William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

Leading Black Realtors

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

Leading Black Realtors

In recent years, the real estate industry has seen a surge in the number of Black real estate professionals who are making significant strides in the market. Although the number of Black Realtors is on the rise, their overall representation in the Real estate industry in the U.S. is still very low.

a leading Black realtor and her colleagues

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 6% of all real estate professionals are Black, compared to 74.6% who are White and 8.79% who are Hispanic.


After the racial justice movement in 2020, NAREB the National Association of Real Estate Brokers partnered with HomeLight, a real estate platform company based in San Francisco, CA in order to increase the number of Black real estate agents who operate in the U.S.

a Black realtor and her client

This partnership resulted in the launch of the Black Real Estate Agent Program, which will provide financial and educational support to aspiring agents. The aim of this initiative is to close the income and racial gap in the real estate industry and as a result, lead to an increase in the Black homeownership rates.

Key Points
  • Data from U.S. Census Bureau indicates that less than 6% of all real estate professionals are Black, compared to 74.6% who are White and 8.79% who are Hispanic
  • In 2020 after the racial justice movement in 2020, NAREB partnered with HomeLight, a real estate platform company based in San Francisco, CA to increase the number of Black real estate agents who operate in the U.S.
  • The leading Black Realtors in the U.S. are: Ila Corcoran, Arial Pegues, Arnita Greene, Keith James, Kirby Mitchell, Koki Adasi, Lily Mail, Ryk Palmer, Shalisha Ragland, Tohmai Smith

The contents of this article are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to be a source of professional financial advice. You will find experts on financial planning, financial management, and real estate here. More on disclaimers here.

Here are some of the leading Black realtors who continue to play a crucial role in real estate development in the U.S.

Ila Corcoran

Ila Corcoran

Ila Corcoran is the SVP, Real Estate Operations at Bay Street Capital Holdings and is also a licensed and experienced Realtor, whose real estate career started off after her family experienced foreclosure.

Her path in this industry has taken many forms. She originally started out in apartment leasing where she managed properties, then moved to the commercial real estate space and then finally found her passion working within the residential industry. Real estate was a path that she chose to explore because she wanted to work in an industry that would propel her into the opportunities systematically unavailable to her community.

For 2 years, she worked closely with homeowners and real estate professionals in order to help them maximize their investments and get access to affordable housing and avoid the threats of discount buyers an or foreclosure. In 2021 alone, she led a team to close more than $80m in transaction volume across numerous states. Over the last five years, she has managed to close $10.4 million in sales volumes.

In 2023, Ila has re-opened her schedule and is taking in new clients who are interested in working on their real estate needs and or financial goals. To get in touch with Ila, contact her here.

Arial Pegues

Arial Pegues

Arial is a licensed Realtor who assists buyers and sellers in the Maryland, Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia area to buy and sell real estate. Her specialty is in working with first-time homebuyers, luxury residential resale, short sales, foreclosures, rentals, investment properties and distressed property. She is a resident of the DC metropolitan area where she has also worked for over 20 years.

With 14+ years of experience in real estate, Arial has a strong background in customer service and she is very dedicated to her clients by demonstrating professionalism, integrity and hard work.

She was voted as one of DMV’s Top 25 Realtors To Know in 2018. She earned the highest Platinum Honor through Prince Georges County Association of Realtors. In her company, she has made the top sales list numerous times countrywide. Earlier on in her life, she worked as a lobbyist on Capitol Hill for the top 100 banks in the country.

When she's not wearing her Realtor hat, Arial enjoys volunteering in public schools as a coach or tennis instructor, providing free lessons to kids around the DMV.

Arnita Greene

Arnita Greene

Arnita is an accomplished Realtor at Compass and she's also the lead agent at The Greene Property Group, which is a real estate company that's associated with Compass.

She is a dedicated and enthusiastic Realtor who combines her unmatched business skills and family-driven approach in order to deliver the best results to her clients. She has a great understanding of the needs of working professionals and their families. She continues to thrive in different sales environments and her specialties are in short sales, new home buyers, foreclosures and new home builder sales in order to help them build generational wealth.

Arnita is a 2020 Washingtonian magazine top agent, sits on the Prince Georges’s County Association of Realtors Board of Directors, featured agent on Fox 5 DC Morning on WTTG with Angie Goff and Number 1 individual agent 2017 and 2018.

Keith James

Keith James

Keith James is a Managing Partner, Realtor at Coalition Properties Group based in Washington, District of Columbia. Coalition Properties Group is a real estate group that aims to be the bridge to the community for all things real estate, lifestyle and wealth-building.

He was born in Northern Mississippi and was always a young achiever. Growing up, he spent his time traveling around the U.S. playing in AAU basketball tournaments on most of the weekends. This experience gave him a broader perspective of the world around him.

Keith is cognizant of the fact that the home buying process is a thrilling time for families as he fondly remembers how excited he was when he purchased his first home at 23 years old. He turned the home into an income-generating property, after which he acquired more property.

As an owner of real estate assets, his passion in life is to be the bridge through which people are able to acquire their dream homes. During his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and dining at the finest restaurants.

Kirby Mitchell

Kirby Mitchell

Kirby Mitchell is a full time Realtor licensed in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virgina. She is based in the DMV area and has a vast knowledge of the residential neighborhoods in the area.

With over 10 years of sales experience, Kirby’s background along with her superior knowledge of local markets makes her a single point of contact for all your real estate needs. She is highly efficient in helping buyers and sellers accomplish their present and future real estate objectives. Kirby’s clients can count on her personal involvement in every aspect of their transaction and have full confidence that their interests will be represented diligently.

Her unparalleled communication and negotiation skills combined with technical competencies and bargaining dynamics help her negotiate the best deals for client purchase acquisitions.

Koki Adasi

Koki Adasi

Koki, a Washington, DC native is a talented and dedicated Realtor who's been involved in the real estate industry for 14 years. In 2008, Koki was recognized by REALTOR® Magazine as one of the thirty most talented, up-and-coming Realtors in the U.S. In 2009 he provided real estate expertise on CNN's The Situation Room and NPR, and in 2010 he appeared on an episode of HGTV's television show House Hunters. He's also an active member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Outside of his professional practice, Koki enjoys spending time with his family, volunteering or playing basketball during his spare time.

He has served on the Board of Directors for YMCA Youth & Family Services since 2006 and was recognized by the Greater Capital Area YMCA as Philanthropist of the Year in 2011.

Lily Mail

Lily Mail

Lily is an experienced Realtor and investor who specializes in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC area. Over the years, she has managed to build relationships, acquire experience and professional knowledge that has helped her achieve the desired results for her clients. She works with clients who are looking to stage and sell their property as well as those who are in the initial stages of looking for their dream homes.

With 12 years experience in the banking industry, she understands and is able to navigate and understand the financial aspects of real estate transactions with ease. This helps her provide her clients with useful information and exceptional services.

Ryk Palmer

Ryk Palmer

Ryk is not only a Realtor but also the team lead at Palmer Property Group where he together with his team, serve their real estate clients in Maryland by providing them with high-level real estate services. Palmer Property Group is a Black-owned real estate group that provides both buyers and sellers with all the information and resources that they need in order to conduct business. They work with buyers and sellers in North Potomac, Clarksburg, Urbana, Gaithersburg, Bethesda and DC.

His specialties in this market are buyer's agent, listing agent, relocation and property management.

With a deep love for real estate, Ryk has managed to build his business around the simple concept of providing brokers and clients with the best service and unmatched work ethic in order to deliver an out of this world real estate experience every single time. With every single transaction that he's involved in, he is very keen on establishing and maintaining long-lasting relationships with his clients.

Shalisha Ragland

Shalisha Ragland

Shalisha is an award-winning Realtor who is a 3rd generation Washingtonian and has extensive knowledge of DC and its suburbs. Previously, she served as a police officer in Northern VA for 12 years before deciding to switch careers and enter the real estate industry.

Her unmatched communication and negotiation skills, together with her love for serving other people has helped her quickly elevate in her field. Her attention to detail and patience when dealing with her clients has resulted in her becoming a top producer year after year.

Tohmai Smith

Tohmai Smith

Tohmai was born and raised in DC and he loves to show his neighborhood to different groups of people as he considers it a very vibrant community to build a life and raise a family. He is very passionate about securing the best deals for his clients who are looking to purchase their dream home or sell their previous one.

Being a DC native and having extensive knowledge of the metro DC real estate market, spanning from well-established neighborhoods like Georgetown all the way to upcoming ones like Congress Heights has helped him build a strong network of realtors. Together, they work on locating properties as well as potential buyers.

Over time he's also cultivated authentic relationships with his clients who trust him to find the perfect spaces for them at the best possible prices.

The Leading Black-Owned Real Estate Development Firm:

The Peebles Corporation
The Peebles Corporation

The Peebles Corporation is a privately held investment and real estate development firm founded by R. Don Peebles in 1983. The company has corporate offices in New York City, Miami, and Washington D.C.

The company specializes in residential, hospitality, retail and mixed-use commercial properties. The firm has an impressive portfolio of active and completed developments totaling more than 10 million square feet and $8 billion in the gateway cities of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Charlotte, Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Over the course of more than 35 years, The Peebles Corporation has developed high profile assets guided by the principles of Affirmative Development™ to help empower women and minorities and close the wealth gap

Why Should You Work With a Black Realtor?

In conclusion, working with Black Realtors is not only beneficial for you as a client but also for the real estate industry as a whole. By choosing to work with a Black Realtor, you are supporting diversity and inclusion in an industry that has historically White dominated. These Realtors bring a unique perspective to the table and have a deep understanding of their communities, which can be a valuable asset in the buying or selling process.

Bay Street Capital Holdings

Bay Street Capital Holdings

Bay Street Capital Holdings is an independent investment advisory, wealth management, and asset management firm financial planning firm headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. The firm was founded by William Huston after 13 years of supporting the United States' largest retirement plan ($650B) Thrift Savings Plan. In Scottsdale Arizona, Ekenna Anya-Gafu CFP, AAMS is recognized among the Best Financial Advisors for his responsiveness, friendliness, helpfulness, and detail.

Bay Street manages portfolios with the goal of maintaining and increasing total assets and income with a high priority on managing total risk and volatility. The firm was founded to advocate for diverse and emerging fund managers and entrepreneurs.













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