Beat Fair Housing Fatigue with These 5 Coaching Questions

As featured in RealtorMag for YPN

Image by nadeem abdullah from Pixabay

Steven Tyler’s siren squeal to "Dream On" is my favorite way to start a talk on fair housing fatigue and help audiences renew their hope. Perhaps my talking points, as shared below, can help you and your team if fatigue is on the rise.

“How Is Everybody Doing?”

At the start of 2024, when Elmo’s X account randomly asked, “How is everybody doing?” there was a shockingly viral yet understandable, palpable response of fatigue.

Perhaps you, too, are exhausted, maybe even disenchanted, as well.

As I check in with audiences as we advocate for fair housing, I have noticed the common question from real estate pros (real estate sales, mortgage professionals, appraisers, and others in the housing sphere) is often similar to what we hear on long road trips, “Are we there yet?!”

That question is exactly why I love to invoke Aerosmith’s iconic mantra to "Dream On". That is because there are two realities of the real estate industry that are vital to not overlook:

  1. There is never a dull day in real estate (which anyone in this business for at least two years likely realizes), 

  2. And there is never a destination for its advocacy.

“Progress is a process,” says author Valorie Burton. 

“Forward is a pace,” is the often repeated catchphrase during the Peloton classes I take.

Likewise, progress – including the lived ideal of fair housing for all – is a journey, not a destination. 

Thus, the Socratic, coaching question that I want to challenge us (myself included) with when we face fatigue is to flip:

 “Are we there yet?!”


“What’s next?” 


Bonus: "Wouldn't it be great if__?" 


In other words, the way I coach teams to dismantle fair housing fatigue is to dream – Aerosmith’s siren has been spot-on for 51 years.

“Don’t Stop Believin’”: An American Dream That Was Never Meant to Be a Destination… It’s a Journey (by Journey, ha!)

Interestingly, federal fair housing became law finally after years of delay on the heels of a famous dream:

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo Credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto. Within hours of Dr. King's assassination, standing from L-R: Roy Wilkins, Sec. Robert Weaver, unknown, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Judge Leon Higginbotham, Sen. Clarence Mitchell III, Dorothy Height, Mayor Walter Washington, Warren Christopher, Whitney Young, unknown, Bayard Rustin, Rev. Leon Sullivan, unknown, unknown, and unknown. Seated from L-R: Justice Thurgood Marshall, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Clarence Mitchell, Jr.

Lest we forget, the passage of the Federal Fair Housing Act of April 1968 literally was predicated on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s cataclysmic assassination just days before its enactment. Within hours of Dr. King's horrific assassination, President Lyndon Johnson and civil rights leaders (see picture) agreed to refocus efforts on the highly contentious civil rights bill that included more comprehensive federal fair housing protections to grant basic access and opportunity to anyone, no matter one’s race, color, religion, and national origin.

"President Johnson viewed the Act as a fitting memorial to the man's life work, and wished to have the Act passed prior to Dr. King's funeral in Atlanta".

In short, those leaders dreamed of what was next. And, so it was.

That was 1968. Initially, there were only four protected classes (color, religion, race and national origin) at the federal level, and still much opposition at local levels.

What if the dream of fair housing for all stopped in 1968?

Thankfully, we will never know! In the fifty-six years since, those who have continuously asked, “What’s next?” have helped fair housing laws evolve to now include almost two dozen different protected classes between the federal and local levels. Examples include:

  • Race

  • Color

  • Sex 

  • Familial status 

  • National origin 

  • Disability (this has evolved to “a person that uses an assistive device”)

  • Religion 

  • Age 

  • Ancestry 

  • Sexual orientation 

  • Gender identity 

  • Marital status 

  • Military status 

  • Domestic violence victims 

  • Source of income 

  • Genetic information 

  • Pregnancy 


  • Criminal record history

Fantastically, the expansive dream of, “What’s next?” never stopped.

Your Turn

Dreaming is what many of us do at the start of a year in the form of goal setting and vision board making (some even go the extra mile of goal setting quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily). 


Because dreaming – imagining what’s next – is the antidote to being stuck or disheartened.

Typically, during conferences, I ask audiences to form breakout groups to brainstorm these dreams. But for this article, I encourage you to gather your team for accountability and to imagine:

  • If you could change anything about the home buying process (from sales to lending to appraisals, etc.) to encourage more fairness, what would you change?

  • If you could change anything about the home selling process (from sales to lending to appraisals, etc.) to encourage more fairness, what would you change?

  • If you could change anything about the home leasing process (from credit reporting to the application process, etc.) to encourage more fairness, what would you change?

  • What else? How would you finish this sentence in regards to fair housing: Wouldn’t it be great if…?

  • What would the world look like if we accomplished all of our current dreams in the arena of fair housing and lending?

Include any needed/ideal resources in your responses to accomplish your dreams to keep fair housing top of mind. 

Then post it, making it visible next to your other goals. 

Afterward, check in with your team from time to time (as often as you check sales goals) on ways to manifest those dreams. 

Dream on, real estate friends!

Dr. Lee Davenport is a real estate coach/educator and author (of including Be a Fair Housing D.E.C.O.D.E.R. and How to Profit with Your Personality). Dr. Lee trains real estate agents around the globe on how to work smarter with their unique personalities and how to “advocate, not alienate,” so everyone has access and opportunity in real estate.

Have you ever needed the “Cliff Notes” version of fair housing? Well, move over Spark Notes!

The Starting Point: How to Be a Fair Housing DECODER Guide

It is available to download for a limited time at no fee. Score!

This condensed workbook (based on the nationally acclaimed workshop) offers Dr. Lee's novel concept of being a Fair Housing DECODER© who skillfully and proactively advocates --not alienates-- for equitable access and opportunity in real estate for EVERYONE.

“Interesting approach on the topic of fair housing that I have not seen offered to Realtors.” --Maria, Broker/Owner, REALTOR® 

I have the Realtor GRI designation and they should make this part of that designation. This is THAT good. THANKS, Dr. Lee!” --Michael, Broker/Owner, REALTOR®

Hurry, download (and share with others) today while complimentary supplies last!

Sound off - I would love to hear from you!  Give me a shout on Instagram and YouTube. Or, get your "training on" with these on-demand classes.  Here's to your success! #LearnWithDrLee

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