Sacramento Association of REALTORS® Equips Local Aspiring Homeowners with Resources and Know-How to Begin Homebuying Journey

Sacramento Association of REALTORS® Equips Local Aspiring Homeowners with Resources and Know-How to Begin Homebuying Journey

June 2023

Recent census data reveals that barely half of the households in California’s capital city own their homes.  To help the community’s would-be buyers get started on the path to homeownership, the Sacramento Association of REALTORS® held a first-time homebuyers expo at the outset of Fair Housing Month this past April, connecting over 200 visitors to information, resources – and lunch!  A Housing Opportunity Grant from the REALTOR® Party helped make it possible.

“Find Your Path to Homeownership” was the brainchild of the association’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Fair Housing Committee, says CEO Jessica Coates, who serves as the group’s principal staff liaison.  “They really hit a home run with this event, empowering the historically disempowered, and reaching those in our community who have not had access to critical resources.  It strengthened our relationships with partners whose values align with ours as REALTORS® and demonstrated to the whole community that this is what REALTORS® do to get you to the table.”

The Sacramento association is fortunate in having its own full-service event center, which not only serves as a non-dues revenue arm, but is also an ideal venue for a public expo.  Held on a Saturday from 10am-2pm, the event featured an exhibition of vendors and services drawn from the association’s preferred partners, or non-REALTOR® members.  Concurrently, a program of speakers shared information about the homebuying process, financial literacy, and resources unique to California residents, including the new California Dream for All program that provided $300M assistance for down payments.  “We also presented a panel discussion with two young couples describing their own recent home-buying journeys,” she adds.  “As first-generation homeowners and second-generation Americans, they were speaking to an audience who could relate to them, and revealed things like how they chose their REALTORS®, and what gave them pause.  It was a beautiful thing, and very inspiring.”

In addition to the REALTOR® Party, the expo was supported by the state association, local chapters of the Asian Real Estate Association of America, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the National Hispanic Organization of Real Estate Associates, various mortgage lenders, and The Home Depot located just across the street.  “They actually loaded up a truck and drove it over to us with a team of three staffers who provided fun building and planting activities for kids,” says Coates.  “We had wanted to remove all barriers that might keep families from attending, so having something to occupy the young ones was key.  And, of course, the target audience for housing events aligns perfectly with Home Depot’s customer base, so it’s a good partnership for both of us to be building.”

The REALTORS® marketed the event a full six weeks in advance, with Facebook ads and through their own communication networks.  They also hit the pavement, posting flyers in coffee shops and other local businesses with community bulletin boards.  The association has a partnership with a local television station that brings in a REALTOR® for a five-minute monthly segment to discuss the current market; the station manager permitted a brief plug of the upcoming expo.  As a new CEO in town, Coates also happened to have a few radio interviews lined up.  The timing was perfect, she notes: “The stations wanted to introduce me to the community and allowed me to take a moment to promote the event, which was entirely relevant to their listeners.  Even for those who are not currently in the market, it was a great opportunity to show who we are, what we do, and how we help.”

For planning purposes, the association requested advance registration, but the lively kids’ activities and food trucks and on the busy street also attracted walk-ins.  In all, more than 210 aspiring homeowners benefitted from a day of education, information, and interaction with the REALTORS® and their partners.  Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and the association has committed to making the expo an annual event.

To learn more about how the Sacramento Association of REALTORS® is giving community members a leg-up on the homebuying process, contac CEO Jessica Coates at or 916.205.6096 or listen to the Drive with NAR Podcast episode Use Your Network to Launch a Community Movement. For a glimpse of the event itself, visit:

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