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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, November 4, 2016

Realtors get ‘at home’ with diversity




Through GCAR’s At Home With Diversity course, local Realtors recently took an in-depth look at the topics of fair housing, diversity, and cultural differences. - Photograph by David Laprad

The Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors (GCAR) last week brought together real estate professionals in a conversation designed to highlight how the market is changing and how local Realtors need to adapt. Through GCAR’s At Home With Diversity course, participants took an in-depth look at the topics of fair housing, diversity, and cultural differences.

“Having the proper sensitivity and respect for a home buyer or seller – regardless of their race, religion, gender, familial status, and handicaps – is critical to not only being an effective Realtor but also a good neighbor,” said Nathan Walldorf, Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors president. “We’re called to be both, and continued education opportunities like these are vital to fostering a housing community in Chattanooga that’s healthy, vibrant, and transcends cultural barriers.”

First launched in 1998, At Home With Diversity has equipped more than 20,000 Realtors nationwide with tools to service today’s diverse pool of homebuyers and sellers. Tooled into an all-day class, the course helps real estate agents, brokers, association executives, and other industry professionals assess and understand what diversity looks like in their local markets, as well as create a business plan and selling strategy that caters to all clients.

“There’s no single snapshot that can capture today’s buyer or seller,” said Walldorf. “From foreign buyers, to single women, to millennial first home owners, to disabled veterans, today’s marketplace is spectacularly diverse.”

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2016 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate, international buyers in the U.S. purchased $102.6 billion of residential property from April 2015 to March 2016 – a decrease from $103.9 billion in the previous 12-month period but a significant increase from the close to $66 billion invested by foreign buyers in 2011. Additionally, in this year’s annual survey of Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends by the NAR, single females have emerged as the second most common group of home buyers after married couples.

Delving into this diversifying market, GCAR’s At Home With Diversity course enables Chattanooga Realtors to apply for national At Home With Diversity certification, earn continuing education credit, and receive credit toward the ABR, CIPS, CRS, RSPS and PMN designations. Topics addressed at last week’s seminar included: a national cultural forecast, globalization, adapting for the future, the philosophy of inclusion, predatory lending, fair housing laws, and more.

For more information about the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors, visit www.GCAR.net or visit GCAR on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: GCAR