Mid-South business headlines: The racial makeup of commercial real estate in the Bluff City (part 2)

Mid-South business headlines: Addressing the lack of Black commercial real estate brokers in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - We’re circling back to a topic we talked about Monday regarding commercial real estate in the Bluff City and its lack of Black brokers.

Greg Akers, Memphis Business Journal Editor-In-Chief, says this is a problem for a number of reasons.

“Commerical real estate brokers and executives have a tremendous amount of power in shaping what the city looks like,” said Akers.

He says the CEO of one of the largest brokerage firms in the Memphis area acknowledged that the lack of diversity is not a good thing due to the amount of influence the industry has on its community.

Akers says one way the industry could improve the situation is intentionality.

“For those who are in hiring positions in the company’s, they have to reach out -- they can’t wait for applications from potential Black employees and candidates,” said Akers. “They need to set up programs with colleges, with the universities here. Perhaps Lemoyne Owen, Univesity of Memphis, CBU and Rhodes to get a pipeline -- have a really intentional pipeline of having diverse candidates.”

Akers says officials in the industry need to look outside of their own social networks. And consider making the early years less about commission by providing a base salary for those who are just getting started.

You can find this story and more online at MemphisBusinessJournal.com

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