Numerous other industry leaders step up to support a national diversity initiative

San Juan Capistrano, Calif, May 6, 2021 – Tom Ferry, one of residential real estate industry’s leading coaches, has donated $100,000 to the new industry nonprofit, the Real Estate Apprentice Foundation, which helps people from underrepresented and underprivileged groups start real estate careers by supporting them with various tools, technology, services, Realtor association memberships, MLS fees and access to real estate brokerages looking to hire new agents.

“The beauty of real estate is that anyone with ambition, passion and determination can succeed beyond their wildest dreams,” said Ferry, who has over 30,000 hours of coaching experience. “I’m excited to be part of anything that helps underrepresented people get started in our industry, and that’s why the Real Estate Apprentice Foundation is so meaningful to me. I can’t wait to see the positive impact we’re going to make together.”

Yesterday, Ferry called in to the¬ T3 Summit, the industry’s leading event for CEO and C-level executives, held virtually this year due to Covid-19, and announced his donation of $100,000 to the Real Estate Apprentice Foundation.

Launched at the end of 2020, the Foundation was established by T3 Sixty CEO Stefan Swanepoel, a well-known industry visionary and author of over 50 books and reports. Kenya Burrell-VanWormer, who manages the Foundation as executive director, is herself a successful minority real estate professional with two decades of experience in the residential real estate industry.

Other prominent industry leaders have also heeded the call to improve industry diversity with contributions to the Foundation. The Houston Association of Realtors (, which operates the industry’s most successful association-run consumer-facing property search website; Florida Realtors, the largest professional trade association in Florida with nearly 200,000 members and the third-largest Realtor organization in the country; and the Realty Alliance, a network of elite, full-service residential real estate companies in North America, have each donated $10,000 to the Foundation.

“We feel this is a significant step forward to make a difference to improve diversity,” said Bob Hale, CEO of HAR. “We hope that our commitment will encourage other Realtor associations and MLS organizations to also support the cause.”

“If even just half of all brokers and Realtors get involved, the impact would be industry changing,” said Marcy Grant, Florida Realtors CEO.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are important topics being addressed throughout the industry. Last month, RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos, speaking at the Hispanic Real Estate Professionals national conference, said that you have to be present if you want to break through. Only last week Inman reported that Sue Yannaccone, CEO of Realogy Franchise Division, announced its rollout of its own Inclusive Ownership program to the five major brands within the Realogy stable.

The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation provides a national vehicle for those organizations that wish to support greater diversity but do not have the resources for an in-house diversity initiative. By combining the resources and support from hundreds of industry organizations the Foundation has its sights on helping 40,000 people of all races and backgrounds become successful real estate professionals in the next decade.

“Recognizing the need to help jump start the real estate careers of individuals from underprivileged communities of all types and to create a more diverse industry, the board of directors of The Realty Alliance unanimously approved a contribution to the Real Estate Apprentice Foundation,” said Steve Brown, chairman of The Realty Alliance and president of Crye-Leike Realtors.

“Our member firms look forward to integrating more deeply into supporting the work of the Foundation, but this investment is a great first step,” said Craig Cheatham, president and CEO of The Realty Alliance.

The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation is now accepting donations, services and support of any size from brokerages, agents, vendors, associations and MLSs throughout the industry. For more details on the Apprentice Foundation, visit

About The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation
The Real Estate Apprentice Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation chartered to assist underrepresented and underprivileged people, wishing to pursue a career as a real estate agent. The Foundation provides grants and guidance on becoming licensed, access to products and services, memberships to Realtor associations and MLSs, and access to brokerage companies desirous to hire new agents.