Commentary and current events from the National Association of Realtors®
Today, equal access to housing is a cornerstone right for home buyers and sellers, which is why proper fair housing education and awareness is vital for brokers and agents alike. With laws becoming more precise in recent years, REALTORS® are often unaware that they may be cited for making subtle, inappropriate inferences to describe a neighborhood, school system, local shops, etc.
NRT, NAR Agree to Distribute Fair Housing Materials
Recently NRT, Incorporated, one of the largest residential real estate brokerage companies in the nation and the 12th largest corporate-owned commercial real estate brokerage, demonstrated its commitment to fair housing education by entering into an agreement with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) to distribute fair housing resources.
"Realtors play a vital role in advancing fair housing laws everyday," says Bob Goldberg, NAR's senior vice president of marketing and business development. "NAR is proud to be working with NRT, Incorporated on their fair housing initiative. NRT, Incorporated has made a strong commitment to educating their agents nationwide through NAR's fair housing resources."
Drawing on NAR's expertise and information contained in NAR's fair housing brochures, handbooks, and award winning video, NRT, Incorporated recently created a new fair housing training program for its 64,000 associates to complete this year.
"As the largest residential real estate brokerage in the country, we believe it is in the best interest of the public and our sales associates to commit to an internal program for fair housing education," explains David Horowitz, senior vice president, Education and Development, NRT, Incorporated. "We're incorporating NAR materials into the program because they set the standard in the industry."
Fair Housing Education-The Right Thing to Do
NRT, Incorporated recently purchased 1,300 "Fair Housing" DVDs and 130,000 Fair Housing pocket guides, which NAR sells under its Realtor Benefitssm Publications brand. Winner of the 2006 Bronze Telly Award, the 24-minute "Fair Housing" video focuses on timely fair housing topics and the complex issues presented by fair housing regulations.
NAR's two pocket guides, Fair Housing Sales and Fair Housing Rental, provide companions to the video. Written for brokers and agents, Fair Housing Sales answers the most commonly asked questions from buyers and sellers related to housing discrimination. Intended for anyone managing or leasing real estate, Fair Housing Rental covers fair housing laws, the responsibilities of real estate professionals, and checklists to ensure proper procedures.
NRT, Incorporated has incorporated these materials into a series of four workshops designed to be delivered by managers in the office. Some of NRT, Incorporated's companies have combined the four workshops into a single, several-hour workshop that can be delivered at a centralized training center, meeting room or hotel.
Following the initial roll-out to all associates, the workshops are being incorporated into NRT, Incorporated's basic training program, so that all new employees will be exposed to fair housing education.
"We want to make certain that our people are practicing fair housing at the highest level possible, not only because this is a legal issue, but because it is a moral one," says Horowitz. "It's simply the right thing to do."
Horowitz believes it is imperative for all brokers to make fair housing education part of their continuing risk reduction efforts. "By doing the right thing and operating within the spirit of the law, brokers create the widest pool of buyers for their agents," he says. "They position themselves to generate more business, while providing the American dream."
Goldberg adds, "We are pleased that NAR could assist NRT, Incorporated with their commitment to educating their agents with our products, and hope that other real estate franchises and companies follow their lead by using the NAR Fair Housing resources available to them at the REALTOR.org store."