A huge topic of discussion lately has been the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and David McAtee.
During Inman’s Connect Now, the media company’s first all-digital conference, Anne Jones, Windermere Abode owner and designated broker; Veronica Figueroa, founder of eXp Realty’s Figueroa Team; and Tiffany Curry, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices‘ first Black broker-owner, addressed racism in the housing industry during a panel on Tuesday.
“You’ve gotta cut the crap and call it how you see it,” Jones said.
As they all mentioned before the panel began, the topic of conversation has drastically changed. The points they made include the necessity for more representation and leaving a legacy.
Figueroa said she once considered changing her last name in fear of being “too Hispanic,” and didn’t think people would respect her or join her team because of it.
“There is a zero tolerance for discrimination,” Figueroa said.
Figueroa also noted that brokers need to create protocols so that everyone who searches for a home has a fair shot at homeownership.
Curry added that she thought about changing her brokerage’s name five times, saying women are treated differently.
“We called it ‘namegate,'” Curry said. “This just isn’t about making money, it was about making a legacy. It’s the greatest gift I can give.”
Curry said that brokers should take the time to learn about other homebuyers’ needs, saying she has learned about the needs of Hispanic buyer and sellers in order to better serve them.
Jones said that delicate issues — such as what has unfolded over the last week — are what organizations and communities need to talk about, with an openness and willingness to learn.
“These are delicate issues, but you can’t not talk about it,” Jones said. “It impacts what we do professionally in a profound way.”