Business Opportunities in the Orange County Black Community

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1 Business Opportunities in the Orange County Black Community An Untapped Market for California Real Estate Professionals Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA President, Orange County Association of Real Estate Brokers Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 1

2 Contents Abstract 3 The Orange County Black Community 4 Economic Power of the Orange County Black Community 6 Where the Blacks are in Orange County 7 How to Do Business with Blacks 9 Strategy 1 (Network with Black Centers of Influence) 12 Strategy 2 (Support Black Churches) 14 Strategy 3 (Form Educational and Entrepreneurial Partnerships) 15 Conclusion 17 Appendix 18 About the Author 19 Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 2

3 Abstract The Orange County black community is an untapped marketplace for Orange County, California real estate professionals. According to a study completed by the University of Phoenix, nationally, only 47% of black families own their own home 2. Therefore, approximately 53% of black families rent. When applying this national statistic to the total number of blacks in Orange County, 31,017 blacks rent. This means there are 31,017 potential homeowners in this potential market. Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 3

4 The Orange County Black Community Thank you to Sylvia Pratta, President of the Women s Council of Realtors South County, for the opportunity to address its members. I appreciate WCR s commitment to educating their members about the importance of understanding the diverse culture in Orange County and the opportunities that exist to work with its multi-cultural communities. Orange County is a melting pot of diversity with a rich history of evolution from ranches, villages and landings that now make up 34 independent cities, each with unique demographics and economic drivers. What is most significant to me is that the O.C. only covers one half of one percent of the land in California but has 12% of the population. The county has more inhabitants than 20 other states in the union and is an economic powerhouse. I am very fortunate to work and live in both Orange and Riverside Counties. The advances in technology and communications have created an opportunity to conduct business all over the world. Along with this opportunity come the unique challenges of understanding how to communicate and interact with people of different cultures and backgrounds. Our ability to understand and relate to different cultures is directly proportionate with our ability to access those communities for the business opportunities they represent. Whether it is across the border, the ocean or the street, it is imperative that we communicate and relate to people of other cultures if we desire to expand our businesses. The advancement in technology and communications has also led to increases in income and wealth among multi-cultural communities at unprecedented levels. African-Americans in particular, have risen from extreme poverty and enslavement to the highest levels of achievement in all disciplines of education, law, science, entertainment, sports, business and politics. Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 4

5 President Obama s presidency is literally, and symbolically, the culmination and embodiment of the African-American struggle achieving the highest office in the land. The Asian and Hispanic communities have made incredible advancements in society also. As minorities, we have become a major economic powerhouse because of our combined purchasing power and population growth. We all seek and desire to invest in the abundance that America has to offer. To fish in this multi-cultural sea of opportunity, learning the language, the culture and becoming a part of the community are all necessary. When it comes to African-Americans, language is not the barrier to entry because we speak English. There may be various effective ways of communicating with African- Americans that are based on age or social/economic status, but English is our primarily language in the United States. This may not be the case for other minority groups, therefore learning their language and their culture may give you a significant advantage and access in their community. The ability to speak the language and be culturally sensitive helps clients bond with you and trust you because they understand what you are saying. It is the difference between the solicitation and the close. One of the challenges in approaching a subject like this is the possibility of offending my own race. I am admittedly uncomfortable with the subject and the possibility of creating or perpetuating stereotypes. We all know that stereotypes represent the extreme of many things that may, or may not, be true about a given community. Nevertheless, to avoid the discussion is to allow people to remain in ignorance, and stumble forward awkwardly as they try to engage people outside of their culture in business. As an African-American I am uniquely qualified to talk about my people, how they want to be treated, and approached in business; but being black doesn t exempt me from criticism. I applaud the Women s Council of Realtors for taking the risk to educate their members and create opportunities to conduct business in today s multi-cultural marketplace. Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 5

6 Economic Power of the Black Community in Orange County African-Americans represent 2% (58,523) of the Orange County population. The average income is approximately $74,004. However, national statistics indicate that the average black family earns approximately 58% of the income earned by the average white family 5. When applying these national statistics to the average income of Orange County residents, the average income earned by Orange County black families is approximately $42,920 ($74,000 x 58%). This represent 2.5 billion in purchasing power ($58,523 x $42,920). The number may be larger based on the average income of inhabitants in Orange County, but these are reasonable assumptions based on the national data and probably represent the lower end of a range. A purchasing power of $2.5 billion represents a real business opportunity for someone who is sincere about working with the black community in Orange County. If you are interested in really working with the black community then you need to know where they live and socialize. Orange County Black Population is Increasing The Orange County black population is growing. Using 2005 to 2006 migration data 4, 3.52% of Orange County population relocated from other counties within California. 1.57% relocated from other states. So, using the 2005 to 2006 migration data as an average, the Orange County population grows by approximately 5.09% per year (3.52% %). Since 2% of Orange County population is black, it s safe to approximate black migration by assuming 2% of the migration percentage is black. This means the Orange County black population expands by approximately 3,064 per year (3,010,759 x x.02). Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 6

7 An Untapped Market for Real Estate Professionals Given significant purchasing power and the growing population of blacks, the Orange County black community represents an untapped market for real estate professionals. Being only 2% of the Orange County population, blacks are not routinely seen in the day-to-day commutes and interactivity of the average Orange County resident. At most, they are few and far between. So, the old saying out of sight, out of mind applies because blacks are out of mind and also represent an unrealized target market in the Orange County real estate industry. According to a study completed by the University of Phoenix, nationally, only 47% of black families own their own home 2. Therefore, approximately 53% rent. When applying this national statistic to the total number of blacks in Orange County, 31,017 blacks rent (58,525 x 0.53). This represents 31,017 potential homeowners in this untapped market. Where are the Blacks in Orange County? As of 2007, the Orange County black population was 58,523 3 which is approximately 2% of the total Orange County population of approximately 3,010,759. The table below shows the black population as a percentage of the population of every city in Orange County. City Population % Black Aliso Viejo 33, Anaheim 57, Anaheim Hills 34, Brea 36, Buena Park 35, Costa Mesa 47, Cypress 48, Dana Point / Capistrano Beach 7, East Irvine 44, Fountain Valley 55, Fullerton 34, Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 7

8 Garden Grove 51, Huntington Beach 59, Irvine 6, La Habra 68, La Palma 15, Laguna Hills 16, Laguna Niguel 66, Lake Forest / El Toro 16, Los Alamitos 23, Mission Viejo / San Juan Capistrano 37, Newport Beach 7, Orange 16, Placentia 51, Rancho Santa Margarita 47, San Clemente 39, Santa Ana 57, Seal Beach 23, Stanton 31, Tustin 56, Villa Park 5, Westminster 89, Yorba Linda 44, The top 5 cities that represent the highest percentage of African-Americans are Fullerton, Buena Park, La Palma, Anaheim and Cypress. The total population is 191,684. African-American represents 6% or 11,203 and 53% or 5,938 are renters. Fullerton, California is 13.8% black 1 with a population of approximately 34,846. This translates into 2,548 potential homeowners in Fullerton and represents the largest black population in the county. Anaheim has the second highest population of African-Americans in these five cities and represents the greatest opportunities for professionals in the Orange County real estate industry to serve the African-American community. African-Americans in these five cities alone represent $481 million dollars in purchasing power. Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 8

9 How to Do Business with Blacks To do business with blacks in Orange County, you have to get actively involved with the black community and with black organizations in particular. Become familiar with issues unique to the black community, and contribute to the solution by lending your expertise, time and money. This strategy will position you to build relationships with leaders and potential clients, and build your name and increase brand recognition. Understanding Culture (General) It s necessary to understand the culture of your potential clients prior to doing business. This principle can be applied to not just one culture, but globally. The greatest challenges to economic globalization are the cultural differences between participating nations. Perfect examples are large, multi-national corporations outsourcing their call centers or customer service centers to India. Customer service requires an understanding of culture, language and the perspectives of the customer being served. To be effective, India call center workers saturate themselves with the culture and language of other nations by learning languages, dialects and cultural information which makes a big difference in building relationships and trust. In addition, organizations located in India train their employees to modify their accents as much as possible, and use alias as names, for example Larry or Bob, instead of their native names. The bottom line is that understanding culture matters. It matters when dealing with trade among nations, it matters when multi-national corporations establish call centers to service their customers, and it matters when Orange County professionals look to do business with Orange County blacks. Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 9

10 Understanding Black Culture Michael Soon Lee, a multi-cultural sales expert and trainer, has mapped out several contact and communication tips on how to engage African-Americans. Mr. Lee teaches seminars to real estate professionals, Justify Your Commission, Selling to Multi-Cultural Real Estate Clients, 8 and is co-author of the article, How to Do Business in the African-American Community. 9 Here are some of the tips he recommends: 1. Common greeting: Shaking hands for both men and women is commonly practiced. But always provide strong handshake. 9 A strong and enthusiastic handshake crosses most cultural lines. Your opportunity diminishes quickly if your handshakes communicate that you are not genuinely happy to meet the person. 2. Be formal at the beginning and never call an African-American by his or her first name unless the person invites you to do so because this could be extremely insulting. Show respect by saying something like, Mr. Frazier, It s really good to meet you. 3. Personal space: Closer and less formal than other Americans may be used to at 1 to 1 1/2 feet, but you must establish trust before assuming familiarity or closeness. a. If the person steps back you may have lost your business opportunity because you invaded their personal space. No one likes it when you step into their personal space without an invitation. But, by engaging them in conversation and giving them your full attention you can draw them in literally. They will step to you. 4. Eye contact: You should be very direct, especially when speaking or be somewhat indirect when listening. Always look the person you are speaking to directly in the eyes. 5. Communication: African-Americans tend to prefer very direct communications and like people who tell it like it is. Gestures can be Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 10

11 more enthusiastic than most non-african-american salespeople are used to. Nonverbal communication is very important and can convey more meaning than in almost any other culture. The African-American culture has a long history of storytelling, so tell stories instead of lecturing. 6. Topics for building rapport: Anything you would normally talk about with other long-established American culture group, such as entertainment, sports, or education. 7. Negotiations: Older African-Americans may not negotiate much, whereas the younger generation seems more adept at the art of haggling. 8. Actions to avoid: Calling African-American females Miss, which can be demeaning. Don t ask an African-American woman about her husband unless she brings up the subject first because many African-American households are headed by single women. 9. Tips for businesswomen: Women professionals are generally treated with a great deal of respect by African-American men. Black women can be very independent and may prefer to deal with a man. 9 Just remember, it s the little things that make the biggest difference and these tips are just the tip of the iceberg. Rev. Mark Whitlock is Pastor of Christ our Redeemer AME church in Irvine, Director of Community Initiatives at USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, former Vice President of both Wells Fargo Bank and Commercial/Industrial National Division, Chicago Title Insurance Company. He has his pulse on the challenges and celebrations of living and working as an African-American in Orange County. Rev. Whitlock urges other ethnicities attempting to do business with the black community to avoid certain words that are completely unacceptable in the African-American professional community such as nigger and colored. Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 11

12 Amazingly, even in 2010, some still need to be reminded. Rev. Whitlock states, Being referred to as a Negro is tolerated but with great sensitivity. Racist humor to lighten up a situation is not acceptable as is using racial stereotype generalizations such as all blacks are good athletes or all blacks are good dancers. These statements are regarded as offensive. Remember that the African-American woman is lifted up as much as the husband is so if she s married; show her just as much regard as her husband. Rev. Whitlock adds, African-Americans are relational rather than transactional. They are seeking long-term relationships so get the business quick tactics will not work well. Once trust is established, loyalty is given. Blacks in Orange County have achieved a certain level of success, they are well educated, and seek a peaceful environment in which to do business. Rev. Whitlock offers further insight on the topic by stating, When doing business with blacks in Orange County, don t look at race, look at culture where they live, work, and worship. Treat blacks as professionals with dignity and respect. Formulating Your Strategy Now that you have a general understanding of how to connect and work with blacks, keep it in mind as you review and implement the three strategies noted below. The strategies range from making key contacts and connections among Orange County Black leaders to launching independent entrepreneurial and educational partnerships within the Orange County black community. Strategy 1 Network with Black Centers of Influence Seek out and find black centers of influence. Attend meetings and events, and look to partner with black leaders (See Strategy #3 on partnering ideas). Start with the list below: Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 12

13 1. Blacks in Government, Greater Orange County Chapter: According to Orange County Chapter of Blacks in Government, 1 as of February 2009, there were four African-Americans elected to positions in Orange County: Webster J. Guillory, County Assessor, City of Lake Forest; Kathryn McCullough, Council Member, City of Lake Forest; Judge Karen L. Robinson, Superior Court; and, Gavin Huntley-Fenner, Ph.D., President, Irvine Unified School Board. The website address for Blacks in Government is and their phone number is: Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce: The Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce serves as a leading organization promoting black entrepreneurship, commerce and community awareness in Orange County. Bobby McDonald is the current President and Executive Director. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently appointed Bobby as trustee to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. The 17-member board oversees 110 community colleges in 72 districts throughout 58 counties statewide and represents 2.7 million students within the state of California. Phone: The Orange County Chapter of the National Association of Colored People (NAACP): Donald Craig is currently President of the NAACP s Orange County Chapter. The NAACP has several events scheduled throughout Orange County. The schedule of events is located at Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 13

14 Their primary website is: Contact them by phone at: Black Men of Orange County: Bill Lewis is the current President of 100 Black Men of OC, an organization that mentors African-American young men. They have a rite of passage. It is a four-year program. Attend their gala events and meet some very prominent African-Americans. For more information, check their website and get information to mentor or become involved in their mentoring program. 5. California African-American Museum: Eric Frazier is the current President of California African-American Museum (CAAM), the center of African-American art and culture in the State of California. CAAM is a state museum and is claimed by every county within the state. Check their website at for current and upcoming exhibits. As you contact and engage with these organizations you will learn of more contact options and networking outlets within the black community. Strategy 2 Support Black Churches in Orange County Black churches are critical to black communities. They have an enormous amount of influence, in some cases, more than black business organizations. Contact black churches and ask church pastors and leaders how you can support the church (i.e. sponsor church events, newsletters, etc). By doing so, you build name recognition and your individual brand in the black community. Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 14

15 Below is list of black churches in Orange County: Johnson Chapel AME Church 1306 West 2nd Street Santa Ana, CA Second Baptist Church Dr. John McReynolds, Pastor 4300 Westminster Ave Santa Ana, CA The New African-American Presbyterian Church The Rev. Dr. Steven Toshio Yamaguchi 330 West Broadway Anaheim, CA African-American Multi-Cultural 191 N. Orange Street Orange, CA This new church development is on the campus of First Presbyterian Church of Orange Reverend James D. Carrington Friendship Baptist Church Bastanchury Road Yorba Linda, CA Christ Our Redeemer Church Reverend Mark Whitlock 46 Maxwell St. Irvine, CA Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 15

16 Strategy 3 Create Educational and Entrepreneurial Partnerships Strategy 3 is where you get creative. In fact, Strategy 3 works hand in hand with Strategy 1 and 2 because, as you contact and engage black centers of influence and black churches, you want to present and discuss creative ideas that allow you to network, support and help the black community. Education and entrepreneurship are issues of great priority in the black community. So, to the extent that you help and support the black community in these areas, you will build relationships, develop trust and penetrate the market. Free Real Estate Market Educational Seminar: Promote and conduct educational seminars on the current state of the Orange County real estate market. In 2008, the Orange County real estate market went into a tailspin and many individuals, especially blacks, were left in the dark. The news media only report the negatives (i.e. high foreclosures rates, the fraud in the loan modification business, etc). What is the current state of the market? What are the positives? What are the forecasts, say four years in the future? What is the real deal regarding foreclosures? What loan options are still available, now that Option ARMs and subprime loans are dead? Why is real estate in Orange County still attractive? Promote and conduct educational seminars in black communities to answer these questions: As a follow-up to the seminar, offer individuals an opportunity to register for a free real estate update or monthly e- newsletter. This way, you stay in touch, build name recognition and, most of all, build trust. Hold seminars on a regular basis, and promote your event heavily through the black churches and black centers of influence with whom you ve established relationships. Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 16

17 Free Financial Literacy Seminars: Promote, conduct and/or sponsor free financial literacy seminars in the black communities. Financial literacy is an issue among all cultures within Orange County, not just blacks. However, because of low incomes in the black community, blacks often spend all of their income with very little left for savings. So, promote, conduct and/or sponsor seminars that teach blacks how to reduce debt, save and build wealth. Of course, homeownership is a primary key to any wealth plan. If necessary, partner with financial planning and credit repair professionals to help you conduct the seminar. Advertise and promote heavily through the black centers of influence and black churches. Initiate and/or Support Entrepreneurship Initiatives: As noted above, blacks earn 58% of the income earned by non-blacks, and most black leaders know that the only way blacks can rise above this historically grim economic statistic is through business ownership. This is truer today than ever, given the increase in global competition for jobs and immigrant migration. However, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration s (SBA) Office of Advocacy, African- Americans self-employment rate of 4.75% is roughly 40% of the Caucasian rate. 2 So, if you can help the black community and black leaders address and solve this problem, you will gain a significant foothold in this untapped market. Collaborate with black leaders and promote free entrepreneurial and business development seminars for the Orange County black community. The seminars should cover issues such as how to apply for grants and other outside of the box ways to secure funding resources, in addition to information for writing business plans. Put on the seminars repeatedly, say once a quarter. Advertise and promote heavily through the black centers of influence and black churches. Strategy 3 is all about getting involved in the black community. By teaching and educating, you will build relationships and grow your real estate business. Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 17

18 Conclusion The Orange County black community represents an untapped market for Orange County real estate professionals. This untapped market consists of 31,017 blacks who are renting in Orange County or 31,017 potential homeowners. To penetrate this market, you need to familiarize yourself with the cultural nuances of the black community while networking and collaborating with black leadership organizations such as the Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce and the Orange County Chapter of the NAACP. Approach these leadership organizations with your ideas and strategies to support the black community. By doing so, you build relationships and trust, which will ultimately help you generate real estate sales within the black community. Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 18

19 Appendix Footnotes: 1. Blacks in Government, Greater Orange County Chapter (February 2008), State of African-Americans in Orange County, A Report on African- American Demographics and Elected Officials: 2. University of Phoenix (January 2010), African Entrepreneurs Still Struggle: 3. Fedstats.gov (July 2010), Orange County California: 4. City-Data.com (July 2010), Orange County, California: 5. MSN.com (Nov 2007), Income Gap between Black, White Families Grows: 6. Blacks in Government (July 2010), Greater Orange County Chapter: 7. Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce (July 2010), Black Chambers Board of Directors: 8. Michael Soon Lee (July 2010), Seminars Unlimited, Realtor Education and Training: 9. Michael Soon Lee and Ralph R. Roberts (July 2010), How to Do Business in the African-American Community: to/content/how-to-do-business-in-the-african-american-communi.navid ,pageCd- _form.html 10. Rev. Mark Whitlock, (August 2010) Christ Our Redeemer AME Church in Irvine, CA Director of Community Initiatives at USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 19

20 About the Author Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA Eric L. Frazier is a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Assistant Vice-President and Branch Manager. Prior to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, He enjoyed a very successful 12- year career in Mortgage Banking with Washington Mutual Home Loans as a Vice- President and Senior Home Loan Center Manager. His career includes a total of 29 years in sales and operation management. Eric has an MBA with an emphasis in Finance and a BS in Business Administration and Management from Redlands University. In addition to mortgage banking, he is a real estate Investor and a California Real Estate Licensed Broker. He is also the President of the Orange County Chapter of National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Vice President of OC-NAHREP, Advisory Board member of Asian Real Estate Association of America Orange County Chapter, Advisory board member of the Black Chamber of Commerce in Orange County, Director of Project Tomorrow, Member of the 100 Black Men of Orange County and the NAACP in Orange County. He is a member of the Pacific West Realtors Association of Realtors, Orange County Association of Realtors, the California Association of Realtors (CAR), the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Women s Council of Realtors, the President of Board of Directors for the State of California African American Museum. Mr. Frazier is also the senior pastor of North Fontana Church in the city of Fontana and the praise team director. He is a singer, poet, and songwriter. He is a motivational speaker and Community Leader. He continues to set the pace for others in his field and strives to be a role model for young African-American men. He has been married for 29 years and has four daughters. His wife and daughters own and operate Frazier Group Realty in Riverside, CA, a full service Real Estate Company. Copyright 2010 Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA 20

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