Leveraging Diversity


When Moving, Agent Diversity Pays

(St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 1, 2016) Over a year ago, the unrest in Ferguson after the shooting of Michael Brown brought national attention to the St. Louis Region. In the wake of these protests, sources suggested historical real estate practices were partly to blame for the conditions that stoked these racial tensions.


Today, at least one real estate company is forging a new path. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, a local franchise with 10 offices and over 550 agents, has made diversity a primary goal with the hopes of better serving the St. Louis community.


“This past year, we promoted some very qualified individuals to the leadership team, including two African American Brokers – one a French speaker, one LGBT millennial Spanish speaking Marketing Manager, and a millennial brand ambassador,” says Select Properties President and CEO Maryann Vitale Alles. “We’ve found that diverse leadership gives us a better presence in the market and a new depth of thinking.”


Having a diverse agent pool is good for home buyers and sellers, too. According to Zillow.com, one of the top complaints home buyers and sellers have about their agents is a lack of empathy and openness. Agents from companies that value diversity tend to be more empathetic and sensitive to the needs of their clients.


Select Properties’ push for diversity dovetails with their continued investment in social media and innovation. “During my interview, I was intrigued by the direction this company wanted to take,” recalls Kelly Preston, Select Properties new Marketing Manager. “They wanted to push innovation. really reach the next generation of home buyers, sellers, and agents. They wanted to reach diverse segments of the population.”


The National Association of Realtors 2015 report on generational trends found that millennials (people currently between the ages of 25 and 34) make up the largest share of homebuyers at 32 percent. Additionally, a Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate survey, done in partnership with the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP), found that a majority of LGBT participants believe homeownership to be a good investment, but had strong concerns about housing discrimination.


“There are several real estate offices in town – even some associated with the same brand, but Select Properties is a unique in their approach to the market and to sourcing talent,” says Alles. “We hope others are inspired by the example Select Properties is setting.”


Select Properties is ranked #27 in the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices national network and #2 in the St. Louis Business Journal’s Book of Lists of Top Real Estate firms in the region.


For more information, contact marketing@bhhsselectstl.com. 


Duan Lee

Duan Lee is a lifetime Missouri resident. Ever since he could remember he's had a passion for the understanding and ability of homeownership and the desire to educate others on the process. With this ambition and passion in mind 15yrs ago he set out to do just that. Duan prides himself on the education and keen understanding of the market and the laws as they apply to the single largest investment most of us will ever make in life, homeownership.


Duan Rockett

Duan is a United States Marine (Retired) after serving for 22 years of faithful service. He is now a licensed Realtor and recognized as a Broker/Salesperson by the State of Missouri since 2007. Duan serves as Branch Manager for BHHS Select Properties St. Charles office and is a true specialist when it comes to the VA loan Program. 

Duan is an active member of the St. Charles REALTOR Association, is a Government Relocation Certified Specialist, a member of Veteran Business Resource Center (VBRC) and lifetime member of both local chapters of the VFW and Marine Corps league. He has been married for over 23 years and the proud father of three beautiful children


Kelly Preston “Preston”

Kelly or as the office knows her, Preston, came from a diverse background of a childhood spent between St. Louis and California. Her college years consisted of universities in Denver, Springfield and Auckland New Zealand. Preston’s career has been no less diverse then starting her own adventure group in New Zealand, contracting at social media giant Facebook, and now back to a field she loves, Marketing. Her passions are travel, diversity and people.


Katie Carbery

Katie hails from an extensive events and marketing background. She studied Marketing at Webster University as well as a study overseas in Thailand. She has always loved the housing industry and cannot wait to take this brand to the next level. Energetic and innovative communications professional with in-depth knowledge in marketing: rebuilding and rebranding, and 10 years experience in customer service.


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