Listen To This Article
Deba Harper, who has a love for both Los Angeles and Detroit, has planted herself in one of the fastest growing cities in the country—Detroit. While this might surprise those who are aware of the economic hardship in Michigan’s largest city, for Harper, it’s one of the greatest opportunities available.
Harper is a real estate developer and consultant who specializes in turnkey solutions for smart investments, helping to guide individuals looking to earn income through real estate, and her city of choice is Detroit.
After a rich career that included time as a project manager for multinational corporations in emerging technologies as well as a prolific tenure in the entertainment industry as an artist manager, Harper relocated to Detroit. Harper’s passion for real estate is fueled by a very personal story that found her at the mercy of the economic downturn at a critical juncture in her career.
As the founder and CEO of CHAMP Community Foundation working with the National Alliance to End Homelessness and advocating for policy and sustainable solutions around ending homelessness in this country. Harper explains “I ended up losing my home at the same time I was trying to develop housing solutions for people who were once middle-class and ended up facing homelessness”
Over the years, Harper has been deeply involved in emerging technologies. She worked for Rockwell International on the system of the Space Shuttle Discovery at just age 19. From there, she transitioned into graphics and the forefront of the multimedia movement “helping businesses evolve from traditional modes of production into digital-based production and systems integration. Contracted by Warner Brothers Home Video, I worked on a small team of six people to bring together graphic design with computer programming, developing production policy and procedures which launched the DVD Industry.”
Harper received her degree in urban planning and was inspired to moved to Detroit because of the rebirth of the city and unending potential. She is currently the only black woman on the Salesforce team for the Detroit Land Bank Authority, which is the repository for all Detroit residential properties in the city.
“When I came to Detroit, I saw all of the blight here, but the architecture of these properties was absolutely beautiful. I have a community development vision that would help save distressed communities by engaging people outside of the community with the liquidity to invest as leverage equity with capital funding. This is how collective financing will bring value back to the community while maintaining cultural significance, ownership and attract diversity to increase density.”
Through her investment firm, Detroit DREAM Investment Solutions, Harper consults with potential investors from large cities who cannot afford the barriers to real estate development in states like California, New York, Florida, and other high profile market areas.
“Detroit is a place where it’s still affordable,” Harper explains. “You can buy properties very cheap, and we’re renovating them, establishing turnkey solutions yielding annual positive cash flow and equity for people who don’t live in Detroit but can’t afford to invest where they live.”
For a city undergoing such an influx of development and construction, the future is bright for investors looking to put their money in a place of opportunity and build cash flow towards long-term wealth. Harper’s project model is to buy residential blocks as property bundles of two to four units with adjacent vacant lots to be used for community urban gardening and food production. “Detroit is a block-by-block market, and to effectively drive the market, we must own the majority of the block.”
She’s also providing housing solutions inspired by her days in the entertainment business by using residential properties to assist artists she remains in touch with so they “can come to Detroit, do shows, stay in my properties and raise money for our community development projects which are addressing holistic health for families to recover from the conditions of poverty in our communities.”
The innovations don’t stop with Deba Harper and her cohort of investors who know the sky’s the limit.
Her newest project, where she shares the benefit of investing in Detroit, is an upcoming book Wealth For Women: Conversations with the Team That Creates the Dream, which is scheduled for release in the fall of 2018. To learn more about Deba Harper and her Detroit investing projects, visit http://detroitdreamis.com/.
Small Business Trendsetters Contributor
Discovering Innovators and Leaders in Business, Technology, Health and Personal Development.