When I founded the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) in 2007, the real estate market was great, and then it wasn’t. If you were licensed in 2008, you remember how the market turned on a dime. The 2008 financial crisis reached a climax when the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, due to mortgage-backed securities (MBS) tied to American real estate, as well as a vast web of derivatives linked to those MBS, collapsed in value.
Fast-forward to 2022, and there’s something in the tea leaves again. Nobody has a crystal ball, but we know markets are changing. It’s time to dig into your niche(s).
I learned a lot from the 2008 global financial crisis, and the greatest lesson learned was the value of niche marketing. Since its founding, NAGLREP members have guided people of diverse backgrounds in their pursuit of the American dream through homeownership by helping them buy and sell homes.
NAGLREP is more than a club. Our consumer-facing website, naglrep.com, receives on average 75,000 unique visits per month from LGBT homebuyers, sellers and agents seeking a referral partner. When members join, they build their member profile in up to 16 cities for search on our website. Due to discrimination against the LGBT community, there is a strong connection between LGBT homebuyers, sellers and agents wanting to do business with NAGLREP members. NAGLREP members are both LGBT and allied, and we mean business.
But it’s not only about the bottom line. We, as real estate professionals, have a moral obligation to give back to our communities. With a moral compass, in 2008 NAGLREP brought forward to NAR the proposal to amend the NAR Code of Ethics’ Article 10 to include sexual orientation and gender identity. At a time when roughly half of the country would not have such a concept in their state laws, it was a brave step for NAR to include a protected class before federal fair housing law. By 2011 and 2013, Article 10 was updated to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
NAGLREP celebrated 15 years this past September with our LGBT+ Real Estate Retreat hosted in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Approximately 150 members and guests shared three days of education, networking, sun and margaritas! Feel welcome to join NAGLREP, and assist the LGBT community in buying and selling real estate, plus share referrals with members.
Wishing you a warm holiday season with your family, and we hope to see you in fall 2023 at NAGLREP Puerto Vallarta, date tba!
Jeff Berger is founder, president and CEO of the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP).