This week we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. and the massive and positive impact Dr. King made on 20th Century America. His most iconic “I have a dream” speech still resonates 57 years later.
So many Americans have a dream for equity, equality and inclusion. That extends to the dream of homeownership. A dream realized for many, but not always equitably. A dream we in real estate are privileged to help with.
At Kentwood Real Estate we formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council in 2020 to address both internal and external issues facing our company and our industry. Thank you to the volunteers on our Council and the wonderful input they provided last year. All of them offered to renew their commitment to volunteer this year and we now have a waiting list!
Our goal is to make a real and positive difference in people’s lives. To that end, we’ve translated our Listing and Buyer information into Spanish and discussed what the next language should be. Vietnamese perhaps.
We’re in the process of forming a Kentwood Foundation to help our communities – our Kentwood Community and the communities we live in. More on that to follow.
We’re encouraging our managers to recruit for diversity and we’re welcoming many new brokers from all sorts of life experiences and backgrounds to the Kentwood family.
A Pledge to Do Right
Kentwood “took the pledge” and is among hundreds of companies joined as Colorado Companies United Against Racism. But taking a pledge isn’t an end, it’s a signal that we intend to be a part of the process and solution going forward. Our industry has historically not been purveyors of best practices. We’re grappling with that and determined to make a positive difference going forward.
Let Dr. King’s words guide us. “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”
In its commitment to addressing homeownership disparity in Colorado and the real estate industry, Kentwood Real Estate has formulated a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council. The council is actively identifying and executing on initiatives to help underserved communities and to educate the brokers and staff through education, community activation and engagement, and by influencing policies.
“Diversity, equity and inclusion within our brokerage and our neighborhoods has always been a top priority to our leadership team,” said Gretchen Rosenberg, president and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate. “The DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Council is a place to create conversations in safe open dialogue. We want to unite the company, learning about our differences, and highlighting how this makes us stronger. We want to create a regular cadence of internal communication about opportunities for engagement in the community at large and in National Association of Realtors® affinity organizations.”
Education is at the heart of the program. The DEI Council is planning an all-company panel on a range of topics tied to diversity, equity and inclusion. Furthermore, every broker in the company, plus a guest of their choosing, will be encouraged to attend at least one function per year with affinity or community groups. The ‘plus-one’ program will encourage brokers to tap into their sphere of influence to both expand education in the community and facilitate a level of comfort for people stepping into new situations.
On more granular levels, the DEI Council is examining all touchpoints within the company to find ways to ensure the brokerage is addressing diversity, equity and inclusion at every level – from translating homebuyer and seller books into Spanish, to confirming the equal housing guidelines are optimally represented on all marketing material.
Kentwood Real Estate is a proud member of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), the Colorado Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (CAHREP), the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP®) Denver Chapter, the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB). Kentwood Real Estate is passionate about and committed to advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion in the housing industry and beyond. To learn more about Kentwood Real Estate and available listings, visitwww.Kentwood.com.