Implicit Bias Training for Real Estate Employers

In recent years, the country has made efforts to raise awareness of implicit bias across employment and industry groups. In the real estate industry, states such as California and New York require real estate professionals to complete implicit or unconscious bias training courses as part of prelicensure or continuing education requirements. .

Much of this training is now regularly offered by third-party educational institutions. For example, one association created an online latent bias training video in 2020 and introduced a new latent bias certification course in May 2022. Industry leaders have established training courses that explore how the real estate industry is affected by potential biases. Appraisal industry groups said they would begin requiring appraisers to take a seven-hour course based on the Fair Homes Act and Prejudices. We will discuss how we address issues related to violations and focus on ways to avoid bias and perception of prejudice. The second half of the course includes test exercises. Through McKissock Learning, real estate professionals have access to implicit bias training courses that can be taken as electives or as part of state mandated requirements.

A Harvard Business Review study shows that training courses are most effective when they teach participants how to manage bias, change behavior, and track progress. Employers can aim to maximize the efficiency of implicit bias training by establishing supplemental training requirements that raise awareness and promote accountability in addressing individual implicit bias. increase.

Real estate professionals and employers can consider implementing the following learning topics and strategies.

  • Types of implicit biases: Real estate professionals and employers should consider implicit biases, such as race/ethnicity, gender, age, beauty, geographic bias, affinity bias, etc., to include the potential base of the real estate industry more broadly. We may consider including the various forms of training that

  • Implicit biases in the real estate industry: Historically, contracts, conditions, and restrictions mandated discriminatory practices. While the law addresses these, the negative effects of practices such as racism and redlining remain. Through localization, rejecting offers based on source of income, etc., we can highlight how implicit bias manifests itself in the real estate industry.

  • Implementation: Training courses may work best when combined with strategies to make real estate professionals aware of and forget these potential biases. Employers can consider implementing these strategies by conducting voluntary potential bias assessments and running simulations to assess and monitor potential bias within their companies.

The real estate industry has gone through a period when state and local agencies put potentially discriminatory real estate practices under intense scrutiny, but uniform standards to meet requirements and employers to provide training There is no uniform standard as to whether or not you should. However, employers and real estate professionals should pay attention to whether potential grounds exist in the workplace and introduce potential bias training to avoid potential liability. Employers can also benefit from internal monitoring of potential bias to prevent possible fair housing law violations.

Finally, employers should be careful if they operate in jurisdictions that may prohibit anti-stigma training. Some states, such as Florida, have passed laws banning anti-bias training by private employers. (Florida’s law has been blocked by the courts on constitutional grounds.) Other states have passed or are considering laws banning anti-stigma training and training on divisive issues. These laws currently primarily deal with public education and employment.

If you have questions about implied bias or other fair housing training requirements or resources related to the real estate industry, please consult a Jackson Lewis attorney.

(Summer Associate Jennifer Quarters-Styles contributed to this article.)

Jackson Lewis PC © 2022National Law Review, Vol. XII, No. 236

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