The process of buying or selling a home can be exciting, but it can also bring about challenges and anxiety. For many in the LGBTQ community, that anxiety is compounded when encountering discrimination or unfair practices. However, a growing organization exists that allows homebuyers and sellers to find an expert who is receptive to the needs of the LGBTQ population.
The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that works partially as a business network and partially as an advocacy group. The business side of NAGLREP is centered around bringing together realtors, mortgage bankers, title agents, property managers, interior decorators and other professionals who are LGBTQ-friendly. Across the nation, over 1,400 NAGLREP members have served over 75,000 people, including LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ buyers and sellers.
The advocacy side is centered around working with legislators from all levels of government to initiate action for equal housing rights. A number of states, including Indiana and Ohio, still have limited or no protection for LGBTQ citizens. Some laws protect people against discrimination based on sexual orientation but do not mention gender identity. Fortunately for Louisvillians and others living in the state’s larger cities and towns, ordinances are in place that legally prohibit this discrimination.
A number of realtors have now signed up with the Kentucky chapter of NAGLREP, which was established in January of this year. Renowned realtor Terri Bass of Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty has been part of the network individually for two years and recently took action to start the new Kentucky chapter.
“We have several people from around the state who are signed up with NAGLREP,” she explains. “Right now, we just have realtors and brokers, but we want to grow the network with mortgage professionals, interior designers and anyone else who has their hands in the real estate business.”
The organization’s website provides a full list of these people from across the nation that includes their contact information, customer ratings and more. Some professionals state their orientation as well. Users can search by city, state and type of help they are seeking. Those who work in real estate and want to join the network can do so for a small yearly fee. Doing so gives each person their own profile and allows them to network with others in their chapter.
Many professionals are located in Louisville, Lexington or Northern Kentucky, but there are a few from smaller towns such as Owensboro and Paducah. The Kentucky chapter meets regularly and encourages anyone interested in joining to attend one of these meetings and learn more about their objectives. Members are looking forward to not only networking with other people in the field of real estate but also increasing their community outreach and working with Louisville’s entire LGBTQ community.
“With the current social climate, things feel very up in the air right now,” affirms Bass. “It’s now more important than ever for people to know that we are here and we’re eager to help as many people as we can.”
To attend the next NAGLREP meeting or learn more about the organization, please visit naglrep.com or contact Terri Bass at 502.424.8463.