After graduating from college in 2011, Chiara Gray sought to pursue a career in corporations and invest in real estate as a side job. She had a well-paid job that allowed her to save as much as possible, and her roommate shared the expenses.
Once she and her partner, Khalil Ukdah, decided they were going to spend their lives together, they began to explore ways to figure out what their finances would be in the future. They looked at a variety of investment options, from vending machines to DVD rentals.
The duo settled on real estate because of its influence and the potential profit they could get from it. Gray founded a real estate firm Charm City Shoppers with her husband Khalil.
To prepare for the new venture, Gray and Khalil took consistent steps to get closer to their dream. “We searched for real estate on Google, attended real estate investment networking events, learned terms and strategies, and started meeting people from the industry. Every day we took small steps towards our dream, ”she told Forbes.
They started by purchasing a 3-apartment building in an area with a good reputation. They bought the property for $ 26,000 but needed a six-figure renovation to get the property in order. “So we found a local community development organization in the area. They provided funds for the renovation, which we completed in seven months, ”she said.
Over the course of six years, Gray and Khalil have recorded more than six-figure purchases on rental income. And by building their businesses to their desired level, they still retained their jobs until five years ago to generate additional income for their real estate activities. They also donated their vacation and did not buy the house until they purchased several properties.
“We also didn’t tell people about the projects we were buying until we had about ten leases in our portfolio, which wasn’t easy,” Gray said. “It’s tempting to want to post on social media or tell your friends and family about what you are doing, but we’ve focused on work so we don’t have to deal with skeptics,” she said, adding that “Khalil will leave. at Home Depot before work for supplies, in the evening I tiled the floors, he painted. We were restless until we grew up and were unable to outsource these tasks. “
In addition to his real estate business, Gray is also mentoring those looking to become a player in the real estate sector. According to her, this is one way to break down barriers and create wealth in the black community.