Black Real Estate Brokers urges millennials to become homeowners

Donnell T. Williams
Donnell T.Williams, NAREB President

The new president of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) wants to see Black wealth increase through homeownership with a special focus on reaching the country’s millennials.

During his speech at the conclusion of the NAREB Convention held in Atlantic City, N.J., Donnell T. Williams, outlined a targeted agenda.

The national meeting convened just days after the U.S. Census Bureau released its second quarter 2019 homeownership rates which listed the Black homeownership rate at 40.6 percent the lowest it has been in more than 50 years. In comparison, the non-Hispanic white homeowner rate was 73.1 percent, representing more than a 30 percent gap.

“Bold, energetic and effective action must be taken to stop this unthinkable slippage in Black wealth. Homeownership and investment in real estate represent the tools Black Americans in general, and millennials in particular can use to build or rebuild their wealth,” said Williams, taking the helm of NAREB, the nation’s oldest minority professional real estate organization.

“My plan to reverse the downward slide is to reach the 1.7 million mortgage-ready Black millennials who make over $100,000 annually, but have delayed or not considered homeownership as part of their wealth building strategy.”

Several initiatives were outlined by Williams. One program in particular drew applause from the audience when he said, “Our people need to know that you’re in violation if you drive a Land Rover and you pay rent to a landlord.”

The initiative, www.housethenacar.com, concentrates its financial focus on attracting millennials and Gen-X-ers to homebuying or real estate investment opportunities to build sustainable wealth.

Williams emphasized that NAREB’s member Realtists must embolden themselves as well as their potential customers.

“We must educate, empower, and mobilize ourselves as well as the Black American public. Wealth building through homeownership is indeed possible and we need to make that happen,” he said.

Williams established his brokerage Destiny Realty in 2001 in Morristown, N.J with a satellite office in Newark, and it is now one of the largest African-American, independently owned real estate brokerages in the state.