Having a huge lack of diversity, real estate has a historical mark of being one of the most monolithic industries in the country. Real estate engenders more than $300 billion in annual revenue but lacks African American representation with only 3% representation on the senior executive level, less than 4% with mid-level management, and less that 5% on the professional level. This makes a career in real estate one of the most underrepresented careers in the country, according to CRE Diversity. Many materials and necessities in life can be created including food, machines, tech devices and much more but we can never create more land.
With the industry not being diverse, it makes it harder to diversify it being expensive to get into. So many African American’s go the cheaper route to even get involved because of the cost. Kabreel McEachin, a recent graduate of Edward Waters College, can testify to the expense. “I have a passion for Real Estate but the cost of books, classes, advertisement, and tests are so discouraging. It takes so much investment to even make an investment. Even if you’re not making any money you’re still spending,” said McEachin. He said that he noticed the lack of diversity quick when only four out of twenty four of his classmates were black. But no matter what he’s not giving up on his dream to pursue real estate.
In the beginnings of historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, many people sat in neighborhoods occupied with professionals from the university and surrounding areas. Through the years these neighborhoods have experienced harrowing changes for a few reasons. One of the reasons is many wealthy, affluent African Americans are attracted to White suburbs for safer, more integrated neighborhoods. Another reason is the heavy hit of drugs and crime during the late 1970’s throughout the 1980’s that impacted heavily centered black populations.
Jermaine Coble, a recent graduate of Fayetteville State University, is an individual who is ready to change the lack of diversity in the field of real estate. Being accepted into New York University’s master’s program for Real Estate Development, he plans to learn and pursue towards a career on the redevelopment side. With New York being labeled as the capital of real estate, he is sure to learn so much. “We are not making any more land, this is all we have! How can we grow our community if we don’t own the land it sits on,” state Coble as he plans to inform people of the importance of land investment. He personally has seen the problems of not enough redeveloping going on for himself.
He said noticed that many of the faculty at his Alma Mater would drive in from local cities to teach and had no intentions of moving to Fayetteville, North Carolina. “Jermaine, it’s not that I don’t like the neighborhood but the houses in this area aren’t big enough and they aren’t building new homes,” is the response that Coble received often. Beginning to take an in-depth look into local neighborhoods, he realized that they were on target with the problem that was taking place. Many homes surrounding Fayetteville State University were built in the 1950’s to 1970’s. The homes were fit to accommodate that area in time but are no longer suiting for families this time in age. Most of the houses are 2 to 3 bedrooms with 1 to 1.5 bathrooms not up to date with new average sized homes that have expanded over 1,000 sq. ft. over the past 60 years.
Think about this, if you live in a safe area, why would you attend a school that is located in an unsafe area? Some have lived in unsafe areas all of their life and actually want to get away to attend a college in a safe area. This is the mindset of thousands of students and parents across the countries who want to have the best learning experience possible. The neighborhoods of institutions play apart. Many crime problems that have taken place dealing with students of HBCU’s or of citizens near HBCU’s are happening in the neighborhoods of the HBCU. Many times you will hear news stations making statements of “Near (Name of HBCU)”, or “Close To The Campus of (Name of HBCU)”.
Coble is currently working with Community Development Corporation, East Market Street Development Corporation in Greensboro, North Carolina. This summer he is analyzing creative ways to house the homeless and what other parts of the country are doing in the area of redevelopment. He has researched affordable housing development and the tax credits that come with them to begin the process of understanding the communities that surround the largest HBCU in the country, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T). Just across the railroad tracks sits the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the difference is quit noticeable. With his research you can see the difference on google maps. It’s easy to see the unequal representation.
The dark brown indicates the Universities foot print and with A&T to the right and UNCG to the left and both being state supported and owned campuses he can’t figure why Google would do this.Deeper than the picture itself is the lack of redevelopment on East Greensboro. Churches play a big part because pieces of land that would transcend these neighborhoods are owned and controlled by institutions and in black neighborhoods that often means the church. There is also a lack of minorities in the Real Estate Development space which leads to racial mistrust between the west side Greensboro developers and the east side residents. In this day in age more programs are launching with masters and undergraduate programs available. The Shack Institute of Real Estate accepts on average at a 71% rate. Coble wants to destroy the status quo and take a leap of faith. He has currently launched a campaign to help with the expensive costs to make his dream reality. If you would like to contribute to Coble’s success you may do so by helping finance his first semester of tuition at New York University Sharing his video with your personal or professional network also makes a big impact at https://www.gofundme.com/JermaineAtNYU.
He’s working to make a difference in the community he comes from and bring a different voice to the room of people who plan, design and build the community we live, work and play in every day. We can’t get mad if no one wants to redevelop communities so support those who will.