ACRE unveils initiative to improve diversity in Alabama’s real estate industry

Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) at the University of Alabama has announced its groundbreaking REimagined diversity initiative, designed to bring more people from underrepresented groups into entry-level positions in the real estate industry.

While industries like healthcare and education have been quick to adapt and embrace a diverse population and workforce, the real estate industry is lagging. Only 16% of respondents in the 2020 CREW Network Benchmark Study: Gender and Diversity in Commercial Real Estate responded that 25% or more professionals in their workplace are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color).

There have been a lot of conversations and articles written on the need for diversity in real estate, but there are no initiatives designed to prepare and increase the participation of Black, Hispanic, Asian, Indian or multiracial people in real estate careers at scale.

“While diversity has been part of ACRE’s outreach program through industry career panels and real estate curriculum development at Alabama HBCUs for a number of years, we have now set the bold goal to empower over 100,000 young adults of color in the field of real estate by 2030 through our REimagined initiative,” said Grayson Glaze, ACRE executive director.

The first REimagined program under development is CORE: Career Opportunities in Real Estate. CORE is an online credentialing program that will provide remote life and skill-based coaching, preparing participants for entry-level jobs in the real estate industry under the tenets of awareness, readiness and connection.

ACRE has strategically partnered with LifeRamp, a leading-edge coach-powered betterment technology company that provides college students and young professionals the support and tools they need to transition into a career and life they love, to deliver targeted life and career coaching to CORE participants to explore careers, build competencies and succeed in all facets of real estate.

“It’s really exciting to be a part of the REimagined initiative, and to see the vision and commitment of ACRE and local leaders coming together on this effort to create more diversity, equity and inclusion in such an important part of the U.S. economy,” said Michael Huckaby, LifeRamp founder and CEO. “We hope CORE will have not only a significant positive impact on young people in the state and in the South, but ultimately across the country.”

Internationally recognized real estate professional Debbie Phillips will bring her expertise in real estate career exploration to the program curriculum. Her Atlanta-based human capital outsourcing company The Quadrillion provides leadership development and training, workforce development and performance assessment.

“The opportunity to create awareness and prepare high-potential talent for opportunities in the real estate industry utilizing LifeRamp’s platform is truly a game-changer,” Phillips said. “Students today are seeking relevant resources and real-life experiences when it comes to career exploration. This program is the most holistic solution available to make meaningful connections and literally change the face of real estate.”

The first CORE cohort will launch in the fall and scholarships will be awarded so that there is no barrier to entry for the program. Visit reimaginedre.org for more information about the initiative and support opportunities.