We spoke with Quinn about her passion for real estate and how to get the most out of ULI
“A jack of all trades,” is how Quinn Green described her role as a consultant at CENTURY 21 Connect Realty. Working on both the commercial and residential side of the business as a generalist – with investors, small businesses, nonprofits, tenants and landlords, as well as buyers and sellers – Quinn said that he was fluid and went where the business took him. This is how he started working more recently with Quest Communities in the Westside. An existing relationship led him to become an advisor and, acting as a kind of quarterback, he has since worked to bring the right people to the table to help make the project happen. Quinn always seems to have a lot going on at once, which may have contributed to her progressive career in real estate.
As a toddler, Quinn’s mom likes to talk about how hard it was to keep her attention. She took him for long walks and every time they passed a construction site, it was the only thing that could hold his attention. “I could spend hours watching the earth-moving machinery,” he said. Thus began his interest – or obsession, he says – for the real estate industry.
Quinn — or Q, as most people know him — took a co-op position during his senior semester at Georgia State University with HJ Russell and gained his first exposure to the industry while working on a tax credit. for Low Income Housing (LIHTC) and Seniors Housing Development. From there, he got a scholarship from the Russell construction company to get his real estate license.
While grateful for the exposure and opportunities to work a semester for HJ Russell, Quinn says breaking into commercial real estate is still a huge challenge for people of color. “Support for CRE is extremely limited,” he says. “And that’s where the biggest opportunity exists.”
His biggest challenge has led to what he says is his greatest success – serving as co-director of local planning for the REAP Project, the real estate associates program that works to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the commercial real estate sector. After completing the program, he helped lead it in the Atlanta market for over 5 years and continues to advise the organization locally today. This involvement with REAP is how Quinn was introduced to ULI.
ULI Atlanta has a longstanding partnership with Project REAP where REAP participants receive a free one-year ULI membership. Over the past few years, ULI has partnered globally with a ULI/REAP Academy – which aims to bridge the gap between various professionals and the world of commercial real estate. (To further strengthen the collaboration, the REAP Project announced earlier this year that Manikka Bowman, a former ULI staff member, is now leading the initiative nationwide.)
As many ULI members know, once you immerse yourself in volunteering with ULI, it’s hard to stop. Quinn graduated from the Center for Leadership in 2016 and began volunteering with the CFL’s interview and candidate selection process. He then started helping with the Excellence Awards dinner, garnering sponsorships, but he continued to help with the CFL program due to his experience with REAP. He wanted to make sure the women and people of color who went through the program “knew more than I did” about how to get the most out of ULI and the experience. He is now on the ULI Atlanta Advisory Board and, through his involvement on the DEI Committee, led the inaugural Etkin Scholars program earlier this year. ULI Atlanta was one of five district councils selected to pilot the Etkin program which was designed to introduce college and university students with a real estate interest to the resources available through ULI membership while integrating those students into the career path. ULI learning.
“Exposure is everything,” says Quinn. He was able to help expose students at Morehouse, Kennesaw State University, Emory, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State University to development, responsible land use, and the creation of places. “Everyone says they strive for a diverse professional work environment, but then asks, ‘Where is the diverse talent?’ – Exposure and access are the missing pieces of the puzzle. How can these students be, when they cannot see it? Quinn has just agreed to lead the Etkin Scholars program again later this year.
When he’s not guiding the next generation of diverse students and professionals into the CRE industry and wearing many hats to do business in his day-to-day work, his two daughters consume most of his personal time. He also says you can find him jogging on occasion on the BeltLine’s Westside Trail.
Quinn had industry exposure through the backing of big names in Atlanta – like HJ Russell and Egbert Perry, who helped facilitate REAP’s return to the Atlanta market. He wants people to also know him for serving leadership like theirs – being an advocate for women and people of color in the CRE industry. Above all, Quinn says he’s still working on completing his “dash” – like in the dash between the years he started and will end on his tombstone. “I’m still working on what I want to be when I grow up,” he said.
And he hasn’t finished yet!