If You're A Successful Black Woman REI - Posted by BrownSugar

Posted by Jen on August 20, 2001 at 08:41:44:

Thanks JT- I can’t wait until I have more TIME to post here like I used to before all of this craziness, but that’s the nature of the beast I guess!

I will be SURE to post the success story (if there is one- although I already have a few I need to post!)- or at least everything we’ve learned from this when we actually OWN it.


If You’re A Successful Black Woman REI - Posted by BrownSugar

Posted by BrownSugar on August 16, 2001 at 12:10:21:

Please email and tell me how did you get started and what sterotypes did you have to overcome to be successful in this business? Did you have any mentors or role models who helped you along the way? What type of realistic goals did you set for yourself? The reason why I’m asking these questions is because I’m a black woman who would like to get off into the REI, but I’ve only known white/black men to be successful real estate investors; not black females because of the society we live in. Please shed some light on this subject as well as be a mentor to me.

Thanks for responding.

St. Louis

You will be a successful black female! - Posted by Nicole

Posted by Nicole on August 18, 2001 at 01:02:43:

Brown Sugar:

First, let me begin with handle “Brown Sugar”. You chose that handle because it fits you. If you like it then don’t change it just because you have received many responses to lose it. Although many may try to characterize you or your intelligence based on a handle, you will have the advantage as they have already underestimated your ability. When you start to change to conform to the “norm”, you give up part of yourself, you deny part of yourself and then one day when you are looking in the mirror you won’t know yourself.

Now, about this successful black female venture. I have been a successful black female for 27 years(since I was born in 1973), despite the many obstacles I was facing growing up. I attended predominantly white upper-middle class schools(I was one of 5 blacks in the whole school),attended a prestigious university,held corporate jobs and now law school. Now think about what kind of racism I was faced with. However, I have convinced myself that most comments that I have received were based upon either ignorance or curiosity. See, most people regardless if they are white, purple or green that are unfamiliar with blacks or the Black /African-American culture have received most of their knowledge from the media or past down from generation to generation. However, it is your reponsibility to make sure that you represent yourself in the most favorable light. That means gather all the knowledge you can, be prepared for all questions that may arise. Nothing eradicates ignorance better than knowledge. Someone is testing you all the time trying to find out where you are insufficient and how you are inadequate. If they are unable to find any deficiency, then they would have to give you that respect, despite how reluctant they are because they don’t like your color, or the texture of your hair, or the sound of your voice. If they still don’t want to deal with you, move on. At that point you will know that their hang up is based on your race or sex or maybe both. But it will not be based on your lack of knowledge.That is their problem not yours. There will always be someone who will talk and deal with you. Please apply this principle to all your future endeavors, not just real estate. I promise you will be successful!

I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY… - Posted by Valerie PA

Posted by Valerie PA on August 17, 2001 at 09:40:57:

Brownsugar -

I attended an REI meeting with my partner who just so happens to be my husband. I am a white woman of (Oh god) 32 years of age. I noticed that when I approached my fellow investors without my husband, they gave me full attention and were very informative as well as interested in what I had to offer them. When my husband and I were speaking to people together, they focused their attention on him (the man). It was only when I started to speak with a knowledgeable tongue that they turned their attention on me. At the time, my husband did not have knowledge of REI and was just there to get some information to aid him in his decision to become my partner. I am the one who started the venture but as of today we are equal partners. Still, men (and the women too) focused on him assuming he was the one “in charge”.

Also, a little off the subject, the same thing would happen when my husband and I played pool. I am an ace on the table having shot in many tournaments and playing 6 nights a week (pre-kids) and men (unless they know me) figure I will be an easy win for them and after they beat me, they can get back to playing “real” pool. I take advantage of this situation. I win. then i run the table for the rest of the evening. I am not bragging, i am just saying that anytime you feel that someone thinks that you’re not good enough, prove them wrong… but not for them, for you.

I think it’s just the nature of the beast that anytime you are not white… or a man… or any other majority, that we tend to feel inadequate. The people at the meeting did not act this way to insult me, nor to be rude. They weren’t even aware they were doing it. But guess who did notice… My husband. He used to get upset when men insulted my pool playing before I even played against them. I would tell him to shut up because by telling them I’m good, he was killing my advantage. LOL

Get out there, make offers, buy houses.

Good Luck to you!


Re: If You’re A Successful Black Woman REI - Posted by Lisa in VA

Posted by Lisa in VA on August 17, 2001 at 06:48:59:

Hi Brown Sugar:

I am also with Jim in Fl…lose the handle.

Now for my .02 cents. I too am an African American female. I too was terrified of attempting to do this business (without my husband) becuase I knew (or at least thought) I would not always be well rec’d; HOWEVER, let me also share with you this…

When people have problems they really aren’t concerned with the color of your skin!! Honestly. I am telling you what I have been experiencing these last few months. They call on my ad and practically beg me to come and see thier houses. The are practically begging me to share with them some solution so they can avoid BK and keep food on the table (I am working with an elderly couple who speak with the ‘scary southern’ drawl. They know ‘who’ I am. They didn’t care. The pulled out ALL of thier papers. Put them on the dining room table, proceeded to tell me FAR too much of their business :-)…all in hopes of my finding a way to help them. The man picked my son up and put him on his knee while I worked through the papers [talk about a sight. I was completely stunned for a minute. caught me completely off guard. I made a mental note of that picture and acually silently scolded myself for my prec-conceived notions concerning them and thier southern drawl])

Now you and I both know from experience when non-African Americans are on the phone. Further we both know when they know we are African American, right? Well, NOT EVER has anyone called and ‘hinted’ at this. NEVER!!! I have yet to feel uncomfortable on the phone or visiting a potential seller. Further when they have called on a house for sale once again they are begging me to buy my house!

Please know I too had your same reservations. I wanted to be taken seriously. I wanted to succeed. I didn’t want to unnecessarily have to deal with unpleasantries if I didn’t have to. I even had a lump in my throat the first few phone calls I rec’d. Not anymore.

BTW let me share with you my little successes…
I purchased two properties with my husband in Oakland. I rec’d a check for $27, 500.00 in November 2000 (total on this house was $42K becaue the 27K was the principal on the second I carried back with interest payments); 2. I just closed on the second house we purchased together. My cut was 66K. 3. I just signed on a deal last night at 7:00pm on the dot that will bring me at minimum 10K up front, monthly cash flow of $300mo and 80% of the future apprecition. 4. I am listing a property I picked up in June (a result of the convention and overcoming the very same fear you are experiencing. I held back from doing a deal because of my insecurities. After the convention I said the hell with it and put the freaking ad in the paper. The result is as follows). I closed on a pre foreclosure for $105K. It was appraised as is for $120K (very conservative appraisal). I did a little cosmetic work (wood flooring, berber carpeting, ceramic tile kitchen&bath, changed all faucets and shower heads). Re-appraised on Monday, August 13, 2001 for $150K (again very conservative…as this was a BPO [Bank something…the bank sent out thier own realtor to give them an appraisal of the property]). I have a verbal offer $158K. Won’t be acceptin this just yet as the open house is not until this Sunday. I fully expect to have an offer for $161K or greater. At any rate you can see the potential profit on this deal right? Wait! I forgot to tell you about the pre-payment discount. The seller is holding a note for 55K in second position. The note incluces this little sentence, “Maker shall have the right to buy back any and all notes to the Seller at any time during their tenure at its then current market discount value as determined by a qualified discount mortgage broker…”. That little sentence was given to me by another investor who could care less about the pigmentation of my skin. That little sentence could add another 10K or so to the pot! You do the addition.

If I could figure out how to kick myself in the pants I would becuase I could have been so much further ahead except I held myself back because of pigmentation!! GEEZ how stupid. Don’t be stupid like me. Get out there and do your deals! This board and other are absolutely great. No one even cares. They will hold you by the hand, cheer you on, scold you for stupid mistakes, share invaluable knowledge if only you ask.

You are welcomed to contact me at ljones@onebox.com


Re: If You’re A Successful Black Woman REI - Posted by JoeS

Posted by JoeS on August 16, 2001 at 22:56:45:

Listen Sugar…I’m white, you’re black, but he money is GREEN!!! Stop with the color thing and make some GREEN!

Re: If You’re A Successful Black Woman REI - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on August 16, 2001 at 19:57:44:

I’m not going to slam you, or jump all over you as it may seem others have.
Frankly, I agree with the over all sentiment expressed here to you.
I cannot relate totally, because you see, I am white, male, and grew up middle class.
Your typical “White boy” I guess.
I also used to be a cop, and was once married with a step daughter at the time who was mixed.
Before I married that wife, I dated several black women.
I was not out seeking only black women to date, I just happened to meet many nice women who just so happened to be black.
I am not naive enough to think that racism and sexism do not exist in our society, they surely do.
Frankly, before I dated black women, and eventually married someone with a mixed daughter, I was not really aware, I had not really experienced the kind of racist ignorance people often display.
I was a cop at the time, and to be honest, our dept was 90% white males, perhaps 5% white females, 3% hispanic males, and 2% female/male blacks.
I heard the little comments and sick jokes said by my some of my co-workers on occassion. I never really paid it much attention because I just ignore people who are idiots. They are a waste of my time.
Then, when the first dept. FOP formal dinner came where I showed up with a date who was from another race than I, things changed dramatically.
Not with me, just with how I was treated.
I remember the stares, the comments people made under the breath, and even the RUDE people who said things to our faces.
I experienced racism first hand.
and you know what?
It was not just the “White boys” doing it.
I heard more times than I care to count, "Why are you with her, are you just looking for a made to clean up after you and be your servant?"
And this was a common thing to hear, from black folks.
Thankfully, my girlfriend at the time was very intelligent, good looking, and able to ignore most of it.
In fact, we are still friends.
After I got married to wife #2, and had my step daughter, I took her with me everywhere during the summer.
Mommy worked, and I ran my REI business. This meant she and I were a team and did EVERYTHING together.
I was proud to have my beautiful little girl with me.
I enjoyed her company and was very proud to call her my daughter.
I still saw people stare-ing, and heard the little comments made under their breath, but ignored it all.
Who the he!! were these people anyway?
When I would go to a home to talk to sellers, or sign docs, sometimes my daughter was with me.
There was one seller who did have a racist attitude, and expressed it when we signed the deal.
My daughter was not with me this time.
The seller told me that he was moving because his neighborhood was getting “too dark” for him.
He was an idiot, but I wanted his house, so I bought it.
When I went to his home to gather the keys, and take possession, my daughter WAS with me.
He did not say a word! (Smart man, I’m a BIKER with a “Tude” and he certainly did not want to dis my kid or me.)
Anyway, my point is, you will see, hear and maybe have to deal with morons who have an attitude of racism or sexism.
The good news is that in this business, you can choose who to deal with.
If the deal is killer, and you have to tolerate some moronic comments or attitude to get it done, then so be it.
You are making money, and it is all green.
You also have the choice to NOT buy houses from people like this.
ALWAYS keep the attitude that YOU do NOT NEED to buy, the sellers NEED to sell!
If a seller is truly motivated, meaning they NEED to sell, and you are the only one standing their ready to sign, offering them a solution, it just will not matter what their attitude is about race or gender.
And if it does, the he!! with them!
They were not THAT motivated in the first place.

Also, do yourself a favor, and lose the “Handle” you have here now.
Frankly, I think it degrades you.
I could care less if you are brown, or made of sugar.
What you may or may not have to offer me here, or others, will have NOTHING to do whatsoever with your race or gender.

If I give you some advice that helps you close a RE deal, making you thousands of dollars, will you care that I am white?
I don’t think so!
and if you do, too bad!
I’m happy and proud of who and what I am, and it has nothing to do with my race or gender.
(well, a little, I am GLAD I’m a male, we are just lower maintenance physically…:slight_smile:

Rather than ask for investors who are successful and black, as for investors who are successful PERIOD!
Find someone who is as successful as you want to be, and emulate them, learn from them, and listen while asking questions.
You can succeed at anything you put your mind to, and the racist idiots be d@&#ed. (sheesh, the CENSOR got me on the original word here. Guess we cannot quote people using that word, or reference common sayings.)

Take care,
Jim FL

Re: If You’re A Successful Black Woman REI - Posted by Ronald * Starr

Posted by Ronald * Starr on August 16, 2001 at 19:47:54:

Black Sugar-------

I am a white male, living in a city with a majority of “minorities,” Oakland, CA. I’m in the minor in this city.

I see plenty of successful people of all backgrounds who invest in real estate.

A few thoughts off the top of my head. You might find yourself doing better working with other people of color. You could have an advantage over some of the white folk. This is assuming there are not too many other blacks investing in real estate there. However, now that I think about it, I’ll bet you will find a lot of blacks out there.

You might want to go to some real estate offices in areas with a lot of minority residents. I’ll bet you’ll find quite a few minority real estate licensees. Ask them about successful investors who aren’t skin-color deficient.

I suggest you ditch the look for a “mentor.” Become a “Self-mentor.” Every person is unique and will find him/herself drawn to different approaches to investing. Thus, it will be hard to find somebody who can guide you into the path that will work well for you. Most of the other investors will be on a different path than the one you will take.

You can get a lot of what a mentor would do by asking questions online here at CREONLINE.COM, as you have. Also, as others suggest, try to get into an investment group near you.

I believe that the concept of “mentoring” in real estate investing has been promoted by book and tape salesmen looking for another way to draw cash out of the pockets of would-be investors. Yes, people who are nervous desire guidance, but I don’t think that it is necessary to have a mentor. Get help where you can when you can.

You might consider, if you do find people who seem to shy away from working with you because of skin color, teaming up informally with some investors who are of different ethnic background. Then you could refer the property owners to your “network” of people. You should expect some reward for this action. You also might encourage them to refer to you property owners with whom they are not able to work very well but who might match up with you better.

Good InvestingRon Starr*

Re: If You’re A Successful Black Woman REI - Posted by Natasha

Posted by Natasha on August 16, 2001 at 18:30:36:

I am also a young black female who has been investing for six years now. I am a full time investor and live off of my cash flow. I have educated myself with many books and this wonderful site since it’s beginning. I must agree with many others—it is what you believe you can do and then doing it. Many people will try to tell you that you can’t–black, white, old and young. Many people said I couldn’t buy more than one house when I was 25 years old. It was age, not race. I am now 31 and own more than 10 apartment bldgs and houses. You have to believe you can, get the knowledge and take action. I don’t worry what others think.

Dear B.S. (BrownSugar)… - Posted by JT - IN

Posted by JT - IN on August 16, 2001 at 17:58:25:

Der B.S.

Honey, you gotta get a handle on this attitude now:
“not black females because of the society we live in”.

Like the saying goes, “Whether you think you CAN, or you think you CAN’T, you are right either way”.

Just the way things are…


Black Brother to Sister: Loose the Handle - Posted by Stew(NE)

Posted by Stew(NE) on August 16, 2001 at 16:30:13:

Respect yourself: Don’t come to a Real Estate board with a name like Brown Sugar. That is for getting a date, not respect. Set goals, not limits. Your journey will be unique.
Good luck.

It’s the attitude, not the society - Posted by Blane (MI)

Posted by Blane (MI) on August 16, 2001 at 16:09:06:

Sorry, that excuse won’t work here. With some authority I can say you’re wrong. Went to my first real estate investor’s ass’n. meeting last week (Detroit area). Everyone in the row in front of me was female and had lot better tans than I do, and it ain’t 'cause they’re white gals spending all summer at the beach.

They can do it, I can do it, and so can you.


White man, high IQ, good looking, well read… - Posted by Doug (ON)

Posted by Doug (ON) on August 16, 2001 at 14:51:59:

good people skills, predominantly white neighborhood, city and country. Hmm, anything else I might hace going for me…? Ok ok, the good looking part is in the eye of the beholder :slight_smile:

I haven’t been successful at too many things. So you see, it really doesn’t matter what perceived things you have for or against you. The only way to succeed no matter who you are is to keep doing it, doing it, doing it!


Re: If You’re A Successful Black Woman REI - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on August 16, 2001 at 14:41:19:

If you have a local REI club you may want to check that out. In my club there are successful women that are black, white, hispanic, and Asian. Yes there is still racism and sexism in America, but don’t let that stop you. Get your confidence up and you can easily overcome those obstacles.

This is a numbers game - Posted by Gerald-DC

Posted by Gerald-DC on August 16, 2001 at 13:45:39:


This real estate investing game is not for the faint of heart. There are going to be a lot of rejections of offers and stumbing blocks that you have to deal with.
However, the more offers you make, the more deals you get and if a deal is rejected b/c of racism, so what, move on to the next offer. Note, that economic incentives will often move people to deal with people who they may personally hate.

Unlike some of the others who responded I know exactly what you are seeking but there is no secret formula unqiuely for black women that will insure your success in this field. Hopefully, some sisters have seen fit to email you personally to assure you that they are successful real estate investors, but if none have not, I am here to tell you that I personally know three or four black women who are kicking some serious ass as investors. When we talk real estate, the subject of racism never comes up.

Think of the color green when doing your deals and if you encounter racism or sexism along the way, I would suggest you handle the issues the same way that you have had to handle them in the past. Don’t let other people’s problems stop you from achiving your goals.

I think Johnboy’s post, while a little insenitive, is an excellent guide to getting started.

I am a Black man and I know there is racism here in America, I know this, I experience it but I am not going to let that stop me. (I will say that in deals that I have done thus far, I haven’t experienced any racism, a lot of BS but no racism)

There is an old saying “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the GOAL.” Stay focused on becoming a successful investor and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Best wishes and happy investing.

Use it to your advantage… - Posted by JHyre in TexOhio

Posted by JHyre in TexOhio on August 16, 2001 at 13:18:27:

  1. The opinions of the idiots in the media notwithstanding, Western society in general is among the most colorblind that ever graced the face of the earth…I am a trilingual 1/2 Hispanic 1/2 everything else and have traveled extensively- trust me, you’ve NOT experienced honest-to-God racism here- sure, there are individual bigots here (black AND white!), but its NOTHING compared to the xenophobia in places like China, Russia or Yugoslavia. Before you run down Western society, remember that ALL societies practiced slavery…but we Westerners were the ones who banned it and forced others to desist in that abhorrent practice.

  2. Use your culture and background to your advantage. I am quite probably about to move to Houston…my decision has been influenced by the large Hispanic population here. I can relate and communicate with them better than most non-Hispanics because I understand the language and MORE IMPORTANTLY the culture…this is a tremendous advantage!

  3. Don’t focus on reasons to fail or you will fail…if you think that people around you are racist or anti-female, they will detect your attitude and return it or simply ignore you. That would be a shame-turn your talents to learning about RE and learning about people- these two talents will take you far, whoever or whatever YOU are!

Don’t ignore the feedback of non-black non-females- USE IT!

Now go get 'em!

John Hyre

Oh, GIVE ME A BREAK!!! - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on August 16, 2001 at 12:35:43:

And just exactly what society would that be??? Sounds like you are living 50 years in the past!

It’s not WHO you are or what race, color or religion you are, it’s all about what you know and your desire to succeed at what ever it is you want to do. Anything else is nothing but an excuse to cop out and shift the blame as to why you don’t succeed in anything.

If you have the KNOWLEDGE in being able to solve other peoples problems then trust me, they won’t give two hoots about your color or race! The ONLY thing they care about is getting THEIR PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

Start by EDUCATING yourself and then take ACTION and get out there and JUST DO IT!!!

Start right here by reading EVERYTHING on this site. All 6 news groups, the “How To”, “Money Making Idea’s”, and “Success Stories” on this site. And quit looking for EXCUSES as to why YOU can’t accomplish something!!!

If YOU think you can, or YOU think you can’t…you’re right!

Re: If You’re A Successful Black Woman REI - Posted by Tim (CT)

Posted by Tim (CT) on August 16, 2001 at 12:32:30:

In my opinion (and, I don’t want to get into a big debate about this), if you know what you’re doing and you’re offering positive solutions to people’s problems, it shouldn’t matter whether your black, white, purple or green. If people don’t want to deal with you because of a prejudice they have and they want to wait for someone else, then, let them wait and watch them drown in their financial hole. It’s their problem. Move on to someone who appreciates your efforts.

Just my $.02

Re: If You’re A Successful Black Woman REI - Posted by CMS

Posted by CMS on August 16, 2001 at 12:30:51:

I am a young black female just getting starting. My husband is my partner. Our advisor is a white guy at work who is very successful. We have experienced severe discouragement from our family and friends who tell all of the negative things that could happen. They are mainly focused on buying a big house, driving a Lexus, etc. Most of them do not invest but spend their money on material things.

We haven’t experienced racism just surprise and an unwillingness from realtors and lenders to help. My thought is that if you want it then you will find a way. My advice is to take advice from anyone who is willing to give it and filter out the negativity.

Please feel free to email me offline at cmsproperties@yahoo.com

Wise, Wise Words… - Posted by JT - IN

Posted by JT - IN on August 18, 2001 at 08:52:48:


Too bad everyone in this country, regardless of race or gender, doesn’t aspire to the spirit of your advice here. Hopefully BrownSugar will gravitate to your way and attempt to bring your words to life for her.

Thanks for sharing your young wisdom, with her and the rest of us on CREO.

I will wish you much success, but I think you are well on your way, w/o these wishes. Good for you!
Be Proud, Productive, Successful and a Great Example to others.