How I Bought My First House Without No Money. Jermaine Brooks

How I Bought My First House Without No Money. Jermaine Brooks

 How come you didn’t start your own brokerage or that’s something down the road you consider it’s something down the road I consider. You can start catching pennies, but it, it costs a lot to, to have your own brokerage.

 I’ve been asked that question a lot. With your success, why not start your own black brokerage? Mm-hmm. . And what I said is Keller Williams is a huge national name. Don’t pigeon hold, just put yourself in a box, man. Don’t put myself in a box and lose all the resources that you got.

That I have. And it’s really screwed up for black businesses’ like that. Oh, it’s because you don’t wanna be the black realtor mm-hmm. . Because if you become the black brokerage, you won’t get nothing but the black business. Yep. That’s all you’ll get. Because people will say oh, that’s the black brokers.

Mm-hmm. , you run out there and that’s what, and fine, you’ll say, well, let me just take the black business. But you don’t want that because nobody else do that. White folks don’t say I’m the white broker. Right. You know, you hit it right on the head and it’s messed up that we have to be like, and, and the sad thing about it, I’ve had people tell me, like, as my circle [00:01:00] started expanding mm-hmm.

I’ve had interviews and went on listing appointments with affluent black people in the community where it’s like, well, I didn’t know a black realtor could handle a sale of this magnitude. Oh, that, no, I don’t even gimme star. And I’m like, hold on. What, what’d you say? Like, what, what’s the difference between this house?

Right? Yeah. It’s a little bit more, but it’s all paperwork. It’s all paperwork .

What’s up? What’s up everybody? Welcome to another episode of Strategic Moves.

I’m your host, Ken Dowell. This is a place where we bring art, culture, politics, and business all together. And we do it every Sunday right here on this channel. And today we’re going to talk a little bit about business, business development. And I got a gentleman in here, my daughter said, it’s a rainmaker.

Never heard that term before, Rainmaker. I’m like, girl, what is a rainmaker? She said, this guy makes so much money in real estate that he makes it rain in the real estate house. I said, really? He said, it’s raining over there.

[00:02:00] [00:03:00] [00:04:00]

 So everybody, I would like y’all to welcome Mr.

Jermaine Brooks to our program, Mr. Brooks, how you doing? Excellent. Excellent, excellent. All right. So, Mr. Brooks? Yes. As I opened the program, I talked about you all right. Real estate broker and a real estate developer here. You have lot of different things going on. Tell us a little bit about you.

Yeah. Well, I am a real estate agent. Mm-hmm. , and it’s funny you say a rainmaker.

I never refer to myself as that. Just team lead. Okay. But I do have a team list’s sell by team. Okay. And we have, 15 agents underneath me, and which I instruct on doing deals and everything like that. Wow. So in the real estate world, they call it the rainmaker. Oh, that’s what she said.

She, she told me, she said, you know, it was, you are a rain, he’s a rainmaker. And I, yeah. But it’s the stressful part because now I’m, everybody depending on me to [00:05:00] make sure they make some money. Really? Yeah. So, I help him mentor and everything like that, and I got into that. years ago, I got my real estate license in 2014.

Okay. Coming from the private side. Mm-hmm. I was doing my own little flips, renovations and things like that. And when it was time for my brother and our partners to sell mm-hmm. At that point, I went and got my license. Okay. I said, we need to keep the money with and when I got my license, and then that’s when the business just took off.

So, let’s go back a little bit, man. Mm-hmm. We gotta get in your personal a little bit. , man. Are you from Cleveland? Yep. Born and raised. Cleveland, uh, Warrensville Heights High School. Warrensville Heights High School. Yeah. Came out in 1993. Okay. Yeah. So we always used a kid, heights used to be the thing, but we were the real tigers, so.

Oh. Well, you know, we, that’s where our neighborhood, we, we Heights, tigers. Oh, okay. You know, it’s a little battle. Yeah. You guys are the tigers over there. I don. So one’s the cubs and one’s the typer, you know, as they say. Yeah. We got, we gotta think about the timeframe. So in the nineties, I, played football there.

Okay. Wrestled track, Uhhuh baseball. And then, from [00:06:00] there I went to Allegheny College. Okay. I played football at Allegheny for two years. Okay. And then, uh, good friend and a mentor of mine, Stanley Drayton. Okay. He went to, John Marshall. They used to call him the bottle rocket. Okay. But he’s coaching at, temple now.

Okay. He left Allegheny and went to Eastern Michigan. Mm-hmm. . And he was just like, Jermaine, you need to be at a D one school. You can play, you can play here. What position was you playing? I played, outside linebacker. Okay. Yeah. Alright. Then, went up to Eastern for a trip. and, I’m a CAPA too.

Okay. So all of us are caps who drove up there and, Earl Boykins was at Eastern. Okay. Yep. Good friend of mine. Okay. And, he was like, man, you should come up here. You should come up here. Mm-hmm. . I just embraced it.

Okay. got up there, coach Cooper was the head coach at Eastern Man. Mm-hmm. , and he was a Kappa. Okay. So I had Stan and Coach Cooper saying like, we got you. We got you. Mm-hmm. transferred from Allegheny, got up there, and both of ’em left . Wow. Yeah. So I had to walk on, but I ended up getting, my scholarship came out of Eastern Michigan in 97.

Okay. I was the defensive captain up there. Charlie Batch was our quarterback. Okay. So he was the offensive captain. So after [00:07:00] that, did the whole, you know, travel around the N F L. Multiple times. Didn’t ever make a team. Mm-hmm. . But it was fun. The experience has taught me a lot. That’s really interesting, man.

Do, you know Mark Harris? Yep. Everybody. He was on my show yesterday. Oh, really? , everybody knew played football than went through Mark Harris somewhere or another and that kinda thing. Yeah. He was younger than me. He was more my brother’s age. Really? Yeah. it’s funny when you talk about Cleveland Sports, everybody remembers me from Warrensville, but my brother, I made him transfer.

So my brother graduated from Ignatius. Okay. Who was your brother? Jason Milks. He played at Ignatius, that’s when they were hot. I think they won like three state championships. They were ranked in Ignatian every year. Okay. But, we had two different paths. Okay. Okay. And it was something that I realized early on mm-hmm.

when I was in high school. Cause at Warrensville we didn’t have as much support. Okay. We didn’t have the scouts there. We were independent back in 93. Right. So we never made the playoffs really, even though we had great talent, great, skills. Mm-hmm. and everything like that. coach didn’t believe in stats.

Right. We had a whole bunch of nonsense going on. Right. But then he went to Ignatians [00:08:00] and got everything and, and got religion. Yeah. You know what I mean? And this always been like that. Mm-hmm. with Warren’s real schools. Oh yeah. I mean, with all sports, you know, my daughters played, softball Okay.

 For Cleveland Heights and mm-hmm. , all of that. And I remember we went to one game, I think it was about the second or third time they played them, went to the game, man, I was looking at these girls, man, their uniforms didn’t have no uniforms on, man. It was all bad.

It was just look. So I called the mayor. I called Brad and was like, man, Uhhuh, can you get some uniforms for your girls team? I was just like, you know, if you look bad, you play bad and Right. And I don’t know if they even had great uniforms, if they would’ve played any better than they did, but at least they were out there trying, I mean, you out there trying to play and heist team was pretty good.

So they was getting pounded, but they were just really, Looking bad. And I remember he came through and helped him out. But imagine it was years and years of that before anybody even said anything, that they even did anything to that. Yeah. And the funny thing about it is I came outta Warrensville in 93.

Mm-hmm. . I came back to Cleveland 99. Okay. 2000. And then I [00:09:00] went back and coached football Wow. With my head coach who coached me, coach Walker. Okay. So I coached up there from 2000 to 2006. Okay. And then I tried to bring back, some type of, pride Okay. Coming from where you come from.

Okay I was fortunate enough, I coached some wonderful guys. Mm-hmm. , all of ’em. Still call me Coach to this day. Okay. I think I got like, 16 or 18 of them in schools on scholarships. We were running a nice little program up there. You sound you was true to that. That’s that’s pretty good.

Yeah. Yeah. I got, many opportunities to go coach other places mm-hmm. And for some reason just me being loyal, Uhhuh , I was like, if I’m gonna coach a high school, I’m going to my arm mater. I can’t go nowhere. Right. That’s right. Yeah. It was just me, Uhhuh,

But, I had a blast. I still give back now. Mm-hmm. . Cause the football coaches now up at Warrensville, I coach them. Okay. Okay. So now I go back. It’s a whole full circle now. Right, right. No, that’s good. That’s good. So, you was talking and you said you ended up working at the city. Yeah. I was mayor Jackson. Mm-hmm. Story, how I even got there. I was a social worker. Okay. 6 96 kids. Okay. Right, right, right, right by your office. OK. . So I [00:10:00] got nervous and my stomach started hurting when I was driving down here.

Cause that was a rough job. Really? Yeah. That was a rough job that’s removing kids from harmful situations and things like that. And I lasted, four and a half years there. Wow. At that point, me and my grandfather, Bob Ward mm-hmm.

 He had , a bar restaurant nightclub on, 90 30 Nelson. Okay. So me and him went into business together. I tried the entrepreneurship thing. Mm-hmm. . And then, that’s when I pivoted and went to work. Mm-hmm. I had bought some investment properties. Okay. And then this is when all the mortgage stuff was going on mm-hmm.

and I was losing my properties. . So my mom worked at the city of Cleveland. She was like, come down here. They got a program for minority developers and minority contractors, and you can try to see if you can get some work. Mm-hmm. . So I went down there, walked into the office of Equal Opportunity and it really opened my mind up.

I had never heard of these, programs and things like that. Mm-hmm. . And I said, instead of me asking for the service, I want to get in here and figure out how it works. Right. Okay. And then at that point, I went down to civil service, the application, put the application in and everything like that. They hired me.

And what was you doing there [00:11:00] then? I started off as a contract compliance officer. Mm-hmm. . So I would monitor all the construction projects to make sure they met like the Fannie Lewis law, for participation on projects. Yeah. Minority participation. Mm-hmm. the 15%. I used to, monitor the contracts to make sure they met that participation.

Yeah. That’s a really good position. Yeah, that’s really good. And from there they put me into the certifications. Mm-hmm. . So then I was doing certifications for small businesses. And then the small business development side of it. And the reason why I say that’s a good position, it’s a really good position for somebody, who has an entrepreneur spirit.

because if you’re going to be there for, and you know that ultimately you might, thinking about going in into business yourself, you definitely going to know where all the bodies go. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Definitely. Cause when I walked in, like coming from an entrepreneurial side mm-hmm.

and going to work to be there eight to four 30. Right, right. I was like, I’m giving this three years and they ended up being there 13 . Wow. Wow. Wow. But I really fell in love with it. Mm-hmm. Watching small businesses grow. Some of the success stories I was able to, be a part of.

Okay. Then I transferred from the office of Equal Opportunity out to the airport. [00:12:00] Mm-hmm. , working with the concessionaires and things like that. And just to see some of the, minority companies get into the airport was really like a success. So, speaking on that, cause we here to talk about entrepreneurship and all kinds of business, how they getting work at the airport.

Mm-hmm. , how difficult is that for African American business? Oh, it’s extremely hard. It’s extremely hard. Uh, everything is stacked against you. Mm-hmm first they even go out there to be a contractor to cost the build and things like that. Mm-hmm. , I think when I was there it was like $350 a square foot.

Yes. So you’re responsible for building out your little key and it, and is like you said, little key key. It’s $350 a square foot, plus you gotta pay for all the permit. Exactly. Everything like that. So that’s already a barrier. For a lot of minority companies who already having capacity issues.

They can have a great design, a great product, a great restaurant, this, that, and other. Mm-hmm. . And we started doing a lot of things like test kitchens out there. We had a small contractor, a small concession, rotating program. Mm-hmm. in which we were doing things, we [00:13:00] brought people out during the holidays to sell their products inside the atrium.

Mm-hmm. . So we started doing things like that just to get the awareness out there. But it’s extremely hard business to get into. Now you say you bought the barbershop out there? Yeah. So the barbershop, it’s called air Cuts. Air Cuts. Okay. Yeah. So we brought that out there.

The Flow Lounge. Okay. Still was with, Larry ritch them at, boogers. Okay. He has Booger’s Bagels. Okay. Curtis English. Okay. Shoe? No. Curtis English. Been out there forever. Now that’s the name. I remember when I was telling you when I was doing Curtis. Mm-hmm.

And he has a lot of businesses out there and he, and he’s evolved. Yeah. He’s understood how he Yeah, you can, he’s a good dude. You know, that’s a guy. I remember that one. One Kennedy, let’s write that Curtis English down. He’s a good guy to bring in it and definitely have a talk with Yeah. And he helped me out when I got there.

Yeah. Just understanding the history. Correct. All the struggles that he had. Exactly. Exactly. To be there. And just to, assist open the doors up for others to come in. Yep, yep, yep. And then I used to always bring Curtis in. Any company I bought in there, you gotta talk to Curtis.

You gotta talk to Curtis.[00:14:00] He’s, a really good guy. He helped me a lot when I was out there doing this stuff with B aa. And then on the construction side of it mm-hmm.

It’s still hard to do business out there. Okay. Even though there’s goals attached. Mm-hmm. You gotta be disadvantaged. Business certified so that’s the first obstacle. Mm-hmm. That certification is hard to get. Yes, it is. And then the second thing is you gotta have all the insurance qualifications.

 Over. Two, 3 million worth of liability. Mm-hmm. , then the bonding for that, that small business for the spec of work that they’re doing. So, you know, all of those different obstacles and the leasing Oh, is a trip because don’t you have to make a certain revenue.

It’s revenue based. Your lease is based off of revenue. It’s not just Yep. Lease is based off the revenue as well. Wow. So, yeah, I mean, It’s a heck of a career to get into. Mm-hmm. . And I was fortunate, when I was out there, Ricky Smith, who’s now at, bwi. Okay. He was there and, he was big on like professional development and things like that.

Mm-hmm. . So he introduced us to, airport Minority Advisory Council. Okay. And we got to actually travel, once a year to their big conference. Okay. Where you meet all the [00:15:00] minorities who own concessions and programs and things like that throughout the United States. Okay. And then you get to see and rub your elbows with like millionaires.

Wow. Like who’ve made it in the industry, who have multiple locations. Mm-hmm. . So once you see that, it can be done, it can be done. Right. Right. And then what our whole job was to bring that, those concepts back. How did they get into Denver Airport? Mm-hmm. , how did they get into lax?

And then bring those concepts back to, uh, city of Cleveland. So it was, it was great work. Mm-hmm. , it just got to a point where, , it was time for me, you know? Mm-hmm. , it was, it was time for me to take that leap of faith and go on my own as far as an entrepreneur. So was that leap of faith I want to go into real estate or did you do something else before you got into real estate?

Yeah, it was definitely real estate. Mm-hmm I was doing real estate part-time. Okay. All the time while I was, well, I got my license at 14 mm-hmm. , so I was doing real estate part-time. Mm-hmm. , so I was just a constant grind. Mm-hmm. work eight to four 30. Right. Get off at four 30, then I’m real estate until wee hours of the morning.

You remember your first house you sold? Yes, I do. What was it? And [00:16:00] it was so funny. It was on the west side off, west hundred and first. Mm-hmm. , it was a, Indian family. Hmm. Right. They called me, I was on the couch watching, the Cleveland Browns play on Sunday, and they called me, said that they found my number, I don’t know how they found the number,

And they wanted to look at a house off West hundred and first . And I said, now . Right. And they were like, yo, we, we need to see it now. Right. We need to see it now. And I got up, drove over there. First time I met him, everything like that. Didn’t know exactly what I was doing. Opened the door. They fell in love with.

I got the pre-approval, put the offer in and got accepted and that was my first deal. Now isn’t it funny, and I don’t know about you, but you can let me know how that deal just happened, like you said, out of the blue mm-hmm. and you got that person you’ve been working with for months, going through all kinds of hoops and loops for ’em and just can’t see to close that deal.

Yeah. And like you say, you be sitting at home one day and the phone ring all of the blue, the stranger calls, no connection to Yeah. And the deal goes just like that. [00:17:00] Yeah. That’s funny. Cause I got my licenses started selling off me, my brother and our partner’s portfolio.

Okay. And they were the hardest people to work with. . Oh, that’s what its right. They was the hardest. We had a couple listings mm-hmm. And we were getting offers in, nah, that’s not enough. No, that’s not enough. Right. No counter, we’re too far apart. Mm-hmm. and then all of a sudden I get that one card that came in and changed.

Just so happy. Right. We’re glad you came how people y’all call . Exactly. But yeah, that, that was the first one. I never forget it. . And so after that, you got into just doing real estate or you Yeah. Was you guys selling, buying and selling, or you was just really just selling real estate at first? Yeah. So I started on the private side.

So we started building a portfolio, which we, purchased houses really low. Mm-hmm. Renovated them. And then we just had renters coming in. Okay, you gonna have to give up a little tea. You can’t be called a rainmaker and don’t tell us how he did it . So everybody say that, you know, when you ask. Oh, yeah, man, I just got a little money together.

We put the money together, we went out. So it was you and your guys, [00:18:00] it was you and your brothers. Yeah. So, and I think it was you and your childhood friends. Right? Well, that’s on the development side. Okay. So it’s been a progression. Okay. We all start di dabbling in real estate.

Mm-hmm. Like in the early two thousands. Mm-hmm. I was one that, was left holding in the bag, so I say mm-hmm. , bought five houses way in the inner city. Now how did you buy ’em? On the stated loans. Huh? You gotta tell us what that is. Yeah. So that’s where, that’s when the mortgage crisis happened, when he was by getting all, getting all the houses on stated loans.

Okay. So they had the adjustable interest rates, everything like that. Okay. So I bought five houses from a good friend of mine who was like, you gotta get in a real estate. Mm-hmm. , I took out, five 80,000 plus mortgages. Per house. And then everybody got paid and I was left with the tenant with.

Right. So, I was just collecting rent, paying the mortgage, collecting rent, paying the mortgage. So your partners, they just, wanted to get the money from the top end and they let you have the property. Yeah. And that was all bad.

That was all bad. That was all bad. ? Yes, that was my first mistake. What’d you end up doing with the houses? I lost them. Oh, you ended up losing them? Yeah. Mm-hmm. . So [00:19:00] that’s when, uh, mortgage crisis happened. Washington Mutual and all of

those companies. I had loans with all of them. Mm-hmm. , they ended up taking the properties back. I had a tax lane on my name for a while. Wow. Yeah. So I couldn’t do anything in my personal mm-hmm. . And I’m like, I get a tax lane and I didn’t even get the money. Right. That’s why I said that was a real lesson.

That was real lesson. Yeah. So I was gonna ask you what was the worst experience you had? That was, I think you just gave it to me. Yeah. I got audited and everything. Oh yeah. Yeah. I get audited, you know, I did trying to collect, collect some rent . Y’all raised the mortgage, but it was a learning experience.

That was the worst. Okay. Yeah, it was definitely a learning experience. So, from there, my brother met some guys who had hedge fund mm-hmm. and, had him knocking on doors in, Baltimore area. Hmm. Cash for keys. Really. So pretty much what that is, is we own the house, we want you out, we’ll give you $1,500 to move out.

Yeah. They were doing a lot of that. Yep. Yeah. They were doing a lot of that. Yeah. They were. So, my brother, he’s not even from Baltimore area and he’s knocking on doors in Baltimore. Right. But he was cool with it. I was like, Jason, you cool knocking [00:20:00] on doors? He was like, yeah man, it’s pay good.

But from there I was like, they got anything in Cleveland? Mm-hmm. . And from there we got a whole little spreadsheet. So I was wholeselling before Wholeselling even, opened up. So did you have to pull your folks together because you coming outta bankruptcy, you coming outta all of that. So getting money and all that had to be a pain. So you had to start all the way up. Oh, all I started from the ground. Okay. Like how they say start it from the bottom.

Oh yeah. Yeah. Once we got this list mm-hmm. We looked at all the houses from like Detroit. Mm-hmm. I had went to Easter, so I had ties up there. Mm-hmm. All the houses in Cleveland looking on the spreadsheet, they was like $250. Mm-hmm. They wanted $500 on top of whatever it was. So they wanted seven 50.

Mm-hmm. So I was selling houses for three grand. Making that You was getting it. That could Yeah, they was getting them that low. Getting them that low. Wow. That low. And all I was doing was middle man. Middle man, the wholesaler. Oh, they call it wholesaler now? Yeah, they call the wholesaler now. Okay. So, I was doing that.

Never had to put any money up, but that helped me build my capital. They helped me [00:21:00] get started again. And then from there, the guys who owned the hedge fund owned the assets. Seeing how quick we was getting rid of these houses in Cleveland and Detroit. Mm-hmm. , and they was like, hold on.

Who are these? and they flew to Cleveland. We met at, Heights Title Beverly Harris. Wow. At Heights Title one of the only black, title companies. We met there and introduced ’em and I was like, man, if I had some money, I would be able to do this. This is the play.

Mm-hmm. . And from there they believed in me and my brother. My brother ran the renovations. I went located the properties and then we got tenants in there. Mm. So we used their cash. Their cash, their cash. Other people’s money. Yep. Other people’s money. Mm-hmm. used that to start building it up.

We had got up over like 50 something properties and then at that point, , I was the only one working. Cause I was the manager of them. I knew all the tenants. I got the tenants in there. Mm-hmm. . And, they went elsewhere. My brother went to go flip houses on the west side. Wow. My other two partners, one went back to Israel, the other one went to California.

 He bought a weed farm. So he got ticket marijuana? [00:22:00] No, no, no. I’m saying, well, he went and made some money. Yeah. He went and made some money. Right. And then everybody else was like, just sell ’em. Just sell ’em. And that’s when I went and got my license. Okay. And you said, this is where I like Yep. This where I Yeah.

Cause it was a point where I was like, who gets paid on every deal? Mm. It was an agent and a general home inspector. And I thought I was too cool to be the general home inspector. Right, right. But, and that’s cool. And, and that’s why I wanted you to break that down mm-hmm. , because there’s a lot of people that gloss over that.

Yeah. And really you told them if people listening. You actually told them how it was done. And most of the people I know in real estate, that’s exactly how they did it.

Yeah. Most of the guys that I know that are extremely successful mm-hmm. and that’s exactly how they did. They all pretty much started. That way. Mm-hmm. , I mean, we don’t have the trust funds. And you can’t go to mom and ask for mom for this, that, and other mm-hmm. . So we had to, you know, grow.

To having a plan and a vision that somebody had bought into and provided the funding. So how did you get into your business now is list sale, buy. Yep. So the progression of real estate.

 See what they call it. You get your [00:23:00] sales license, you become a sales agent. Mm-hmm. Once you master the sales agent and your business has so much that you can’t as one person handle it. Mm-hmm. , then you start farming it out, you get a buyer’s agent and things like that. That’s what the book says.

Okay. Organically what happened to me was I was at Keller Williams. Mm-hmm. , I started in 14. There wasn’t many black agents there. Correct. As the real estate market started getting better, we started getting more people in. Mm-hmm. , but I kept seeing a lot of black agents walk out the door, get their license, not be successful.

Cause it costs a lot to have your license. Mm-hmm. like the fees for a year. And if you haven’t sold anything, you’re going backwards. So I started seeing a lot of agents leave out, get license, leave out and be dejected with the industry. Mm-hmm. . So I just started reaching out to ’em, saying, look, let’s sit down, lemme show you what’s working for me.

Mm-hmm. and see what you can use to help your business grow. Mm-hmm. . And from there it was like four or five agents that I was working with. We were meeting up just sharing ideas and things like that. And, one of them, cliff Lewis, he was like, man, you need to start a team. Mm-hmm. . And I was like, [00:24:00] no.

Cause I was scared that once I started a team, then their success would be dependent on me. And I didn’t want to handle that. So, you gotta, tell us who don’t know in this real, what’s the team? All right, so a real estate team is, you get your rainmaker or your team lead mm-hmm.

and they start the team. And then from there, we have a transaction coordinator, admin, and then you start building a business. Really? Right. So all the agents then come underneath you and then they’re all part of your team. So we, we share deals and things like that. As their production goes. The team makes money and then that agent makes money.

So you all pull in on the resources together? Yep. We pull in on the resources. Everybody on the team has access to the transaction coordinator. Mm-hmm. , the admin handles all the paperwork, things like that. And you have a team lead that’s there to mentor you, to walk you through the deals and everything like that.

How many people on your team now? We got 15 now. Wow. Okay. Yeah. So are you planning to grow your team any bigger or are you like Ah, kind of? Yeah, actually I am. Mm-hmm. , [00:25:00] actually I am. One thing that I’ve noticed is that people get into real estate for their different reasons. Mm-hmm.

 And it’s hard to put my passion onto them. Mm-hmm. . So I do have like an interview process. Life usually jumps in the way. Right? So I have some agents that are extremely productive mm-hmm. , and they got the fire and desire and they’re going, going, going, but then I have some that life has just came in.

Right. And they’re on the heart mm-hmm. , and they’re on the hold mm-hmm. . So therefore I feel like I could bring more agents in, still give them the time to the pipeline. You gotta always keep that pipeline. Yeah. Keep the pipeline moving. Yeah. So what makes a good person to be on your team? ?

Somebody who’s interested in real estate, number one. And they’ll show their interest because they gotta pass the test. Okay. So once they pass the test, then I like to just see what kind of people person they are. Mm-hmm. . Cause real estate is a people person business. Mm-hmm. , you know, you gotta be charismatic, and be able to have a conversation. Mm-hmm. people gotta like you in order to do business with you. Right. That’s number one. And then if you have the fire, the passion, and I always ask everybody like, what’s your why? Why did you get into real estate?

Mm-hmm. , [00:26:00] if it’s to make a couple dollars, get a new car, this, that, and other. Mm-hmm. Once you get the car, then what? Right. You know? Exactly. Exactly. Like my why is to leave a legacy, do something that hasn’t been done before and that’s what, you know, my why is mm-hmm.

so that’s what I really hone into is to try to find out what’s your why. Mm-hmm. does your why correlate with my why. Cause I’m going be pouring myself into you mm-hmm. , so I don’t wanna waste my time.

How come you didn’t start your own brokerage or that’s something down the road you consider it’s something down the road I consider. You can start catching pennies, but it, it costs a lot to, to have your own brokerage.

 I’ve been asked that question a lot. With your success, why not start your own black brokerage? Mm-hmm. . And what I said is Keller Williams is a huge national name. Don’t pigeon hold, just put yourself in a box, man. Don’t put myself in a box and lose all the resources that you got.

That I have. And it’s really screwed up for black businesses’ like that. Oh, it’s because you don’t wanna be the black realtor mm-hmm. . Because if you become the black brokerage, [00:27:00] you won’t get nothing but the black business. Yep. That’s all you’ll get. Because people will say oh, that’s the black brokers.

Mm-hmm. , you run out there and that’s what, and fine, you’ll say, well, let me just take the black business. But you don’t want that because nobody else do that. White folks don’t say I’m the white broker. Right. You know, you hit it right on the head and it’s messed up that we have to be like, and, and the sad thing about it, I’ve had people tell me, like, as my circle started expanding mm-hmm.

I’ve had interviews and went on listing appointments with affluent black people in the community where it’s like, well, I didn’t know a black realtor could handle a sale of this magnitude. Oh, that, no, I don’t even gimme star. And I’m like, hold on. What, what’d you say? Like, what, what’s the difference between this house?

Right? Yeah. It’s a little bit more, but it’s all paperwork. It’s all paperwork . But I’ve had those, and then on the other end I’ve had, people who are looking to sell their house in an affluent area and looking for a black realtor, and then felt that they couldn’t find anyone. Mm.

That was worthy pretty much Wow. [00:28:00] Enough to sell their property. Wow. So it is still struggles for me. Mm-hmm. as well. Like getting into a higher price point. Like right now, I do a quantity of deals. Mm-hmm. I was doing a hundred some deals on my own without a transaction coordinator, without a sales agent or anything like that.

Mm-hmm. , but I was doing ’em on quantity. Okay. So house per sale might have been like 60 K. 80 k. Mm-hmm. . But now I’m trying to raise that price point up and it is a struggle. It’s a big struggle in this city. Have you ran into some, really racial things , or something that made you really sit back and be like, wow, you wanna share with us, man?

Oh, yeah. I’m gonna tell you like this, I had a listing in North Royalton. Mm-hmm and I took my sign out there and I put my sign and it had my face on it. Mm-hmm. I didn’t get one call. Mm. Went, took the sign off, took the face off, took the face off, sold the bad boy. Two weeks later, sad. It’s sad.

I’m gonna tell you another story. My brother, he was flipping houses over in the Detroit Shoreway area. Okay. And everybody used to be like, Jermaine, why aren’t you selling your brother’s houses? Mm-hmm. . [00:29:00] And I told him, I said, you guys just wouldn’t understand. I had the listing on one of his houses.

Mm-hmm. , we couldn’t get nothing. I don’t know if it was racial Mm. Or nothing, but, a white agent ended up getting it, did the same listing. Mm. Same description, and had a contract. Wow. Wow. So, yeah. I do see that. It’s been times where I’ve walked into a property, showing it mm-hmm. , and then another agent came up with their client to show it

where like, well, , how did you guys get in? And I’m like, well, I gotta got the lockbox code just like you. Right? Oh, I didn’t know you were the agent, you know? Mm-hmm. , stuff like that. Like, pretty much like, why are you in this area? Right, right. I’ve seen it all. I even got in trouble with the district on deals, and I told them, I said it was a huge migration from minorities moving from like Cleveland Heights, south Euclid, shaker out to Twinsburg, Macedonia, Sagamore Hills, really, going that way within the last like, five years.

Yeah. You know? Yeah. There’s a lot of people would say they were moving out there now in Twinsburg [00:30:00] and places like that. Yeah. Yeah. So we’re pretty much all out there. And being that agent that was doing those, I told them when I got in, well, so-called, got in trouble. I was like, why? Every time I come out here to sell a house and put a offer in

I get a call to the commission. Hmm. , I said I get a call every time I do a deal. I done did a hundred deals in the inner city, in the suburbs. Mm-hmm. , no, nothing. But I go out here, price point 500, 4 50. Wow. And then I get a call. Wow. And I mean, it, it is what it is.

But that’s the way I felt about the mm-hmm. situation. Mm-hmm. . I’ve been putting some, some rough signal. It’s really rough. Yeah. It’s, it’s still rough out here and trying to do what you do, but you keep it going. So, and that’s a good thing. Yeah. Let me ask you a question, I’ve been saying that a lot. Right. About the migration, what you see is happening in Cleveland and because one, we talk about, and like I said, I do a little politics, so I measure things on the census and we measure stuff on vote turnout. Okay. And we know that the vote turnout in the inner city has done, went down really low.

And my theory, and you can tell [00:31:00] me if I’m wrong or not, from your standpoint, my theory is I told I don’t believe the people actually live in the city no more. I, I think. , most of the black folks who could get out the city has left the city. They either migrated to the heights and places, like you said, the folks that were in the heights migrated out further.

The other folks was in the city, migrated to the heights and out that way. And now we have this hub of inner city that there’s no bodies there. I mean, you ride through these neighborhoods, they’re empty. They’re vacant lot. The city tore down every house and everything that was there. So you have nothing but vacant lots.

So I don’t believe they’re there. And, and then the migration that we do have is downtown Cleveland and going west. So what you say about that? I think you hit it right on the head. It’s just been a total evolution. My take on it. Is when the mortgage crisis happened. We got a lot of investors that came to the city.

Mm-hmm. , a lot of those investors, started buying in the Maple Heights. ULI area. Except in C M H A. Okay. So now people who were in the inner city of Cleveland[00:32:00] now going to Maple. Yep. And Euclid. Yep. Because they got high, high, even Warrensville has high C M H A. Mm-hmm. type voucher programs and things like that.

So that’s where a lot of the people from Cleveland went to. Mm-hmm. Now, those people that were in Maple Heights . in Garfield. , things like that, they were already in those school districts. And what was happening during all that? It was the school level. Yeah. Hot passing schools were bad. Right.

This, that, and other. So everybody wanted to go to the Solens, the Twinsburg, the Auroras just based on the schools. Mm-hmm. . So a lot of my clients were like, yes, I’m here, but I would like to go there for the schools. Wow. Period. And it is so funny, like on the m l s you can ask like what area you want to be in.

You send over all the houses in the. for a while I was just putting in the school district. Wow. , . That’s all your concern is, right? We were like, yeah. My concern is the school district. Mm-hmm. . And then you seen that’s where all those so-called good schools were mm-hmm.

in those areas. So that’s where a lot of people went. But as far as in Cleveland, yeah. A [00:33:00] lot of the houses have been to torn down. Mm-hmm. I studied that because when we got the NSP money through President Barack mm-hmm. to stabilize everything. A lot of our money in Cleveland went towards demolition.

Yeah. Yeah. And you see whole streets, right. Being demoed. Right. I don’t know what that process was. Mm-hmm. , but that’s where leaves us where we’re at right now. Where we got all these lots. And what do you do with these lots? As far as the migration, and you gotta think about it.

Um, ages. Mm-hmm. We was having this conversation a while back, like in Warrensville, Warrensville housing population is small because they got a lot of apartments. Okay. They got a gang of apartments. Yes, they do. They got Granada, Elbridge, the, you know, so they got a, a gang of apartments. Mm-hmm.

take the cmha vouchers, things like that. Mm-hmm. , which makes it more of a transient community. Okay. All the houses. Mm. people. I graduated in 93, so a lot of my friends parents still stay in those original houses. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . So there’s no inventory for no inventory. Yeah. And you know what, the Warrensville houses are typical for [00:34:00] the older person because they’re small.

And Warrensville really is not a bad place to be. Oh, no, no, no. At, at, at all. You know? But let’s go in, a little bit with that. You see those trends is why the crime and everything else is kind of like Euclid now it seems to be a hotbed and those places because of that, you know, I told those people then just migrated out.

Yeah. I mean, you could definitely see a trend with that. Mm-hmm. . I don’t think that that’s the whole issue. Okay. I think it’s a lot of underlining issues. As well. Me and my friends were talking and, I’m 46. Mm-hmm. When we were growing up,

we had bullies when we were growing up. Correct. It’s wild to say this, but somewhat bullies kept the neighborhood intact. . Right. Like you wouldn’t go test but so much. Right. You know what I’m saying? Right. Cause such and such, he’d taken my fries from horse . Right. Exactly. But they kept some type of demographic.

Mm-hmm. All of those guys when we were growing up, all went to jail because you know, the dope game was all good. Right. So all of them went to jail. So we had a whole population of guys who were mentors or whatever, go to jail. And that [00:35:00] just left a huge gap. Mm-hmm. and I think we’re still recovering from that as far as Mentoring.

 Males in the home. Things like that. Oh, yeah. There is no doubt that that k it and that cracked cocaine and Yeah. All of that, you know, it really tore us up a lot

but let’s, let’s go to this, because you got a whole lot to unpack mm-hmm. and, and I wanna talk about the development piece. Okay. You hear people, oh, look at all this stuff they built on Detroit Shoreway and all of this, and they built this on the west side. They’re not building nothing on the east side. Mm-hmm. And I told her is because they don’t plan. Right? There’s no plans to build anything. Nobody walked over there on Detroit Shoreway and said, Hey, I don’t care how much money you got.

Right. You can’t build that in one year. Right. You can’t build that in two years. First of all, the city of Cleveland permitting department, it’ll take you a year to get a damn permit outta there. So just in that whole process, it takes time in the planning process and everything to get things done like that.

Right. And so with that, I wanna talk about what sparked you [00:36:00] into doing development and what do you see yourself doing with development? So, w RJ developers. Started through high school friend Willie Levy.

Okay. Willie Levy graduated from Warrensville in 93, went to Morgan State. Mm-hmm. . Will had came back and was buying houses here and there. Mm-hmm. Then our other friend, Richard Singleton. All of us been knowing each other since like fourth grade. Mm-hmm. Richard was doing his projects as well. He was buying from the Lamb bank.

 Fixing them up. Bring them out. And then I was doing my thing, but Willie challenged us. Okay. He was like, Jer. I see how many people you done helped. One investor, he bought all of this, like he was just watching me. Mm-hmm. , and he was like, we need to do something for ourselves. And I was like, what are you talking about?

Will? He was like, we need to pool our resources. If me, you and Rich came together. Since we love real estate, we’re in real estate, but we’re all working in silos. Mm-hmm. , so we started working together. Like we did down in Baltimore. We can get more bang for our buck. Mm-hmm. . And that’s what it started as.

It started as that. And then Willie was like, all the projects, you know, the whole lay of the land in the city, you know what’s going on here, you know what’s going on there. Let’s just put together a [00:37:00] project. And then I believe things happen for a reason. I believe in karma and things like that.

Mm-hmm. After we had that conversation, I helped, a guy out by a house. He was a veteran, had a VA loan, he was staying off 61st, in Wade Park. Mm-hmm. . And he wanted to move to Garfield. Helped him with that transition. And then he was like, I got this little house down there and it was falling apart and this, that and the other.

I just want to get rid of it. So I rolled down there and when I looked at it, I seen all the lots that they had demoed houses. Mm. I seen opportunity. I was like, wow, this is a great area. So I called Will, I was like, how quick y’all wanna start this development company? Hmm. Will flew in town that next, weekend.

 Me, him and Rich drove around. We went to that one house. Mm-hmm. . And I was like, look at this house and look at what’s surrounding it. And they were like, what you talking about? We just, you know, we talking about renovating. I was like, look, something has to happen with all of these lots and we need to come up with a plan.

If we come up with a plan in [00:38:00] which we can take this one house mm-hmm. , but make multiple houses or multiple things in this area, we can uplift the whole community. Mm-hmm. . And I said that would be the win. And that’s what started w RJ development. And so from that standpoint, you guys decided that you wanted to get in into development because I guess you were gonna actually build something up. Yeah, we were doing it from the ground up. Ground up, yeah. Yeah. And the first time we went down to city planning mm-hmm. We walked in with this. Oh wow. It was embarrassing now. We walked in, we had the little, site map.

Mm-hmm. with all the parcels and everything like that. We had the one little house that we had bought mm-hmm. and we had drew little squares. This is gonna be this house, this going be . We went down there and luckily the lady, she was like, look, . I like you guys. Enthusiasm. Mm-hmm. But this is what you need to do.

Okay. She said there’s a huge difference between somebody who’s renovating a property. Mm-hmm. somebody with a vision and strategic planning and understands what the community needs. Mm-hmm. , that’s a developer. So she set us down and actually told us. And then from there we [00:39:00] really started looking at things.

Okay. On a higher level, like if we build 40 homes here, what’s the transportation? Mm-hmm. , what’s the closest grocery store? What’s this, what’s around, what’s surrounding this community? It’s a walkable area. You know, we start looking at things like that. Mm-hmm. . And then that’s how we put together the first project we put together, that got approved.

And then from there, that’s when we pivoted to, what we’re building right now on, 72nd in St. Clair. So we’re doing a. container apartment building on 72nd. Mm-hmm. some 64 units right on 72nd and St. Clair right down the street from Gordon Park, right by Angela’s and, , route two.

 And then right behind there, we work with the city, put together a strategic plan, so it’s a total of 58 lots. Mm-hmm. from 73rd all the way to 76 in which we’re doing infield development and we’re building two family houses. Two family and three family houses made outta shipping containers all the way back.

So all of these would be shipping container homes Yep. For this development? Yes. So what made you pick shipping containers? Because we took the numbers to a gang of, contractors. Mm-hmm. , like all [00:40:00] the big guys. And the numbers didn’t pencil. Like, in order for you to get funding, everything has to pencil out, look, going through your performer and everything like that, everything has to be at a certain rate in order for you to even consider being funding.

After we added on the contractor’s fee this 10% for this mm-hmm. , 30% for this. Mm-hmm. this 20% and their net profit. Correct. It was ridiculous. Like we couldn’t compete. So then we started looking for like a product, like all of us come from renovations. Mm-hmm. , we’ve done 50 billion of them.

 So we were like, once we get the structure here, then that’s our wheelhouse. Mm-hmm. , we can take over and we start just looking up things and then we found the shipping container projects. We start traveling around. We went to Nashville, went to Detroit, went to, Vegas. We started traveling, put an eye on it and seeing it and was like, this is feasible.

Really? Yeah. It could be done. The closest thing I can think of is what they got over on Kens Kenman box spot. Box spot. Yep. So you’re talking something similar to that? Yep. So, [00:41:00] after we started doing our research, we actually reached out, to, , development company who did Box Spott.

Mm-hmm found the architect, Adam. So we started talking with Adam, there was a container building show. They came on hgtv. Mm-hmm. . And come to find out they were based outta Detroit Three Square. Really? And I was like, oh, I know exactly where Corktown is.

Mm-hmm. So we drove up there. Went to their motto and they had put like 15 in the dirt. at that point in time. Hmm. And they had the blueprint, this another, so we just started learning, learning, learning. And once we started learning, it was like, this can be done. So is it one container or are they two containers?

Side by side. All right. So the, apartment building is sort of complex. Mm-hmm. . But the thing, the beauty about containers is that they’re like little Ruby’s cubes. Little Legos. So it’s actually the two family is a total of six containers. Okay. All right. So you just imagine your two end containers.

Mm-hmm. , you take out the, left wall on the, left one. Mm-hmm. , pick out the right wall on the other one. The middle containers. You take out both walls. So you actually, Miguel get ’em all [00:42:00] thinking Container. Container. No, no. Y’all opening. Okay. You opening it up. Okay. And then, uh, like our, um, so, but I guess you picked that container.

it is more durable, more sustainable. Is that, yeah. So it’s several reasons, uh, sustainability of it. Mm-hmm. , um, one of the biggest issues, like people who renovate houses, you know, what’s the two things you first look at? Mm-hmm. , the roof and the foundation. Mm-hmm. . Okay. So with the containers, we were moving the roof.

Mm-hmm. There’s no roofing issues. And then, as far as the structure, there’s no basement. We’re built slab on, they slab on the ground. Yep. But do you gotta put a roof on top, right? Nope. We got, um, no. On the ones we’re building, we’re doing straight flat roofs. Straight ones flat, flat roofs. Yep. So the height of the house is the type of the container.

are they stacked? Top? Top? Yep. So you have up and downstairs? Yeah, up and downstairs. Really? Yeah. So we’re doing, two families. We chose the two families because, just from my experience multi-families, everybody love them. Mm-hmm. . And then within like the last two, three years, house hacking has become like huge.

And house [00:43:00] hacking is when you stay on one floor, you run out the other one. And it gives people, you know, the sense of pride, home ownership and you becoming the investor at the same time. Mm-hmm. . Okay. So that was our whole vision. Let’s just build two families. We got a gang of people. A lot of young people that want to come in, purchase one, they’ll stay on the first floor

and rent it out. And they leave, they rent out both units. So it just gives options for, multiple, people. So how much will these, container houses kind of run? So right now we’re on our performer. We’re at about 350 K two build them. Mm-hmm.

We’re gonna be renting them out. We’re keeping and holding everything as of right now. Oh, so you’re not selling? No, these are all gonna be rental units. These are all gonna be rental units. So that’s a total how many units? It’ll be a total, uh, 64. And, it’s over 130, rentable units that we’ll have in that area from 72nd to 76.

So are your company gonna manage those? No, we’re actually going to be looking for companies to manage. Mm-hmm. One thing about the development that a lot of people don’t understand is that as a new developer whether you’re black, [00:44:00] white, or whatever, as a new developer, it costs a lot of money. Oh, I know.

the main focus of the developer is to pay for everything. To pay for everything upfront, front, wet. We didn’t Google that one. We started. Right. I think, I think they buried that in like definition C. Right, right, right. So you pretty much front all the money. Oh yeah. They hope you get it back, by the way. You gotta pay for everything.

Yeah. . So, our whole thing is that, we’ll get everything up and rent it. And then, we’re looking for, like I said, a property manager because one thing we realized is that you can’t do it all on your own. Oh, that’s correct. So we started talking to banks and we were getting no.

Mm-hmm. , no. , no, no, no. So what we started doing was every time somebody said no, why did they say no? Right. So then we started going back and figuring out, so for the apartment building, and discussions, and we talked and it got passed by their board for them to be 20% partner. Hmm. , co-developer on the apartment building the bank, f Nico’s Foundation.

Hmm. The Community Development Center. And then they also have a property management [00:45:00] arm mm-hmm. as well. So we were thinking about, that’d be a way for us to support the community development center. They’d be the property manager, they’re in a community. Mm-hmm. , they understand the community and they already doing it.

So why recreate the wheel when they’re doing it? That was what our thoughts was. . So one of the reasons why I had you come on the show was that, my daughter Kennedy, she was part of, a development program

and she was like, yeah, it’s a guy. He owns some property in Glenville and doing this. And I was like, oh, whatever, you know? And then she said, no, he got some real property he’s doing. I said, okay. I’m thinking, you know, got and picked up a couple of lots. So she kept trying to get me to come to one of these meetings.

So I finally came and looked and she said, there he is. Right there. Right. So tell me about that program with you. I thought that was really good program and good for you guys to do. And did you get any takeaways from that?

Yeah, I actually did. When we first started coming down the pipeline, presenting the city planning and everything like that mm-hmm.

We got a lot of community organizations reaching out to us. Mm-hmm. asking us, what resources do we have? What are we needing as minority developers? What’s the [00:46:00] deficit? What’s the hurdles? What’s this, we just started telling ’em like, we need this, we need that. And it was almost like, as Embarra said, as it sounds, it was like the city wasn’t ready mm-hmm.

for a minority developer to come in. Oh, I really, um, so they, when they reached out, they were saying, what, this is the program, the ready program that we already have in place? Mm-hmm. . So we looked at the curriculum and was like, all right, well what about if we could share this experience or every pitfall that we already stepped in and land mine that we already grew up on.

Right. Let’s not have other people do that. So it was just us reaching back, trying to grab some others because the east side is wide, wide open. Oh yeah. A lot of us are from the east side. Mm-hmm. and it was just, just to give back pretty much. No, it’s a good program. Yeah. It’s, it is a great program.

The biggest thing I like about the program is bringing awareness. Okay. It’s bringing awareness that there are some anxious people that are eager and have the mind state to be a developer. understand the landscape, understand the work that needs to go and have the vision to do it.

Mm-hmm. [00:47:00] and we need to support it. As a city. It needs to be supported.

After the program, like nationwide, there’s programs that help, small developers and minority developers that after you finish the program you have access to capital. Right. Okay. That’s the other thing, like we’re pitching the banks. Mm-hmm. and banks are like, yeah, but we’re, nah.

Yeah. Mm-hmm. , we’ve been told the projects too small. Right. Yeah. We, you gotta have a ask for over 5 million, this, that another, oh. Even if you, even if the project, you know, pencils out. Mm-hmm. , this is your first development, so you can’t be lending that, you know, it’s all of these first, first, first. Well, how do you get that first one under your belt?

And the way we approached it was, you know what, we’re gonna build the first one out of our own pocket. Cash outta hand. And then you have no reason to say we can’t do it. They almost force you to take on partners that you don’t want. . Yeah. and we’ve, we’ve had several conversations With some big key people.

 Developers in the city where they’re like, yes, we love the project, we love the area, we see the vision. You guys [00:48:00] did it all the hard work. Mm-hmm. market study. Mm-hmm. soil samples, surveys. Mm-hmm. We did all of that. And then they said, well, we can take you cross the finish line.

We’ll go to the bank and help with the financing, but we need 90% , . They don’t want the piece of the pie. We didn’t gimme the pie. We need 90% . Goodness. It’s gracious. Gimme the pie. So yeah. So that’s, that’s our biggest hurdle right there is just. having the capacity to not inch along one at a time, two at a time.

Mm-hmm. . So we’re having conversations now with possibly, opening the door to sell equity of the company, the partner on that level. Things like that, because we understand that in order for us to scale as a company we need that assistance. You need that assistance. Yeah.

 And it was a hard pill to swallow. . Mm-hmm. . It was a hard pill to swallow. Like why? If it was my vision, it was our project. We putting this together for the legacy of our family. Why do we have to. Give up half in order to afford to be successful. So lemme ask you a question on this one too as it relates to banking, cuz you talked about that.

Right? Banking in, [00:49:00] Cleveland, I’m working on a couple of projects downtown and the developer I’m working with, he says that you can’t get a commercial loan in the city of Cleveland. He said the banks are not loan. He had to actually use a Huntington bank and he went outside of Cleveland. He’s a developer, been in the town doing business here for years and everything else, but he says that you can’t borrow, it’s hard to borrow things. Money in the city of Cleveland. Now, I imagine begs off of what you’re trying to do with the red lining and everything else that’s been going on in this town for years.

It’s gotta be difficult for, you got financing for this thing, isn’t it? Yeah, yeah, definitely. That’s been our biggest obstacle. first you gotta find a bank that’s willing to lend. Mm-hmm. , number one. Second, you gotta find a bank that’s willing to lend to a new developer. Wow.

Third, you gotta find a bank that’s willing to lend to someone who does not have a million. Mm. To a person who guarantee it. that part. That part, right. Like Yeah. So we, we’ve had talks with a lot of the banks. Okay. One thing that we [00:50:00] have been able to narrow down is that there are some smaller institutions that have, CRA money Okay.

That are willing to put into projects like this. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , uh, and even partner with. as you grow. So that’s what we just started focusing on. Mm-hmm. we’ve had some talks with like the last two months with, private equity firms mm-hmm. that are in Cleveland okay. That are willing to, lend money towards the project.

So yeah, we knocked on all those doors and a lot of the bigger banks were just like no, but it’s not, no, because we don’t like the project. Right. It’s No, because you don’t meet the qualifications. Qualifications. And then our biggest thing was how we gonna meet the qualifications is everybody keep telling us No.

Right. They keep moving the gold post. They keep moving, keep moving, keep moving, keep moving. It. that’s their thing. Yeah. But there are some, , institutions Erie Bank. Okay. Erie Bank. We’ve had some great conversations with Erie Bank. Mm-hmm. First Premier Bank. Mm-hmm.

Sevi. Okay. they’ve been, you know, apt mm-hmm. and actually work with us like, look, let’s try to see how we can do this. How much is the total project when you finish, you think? The [00:51:00] actual apartment building is a 13 mill. Mm-hmm. . And then each one of the duplexes is penciled at three 50, per duplex. Mm-hmm. . But, we’ve been like doing a lot of value engineering on the first one. That’s our little baby.

So we’re cutting air, like little simple stuff like we found out. , all our windows were custom order. Mm-hmm. And if we would’ve changed them one inch each direction, they would’ve been factory. Factory. Wow. That was a $9,000 . Nine, $9,000 switch. Woohoo. The foundations that we put in first are the, elliptical peers.

Okay. That we put in per architect and our engineer, we found out that if we just did a straight wall, foundation wall, they’re actually a little bit cheaper. Okay. So we changing that on our plans and everything like that. So we’ve been like value engineering as we go. So our goal number is if we can build these around two 50 to 2 75 mm-hmm.

which is like 1 25 per unit, that’s where we really wanna be. Did the city offer you any help?

But I heard you say tax abatement. So Yes. So we got, we got the tax abatement. Mm-hmm. We actually [00:52:00] got a grant through economic development. a reimbursable grant. Okay. So we had to spend the money to get it back. Okay. But we got that for soft costs. Working with community development advisors as well, for, a soft cost grant or loan for them to build more at one time.

 And then. City councilman, Councilman Harrison. He’s been extremely helpful. Okay. With, anything that the city has to offer. He’s fighting a good fight. Now. Hopefully we can get some of those ARPA dollars Yeah. For the project because that area hasn’t seen any investment mm-hmm.

in decades. That’s true. In decades. That’s true. So hopefully we can get that. If we can get that, then that’s the extra push that we need to make it come to fruition. Excellent, man. Oh, hey man, I really appreciate you coming on our show menu. Awesome. Glad, glad to be here. You dropped a lot of good valuable information to people who are willing to listen and, and go from there,

and, if you wanna get more information about what Mr. Brooks is doing, you can check our description below. And we’re gonna leave links to his website, his Facebook accounts, all this stuff for what he’s doing and how you can [00:53:00] get in touch with him. we end our program Manam by giving you the opportunity to talk to our millions and millions of listeners and people watching us out there to tell him what Mr.

Brooks and what you guys are doing at your company, if there’s something you want there, property you wanna talk to him about, any of that. Camera’s yours, man. Take as long as you want. If you’re looking to list sell or buy a property, feel free to reach out to me, Jermaine Brooks, I’m at, 2 1 6 2 2 4 4 3 2 6.

He’ll also have a link. And if you have any questions or wanna be a part of our development, Feel free to reach out to me as well. We are looking for community partners, people of color who are interested in investing or possibly learning. Feel free to reach out. We’re here. It’s trying to start a movement in a area.

It’s not for us. We’re trying to build something for the community. Our biggest thing is, for our community, by our community. So that’s our thing. All right, Mr. Brooks, you can check out, like I said, look in the description. You’ll see everything that you need to get from Mr. Jermaine Brooks right on our website, and we’ll see you next Sunday.