Dishin' Dirt with Gary Pickren

Dishin' Dirt on Fair Housing and Advertising with Gary Pickren

January 14, 2021 Gary Pickren Season 2 Episode 12
Dishin' Dirt with Gary Pickren
Dishin' Dirt on Fair Housing and Advertising with Gary Pickren
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Dishin' Dirt with Gary Pickren
Dishin' Dirt on Fair Housing and Advertising with Gary Pickren
Jan 14, 2021 Season 2 Episode 12
Gary Pickren

FAIR HOUSING AND ADVERTISING.

Today what you say and write in real estate is being dissected more and more.  If you advertise using prohibited words or in an improper manner you can find yourself in hot water even if you never intended it to be discriminatory. This Podcast examines  what is a protected class,  the words that are commonly used which are troublesome and phrases that are allowed.

Every agent should listen to this podcast before posting another advertisement.   In this episode is a new feature, As Gary Sees It, and Gary's Good News Only!

Please like, share and subscribe!

Show Notes Transcript

FAIR HOUSING AND ADVERTISING.

Today what you say and write in real estate is being dissected more and more.  If you advertise using prohibited words or in an improper manner you can find yourself in hot water even if you never intended it to be discriminatory. This Podcast examines  what is a protected class,  the words that are commonly used which are troublesome and phrases that are allowed.

Every agent should listen to this podcast before posting another advertisement.   In this episode is a new feature, As Gary Sees It, and Gary's Good News Only!

Please like, share and subscribe!

Unknown:

This is deshon dirt with Gary Pickens South Carolina's only podcast dedicated to the real estate agents craft. Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of edition dirt this week is going to be a really good episode we are talking about fair housing, and lightest some of the lunacy that we are seeing today over words that we can't use it have always been used to have no derogatory meaning whatsoever. It is getting crazy out there for you guys. And that's actually where I'm supposed to use. But it It literally is getting crazy out there for some of the words that people are saying you should not use in marketing and advertising in the house. So what we're going to talk about today, is federal fair housing, what are the protected classes? What are words that you should not be using? What are some phrases that are allowed under HUD rules. And so we'll spend a little time doing that, then we're going to have a special segment on as Gary sees it, because there's a big thing that is going on right now on social media with real estate agents that needs to be addressed. So hopefully, you will stay with us and listen to that portion of our podcast. And of course, we will finish up with a very short and abbreviated version of Gary's good news only. So let's get to fair housing and advertising today. As I said earlier, this is a topic that I continue to get lots and lots of emails and questions about. And regardless of where you sit in today's world, I think all of us would 100% agree that common sense is no longer part of our lives, it is craziness on both sides. And when it comes to reasonable on this and general understanding of each other, that seems to be just completely out the window. And so let's look at before we talk about fair housing, where the insanity of this has gone to because it's very important to understand how extreme this has gotten to understand that your risks are growing in your marketing and advertising. So the University of Michigan, which is one of the greatest universities in the country, have come out with this inclusive language list. It was called the words matter taskforce. And once this list went out, it has been panned around the world, as to the lunacy of how language has become where everything is offensive, and everything is objectionable. And so you have to kind of understand in order to understand fair housing and things you should be able to say and things you shouldn't be able to say you got to understand how far this is going because your risk grows immensely every time you open your mouth today. So according to the University of Michigan, their words matter taskforce, you should not use any words that end in man or man. So like you saw the lunacy the other day in the Capitol, where somebody said Amen, and then finish it up with a woman. Never mind the word amen is not even a gender word. It means so be it or is Hebrew, but it certainly isn't a gender word. So now the University of Michigan says things like man hours need to become person hours, I mean, the linguistic tongue twisting of this is getting silly. You should not be able to use words like blacklist or whitelist. You should use allowed and prohibited. They also say the word brown bag should be lunch and learn because now the color of the bag is offensive. You cannot use the word crazy or insane. Obviously, you would not try to use that to describe somebody as crazy or insane. But you can't even say wow, that's crazy, or Wow, that's insane. So when you're talking to your client, and they get a crazy or insane counter offer back I guess you're supposed to say that's unthinkable or non sensible or incomprehensible. Maybe you could even say it's egregious or irrational. You're not supposed to use the word crippled, now crippled, I understand you would not describe somebody as crippled that would not be proper, but you can't even say that you've been crippled in what you're trying to do because of an outside source. You're supposed to be deteriorated. Your ability to do something was deteriorated. There's other words such as grandfathered, I guess maybe even grandfather clock is now wrong. It's supposed to be legacy status. In other words they use you're not supposed to use girl boy gal or guy I don't know how you are to describe somebody on Long time no see is one that surprises me. You're supposed to say it's been a while. I'm not sure how long time no see, is offensive to anybody. But according to the University of Michigan, it's offensive. So you're supposed to be It's been a while. Can't say you're a native South Carolinian or the word native. I mean, we use the word native and it all the time, but it supposed to be built in or innate. So I guess you're a built in South Carolinian, my favorite one was picnic. I never knew that picnic was offensive. But now we're supposed to have Saturday a gathering. So you can't even tell somebody that look at the area across the street where you could go picnic with your family, you should be able to say you can go across the street and have a gathering. So these are some of the words that the University of Michigan finds now offensive which are nothing more than common language and have no offensive backstory to them. It's not like the word blacklist or whitelist was used in a racist way. If you look at the history of the world But we're not supposed to use those words. So as we look at this now we really have to look at our advertising in fair housing and see what does the federal law what is the state law allow of you because they haven't gotten this far. But could this be around the corner? As I've said many times in the past, if you want to discriminate in your business, we would prefer you just get the hell out of our business, because there's just no area for you in this business, any form of discrimination and houses aboard and it cannot be tolerated. Assuming that everybody in our industry isn't that and we're trying to navigate through this craziness of over sensitivity of words, such as our phrases, long time no see now is somehow offensive. Let's look at fair housing under federal state law and see what it is we can and cannot do. So since the late 1960s. And the 1970s. The Eunice United States laws have been very consistent, every person should have the same opportunity to purchase, lease or occupy residential property without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability. The intent of these laws has never been to create integrated community. I hate when people say yes, but we have little ill Italy or we have sections of San Francisco, New York that are very related to race. So how is that not a violation, it's never been the intent of fair housing to eliminate neighborhoods such as Little Italy or Chinatown. And but it has been two and it's not meant to enforce or to force integration, it has to open up the doors to everyone regardless of those protected classes, and protect everybody the right to buy or live where they want based on those protected classes. Now, the term protected classes originally meant minority that used to be what it meant meant a smaller part of a group. But today, the appropriate fair housing term is protected classes. So what are our protected classes under federal law? well protected classes are those classes that can be identified by certain characteristics that in the past resulted in unequal or on favorable treatment. So what are the classes number one, the 1968, we pass race, color, religion, national origin, and 19 674. Rather, they added sex and in 1988, they added familial status and handicap are, which is now known as disability. You can also add to that age, citizenship and veteran status. Now apart from federally protected classes, or maybe some state protected classes, such as marital status, and arrest in court record status, but understand those last ones are not truly protected classes under fair housing. They are protected under employment and other issues. But as a real estate agent, you should not discriminate against veteran status, age and citizenship. Before we move on. Let's talk about what is familial status? Because that's a question that a lot of agents as many people don't even realize that it's illegal to treat families with children differently from households without children. And that's what we're talking about with familial status. HUD defines familial status as a household that includes a parent, or custodial Guardian, with at least one person in the household under the age of 18. So it's not just biological parents, it's just not it's not even legally adopted children of a parent. It includes those with custodial Guardian ships. Now HUD has indicated that a pregnant woman is protected under familial status as our foster parents. One of the questions I typically get when we discuss the familial status protected class is well how about these housing developments that are for people over the age of 55? Well, that would fall under the housing for Older Persons Act, which is known as the hopa Act. And this Act allows housing communities or facilities do exclude occupancy by children when the property is specifically designed for seniors and all occupants are 62 years of age or older, or the community meets the following requirements and those requirements are intended for occupancy of persons 55 or older, at least 80% of the occupied units must be one person older than 55 years of age. per unit management must indicate policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent to provide housing only for those 55 and older and the facilities must comply with rules established by the HUD Secretary of for verification of occupancy plus there are also rules on how they have to go about verifying a so that is allowed and is not a discriminatory act. We also need to address housing discrimination and persons identifying as LGBTQ. Interestingly, the Fair Housing Act does not address discrimination against people based on sexual orientation as it is not one of the named seven protected classes. However, in the bostik case that came out june of 2020, the Supreme Court the United States said it was discrimination Employment matters to discriminate somebody based on how they identify. Now, what the court did is they took one of the seven classes, the class of sex. And they expanded that and said that when they met, that you may not discriminate based on someone's sex that that would include sexual orientation that does not address the matter of how that applies to the Federal Housing Act. However, on HUDs own [email protected], they state that they believe that that is a violation of the class protected class of sex to discriminate based on someone's LGBTQ status. There is also HUD equal access rule as well as state and local anti discrimination laws that may apply. The short of the matter is don't discriminate based on someone's sexual orientation and you'll be fine. Now that we know the lunacy of some of the words that we're not allowed to say, according to the University of Michigan, but now we also know the seven protected classes as well as those other matters that may have been extended or expanded upon rather, and these classes let's look at our advertising guidelines as it sits under the Fair Housing Act. First and foremost, it's unlawful to make print, publish, or cause to be made, printed or published any notice statement or advertisement with respect to the sell or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin or an intent to make such preference limitation or discrimination. This applies to internet advertising, business cards, flyers, brochures, billboards, Melling, railroad rally, radio, TV ads, business cards and signs. And not only can the person creating the ad get in trouble, but so can the publisher and the advertiser be held liable for the discriminatory advertising the internet aspect of that's very important because that does include social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and things of that nature. So let's look at words to avoid now some of this is just common sense but some of it might be things that you're not aware of. First and foremost, we do not use words descriptive of the dwelling landlord of the tenant such as why private home Jewish neighborhood, Hispanic residents, adult building, things of that nature, any words basically that are indicative of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status or disability, don't use Protestant home Christian home Catholic home Jewish Home, Muslim home, Mexican Americans, Polish Americans, Irish, Hispanic, Latino, any word of that nature in your description, same thing using words based on sex, they that would intend to imply that housing is only available to one sex or the other, or discriminates based on LGBTQ status for disability, it's very important to understand you can provide information about the availability of accessible housing when advertising so you can advertise that there's a ramp or there is a special handicap bars or things of that nature to assist someone that is fine. Do not use catch words that could be considered discriminatory, such as restricted or exclusive, maybe private or integrated. Even words like traditional certainly don't use board approved or membership approved. And please do not use this. I see this all the time. Ideal for active and healthy people that's discriminatory against people who are not active and are not healthy, which could be disabilities. Avoid using symbols or logo types that could also imply a protected class such as a cross or a six pointed star or a crescent and a star. Or we'll know wheelchairs and things of that nature. The other thing that tends to get people in trouble or directions to real estate, using certain descriptions, that would by their very nature, notify the consumer that is maybe in an area that is a minority area, or the area is based on an area of certain type of worship, such as anywhere near or around the synagogue or around the parish or the mosque. Those words tend to be words that could imply neighborhoods or a certain faith or a certain race. And the same thing goes for area, location or descriptions. Try to avoid naming facilities that cater to particular races national origin or religious groups. Now there are some acceptable words according to HUD, that might give you pause, but they should so for instance, you may say family room master bedroom though that word seems to have come on several Hit List of several different websites. You can even say things such as Japanese garden because a Japanese garden is a very particular type of garden but don't call something a Japanese garden. Just because it's a guard make sure it's in fact designed as a Japanese garden. Private driveway is fine walk in closet, you may advertise a number of bedrooms, sleeping areas or nurseries, you may say could be a great nursery because as promoting family, you can discuss the views of the overlooks. You can talk about exact meaning executive community you may use words like seclusion private setting quality neighborhood, you may discuss jogging trails, quiet streets, secluded areas wooded settings, you may actually talk about qualified senior housing provided it meets the hopa standards, kids welcome, great neighborhood for kids. That's all fine, desirable neighborhoods is also fine. Remember, advertising something that is positive for a family a great place to raise a family is promoting familial status, it is not denigrating. And so you certainly can do that. Other areas of concern would be selecting certain publications that only target certain areas, or demographics. So be careful in selecting only magazines that cater only to a particular religious affiliation, or a particular race or color. That's not to say that if you have a if you're Jewish, and you have a Jewish magazine at your synagogue that you cannot advertise it as saying that make sure that your advertisement is not exclusive to one particular religion or race. The other thing to look at is your photos, it is legal to put pictures of humans in your photo. And that is a very effective way to market properties, including people of people with pictures of people enjoying the area, having a good time looking like they love where they live. But sometimes these photos can be subtle indications of a particular race or color or desire buyer. So today, your human models should represent all possible groups to indicate that housing is available to anyone regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status disability, if you have just one picture, it is fine to have just two Caucasians in the picture. That should not be every time you have a picture, you should change it up and have people of different races and ethnicities in your advertisement. If you have a brochure that has 10 or 15 pictures of different families, and every single picture is a picture of one race, then that starts to be problematic. So again, use your common sense. And make sure that you're showing a wide variety of people of all races, religions, origin and colors. As I mentioned earlier, affirmative marketing is always allowed, you may have firmly advertised in favor of people with children or people with disabilities. So if there is a neighborhood that would be perfect for someone with a disability, or would be perfect for for children, that is perfectly fine. And that is not discriminatory. And the last area you need to be concerned about is in the past, real estate agents might try to take notes, when they get a cold call or an email lead and make notes as to what they believe the person's racist or sexist or religion is based on the conversation and agents would go as far as to make notes in their file, do not do that. Because if a grievance is ever filed against you for a housing discrimination claim, and they look in your file, and they see these notes that is indicative of somebody who might be discriminating based on race, religion, national origin, color, that none of that matters when you're trying to sell real estate. So it doesn't matter what race or color someone is, or what sex they are. So having those notes was really nonsensical anyway. So don't do that. So the big question I get now is so that we now kind of have an idea of the words we can use that we can't use, and we shouldn't shouldn't use. So how does this come about? Well, how Why should even be worried about this? Well, the reason it is is because there are fair housing groups all over the country, that their entire job is to scour the internet and other forms of advertisement, looking for any form of discrimination. And if they run across your ad in a newspaper or a TV or the Internet, and they find that they are they believe that your ad in any form or fashion is discriminatory, then these organizations take it upon themselves to file grievance against you with the state human affairs commission, or with HUD or with other federal or state agencies. And so you have to understand that your advertisement is being watched and analyze every single time you put it out there. So word to the wise, before you put it out there, look at it and make sure that you're not discriminating in any form or fashion. Even if it's unintended discrimination is discrimination, make sure that you're not and make sure that you are clear on that now in future episodes, we will get a little bit more in detail about fair housing and how what could happen if you have a claim against you, but for today, that's where the Those were the items I wanted to go over. Now a new feature on our show called as Gary Caesar, and as Gary sees it Today, we're gonna talk about your advertisement on social media because it really rolls into our topic today. Every single real estate agent out there needs to understand a couple of truths. Truth number one is you are your own personal brand. Everything about you is your brand. My brand as people know it is I love the Cleveland Browns. I love baseball, which is the Atlanta Braves baseball. I love great craft beers. And for some strange reason. I'll The Bachelor. And so everybody in my industry knows, those are really four things about my brand and who I am. Now your brand can be anything it wants to be. But you need to understand that your social media presence, whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, tik tok, whatever it may be, that is your personal brand. And when agents Tell me, oh, I don't have a business page, I have a personal page, quit fooling yourself, you don't have 1000 friends in this world, you may have 30, you may have 40, most of us have three or four good friends, all those 1000 people who follow you on Instagram, and Twitter and Facebook, those aren't your friends, those are your business colleagues, or those are people you are trying to get business from. So first and foremost, understand, every real estate agent has a personal brand. It's you. Secondly, your social media is an extension of your personal brand. So with that being said, here it is his Gary sees it, stop it, please, for the love of God, stop it. I don't know what you are doing with your marketing and advertising. With all the crap you're putting on social media. It is absolutely insanity to see the stuff political race and otherwise that people are putting on Facebook and Instagram, particularly in set, I guess, November. But here's what you also have to understand, which is hard truth. Number three, this state of South Carolina voted 55% for one candidate and 45% or thereabout for the other candidate. So which one of those two? Do you want to piss off the most? Do you want to piss off 55% of your clients or potential clients? Or do you want to piss off 45% of your potential client? Personally, I don't want to piss off any of them. Because those two make up 100% of potential clients for me. So you need to understand that all of this stuff and vitriol and what would have happened if this group would have done this, or this group didn't do this? Or how horrible these people are? Or what should happen to these people, or what would have happened if these people did this, that's fine and dandy. have those conversations. I understand it's important stuff. But you need to understand what your mother always told you. You don't discuss race, religion, sex and politics at the kitchen table. And unfortunately for real estate agents, as well as for closing attorneys as well. For mortgage lenders, where we work is social media, we advertise and market on social media. So whenever you post something on your quote, unquote, personal website, you are posting it in your job, you're posting it, where you are marketing, and where you're asking people to send you business. So if you want to piss off 55% or 45% of your potential base of reefers keep doing what you're doing, because it's great, because it's pissing off everybody. Because one of you post something on there, I look at the 50 comments of how 30 people agree with you and 20 people hate your guts now. And those 20 people that hate your guts are never gonna send you business. And they may be your friends. But now they don't think like you anymore. So they're not going to send you business, you want to have principles. That's great if you're but you got to understand that 55% or 45%, they also have principles. And so when you call them names, or tell them their positions are ridiculous, or they're narrow minded, or don't understand or stupid, or whatever, their principals are going to tell them not to do business with you. So what I'm telling you today, as Gary sees it, is please please stop posting stuff. If you want to post that stuff, have a private Facebook page, and you can lament with your friends all you want to but understand if you're in real estate, real estate, mortgage lending, real estate agents, Real Estate Attorneys, and you go out and you post something that is considered the least bit political, least bit involving race, least bit revolving around religion, or say you're just cutting your own throat. And that's how I see. And now to a very short abbreviated version of Gary's good news only some really good COVID stuff out there. I want to share today, as most of y'all already know, a resident aged 70 or older can now begin scheduling an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting January 13, which was Wednesday of this week. There are 146,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in South Carolina with 82,266 total doses already administered for 56%. utilization rate governor Henry McMaster stated that we know that those 70 and older are at the greatest risk of dying from COVID. And he cited that d hecc. Report 67% of COVID deaths in South Carolina have been among those 70 and older, there are estimated 627,800, South Carolinians who are age 70 or older in the state, and many of our received their vaccine vaccination through the phase one eligibility. So where they are now opening up the vaccine for everyone over 70 and that is certainly great news for the people that are truly at risk, which is our senior citizens. And to tie into that, let's look at what CDC has published this week, which I know you won't find on any news reports because it is positive news. First of all, the real IFR which is the infection fatality rate is point two 2% 0.22% that means if everybody who got COVID and tested positive point two 2%, actually passed away from it. Now, Fauci many times, has said that the number of people who've gotten COVID is eight to 10 times the number of people who actually have positive tests. So if that's true, then if the infection fatality rate is even less than that, because you have to add all those people who weren't tested in, so the number of people who died from people who actually had COVID is much, much lower than that. The interesting thing is this number, even as it sits, it's five times lower than what falchi in the so called experts told us earlier. And it's only two times out of the flu, and statistically, that basically means nothing. So let's look at the IFR of certain age groups. If your zero to four, the IFR was 0.0017. So anybody under the age of four who got COVID, only point 001 7% of them passed away from five to 17, it was 0.001%. And not to even get from 18 to 49 is 0.02%. That's to one hundredths of 1% of people who had tested positive for COVID. Not even who got COVID, but those who tested positive. So the number is minuscule. Now any death is horrible, horrible, we don't want any deaths. But we're trying to put this into perspective here 0.02%. Now when you look at 50 to 64, you only are at 0.21%. So you're only at two tenths of 1%. And it's not till you hit 65, that the IRF is 1.79%. If you listen to the media, you would believe as I think a lot of people believe that people are dropping in the streets left and right. And it's 10s and 10s of 1000s of people every single second of the day, it's simply not true that if our rate for the entire age of all ages is only 0.22%. That's every single person who got COVID only point to 2% died. Please understand any death is one death to many. But when you compare the IRS to the flu bomb before 65 and over, it's 0.856, which statistically is very little difference. But overall, the IRF symptomatic cases, the IRF is 0.136 for the flu, compared to point two to zero for COVID. Statistically, it's very little to no difference. So that's very important to understand. That's Gary's good news, only for you today. I hope everybody enjoyed our show today on fair housing. We'll try to do some more on that as well. If you liked this podcast, we ask that you please like us, share us but most importantly to subscribe to us because we are trying to grow this into a statewide podcast. Our numbers are very good, and we really appreciate everybody that's listening. So please share this with agents, you know, throughout the whole of South Carolina so that we can continue to grow this. We'll see you next week.