Dr. Tiana Von Johnson Advises Wealth Seekers To Turn Their Investment Energies To Real Estate
Dr. Tiana Von Johnson is the CEO and president of two brokerage firms in Manhattan: The GoldStar Group and Madison Layne Real Estate. She’s also CEO and president of Greenlightgroup Ventures Worldwide, founder of the Minority Investors Alliance (MIA) and national expansion strategist for Strongbrook Real Estate Investment Company. She is also author of The Mindset Makeover: How to Enhance Your Self-Worth to Increase Your Net Worth and owner of Von’s World Entertainment, a television and event production company. Dr. Johnson has made a name for herself in the industry and is on a mission to help others do the same.
MadameNoire: What inspired you to step out on your own during a recession?
Dr. TVJ: Call it a little bit of faith, call it a little bit of just plain old tired, call it a combination of things that made me say, “I have to change my mindset, in order to change my life.” And I can’t keep doing the societal norms, I can’t keep doing everything that the world tells me that I have to do, especially when I’m miserable. So for me, although we were going through a recession and a very tough time, it was now or never. I have to do something because one thing that I find in entrepreneurs is it’s something inside of you. I can’t even explain what it is, but it’s that thing that Oprah has, it’s that thing that Diddy and Russell, and Kimora have; that thing that says “I’m going to do it by any means necessary.” So I had that in me and when I made the decision to walk away from the nine-to-five life job, it was just time. It was timing and it was just making a decision to step out on faith and look fear in the eye and push forward.
MN: Do you have any wealth acquisition tips for other minorities?
Dr. TVJ: If you’re passionate about something, I always tell people to follow their passion. Even if it’s something you don’t necessarily think makes sense. One thing that I’ve learned is that when you find your passion, money will find you and you’ll begin living your dreams.
Real estate is also something that I always push people on; real estate investing because it is the cornerstone of wealth in this nation. So, for me I would say getting involved in investing, getting involved in following your passion.
MN: What are your thoughts on the current real estate landscape?
Dr. TVJ: Real estate appreciates. Real estate is that thing that people want to get involved in, but sometimes they don’t get involved the right way. So, I have a movement called the Minority Investment Alliance that educates people and holds your hand through the process.
I remember years ago when the brownstones in Harlem were a dollar and a lot of people in our culture, especially those who live right there, did not buy. Why? Because we did not have the education. We did not have the know-how. We did not have the means. I often asked people, “Well, you did not have a dollar?” They would say, “Well, we didn’t know and we have to fix it up after.’ Well, did you know that there were loans? Did you know that there were grants? So again, it’s always a good business to get into. It’s always better to be a landlord instead of renting. There’s always ways that you can acquire money to do other things for your real estate portfolios. It is something that is so beneficial once people really pay attention and research and implement some of those things that they’ve learned.