Why Oklahoma City brokers are doubling down on DEI initiatives even when critics slam them

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Unafraid of attacks on DEI – “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” – OKC area Brokers They’re moving forward to bring their ranks into line with the changing makeup of Oklahoma City.

Members of five real estate brokerage boards and four other real estate-related groups met recently at an event billed as “Celebrating diversity together.” Brokers are state-licensed real estate agents who are also members of the trade group National Association of Realtorswhich encourages State and local councils to form DEI committees.

Whether he was called or not DEI,” Promoting diversity is nothing new for OKC area Realtorswho see this as a natural extension of their commitment to upholding fair housing laws that prohibit discrimination.

“We are very proud of the event and the initiatives we are taking as an organisation,” said Adam Maggiore, CEO. Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors.

Other broker groups involved were Edmond Board of Realtorsthe Midwest City-Del City-Moore Association of Realtorsthe Norman Board of Realtors And the Oklahoma Association of Realtors.

Related: Ryan Walters says diversity, equity and inclusion efforts are Marxist, and calls for reporting on school spending

Oklahoma brokers say DEI programs aren’t “Marxist,” and are actually good for business

DEI, rather than “Marxism at its core” which is better called “divide, exclude and indoctrinate”. As Public Schools Superintendent Ryan Walters announced, Efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion are smart business decisions, Maggiore said.

Ironically, long-term improvements in DEI among brokers, and in the firms they work with, most of them as independent contractors, can depend on schools.

“Realtor organizations at all levels have an obligation to ensure that our membership represents and reflects the communities we serve,” Maggiore said. “There are two main paths. One, ensuring that historically underrepresented demographics are exposed to the real estate profession at an early age; and two, charting a path where being a real estate professional is not a second or third career.

“To change the demographics of our members, we need to make real estate education available within our schools, especially in high schools. This will ultimately change the demographics of our members and licensees.”

Oklahoma City is more diverse than ever, said Gary Jones, director of government affairs for the Metro Association of Realtors, which oversees the diversity conference.

Related: Redlining Oklahoma’s low minority home values ​​continues. Should the evaluation process be changed?

OKC has more diversity than local, international and national brokers

Realtors are state-licensed real estate agents and are also members of the trade group the National Association of Realtors.

Realtors are state-licensed real estate agents and are also members of the trade group the National Association of Realtors.

OKC is 58% white, 16% Hispanic, 14% black, 5% Native American, and 3% Asian American, with 2% citing two or more races, or other, Jones said.

For comparison, the national Realtors’ membership last year was 81% white — up from 77% in 2022 — 5% Black, 5% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% Native American and 3% other, according to the national association. For real estate brokers.

Membership in the Oklahoma Association of Realtors at the end of January was 90.8% white, 3.5% Hispanic, 2.5% Black and 1.6% Asian American, the state group says.

At the Oklahoma City Association of Realtors, members are 87% white, 3% black, 3% Hispanic, 2% Native American and 3% other, the local group says.

“New members tend to be more diverse than experienced members. Among those with two or less years of experience, 41% were minorities, which is up from 37% (in 2022),” brokers reported.

State and OKC Realtor’s demographics were not immediately available, but Jones said there is work to be done for real estate businesses, especially residential, to “better reflect the community they serve.”

Here are several real estate organizations working on DEI initiatives, in addition to brokers. They each participated in “Celebrating Diversity Together.”

the National Association of RealtorsIt was organized by and for black Americans in real estate before brokers accepted them as members He has been active in Oklahoma City for decades. Members are called “realists.” The local chapter is Oklahoma United Realists Association.

  • a task: “To enhance the professional and business conditions of Realists by enhancing the consumer capacity of black, minority, and emerging target market segments served by Realists. And by strengthening the real estate industry generally, and leveraging economic, political, legal, and social influence to address disparate and discriminatory housing and real estate ownership policies and practices prevalent in the United States.” .

  • Vision statement: ‘Realist Association will promote the expansion of intergenerational wealth creation by Black households by promoting and retaining high levels of real estate equity investments supported by our enduring commitment to preserving and realizing Reality’s credo, ‘Democracy in Housing.’ “

Related: The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals of Oklahoma was formed

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals has had an OKC chapter since 2017.

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals has had an OKC chapter since 2017.

the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals he had OKC chapter since 2017.

The national group describes itself as “a purpose-driven organization driven by a passionate blend of entrepreneurship, cultural heritage and advocacy for its members. Our mission is to promote sustainable Hispanic homeownership.”

It does this by:

  • education and empowering real estate professionals who serve Hispanic homebuyers and sellers.”

  • the invitation For public policy that supports the trade association’s mission.”

  • facilitation Relationships between industry stakeholders, real estate practitioners and other housing industry professionals.”

The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance was founded in 2020.

The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance was founded in 2020.

the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance It is a relatively new organization, founded in 2020. Chuck Wells is the 2024 OKC Chapter President. About 4% of Oklahoma’s population is from the LGBTQ+ community, he said.

  • a task: “Advocate. Elevate. Celebrate. Advocate for fair housing for all and advance homeownership for the LGBTQ+ community. Raise the professionalism of the industry through education and outreach. Celebrate diversity and inclusion in our members and allied partners.”

  • Vision: “Creating a world free from housing discrimination.”

Oklahoma City does not yet have a chapter of the Asian American Real Estate Association.

Oklahoma City does not yet have a chapter of the Asian American Real Estate Association.

Oklahoma City does not yet have a dismissal from Asian American Real Estate Association. but, Valorie J. Filippo, a member of the Edmond Board of Realtors, is working with other Realtors to form one. AREAA was founded in 2003 and has 43 chapters across the United States.

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Brokers and others attend "Celebrating diversity together" Jan. 17 at the Oklahoma City Convention Center.

Realtors and others attend “Celebrating Diversity Together” on Jan. 17 at the Oklahoma City Convention Center.

Senior business writer Richard Mize has covered housing, construction, commercial real estate and related topics for the newspaper and The Oklahoman.com since 1999. Contact him at rmize@oklahoman.com. Sign up for his weekly newsletter, Real Estate with Richard Mize. You can support Richard’s work and the work of his colleagues by purchasing a digital subscription to The Oklahoman. Now, you can have 6 months of subscriber access for just $1.

This article originally appeared in The Oklahoman: OKC brokers double down on DEI amid political opposition

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