I guess I should introduce myself before I get into the reason why I have decided to make my foray with the hundreds of other people who blog about real estate…my name is Aisha J. Thomas. I’m originally from Detroit, Michigan and currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia. I began in real estate in 2001, fresh out of undergrad as a part-time licensed salesperson. I wanted to educate myself on the real estate purchase process and as a lover of reading biographies, I also noticed a reoccurring theme of real estate ownership amongst the wealthy. Fast forward to 2005, I was laid off from my full-time City job, 2 months after purchasing my first home. This facilitated me opening my own real estate company. But little did I know, 2006 would be the commencement of the worst real estate market crash in history.
I watched my hometown of Detroit, Michigan and some of the surrounding areas, rapidly decline due to the lack of jobs and the mortgage meltdown. Prior to the mortgage crisis, there were several pockets of single-family homes developed to infill existing neighborhoods. In spite of the sprinkles of re-gentrification, more efforts were needed in residential and commercial development. There is now a resurgence of real estate development in urban cities as the markets slowly recover. These new developments bring about concerns of whether the opportunities will cater to or push the existing inhabitants out of the urban areas. All of the aforementioned factors increased my interest in commercial real estate and its development.
I used my legal education to continue my real estate journey. Law school enabled me to complete Construction and Commercial Real Estate Law courses. I also mastered research in addition to honing my analytical and negotiation skills. As a Student Attorney in the Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Clinic, I received training in client advocacy, litigation and an extended understanding of the importance of public interest work. To gain further knowledge, I completed an internship as a Business Development Analyst for a company that specializes in Urban Multi-family Commercial Real Estate. I later relocated to California after I was accepted into University of Southern California Ross Minority Program in Real Estate but ultimately completed the Real Estate Associate Program-Los Angeles.
A year later, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia. I prayed about it and felt this market would be more amenable to my vision of becoming a consummate brand in the commercial real estate industry.
What I learned in LA from the developers of residential sub-divisions, your favorite malls, and the Wal-mart and McDonald’s real estate models not only enlightened me but lit a fire in me. There are less than 1% women and minorities in Commercial Real Estate. Hence, the name of my blog. So please accompany me through words on my journey to change the face of the industry and get in that 1%.