I’ve been working as a receptionist at a real estate agency for over a year now. The agents in my office serve clients and properties on the south side of Chicago. From areas like Englewood and the “Wild 100s” to more affluent neighborhoods- Orland Park, Flossmoor, and Olympia Fields—the area covered is diverse.
Out of 40 adult agents only two agents in the office are willing to handle properties in the “bad” neighborhoods. The remainder chooses to look the other way. Some will not answer calls if a potential client wants to see a property that is beyond their territory. Of course, it’s illegal to say “that’s a bad/poorneighborhood,” but it’s completely legal to ignore a call.
Understandably, realtors are allowed to do as they please within their comfort zone. They’re free agents and can serve wherever they choose.
Nevertheless, it seems like people always seem to distance themselves from the actual issues. They do not want to deal with rough and tough foreclosure situations. They don’t want to get involved in greater problems. They choose not to see the real living conditions…but why? I think that most people scared that they will see the truth of what’s going on in their back yard. It’s easier to turn your cheek than to face the truth.
It’s difficult to pinpoint one moment of change, but I think being surrounded by this regularly at work has worn on me. How could adults be so inconsiderate? There is a housing crisis and a neighborhood disconnect in close proximity and it is constantly ignored.
It makes me want to stand up and hit the pavement. It makes me want to get to the root of the problem and find solutions. I think many would be surprised how humbling it can be to involve oneself.