Realtor.com’s Support for the LGBTQIA+ Community Extends Far Beyond Pride Month

In addition to supporting its own employees, Realtor.com is working to end LGBTQIA+ discrimination in real estate.

Written by Michael Hines
Published on Jun. 07, 2023
Realtor.com’s Support for the LGBTQIA+ Community Extends Far Beyond Pride Month
Brand Studio Logo

For decades, the real estate industry was a pillar of segregation, with housing covenants and lending practices restricting where minority groups could rent and own homes. The federal government moved to ban discrimination toward minority homebuyers and renters in 1968 with the passage of the Fair Housing Act, but that law did not contain language preventing discrimination against people for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In a 2021 survey conducted by Realtor.com of people identifying as LGBTQIA+, 29 percent reported experiencing discrimination or being victims of it during the homebuying process, with those numbers rising to 44 percent among transgender people. Where respondents lived was also determined in part by where they felt welcome, and as a result just 25 percent and 13 percent of those surveyed reported living in the suburbs and rural areas, respectively. 

Rather than making platitudes about the power of tech to bring people together, Realtor.com is actively working to combat discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community. The company is a supporter of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, a nonprofit that works to end discrimination against LGBTQIA+ renters and homeowners. Realtor.com also works to increase LGBTQIA+ representation in tech and partners with Out In Tech on hiring.

Michael Streffery, director of diversity, equity, inclusion and philanthropy, spoke with Built In Austin about the company’s internal and external efforts to support both its LGBTQIA+ employees and the broader community during Pride Month and throughout the year.

 

An image advertising Realtor.com's sponsorship of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance

Michael Streffery
Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Philanthropy • Realtor.com

Realtor.com connects homebuyers with sellers and landlords with renters in cities across the country.

 

Describe the activities Realtor.com is coordinating for Pride Month.

Our Beyond Pride employee resource group is creating a 2023 Pride Month campaign for Realtor.com. Pride Month is an entire month dedicated to uplifting LGBTQIA+ voices, celebrating LGBTQIA+ culture and supporting LGBTQIA+ rights. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals have had on history locally, nationally and internationally.

Our Pride Month campaign planning committee has 22 employee volunteers and is excited to offer a variety of programs, including social platform virtual backgrounds and an article series that will highlight our LGBTQIA+ charity impact, fair housing education and more. Throughout the month, we are also hosting a fun connection and education event, which will include an employee baking contest and charity promotion, an employee education and networking event, and an external partnership event with The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance featuring allyship training with our workforce.
 

The ERG’s vision is a world where LGBTQIA+ people can fully be themselves and be accepted at Realtor.com, at home and in the world.”


How does Realtor.com support and empower the LGBTQIA+ members of your team?

We are proud to celebrate and support our LGBTQIA+ employees with the formation of our Beyond Pride ERG. The vision of the ERG is a world where LGBTQIA+ people can fully be themselves and be accepted while working at Realtor.com, at home and in the world. Beyond Pride is dedicated to promoting equality, forging an inclusive and welcoming community throughout Realtor.com and increasing understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer experiences, both within and outside of the company. 

We plan to achieve these goals by becoming more visible, creating educational and community-building programs and advocating for more LGBTQIA+ friendly policies within the company. We also partner with teammates and colleagues across Realtor.com to increase awareness of, and implement product capabilities and initiatives to support, our LGBTQIA+ renters, homebuyers, sellers and clients. Throughout the year the ERG offers events, connection opportunities and initiatives that help address LGBTQIA+ gaps and opportunities.

 

Beyond the month of June, what are some examples of ways Realtor.com supports or advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community?

We offer inclusive LGBTQIA+ benefits. In the healthcare category this includes our gender affirmation policy and services, transgender care coverage and affirming care for employees in California, included health community services for LGTBQIA+ employees and their families, and access to concierge fertility support through Progyny and Ovia Health. We also offer parental leave, including for adoption and surrogacy. Additional benefits include an employee assistance program, AbleTo, Talkspace and myStrength.

In 2022 and 2023 we made donations to the Trevor Project to support at-risk youth and we’re a proud third-year sponsor of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance. We collaborate with the Alliance through industry events designed to promote the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance to agents and brokers. In June 2021 we released research done in partnership with the Alliance to identify challenges and initiate positive change in the housing industry.

We’re partnering on a roundtable event for ERG leads to discuss how we may impact fair housing for LGBTQIA+ renters and homebuyers. We partner with Out In Tech for diverse hiring and educate about the challenges the LGBTQIA+ community faces on our fair housing site and provide info and resources to consumers affected by discrimination.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Photos via featured companies and Shutterstock.

Hiring Now
Restaurant365
Cloud • Information Technology • Software • Business Intelligence