Though REALTORS® are responsible for upholding Fair Housing law all year, Fair Housing Month can serve as a reminder for real estate professionals to remain vigilant against bias and discrimination. Resources are available through the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and other organizations to help real estate professionals educate and test themselves on their understanding of Fair Housing.
NAR created this 54-minute video training, entitled “Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing” last summer in collaboration with Perception Institute as part of its commitment to addressing racial injustice in America. The video draws upon recent research to illustrate how the human brain’s automatic, instant association of stereotypes with particular groups can cause people to treat those who are different from them unfairly. Scientific evidence also suggests these biases persist despite people’s best intentions and often without conscious awareness.
Launched at the end of last year, Fairhaven is an online fair housing simulation training for REALTORS® that uses the power of storytelling to help members identify, prevent and address discriminatory practices in real estate. Inspired by real stories, this innovative online experience has agents work against the clock to sell homes in the fictional town of Fairhaven, while confronting discrimination in the homebuying process. Learners will also walk in the shoes of a homebuyer facing discrimination. The training provides customized feedback that learners can apply to daily business interactions.
Developed by the Johnson County public library, Dividing Lines takes users on a tour through Kansas City, explaining the history of segregation in real estate and how it continues to affect the city today. The tour can be taken fully virtually, or on a physical driving tour through the VoiceMaps app. It was featured on the most recent episode of KCRAR’s podcast, Kansas City RealTalk, where Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair, Ernest Hawkins, and Vice Chair, Donta Littlejohn, discussed takeaways from the tour and steps REALTORS® can take to help undo the damage of their predecessors.