Initial Impressions, or what does AHWD stand for?

Dated: July 28 2020

Views: 151

Have you ever looked at a real estate agent’s email signature or business card and wondered what the various all caps letters were behind their names? What the heck is ABR? Doesn’t PSA stand for public service announcements?? 

Okay, maybe you haven’t wondered these things. But in case you have, I have an answer! They are designations and certifications Realtors can earn through the National Association of Realtors. They signify that you’ve completed a training course in a certain area of expertise. ABR, for example, stands for Accredited Buyer’s Representative (PSA is Pricing Strategy Advisor, btw). 

I have two designations--GREEN and AHWD. GREEN is pretty obvious; I did special training in green and high-efficiency homes. Which is pretty predictable given how much I’m prone to talking about native plants and energy efficiency. What is AHWD? In addition to being my most recently achieved designation, it stands for At Home with Diversity. Recently, I completed the course, which trains Realtors to better serve diverse populations, while also helping them recognize the unconscious biases they likely have that are hindering their ability to best serve those populations. 

I’m proud of gaining this designation. I believe whole-heartedly in the idea that diversity makes communities stronger. I believe black lives matter, and I am a strong supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community. The more I can do to help create more diverse communities, the better. 

Unfortunately, our neighborhoods too often aren’t diverse. Communities of color generally and black communities specifically have historically faced various kinds of discrimination in the housing market--steering, red lining, etc. And even more unfortunately, they still do. 

In this interview, Lisa Rice--the president and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance--talks about the discrimination these communities have faced and continue to face. She discusses discriminatory and predatory tactics that have kept African American home ownership rates stagnant in the 50 years since the Fair Housing Act was passed. There is still an ever-widening home ownership gap between black and white Americans.

Dane County, unfortunately, is faring worse that the nation as a whole. Black homeownership rates were 40% nationwide in 2019. Can you guess the rate of Black homeownership in Dane County? 

10%

To say that number is unacceptable is a laughable understatement. Unconscionable is more accurate. And this number is something we simply cannot allow to continue to be true in our county...and my profession.

So I’m very proud of getting my AHWD designation. I will proudly put the logo in my email signatures and post the officially approved banner on my business Facebook profile. 

But earning this is not enough by even a long shot. More action is necessary. 

So what action am I taking? I’m committing to donating a portion of my commissions to the Urban League of Greater Madison to support their Home Ownership Program. I’m also recruiting other local Realtors to do the same. I am also going to post a fundraising link on my Facebook page to let anyone join me. And I’m urging anyone reading this to consider making a contribution as well. 

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David Pausch

In November of 2000, I closed on my first house, a rough-around-the-edges 1922 colonial with lots of sun, not a lot of storage, and an enormous oak tree in its postage stamp-sized back yard. From the ....

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