Real (Estate) Talk: 'I Didn't Create the System'

As featured in my monthly Inman News column, Real (estate) Talk.  

. Pop. Snap. That is not the sound of your morning cereal. Rather, the front bumper of your car is now mangled thanks to the driver next to you not maintaining his lane.

'That wasn't intentional'

'I didn't know you were there'

'I just couldn't see you'

'You were in my blind spot'

Some of us are all too familiar with the destruction caused by being in someone's blind spot on the road. But I dare say blind spots in our real estate career can prove more damaging to our reputation and livelihood than what is only (hopefully) a minor fender bender. 

So what can we do about it?

Join in this lively pre-recorded talk with the welcoming Long Island Board of REALTORS® filled with engaging activities to determine Is Fair Housing in Your Blind Spot? and 4 ways to reset. 

I am so appreciative that after last month's article, ‘There goes the neighborhood’: The history of race and homeownership, the Long Island Board of REALTORS® invited me with virtual open arms to share. This is all at a time when New York is taking a zero-tolerance stance on housing discrimination (agents can have their licenses suspended; Translation: INSTANT loss of income and career) after the 2019 Newsday expose of Long Island housing discrimination. It was an incredibly humbling honor to be one of the first voices to speak at such a critical time.

Video Highlights

In case you want the 'Cliff Notes' of this talk, here are some key takeaways:

  • + Fair Housing was an outcry of American real estate's 'blind spot'
By the way, how well do you know fair housing? Take this quick quiz to check your smarts.


  • + Blind spots are not an attack on our identity rather indicate areas that deserve more attention

  • + However, when our 'threat mode' is on, we tend to not look for ways to improve our line of sight but defend our identity with statements like: 


'I didn't create the system'


'I only see green' 


'I have (grand) children' (in response to familial status violations as an example)


'I show properties that have ramps' (in response to accessibility violations as an example)


'Chinese investors love me' (in response to nationality violations as an example)


'I had a Muslim neighbor' (in response to religion violations as an example)


'My best friend is Black' (in response to race violations as an example)

  • + Our blind spots as an industry in fair housing include:
'This is what the client said/wanted'


'If I were you...'


Selective fact giving


'This is how other agents do it'


'XYZ marketing platform gives the option to select/deselect this protected class so that means I can'

  • + We can reset by:
1. Acknowledging and intentionally looking for our blind spots -- that is what we do in new vehicles that we do not want to damage. How much more should we do it with our livelihood? We can do this by posting and including in seller/buyer/leasing presentations this Fair Housing Declaration (bonus brownie points if you make this your daily mantra). Plus, we should ask to be and welcome when we are called out as needed since blind spots can impact anyone based on one's viewpoint angle (Read: NOT an attack on your identity). 



2. Countering misinformed and discriminatory talk immediately with the language of the law and use these examples anonymously (name dropping is an absolute no) as teachable moments for social media, newsletters, video series, etc.


3. Sticking with the law. Other people and various platforms (no matter how popular) are not our standard. Stay current with tech tools like,, and Google AlertsAdditionally, join the J.E.D.I. CHALLENGE: What class can I sign-up today to take this month to promote the American Dream of FAIR homeownership? ______________ (JEDI stands for Justice + Equity + Diversity + Inclusion as defined by our friends at Compass).


4. Staying a creature of good habit. In other words, what you do for one prospect, do for all. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. For many, this may mean we need to systemize everything so be sure to use your firm's CRM, IFTTT and Zapier to help with automation.

Sound off - I would love to hear from you!  Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, or by visiting  

Want more of the best practices of our nation's top producers? Grab your copy of the short read, Profit with Your Personality and, the classic, 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win, to transform their real estate sales game plan. Or, get your "training on" with these on-demand classes.  Here's to your success! #LearnWithDrLee
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