Building a comfortable relationship with real estate clients while enabling them to be themselves is critical if you want to be a successful agent, said Margarita Cavanagh a REALTOR® with Keller Williams Atlantic Partners. One way to avoid making unfortunate cultural errors while working with people of diverse backgrounds is to earn the At Home With Diversity (AHWD) certification from the National Association of REALTORS®.
“I would recommend the At Home With Diversity course because I feel my fellow REALTORS® need to understand how to interact with people of different cultures to avoid making costly cultural mistakes that can affect the outcome of a successful transaction,” said Cavanagh, who earned the At Home With Diversity certification in May 2021. “REALTORS® need to be aware of and understand different cultures to develop better relationships. Relationships are a vital part of any successful real estate business, so having an acute awareness of cultural backgrounds, differences, and context will empower you to make and maintain those relationships more effectively.”
The Northeast Florida Association of REALTORS® is offering the At Home With Diversity certification course at the NEFAR Resource Center on Friday, August 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gonzalo Mejia will be the instructor.
The course aims to give REALTORS® a better understanding of the subtleties of fair housing laws in the United States as well as business etiquette for specific cultures and a better grasp of how to relate with international clientele. Specifically, it teaches students how to access and understand the attributes of diversity in local markets and provides the confidence to work with buyers and sellers regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, handicaps, familial status, or national origin.
“Taking the At Home With Diversity course has been helpful to me because one of the keys to having a successful real estate business is in building relationships,” said Cavanagh. “The need to embrace diverse cultures is important to me. I feel that supporting and embracing diversity in a way that clearly shows to all individuals that they are valued, recognized, and accepted for who they truly are, is an important part of doing business.”
The AHWD certification course provides a good understanding of the value of analyzing demographics and spells out how to create an inclusive marketing brand, she said. “It taught me how to engage and communicate in a diverse marketplace in a different way. I knew about business plans before, however the recommendation of creating an inclusive business plan that embraces diversity and grows my business really opened my eyes,” Cavanagh continued. “I liked all the ideas I could implement, including strategies, marketing, and, in general, all the different ways to be better and get better while serving a diverse community.”