As REALTORS, it is our duty to assist clients in making one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives: buying and selling a home. Our profession is built on connections, relationships and most importantly, people. With the important work we do reaching every region and individual in our communities, we must take the necessary steps to recognize the importance of inclusivity in our communities.
As REALTORS, there is nothing we do better than leading the way and helping dreams come true. Why not lead the way in cultivating a diverse membership as well, one that reflects the world we live in today? This starts by promoting our profession to future REALTORS as not just a first-time profession, but one that they know they can be a part of regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
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Standing at more than 56,000 professional members, the Arizona Association of REALTORS (Arizona REALTORS) is comprised of the state’s leaders in the real estate industry and the actions we take as an association light the pathway for future change. The Arizona REALTORS Diversity and Inclusion Committee, a group of REALTOR professionals from across Arizona that are dedicated to cultivating an inclusive environment, was created with the purpose to provide equal opportunity for all and ensure a superior consumer experience.
The committee sets its sight on partnering with associations like the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP), the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) and more. All are focused on promoting sustainable homeownership opportunities and allowing our members to receive unique perspectives from communities around the state and create a positive impact on consumers and REALTORS. With landscapes and demographics as diverse as Arizona’s – our committee strives to reflect that.
As we head into a new year, I am proud to serve as the 2022 Arizona REALTORS president. I am also proud that the Arizona REALTORS Diversity and Inclusion Committee objectives are geared toward the common goal of building a stronger, more inclusive and diverse organization through not just our leadership, but our membership as well.
Some of these objectives include:
• Increasing the diversity of REALTOR members and REALTOR leadership to better represent the communities in which they serve.
• Providing REALTORS® with opportunities for open dialogue about diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as additional education and mentoring resources.
• Creating opportunities for REALTOR® outreach to diverse communities to provide those communities with information about the real estate industry and profession.
• Developing communications that promote real estate as an inclusive profession.
These objectives, among others, provide the opportunity to inspire change and help others grow.
However, even with these initiatives on the agenda, addressing these concerns is a constant work in progress and never stops for anyone. With REALTORS® at the forefront of fair housing and working directly with homebuyers every day, it is up to us to be the change we wish to see in our communities. Not just because it reflects positively on us, but because it is the right thing to do.
And change doesn’t happen overnight. The efforts to create and maintain the ideals that we hold up as REALTORS® are not just a box to tick as complete, but require thoughtful discussion, education, and the willingness to continue learning and growing as not only REALTORS®, but as people. Though we may all grow at different rates, we must never stop because at the end of the day, diversity hurts none of us and helps all of us.
Author: Gary Nelson of Realty Executives in Flagstaff is the Arizona REALTORS 2022 president, serving with President-Elect Eric Gibbs, Sr. of Realty ONE Group Integrity in Tucson, First Vice President Shelley Ostrowski of Realty ONE Group Gateway in Yuma, and Treasurer Sulinda “Sindy” Ready of RE/MAX Excalibur in Scottsdale.