Laolu Davies-Yemitan, a University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) biotechnology alumnus, discovered his calling—beyond the sciences—as an advocate for families looking for affordable housing in Greater Houston.
Davies-Yemitan is a commercial real estate broker and developer with Five Woods Realty—a Houston-based advisory firm that works with private national developers to build and finance new affordable housing projects. He’s also a government relations consultant who provides advisory services to private and public entity clients, including strategic communications and regulatory guidance, and liaison-support to local stakeholders.
Bringing a multi-faceted approach to the real estate world, Davies-Yeitman has worked on several multi-family construction projects, such as Villa at Colt Run, an apartment complex in Northeast Houston. And, most recently the yet to be constructed The Pointe at Crestmont Apartments. Not only has he been a part of projects that will help families find quality, affordable housing, he’s also authored the white paper, “Improving Housing for Working Class Residents: Houston 2025 Workforce Housing Plan,” to persuade policymakers to adopt policies that will facilitate the creation of more affordable housing opportunities.
It doesn’t stop there. The Nigerian native who was raised in Clutch City is a jack of all trades. Davies-Yemitan is also managing partner of the newly established Ogun Art + Wine—a luxury wine bar/art gallery in the Memorial Heights area.
What influenced or inspired this UHD alum to become a professional in the real estate sphere? The 17-year real estate veteran shares his career path and offers advice to aspiring real estate professionals.
Skyline: What influenced or inspired you to become a professional in the real estate industry?
Davies-Yemitan: My career in the real estate industry began with an inquiry of the broker who sold my parents their first home. He encouraged me to enroll in licensing courses, which started the journey that took me from being a young realtor to forming my own brokerage firm after graduating from UHD to ultimately becoming a commercial real estate broker and developer.
Skyline: What is one of your favorite aspects about working in the real estate industry?
Davies-Yemitan: It’s very dynamic. Various disciplines comprise this industry, and professionals can carve out a niche and specialize in a specific area with a focused strategy, which has consistently carried people far in the business.
Skyline: What skills do you consider to be essential to work in real estate?
Davies-Yemitan: Ability to communicate, an affinity for details, analytical thinking, multi-tasking skills, and follow-through.
Skyline: What is the most important advice you can give to current students?
Davies-Yemitan: Seize the college experience as an opportunity to learn how to aggregate and apply information. Make friends, revel in the experience, but understand that what you do during this phase prepares you for the rest of your life’s journey. And on that life’s journey, moderate your expectations of people, and always have a backup plan.
Skyline: What insight can you provide on networking success?
Davies-Yemitan: Be an interesting person, and to do that, you have to explore different aspects of life that interest you. This helps you become someone people can have an interesting conversation with, which helps form connections, and ultimately people will remember those interesting things about their conversation with you. Also, when seeking to form a relationship with someone, you must be proactive, discover their interests, and find areas of commonality.