At RE/MAX, we strive for inclusivity by offering equal opportunities to all communities, doing our best to educate our network and continuing to educate ourselves. Agents who are champions of accessibility aim to spread awareness to fellow REALTORS®, share their knowledge on how to remove barriers in the home buying and selling process, and ensure their clients know that you’re there to support them in their search for the perfect home.
RE/MAX Broker Aaron Lillie has been with the brand since 2015. In 2007, Aaron was swimming with friends when he dove into the water and broke his neck. He had to have his spine fused, spending two months in the Toronto Western Hospital and another five months in the Lyndhurst Rehabilitation Hospital. Aaron is now quadriplegic and uses a wheelchair.
Following his accident, Aaron moved back into his parents’ home and discovered all the barriers an average home presents to someone in a wheelchair, such as a floor plan that didn’t accommodate an accessible shower or sleeping area, a carpeted area that was difficult to maneuver, and no entry ramp to the home.
Aaron received great support from family, friends and his community. Over $100,000 was raised by the local community to offer him financial support, and many people came to help build an accessible addition to the home, which included modifications and an elevator. When Aaron moved from his parent’s home to Barrie, it was then that he realized the lack of accessible housing available, and how little REALTORS® knew about accessibility.
Since starting his career, Aaron has always been committed to spreading knowledge about accessibility within the real estate industry and throughout his community. Aaron has served as a member of the City of Barrie Accessibility Advisory Committee, and he has worked with organizations such as Stop Gap, which builds and distributes ramps for businesses. He has also worked to modify the universal Symbol of Access, changing it to put more emphasis on the person, rather than on the disability.
Aaron is dedicated to ensuring that people living with disabilities can live full lives. As a REALTOR® with a disability, he offers his clients the knowledge to help support them in finding a home that is accessible.
“When dealing with clients with disabilities, it’s important to listen to their needs. No two disabilities are the same.”
While Aaron knows that there is still a lot the industry can do to become more accessible, he is happy to see that more homes and condos are being built with accessibility in mind.
Aaron is joined by fellow RE/MAX Agents, who are dedicated to spreading this messaging throughout the industry, such as RE/MAX Team Leader Susan Taylor.
An Agent of 14 years, Team Leader, and a 2020 Chairman’s Club award winner, Susan Taylor of RE/MAX Prime Properties is a champion of accessibility. Susan is a mother of two teenage boys. Her eldest, who is now 17, was first diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was two years old.