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Racial Bias In The Real Estate Industry


Those in the customer service field need to provide the same level of service to everyone. They cannot discriminate based on race or other classes that are protected under state and federal laws.

Most real estate agents will say that they have no racial biases, but do they really without knowing it? It’s possible, and these hidden biases can cause real estate agents and brokers to get into serious legal trouble.

The National Association of Realtors is taking action. The organization is offering a new certificate course to help real estate professionals understand and combat unconscious bias. “Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing” is a three-hour course intended to help real estate professionals provide equal professional service to every customer and avoid violations of fair housing laws.

Those who take the class will learn about the mind science of identity and find out how implicit bias can result in fair housing violations. They will also engage in interactive exercises to help them enhance communication skills and business relationships with clients of all backgrounds so they can make homeownership accessible to all.

The class aims to teach Realtors how to:

  • Understand discrimination and bias in real estate.
  • Explain how implicit bias may result in violations of ethics and laws.
  • Identify interventions to prevent implicit bias and stereotype threat.

What is Discrimination in the Housing Industry? 

Some examples of discrimination by real estate agents include: 

  • Lying to a client, such as not telling the truth about a home
  • Altering of the terms and conditions for a home purchase or loan
  • Blatant discrimination in advertising or marketing
  • Refusal to rent or sell based on race 

Eliminating Bias 

Create a fair environment for everyone by doing the following: 

  • Treat everyone equally. Give everyone the same treatment, regardless of their race. It’s just the right thing to do.
  • Assess your marketing. Your marketing tactics may exclude certain groups. Make sure your images reflect a variety of demographics. Make sure the content is inclusive of all races.
  • Avoid racial steering. Sometimes real estate agents guide clients toward homes based on the color of their skin. Instead, look for homes that meet the customers’ wants and needs.
  • Report unethical colleagues. As the saying goes, if you see something, say something. If a colleague is acting unethically, report their behavior. This helps make things more equal for everyone. 

Keep Your License With Help From a Tampa Real Estate Broker License Lawyer 

As much as we don’t want to admit it, we all have biases toward certain groups. For real estate agents, this can lead to ethical issues and even lawsuits.

Avoid license loss and other administrative issues with help from a Tampa real estate broker license lawyer from The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. David Rankin was the attorney for Tampa Realtors for 17 years and has represented hundreds of sales associates and brokers before the Florida Real Estate Commission. Let’s discuss your case and come up with the best options for a speedy and effective resolution. To schedule a consultation, call (813) 968-6633 or fill out the online form.