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CEO creates platform to make real estate investments easier for black Americans

Linda P. Smith hopes Buy the Block takes the confusion and stress out of picking property

Investing in real estate can be confusing to some, and just plain tedious and frustrating to others. But founder and president of Buy Black Economics (BBNomics) Linda P. Smith is hoping to ease those concerns by encouraging and helping black Americans to invest in communities by creating a group investment platform called Buy the Block.

The concept behind the platform, which is currently crowdfunding to raise $60,000, will create a space that allows individuals and groups interested in investing to pool funds together to purchase real estate, and to discuss and vote on properties that best suit them. Each investor has the opportunity to receive individual ownership.

Once the property is reviewed by the potential investor, Buy the Block provides photos and details that allow the potential investors to get a better visual on the property they’d like to choose. Buy the Block will continue to help investors after they’ve decided on the property.

“We want to transform investing from a frustrating chore to a comfortable and enjoyable social experience,” the crowdfunding page reads. “We value simplicity and intuitive design — two things we believe are missing from personal investing. We want to create a new generation of connected investors who feel informed, empowered, and confident.”

Investing and giving back to black communities is something Smith has been doing for years. After establishing BBNomics — a site that “offers a comprehensive marketplace designed to match potential supporters with compelling projects in need of funding” — Smith went on to create other successful projects, including the 2 Million Jobs initiative and Buy Black Economics Investment Group.

“The aim is making an impact by providing platforms for everyone to actively engage in fundamental principles of group economics, group-love, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and philanthropy,” Smith says on her website. “It’s for our people who are serious about taking their lives — and their power — to the next level.”

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.