By Charles Davidson Contributing Editor National Real Estate Investor, Mar 1, 2002

Giving back by giving inspiration to others

Their areas of expertise vary. One is a developer, another is a broker and a third is a lawyer. Yet all three of these successful minorities in commercial real estate share a common bond — they spend considerable time trying to show younger minorities the opportunities the industry offers.

Pamela Bundy, an African American and president of Bundy Development Corp. in Washington, D.C., has conducted numerous classes at historically black Howard University. A five-year-old D.C. organization known as the African American Real Estate Professionals established a relationship with Howard, and Bundy served as the liaison to the school during 2001.

In that role, she was on campus once a week. Bundy says that her primary aim was to familiarize students with the various jobs available to them. Many know about residential sales, she says, but have had little exposure to commercial development, zoning, legal issues, appraisals and other fundamental aspects of the business.

Bundy asked students to note the various construction company signs dotting the D.C. metro area and to research those companies. She encouraged the students to learn more about smaller development firms, where an entry-level person might be exposed to a broader range of duties than at a big company. Bundy also launched a program in which students went to work with a real estate professional for a real-life taste of the industry.

“The more my firm grows and the more competitive it becomes, I find that [donating time] is important for myself,” Bundy says. “It’s a political issue at a certain level. You have to know the players and participate in certain community efforts.”

As an African American woman in the commercial property business, Bundy says she is mindful of her position as a role model. “I take that seriously, and that’s why I spent so much time at Howard,” she says. “I just want people to know that opportunities exist.”