Date Archives: February 2022

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Bellevue WA | 16 Posts
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Portland Running

Running can be done anywhere, at your own pace, and with no special equipment, making it a nearly perfect form of exercise. Grab your running shoes and take in the amazing scenery at these upcoming 5K runs near Portland homes for sale

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Seattle Food Tours

There are so many wonderful places where you can get to know Seattle, from markets and museums to stunning, Instagram-worthy waterfront destinations. But what could be a better way to learn about a city than to explore its culture of cuisine? The famed, internationally-inspired dining scene around Seattle homes for sale offers so many options that it can be hard to know where to start, which is why food tours are such a great way to get to know both the city and its dining destinations. Our real estate agents have the details on some of the best food tours that will take you all around Seattle.

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rocky flowers team diva

Rocky Flowers of Team Diva based in CB Bain's Lake Union office, centers his practice on helping others, whether that takes shape in client education, delivering superior service, making the home-buying experience stress free, or breaking often intimidating barriers to help first-time homebuyers to achieve their dream.

He's also keenly aware of the importance of diverse representation in and out of the workplace and works to uplift others through advocacy and education. In his career, Rocky has been lauded with Top Producer Awards from Coldwell Banker for Teams, earned his Accredited Buyers Certificate, and working towards his Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with sights set on a future Managing Broker certification.

Team Diva is a diverse team that came together through mutual friendships. Chavi and Kim and Team Diva take an active role in the communities that they serve. Kim and Chavi make a concerted effort to support and financially contribute to Black organizations like the CD Arts Forum and the NW African American Museum. They use their platform to engage in and advocate for underrepresented groups. Kim and Chavi have actively worked to have women of color elected to local government, for example, to support diversity in policy-setting.

What brokerages need to do is engage and not virtue signal. "They need to be actually doing, and actually walking the walk," Rocky said. Using Team Diva as a guide for other offices to be more inclusive in their hiring practices, Rocky emphasizes the importance of representation. "As an industry we need to do more to recruit and support Black and minority brokers. Brokerages should partner with organizations in communities that are unrepresented in our industry."

When looking at the makeup in our country, diversity in the real estate industry is lagging behind. Substantive outreach is lacking, to help minority communities understand different the career paths the industry. That requires getting outside of our safe circles and communities.

"We need to think out of the box and keep in mind that the real estate industry isn't just about buying and selling houses; there's financing, title companies, escrow, appraisers, and we need representation in each facet of the industry, not just with real estate agents in brokerages," Rocky said. "One small action item a company can take: maintain a database of minority businesses within our industry, so they are included in the resources made available to agents."

When it comes to marketing, Rocky encourages brokers to ask themselves: Do I have Black clients? Do I have Black friends? Do those friends consider me a friend, or do I just know them? If the answers are no, Rocky says it's time to make changes. Show up and volunteer for organizations that support the Black and minority communities. Host first-time homebuyer classes with organizations that support home ownership for those often left out of the housing market.

And when it's time to hire, market open roles in places where communities of color will see them, he adds. "Go into spaces and let them know you are specifically working toward bringing communities of color to the table and advertise careers in those same communities." 

Brokers and REALTORs can have a profound impact on the Black community by helping its members achieve the American dream of homeownership and help a family create generational wealth. Rocky suggests intentionally helping one or two first-time home buyers instead of looking exclusively to a luxury-level clientele. The biggest barrier to Black homeownership is capital, and brokers would benefit by learning about and sharing program resources with prospective qualified buyers.

"There are some organizations agents can partner with that give access to people with limited funds. Homestead Community Land Trust is an organization I have worked with in the past that can put people on a path to home ownership. Homesite is somewhat familiar to brokers and offered through many local lenders; the program that offers down payment assistance to qualified buyers," Rocky said, adding that equally vital is education on home maintenance, because once you own a home you need to know how to maintain it.

Recognizing Seattle is one of many American cities with a history of racist real estate zoning a.k.a. redlining, Rocky and his cousin, former King County Councilmember Larry Gossert, have spoken with press about how this practice has affected Black homeownership and what can be done about it today.

"Currently in many deeds there is racist language prohibiting families like mine from owning homes," Rocky said. "While homeowners can have the racist language removed from their deeds, it is a reminder of Seattle's very real and painful past of segregation." Learn more about redlining in Seattle here.

An extension of Rocky's advocacy in real estate, in his spare time Rocky serves on the board of the Real Pride Network, which is an LGBTQ+ organization with members from the real estate industry. Diversity, inclusion, and philanthropy are the foundations of its network.

"We have worked to build an organization that is inclusive of every part of the LGBTQ+ community. Real Pride Network believes that our industry has a want and responsibility to give back to the communities we serve," he said.  "Right now, we are concentrating our efforts in supporting unhoused LGBTQ+ youth. We have partnered with True Colors United in the fight to house LGBTQ+ youth by donating funds and awareness to this issue."

"In general, for all of us it's about inclusion." Rocky said. "Put yourself out there. Read books about segregation's history. Volunteer for organizations supporting the Black community. And get to know people. "  

Bravo to Rocky and his meaningful work to include and uplift underrepresented members of the community, and in helping so many realize their dreams of home ownership for the first time.


Heated Patio Portland

Our brokers don't let Portland's winter chill keep them indoors. Dine in toasty comfort on heated patios at these great restaurants around Portland homes for sale

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Seattle Outdoors

Do you love to experience the great outdoors? Winter is the perfect time to explore some of the vast natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and the great thing about Seattle homes for sale is that you won't have to travel far to find outdoor adventures. Whether you're interested in snow sports, hiking, outdoor art installations, excellent local parks, or other outdoor adventures, there is something for you in the Seattle area. Our brokers have all of the key info on some of the best winter outdoor activities to enjoy around Seattle.

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