OKC Realtor group to offer diversity seminar

The Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors will present “Fair Housing: Diversity and Inclusion” from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday at the Realtors’ offices, 3131 Northwest Expressway.

The class, led by Joyce Painter, is worth three hours of fair housing continuing education credit. Cost is $10 for association members and $15 for others.

To register, go to http://www.okcmar.org/calendar-event/fair-housing-and-cultural-diversity/.

Mike Cassidy, an Oklahoma City Realtor and member of the National Association of Realtors Diversity Committee, recommends the class. He said diversity and inclusion should be a focus for Realtors as they learn more about the growing power of minority groups.

The minority segment of the population is expected to have tremendous buying power in the future, including Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and the LGBT community.

“If you own a real estate company and do not have a department that was set up to handle diversity, it would not stay in business very long. Clients want to talk to professionals who can understand them. They like working with people who speak their language,” said Cassidy, a Realtor for 44 years.

Cassidy said working with a Norwegian client years ago opened his eyes to a need for diversity awareness.

“I was calling this Norwegian man to work out a contract,” he said. “He spoke beautiful English and several European languages, but I wasn’t getting anywhere. His American wife called me hours later to tell me her husband didn’t understand me and wants to see me personally instead of handling business over the phone.

“Face-to-face interaction is important to the European culture. I’ve learned when dealing with different cultures, you can’t assume customers understand you.”

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