Dream Town Realty has recently launched the first U.S broker division that tailors to consumers who identify themselves as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The division – launched last Friday – is designed to provide resources to LGBT consumers and highlight the LGBT-friendly agents within the firm. With it’s own page on the Dream Town website, the division is also to help promote the division’s agents, the events it sponsors and a set of resources it has collected so far.
The Chicago-based brokerage began to develop the idea after Illinois lawmakers’ voted to make gay marriage legal in the state, last November.
The decision to create the division was one part advocacy and one part business, Dream Town president Yuval Degani told Inman News.
After the release of a U.S Housing and Urban Development study in 2013, which found that same-sex couples were treated less favorable than heterosexual couples when looking for rental housing online, Degani said he felt there was room for advocacy in the space. He also felt the division could help address some of the confusion some LGBT community members may have about their new opportunity to legally wed and the real estate – and tax implications – involved by providing online resources and public events for them
The 15 agents, all of whom identify as members of the LGBT community are headed by Dream Town agent Todd Szwajkowski. Though they do fill the roster now, Dream Town agents don’t need to be a member of the LGBT community to be a part of the division, Szwajkowski told Inman News.
“It’s not that the mechanics of the home buying and selling process is really any different for LGBT consumers than it is for their heterosexual counterparts,” Szwajkowski said. “But when intimate life events – like handling what is likely to be a consumer’s most valuable asset – sometimes people want to work with those they feel most comfortable with.”