Special offer

Realtoring while black.

Real Estate Agent with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty

I had to complete some of my continuing education today.  As part of my ethics requirement, I attended my bi-annual Professional Standards Training.

Usually, these courses are a revisiting of a lot of stuff that I already know, and a bit of a four-hour snooze fest.  But there was a section that interviewed agents nationwide, about discrimination and redlining, three of whom were right here in Illinois.

I was really struck by this one female agent... let's call her Joanne.  Joanne was telling the story of her buyer clients, a young couple who were excited to find their first home, and just delightful.  As part of their computerized search they located a home that checked-off all of their boxes, and asked Joanne to make an appointment to view the property.  Joanne set it up right away for the same afternoon.

She met them at the house and told them that access was being provided by the homeowner... and we're just supposed to knock on the front door... so they did just that.

The homeowner opened the door, smiled and pointed at the young couple and said "You can come right in." Then pointing at Joanne, said "You, cannot!"  You see, Joanne had the audacity to show up black.  Her buyers were white.

Her buyers were mortified, and turned to her.  Joanne offered to wait outside while they looked at the home, but her clients were so angered, that they said they would not be purchasing the house from this bigot, and together the three of them left.

Now, before you suggest that this doesn't happen anymore, these days.... this happened in June 2020 ... not in Alabama, or Mississippi, but right here in greater Chicago, and not even a year ago.

Everyone at today's class was truly aghast.  There were other agents interviewed who had similar stories of discrimination while being "ethnic" whilst Realtoring.  We need to do better.

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, 2934 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
Office: 847.869.7300      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois



Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

I did my ethics training and was staggered by the stories told. It often is not Realtors, although we all definitely need to improve, but if you had any thought about our nation the last few years has shown we have not moved forward with racial equality. There is still a lot to do.

Jan 11, 2023 01:30 PM
Alan May

There were a handful of Realtor-involved stories, as well.  Staggering, in this day and age.  My black colleagues tell me they experience racism in different forms, each and every day.

Jan 12, 2023 05:04 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Alan - some continuing education is quite scary.  And that's true in real estate and in everyday life.  

Jan 12, 2023 03:01 AM
Alan May


Jan 12, 2023 05:05 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

As "white" people we probably have no idea of the daily hardships involved with being other "colors".

Jan 19, 2023 02:14 PM
Alan May

I can guarantee you that we have no idea.

Jan 21, 2023 04:21 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

What an awful story .. although I am glad that the buyer couple put their foot down and refused to go any further w that house 

Jan 25, 2023 01:43 PM
Alan May

Ain't integrity grand?

Jan 25, 2023 02:02 PM