The final installment of our African-American Women in Real Estate rests with Brie Bythewood. The experiences of any New York City Real Estate agent can be not only daunting but unique. Market fluctuations can intimidate the strongest of professionals. It takes a keen eye to make it in the Real Estate game and a strong will to make it all work. Here’s the inspiration to get it all done.
BRIE BYTHEWOOD: PHILANTHROPIC AGENT
Brie Bythewood, a 10-year veteran in the world or real estate, she previously dealt with the non-profit sector working for the U.S Fund for UNICEF for nearly 5 years. Though her family name is strong in New York City’s society circles, Bythewood has forged her own path at La Cite Development. Her keen understanding of New York’s real estate market has assisted in her succeeding as an agent and partner in the firm.
BE: How long have you been in real estate? What led you to this career choice? What part of town do you cover?
BB: I’ve been in real estate now for 10 years and I am the VP of marketing and communications as well as a partner at real estate development firm La Cite. My attention and time are focused on opportunities along the Eastern seaboard, particularly in neighborhoods in need of revitalization. I first began in real estate after resigning from the nonprofit sector where I worked at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for nearly five years. I knew I wanted to grow professionally and financially as I looked ahead and set personal future goals. I currently have listings on the Upper Westside, Harlem and parts of the Bronx.
BE: What are a few of your greatest successes in real estate?
BB: I’m pretty proud of our company’s award-winning, modularly constructed rental property in Hempstead (Long Island). It’s the first of its kind in Nassau County, leading us to receive two national awards. Village Lofts is a 29-unit residential rental complex moderately priced with luxury living in mind. My most recent project was 4- unit boutique condominium, in Hamilton Heights, where I handled everything from property pricing, helping to select fixtures, layouts of floor plans and so on.
BE: How has the industry changed since you began?
BB: Industrywide, I’ve witnessed the housing market boom and I’ve seen it bust and slowly recover. In New York specifically, the changes are vast and impossible to ignore. Look at our city’s skyline and all of the new luxury high-rises. If I had to guess, I’d say the industry is heading to an all-time high. The average condo prices are already north of $2 million, and climbing. Prices weren’t like this a decade ago.
BE: Positive or negative, as female in real estate do you feel women face anything that men do not?
BB: Development is predominantly a male-oriented industry so I’ve definitely had moments in my career where I’ve needed to earn my stripes in certain situations, due to my age and gender.
BE: What are the challenges you’ve faced both in general and as an African American woman?
BB: I saw a quote once that read, “Somebody could take the same hand you’ve been dealt and win with it,” so for that reason, I ‘ve always strived to make sure I win first. Being a minority group in any industry has equal parts challenges and opportunities. So I search for solutions and choose to focus on the silver linings. I’m results-driven, so challenges ultimately become my stepping stones.