Coldwell Banker CEO M. Ryan Gorman took to the stage at the 2022 LGBTQ+ Housing Policy Symposium, where he received a standing ovation for his panel on supporting those who lead by example in serving the underserved. Also in attendance was former Coldwell Banker REALTOR® Jim Obergefell, who won the historic 2015 Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage.
The symposium was created by the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ and ally trade organizations with more than 2,200 members. It took place at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill and addressed critical issues such as discrimination against LGBTQ+ real estate professionals, the impact of housing discrimination against buyers and sellers, the status of the Equality Act, and much more.
Gorman’s session emphasized the importance of leveraging the opportunities that are available to individuals in underserved communities such as utilizing and being mentored by knowledgeable agents:
“A trusted advisor is the single best person who can help any individual, therefore community, to understand the path to homeownership,” Gorman said. “We’re trying to uplift people in underserved communities to say whether they are an existing entrepreneur or potential entrepreneur…we’re investing in their company for their success.”
Other examples Gorman provided include the Lease with a Right to Purchase program from Home Partners of America, starting your real estate brokerage journey by joining one of Realogy’s Inclusive Ownership (IO) programs or even joining forces with organizations like the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance for advocacy and support across the industry.
In recent years, Coldwell Banker has expanded its IO program, the only industry-first program aimed at increasing the diverse demographics of franchise affiliate owners and providing support for minority brokerage owners during their initial years of business and beyond. The IO program is breaking down barriers to entry in the industry and ensuring that communities feel represented by their real estate agents—of the 23 companies that have joined since the program launched in February 2020, more than 78% are women-owned, 22% are black-owned, 17% are Hispanic-owned, 11% are Asian-owned and 11% are veteran-owned. Gorman and Realogy look forward to significantly growing LGBTQ+ participation in the IO program through awareness and advocacy.
While Coldwell Banker’s recent strides in the space have made headlines, Gorman admits that it’s not enough, noting that the key to generational wealth and equality lies within the most entrepreneurial space in the country: the real estate industry. He says that it’s up to everyone in the network to have engagement across the board, stating:
“Investing ourselves through our company and network and leveraging the full power of the alliance…is the way that we can change the inputs that makes the outcomes successful.”
Gorman stresses that Coldwell Banker is committed to opening the path to homeownership to everyone, as a home is a place of love and support, a shelter from the storm, and a key to generational wealth.
Additional information on Coldwell Banker’s commitment to diversity can be found here.