I’m new to the Charlotte area, and in my time here, I’ve seen the city grow faster than expected. I moved to Charlotte because I needed a change of location from Louisville, where I was born and raised. My two choices for relocating were Atlanta and Charlotte. I ultimately chose Charlotte because of its professional environment as a financial hub. But I admit, I’ve struggled while getting acclimated to the Charlotte business community. My biggest challenge right now, is trying to build a clientele as I establish myself in the Charlotte market.
Currently, I am a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway in the business of listing properties for sale, helping clients find residential properties, and helping clients locate rental properties. I primarily focus on the South End / South Park area, dealing with high-end luxury homes.
Warren Buffett and his lessons on having more than one source of income inspired me to become an entrepreneur. Before entering the real estate industry, I was a chef and owned my own catering company. I ran the business while also earning my accounting degree. When my catering business began to slow down, I started thinking about other types of business that I could transition into. I decided to become a real estate agent because I had an interest in real estate investing and a friend of mine was an agent. The market was good when I entered real estate in 2006, but suddenly there was a period when things became unstable concerning mortgages. Working in real estate during the financial recession confirmed that living with multiple income streams is the right way to go.
My ups and downs in real estate have taught me a few things, one lesson is that the nature of business is ever-changing. More traditional outlets like newsletters, word-of-mouth, and open houses are still better for immediate listings. However, social media has become a great tool for networking and connecting with future buyers. I was once contacted by people through Instagram about relocating to Charlotte from the D.C. and Maryland area. Another trend that I’ve noticed, in the real estate industry, is that many people aren’t as willing to talk on the phone anymore. Senior clients still prefer the more traditional phone conversation, but more people want to communicate through social media, texting, and email. I feel that it’s important to be aware of changing trends and have a willingness to adapt.
I feel that, in spite of all the challenges we continue to face, Black business communities throughout the country are making great strides. Some local black business communities are leading the charge in Black business advancement. For example, I’ve noticed a big difference between Charlotte and Louisville regarding Black enterprise. Charlotte has many local organizations like the Charlotte Mecklenburg BLACK CHAMBER of Commerce that are actively working to make a positive impact in the Black business community.
Within the next two years, I plan to reignite my entrepreneurial spirit. I want to open my own real estate brokerage that will provide services like property management and commercial listings. As I continue to grow as a business professional, the lessons I’ve learned these last few years will help me continue to succeed.