Check out cable TV any night of the week, and you’ll find a home-flipping or renovation reality show. That world seems very alluring – buy a home, put in the work, and reap big profits. Or find a client, throw a fabulous open house, negotiate, and reap the benefits. I’m sold! Sign me up!!
But not so fast little urban planner; investing in residential property whether as a primary residence or investment property – takes know-how and capital. This is where a realtor comes in. A realtor can help any first time buyer or investor navigate the world of real estate and financing. A realtor with investment experience can also help a buyer/investor make a sound financial decision. As cities and communities see resurgence, the real estate market will also grow, creating opportunities for building wealth. So if you’ve ever thought about diving into the world of real estate or investing, this post is for you!
In June, I sat down with Nashville Realtor and investor Damani Maynie, in an up and coming area of Nashville called Edgehill, to talk about his own adventures in investing. Like many of my CitySpeak interviews, the conversation took a very inspirational turn, as his personal investment experiences revealed some powerful testimonies.
Damani, the city is always speaking. What is it saying to you?
Well, Nashville is becoming a hot place, for professionals and for those in music. And Downtown is really taking off. But even with that progress, we still have a long way to go in terms of becoming a major city. But I think the efforts of this mayor and the past mayor has aided that. So what the city is telling me is that there are many opportunities for new businesses, and for family and individual economic growth. I think there is a market for retail growth within neighborhoods, especially for places on the outskirts of the city. I think Nashville and the inner core has got the idea of walkable neighborhoods, parks, and amenities, but I would like to see more of that in places like Antioch, Hermitage, Mt. Juliet.
So tell me your story, how did you get into the world of real estate and investing?
Well, my stepfather was a contractor. I hung out with him during the summers and did construction work. I did manual labor on older homes but he also gave me the opportunity to design. I also saw an opportunity to make decent money at this; I always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and realized – okay this is something I can do! That’s when I decided to attend TSU (Tennessee State University) to pursue design work. In the meantime I was fortunate enough to secure my first investment and grow from there. So I’ve always loved real estate, investment, and especially design. And in those years I’ve done design, engineering, project management, I’ve invested, and I’ve been a landlord…I’ve done just about everything within the world of real estate! I really enjoy real estate though and my experience allows me to wear many different hats for my clients.
Do you feel any sort of responsibility being an African American realtor? And being African – American what perspective do you bring to your work?
I guess being African American I feel like it’s my duty to share my knowledge with other African Americans that may or may not know about this world. But as far as the profession, I don’t look at myself as just an African American agent because it’s really about offering the best service. Good service is key, and if you have good service you’ll do well. And by good service I mean, being knowledgeable, responsive, and having the ability to guide clients to properties that meet their needs, but that are also sound financial investments. I also have very diverse experiences that I think helps my clients.