Real Estate, Rainbow Style
National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) helps people find homes while representing and celebrating the GLBT community.
When you’re in the market for a new home, it seems like everywhere you turn there’s a new real estate agent jumping out at you ready to show the latest on the market. With so many options, it can be tricky to find a real estate agent that’s right for you. That’s where the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) comes in. NAGLREP is a real estate organization comprised of agents in the GLBT community. So while you’re house hunting, you can relax and know you’re in the company of your own community.
Bryan Sletten is a licensed NAGLREP agent with RE/MAX, LLC, and as a member of this organization, Sletten says his favorite thing about the industry is working with others.
“I like the collaboration with other industry professionals who are always out in the front lines voicing the importance of LGBTQ+ advocacy for under the Fair Housing Laws. We host meet-ups and seminars for first time home buyers. We post all our events on our Facebook page and Instagram to keep everyone informed when things are,” Sletten says.
As an industry professional, Sletten says he has several tips to keep in mind when buying a home. In the first step of making his home buying and selling checklist, he says he doesn’t make a checklist at all.
“My buying and selling checklists aren’t a checklist at all anymore—it’s a customized plan of helping people get from point A to point B. Also, since no two paths are alike, it’s all customized. We like to meet people where they’re at on their journey and partner with them to where they want to go,” he says.
As a member of NAGLREP, Sletten says it is important to have this kind of organization because of several states’ lack of Fair Housing policy.
“In Minnesota, we are lucky that sexual orientation is a protected class for Fair Housing. That is not the case in many states. In fact, as of last count, only 21 states and the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity,” Sletten says. “We need a unified voice to promote an extension of the Fair Housing Laws.”
Like Sletten, Ashley Haataja is a proud member of NAGLREP because of the opportunities to get involved and be in front of the GLBT community. As an employee of Liberty Title, Inc., Haataja says her workplace plays a vital role in mixing her job and her community.
“Last year, Liberty Title participated in the Pride event which was a first for us, and the amount of people you get in front of—along with the experience—was more than worth our time and effort, and we look forward to being there again this year,” she says.
Haataja says everyone in NAGLREP is very easy to get along with and always make her feel safe, comfortable and welcome.
“The group of professionals involved with NAGLREP are very kind, welcoming, and intelligent and are happy to help in any way they can,” she says. “I believe this association will keep booming, and I am happy to get to be a part of it!”
NAGLREP member Tyler Mulcahey says the main benefit of being with the organization is the opportunity to build a network between the GLBT community and their allies. He says NAGLREP is making progress by teaming up with larger national GLBT real estate organizations.
“NAGLREP is working with the largest LGBT nonprofit groups and the National Association of REALTORS to eradicate housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. While the National Association of REALTORS Code of Ethics forbids members from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity, federal law does not include full LGBT protections,” Mulcahey says.
The vibrant GLBT community and allied real estate professionals continuously engage in learning and networking opportunities to develop and enhance their business relationships, while helping the real estate industry further its connections to the GLBT community, he adds.
A piece of advice Mulcahey has for people looking to sell or buy a home is to always speak with your lender—even when just considering your options.
“It’s never too early to speak with a lender. In fact, it should be the very first thing you do when you believe you’re ready to buy a home. Working with a knowledgeable, seasoned, and local loan officer is incredibly important in today’s market and who you work with can truly make or a break the transaction,” he says.
As a loan originator with Cardinal Financial Company, Mulcahey says NAGLREP is important because it fights for the rights of the GLBT community that are often denied in many states’ housing policies.