Sweat the Details with Rob Hahn, Part 1

Sweat the Details Podcast by Nest Realty cooperation

How Towns are Divided

We were joined this week by Rob Hahn, the Notorious Rob, a Strategy Consultant in the real estate space who works with some of the largest companies and organizations in it. A lawyer by training, but not in practice, Rob is one of the most well known and outspoken voices in real estate today


You can listen to this podcast here, and subscribe to the podcast here.

Highlights:


Transcription

Jim Duncan:
Hey everybody. It’s Jim Duncan with Nest Realty, Sweat The Details. I’m sitting here with Keith Davis and Rob Hahn. Rob, if you don’t mind, for those of us in our audience who don’t know who you are, give us a quick who are you, Rob? And let’s roll from there.

Rob Hahn:
Jeez, quick? Who am I?

Jim Duncan:
I said quick-

Rob Hahn:
Who am I? Why am I here? I’m a Strategy Consultant in the real estate space. I tend to work with some of the largest companies and organizations in it. I’m a lawyer by training, but thankfully I never did that. Internet startup. Just the general. I don’t know. People call me a shit-stirrer.

Jim Duncan:
But we’ve never once called you a realtor, Rob.

Rob Hahn:
No, that’s true. I’ve never been a realtor. I don’t have a license. I think most people who might know me, know because I write a blog called The Notorious Rob and it’s really a real estate blog and it’s called that because I’m a fan of Biggie being that I’m from New York, being I’m from Long Island, which is going to become relevant. So, yeah. That’s what I do and obviously we’ve known each other for years. It’s God dang, probably going on 10 years.

Jim Duncan:
Yeah. More than that.

Rob Hahn:
Yeah and I’ve always admired what you all been doing. So, congrats by the way on your recent partnership with @. I think that’s pretty cool.

Jim Duncan:
Thank you.

Rob Hahn:
And yeah and when this whole race thing popped, I think Jim sort of figured who would be willing to come on a podcast and sort of hang it all out there?

Jim Duncan:
We’re looking for unabashed guests who will say what they’re thinking and not be cagey at all and I think we’ve got that.

Rob Hahn:
Yeah and spin like crazy and I think Jim thought of me. So-

Jim Duncan:
Well, there’s that, but I think it’s also, per one of the stories you wrote in November, you are from Long Island. There’s a Newsday article that we’ll link in the show notes. It talked about realtors and discrimination in the Long Island area and you wrote a story back then about just what your life was like growing up in that area, but also today with the ramifications of these agents have been called out publicly and many of them are still working. So, if you don’t mind just sort of get a background on you said the street you grew up on was segregated.

Rob Hahn:
Yeah. So, I guess the fact that I mean, I guess it’s relevant, but I’m Korean American. I’m an immigrant and when we came over in the 1980, I guess it was, we had no money, right? And I remember very distinctly my parents lived, we lived in Hempstead, Long Island and I know most people probably have no reason to know anything about New York, Long Island. Long Island is the big giant suburbs of New York City and most people think of it as you’re super rich, literally white mansions and it’s like Great Gatsby takes place on Long Island, right? [crosstalk 00:03:13] Yeah. That’s what people have an image of, but then I’m like actually there are neighborhoods, there are towns in Long Island that are every bit the urban ghetto problem that you imagine and the way I like to say it as Public Enemy is actually from Hempstead.

Rob Hahn:
So, I say me and PE, we both come from… But so, yeah. Hempstead was very much basically your urban ghetto situation and we lived in a housing project, those types of things, but I know that they were looking for houses and being Asian immigrants, it made me wonder when I found out about Long Island Divided and that’s the thing with the story, Long Island Divided, it’s an amazing piece of journalism and it made me wonder did we end up in the Hempstead school district simply because my parents were steered that way, right? And one of the things that’s really striking and there’s an image and it’s on my blog, I can’t remember what I called it, but if you go into tutorials, I think and just type Long Island Divided, you will probably find it.

Rob Hahn:
There’s an image of a street, I think it’s Steward Street, where on one side is Garden City and on the other side is Hempstead, right? And it’s amazing the difference, right? On the one side you have urban blight, you’ve got used car lots. On the other side, you have leaf lined streets and mentions and I remember that, right? I remember growing up, I’m on my side of the street and going like, “Wow, this sucks,” and the other side of the street is cool and shaded and lovely and as a kid, you don’t think about that. You don’t really think about why is literally one street dividing two different worlds and you watch Long Island Divided, you start to understand how housing came about, you start to understand certain realities and then you realize, right?

Rob Hahn:
So, I wrote about that and I wrote about what are we doing about this? This to me, Long Island Divided is a giant standard of the industry. It’s a giant standard of society to be honest, but because we’re all in the real estate industry and you guys are realtors, it’s something that I know really impacts you all personally, right? And I can mention the thing that’s a little frustrating about all of this is this story comes out and you would think that the response from the brokerages, the response from the industry would be shock and horror and we had no idea this sort of thing was going on, but now that we know, we’re going to take some action, right? And as far as I know, if the industry has taken action, I don’t really know what they are, right? Because the last time I researched, which was for a follow up recently, so maybe a couple of months ago, 33 of the 34 agents that were caught on camera doing shady stuff, that were called out are still working and they’re still realtors as far as I know. So, then that’s troubling, right? Because-

Keith Davis:
And you posted that update like a month, month and a half ago?

Rob Hahn:
Yeah. It was recent. Yeah. It was in light of the whole George Floyd thing, right? When the industry went completely out of its mind again and I started talking about race and race relations and I’m going, “Okay. Well, if we’re going to do this, then can we at least just take a look to see what we’ve done to our own?” Right?

Jim Duncan:
So, what’s the, Rob, realtors are, we have the code of ethics. We vault ourselves for policing our own. That doesn’t seem to be working.

Rob Hahn:
You know what? Here’s the thing, I don’t know if it’s working. I don’t know if it’s not working. What I will say is there’s been no news about it. In other words, it isn’t as if Long Island Board of Realtors, New York State Association and the NAR came out and said, “We did this thorough investigation, right? Into these 34, right? And determined that 33 of them actually were fine. It’s just a misunderstanding.” Do you know what I’m saying, right? We don’t even have that. We don’t have any word of we’ve really looked into this. We have no word of anything. The brokers that these realtors work for, it’s not like the broker said, “Hey, we did a thorough internal investigation and we found that this individual was in the wrong, but these others were it’s a misunderstanding.” You know what I mean? If you’re going to absolve somebody, then absolve them, no?

Keith Davis:
But Rob, don’t you think, I mean as twisted, as demented as it sounds, don’t you think there’s a part of it that says the number, the percentage of agents who were caught on camera doing things that were questionable in the fair housing line, it was such a high percentage that maybe that gave the brokers the leeway not to do anything about it because clearly it’s systemic across the entire system and therefore what’s the point of getting rid of these 33? Instead it’s like wow, this is everybody. We need to address it as a whole. We don’t need to get rid of these agents, but we do. I’m just wondering if it had been 30% or 20%, I think you could get rid of those 20% agents, but at this point how do you even begin to address it if you think is happening with 85% of your agents across the entire community?

Rob Hahn:
It’s a great question, but I don’t know that this story talked about what percentage of agents engaged in this, right? What I remember reading was that there were two companies and I’m trying to remember off the top of my mind which two they were. Two actual companies, none of whose agents engaged in any steering, right? And I think Corcoran was one of them, if I’m not mistaken. There was one other, but they did say a bunch of the other firms engaged in it because some of their agents did. Now, the other thing they didn’t say was 85% of the agents engaged in steering it. So, I don’t know what that looked like on a percentage basis, right? But that’s a great question in a way, right? Because again, if I’m a broker, like you guys are brokers, let’s flip it around, right? Say one of your agents get caught on camera, right? Treating black buyers differently than white buyers, okay? And this now hits your local newspaper, right? What would you do about it?

Keith Davis:
Well, see, here’s the great thing is that what you just said is if one of your agents got caught on camera, it’s a no brainer. You get rid of one of your agents. If however 16 of your agents are caught, then you have to sit back and well frankly, you fire the principal brokers [crosstalk 00:09:59]. I’m the broker for Nest. These guys are my responsibility in Charlottesville. Their actions are at least legally and I think Jim would say that it’s my responsibility and so, yeah. I mean, but I think the question is do you just say I’m going to get rid of 35% of my agents?

Keith Davis:
No, you don’t. You can’t. You instead have to do something that is bigger, more public and more overreaching across all of your agents assuming it’s happening everywhere and that everybody needs to be retrained. So, the question then isn’t did you get rid of the 33 agents that were caught on camera, the question is what have those firms done to retrain and what have those firms done in other communities? Assuming this is not just a Long Island problem because this is not just a Long Island problem.

Rob Hahn:
I agree with you at a certain aspect. The issue I have is I think the first thing you would do is to find out is this one bad apple? Like you said, right? If it’s one bad apple, then you get rid of the one bad apple, but if it’s every single agent you’ve got, then you probably have a different, different order of question and to me, the first thing you got to do as a brokerage is find out, right? Is find out, investigate, is this, to your point, is this one bad person, one bad apple or is this a failure training? Is this a systemic problem? What do we have here? And I think what bothers me a little bit about the response so far is we’ve not seen any of that. We’ve not seen any brokerage, any realtor association, anybody, anywhere in the industry do that self-examination, right?

Rob Hahn:
And say, “Hey, in light of Long Island Divided, we were all shocked and horrified. We investigated and determined that this was actually a small minority of agents and we’re going to deal with those individuals and send a clear message to everybody this is not acceptable,” or, “We’ve investigated and found that we had a real failure in our training system,” because to think back, Long Island Divided went into the training as well. They talked about sort of the failures in fair housing training that was happening at the board level, right? So, that was never addressed. So, I’m saying just at least if we’re going to say there’s a problem, then we have to start with here’s a problem, we’re investigating the problem and tell the public, right? This is sort of what we’re doing to restore faith and trust that the agent that they’re meeting with is not secretly making sure you end up in Hispanic neighborhood. That’s a real, that to me is something that needed to happen and as of yet, I haven’t seen anything.

Keith Davis:
Well, it’s now been, I guess, about 10 months since this came out. I think it was October, November is when it [crosstalk 00:12:49] released. It was certainly still a huge conversation when we got to see Inman in January. So, it was somewhere in that late fourth quarter time period. The question would be number one, is News Day continuing to do this research and are they continuing to blind test and are they going to come up with a one year later followup? Which would be fantastic, but I got to say the other piece, Rob, and just to shift us a little bit is that three months after this comes out, we’re in the midst of the pandemic and very quickly into George Floyd and very quickly into a much higher movement of Black Lives Matter and now books like Color Of Law that many people had read, but certainly had not become as widespread as it is now.

Keith Davis:
I mean, I think most realtors who are paying attention to the Black Lives Matter movement have read or know about Color Of Law and so, your story of the dividing line in your neighborhood that had the used car lots on one side and the leaf line streets on the other, I think people are starting to understand how those towns came about, how sundown towns became a part of the Midwest culture for so long and I think the question then becomes you’re saying no one’s doing anything publicly. I actually would argue that over the last few months with George Floyd that real estate communities and real estate companies are beginning to have a very open conversation. I can’t say that they’re retraining. I can’t say that the Long Island firms are jumping on this maybe the way that you’d like to see it happen, but don’t you feel there’s at least now a conversation going on in real estate that’s very genuine? I’m not saying it’s effective yet. I’m not arguing that we’re fixing things quickly, but don’t you feel like this is now really a conversation?

Rob Hahn:
Well, I mean based on the fact that the three of us are on this podcast having this conversation, I think I’d say yeah, we are. We are starting to have genuine conversations. I have some issues in terms of where the conversation has gone so far, but to some extent you have to say who the hell am, I right? I’m just this random guy out here, right? So-

Jim Duncan:
Let me start back a sec, Rob. I think that in your post the other day, I think the one thing that most realtors don’t have any idea about is that, I’m reading from your posts now, that NAR used it’s political lobbying prowess to oppose the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Rob Hahn:
Right. That’s-

Jim Duncan:
And Black Americans could not join NAR at all until 1961, which is, I would say for 85% of realtors, hearing that is going to be new.

Rob Hahn:
Yeah and as I wrote in that post, I’d really… Look. My blog is not, it’s an industry blog, right? For the most part. I don’t have a whole lot of interest in getting into these really difficult social justice type issues. I don’t and-

Jim Duncan:
No, but I think, but my point is does NAR have a responsibility as part of our realtor indoctrination, if you will, to teach our history to a certain degree? Because it’s easy to say don’t discriminate. So, anybody can agree with that, but I think understanding how we got to that point is a critical part of being a realtor, knowing sort of from where we came.

Rob Hahn:
Yeah and you know what, Jim? I think you and Keith really ought to be answering that because you guys are the dudes paying realtors, right? Do you think NAR, do you think your association should be doing this?

Jim Duncan:
Well, I think that NAR and I’ve advocated for many years that the training, the standards, et cetera, need to be higher to become a realtor.

Rob Hahn:
Sure.

Jim Duncan:
Right now it’s a matter of paying your dues and getting MLS access, but I think that it’s becoming upon NAR and local and state to have an understanding of how to communicate where we came from and know that our industry played a pivotal role in rending America apart in many ways from the zoning conversation, from discrimination perspective-

Keith Davis:
Yeah. I mean, it’s blockbusting, it’s everything. It’s everything.

Rob Hahn:
Absolutely and fact of the matter is where the industry needs to head, I think, where the difficult work begins is I think it’s actually still pretty easy. In other words, I don’t know what the process is, but let’s say you guys got ahold of Bob Goldberg, right? And say, “Hey, as dudes paying realtors,” not only as dudes paying realtors, lead just in the community. I know you guys have been involved with the realtor movement for many years, right? I think, Jim, weren’t you chair of our pack for awhile and stuff? So-

Jim Duncan:
Local, yeah.

Rob Hahn:
And your bonafides. You guys have proven, right? But if you guys then, locally out of Charlottesville, out of Virginia started going, moving up the chain saying, “Hey guys, we should start training our people about our history,” right? To me, I actually think that’s pretty easy to do and I think to NRAs credit, it is as if they’ve deep sixth this, right? It isn’t as if they try to sweep all this history under the rug, right? Most of the stuff that I found for that post and the reason why I wrote it is because I figured everyone knew. I just figured that we all knew, right? This is common knowledge and it turned out, like you said, and it took a friend of mine who is a realtor leader to say, “What are you talking about? Why do you keep saying if you’re going to cancel master out a master bedroom, you would probably need to stop using the racist term realtor.” And I was like, “Really? You didn’t know about no black realtors allowed until 1960 or you didn’t know?” He was like, “No, we had no idea.” that’s why I wrote it, just for that purpose.

Jim Duncan:
So man, to that point, we’re seeing, I don’t know if it’s a movement or what have you, but the conversations about removing racist terms from real estate.

Rob Hahn:
Right-

Jim Duncan:
Yeah. I mean, I would say that if you’re listening to the podcast today, I’ll link it up, but in the tech world they used master and slave for years and now, they are… I mean, just when I did tech work 20 years ago, we were using that just as a matter of course and big companies are removing that from their vernacular now, but I would say that master, removing master from the bedroom terminology is, it’s not a leap forward, but I think it’s a way to shift conversation a little bit, but it’s not going to do what we need to do.

Keith Davis:
Well, but I think Jim, what you just said is exactly right. The fact that we may call an owner’s suite that instead of a master bedroom, it doesn’t change anything about the world. It doesn’t make somebody feel less suppressed when they’re walking through a house, but it does raise the awareness within the realtor community that there are many things that we don’t talk about or that we should be talking about rather than we’ve been ignoring and I think, I’ll take it, one, that has nothing to do with the race movement, but in my first week of training, of being a realtor, there was a two guys who came in just to talk about vocabulary that we use as realtors and things that we started talking about things… We use technical terms instead of terms that the general public understands, that we tend to talk about oh, this is a property.

Keith Davis:
It’s not a property. It’s a home, right? We get into what kind of product is your client looking for? But the reality is our clients don’t think they’re looking for product. They’re looking for housing. There’s this whole piece and so, I think changing the vocabulary, it does raise awareness of what are we doing and why are we doing it? Who should we be aware of? And there was a person I listened to recently who was talking to… I’m trying to remember the exact phrasing of the question that she said. Instead of asking where you are from, asking more of a question of what drives people, what makes you who you are type questions and I thought it is an interesting question that if somebody’s coming from Boston, does that instantly create an idea of oh, someone who’s used to a more densely populated area than Charlottesville is versus what is it that we draw from these conclusions of area?

Keith Davis:
And I think raising awareness of what our questions are perceived or the words we use, I think it’s huge. I think for our vocabulary is incredibly important that we’re focused on. I think it changes everything.

Rob Hahn:
I think those all fundamentally are, it’s good that we’re having conversations. So, let’s start this way, right? Here’s my take on where things are. I think the vast majority of realtors are not doing anything wrong. I don’t think they’re steering clients. I don’t think they’re racist. I don’t. I just don’t. I think the vast majority, like I don’t know and again, no studies ever been done, but I’d say the vast majority of realtors are just trying to serve their customers and you guys know it’s hard enough to get a live one, right? Why would you not show them every house that’s available for sale? It’s not, right? It’s hard for a sell to come by. So, I don’t think we’re seeing anything like that.

Rob Hahn:
In terms of the vocabulary thing, look, I don’t see a problem with being more sensitive about people’s backgrounds or whatnot. The issue with what we’ve done with the master bedroom thing is not only does it not change anything, but it’s actually led to a worse place, right? And the example that I used in both times that I talked about it is John Legend tweeted about that decision, right? 13 and a half million followers who may be up until that moment did not think white realtors aren’t going to show me all the homes. Now they do, right? Now they do and John Legend then tweeted out as evidence like, “Hey, by the way, here’s the story from Long Island about racial stirring.”

Rob Hahn:
I’m like, “Okay. So, that worked out well, I think, from a PR standpoint,” right? So, here’s Realtor Association saying, “Hey, we want to be sensitive because the Black Lives Matters and George Floyd. We want to be sensitive. So, we’re going to remove the term master,” which is something that no black person anywhere in America has ever took to the streets to protest, “We demand removal of master from master bedroom.” No one, right?

Rob Hahn:
They’re protesting police brutality. They’re protesting things that matter. So, we go out and do this virtual signaling thing and 13, 13 and a half million followers now go, “Oh yeah. That nice white realtor that I know, they’re actually racist.” I mean, this is… I don’t know how you have a worst public relations disaster, I guess. So, what I state is if we’re going to do things, then we probably ought to do things that matter, right? That make a difference. If we’re not, that’s fine. You want to just go, “We’re going to change the name of plantation shutters.” Okay. Do whatever the hell you want, but understand that’s not helping a single black family move into a house. It’s not helping anybody do anything. So, I don’t know. I mean, we’ll figure it out, but I know where my recommendations are. I think we do have a very important role to play because we’ve had such an important role in creating the racial division.

Rob Hahn:
There’s no doubt about that. The historical record is pretty clear, like you said, the Color Of Law, it’s been out there. It’s not like this a secret. It isn’t as if it’s a secret, the zoning laws are racist. It isn’t as if there’s a secret that for, I don’t know, probably for most of the 20th century, post after the 13th amendment, you know what I mean? There’s been a concerted effort to quote, keep blacks in their place. I mean, none of those are debatable, right? So, the only question is what do we do about it going forward?

Jim Duncan:
To the zoning perspective, I mean I think that there’s an argument to make, to be made that removing zoning opens up more opportunities to everybody. You’ve seen the arguments recently in Minneapolis and a couple of other localities that are… And there’s a bill in Virginia that failed last year, I think, that would have removed single family housing as a primary housing type and I think that exposes or that opens up more opportunities, but is that something that, and I’ll put it to you before I give my take, is that something that we should be advocating for from a realtor perspective? To remove zoning?

Rob Hahn:
Yeah. So, I wrote a long post about this, sort of talking about okay, so Long Island Divided happened, I’ll be serious about race. If we are, then realtors because realtors are the most powerful housing lobby in the country, then there are two things that we have to talk about. One is eliminating anti-growth zoning. So, not all zoning, right? Because there’s a big difference between we’re going to allow factories and that’s not what I’m talking. I’m talking about anti-growth zoning’s, things like minimum lot sizes and that sort of thing. So, that’s one and then the other one we actually have to really think about is local school districts and what’s called local levy school funding, right? As long as those two things remain and they were put into place for racist purposes, then we have a real challenge in our hands. So, I believe so, but let’s face it. I’m not a realtor. So, the way I would like to do it is I’d like to flip it around on you guys. You guys are realtors, you guys are realtor leaders, you’re brokers. Do you think we need to eliminate anti-growth zoning laws, anti-growth environmental laws and get rid of local school districts, right? It’s hard.

Jim Duncan:
I’m sorry. I lost my audio here.

Keith Davis:
Yeah. What I’d say, Rob, is we’re coming up on a half an hour and I don’t want to suddenly stop this in the middle of it. I think what I would like to suggest is if you’ve got time, we’d love to have you back for a second visit when we can really delve into schools because I think schools is going to be more than a two minute, three minute conversation and we also want to talk, we also had on our list of things we wanted to talk about today were RPAC and other than acknowledging that Jim used to be the chair of our local RPAC. We’re definitely not going to have time to hit that one, but I do think in terms of the zoning question, the reality is that minimum lot sizes, having ADUs, having accessory dwelling units, having the ability to offer socioeconomically diverse offerings within individual neighborhoods rather than the gated community of the ’70s, ’80s or ’80s, ’90s probably, that I think is about opportunity of housing.

Keith Davis:
That is exactly where we’ve been conversing about the Long Island question. This is about opening up and allowing people of all different persuasions, not just class, but to live in a community and be able to be a single community and I think that’s unbelievably valuable and I think when we look at new neighborhoods that are popping up in our markets, ADUs are more and more commonly allowed and they’re being zoned into the plan unit development specifically to have socioeconomic diversity and if you go back to the architecture of Andres Duany and TPZ, which is out of Miami who did most of the new traditional neighborhood development work early on, they were the lead architects and developers on those programs.

Keith Davis:
Their process was to allow people who were socioeconomically disadvantaged to live among people who were not to be able to, instead of isolation, it was how do you share that community? So, yeah. I mean, this is a big part of what new urbanism is. It’s what traditional neighborhood design is and I think it’s hard. It’s incredibly difficult to see how not turning older neighborhoods into that same zoning openness isn’t going to have the same positive attributes. These are the neighbors that people want to live in right now. People want to live in places where you can walk to a neighborhood restaurant, where there are tiny cottages and larger houses on lots next door to each other. This is where our culture wants to live. So, I’m not seeing it as a… I mean, trust me. I understand that there’s opposition to it. I’m not saying this is a universal thought, but yeah. I’m 100% behind you on it.

Rob Hahn:
Yeah. So, but that to me, again, we can keep talking about it because these issues aren’t going away. They’re not going anywhere and that this is the most important thing that I think realtors have to tackle, which is something like anti-growth zoning. There’s a huge difference with the market responding one way and the government preventing it. So, the way I look at is real simple. Some developer wants to put in a 300 unit multifamily housing unit, rentals in a traditionally whatever, beautiful downtown, just the older neighborhoods that are really desirable housing. You know and I know that the local neighborhoods, neighbors are going to throw a fit. You know and I know that NIMBY-ism is a real thing, right? And these people who are otherwise like we are all behind BLM and we’re all about race and I’m reading White Fragility and I’m this and that.

Rob Hahn:
When you go to them and say, “Okay, we’re going to put in a 300 unit apartment building right in your neighborhood,” all of a sudden they’re going to be like, “Wait a minute. I don’t know if that’s what I had in mind,” and the issue is realtors are the most powerful housing lobby in the country and at the national level, at the state level, at the local level, right? If the Charlottesville City Council is contemplating something like this and the Charlottesville Realtors say, “We’re not for it.” Guess what? That thing is not going forward. These are just realities we have to agree to, right? Realtors are incredibly powerful. So, the issue of which direction will realtors go in terms of policy is actually really relevant to this whole national discussion we’re having about race and opportunity and so on and let’s put it this way, I would not fault the realtor saying this is not something we want to support because our clients, they live in those areas. Their biggest investment is in those homes. We don’t want to devalue their properties. I have no-

Keith Davis:
Oh. So Rob, you’ve just given me that perfect opening then, to say that we’re doing it because that’s where our clients live. I think the question is not is it where our clients live? The question is where is it that all of home buyers who want to have opportunities of home ownership, what should we be protecting? Are we protecting our past clients or our future clients? And I think that’s the huge question and that’s the one I want to talk about with RPAC on a longer conversation.

Rob Hahn:
That’s right and this is what Jim brought up. So, essentially the issue is the Code Of Ethic. The Realtor Code Of Ethics talks about three duties, right? Duties to clients, duties to the public and duties to one another and really the conversation needs to happen within the industry is which of those duties are the most important, right? Because again, I have nothing but respect for realtors to say, “Clients come first, then the public.” So, to the extent that we want to encourage diversity, great, but I can’t do it at the expense of my clients. That is a perfectly fine position to have, but this is a conversation that needs to happen within the realtor circles is my point.

Keith Davis:
I would say that, just as a quick thought of how I rank those, it’s not that I ranked them in terms of importance. I think there is a moment in your life where each one is the most important when you were involved inside of a transaction, inside of a negotiation, inside of waiting for closing, it is your client that you’re looking out for, but I think when we’re talking about how do we do our job? It’s about protecting the general public and the community and I think the way in which we do that is for mutual respect for one another and honest dealings. I think that’s the way I look at those three, right? And then this is going to come to a head when you talk about should RPAC, should the realtor political lobbying organization push for eliminating local zoning and eliminating local school funding? And that, Rob, is part two.

Rob Hahn:
Exactly.

Keith Davis:
I think that’s where we need to have a longer conversation that’s specifically for that because I think that is one of… I can’t think of the other two, but one of the top two or three conversations that we as a realtor community need to have and I think that part of that needs to be in a space like this and I think the part that would just be in the, not the closed doors, but the doors of NAR and [crosstalk 00:34:18] VAR and CAR about how we, as a realtor community, need to understand and address these things because it’s not something that’s going away on its own and I think that part of it is framing the conversation and the points first, but also educating each other and ourselves individually about, again, how we got to where we are, but what we need to do and what society we need to be advocating for. I think-

Rob Hahn:
I completely agree and I think there’s something realtors absolutely need to do because here’s the thing, I remember, you remember, you guys remember that years ago I did this thing called Here At Direct.

Keith Davis:
Yep.

Rob Hahn:
When we went and spoke to actual consumers and did all this stuff. One of the things that really resonated with me, there was a seller and I know we’re running out of time here, but we talked about how he was one of the few sellers who understood realtors, who liked realtors and what he said was what you guys do is not just buy and sell houses, right? What you guys do is you create communities and it totally resonated with me. So, given that that’s the case, I do think that this is, it’s definitely one of the most important conversations and debates that need to happen within realtor circles and understanding that people want to have different takes on it and this is not… Politics, I’m so divided.

Rob Hahn:
This is not one of those things where you need to be at each other’s throats. This is a technical, right? Issue. It’s a professional issue where we can have reasoned, passionate debate with different perspectives around what do we do about this, right? We recognize that a lot of the policies, housing policies that are in place today have a clearly racist past. We know it’s not debatable, okay? What do we do about it going forward? Because we’re not racist anymore. It’s not like… Well, [crosstalk 00:36:17]. Something like locally, it’s hard to say local school districts are racist. It’s hard to say that. They’re really just about families wanting the best for their kids, but then what do we do about this going forward?

Rob Hahn:
That’s the conversation that really needs to happen and I do think it needs to happen within realtor circles and around the idea of where do we need to put our incredibly powerful and efficient political position and that could be the part two, but look guys, I hope it’s not just the three of us. I hope that conversation is like 300 people.

Jim Duncan:
Right, but I think the party was going to be, I think that is one, an ideal place for us to segue to part two and for our next session where we record in a couple of weeks, but it’s also, I think it’s something that these conversations have to start and I think that part of it is understanding what other associations and brokers and people are having this within this space and collaborate together to make it a better environment for everybody? But the school thing is something that is a, yeah. It’s a hard conversation. Keith, I think I’m going to just call this a day.

Keith Davis:
Yeah. I mean, Jim, I don’t know exactly what we expected having Rob on to think that we would keep things short. Rob is not really known for his short blog posts. So, this just is perfectly fitting. This is awesome.

Rob Hahn:
The next time we do this, we should just plan a Joe Rogan style and go two and a half hours.

Jim Duncan:
Well, we will do this again. I want to just plant the seed. I think I’d like to meet again in the next couple of weeks and do another round of this and let’s really get into the school choice. Let’s get into how districting happens and what its implications are for future generations and what that education opportunity means and let’s talk about RPAC. Let’s talk about the difference between funding and supporting of lobbying efforts versus the supporting of candidates who we believe might have the best interest of the realtor or the public in mind when they’re going forward and I think that’s the different question that I need, that I want to talk about with RPAC.

Rob Hahn:
Love it.

Jim Duncan:
Does that sound good?

Rob Hahn:
All right, well, yeah. Just let me know.

Jim Duncan:
Awesome. All right, guys. Rob, thank you. Keith, thank you. Everybody, thanks for listening to Sweat The Details and stay tuned for part two of what could be a fantastic and not brief conversation on some pretty heavy issues we have.

Keith Davis:
Rob, thanks for chiming in and enjoy your vacation.

Rob Hahn:
My pleasure. Thanks for having me on guys

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