We had the good fortune of connecting with Nia Randall and Nia Hall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nia Randall, Nia Hall, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Our mission is to rebuild and invest in the black community. We are committed to investing in properties that will preserve the essence of black communities and help restore its heritage. We want to buy back the block but with a purpose. More importantly, as black women real estate investors, our goal is to help lower the racial homeownership gap.
Our business is called Black Girls Buy Buildings because we want to encourage and motivate black and brown girls as much as we can. We are striving to build a community of qualified agents, contractors, trades women, and other real estate professionals that will help women in every step of home ownership. Whether the goal is to become a homeowner, landlord, investor, or landowner we want to have a community for all real estate needs.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
When we started Black Girls Buy Buildings, we knew we wanted to help homeowners and landlords with property issues. So many people in our community lose their homes for taxes, or inherit a property and don’t know what to do with it. The thought process behind starting our own business essentially was to buy those types of properties and create affordable housing opportunities within our community. However, on our journey we realized that it was more than just buying houses, we are a building legacy.
We as women are the pillars of the household and statistics show how much black home ownership has decreased over the past decades. It’s imperative for us to build communities that we can use to leverage credit, resources, and experiences to buy land and property in identifying neighborhoods. Ultimately, we want to create a community bringing like-minded people together to invest with us and with each other. So many women have money saved but don’t know where to start, or they don’t think they have enough to start, or they inherited a property and don’t know how to manage it. That’s where we come in.
Who would have thought we would both leave our jobs in a pandemic to become real estate investors full time, but we did it. It definitely has not been easy. It’s a challenge every day to be an entrepreneur, to find properties, and often an even bigger challenge to get our offers accepted. But we get it done! Time management is key and also connecting with others in the real estate space has been a great help. We currently own properties in Chicago, Houston, and Memphis and we are always looking for new opportunities to expand our real estate portfolio as well as help other black girls build and expand theirs.
We are still learning and growing everyday but I would say our biggest lesson as landlords has been property management. Spend that extra and hire a property manager, it’s worth your time and energy. We used to manage our properties ourselves but it was taking too much time away from us focusing on our next deal. Also, always always always get multiple quotes when dealing with contractors. At minimum, get 3 quotes. This will also help you learn what things actually cost.
We want black and brown girls around the world to feel empowered and believe that homeownership is possible for them if it is something they want to achieve.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When in LA, we love to go to brunch. My favorite local brunch spot is Met Her At A Bar. We also love Bacari in Silverlake, The Huntley in Santa Monica, and Overland Cafe if you want a serious boozy brunch. For late night eats Laurel Hardware is my spot!
Shopping is essential and we love to go thrifting so the Goodwill on La Brea is always a score. Also, on Sundays you can find me at the Melrose flea market looking for vintage furniture pieces. Followed by a trip to Leo’s taco truck on La Brea.
We also enjoy a good rooftop. Mama’s Shelter, EP & LP, and The Roof on Wilshire are some of our favorites. Now if you wanted a turnup pre-pandemic you could find me at The Dime. And if you want the best old fashion in the city, The Association, hands down.
Lastly, during the pandemic I spent a lot of time at the beach. Favorite place to watch the sunset is El Matador Beach.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Our mothers Michelle Hughes and Deborah Johnson-Hall deserve all the credit and recognition in our story. Both of our moms are entrepreneurs and growing up watching them work harder than anyone we knew really instilled a fearlessness in us. When we decided to start this journey they were our first investors and they continue to support us every step of the way. They deserve the biggest shoutout for not only being amazing moms but also for being fearless black women. They also don’t make any mess and will let their Southside of Chicago come out if needed. A skill we both have sharpened especially once we entered the male dominated real estate industry.
Also, Bobbie Jones (Nia Randall’s grandmother), she really is the glue that holds us together sometimes. She was a property manager and landlord for 20+ years so her knowledge is plentiful and we are always using her as a resource.
We also have an amazing support system of sister friends that are also entrepreneurs so they understand how it feels when it’s only 11am and you already need wine after putting out fires all morning. Lol.