Implicit Bias

The WRA is dedicated to improving the diversity, equity and inclusion within our communities and industry. One specific component of this endeavor is to help educate our members and the public about implicit bias. 

Bias, a preference for or an aversion against someone or against a specific thing, is often discussed. However, in the context of fair housing, implicit bias is less frequently discussed. Implicit bias is the automatic association that emerges instantly in our unconscious brains regarding groups and identities like race, sex, age or religion.

If we are not honest with ourselves first, we will never be able to address the broader societal issues associated with discrimination. With honesty and self-reflection, we can learn to combat implicit bias in real estate and beyond.

Implicit bias campaign

Launched in the February 2022 issue of Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine! Designed to educate the REALTOR® community about implicit bias, this campaign highlights a simple image of one individual with three arbitrary nouns as descriptions of the individual. However, the last noun for the entire campaign is always “homeowner.” The campaign images may be the faces of your prospective clients, customers, buyers, sellers, renters, landlords, investors, lenders, title agents, attorneys, members of your community or your fellow REALTORS®.  

Implicit bias ad 1
A father? A teacher? A homeowner?

Download ad >>

Implicit bias ad 2
A grandfather? A banker? A homeowner?
Download ad >>

Implicit bias ad 3
Parents? Entrepreneurs? Homeowners?
Download ad >>

Implicit bias ad 4
A friend? A professor? A homeowner?
Download ad >>

Implicit bias ad 5
A sibling? A lawyer? A homeowner?
Download ad >>

Implicit bias ad 6
A brother? An athlete? A homeowner?
Download ad >>

Implicit bias ad 7
A mother? A doctor? A homeowner?
Download ad >>

Implicit bias ad 8
An aunt? An engineer? A homeowner?
Download ad >>

    Featured Implicit Bias Video 

    Bias Override: Overcoming Barriers to Fair Housing

    Let's Talk Implicit Bias

    REALTOR® reactions to NAR's implicit bias video

    Wisconsin REALTORS® share their reactions and stories after watching different segments of the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) implicit bias video. 

    annie zambito thumb2

    Reaction to: video opening scene
    "I’ve not hired two potential clients who used the N-word during our consultations. I’ve fired one on the spot for using the N-word."

    Tim Klingman, North Shore Homes Inc., Milwaukee

    Read full narrative

    annie zambito thumb2

    Reaction to: "real estate agents as gatekeepers and guides" segment
    "Like a swift kick to the gut. That’s how it felt for me listening to that story in Bias Override ..."

    Reaction to: "understanding our unconscious brains and the stroop test" segment
    "Our unconscious mind has much more ‘real estate,’ if you will, dedicated to reading words than to color recall, even though we learned the names of colors first. This presents a challenge when our unconscious mind misguides the conscious based on inaccurate implicit biases held."

    Annie Zambito, Compass Wisconsin, Lake Geneva

    Read full narratives

    annie zambito thumb2

    Reaction to: "blockbusting" segment
    "The Fair Housing Act has made it so that this discrimination and blockbusting will not happen to anyone of any color again and if it does there are laws now to protect. I am a REALTOR® and a Black woman, and it's hard for me to believe REALTORS® did these unspeakable acts, but our country was going through and dealing with human rights and civil rights issues at that time and still to this day. So I am grateful and thankful for the Fair Housing Act."

    Rae McWhorter, Coldwell Banker, Racine

    Read full narrative

    Luis Garcia thumb

    Reaction to: "what is bias" segment
    "We just have to remember that each person is an individual, a human being. Also remembering who we are today is not who we were yesterday or will be tomorrow, and we should not make an opinion on a person from a snap picture view of them because we are so much more than that."

    Reaction to: "what is bias" segment
    "Anxiety can be overcome with being true to ourselves, getting out of our heads and taking action. Once you focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want, it all becomes easier with every step you take in that direction."

    Luis Garcia, Homestead Realty Inc, Wauwatosa

    Read full narratives


    Reaction to: "interventions/bias override protocols" segment
    "When we meet new clients at the office, we ask the questions about their preferences in regard to location, features, price, financing options ... how about asking if they have any special needs in order to serve them better?”

    Tatyana Bratishko, Shorewest REALTORS®, New Berlin

    Read full narrative

    Brad Lois Thumb

    Reaction to: "historical context and stereotypes" segment
    "I believe that the first step to overcoming historical context and stereotypes relating to discrimination and bias in real estate is admitting that it happened, in extremely suppressive ways that we’re still seeing the impacts of today.” 

    Brad Lois, Bear Realty, Burlington

    Read full narrative

    Bob Thumb

    Reaction to: "schemas" segment
    "Schemas help us intake many thoughts and process them in a certain manner. They rather instinctively make certain discussions about what direction/action we may take in dealing with these thoughts, and sometimes many thoughts that reach our brains, based upon some activity or interruption we experience. In essence, they help us function when many stimuli hit us at once. These are based on a concept described as implicit social cognition."

    Bob Haglund, First Weber Inc., Greenfield

    Read full narrative

    Maria Thumb

    Reaction to: "colorblindness" segment
    "Colorblindness discourages conversations, ignores the reality of systemic racism, and doesn't allow people to examine or overcome their own biases."

    Marie Janzen, Shorewest REALTORS®, South Metro

    Read full narrative

    Maria Thumb

    Reaction to: "why diversity is best for our children" segment
    "Children who go to integrated schools learn organically how to work with diverse others. They learn to understand other’s needs and to creatively problem-solve."

    Marty Reed, Compass Wisconsin, Glendale

    Read full narrative

    Implicit bias resources

      Copyright 1998 - 2023 Wisconsin REALTORS® Association. All rights reserved.

      Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use   |   Accessibility   |   Real Estate Continuing Education