With her deep background in the mortgage industry, Cate Kuria brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a broker. Specializing in guiding clients through the mortgage process, she takes pride in helping first-generation homebuyers into homes of their own. Working with African Economic Development Solutions, she has shepherded many buyers through the pre-purchase homestretch. A nature lover who enjoys hiking in Minnesota’s network of state parks, she understands the fragility of the environment, and works to incorporate sustainability into her real estate practice.
Sustainability in real estate involves promoting environmentally responsible practices where our entire industry can work toward reducing the negative environmental impact. This includes advocating for energy-efficient homes, promoting and using sustainable construction materials, and encouraging eco-friendly practices in our businesses, and much more.
It is great to see growing demand for sustainable and energy-efficient homes among modern homebuyers. Many now prioritize eco-friendly features, such as energy-efficient appliances, solar panels, and environmentally conscious construction materials, even if they cost more. As this awareness grows, many companies are making sustainability part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Commercial tenants aiming to enhance their CSR image are willing to pay extra for sustainable buildings while residential tenants pay more for eco-friendly living spaces. As Realtors®, we need to be ready to understand the demand and impact on the industry.
Abdallah Bah: Running on the Pathway to Achievement
Realtor® with the HIVE Team, Coldwell Banker
A native of Sierra Leone, Abdallah Bah moved to Brooklyn Park, Minnesota with his family when he was eight years old. After graduating from Monroe College in New York, he returned to Minnesota in 2017 where he took on a semi-pro soccer career as fullback for the Minneapolis City team. When not playing soccer, he worked in finance at companies like Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank. Ultimately, sitting behind a desk just wasn’t his “strong suit.” So, with the help of some mentors and the Pathway to Achievement program, he found a home in the real estate industry.
Why did you choose a career in real estate and how did Pathway to Achievement help you?
I love interacting with people. As someone who played soccer at a high level, I’ve always kept in touch with people and sought to maintain a good network. After college, I was coaching soccer for the Sanneh Foundation in St. Paul, a non-profit that provides kids with in-school and after-school support. Tony Sanneh, who founded the organization, helped me start thinking about new career possibilities. Around that time, one of my previous youth soccer coaches, Tod Herskovits—who was also at the Sanneh Foundation and knew of my interest in real estate —connected me to Mya Honeywell, who heads the Hive Team at Coldwell Banker in St. Paul. She helped me get my real estate education and license and get off to a good start in the business. Later, through Man Huynh of Edina Realty in St. Paul, I learned about Pathway
The biggest benefit of Pathway to Achievement is that it relieves a lot of the stress that comes with starting your own real estate business. When you’re starting out as a Realtor® you don’t make a lot of money. The program takes care of all the fees and payments for you, and that brings much peace of mind.
Looking ahead, I want be in a position where I can bring in other people of color into the business. And possibly have my own brokerage. That really appeals to me. But my biggest goal is how I’m building community and working to close the racial home ownership gap. It’s about constantly doing the education piece: workshops and just giving resources to people. The investment side of real estate interests me, too.
One day, I’d like to return to Sierra Leone, buy some land, and begin developing properties there. By growing a business there, I can help create opportunities and prosperity for people in my home country. It’s a way of giving back.