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Broker Focuses on Gay and Lesbian Market

Many brokers have avoided openly marketing to gays and lesbians because they fear running afoul of the Fair Housing Act. This broker says it can be done appropriately.

(Boonton, NJ, May 27, 2014) — As gays and lesbians gain mainstream acceptance in American society, Dream Town Realty in Chicago started an LGBT Client Services Division. The new business unit has 16 brokers led by Todd Szwajkowski.

Despite growing mainstream acceptance, lesbian and gay buyers and sellers like to work with lesbian and gay brokers, Szwajkowski says.

“What we kept hearing is, ‘Yes, I’d prefer to work with somebody from the community, because I don’t have to explain myself,’” he says.

Dream Town Realty owner Yuval Degani is not gay, but he saw an obvious opportunity in the combination of Chicago’s vibrant gay community and a changing legal landscape. Illinois last year became one of more than a dozen states to officially recognize same-sex marriages.

Dream Town Realty’s approach to marketing to lesbians and gays is simple:

  • Put out a welcome mat in the form of a web page and seminars.
  • Show expertise about changing marriage laws.
  • Market your services, but don’t steer certain buyers to certain listings.

Details on Dream Town Realty’s LGBT marketing program appear in the May issue of “Real Estate Broker’s Insider.”

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