The Memphis chapter of National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) recognized 50 years of outstanding service and contributions by its members and affiliates on Friday, Jan. 11, at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis.
The local chapter also installed 2019-2020 board members, including new president Cheryl Muhammad.
“I think one thing that made this event unique is that our city of Memphis is celebrating 200 years in 2019, and the idea that we’ve been able to overcome the last Great Recession over the past 10 years and still stand in business is incredible,” said Nedra Redditt, chairwoman of the inaugural committee of NAREB. “We are just coming out of the worst economic recession of our lifetime. While the market has not been the best, we have stayed steadfast.”
NAREB has been around nationally since 1947. It supports the efforts and interests of minority residential and commercial brokers and other professionals across the real estate spectrum, including loan officers and insurance agents.
“We are all about building wealth and teaching our members some basic skills in order to create wealth for themselves so they don’t just have to work a job,” Redditt said. “They need entrepreneurship to create unlimited wealth for their future.”
NAREB refers to its members as “Realtists,” recognizing that they face the struggle of equal treatment under the law for all American citizens to fulfill NAREB’s motto of “Democracy in Housing.”
The theme for 2019 is #CHANGE, a reflection of years of commitment to housing and community development, public policies, fair housing, training and education.
“We have the endless task in Memphis and Shelby County when it comes to increasing black homeownership,” said new president Muhammad. “We’re pushing homeownership because we believe that’s the foundation for personal and generational wealth, and it helps our community.
“I really want to encourage all people, regardless of socioeconomic status, to join forces and become affiliates or members of NAREB-Memphis so we can further the cause of the organization for the communities in which we live and serve.”
Muhammad has been a licensed broker since 1985 and is motivated to ensure brokers know the proper ethics and how to do business professionally so that they can keep their licenses.
“Every ethnic group values their own culture and how they want to do business,” she said. “Black homeownership continues to lag behind other ethnic groups, and we hope to close the gap and increase homeownership among this group.”
African-Americans suffered the most during the economic crash, said Sherita McCray, past president of NAREB-Memphis.
“We’re at the lowest rate of homeownership, and the point of me being involved in NAREB was to have a different aspect – not just to cater to African-Americans, but to also build wealth through homeownership,” McCray said.
Among the events NAREB-Memphis has planned this year is “Realtists Week,” a celebration of fair housing that will include motivational speakers such as Les Brown, a former politician, TV host and radio DJ who will be in Memphis on May 24.
“We want to lead in the charge to reverse the current status of our community, which is being relegated to a community of rentals,” Muhammad said. “We want our neighborhood turned back into mostly homeowners.”
The new board is excited about its vision.
“Cheryl is my best friend, so to see her coming into this role is awesome,” McCray said. “I think Cheryl will help us bring different aspects to NAREB but with the same values and things we want to accomplish.”
AUTHOR: Christin Yates is a native Memphian who has worked in PR and copywriting for a decade. She earned her B.S. in public relations and M.S. in mass communications from Murray State University.
SOURCE: DAILY MEMPHIAN