The National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) has released its first-ever NAGLREP Top LGBT+ Agent List, honoring the top-producing LGBT+ and allied real estate agents and teams across the United States. The organization says it will be the first in a new annual tradition.
“NAGLREP is a bridge between the real estate and LGBT communities and we take great pride in our advocacy work and also showcasing the emotional and financial benefits of home ownership to LGBTs,” said NAGLREP founder Jeff Berger in a press release on Aug. 29. “We are thrilled to work so closely with REAL Trends and Sotheby’s International Realty to bring the NAGLREP Top LGBT+ Agent List to life and honor these incredible real estate professionals.”
The list, which highlights 35 individual agents and 16 real estate teams who are NAGLREP members, was compiled using 2018 REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals data that pinpointed real estate professionals who completed at least 50 transactions or $ 20 million in sales volume in 2017.
Blair Myers of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Success in Warner Robins, Ga. lead the individual sides list with 272 completed transactions last year. Meanwhile, Shirley Gary of Engel & Vӧlkers Buckhead Atlanta raked in the largest sales volume totaling $ 70.1 million.
The Keller Williams-associated EZ Sales Team in Bay Village, Ohio, nabbed first place on both the team sides and sales volume lists. The team, which is led by Michael Zinicola, completed 969 sides for a total of $ 185.1 million in sales volume during 2017.
NAGLREP Top LGBT+ Agent List co-sponsors REAL Trends and Sotheby’s International Realty said the list is the perfect opportunity to highlight LGBT and allied real estate sales professionals who have effectively served their communities.
“Our success is directly connected to our ability to attract the best talent in the world, which needs to be as diverse and inclusive as the clients we serve,” said Sotheby’s CMO Kevin Thompson in a statement. “The first Top LGBT+ Agent List gives us an opportunity to showcase real estate’s top professionals who combine outstanding service, and unmatched market knowledge with an impeccable work ethic and insatiable desire to succeed.”
“An elite group of real estate agents across the country are receiving well-deserved recognition,” added REAL Trends President Steve Murray. “These sales associates have built enormously successful small businesses in an extremely competitive field.”
In a phone call with Inman, Berger said the stories of LGBT buyers were a driving force behind the creation of the list. “There has been an uptick of awareness within the LGBT community of NAGLREP, so the website itself gets 75,000 unique views per month,” he said.
“It’s an awful lot of LGBT people looking for an LGBT agent to help with their buying and selling, and what you’ll see over and over is when these people write in, they’re writing their life story,” Berger added while sharing that many LGBT buyers are concerned about the level of safety and acceptance they’ll have in a potential neighborhood.
“They say that they want someone who will understand the challenges [that come with being LGBT]. I get choked up because people shouldn’t have to deal with this stuff,” he said. “So as we’ve received these stories, we thought there should be a way that NAGLREP can honor its members.”
Since the debut of the list on Aug. 29, Berger says NAGLREP has received an outpouring of support from allies and organizations that include the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Lamba Legal, SAGE, and AARP’s LGBT group.
“It’s a big step for the organization,” said Berger.