This is the first in a series of profiles of the multicultural allied real estate associations in Texas.
Texas Association of Real Estate Brokers
Founded in 1947, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) works for equal opportunities and civil rights for Black consumers, communities, and real estate professionals. Throughout its history, the association has helped lobby for major reforms, including the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
The Texas Association of Real Estate Brokers (TAREB) also began in 1947 and governs the state’s six local chapters.
Sharon Middlebrooks, 2018-2020 TAREB president, says the Black homeownership rate in 2019 was lower than what it was before the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
“How do you have a post-Fair Housing Act number that is lower than the pre-act number? That shows us that there is more work to be done,” she says.
NAREB and TAREB welcome anyone who supports its mission of democracy in housing. Association members are called Realtists and include agents, brokers, loan officers, appraisers, and property managers among others. Realtists pledge to uphold NAREB’s Code of Professional Responsibility and adhere to strict ethical standards. Middlebrooks says about half to three-quarters of Realtists are also members of the REALTOR® association.
TAREB promotes networking opportunities to compare notes on effective practices and helps local chapters benefit from shared resources. TAREB also offers training that spans the business gamut, Middlebrooks says. Realtists can explore various branches of real estate and discover what best suits them.
Advocacy has always been a priority for NAREB, Middlebrooks says. “Because our forefathers were not at the table in terms of policy, procedures, and fair housing, legislative advocacy has become near and dear to us as an organization—especially when it affects Black and brown people. We want to have a voice in that.”
Texas REALTORS® Diversity Committee
The Texas REALTORS® Diversity Committee supports activities that encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion in member involvement and leadership opportunities. The committee works with local associations through education, sponsorship, and communication endeavors. Visit texasrealestate.com/inclusion.
TAREB participates in the major NAREB campaigns, including efforts to increase Black homeownership, improve education about the credit system, and build generational wealth.
The association lobbies for changes that would help Black people buy into the American dream of homeownership. Middlebrooks says that many Black homeowners lost their homes during and after the 2008 financial crisis in part because of inequities in financial practices. “We would like to see policy applied uniformly as opposed to advantageously,” she says.
TAREB and its parent association will continue to advocate for equal opportunities for everyone.
“Even in 2020, though we’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go in terms of embracing everyone and being all inclusive,” Middlebrooks says.