Summer 2022: From the CEO

Forward-thinking diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives require a 360-degree view of where we’ve come from, where we are and where we’re going. We’ve been on the wrong side of history before; many of our members are products of discriminatory housing policies and still feel their effects. Our apology for our past actions, issued unanimously by the board of directors in 2018, has helped pave the way forward for us, and we continue to reinforce and amplify the importance of fair housing and good DEI practices in all we do.

We recently revamped our Fair Housing course in collaboration with the National Fair Housing Alliance, an introduction made by Bryan Greene, Vice President of Policy Advocacy at the National Association of REALTORS®. This new course is highly engaging, with audio that guides you through interactions and case studies as you advance through the material. Most importantly, the course addresses how certain practices and statements may signal bias to clients, and how you can eliminate or avoid those biases moving forward.

In early June, we hosted our inaugural Chicago REALTORS® 360° Summit: Leading with Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, where we discussed how we can build equitable solutions to shape the future of our city and how taking action can directly increase your bottom line. We also talked about how we can re-think the client experience to be more inclusive and best show up as allies. It was an inspiring day, and Chicago REALTORS® continues to be a true leader in this space.

However, we still have a ways to go. The Illinois REALTORS® Discriminatory Appraisals Task Force recently released “Color and Collateral,” a study that showed race plays a potentially large role in the rejection of home loan applications due to the appraised values of homes in Illinois. Appraisals might not be the only part of the transaction vulnerable to discrimination. We’re working to determine where else issues arise and continue to educate one another on what we can do to make a difference.

Only by working together can we eradicate racism in our industry and uphold fair housing. Together, we can make a difference.

Read Illinois REALTORS® “Color and Collateral” study for more information about the impact of appraisal bias.