Jeff Hammerberg is a US-based business leader, car lover, and motorsport fan who supports a number of LGBTQ+ individuals and causes – including Racing Pride – through his business GayRealEstate.com. Here one of the drivers he has supported, Racing Pride Co-Founder Richard Morris, chats with him about what motivates him.
Hi Jeff, thanks for chatting with me for racingpride.com, could you start by introducing yourself?
My name is Jeff Hammerberg, I’m the broker owner of GayRealEstate.com, an internet based company I envisioned and developed in the mid 1990’s.
My husband and I are new residents of Austin, Texas, USA after spending the last 35 years in Denver, Colorado. I’m always a little reluctant to mention Texas, because in its current state, most of what is happening in Texas is controlled by the far right, and I’m no friend or fan! But Austin is a different beast, democratic controlled, very LGBTQ+ friendly, a fantastic progressive city. Home to Tesla’s new giga factory, Samsung’s new world headquarters, META, Google, the University of Texas, Circuit of the Americas and the list goes on. A very progressive city, with a fantastic skyline and diverse architecture, the fastest growing city in the USA today. The Colorado River runs right through the heart of the city offering an abundance of outdoor activities on the river and in the surrounding rolling green hills.
Where does your interest in motorsport come from?
I’m a huge car buff and have owned just about every car on the planet – ok, maybe an exaggeration – but lots! From vintage automobiles to my new Tesla Model Y Performance. Corvettes to Bentleys and beyond. My father was a NASCAR fan but I really didn’t start watching and attending auto races until much later in life.
You have supported multiple Racing Pride Driver Ambassadors in the UK and the USA, especially Richard Morris and Devon Rouse. What led you to reach out and offer to support them?
I’m impressed by anyone with a passion for what they do, and especially in areas where LGBTQ+ visibility is limited. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help bring awareness and visibility to areas where the general messaging on and about our community has historically been negative. In motorsports, as Richard has proved, the positive and inclusive message eventually seeps into the corporate culture and big brands become advocates, magnifying the message beyond what we can do as individuals.
We’re so grateful to you and GayRealEstate.com for wanting to support our upcoming event in Connecticut, which will bring together both UK and USA ambassadors. Why did you want to support Racing Pride’s presence at the Gridlife Circuit Legends Festival at Lime Rock Park this August?
For the exact same reasons as I mentioned above, and for obvious selfish reasons. After 35 years in business, the vast majority of LGBTQ+ individuals still don’t know we exist. It’s not for lack of marketing, effort or exposure… it’s more that large nationwide real estate firms like Zillow, Redfin, ReMax and a hundred others have vast resources and marketing and media budgets that dwarf ours. So when most people think of buying or selling they honestly are starting at Zillow, and often connect with a realtor there.
Visibility for us at an event like the one in Connecticut allows us to gain visibility to a unique segment of our LGBTQ+ community that may otherwise be completely unaware of GayRealEstate.com.
When an individual considering buying a home, selling a home or relocating chooses an agent from GayRealEstate.com, they suddenly have an advocate representing their best interests. There is no cost or obligation to be represented, and no weird, strange or uncomfortable questions like “how long have you and your partner been in business together?” yes, this really happened to me.
Your use and support of our company allows us to continue to support organizations that continue the fight for equality and inclusion across the globe.
Why do you think visible LGBTQ+ representation is important?
When there is diverse representation of LGBTQ+ folks included in the media and organizations, society is given the opportunity to see who we are, to meet us and speak with us, and ultimately recognize we are just like them – living our best life and contributing to the greater good of the planet. Rather than reverting to stereotypes, the personal connection is what wins hearts and minds.
This individual shift is what helps support a shift in social consciousness to include people from a range of different backgrounds.
What is GayRealEstate.com, why did you set it up, and what does it do?
At GayRealEstate.com we’re committed to connecting members of our LGBTQ community to agents we know personally, have investigated and interviewed extensively, and in some cases have been working with for over 25 years!
We understand their approach to working with LGBTQ individuals, and we have a track record of success, due to the thousands of clients they have represented over many years.
Thousands of LGBTQ couples and individuals have bought and sold homes with the trusted partner real estate agents listed at GayRealEstate.com. We close about two deals per day, coast-to-coast, every day of every year! Our database of international agents continues to grow.
We take the hassle and worry out of aligning with a trustworthy LGBTQ+ or gay-friendly real estate agent by doing all the legwork for you. If you’re in the United States just visit our main page and type your city into the search box provided, or click the Canadian or International button. You’ll instantly be provided a free list of LGBTQ+ and gay-friendly agents in the city you’re interested in. Read the real estate agent bios and choose the agent you like – there is never any cost or obligation!
GayRealEstate.com regularly gives to a wide variety of causes. How do you choose which causes to support, and why is this aspect of the business so important to you?
I am a big believer in the Law of Attraction and the Law of Circulation – I understand and experience every day, that the good I put out into the planet flows back into my life and company. Whether that’s my time or my money.
Part of our corporate structure at GayRealEstate.com is our giving program. We provide monthly financial support to over 21 National LGBTQ+ non-profits. In addition, we provide support to dozens of LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations from Richard Morris Racing to Gay Men’s Choirs across the USA to dozens of LGBTQ Community Centers and the like.
We’ve always been committed to giving back to our community, recognizing it truly takes a village. We will never stop defending, supporting, and fighting for our LGBTQ community.