A few months ago, Alex Prins of Coldwell Banker Lakewood attended Global Luxury training at JW Marriott in Austin. As three of the top trainers stepped on stage, each shared pictures of their families, husbands, and children. It was a tremendous moment for Prins because each of the presenters was gay.
Fifteen years ago, Alex Prins remembers coming out to his parents with the words, “I understand I won’t legally be able to marry and likely won’t have children.” And now, look at his reality. Gay marriage is legal, acceptance is headed in the right direction, and we’ve definitely come a long way. BUT, we’re not there yet and we still have a little way to go.
According to a study from Iowa State University, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) borrowers are more likely to be denied mortgage loans. And those that do get approved pay higher interest rates and fees. As of 2019, only 22 states plus D.C. prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
But when legislation falls short, advocacy steps up. This time in the form of NAGLREP – National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals.
NAGLREP is a non-profit organization that’s part advocacy and part business. As an advocate, they look out for the LGBT community in relation to housing and discrimination laws. As a business, NAGLREP offers a referral network of more than 2,000 Realtors, mortgage professionals, title agents, home inspectors, etc. Basically, everyone in the real estate business.
“When you’re gay, there’s a comfort in working with a gay Realtor and even an advantage. They know the area and the culture,” Prins says. It’s so important to have a Realtor you trust and if you want to work with an agent that’s gay, gay-friendly, or “family” as Prins calls it, NAGLREP is one of the best places to go.
Prins learned about NAGLREP through his friend and mentor, Tim Stoll. Though it continues to be a predominantly word-of-mouth organization, there are currently over 75,000 visitors to the NAGLREP website every month.
On a side note, Prins can testify that NAGLREP is the real deal. A few years ago, he was promoting a personal project – a short film about adoption and the importance of making a heart a home – and he reached out to NAGLREP. Founder, President and CEO, John Berger, shared Prins’ video and offered support every step of the way. When you see the leadership of an organization take the time to personally offer encouragement and promotion, you know that’s a group you want to be a part of.