The Collin County Association of REALTORS® Global Diversity Committee fosters an inclusive, diverse environment where members can engage, learn, and embrace one another’s unique culture to better serve their real estate clients and communities.
When was your diversity group formed and how is it structured?
The Collin County Association of REALTORS® (CCAR) Global Diversity committee was formed in 2019 and is open to anyone who wants to participate—REALTORS® and Affiliates. The committee meets once a month and is led by a chair and vice chair, and staff liaison.
What was the catalyst that started it?
Our leadership saw a need for CCAR to have a group that looked at diversity within the real estate industry and that championed an inclusive, diverse environment. They wanted a committee whose work was aimed at encouraging members to engage, learn, and embrace one another’s unique culture to better serve their real estate clients and communities.
How is your group tackling diversity, equity, and inclusion?
CCAR’s Global Diversity Committee believes that educational opportunities are the key to tackling diversity, equity, and inclusion. Committee members have participated in a number of initiatives to educate CCAR’s membership and the community about the importance of understanding diversity. In 2019, the committee hosted an event for members entitled “Passport.” During Passport, tables representing several different countries were set up and presented by committee members from that country. Event guests went from table to table learning about the different countries, sampling food from the region, and asking questions. During this event, there was also a presentation from the Collin County Diversity Council.
At the beginning of 2020, CCAR unveiled a series of 26 videos regarding the importance of participating in the U.S. census. Each video features a member of the Global Diversity Committee providing information about the census in their native language—from Albanian to Vietnamese and many other languages in between. CCAR’s members were encouraged to share these videos with their clients, and the videos were made available to North Texas’ city officials, as well. CCAR’s Chief Executive Officer, Mary Leidy, received the Texas REALTORS® 100 Acts of Kindness Award for her idea that inspired the videos, and CCAR was given high praise from the National Association of REALTORS® and area city councils.
During its monthly meetings, the Global Diversity Committee has a section of its agenda in which a committee member discusses aspects of real estate transactions when working with buyers from specific countries or areas of the world. These presentations feature a Q&A session, during which committee members can learn more about how to meet the needs of their clients in the way that makes them the most comfortable.
What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other local associations or members who want to make positive contributions to further diversity in real estate?
Ask questions! It all starts by asking questions to learn about other cultures, what areas in the community may be underserved, and how best to meet the needs of those you may be unfamiliar with. By asking questions, you’ll find that there are many people who are genuinely interested in sharing information about their culture, learning more about others, and who want to get involved, make a difference, and bring more understanding to their clients and the communities they serve.