Browse Tag

Real Estate

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Black Investor Owns Over $70 Million Worth of Multifamily Real Estate

Clive Davis is the founder of Park Royal Capital, a private equity commercial real estate investment firm focused on investing, acquiring, and operating multifamily communities.

He is a full-time multifamily real estate investor with a portfolio of nearly 2,000 units valued at over $70 million.

In this episode, Clive shares:

  • His journey from 20 years in corporate America to becoming a full-time investor.
  • His thoughts on the current multifamily real estate market.
  • The hottest markets for multifamily property investing.
  • What makes a good multi-family investment.
  • His blueprint for acquiring over $70 million in multifamily properties.
  • His thoughts on using real estate to create generational wealth.

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Black Developers Make History With $100M Project in Birmingham

A team of Black developers is set to transform 222 acres of land in Birmingham, Alabama into an estimated 900 residential units, single-family, multi-family, and senior housing with a project that has an estimated cost of $100 million.

black developers
Birmingham city officials, including Mayor Randall Woodfin, far left, join an African American team of developers set to bring an estimated $100 million worth of economic impact and investment in Birmingham. (City of Birmingham)

The Birmingham City Council, with Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin, today approved an ordinance authorizing the sale and development of real estate with Green Meadow Apartments, LLC. The development team is all African American, including the general contractor. With over $2 billion, to date, this is the largest transaction led by African Americans in the city’s history.

“This is a great day for the city of Birmingham,” said Mayor Woodfin. “Not only because of the jobs, the homes, and the economic impact, but because of the history that is being made.”

The City sold approximately 222 acres of land located in the vicinity of Lakeshore Parkway at 1911 Tiger Walk to Green Meadow Apartments for a purchase price of $1.5 million. Green Meadow Apartments will undertake a multi-phased project involving the development of single-family, multi-family, and senior housing which will include an estimated 900 residents and a commercial town center. This project is being led by CEO Michael German, who is the former Alabama representative for HUD.

Green Meadows’ preliminary studies suggest this will generate 240 permanent jobs and another 2,000 construction jobs. The total investment in this project will be $100 million. The project includes a town center with a grocery store and commercial and retail office spaces. This will generate $500,000 in property taxes in the first three years.

“We want to thank the mayor and council for their support in this transformational project,” said Cornell Wesley, director of the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity. “This sends a message to the entire country that African American and minority developers have a place in Birmingham, and we are aggressive and intentional about supporting their efforts.”

Tony O. Lawson


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5 Effective Modern and Old School Marketing Ideas for Your Real Estate Business

Successful real estate business owners enjoy several benefits, including independence and flexibility. You can be your own boss and help people buy, sell, or rent out properties.

However, the unpredictable housing marketing, changing real estate trends, and real estate legislation amendments can make the business a little challenging.

So if you want your business to thrive, it’s vital to employ the best marketing strategies and techniques. Here are some modern and old-school marketing ideas to help your real estate business grow.

real estate business

1. Create a Website

Besides helping deliver better customer experiences and building strong customer relationships, your website also boosts your visibility online. You can be available to your customers 24/7 with an easily navigable website that contains relevant business information. The site should ideally share detailed information about the different real estate services you offer, your contact information, and options for customers to book your services online.

Over 44% of customers search for properties online. So it’s essential to include property listings with good, credible pictures of the property on your website. Posting videos that highlight the property features can increase the traffic even further. These video walkthroughs also help clients understand what the property looks like.

2. Build a Blog

Blogs are cost-effective and easy ways to get your message across to your target audience. They also help increase your digital visibility and SERP rankings.

If you want to build your real estate business’s credibility, work with a reliable content marketing team that specializes in developing and optimizing web content. These experts will choose the right topics, keywords, and linking strategies to ensure that your website lands on top search results consistently.

3. Use an Email List

When used correctly, email lists can help you create and maintain good relationships with your clients. Giving customers the option to “opt-in” or “subscribe” to your emails is an excellent way to ensure your emails don’t end up in the spam list or junk mail.

There are several things real estate business owners must consider before building their email list. For instance, if your specific niche is first-time homebuyers or luxury home buyers, then it’s crucial to create and deliver emails that address questions and concerns of that specific market. A team of experienced digital marketing experts can help you develop a strong email marketing plan.

4. Work with Local Media Channels

A lot of real estate agents operate under the misconception that local television and radio advertisements are outdated marketing channels. However, they continue to be some of the most efficient ways to reach local clients. Create quality, catchy video advertisements describing your business and get local radio stations and TV channels to play them. This way, you’ll capture the attention of local buyers, sellers, renters, and investors.

5. The Good Old Referral System

A strong referral system or referral-reward system could potentially cause your success rates to skyrocket. These programs help gain and strengthen the trust of potential clients. In fact, studies on referrals show that referred clients generate 16% more ROI than other clients.

 

We can help real estate professionals raise their success rates using email lists and blogs. Email us at agency@shoppeblack.us to get started.

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Father and Son Duo Close over $1 Billion Launch Podcast Focused on Building Black Wealth

NEW YORK – National Standard Abstract is launching a new podcast centered on the economic empowerment of Black communities. With the Black buying power expected to reach $1.5 trillion this year, the Black- and family-owned business is now streaming interviews with industry leaders and influencers to help propel students and professionals towards entrepreneurship and sustainability.

The podcast, “All Boxes Checked,” will be hosted by the father-son duo behind National Standard Abstract, a full-service title insurance agency that has closed over $1 billion since 2015. From commercial and residential real estate to financial investment and community empowerment, this podcast will educate listeners on building wealth while circulating money within the Black community.

national standard abstract
Osei and Nadir Rubie

The “All Boxes Checked” podcast will feature guests such as business professionals and philanthropists to public officials and government agencies that will share their insights on the real estate and title insurance industries in addition to the growth of Black-owned businesses.

As the former epicenter of the global COVID-19 pandemic, New York City businesses and homeowners faced financial uncertainty and ruin. The health crisis spanning nearly two years threatened to destabilize the Black community, which faced a higher unemployment rate, foreclosures, evictions, and business closures without emergency federal coronavirus relief funding. National Standard Abstract is closing the opportunity gap – one conversation at a time.

Some of these guests include Quentin Hardy of Movement Mortgage, who is among the top one percent of loan originators in America; Ralph McDaniels, founder of the Video Music Box who was at the forefront of broadcasting hip hop culture; and other notable individuals whose invaluable expertise will help shift the paradigm.

“Six years ago, National Standard Abstract and Shoppe Black were established with a common goal – to advance cooperative economics. Today, we are forging ahead with the launch of a podcast that amplifies Black voices and elevates our culture. We are dedicating resources to engage in conversations about race, education, and economic mobility,” said Osei Rubie, president and founder of National Standard Abstract.

“It has always been our commitment at National Standard Abstract to serve as a bridge to building community at a time. We are excited to launch a new podcast that will connect listeners of any age at every stage of their careers with resources to become financially secure,” said Nadir Rubie, a partner at National Standard Abstract.

“Shoppe Black is excited to assist National Standard Abstract with the launch of a platform that will complement the work that we do every day – promoting all things Black-owned, globally. We are excited to create new spaces and opportunities for people to connect and exchange ideas. By working together, we are expanding our reach while empowering our audience to grow as individuals and professionals,” said Tony O. Lawson, CEO and co-founder of Shoppe Black.

National Standard Abstract is a full-service title insurance agency with expertise in faith-based developments, residential and commercial real estate transactions. Since launching in 2015, the family- and black-owned firm has closed over $1 billion in transactions within the New York metropolitan area.

As the bridge to building one community at a time, National Standard Abstract expanded its footprint into philanthropy through the Osei Rubie Charitable Fund to help end racial inequity and support the organizations working on the ground to create real change.

All Boxed Checked will be available on YouTube, listening apps, and streaming services. 

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How This Developer Built an $840 Million Real Estate Business

Buwa Binite is the Managing Principal of Dantes Partners, a boutique real estate development firm making its mark on the affordable housing scene in the District of Columbia.

Real estate
Buwa Binite, Managing Principal of Dantes Partners

Dantes Partners has closed over $840 million of real estate transactions and was recently awarded funding that will facilitate its ability to develop and acquire $1.6 billion in affordable and naturally occurring affordable assets.

In this episode, Buwa shares:

  • How he got started in Real estate development and why he decided to make affordable housing his area of focus.
  • How he has been able to build a team of almost 100% Black professionals despite a supposed lack of Black talent.
  • Advice for business owners that are interested in government contracts.

Tony O. Lawson


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Black Engineer Creates Eco-Friendly, Disaster Proof Smart Homes

Housing is amongst the most basic of human needs, and yet, it’s becoming increasingly elusive — even in wealthy countries like the US. Technology has changed every sector leaving construction as the last industry prime for revolution.

The SolutionRoombus produces high quality and eco-friendly modular Smart Homes that are affordable for everyone. The homes are engineered to withstand storms, earthquakes, and even stop burglars.

We caught up with founder, Dami Jegede to learn more about his company.

Eco-Friendly
Roombus founder, Dami Jegede

What inspired you to start Roombus?

So my background is software engineering, and I’ve built 2 successful fintech companies. In 2018 I started looking to solve a bigger and more impactful global challenge. It became immediately clear that affordable housing was what I really, really wanted to do. It has been a big and hairy problem for decades and it gets bigger every year.

Eco-Friendly

Initially, it was about building affordable homes, but when we took a deep dive, it evolved into building the future of housing. We believe that is smart, health-focused, safe and eco-friendly homes.

How does Roombus differ from the homes built from shipping containers?

We actually looked at shipping containers at the onset. In fact, it was what made the venture seem attainable to me, but we abandoned the direction after much research.

We found in the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology found that the majority of containers have harmful levels of toxicity inside — with spillage of harmful substances and chemicals that were not removed by thorough washing.

Eco-Friendly

Hazardous chemicals and pesticides are used to treat the wooden floors, and some were coated in paint which contains harmful chemicals like phosphorous and chromate.

To top it off, container housing was too niche a market for our vision, only 16% of people we surveyed were open to owning a container home.

Roombus, on the other hand, has designed a proprietary steel core frame system that allows us to build truly disaster proof and healthy homes. Great for humans and the environment. Our homes are not limited by container dimensions and compromise, and so our spaces are much bigger.

Please explain how the homes are designed with sustainability and eco-friendliness in mind.

Construction is one notorious industry that produces one of the highest amounts of waste in the world today. Building homes on lots are highly inefficient from cost, labor and waste perspectives.

Most of us have passed by homes under construction and seen the amount of wasted materials on-site — broken wood framing, off-cuts from roofing sheets, insulation, and drywall. Most of that new junk is heading to a landfill near you.

Eco-Friendly

Our prefab method (building in a factory), and precision manufacturing reduces material wastage by a whopping 95%! Our steel framing system is 100% recyclable, and we use bamboo to replace as much wood as possible.

Bamboo grows super-fast and is extremely light on the environment. We utilize above-code insulation to save energy and reduce the need for heating and cooling all year round — from Florida to Alaska.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Grit and resilience can’t be overstated. You need to learn to pick yourself up and just keep moving. This is why you have to be double sure about your venture before you start.

Does it really matter to me? How much do I love this?  Hold on tightly to your destination, but let your path be flexible. Too many people waste too much time on a path that just never will open. Pull up your goal maps and try new routes!

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Adenah owns $220 Million in Real Estate, Multiple Restaurants and Creates Jobs in her Community

At age 13, Adenah Bayoh escaped the civil war in her native country of Liberia, immigrated to the United States, and is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in New Jersey.

Adenah has amassed a $220 million real estate development portfolio of several major residential and commercial urban properties across northern New Jersey. She also operates several individual IHOP franchises and Cornbread, her own signature line of soul food restaurants.

In this interview, we discuss the ways her life experiences have contributed to her success. We also discussed her passion for giving back to her community, and how her grandmother inspired her to get into the restaurant business.

CLICK HERE for the interview and Don’t forget to LIKE the video and SUBSCRIBE to the channel!

Tony O. Lawson


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Morris Brown College Partners With Hilton And Black Owned Real Estate Investment Firm To Build $30 Million Hotel On Campus

Morris Brown College will partner with Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Miami-based CGI Merchant Group to develop a $30 million hotel on the campus of the historically Black college.

On Thursday, the Morris Brown board of trustees approved the deal that will involve a long-term land lease on the school’s quadrangle and an overhaul of Griffin Hightower Hall, a low-rise building next to the historic Fountain Hall.

morris brown college
The Historic Fountain Hall

The project comes as Morris Brown tries to rebound from accreditation issues and as U.S. companies and philanthropic groups inject more money into schools within the Atlanta University Center to increase racial equity.

Crews will build a 150-room hotel under the Tapestry Collection by Hilton. The project, which is funded through CGI’s recently launched $650 million Hospitality Opportunity Fund, will also include three restaurants and space to train students.

The “H-Fund”  focuses on acquiring and developing hotel properties throughout North American and Caribbean markets and target more than 20 hotels over the next three years. Partners in the fund include three-time Major League Baseball MVP and serial investor, Alex Rodriguez, and capital markets veteran and founder of Maverick CP, Adi Chugh.

“This is not just a commercial investment,” Raoul Thomas, founder, and CEO of CGI Merchant Group told Atlanta Business Chronicle. “We will be working with Hilton to support curriculum development and to provide guest lecturers.”

morris brown college
Raoul Thomas, CEO of CGI Merchant Group

The project will span 125,000 square feet near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in southwest Atlanta. A hotel will make up the largest portion of the project, 91,000 square feet.

It would provide needed hospitality space just walking distance from campus. The nearest hotel is about a half mile from Morris Brown College. The 195-room Reverb by Hard Rock opened late last year next to Mercedes Benz Stadium in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood.

Several universities in Atlanta, including Georgia Tech and Emory University have large on-campus hotels which host guests and conferences.

In addition to the hotel, plans also include 34,000 square feet of classrooms and an auditorium.

“My goal is to become one of the top institutions in the country for Black and Brown people to learn how to own, operate, and manage hotels,” said Kevin James who became president of Morris Brown in 2019.

morris brown college
Dr. Kevin E. James, 19th President, Morris Brown College

Founded in 1881, Morris Brown College is a private, liberal arts historically Black institution. It is considered the first college in Georgia to be operated by and for African-Americans.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the school had a notable hospitality management program.

Nearly 20 years ago, Morris Brown lost its accreditation after its former president and a financial aid director were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of fraud. While enrollment declined to fewer than 100 students, Morris Brown remained open.

In recent months the school has been making its way back.

Last month, members of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, an accrediting agency, toured the campus.

In April, the group is set to vote on whether to make Morris Brown a candidate for accreditation. That would clear the way for the school to receive full accreditation within five years.

It will take money to get Morris Brown College back on its feet—to accommodate students, renovate its facilities and hire faculty and staff. But amid calls for racial justice and greater equity, corporate purses are wide open, as indicated by recent donations to other colleges in the Atlanta University Center complex.

“This is not a one and done contribution,” Thomas said. “The school will share directly in the [hotel’s] profits,” he said declining to give further details.

In addition to the profit-sharing agreement, CGI Merchant Group will establish a six-figure endowment for student financial aid.

The hotel is currently in the design phase. CGI Merchant Group tapped Atlanta-based C.D. Moody Construction and Chasm Architecture for the project.

The hotel at Morris Brown is expected to open in the summer of 2023.

Investors are optimistic that the completion date will give the hospitality industry time to rebound from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and also provide ample time for Morris Brown to bounce back.

“This announcement should definitely open the eyes of those who want to work in hospitality,” said James who anticipates prospective students will be excited to “be a part of the resurrection class [at Morris Brown], and attend a school that has its own hotel in one of the top cities for hospitality in the country,” he said.

Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle


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Black Developer Hires Black Owned Title Insurance Company for Multiple Deals Totaling $310M In Affordable Housing

Brisa Builders and National Standard Abstract are two Black owned real estate firms that are creating stability within underserved communities through housing opportunities and philanthropy.

Ericka Keller, CEO of Brisa Builders Corporation, has committed her organization to circulate dollars within the ecosystem of Black entrepreneurs. An example is engaging National Standard Abstract, one of the largest 100 percent Black-owned companies in the real estate industry, to provide title insurance for all of her real estate transactions.

black owned firms
Ericka, CEO of Brisa Builders Corporation and Managing Member at Brisa Builders Development

Since 2018, Brisa Builders has developed several faith-based real estate projects totaling over $310 million, including the $154 million Ebenezer Plaza Phase 1A and $75 million Ebenezer Plaza Phase 1B with the Church of God of East Flatbush, $45 million Bishop Philius and Helene Nicolas (BPHN) Senior Residences, and the $36 million Harry T. Nance Apts.

Brisa Builders Corp. is a family-owned construction management, development, and general contracting firm based in Brooklyn. Founded by the late Lilly and Thomas Keller in 1997, the company has a long history of working with faith-based organizations to construct affordable senior housing. 

Ericka Keller was a principal for the New York City Department of Education before taking the helm of the family business in 2012. Four years later, she opened her company called Brisa Builders Development LLC to continue educating and forming partnerships with faith-based institutions throughout New York City to build quality and affordable housing accessible to all residents.

Although there are very few Black real estate developers, studies show that they have the highest percentage of hiring other Black-owned firms throughout the development process. In 2014, The Church of God of East Flatbush engaged Brisa Builders to develop two parcels of land in Brooklyn, NY, known as Ebenezer Plaza. Three years later, Brisa Builders enlisted National Standard Abstract to provide title insurance for the transaction.

Family Affair

Ericka Keller introduced Bishop Dr. R.C. Hugh Nelson from the Church of God of East Flatbush to Osei Rubie of National Standard Abstract in 2017 to cultivate partnerships with faith leaders through educational forums. Ironically, in 2020, Osei Rubie discovered Bishop Dr. R.C. Hugh Nelson was his cousin.

Osei Rubie’s mother, Jamaican-born Yvonne Rubie, identified the new family connection during a Zoom meeting led by Bishop Dr. Nelson’s sister, Joy Nelson. She immediately made the revelation of a development project in Brooklyn that would now reunite long-lost cousins working side-by-side for years and unaware of their shared roots. After a quick confirmation call between mother and son, it became clear why the friendship with Bishop Dr. Nelson and Osei Rubie came with such ease.

Strengthening communities is a family affair for these intergenerational organizations. After realizing the complexities of faith-based development, National Standard Abstract began to supplement the industry insight offered by Brisa Builders. Osei Rubie facilitated public forums on title insurance where he shared crucial knowledge about the history of properties that could benefit faith leaders considering development.

National Standard Abstract is a full-service title insurance agency with expertise in faith-based developments, residential and commercial real estate transactions. Since launching in 2015, the family- and Black-owned firm has closed over $1 billion in transactions within New York and New Jersey. As the bridge to building one community at a time, National Standard Abstract expanded its footprint into philanthropy through the Osei Rubie Charitable Fund to help end racial inequity and support the organizations working on the ground to create real change.

Cooperative Economics

“Cooperative economics is critical in Black communities, where small businesses competing for government contracts are already at a disadvantage because of our race, level of experience, budget, and capacity. Relationships with Black real estate professionals and developers, including Brisa Builders, who hired our agency to provide title insurance, were essential to expanding our business portfolio.

Today, we have set the industry standard with quality services while deepening our commitment to investing in the communities where we do business. As a proponent of Black entrepreneurship and generational wealth, I am excited to carry on this vital work amongst newfound family like Bishop Dr. Nelson,” said Osei Rubie, founder and president of National Standard Abstract.

black owned
Osei Rubie (L), founder and President of National Standard Abstract, and Nadir Rubie (R), Partner at National Standard Abstract

“In less than a decade, National Standard Abstract has grown exponentially because we believe that relationships matter – at home and in the workplace. Before one can lead, you must first learn the fundamental principles of life and business. I am collaborating with my business partner, mentor, and father on development projects that will uplift historically marginalized communities. Together, we have achieved what others thought was impossible because we are family and of African descent,” said Nadir Rubie, a partner at National Standard Abstract.

According to a statement from Ericka Keller, “Every opportunity to partner with industry leaders and faith-based institutions that reflect our community deepens our longstanding commitment to providing stability to Black and Brown families who are vulnerable to economic insecurity and homelessness. I am proud to uphold the legacy of my father Thomas Keller, who believed that it is our collective responsibility to build affordable homes that combat efforts to uproot local residents.” 

Bishop Dr. R.C. Hugh Nelson is the senior pastor of the Church of God of East Flatbush. Currently, he oversees two phases of a three-phase development project called Ebenezer Plaza, totaling $364 million to build nearly 530 affordable housing units, commercial spaces, a sanctuary, and a community facility to provide social services.

“In recent years, houses of worship in New York City have begun to expand their ministry’s focus beyond the borders of the sanctuary to improve the quality of life in the community. Foundational to the existential needs facing the urban landscape is affordable housing.

A little over a decade ago, our congregation decided to take a leap of faith and incorporate affordable housing in our future expansion. A few years after purchasing two city blocks to relocate the church facility, we were introduced to Brisa Builders and later National Standard Abstract to bring the vision into reality. After doing due diligence and checking several references, I am convinced this was the most important step in bringing the vision into reality,” he said.

black owned
Bishop Dr. R.C. Hugh Nelson, senior pastor of the Church of God of East Flatbush

Brisa Builders and National Standard Abstract have created a blueprint that has every potential to spur economic growth, stability, and opportunities in underserved communities.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, where Black-owned businesses were largely excluded from the federal government’s emergency relief programs, we must begin to rely upon ourselves to rebuild Black wealth and communities. Black dollars can only circulate when we hire within to secure the future for the next generation.

Tony O. Lawson


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These Two Black Owned Real Estate Firms Have Closed over $60M in Deals Together

National Standard Abstract  (NSA) and CB Emmanuel Realty are two Black Owned Real Estate Firms that have closed over $60 million in transactions together.

NSA is a full-service title agency that has expertise in residential and commercial real estate transactions. CB Emmanuel Realty is a real estate developer and investor of Affordable Housing properties.

On December 12th, 2020 National Standard Abstract provided title insurance for a $32 Million deal involving CB Emmanuel Realty. This transaction involved the preservation of Calvary Baptist Senior Housing in Jamaica Queens NY.

This is not the first time these companies have collaborated on deals of this size. In August of 2020, they closed another $30 million affordable housing transaction.

In this interview, Osei Rubie, CEO of NSA, and Chris Bramwell, CEO of CBE, discuss why they decided to join forces. They also discuss the importance of networking and building relationships.

Both men credit much of their success to their fathers and are now passing lessons learned to their children. Osei and Chris also explain how and why they are giving back to the community.

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Tony O. Lawson


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