Realtor.com, the official listing site of the National Association of Realtors, has launched a new microsite focused on providing fair housing resources to renters and homebuyers.
First teased in May, the new site is called Realtor.com for Everyone and features fair housing news and insights, renter and homebuyer resources, the ability to search for Realtors who have taken a diversity course, and links to real estate organizations such as the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.
“At Realtor.com, we believe every person, regardless of their background or their race, deserves an opportunity to live in a home that fits them,” Maureen Schimmel, realtor.com’s senior director of brand partnerships, wrote on the site’s Home Made blog.
“But there remains an inequality gap in the homeownership rates of Black, Hispanic, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ+ communities and that of the general population — in some cases by up to 30 percent.
“Nearly 100 million unique users visit our site every single month, and with that comes a big responsibility. We built Realtor.com/foreveryone to give you fair housing information and resources and demonstrate our commitment to helping advance housing equality for everyone.”
The homeownership gap between Black and white Americans is the widest between racial groups. The homeownership rate for Blacks clocked in at 45.1 percent and for whites at 73.8 percent, respectively, in first-quarter 2021, according to the results of a survey released last week by Redfin.
Realtor.com for Everyone doesn’t link to a real estate organization focused on Black homeownership, such as the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB).
“The /foreveryone site identifies the organizations with whom we’ve established relationships; we continue to reach out to other organizations to identify additional opportunities to collaborate,” Stephanie Singer, spokesperson for realtor.com operator Move, told Inman via email. Move is a subsidiary of News Corp.
Visitors to the microsite are 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,” Singer told Inman in May.
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 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.
Realtor.com will add consumer success stories, including links to realtor.com’s branded reality TV series, Beyond the Block, later this month.
Although realtor.com originally said it would link from the microsite to its new MicroMortgage Resource Center, which provides information and resources about home loans of $100,000 or less, Singer told Inman that the pilot program currently only offers loans in the Louisville, Kentucky, area, “so there’s not a general link on the larger microsite.”
“It is a collaboration with the Urban Institute, Homeownership Council of America and Fahe, a Kentucky-based nonprofit lending network,” she said. “The micro-mortgage site is promoted through native house ads on Louisville rental and for-sale listings pages on Realtor.com and externally through the community partners.”