The real estate industry is in need of continuing to foster diversity, whether it be among agents or in the clients that they are servicing. Real estate brokerage Coldwell Banker is implementing an Inclusive Ownership Program to increase representation of minority, women, LGBTQ+ and veteran entrepreneurs in the sector. To get a better undetstanding of the initiative and its diversity marketing implications, we talked to Jason Riveiro, Director, Global Development & Growth Markets at Realogy, the holding company that owns Coldwell Banker. Riveiro is a member of Portada’s Council System of Brand Marketers.
A recent study by ad agency Oberland finds 91% of Americans believe their actions and the actions of brands will lead to sustained change on the social-justice front. According to the study, 42% of Americans aged 19-26 have stopped buying a brand that has been exposed for racist behaviors. Almost one-third of those surveyed want to see brands provide employees with appropriate diversity and inclusion training. 20% want brands to commit to hiring more Black employees. Are brands not just doing the talk but also the walk? And how are their diversity initiatives reflected in their marketing strategies?
Jason Riveiro, Director, Global Development & Growth Markets at Realogy, the company that owns Coldwell Banker, tells Portada that “the real estate industry as a whole is in need of continuing to foster diversity, whether it be among agents or in the clients that they are servicing. Coldwell Banker has identified this issue and is committed to not only expand its diversity in-house, but more importantly, be a leader in servicing, mentoring, and championing diversity in the real estate industry,” Coldwell Banker has a network of over 94,000 affiliated residential and commercial real estate sales professionals in 3,000 offices across 43 countries and territories.
Diversity Marketing: How is Coldwell Banker Prioritizing Diversity?
Coldwell Banker’s Inclusive Ownership program is an initiative to increase representation of minority, women, LGBTQ+ and veteran entrepreneurs in the real estate industry. Each new brokerage that affiliates with Coldwell Banker will not pay the initial franchise fee and will receive financial incentives to support diverse business owners in the critical first two years of business. Benefits include up to $100,000 of funding, royalty fee rebates as well as education and mentorship. Owners will also receive membership and conference registration for an industry partner group of choice. As part of their inclusive Ownership program Coldwell Banker recently welcomed three minority owned new brokerages: Coldwell Banker Omni Group in Santa Ana, Calif., owned by Tina Marie and Rich Hernandez; Coldwell Banker Action Holdings in Grand Island, Neb., owned by Amber Schuppan; and Coldwell Banker Commercial Northland in Flagstaff, Ariz., owned by Becky McBride.
How Large are Minorities in the U.S. Realtor Base?
According to the National Association of Realtors, Hispanics/ Latinos accounted for 10 percent of REALTORS®, followed by Black/African-Americans (six percent) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (five percent). New members tended to be more diverse than experienced members. Among those who had two years of experience or less, 27 percent were minorities. Spanish is the most common second language that members were fluent in. Among all REALTORS®, 13 percent were born outside the U.S.
Diversity Marketing: How is the Diversity Initiative Supported?
How does Coldwell Banker’s objective of Cultural Diversity impact Marketing? Riveiro tells Portada that his marketing approach is to get the word out to as many industry people as possible. “We’re focusing on growing awareness among industry reporters and influencers talking about the program and connecting with various organizations / associations – National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), Asian Real Estate Associate of America (AAREA), National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) – to spread the word. The program almost markets itself, as we’ve had hundreds of respondents interested after we first announced it though there are still steps needed to keep up the momentum.”
According to Riveiro, “an additional tactic that sets this program apart is the one-on-one guidance, mentoring and overall support that Coldwell Banker, at a national level, provides to all participants that affiliate with this program. The support starts on Day 1, and agencies benefit greatly from ongoing guidance, access to materials and an immediate network of industry professionals on a nationwide platform”