Since the start of her career, Richelle Taylor of RE/MAX Results in Brooklyn Park, MN has never shied away from a challenge. Having received her license while concurrently earning her college degree and purchasing her first home, her determination to achieve her own goals and help others achieve theirs is unwavering.
Throughout her career in real estate, Richelle has always been passionate about education. Specifically, her focus has always lain in helping others understand and take advantage of the value that real estate and the industry can offer, especially for those in underserved communities.
Richelle was fortunate to grow up in a home where finances were openly discussed. She fondly remembers only being allowed to buy specific brands of tortillas and light bulbs as that’s what her family had stock in. Richelle recognizes that not everyone has had the same experience as her and shares, “The amount of wealth that can be gained from property ownership is overlooked a lot and I think it is often overlooked in particular communities or families. If you didn’t grow up in a home [and even for those who did], it just isn’t on people’s radar.”
Richelle has made this a foundation of her business. Helping to educate and explain that real estate can offer many financial advantages, from investment income to home equity. She coaches clients on how property ownership can be treated like a savings account—when you need to take out a HELOC or complete a cash-out refinance to get some money in your pocket, you can do that. And she offers a special emphasis on how, aside from the financial benefits, homeownership offers stability and control over one’s living environment. As an agent, Richelle wants people to know that homeownership is achievable—it just requires simple steps, talking to the right people, and working a plan.
Richelle’s own plan for helping educate people was further solidified after she learned that her home base, the Twin Cities metro, had the greatest disparity of Black vs. White homeownership in the entire country. Upon hearing this report, she was inspired to join the fight to change the statistic.
After conducting some research, Richelle learned about the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), an organization—established in 1947 by African-America real estate professionals—of realtors advocating for minority homeownership. After some thoughtful networking in her area, she and other Minnesota-based professionals started the Twin Cities chapter of NAREB.
Through her work with NAREB and other organizations including the St. Paul Area Association of Realtors (SPAAR), the Minnesota Governor’s Task Force on housing, and the MN Association Realtors Government Affairs committee, Richelle is striving to make homeownership and careers in real estate a reality for those in the Black community. To top it off, Richelle is also a pre-licensing instructor for would-be agents and has recently begun teaching a course on unconscious bias, part of a six-course diversity designation program for agents. She was also recently appointed as Chair of the RE/MAX Results DEI committee, designed to bring more awareness to underserved communities about homeownership and real estate as a viable career option.
In terms of what other agents and brokers can do to support homeownership in underserved communities, Richelle encourages every brokerage to require training and accountability for actions that do not comply with fair housing and ethical standards. Additionally, she recommends the following:
- Understand your lens: The way we view things is as unique to us as our fingerprints. While we may not always be aware of it, we view and even treat people differently based on our own experiences.
- Use a set list of questions for all homebuyers to avoid unconscious bias: Especially when hosting open houses, come prepared with a standard set of questions to ask every homebuyer, no matter their gender, appearance, income, etc.
- Employ different perspectives when necessary: When interviewing new agents to hire, have a panel of other agents/brokers to ensure you have different perspectives who may interpret things differently than you.
- Invest time in earning a diversity designation: This will show agents, other brokerages, and clients that you’re committed to upholding industry and ethical standards.
Overall, Richelle is guided by her passion to help others reach their goals—no matter how unachievable they may seem. She is always up for the challenge of helping others achieve their goal of homeownership.
If you are interested in learning more or registering for the Diversity Designation Program that Richelle helps teach, you can receive $50 off your registration price by using the discount code: Richelle