Shamed Developer Withdraws Floor Plans ‘Honoring’ Tubman, Frank

Key Takeaways:

– Albuquerque-based homebuilder Abrazo Homes faced backlash on social media for naming floor plans after historical figures such as Harriet Tubman and Anne Frank.
– The company edited the descriptions of the floor plans to remove historical facts about the women’s lives.
– The controversy highlighted the fine line between creative genius and poor taste in marketing.
– Other floor plans named after famous women, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, were also criticized.
– Abrazo Homes co-founder Brian McCarthy explained that the company named the floor plans after influential women to acknowledge their place in history.
– The company still has floor plans named after famous women, but the descriptions have been edited to only mention their names.
– Abrazo Homes also has collections of floor plans named after beer and iconic places in Central and South America.

inman:

Albuquerque-based homebuilder Abrazo Homes drew the ire of social media users over the weekend for their floor plans named after Harriet Tubman and Anne Frank. The builder has edited the descriptions to remove historical facts about the women’s lives.

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A rough-and-tumble real estate market has forced real estate professionals to do whatever they can to cut through the noise, whether it’s posting personality-packed Instagram Reels, riffing on pop culture to create unforgettable listing videos, or hosting events to create a personal connection with the community.

However, there’s a thin line between creative genius and poor taste — as evidenced by X (formerly known as Twitter) users thrashing Albuquerque-based homebuilder Abrazo Homes for naming a floor plan after abolitionist and Black American icon Harriet Tubman.

“Just like Harriet Tubman, the icon of American courage and freedom, this home stands out amongst the crowd,” the now-deleted listing description read. “The ready-to-be-built Harriett floor plan with its distinctive elevation features an ‘entertainers’ kitchen with a bar top between the kitchen and the great room.”

“The owners’ suite features a spacious walk-in closet, and the optional vaulted ceilings in the great room can make it live larger than it is,” it continued. “Discover why this plan was the winner of the ‘Buyer’s Choice Award’ in the Parade of Homes.”

The Abrazo Homes now-deleted listing | Credit: Wayback Machine

The post gained traction on the X platform on Jan. 15 when @lisasaurstomp posted a link to Abrazo Homes’ Zillow listing for the quaint 1,556 square-foot Rio Rancho, New Mexico home. “I guarantee that you are not prepared for the description of this house,” the post read.

What ensued was a deluge of more than 500 responses that ranged from amusement — “I don’t know how, but I want to sue you for posting this” — to anger — “On [Martin Luther King, Jr.] Day!?”

The post caught the eye of The Washington Post tech journalist Taylor Lorenz, who found two other Abrazo Home listings named after famed Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor and German-born Jewish girl Anne Frank, whose diary about living in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam was turned into a gripping memoir two years after she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

“In her diary, Anne Frank discussed her view of the seasonally changing tree,” another now-deleted listing description on Abrazo’s site read. “In honor of her, we have designed our Anne plan to maximize the view, we feel would be suitable for Anne herself.”

“What the [expletive],” a user said in response to Lorenz’s video highlighting the floor plans named after Taylor and Frank.

The New York Times contacted Abrazo Homes on Tuesday about the listings. Abrazo Homes co-founder Brian McCarthy told the NYT the company named its floor plans after influential women to “acknowledge their place in history.”

“We recognize that the language used in the plan description is insufficient and understand how it might come across as insensitive and lacking awareness,” McCarthy told the publication in a written statement. “It’s unfortunate that this oversight has diminished our sincere efforts to pay homage to some of the most remarkable women in history.”

The Anne, Harriet and Taylor floorplans are still on Abrazo’s site, alongside plans named after Marilyn Monroe, Amelia Earhart, Selena Quintanilla, Frida Kahlo and several other famous women. However, the descriptions have been edited to simply mention the women’s names.

The company also has a collection of floor plans named after beer, including the IPA, the Pilsner and the Stout, and another collection of homes named after iconic places in Central and South America, such as Tulum and La Paz.

Email Marian McPherson


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Property Chomp's Take:

Abrazo Homes, an Albuquerque-based homebuilder, recently faced backlash on social media for their floor plans named after historical figures Harriet Tubman and Anne Frank. The company has since edited the descriptions of these floor plans to remove historical facts about the women's lives.

In today's real estate market, professionals are constantly looking for ways to stand out and make an impact. Whether it's through social media, creative videos, or community events, they strive to connect with potential buyers on a personal level. However, there is a fine line between being creative and crossing into poor taste.

Abrazo Homes found themselves on the wrong side of this line when they named one of their floor plans after Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist and Black American icon. The now-deleted listing description read, "Just like Harriet Tubman, the icon of American courage and freedom, this home stands out amongst the crowd." The description went on to mention features of the home, such as an "entertainers' kitchen" and a spacious owners' suite.

This post gained attention on social media, with many users expressing their amusement or anger at the choice of name. The controversy continued when it was discovered that Abrazo Homes had also named floor plans after Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor and Anne Frank, the young girl known for her powerful diary about living in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.

The company faced criticism for what many saw as a lack of sensitivity and awareness. However, Abrazo Homes co-founder Brian McCarthy explained that the floor plans were named after influential women to acknowledge their place in history. He acknowledged that the language used in the descriptions was insufficient and apologized for any offense caused.

Following the backlash, Abrazo Homes edited the descriptions of the Tubman, Frank, and Taylor floor plans to simply mention the women's names. The company also has floor plans named after other famous women, such as Marilyn Monroe, Amelia Earhart, Selena Quintanilla, and Frida Kahlo. In addition, they have collections of floor plans named after beer and iconic places in Central and South America.

The incident involving Abrazo Homes serves as a reminder to real estate professionals that it is important to be mindful and respectful when naming their properties or using historical figures' names. While it is essential to find creative ways to grab attention, it is equally important to avoid causing offense or appearing insensitive.

As the real estate market continues to evolve, professionals should strive to stay innovative and engaging while remaining sensitive to the diverse backgrounds and experiences of potential buyers. By doing so, they can build meaningful connections and create a positive reputation in the industry.

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