Bailey Real Estate Holdings’ Jerome Bailey On Opportunities, Advocacy In CRE
“EagleBank is proud to present the DMV Changemakers Series, which shares the experiences, work and perspectives of innovative real estate business leaders from diverse backgrounds and sectors in the Washington, DC market. At EagleBank we have a single goal: Be a Community Builder Our CRE funding continues to have a positive impact on communities across the Mid-Atlantic. Our partners set the standard for the CRE industry by consistently delivering projects that are tailored to the needs of their communities. “- Susan Riel , President and CEO, EagleBank
Jerome Bailey. by Bailey Real Estate Holdings
Jerome Bailey is an executive member of Bailey Real Estate Holdings LLC of Washington, DC Founded in 2004, Bailey Real Estate Holdings develops residential and commercial real estate and provides affordable housing to low to middle income residents. Bailey has apartment buildings in DC. developed, financed and acquired
Bisnow: What was your proudest achievement in the last 18 months?
Bailey: To formally honor the two people who were most influential in my formative academic years.
I came to Washington, DC as a very ambitious 18 year old young man studying at Howard University School of Business. While my ambitions were very high, my financial resources were very low, so I knew early on that I would have to work hard to stay there. Shortly after I arrived, I was hugged by two faculty members, Harold Gray Sr. and Joan Black, who made sure my mind, body, and spirit received the nourishment most 18-year-olds desperately need. Academically, they have provided me with merit-based scholarships, career development opportunities, and advice. But perhaps more importantly, they gave me a strong sense of community and a family on campus that I could rely on throughout my school years – and for a long time afterwards.
I was very proud to establish a foundation on their behalf at Howard University’s School of Business. This foundation ensures their legacy lives on and enables me to invest in the futures of other purpose-driven students who need the quality of support that has benefited me.
Bisnow: Tell me about your most stressful day, when you led your company through the pandemic. How did you get through?
Bailey: With the pandemic causing a lot of dissonance among employers and employees, I walked into the office one day and my accountant suddenly quit. While I was concerned for this person’s well-being, I was taken by surprise and had to quickly fill the void that their unexpected departure would leave.
That one act forced me to look internally at the future of my company as a whole to make sure I had a resilient organization built on redundancy in our key positions. Because of this, we decided to invest in more digital resources to integrate them into our operations. This ensured the resilience and redundancy we badly needed. This decision has also given us more sustainability so that we can anchor ourselves in the event of disruptions in the future.
Bisnow: How do you work with your law firm for the interests of underrepresented groups in the CRE, be it according to gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.?
Bailey: My interest representation is primarily the employment. Since our inception, our company has employed 10 graduates from five different historically black colleges and universities. We have recruited Howard University graduates and individuals from Ward 7 and 8 in Washington, DC. In addition, our Chief Operating Officer Julita Blair has successfully managed day-to-day business for the past 10 years. She models high quality leadership for the team and is most effective in her role.
A by-product of hiring these talented people is our ability to educate them about the sector while also learning about our core business. Representation is about more than just statistics – it’s about preparing people with different perspectives and experiences to make meaningful contributions to the company. By training our team within their roles, they can add value to the projects and initiatives they are involved in or for which they are responsible. I firmly believe that these are building blocks for your success in the CRE industry.
Bisnow: What do you currently see as the greatest challenge for commercial real estate?
Bailey: The CRE industry was designed to be anchored and predictable. Like many other industries, this was a proven business model that worked at the height of industrialization. The world was a completely different place back then.
With the relentless onslaught of technology and a rapidly changing socio-economic climate, CRE now needs to figure out how to create some level of flexibility. Otherwise it will always be exposed to the dangers of external influences.
Bisnow: Where do you see the greatest investment opportunities in the CRE world?
Bailey: There is a huge opportunity to invest in people – communities of color and women. As a student at Howard University, I knew I wanted to create a legacy that my grandchildren’s grandchildren could be proud of. Fortunately, I landed on CRE and I am well on my way to making my dream come true. I think this is a way that many more women and people of color can follow.
When you are empowered in CRE, you can inherently create a legacy of empowerment. The more CRE experts there are women and people of color who are empowered, the more empowerment and empowerment opportunities they can create in their respective communities. In addition, the statistics show that diversity in all sectors brings great ROIs, i.e. a win for everyone.
This article was produced in collaboration between EagleBank and Studio B. Bisnow’s news staff was not involved in the creation of this content.
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