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Leading LGBT real estate professionals from across the country will meet in Fort Lauderdale on October 10-12 for the National LGBT Real Estate Conference hosted by the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionalsl (NAGLREP). The third annual national meeting takes place amid a mixed climate of acceptance, the rise of same-sex marriage and state-level initiatives that challenge LGBT civil rights. The meeting attracts real estate industry thought leaders, subject matter experts and offers networking opportunities for LGBT real estate professionals and LGBT-friendly practitioners from across the country.

This year’s meetings include appearances by leading industry figures such as Gino Blefari, CEO of HSF Affiliates; Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate; Sean Becketti, chief economist for Freddie Mac; Anne Green, CEO of CooperKatz & Company, the agency of record for Coldwell Banker Real Estate; Todd Sears, founder of Out Leadership; and a host of recognized subject matter experts.

“The LGBT community is in a dynamic state of evolution. As a community, we are more visible than ever in our nation and yet the battle for basic human rights and dignities rages on,” says NAGLREP Founder Jeff Berger. “In this climate, LGBT and LGBT-friendly real estate agents provide an invaluable service to LGBT homebuyers and sellers—and that’s what we’re here to talk about this week.”

In the era of equality, corporate partners have become an important ally in the support of the LGBT community. The nonprofit group has received support from leading national brands, such as Bank of America, First American Title Corporation, Realogy, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Wells Fargo, Union Bank, PrimeLending, Freddie Mac, Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s International Realty, the National Association of REALTORS® and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, since it began hosting the national meeting. Seventy-four percent of NAGLREP members say they look more favorably on brands that support the association, according to Berger.

While the meeting is real estate-focused, the program does touch on the topic of inclusivity and equality with various speakers. Last year Jim Obergefell, a realtor and the lead plaintiff in the historic Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case on marriage equality, appeared before the group. This year’s program will include research from Out Leadership on the business case for inclusiveness, delivered by Chris and Sears.

NAGLREP was created in 2007, but emerged on the national scene in 2014 with the first real estate trade event dedicated to the LGBT market. The timing coincided with a national momentum around LGBT marriage equality and gay rights. Berger believes that a greater climate of acceptance has contributed to the growth of the organization (30 percent annually over the past three years) and willingness for LGBT real estate practitioners to self identify and be more visible.

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