NAGLREP Opens Ann Arbor Chapter

Eve Kucharski
By | 2019-06-27T12:13:15-04:00 June 19th, 2019|Ann Arbor, Neighborhoods|

Nada Djomehri

Just months ago in March the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals opened its first Michigan chapter in the Metro Detroit area. The group, a Florida-based nonprofit, was started in order to bring LGBTQ real estate professionals together in order to provide a safe and affirming resource for those in the LGBTQ community looking for help in finding housing. Then, only two months after that chapter’s formation, Realtor Nada Djomehri founded and became president of an Ann Arbor chapter.
“It was interesting to me that a chapter hadn’t already been established when I began residing here,” she said. “And so when no one else had stepped up to lead this, I was comfortable and confident in doing so.”
Djomehri — who is originally from Melbourne, Australia, and part of the LGBTQ community herself — moved to the Ann Arbor area in late 2015 and received her real estate license. She said that it was important for her to establish herself not only as an LGBTQ professional but as someone who could become a trusted resource among the community whether they identified as LGBTQ or not.
“That’s probably one of the main driving forces for me. LGBTQIA homeownership rates are far below the national average in this country, so there’s a bit of a steep gap in difference there. And many LGBTQIA people here feel that there is a lacking area in terms of approaching professionals about making those [homeownership] steps; they don’t feel comfortable doing so,” Djomehri said. “That is the reason that I started my business from the get-go as an openly LGBTQIA-affirming professional.”
And the expansion of a chapter of NAGLREP means that LGBTQIA people will not only have a smoother experience when searching for a home but they’ll be able to worry less about discrimination. Michigan is one of the many states across the U.S. that doesn’t have explicit language in its civil rights act that extends civil rights in housing to the LGBTQ population.
“It’s really important to be aligned and empathetic with the feelings and understand with you’re dealing with LGBTQIA-affirming citizens and people from the area, because more than ever we’re aware of pronouns and gender identities and things like that,” Djomehri said. “This is one of the things that can be a little bit daunting for LGBTQIA people in the community when approaching professionals or services and interactions like that. So, [this chapter is] bringing awareness to the community and saying, ‘Hey, we now have a platform that is understanding of these views and perspectives and aligned with it as well. We’re people as well. We may have some of these experiences as well.'”
Djomehri added that her own diverse background, Australian with Lebanese roots, is something that has aided her understanding of the value of inclusivity. That’s something that she said she will ensure will be a priority in the newly added NAGLREP chapter.
“I think I can be relatable with a lot of different backgrounds, different diversities, different cultures; this is something that’s a strength that I bring,” she said. There’s a lot of opportunities here to do some good work, and the goal is to make the [home-buying] experience as pleasurable as it can be.”
To learn more about Djomehri and the Ann Arbor chapter, visit naglrep.com.

About the Author:

Eve Kucharski
As news and feature editor at Between The Lines, Eve Kucharski's work has spanned the realms of current events and entertainment. She's chatted with stars like Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho and Tyler Oakley as well as political figures like Gloria Steinem, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel. Her coverage of the November 2018 elections was also featured in a NowThis News report.