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The Largest Privately Owned African American Real Estate Firm and Jeremy Norman, CCIM

Jeremy Norman, CCIM

October 1, 2023

Jeremy Norman CCIM

Jeremy Norman is the CEO of Norman & Associates Real Estate Solutions, the largest African American firm in real estate. He has been in the real estate industry for more than 20 years and got his start in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala., in 2003. Norman received his CCIM Designation in April 2013 and was a member of The CCIM Institute's Cultural Diversity Education Program

Norman attended college at Jacksonville State University and first became passionate about real estate during his finance classes. About three years into his collegiate experience, Jeremy's friends and colleagues started discussing owning properties like apartment complexes, shopping centers, and other means of generational wealth. It was then that he decided to dive all in and learn about commercial real estate.  
Norman reflects on his first few years in the real estate industry as humble beginnings. He was with Johnson Realty Company for about four years as a Sales Associate before starting his journey into commercial real estate. At first, Jeremy was unsuccessful in finding a commercial real estate opportunity and he had the door shut in his face a few times as a young professional. He credits his first commercial real estate opportunity to Keith Arendall and Maurice Humphries of LAH Sotheby's in Birmingham, Ala. Norman worked simultaneously in their residential and commercial divisions and had hands-on learning experience. Without these two real estate professionals taking a chance on him, Jeremy might not have gotten the start he needed to be the success he is today.  
“I know a lot of people say you can't do both (residential and commercial), but there was a voice in me that said yes I can.” 
Norman's ambition and drive led him always to be the first one in the office, and he often found himself walking in with the owners first thing in the morning. He noticed that most of his connections on the commercial side of things often had the “CCIM” Designation following their name, and he began to do his own research. It was then that he found out about The CCIM Institute and the CCIM Designation, the unparalleled standard in commercial real estate. Norman felt like The CCIM Institute would teach him all he needed to know to get started in commercial real estate. 
Norman attributes his initial motivation for getting his CCIM Designation to his great friend, Clarence Graham. Graham convinced him to go for the opportunity, and they started their journey on the CCIM Pin together. Both men would often carpool to take classes and exams, rent hotel rooms together when traveling outside of Birmingham, and be each other's accountability buddies throughout the process. They eventually connected with Cassandra Chandler on their path to the Pin, and the three of them together would motivate, encourage, and be each other's positive inspiration. Norman also credits CI 104 Instructor Bill (William) H. Moss and his time and support in passing his Comprehensive Exam. Norman says that Moss was always there to help support others and that he often held doors open for people.  
After passing his CCIM Designation exam in Chicago and receiving his Pin, Norman went on to champion the CCIM Designation in other areas of commercial real estate. It was about 2017 when he noticed the lack of minorities in all real estate sectors and discovered that less than 6% of African Americans make up the commercial real estate industry. Inspired, Norman began to imagine a company where he could help minorities get started in the field.  
“We're here too, we can do these things, we are a support system.”  
Norman founded Norman & Associates Real Estate Solutions in 2018, and it is currently the largest real estate firm composed of African-Americans to date. He employs over 300 agents across two states with offices located in Atlanta, Georgia, Birmingham and Huntsville, Ala., and Houston, Texas. Diversity and inclusion are the backbone of Norman's company, and he wants everybody to feel like a family member. He never saw himself running his own company, but he knows that being the CEO of Norman and Associates and leading the change is truly an honor. To Norman, fostering a welcoming atmosphere is a natural part of what he does to prevent others from having the same bad start in real estate that he had. He learned early in his career that he did not need people to be like himself and have the same work ethic but that he needed people to be the best at who they are.  
“No matter what you look like or who you associate with, you have a home.” 
Although Norman is a rising CEO, the youngest Black person to be inducted into the Commercial Club, a member of Luxury Home Marketing, and has been recognized as Minority Entrepreneur of the Year and the Top 40 Under 40 in Birmingham, he confidently states that one of his proudest accomplishments was receiving his CCIM Designation. His career was forever altered by this experience, and he recalls exactly when he received the email informing him of his passing. 
Norman attributes The CCIM Institute for reworking his way of thinking and helping him adapt to a financial state of mind. Every day that he looks at numbers, he is reminded of what he learned about profit and loss through his CCIM Designee classes. He constantly asks himself the amount of return on his money with the CCIM mindset programmed in him. Norman swears by The CCIM Institute's calculator and uses it for his company today. 

Norman's biggest piece of advice? “Don't give up! it's okay to start with nothing. A lot of people get caught up in feeling like everything needs to be in place before starting something big. Nothing in business ever lines up! You must work at it every day.” 
Keep up to date with Jeremy Norman, CCIM, Norman and Associates Realty Solutions, and a day-in-the-life of a commercial real estate agent with Jeremy's LinkedIn: Jeremy Norman
We'd like to take a moment and thank Jeremy Norman, CCIM for taking the time to answer our questions and providing his unique commercial real estate narrative to share. 
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