Today we’d like to introduce you to John Clark and Joshua Gray.
John and Joshua, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
After growing up in Thomasville, GA, John Clark moved to Atlanta in 2008 and currently resides in the Collier Heights neighborhood which was established in 1952. Collier Heights is nationally known as the first neighborhood developed, financed, designed, and constructed by and for African Americans. JJ RE Group strives to honor the legacy of these notable residents by keeping neighborhoods like Collier Heights affordable for the residents they were built for. John has a background in Accounting and has been investing in real estate since 2006 with a portfolio that includes single-family houses, townhouses, and condos. He also has experience with fix and flips.
As a native of Southwest Atlanta, Joshua Gray has witnessed in real-time the displacement of family members and friends due to unaffordable housing. Atlanta had 67,000 foreclosures during the 2008 recession. Joshua’s childhood home in the Beecher Hills community is in this number. Joshua vowed to counter the effects of gentrification by preventing the foreclosure of his grandparent’s home, to the launch of JJ RE Group with a like-minded advocate. JJ RE Group is fully committed to restoring the dignity of Black and Brown communities. Joshua has a background in Electrical Engineering and has been investing in real estate since 2013. He has 8 years of professional sales experience, an MBA, and serves as HOA president for a subdivision with 330 properties.
Has it been a smooth road?
The biggest obstacles we have encountered so far would include financing. We started by reaching out to Hard Money Lenders and were hesitant because of the high-interest rates, short repayment periods, and the overall risks of funding in this way. When Covid-19 started wreaking havoc in the US economy, hard money loan lenders completely stopped funding projects. This caused us to look for traditional investor financing options that come with more red tape to be approved. Thankfully, we were able to be approved for investor financing with traditional banks.
JJ RE Group, LLC – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
JJ RE Group launched in October 2019 with a mission to strive to provide clean and affordable housing for marginalized communities while improving underfunded areas by building a socially responsible real estate network. Before founding the company, the founders found great success in the short-term and long-term rental markets. Due to this success, both partners paid off their student loan debt and began building an investment portfolio. Whether it is a path to homeownership, continuing education, community engagement, or anything else that can assist with leveling the playing field, JJ RE Group wants to be a stepping stone for those individuals to progress in life.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Atlanta is the last Black Mecca of the United States of America. As the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement, Blacks have always maintained leadership positions in both the public and private sectors. Atlanta’s culture makes it unique, compared to other major cities, because as the city motto says we are too busy to hate.
In retrospect, Atlanta suffers from high-income inequality rates. After the 1996 Olympics, the population boomed and the city’s available housing and infrastructure could not keep pace. Gentrification has displaced senior citizens on fixed incomes who are unable to pay the surge in property taxes. Marginalized families that lived within the city limits because of access to public transportation and jobs have also been displaced. These families have been forced to move outside of the city where there are fewer jobs and no access to public transportation.
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- Website: www.jjregroupllc.com
- Phone: 404-692-3286
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/jjrealestategroup
- Facebook: facebook.com/jjregroupllc
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEDBc5vhUkF5ctqvsl18GPw?view_as=subscriber
- Other: https://linktr.ee/jjregroupllc