CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Just 5% of all Realtors in the U.S. are Black, but at one Charlotte-based real estate firm, that's not the case.
Jerell Fields started the real estate group Noire Group in 2019.
“We are one of five individually owned or independently owned Black firms in Charlotte, North Carolina,” Fields said.
The firm, now 11 Black agents strong, celebrated its official launch in May 2022. Fields said the team's mission was to build a platform for Black agents.
“Representation always matters, and I think, whether we believe it or not, talking to somebody that looks like you helps you get a better understanding because at least you can feel like they've been there before, where they're talking from experience, you know, and that helps,” Fields said.
The hope is that having more Black Realtors will also help to increase Black homeownership.
According to a report from the Census Bureau from the first quarter of 2022, 74% of white households in the US own their homes. The homeownership rate for that same time period in the Pacific Island, Asian and Native Hawaiian population was 59.4%. For Black households, the homeownership rate is much lower, coming in at 44.7%.
According to North Carolina's Housing Finance Agency, those national statistics also reflect the homeownership racial divide in the Tar Heel State. But the Noire Group is working to narrow that gap.
“If the disparity between buying a house and not owning a home is having the money to put down on a property, then there are solutions out there, but educating the people about those solutions helps, right?" Fields explained.
That's exactly what Noire Realtor Brittney McDonald is doing through her Instagram account thecrowns_realtor.
“My content is geared around educating people about real estate," McDonald said. "There's a lot of information that people don't know, and you don't know what you don't know, so anything that I can think of that people have questions about, I try to post it. So just to be a resource for people who look like me is very important.”
The company is fighting to bring equity to a community that previously had been denied the American dream.
“It's not just about selling houses," Fields said. "It's about building relationships within the community and having people see what we're doing and want to be a part of it.”
For those who dream of owning a home but think it's out of reach, WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions to help. In the list below, there are various programs that can help, including answers to questions about down-payment assistance or even home financing grants:
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