Norland James and his wife Dr. Amina Gilyard James are the newest investors in Tennessee, Memphis. The Black couple have expanded their real estate portfolio by purchasing the Quality Inn hotel in Memphis, Tennessee for $3.85 million. They did this with the help of a cohort of first-time African American hotel investors, as reported by Black Business.
According to the duo, they decided to invest in the hotel industry in Memphis because of the strong pandemic recovery the hospitality industry in the city made compared to other areas and states. What is more, the Memphis area has also seen a boom in corporate investment in the last couple of years. Also, the city is strategically located, bordering major cities including Jackson, Mississippi, Atlanta, Georgia, and even Nashville.
“We know this will be a success,” Norland said, according to Black Business. “We already have plans and consultants in place to increase customer satisfaction, implement sales and marketing strategies, and enhance property condition.”
Acquiring Quality Inn is not the first by the couple. Black Business reported that they invested in two Hilton-branded hotels as limited partners and passive investors between 2019 and 2021.
“We learned a lot as limited partners, and we just knew that we wanted to buy our very own hotel in 2022,” Amina said. “Ultimately, our goal is to acquire more midscale hotel properties in secondary markets in the Southern and Midwest regions of the country.”
Norland started investing in the real estate sector when he was stationed in the Army at Fort Bragg. Since then, his passion for real estate has grown, and he has even diversified his portfolio with short-term vacation rental and hotel properties. Norland has an MBA degree from the University of Phoenix.
Amina, on the other hand, has a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Learning from George Washington University. Over the years, her entrepreneurial journey has been on specializing in organization development/effectiveness and hospitality.
She also has 10 years of experience in real estate investment and operations. Most importantly, she is a seasoned consultant and a speaker.