Charleston Trident AOR® Summer Conference Addresses How Artificial Intelligence Affects Fair Housing

Charleston Trident AOR® Summer Conference Addresses How Artificial Intelligence Affects Fair Housing

April 2024

Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS LogoThe Charleston Trident AOR® is committed to providing members with the education they need, and it doesn’t shy away from daunting material.  At its annual summer conference last year, the association brought in an expert to address a cutting-edge topic: how artificial intelligence affects fair housing.  Not only is AI evolving rapidly in real time, but the enormity of its implications can be overwhelming in any field.  With help from a Fair Housing Grant from the REALTOR® Party, the association is helping members wrap their brains around the good, the bad, and the unknown aspects of the new technology.

As Kravonda Forrest Simmons, Director of Inclusion, explains, “We seek out opportunities for members to learn, and try to be intentional in providing them with opportunities that will help them best serve their clients and communities.”  Scouting for a speaker for the fair housing portion of the summer conference program, she reached out to the National Fair Housing Alliance; Dr. Michael Akinwumi, the organization’s Chief Equity Officer, has made a specialty of AI issues, a topic that is timely and intriguing – but also fraught with some anxiety.  His hour-long address to the 500 REALTORS® attending the summer conference was supported by the Fair Housing Grant, and focused on the necessity of recognizing AI-generated bias that can taint professional real estate services and being sure to deliver ethically in all dealings with the community.

“Dr. Akinwumi showed us how the use of artificial intelligence can impact fair housing initiatives, and ways to avoid breaching the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and Fair Housing Laws while using AI applications and programs,” reports Forrest Simmons.  “He emphasized the concern that the tech field is not as diverse as it could be, and that input provided by humans will necessarily reflect unconscious human bias.  Therefore, the more we rely on this powerful technology, we must do all we can to protect it from inherent bias, and we must also compare the output to the ethics rules of our profession.”

Claire Hayden, Vice President of Member Engagement, managed the logistics of the conference and organized the programming, including the Red Cross blood drive that followed the event.  She reports that the response to the highly relevant, cutting-edge topic of AI was great.  “Our members were overwhelmed, but also excited, as in, ‘Oh, wow!  I need to learn more!’  They were really on the edge of their seats, and glad for this fresh learning opportunity within fair housing education.”

Vice President of Operations Meghan Byrnes Weinreich agrees, observing that the technology and its widespread use is so new that it’s important to educate members about possible unintended consequences.  “It’s better to be out in front of the issue, instead of chasing after it.  I can imagine having another program in the relatively near future, where members share best practices using AI.  In a year, we’ll have that much more data on how it is used in our industry, including how the new technology can save time and money.”

Since AI is now so pervasive, and evolving so quickly, Forrest Simmons expects that the association will be taking what it has learned and monitor its implications for REALTORS® closely, noting that it may be time to begin developing a professional standards curriculum regarding the use of artificial intelligence.

To learn more about how the Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS® is working to help members uphold the principles of fair housing, contact Kravonda Forrest Simmons, Director of Inclusion, at or 843.793.5215; Claire Hayden, Vice President of Member Engagement, at or 843.760.9400 x5211; or Vice President of Operations Meghan Byrnes Weinreich at or 843.760.9400 x5208.

Post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.