Bedford Stuyvesant Real Estate Board is turning 79 this year.
But they weren’t always identified with the Brooklyn neighborhood.
For the first 10 years of its existence they were known as The United Real Estate Brokers and Salesman. And the first fight they took on was for fair commission splits.
A common industry practice back then was to pay a black real estate broker half the commission a white real estate broker would earn for participation in the same real estate transaction.
Black real estate brokers weren’t the only ones who felt exploited. Black home buyers and property owners experienced the same treatment.
Home buyers were offered predatory mortgages that were more expensive than what whites were paying.
Industry practices in the early 20th century were not only exploitative, there were few ways to address the indignities suffered due to institutional bias.
It was apparent they needed to join together to form a real estate board that would advocate for fair treatment and fair housing for their community.
And because of his personal sacrifice and extraordinary efforts to bring their cause to light, we owe Jesse L. Vann a debt of gratitude.
What he started in 1937 would become the foundation for the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.
Today, BSREB members hail from all walks of life and are active market participants in every profession in New York City’s real estate industry.
Bedford Stuyvesant Real Estate Board’s Legacy
We pay homage to the founding members of the Bedford Stuyvesant Real Estate Board and celebrate a legacy every licensed real estate broker and salesperson can be proud of.
- Jesse L. Vann, founder 1937
- Leroy F. Hill
- Wilbert Blanche
- Philip J. Manning
- Benjamin Williams
- Joseph Boyd
- Norman Johnson
- Garfield Davis
- Oscar H. Wells
- Allen Jordan
- Rufus Murray
- Raymond R. Recard
- John G. Brooks
And we salute its newly installed board and President, Gloria Sandiford and pledge our support and cooperation to its new standard bearers for democracy in housing.