Service now available in the greater Iowa City area
Compiled Tim Nedoba
Iowa City -GayRealEstate.com, a service which connects buyers and sellers with compatible agents, recently surveyed their more than 1,500 partner agents and found the biggest trend among their LGBTQ clientele is the priority of finding a safe, welcoming neighborhood.
Among those surveyed, about 69.62 percent stated that the neighborhood is even more important than the actual house among LGBTQ homebuyers and sellers.
The trend with the most momentum among LGBTQ buyers and sellers by a margin of about 50 percent, according to the survey, is the safety of neighborhoods. This is a result of an open-ended question on the survey which asked agents to theorize on the foremost permeating trend among LGBTQ clients, according to their experience and expertise. About 50 percent of the answers were related to neighborhood safety and included crime rates, safety, diverse/welcoming neighborhoods, community, living in LGBTQ areas and successful integration. GayRealEstate.com can help you find your next home.
In the early 1990s, Jeff Hammerberg witnessed an instance of “quiet homophobia” while working at one of the very first Re/Max offices in the country. A gay male couple stepped into the ReMax Professionals office in Littleton, CO interested in buying a home, and were assisted by the floor agent. A floor agent is an “on-duty” agent that handles all of the incoming calls and walk-in traffic – an opportunity to pick up new clients. Generally, the floor agent is never the best agent in the office – the best agents are busy with clients and don’t have time to sit around and wait for business to come to them.
On this particular day, the floor agent was someone who was honest, nice, and kind, but someone who had probably never met an openly gay person. After he consulted with the couple, and they left, the agent took a lot of ribbing in the back room from fellow agents that had witnessed the interaction. It was shocking.
While the agent went on to find these gentlemen a home, I questioned how well they were represented. Were these clients’ best interests being represented? Was there a better way to ensure members of my LGBTQ community could be assured of fair, equal, and honest representation by someone that understood the unique needs and desires of our community?
I realized at that moment that by creating a database of gay, lesbian, and gay-friendly agents, I could help other LGBTQ individuals and couples avoid discomfort, uncertainty, unenthusiastic representation, or even hostility. Individuals could be assured of a comfortable, smooth buying or selling experience while being fully represented!
And so, GayRealEstate.com was born.
Our country has come a long way toward recognizing our LGBTQ community, but we have a long way to go. Even today in 2020, with gay marriage legal, only about 55% of the country believes we deserve that right! More than 1/3 of Americans still don’t believe our community deserves protection and dignity in housing, employment, adoption, and other areas of life. We’ve recently experienced leadership in the White House that has moved LGBTQ rights and visibility backward, packing the courts with religious conservatives.
This very day, you as an LGBTQ individual have about a 50/50 chance of working with a realtor who stands in full support of who you are, and your right to equal protection under the law. It shouldn’t be too much to demand representation with one of life’s largest purchases. Finding a competent and trustworthy realtor is a tall order for any person, let alone a person from the LGBTQ community. Using the “family realtor” – the nice agent you met at an open house – or getting a referral from your friend Angela is dated and not a sound plan! Again, you’re making what may be the biggest investment of your life.