When Ed Nwokedi first started in the real estate industry, he set up a meeting with a white client. “I walked with my hand out to shake the guy’s hand — and I’ll never forget this day — he walked right by my handshake and ignored it, and steered straight to my boss and shook his hand and engaged in conversation as if I wasn’t even in the room,” Nwokedi said.
“I’m the person who communicated with them to set up the meeting, to come in and meet with them. But even though he knew my name, visually, he saw me and he saw my boss, he went straight to my boss and had the conversation and totally ignored me.” It was a formative experience. After that day, Nwokedi found it was easier to conduct business over the phone and receive financial commitments without face-to-face interaction. When a deal reached the point of signing, clients were more likely to move forward, because there was an economic advantage.