”
The site is exploring the idea of providing badges to help consumers find such Realtors, he added.
As part of the educational aspect of the site, realtor.com will link to its Beyond the Block series, which can also be streamed on Amazon Prime, YouTube and Tastemade.
“It follows a Realtor with a diverse set of first-time homebuyers in several cities and their journey to find their first home,” he said. “We’re really proud of that show because it shows marginalized communities having success in real estate.”
The site will also link to its new MicroMortgage Resource Center on realtor.com, launched in February, which provides information and resources about home loans of $100,000 or less.
“This initiative is in collaboration with the Urban Institute, Homeownership Council of America and Fahe, a Kentucky-based nonprofit lending network, and is designed to help individuals who might otherwise be unable to obtain, or have difficulty obtaining, financing to realize their dream of homeownership,” Neuberger wrote in a blog post about realtor.com’s fair housing efforts.
As part of the program, financing from Fahe is available to individuals living in or relocating to the Louisville, Kentucky, metro area for the purchase of a home priced $100,000 or less, but the goal is to expand the program to other locations in the future, Neuberger added.