Creating Access To Black Generational Wealth in New York is no small feat. Prospective Black Homeowners are met with many barriers ranging from racism, redlining, steering, predatory lending as well as the challenge of finding truly “affordable housing” based on their income. According National Association of Realtor, A Snapshot on Race and Homebuying in America, “Black households – 41% – are the most likely to have student loan debt and also have the largest median student loan balance of $45,000.” With all of the obstacles stacked against this one race, it comes as no surprise that nationally Black Homeownership Rates have not seen any where the same growth as those of White Homeownership Rates. The data has spoken and the homeownership gap between the new Majority and their white counterparts is far too wide. We at Vision Street Research believe in using data to drive decisions and have a mission tied to the increase of economic mobility for Black and Brown individuals. Solutions for closing the racial wealth include increasing access to assets that allow for black generational wealth. Acquiring real estate and becoming a homeowner is a path to generational wealth. We recently interviewed Managing Partner & New York Realtor, Yvesmarie Vilain and Your NY Property and learned how his brokerage is creating access to generational wealth for prospective Black Homeowners.
1. What inspired you to start your business? I was inspired when I realized there were very few black owned real estate brokerages. Also, most agents were joining franchise only models and not personalizing their service to better help their community.
2. What got you interested in Real Estate? I was 18 working at Urban outfitters and my manager also sold real estate and I used to ask a lot of questions. I quickly became interested after realizing how important the real estate business is.
3. What has been your greatest challenge since starting your business? The greatest challenge is getting other black and brown people to understand the value of investing in your community through real estate. Especially, working with black brokerages.
4. What is a mantra/quote you live by? With regards to the real estate business People will always need a place to live.
5. How does your company give back to the community? We donate up to 10% of all transactions to our clients’ charities and special causes.
6. What comes to mind when I say Black Generational Wealth? Our children not needing to look for low paying jobs and not being at the mercy of these jobs, increased homeownership, increased business ownership and business legacy and opportunity.
7. Where do you see your business 5 years from now? I see our company with a lot more social media presence, increased resources for first time home buyers and in-house real estate trust to develop affordable housing/ owner finance options
8. If you could have an elevator conversation with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why? Will Packer, he’s a major Hollywood producer and also happens to be black. My next chapter in business is to produce documentary films that help raise awareness on overlooked issues /stories that can help alleviate racism and classism.