Real Estate

The challenges of being a Black real estate agent in the Bay Area

What can be done to produce affordable housing in the Bay Area? Why are there so few real estate agents of color? What is the connection between investors purchasing single-family homes and the low minority homeownership rate?

Those issues and more were raised in this episode of Houses in Motion, part of HousingWire Daily, where HousingWire’s senior real estate reporter Matthew Blake spoke with Shawneequa Badger, head of Corcoran Global Living’s Badger Real Estate Group.

Badger, who is based in Oakland, chronicled her experience in Oakland and how an extremely expensive housing market is often difficult for agents of color.

Here is a small preview of the interview, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity: 

Matthew Blake: I wanted to talk about the lack of minorities in real estate. You’ve spoken very candidly about this in the past. Basically, for context for listeners, the National Association of Realtors every three years or so does a member survey. And they do ask about race in the member survey and members survey says from this spring that about one-in-20 agents identify as black.

And this compares to about one-in-eight workers in the labor force who are black. Why do you think there’s under representation of black people in the real estate agent profession?

Shawneequa Badger: Well, I think it’s very similar to my scenario, which is, you know, you’re exposed to what you’re exposed to, you know, we have, we have certain communities that are exposed to business owners, are exposed to entrepreneurship, are exposed to homeownership and investing. And many times, we don’t think that we have a seat at the table. Because we’re just automatically programmed, and I’m talking about Black people in general, that we’re automatically programmed to think that this isn’t for us.

…And then it is pretty expensive to become a real estate agent…you have to have startup funds to be able to participate in the process, our keys and our access to the MLS is not free. 

HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling articles reported across HW Media. Each afternoon, we provide our listeners with a deeper look into the stories coming across our newsroom that are helping Move Markets Forward. Houses in Motion is hosted by Matthew Blake and produced by Alcynna Lloyd and Elissa Branch. If you have a pitch or an inquiry relating to podcasts, you can reach our team at

Below is the transcription of the interview. These transcriptions, powered by Speechpad, have been lightly edited and may contain small errors from reproduction:

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    HousingWire Daily

    Hosted by the journalists behind the headlines, HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling mortgage, real estate, and fintech articles reported from the HousingWire newsroom.

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