Enhanced Partnership for Success Program

 Debbi Conrad, WRA Senior Attorney and Director of Legal Affairs  |    January 09, 2023

The WRA Partnership for Success Program is designed to promote diversity within the REALTOR® membership based on race, color and national origin, in a manner designed to enhance the probability of long-term success in the real estate profession. The program contributes to the diversity of the WRA membership and is an important component of the WRA’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

WRA members sometimes comment they are not in need of such services because they have no minorities in their communities, but the face of America has changed. Minorities make up roughly one-fifth of Wisconsin’s population. The U.S. Census Bureau publishes a diversity index that predicts the likelihood two people chosen at random will be from different racial and ethnic groups, and the diversity index for Wisconsin is 61%. 

The WRA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, formerly the WRA Cultural Diversity in Housing Committee, believes real estate brokerage firms will become more profitable when the faces in their offices reflect the faces in their marketplaces. It simply is good business to increase minority participation in our companies and in our organizations. One tool serving that goal is one of the “best-kept secrets” at the WRA: the WRA Partnership for Success Program, administered by the WRA DEI committee.

What is the Partnership for Success Program?  

The program forges a partnership between the applicant, the sponsoring broker, the local or regional association, and the WRA. Applicants must be of a minority race, color or national origin and demonstrate a commitment to becoming successful real estate licensees. The sponsoring broker provides a mentor and in-house training for the program recipient to optimize the success of the new licensee. Ideally, the applicant is a new licensee who has not had a license for more than six months and who is aspiring to become a full-time agent in Wisconsin. The program is intended to provide startup assistance to applicants who have not previously held a real estate license.

What does the program offer to new minority licensees?

The program previously offered the successful candidate the opportunity to have one year of REALTOR® dues and six months of MLS fees covered as well as the chance to attend additional courses, educational events, conventions and other events where there would be networking opportunities.

Beginning January 1, 2023, the program benefits for successful recipients are changing in exciting new ways! The program will continue to provide one year of REALTOR® dues and six months of MLS fees as before. But rather than cover education expenses and miscellaneous fees as the program has done for many years, the recipient instead may be eligible for a second year of REALTOR® dues if the recipient meets certain requirements. The award recipient can receive a second year of REALTOR® dues if the recipient submits the two following documents to the WRA no later than November 1 of their first year:

  • A certificate of their completion of Fairhaven. 
  • A written statement from their broker confirming they have either attended the WRA annual convention or completed an education course through the WRA other than CE.

To recap, the award recipient will receive one year of REALTOR® dues and six months of MLS fees and will also have the opportunity to receive a second year of REALTOR® dues.

Why is the program important for the WRA?

The WRA benefits when the organization reflects the composition of the Wisconsin marketplace. The Partnership for Success Program contributes to the diversity of our membership and to our DEI initiatives.

Why is the program important to brokers?

The Partnership for Success Program enables brokers to welcome new minority agents who they believe will become successful agents and enhance the diversity of the broker’s firm. The brokers are asked to choose wisely and “invest” in the new agent by attending an interview with the partnership for success subcommittee of the WRA DEI committee, and by providing mentorship and education for the new agent.

How does the program help minority candidates?

The candidate receives an important financial boost at the beginning of their new real estate career. The boost over the initial financial hurdles frees the new agent to study and learn the business — and become successful.

How does a candidate apply to the program?  

Potential applicants and their sponsoring brokers will find videos and information about the program, application materials and the interview schedule at www.wra.org/Partnership.

What is the most important thing to know about the program?

It works! The program enriches the office, is a fantastic tool to launch a new minority agent, and creates success for all!

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