250: Practical Fair Housing Tips

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Let’s welcome Fair Housing expert, speaker, and practicing agent, Harrison Beacher, as he gives us the tips and tricks we need to successfully navigate fair housing issues right now! Harrison Beacher is a full time agent in the DC area who shares his passion for fair housing and housing equity in this episode. We cover some of the common mistakes agents make and best practices to avoid those violations. Harrison shares with us practical tips for listening to our clients, removing fear and providing clarity. We also dig into the potential implications the proposed NAR settlement will have on fair housing, specifically buyers protected by current fair housing laws.

Harrison Beacher is a managing partner of the Coalition Properties group, a top producing team, serving the DC metro area affiliated with Keller Williams Capital Properties. Harrison was a member of the 2016 Realtor 30 under 30 class, serves as 2024 co-chair for NAR’s meetings and conference committee and continues to serve on the National Board of Directors for NAR as well as the Culture and Transformation Commission. You can find Harrison getting back to his DJ roots at home making playlists for every occasion and spending time with his wife, Lindsay, and two kids. Find Harrison on social media and tune into the podcast he hosts with his business partners called All Blends Perfectly.

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The following is a rough transcript provided by Otter.ai.

Alissa 0:01
Oh our sellers not offering any compensation so I’m sorry you’re gonna have to like figure that out.

Speaker 1 0:09
Be mad go ahead and punch the air right like squeeze your anger ball and then after you realize those are focused around a faulty premise like everything that they are based on is faulty and was faulty about it is that

Alissa 0:26
they left there feeling so empowered because the lender gave them homework.

Speaker 1 0:32
Ask yourself why am I talking right now? Right? Am I Am I just fell in the air because I’m nervous about like hearing matching their energy. Hi,

Alissa 0:40
y’all. Welcome to hustle humbly. It’s Alyssa and Katie and we are to top producing realtors in the Baton Rouge market.

Katy 0:46
We work for two different companies where we should be competitors. But we have chosen community over competition. The goal

Alissa 0:51
of our podcast is to encourage you to find your own way in business to stop comparing

Katy 0:55
yourself and start embracing your strengths. Hi, everyone, it is episode 250. Today we have a guest it’s been a minute since we had a guest so I’m going to tell you a little bit about Harrison Beecher and then he can fill in the blanks for us. Harrison is a native Washingtonian. Elissa lesson our people are from is the managing partner of the coalition Properties group, a top producing real estate team serving the DC metro area. A 30. Under 30 Class of 2016. Harrison will serve as the 2024 co chair for NARS meetings and conference committee and continues to serve on the National Board of Directors for NAR as well as the culture and transformation Commission,

Alissa 1:42
which is really why a big reason we wanted to have you here. You know, April was just Fair Housing Month, and we wanted to definitely touch on that topic. And that’s where you serve you serve so much in that area, which is why we wanted to have you here.

Katy 1:59
Why don’t you tell us also what Hey,

Alissa 2:00
you want to know a fun fact.

Katy 2:02
Wait, this is so great.

Alissa 2:03
I saved this for a while we were recording. I too was in your 3030 class of 2016.

Speaker 1 2:12
I remember this. I got the book, my covers right behind my desk. I

Katy 2:17
remember. He’s like I have your photo right here for real. Our

Speaker 1 2:20
names are not on. You’re not on the same page as me. But you’re in the magazine that is up on the wall.

Alissa 2:26
Isn’t that funny? We were in the same class. And here we are reunited all these years later, years later.

Unknown Speaker 2:33
Mississippi, right.

Alissa 2:36
Louisiana. See, I

Unknown Speaker 2:37
was close. I noticed I knew

Alissa 2:40
next door. But yeah, so

Katy 2:42
funny. I love that

Alissa 2:43
y’all are both 30 kept being like he looks so familiar. And like his maybe I’ve heard him speak somewhere. And then when we were reading your bio, I was like, Oh, we were in the same class and 2016 years ago, back when we were under 30. Right? Oh, right.

Speaker 1 3:02
Letting go of the a lot of no longer. My team member is a 2024 My direct like prodigy, and the guy that worked with me earned it just last week for 2024. So that makes me feel proud. But old A F? Yes.

Alissa 3:16
Yeah. But

Katy 3:17
that means you’re teaching well, because you’re imparting the wisdom you have and it’s working on the youth. It’s working for the youth. For sure. I love it. Okay, Harrison, I want to quickly cover before we dive into it, what you speak on because I know that we actually had a listener refer us to you who had heard you speak somewhere. So here are some of the things that Harrison is a national speaker on networking and referral business growth, social media optimization, mindset, young professional development, wealth, building diversity, equity and inclusion. Public speaking, instructor development, the power of partnership, referral, business growth, partying with a purpose. We like that one, why events and community focused real estate business growth, and you have a podcast called all blends perfectly.

Unknown Speaker 4:04
Yeah. Yeah.

Katy 4:05
Did I catch it all you talk on a lot of topics for him. The

Speaker 1 4:09
only other topic that I didn’t throw in here, because a few years ago in 2022, and AR created a National Fair Housing Champion Award, and I was one of the inaugural winners of that award. And the cool part was it then encouraged or allowed NAR to make a direct contribution to one of the nonprofit’s that we support here in DC. So that was something I was very passionate about and honored to be included in that class.

Alissa 4:33
That’s so cool. Very fantastic.

Katy 4:35
Well, you tell us a little about that nonprofit. Let’s just talk about that first, for sure.

Speaker 1 4:39
So each year my team actually identifies and chooses to work with a different local nonprofit that’s generally focused on a couple of different buckets. One is on housing insecurity or unhoused people, education, youth or food insecurity. And for the 2022 year I was president of our local association that year. And our local association, G car had a charitable partnership with an organization that helped with financial literacy and education. And through G car made the money go through G car, so support our nonprofit partner that year. And we did four or five financial literacy seminars, with those resources, and we’re able to educate, it was 50 to 60 young adults in the region as with that money, it went through the G car cares Foundation to support our nonprofit partner for the year.

Alissa 5:34
That’s awesome. Very cool. I think that kind of leads us into our first question, which is, how did you even become an advocate speaker specifically addressing fair housing and getting? Where did your passion for this area come from?

Speaker 1 5:49
Yeah, well, it’s, I am, I guess, fortunate to be a minority and allow the spaces where I work from being a young black man, my team members, and my partners are also other young black men. So it has given us an insight and a lived experience that’s a little bit closer to a lot of people that have struggled with a lot of different both economic and housing related issues. It’s just parts of our family life and things we’ve grown up and known. So for us, as we were able to figure out a successful and thriving business, there was always the question of how do we bring this knowledge back to specifically our community of black and brown folks in the DC metro area and beyond, and hopefully show by example, and bring the tools that we’ve learned through success and just being in the real estate game, to folks that maybe didn’t think that they could do it that maybe didn’t have anybody close to them, bringing that information to him. So it kind of started with relationship and pure we’re close to and who we know. And it really is interesting how it has grown to an empowering and a motivational posture that’s gotten other people, even other realtors in our area to do comparable and similar things. So you know, I think it’s the core lesson of like, when you are given a blessing it is your job to pay it forward. That’s what it all comes from. And we started with the communities and people we were closest to.

Alissa 7:15
So what year did you become a licensed agent?

Speaker 1 7:17
I actually got into real estate right out of college in 2008. So I was graduated.

Alissa 7:23
Well, not 2008. But right out of college, I got my license and just started. I was like 22 when I started. So that’s how we got to be 30 under 30. Because we’ve had some years of experience under our belt by the time we were Yeah, yeah. Most people don’t start until they’re after 30. Yeah. So as a newly licensed agent in 2008. At what point did you become passionate about fair housing? I feel like here’s what took me a few years, I think to

Katy 7:55
know what that really understanding is coming from a lived experience. I guess here’s my question is where are you a homeowner when you were when you became a realtor, or did you buy after that?

Speaker 1 8:05
No, no, I’m I was 22. I was broke. I was a broke college kid. I was a realtor. But I was also a bartender, bouncer DJ, and working at night to like pay my bills during the day.

Alissa 8:15
So I was like the same person hustling.

Speaker 1 8:18
I feel like we talked about this a little bit at the South Carolina or the Charleston retreat. I feel like that year we probably talked about some of our overlapping things. But no for me was at Georgetown University where I went to college, I was a studio art major in theology minor, and my minor in theology was really focused around social justice and the work that through that lens the church was doing in the world to help all the people that needed it. So giving back and having a very clear understanding of the need in all the communities I was close to in DC was a part of what I had done from high school in college, went to Catholic high school led student ministry and did a bunch of things like out in the way it was always next to everything I was doing is that you carve out time to give back. So when I looked at my business that I was trying to grow and building a referral business, I saw this interesting delta of people that needed help, but also people that wanted community and wanted connection. So one of my main that party with the purpose line you talked about was one of my main business drivers was throwing really cool events from my nightlife context, but always partnering with some type of nonprofit organization that some of my friends because my friends at Georgetown were kind of save the world hippies working in every kind of organization. It was like friends doing it. I was like, hey, where do you work? Or what are you doing? Come do this with me. Because I know people have the desire and hunger to give back in some way. But they don’t know how to connect the dots between their desire and organizations that need it. And I’m going to kill all these birds in one stone. We’ll come and learn about some real estate, you’re gonna give me some referrals. We will have a good time, and we’re gonna go and we’re gonna give back. Cool, everybody can do it. And that model really worked and we’ve been able to scale it significantly with my current sales team. Sounds awesome.

Katy 10:01
It makes sense that that would be something to get people to buy into easily because you’re appealing to all these different interest at the same time. And you’re putting it all under the umbrella of let’s have a really fun party. And so we’ll all just go to the really fun party. And they’re like, Yeah, Sign me up. I’ll do that.

Alissa 10:15
I love it.

Katy 10:17
I love it. Okay, so let’s get into the meat of fair housing, because we want to hear your expert thoughts and opinions and how you teach others to do this out in the world. What are some ways that agents are commonly violating fair housing laws? Like what are the mistakes you see most, most often,

Speaker 1 10:40
there’s a big problem a lot of people have with getting frustrated and judging others by their actions. And then we get mad when they don’t judge us by our intention. So the biggest and most important things I think salespeople need to do is slow down a little bit first, and realize that just because I have good intention, if I’m not being thoughtful of with whom I’m communicating, and how I’m communicating with them, I can do harm unintentionally. So I think if we can humble ourselves a bit, and realize that there are people with different lived experiences that bring a lot of different things to not just real estate interaction, but with understanding money, and understanding like the rules of money and how it works. At one of our events that we did, in DC, a couple of years ago, we put on this ownership conference, where we brought in a professor to talk about the trauma that some communities of color have associated with money, right. Like, if you’re not aware that some folks have a lot of deep seated fear, trauma and other emotional things connected to their finances, then that’s going to change how you interact with them. So step one is quite frankly, to slow down a little bit. Step two is to own and understand your own bias that you may have. And step three is to really work to meet people where they’re at, even if it means slowing down and adjusting your normal processes to try to make space to accommodate someone that may be bringing a lot of different baggage or a lot of different things in their life and experience to specifically homebuyer. So again, for us, we had enough strategic advantage from growing up in communities of color and kind of seeing and, you know, acknowledging the stuff that we’ve seen, our family kind of worked through. And when I train and go around the country, it’s more about helping salespeople realize that what makes us good is our gut and our intuition, and the vibe and kind of how we you know, feel confident about flying. In situations where you’re interacting with different people than who you normally interact with, you can just slow down a little bit and kind of give that person you’re interacting with a little bit more agency and trust in space to tell you maybe some of the things that they’re thinking and also don’t interpret immediately, somebody being cagey being quiet, being fearful, being reluctant to take action, as them not wanting to work with you not believing you not whatever, you just got to take a little bit more stock of kind of what they’re coming from and where they are, and build hopefully spaced that conversation can happen. That takes a little bit more effort that takes a little bit more humility, it takes a little bit more thought and intention. But I think when we choose to do that, the relationships that can open us up to the business opportunities that can open us up to can make a really big difference, because I think the communities that need the most support are the folks that are newer to the home buying newer to finances, newer to wealth building. And that’s a lot of the information that we just have plugged into our heads from the experience that we’ve got. So you know, if a small percentage of real estate professionals can choose to carve out more of their, you know, business attention to communities that need it most, I think that can make a really big difference in some of the disparities that exist just kind of in society right now.

Alissa 13:44
I agree. We just did an episode on the stories we tell ourselves because in real estate, we do experience like a lot of rejection or people that will just disappear and ghost you and your initial thought is to be like, it’s me, they don’t like we always make it about us, us. It’s about me, instead of thinking, what are they thinking? What what makes them quiet or hesitant to speak on this topic. So I think that the advice that you just gave pairs perfectly with what we talk about here at hustle humbly and saying, it’s not about you. So if you have a client, the more different they are from you. The more effort you’re gonna have to put into that relationship and get out of your own head of taking it personal or making it about you and saying they just don’t like me or our personalities aren’t meshing well, to think about them.

Katy 14:43
I have a question in reference to that Harrison. So logistically, I would assume listening really helps with this. But if it’s someone who’s being really quiet, who maybe isn’t even yet, what are some ways to make them comfortable with that opening up or giving them the space where you’re ready to listen but they have to so to speak. So like asking questions like, What would be your recommendations there?

Speaker 1 15:04
I think in a lot of situations, clarity is power. So if you can be more clear about the details of what needs to happen, in what order and kind of get granular about next steps, what’s required, and take time to really break that down. That’s where a lot of people’s fear who are new to a situation comes in, because they’re like, Well, I don’t know exactly what I do next. And when can I retreat? Or when can I back out? Or like, what’s my, what’s my exposure? What’s my protection? So I think if someone if I’m in a console, and you know, the acronym I teach my team, when you’re filling the air too much and talking too much is Wait, ask yourself, Why am I talking right now? Right? Am I Am I just filling the air because I’m nervous Am I like mirroring matching their energy. If you’ve got a real cagey or fearful person, I think, go back to the steps the order in the chronology, and then build in pauses to make sure they are clear on what you’re saying, and give them more spaces to talk just about the process. Because once there’s clarity around the process, then I think it can give them a little bit more confidence to continue to move forward. Because as we know, one of the biggest fear points is like what I do next, or if it does, you know, we’re going to do they’re so focused on process, explain it clear and build more intentional pauses to make sure they understand you. And when in doubt, go to some story and narrative, share your direct experience with what a past client went through in navigating this specific part of it, because that can make it more real than just like preach it out. I’m about hypotheticals about how things could go.

Alissa 16:39
When I was newer, in 2011 2012, as a 22 year old, the majority of my clientele was first time homebuyers. And so talking about money, when we don’t really have a lot of money and talking about the getting pre approved. You know, that was all very scary. And during my first several years, I went to so many pre pre approval meetings with the client. And I kind of I’ve noticed, you know, as I’m entering year, like 1413, in my business, I’m not doing that as much because I’m working repeat clients, they’ve done this before they they’re comfortable going to the lender, but even talking to you has made me miss those times when they were nervous. And I you know, the ones that never will go get pre approved. Like, what if you said, Do you want me to go with you, I’ll go sit with you. And we can look at numbers on paper. Those were some of the best meetings. And I also feel like the ones that maybe didn’t get approved, they left there feeling so empowered, because the lender gave them homework, they weren’t upset about not being approved, they were excited about having a plan in place and knowing if I do these things, I could be a homeowner. And being there for that meeting, as a realtor was so important when they are that unsure that nervous. And so you’re kind of making me want to go back to some of these super young. first time homebuyers again,

Speaker 1 18:16
get back in it. And look, man, I think we take for granted sometimes some of the regular or what seem to be, you know, benign parts of our business, like submitting a loan application. But I will build a script into our buyer console that says, hey, look, once you submit your application, and you’re looking to get pre approved, that’s step one, after you’re under contract, they’re going to come back and ask personal redundant kind of questions that you feel like why is somebody asking this, it’s not personal, because another truthful thing to own if you’re helping communities of color, is they may have experienced some type of discrimination or disparate treatment. So one of the first things I have to coach and we’ve got an interesting because I know there’s a bunch of statistics about the single women who are dominating the real estate market and purchasing a lot. And we help a lot of young women of color that are single women in the DC area, making great money buying real estate investing, doing a bunch. And one of the consistent talking points at our console out here. In fact, I heard this morning was like, I don’t want people to try to get over on me not respond to me ask me for extra stuff, like this feeling or assumption that they’re going to get disparate treatment before they even step into it. So I like to speak what we call possibility and protection and intention into them that like, Look, if somebody is ever coming at you in a way that feels like it’s wrong, feels like it’s uncomfortable. Please leave me back in to be a part of it. You’re not in this by yourself. Because what’s another kind of benefit of privilege or benefit of having a lot of folks in your life or your family that have done this before? You got a bunch of people you can go to and say hey, is this normal? Or is this how, how does this work? Right for folks that don’t have that if you’re working to build a more diverse book and business be ready that you might get questions and feel like of course this is normal like what this is weird at all. But to people that haven’t been done before, you got to take that with both some patience and some grace to be like, here’s what to expect. Here’s how it goes. And at any point, if you’re not feeling comfortable, please let me back in. And I’ll make sure the other folks are giving you the same level of explanation and patience I am, because not every professional and I’ll even cue up my lenders and be like, hey, get ready. For first generation buyer, you’re going to need to really be detailed and thoughtful, and give them some time because their concepts are working through it. Yeah,

Katy 20:30
that makes sense. But I like the thought of if you were good in your console, or in your lead up, and you explain to them this is really in detail what the process looks like, then they can see the red flags or they can be feeling at ease like well, they that he said they were going to ask for my my same information three times, they’re not just you know, judging me or not believing me it’s like this is the process and the process is redundant. But if they walked into an end didn’t know, you have to kind of cut that off at the past because I would assume a lot of people just give up, right? Like they say, No, now if this isn’t working, yeah,

Speaker 1 21:04
too much too invasive, not gonna let it keep going on my credit, I’m not going to shop at all, I’m not going to compare different lenders, I’ll just go with the first thing on the internet. And it gave me a bad rate. Because it’s like, no, like, let my resources let quite frankly, let my privilege that I’ve earned from my time in this business, work to your advantage, like now that you’re with us that you’re with me, I’ve done this a lot. I’m confident I got you, right, we’re gonna we’re gonna do this together. And I think making those statements like that can go a lot farther with give first generation or diverse communities that, quite frankly, don’t trust, like Banking, Housing, all these main systems were not built for them quite often. And I built like, You got to help people. But it was the right confidence and like steps, you can still navigate them, like just because it was made for you doesn’t mean that you can’t still work through it and reap the benefits of it. You just got to have somebody, like I said before, speak that possibility. And also, you know, give the details and knowledge of what to expect next.

Katy 21:58
And that makes perfect sense. And I we’re big process people. So that makes me happy. When you’re like really, it’s not hard. It’s more like we’re going to really sit down and talk this through. All right. I want to talk about seller’s for a minute, though, because I feel like you know, we’re in the south. So it’s a struggle, right? Sellers can say something that they don’t even know what fair housing laws are. They don’t know what they that it’s not. I’m not the only one who’s following the law, you got to follow it too. But how do you handle that when you know, maybe you’re walking into a listing appointment, and you’re being interviewed, and you want to get the listing, but you also have to make sure your seller is aware of what their legal obligations are and cut that kind of behavior off. Do you have any talking points for me when

Alissa 22:42
you’re asking questions that we just can’t answer? Don’t want to answer?

Speaker 1 22:48
Yeah, yeah. And for context, I just came back actually, last weekend from Birmingham, Montgomery and Grady, Alabama, that’s where my family is, I spent every summer down there as a kid growing up. So even though I’m up here in the North, I’ve got a better understanding of different dynamics in the south and kind of how it goes in your average northerner, so when you’re approached with an uncomfortable topic, or somebody that maybe even has good intentions, like, well, but I love my neighborhood, I love my neighbors, I just want to make sure the next person else’s home’s good, you know, like, they’ll say, I’ll be like, well, I can understand your intention, I can understand that you may be coming from a good place with that. However, if you’re going to have me and my team help sell your home for the maximum net return, we need to expose your home to everybody. Because if we’re going to discriminate at all, and I’ll use the word discriminate if we’re going to reduce the potential potential buyer for your property that can actually impact your pocket. So I know really want to, you know, think about doing something for the neighborhood moving on. But I think you probably want to net more money and move on to your next chapter of life with the best return possible. Is that right? So if you move it away from their kind of emotional, and, you know, personal intention and put it back to the money, that’s another argument that I’ve found can be helpful sometimes. And if they’re not willing to adhere to that, and they say, I’m willing to die on this hill and actually take less money because of my assumption, bigotry, whatever else because of it. And that’s probably listing your knee, you know, personally, yeah. But it’s not anything, it’s

Alissa 24:24
great to give people permission to say, if it’s, it’s someone that’s just not letting that go, you may have to be the one to let it go. You don’t want all the business, even if you’re new. And this is like the only person that’s willing to work with you right now.

Katy 24:39
This is not how you want to start off your career. No, no, no. And in our local listing agreement, the section closest to the bottom where you sign is about fair housing law, right? Like you’ll walks it through and I don’t read every word of every listing agreement to my sellers, but I sure read that one because I’m like, You’re you’re subject to this law whether you knew what It was before, not you thought about it. You know, I feel like they need to be kind of just gently reminded this is how this is how we’re going to behave during this transaction.

Speaker 1 25:09
Look, I’ve done trainings I’ve been everywhere, Iowa Midwest, Florida, like I’ve been, I’ve been to places that are, quite frankly, are not diverse. And I’ve done DNI trainings, Wisconsin was one of the most interesting ones. And I wanted to empower people there that like, look, there is a difference between, like I said, your intention, and what you might mean or hope or want based on what you know, and then how that can be perceived or received by other people in the market. When you hire a realtor that has a code of ethics, that is to uphold fair housing law, that is both good for you to keep you out of, you know, real estate, jail finding actual jail, and me and our market. But it is also the right economic and financial decision, because I’m like, Look, even if you disagree, and we’re in a time where politically, people will disagree with the word diversity or Dei, if you disagree with that, I don’t think you can disagree with financial returns exposure and the best actual net from a business standpoint, I’m like, I hope that you agree from a personal and you know, ethical and spiritual, whatever place you come from. But if you disagree on that side, let me expose your home to the most people to help you get the best return first. And let’s stay there and focus on that, right? I’m not I can’t change, you can’t change who you are. I’ve got my rules or market as its rules for a reason. And these rules when you adhere to them, actually can equal positive business outcomes.

Alissa 26:32
Sure, yeah. I

Katy 26:34
like the focus to the business outcome. If you’re like, I can’t change who you are. Maybe I at least will let you see the logic. Okay, let’s, let’s talk about this in our settlement situation,

Alissa 26:45
not for like a very long time, but just a little bit. Okay.

Katy 26:50
Alyssa gets real beat down. You know, it’s a lot. We cover the news here on the show more than we thought we were gonna have to when we started it five years ago. How, how are these terms as proposed, going to affect fair housing, you know, housing inclusion? Like we’re, I just want to know your thoughts on this?

Speaker 1 27:09
Yeah. So I think the the biggest part of this for realtors to understand is that the driving force behind the Burnett Spitzer lawsuit, which equal the current biggest settlement we’re talking about, and the Department of Justice, who has a whole separate kind of initiative and drive, those are focused around a faulty premise, like everything that they are based on is faulty. And what is faulty about it is that a reduction in commission will directly correlate to a reduction in prices, consumers pay, they have connected and conflated commission to price increase and price increase to harm. As we know from being in the market, there’s a concept called supply and demand that actually has a bigger impact on prices, interest rates, like there’s all these other factors that actually impact prices in the market, the two main parties driving change in our industry and world don’t care about that fact and truth. So as much as we are logical and experienced, and know that those things are disconnected, and I get I get mad, quite frankly, that somebody made in like made laws around it now is changing, and that it won’t actually have a measurable impact on price changes, like it won’t have a measurable impact on prices. I think that will have to be borne out and shown with data before they reconsider that premise at all. So be mad, go ahead and punch the air, right? Like Squeeze, squeeze your anger ball. And then after you realize that that is one truth, the next truth we have to move to is how can we as local and state associations, get ready for the higher volume of violations, complaints, and things that will happen when a transparent marketplace moves to a place that is not transparent? I think those are you know, first I took it, I was mad. And I’m like, Okay, what do what do we actually do? How do we in my sales business and how to iron my leadership positions, just prepare ourselves for the changes that are happening? It’s like stages of grief, right? Like, I take it at first, I’m like, hurt, I’m upset. I move on. And I get a plan in the process to like, keep going. And I know you feel it. Right. Like I’m sure you’re you’re hearing it you’re feeling it. So that’s the true to establish, how does it impact fair housing? I think that when we talk about privilege, we talk about access to information we talk about the people who are already best positioned to thrive in real estate markets is people with all that folks with money with privilege with knowledge with relationships. When you create a world where that group that has all the information is given infrastructure to keep all of their information even closer in there. There will be even more folks left behind who will already them most marginalized least resource folks on the edge of our housing market anyway, will it mean a dramatic complete fallout of people towards the lower middle and bottom of our market? No. But will it mean we have to be more thoughtful and creative and intentional about how we help them still stay in the market and find ways to build structures and to compensate their representative because they should have won? Yes. And if I can be, you know, blunt about, I think the most direct change that I think the removing compensation from MLS will have is it’s going to force buyer agents to negotiate at multiple different touchpoints with their buyer client, where they didn’t have to before. And because a lot of people don’t have any skills can’t communicate, and aren’t good at talking about numbers or money. That group of folks who are bad at it will probably make less money, or not be able to be in the market at all. Those who are higher skilled, who are proactive about conversations clear about process, clear about options, and seeking options and solutions will still be in the market, we’re just going to have a little bit more work to do for the rest of this year. And next year, as we adjust to a new normal. So like, I know, I was an athlete back in the day, you can’t tell from you know, book, chest below. Now, I think of it like I used to look straight ahead at my future and say, like, Okay, here’s a path, maybe I got a couple cones to go around left and right, it’s not gonna be that bad. I’m looking at the future now. And it’s kind of like a hill, I’m like, Man, I’m gonna have to read some hills I gotta get. But on the other side of that hill, it’s going to be a little easier. But it is not going to be clear, it’s not going to be easy. I’d argue for the next six months to a year and just figuring out what the new normal is. But I’m not freaked out. I’m, you know, I was mad for a little bit. And now like, I’ve got some systems, I’ve got some ideas. And my focus is training my team on the correct conversation flows, and even working with lenders. And if I can give a quick tip on what I think people should do, the same way we make seller net sheets for our sellers, to show them what their net proceeds total cash out of pocket and everything will be, um, working with our lenders on the buy side for loan programs that allow it to create buyer cost estimates that are building in different compensation structures into the cost estimate, so that my buyer has crystal clarity, if this potential property is not offering any compensation, here are our options that work within your budget and your means and your loan program. And this is what we agreed upon in our agreement, this is what this house is going to cost you monthly payment cash out of pocket. In this world post. If a seller is deciding not to compensate me, then that may have a slightly detrimental impact on your cash out of pocket for this house. But for the majority of the other houses is a pretty good chance, especially in the DC metro area, sellers will still choose to compensate or something, and it won’t impact you. But on the off case that it does. I want to make sure it, you understand it and you have an option on if you still want to pursue that house or not. And I’m even testing a script out that if that’s a house that you love, they’re not offering compensation at all to me, then I’m never gonna stand in the way of you buying that house. If you want to go try to purchase that unrepresented. I can give you some kind of sideline advice, but I’m not going to stand in between you and the house of your dreams. Right? Say that

Alissa 33:20
the idea of a buyer net sheet to where they can plug in their own numbers. And really, because that’s what we’re going to have to do is per house, check the numbers is this house even an option? I told Katie, it’s kind of like, when I had a buyer that was going rd, every house, I had to plug into the rd website to see what it spit out because our lines here for rd are kind of crazy. You never really know where the line is. And it’s like sometimes it just wasn’t in the area that and I was like I’m sorry, this house is an RD. And your budget only allows for r&d. So unless you can go

Speaker 1 33:59
FHA. What is rd? I’m sorry, I don’t know what rd is. Oh,

Alissa 34:04
I’m sorry, rural development. It’s in our market, we have the rural development loan the USDA loan 100 Yeah, we call it Rural Development rd. So our map here is just crazy, like areas that you wouldn’t think qualify do and some that don’t, it doesn’t always make sense. So you have to check every address when you’re working with an RD buyer. And if they have their own buyer net sheet, it’s going to be a similar situation. We’re gonna have to check each house and see do you feel comfortable with this house based on the monthly note and the cash needed to close? That’s it. It’s clarity, right? It’s

Unknown Speaker 34:41
clarity, clarity.

Katy 34:42
Yeah. All right. I have a question. And this literally came to me as you describe that scenario, because I’m trying to think about I think we all are, what are the next thing like how will this system actually flow? Right? So if you have the buyer and you’ve done their buyer cost analysis sheet and so they know but then The House comes up, it’s the one and it’s not offering a buyer side compensation and you say to them, Hey, I’m not going to hold you to this if that’s the house you need to have I’m gonna and you feel okay about going to be unrepresented? Go on be free by your right house. Like that’s, there’s not a lot of houses out there, you got to do what you got to do, right? Is there maybe a service right there where it’s like, hey, but here’s my 10 part guide to buying a house, it’s $500, I’m gonna give it to you, and you’re gonna go like, I can’t be there the rest of the way. But I don’t want you to go out into the night. Like, without a flashlight, like, let’s at least give you something. I feel like there is maybe some space there where agents can, because I’m worried about the buyers like these are the people who are punished right now it’s the it’s the first time buyers or buyers who haven’t done this in a long time. Or maybe note, like you said, No one they know has ever done it. Well, they need they need representation, although or they won’t get to the end goal, which is buying the house, right? Or they’ll do it for too much or with bad, like without getting repairs or whatever all the options are possible ways that can go wrong. But I do feel like there is some knowledge you could impart on them. That’s like, hey, take this, like I can give you this 1,000%.

Speaker 1 36:15
And what you described is different programming, and program offers that we as business owners, want to check with your broker are allowed to create. So I envision a world where and I don’t know what if Louisiana was a buyer agency state before this, we’ve had buyer agency, like that’s been a part of my practice since 2008. So like, that’s not new to me, right? I require that, in fact, in the classes, I teach on buyer agency, before we physically go out and look at stuff, you have to execute the agreement, it has been my practice 15 years, right, like, that’s what I’ve done. So that’s not a new thing to me, what I’m imagining will change in the future, is if we need to amend or end like changing cancellation language, or amendment language to that agreement that says if you need some type of limited service model from me, here’s what that cost, here’s the flat fee is the reduced percentage here is XYZ, because I can imagine, if you still find a way to serve, and help and be a part of the transaction, even in a limited capacity that everybody agrees to, and it’s all in writing, that client is still going to be so happy. And for our business. Like I’ve gotten to know y’all got this referral based, they’re going to be grateful that you stayed in and didn’t bail on them, right. Like, I’m building in the gratitude by saying, I’m not going to withhold you from the home you want. But then the next step is, if you still need me, here are other limited service options that my broker allows that my team leader agrees to, and how I can help you. Now we know limited service rarely becomes extremely limited service down the line. But I think as long as there is clarity around it, and there are options, I think we’ll be okay. And the problem I’ve got is some of the more seasoned professionals that are not open to disruptive in different models, right, like there was a a sentiment, say a standard compensation, but a relatively standard structure that we were always used to right hadn’t been changed is what it is. So I would house I’m gonna get paid something cool. Now we have to be much more direct, intentional and specific. With each interaction, it’s extra steps added to the buyer process, period. And once we get used to that being the standard, then what we did before won’t feel you don’t sound like it’s just about this time of transition, and creating more options and a little bit more work in conversation that people are going to be uncomfortable with. But the sooner you get flexible, you can get stretch, man, you gotta stretch out gotta be flexible, because in this new world, that’s what’s going to help people stay around and survive and thrive. And quite frankly, the flexibility will be needed to serve as different clients in different places.

Alissa 38:50
Yeah, and I think I’ve read so many articles about sort of the aftermath of this lawsuit increasing fair housing issues, and then not only affecting our clients, but with what sellers are maybe offering not made public anymore, a listing agent telling Katie Oh, yeah, we’re offering this percent. But then when Harrison comes along, and he’s a minority agent, we say, Oh, our sellers not offering any compensation. So I’m sorry, you’re gonna have to like figure that out. Because there’s less transparency. And

Speaker 1 39:25
I was gonna say my one quick response to that is everywhere. In a listing agreement, we should be consistent and binding unless you have a variable commission option. It shouldn’t be the same number that is marketed. The big change post July will be that that number cannot be marketed on a public on a public MLS portal. It can be on my private site, it can be on my Instagram or give me on my flyers, it could be on my disclosure, whatever. So I should and this adds a step to buyer agents jobs like something I trained my agents to do and what I always did in the past asked was in the PDF of the listing in the actual offer that we sent, because that showed the offer compensation at the time of submission. I can imagine a world where we need an extra document and extra something that is signed in writing by brokers, sellers, buyers, everybody that says, For this deal, this compensation is x, it’s an extra step. But again, clarity is power, right? The more redundant I can be. And if it’s all in writing, but everybody, everybody agrees, there’s no issue. The biggest change with the lawsuit, though, is how and where that is marketed, and how it’s talked about.

Katy 40:33
You know, it’s funny, whenever I was early in the Business Week, my broker required us to do that print up the MLS listing where it showed the compensation and it was required, because we have paper folders then, right? I mean, that was 2006. Seven. So you had to have in the folder, because there were some sketchy agents who would just go in and change it in the MLS after it was under contract, and you’d have to pull up the paper and be like, No, ma’am. It’s right here. And so now we’re gonna, that’s what bothers me, because I know I’m going to do the right thing. And I know, well, this is going to do the right thing. And you’re probably going to do the right thing. But there are enough agents that do not do the right thing. And now we are going to have to police each other in some way, in order to hold them accountable. Like, hey, this is what you said was the commission, you have to actually pay that. And

Alissa 41:18
I’m hoping like what Harrison said that that part of policing, maybe it’s like six to 12 months, maybe 18 months. And then I’m hoping the beauty of this mess is that the strong stay. And the ones that were looking for loopholes, looking for ways out like they’re not going to make it you know, if you’re sketchy if you’re performing business in an unprofessional manner, lawsuits are coming your way everybody’s preparing for a more lawsuits, like you’re not going to make it and so maybe this time, next year, or in two years, we’re gonna have a much better scrubbed pool of real estate professionals for the public to choose from, I love let’s let’s hope, let’s just hope

Speaker 1 42:02
and look, markets and what they do naturally anyway, right, we had a peak right before all this stuff went down, we were at one of the highest agent, we were at the highest agent, however, in history at over 1.6 million. Okay, so something was going to happen. The first thing that happens with rates going up in the market, kind of, you know, taking the tank in some places, and it not being as hot as it was in 2021. This is another thing that will happen to cause the the natural cycle of up and down. So we’re about to begin a down cycle of agents leaving, but for us that are going to be around that’s more market share for us do the right thing to take care of, and more space to help and just do the right thing to support folks in the market navigating.

Alissa 42:45
And I think that’s a perfect lead in to our next question, which is, in terms of us being the real estate professionals, like what can we do to be the best advocates for fair housing?

Speaker 1 42:59
Well, one of the biggest hurdles, if you’re looking at supporting marginalized communities, is money financing and resources. So the simplest thing you can do is be working with not just your lenders, but your Local Economic Development Authority. In almost every community has got some type of grant or other program out there a marketing strategy that we’re deploying, like right now, this spring, is creating a list of both public and private programs. So all of our lenders that are hitting me up for lunch, I’m like, Alright, I don’t want to know just about your FHA, VA, USDA, tell me about your grant money. Tell me about your census tract money. Tell me about all the different things you’ve got. And yes, preferred lender, I’m putting this on a chart, comparing it to other lenders, programs, you can have that chart, so you can maybe step your game up. But I want to create this in one place to share a centralized resource of where all the money that can car commercial, I think it was in Louisiana, like where the money reside, where the money resides, where the money, I’m gonna show you where

Katy 44:00
we’re gonna go.

Speaker 1 44:03
But I think that’s a tangible thing that can help you with your business, and also directly help a lot of our marginalized communities. And like I said earlier, just slowing down being thoughtful, being intentional, and realizing that just because you haven’t seen or experienced or felt disparate treatment or things in the market, it doesn’t mean that the people you’re helping haven’t so you need to approach them with some grace, some patience, and an extra level of kind of care and concern to make sure that they feel protected and heard, and you build trust in that way with them.

Katy 44:35
I love that. Okay. We Your time is very valuable. So last thing. Do you have any favorite resources, other speakers, places where agents who want to learn more about fair housing can go and find good, like good resources?

Speaker 1 44:50
Yeah. Well, the National Fair Housing Alliance, and FHA run by Laurie Brenner, she speaks at a lot of conferences around the country. They’ve got a lot Good information. My good friend, Paula Mata for I think she’s at p monitor for on Instagram is a national speaker and good friend of mine that is really good at framing telling the story. Excuse me, and then come to our conferences, man, like, as you mentioned, my role for 2024 is NA ours meetings and conference co chair and got a big conference in DC in May. But our biggest one is in November, in Boston, that’s our annual conference.

Katy 45:29
Anything else?

Alissa 45:31
Well, I think this was this episode went even better than I would have hoped. Because at the end of the day, it’s about what you said, what we need to do for the minority is what we need to do for all, like, how we treat our clients needs to be consistent across the board, we need to be listening to all of them, taking our time understanding where they’re coming from making it about them and not making it about us. And if you do that, it’s pretty hard to violate any fair housing laws if you’re just operating from a professional consistent standpoint.

Speaker 1 46:12
And there are also some classes that I didn’t mention earlier that people should consider. There’s the at home with diversity designation, the bias override, which is an NAR approved class, the Fair Haven simulation, which if you haven’t done it, when I was president of my local, I created a challenge and asked my members to take all three of those classes within the calendar year. And then I gave them special perks at our annual award ceremony and our other events that celebrated not just top producers, but folks that chose to lean into all things di and serving other communities and learning to build their toolbox. So I think those are three great tools. And I can email you some of that stuff, too to share. It’s helpful. Oh

Katy 46:59
yeah, absolutely. We’ll put it in the show notes. If you want to email it to us and tell everyone did you bring a toast? Oh, okay, Alisa, tell them what to toast.

Alissa 47:10
Okay, so we end each episode with a toast, where you can say usually we have agents send us an email and say I want to toast to my mentor so and so. But when we have a guest, we’d like to let you shout out give a toast to someone that has made an impact in your business that you want to give a shout out to on the show. Yeah, as we end our episode. I

Speaker 1 47:32
love it. Okay, well, I’ll give a shout out right now to the birdseed foundation. It’s actually an organization that I sit on the board here in DC. It’s a public benefit corporation that’s funded by this other cool like Home Warranty product that one of my friends who runs they give need blind grants to black, brown and immigrant people in the DC metro area to buy their first homes. But by serving on that board, I’ve been able to meet and I just had another listing appointment this morning, about four or five other people that want to engage in use our services as directly connected to my service on that board fundraising for it and talking about it. So shout out to the birdseed Foundation, and birdwatch for inviting me to be on the board the great work they do, and the business opportunities that have organically come out of that board service.

Alissa 48:23
That’s perfect. I

Katy 48:24
love that that is perfect. Where can everyone find you if they’d like to get in touch with you follow us see what you’re up to listen to the podcast tell us where they can find you.

Speaker 1 48:32
I’m on Instagram at HL beach. Our team is on Instagram at coalition properties. And then our website is coalition pg.com. But Instagram is the best way to get me through anything. We’ve also got a lot of great content on YouTube, including our podcast at all blends perfectly. We’ve got some good episodes talking about the like code switching about a lot of different lived experiences that we’ve had in the real estate industry. That could be entertaining and fun. But uh, no, thank you and happy to help and connect and make my world bigger by me.

Katy 49:06
Thank you so much for coming so much. We appreciate it so much.

Alissa 49:11
Thank you so much for tuning in to the hustle humbly podcast.

Katy 49:14
If you enjoy this episode, please go to rate this podcast.com/hustle humbly and leave us a review or drop a comment if you’re listening on Spotify.

Alissa 49:22
If you have an episode topic or someone you’d like to toast on the show, please email us at team at hustle humbly podcast.com

Katy 49:29
Find us on social media at hustle humbly podcast. Don’t forget to find all the free resources at hustle humbly podcast.com/resources See you next week.

Alissa 49:39
This is the good life

Two Realtors fostering community over competition through light-hearted conversations.



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