February Agency Profile – NÖIRE Real Estate Group
By Charlotte Top Producers |Feb 8, 2021

NÖIRE Real Estate Group

Written by Heather Pluard

Photos by Kelly Klemmensen

Destiny feels like picking up a golf club at six years old and finding a sport that helps define your life. Greatness happens when talent and hard work are thrown into the mix. REALTOR® Jerell Fields has the whole package! In 2019, this former assistant golf professional turned top-producing-agent started his own team. By the end of the next year, The NÖIRE Real Estate Group grew to include nine African-American agents and closed on over $25-million in cumulative sales.

“I wanted to build a platform for agents who otherwise might not have thought about real estate, or who weren’t used to seeing someone who looks like themselves or their family in the industry,” Jerell says. “When I was a new agent, I wanted people around me who understood race and could meaningfully point me in the right direction for growth. Instead, I got a lot of ‘all you have to do is’ answers. It felt like something was missing. The truth is, it can be much easier for an older white man/woman to send a postcard to a luxury market and gather listings than a young black guy like me. I want to change that dynamic. I started my team at Costello Real Estate and Investments to provide minority agents with the tools and sense of community they need to strive to be the best. Having each other as a resource makes us unique, and it helps us give exceptional service to clients of every race.”

Long before Jerell was figuring out the complexities of race and real estate sales, his father was looking for a sport they could learn together. Golf was the answer. A natural athlete at age six, Jerell became so good at golf in high school that he earned a college scholarship. “My dad arranged for me to play 18 holes with Winston-Salem State’s golf coach,” he says. “By the end of the round, I was on the phone ironing out my scholarship details. I joined the Varsity Men’s Golf Team and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in 2010.”

Drawn to a career where he could teach and play golf every day, Jerell joined TPC Piper Glen and became the First Black PGA Affiliated Assistant Golf Profesional in Charlotte. “As a twenty-four-year-old, I thought I had it made,” he laughs. “Until I met REALTOR® Kohleen Nornes of Coldwell Banker. She was a club member who noticed my work ethic and people skills, and boldly told me I could do much better. When the club was sold to a corporation, I called Kohleen that same day. Without hesitation, she told me real estate would be a perfect fit. My aunt and uncle paid for my classes and still say it’s the best $425 they ever spent. I obtained my license in 2015 and later joined Kohleen at Coldwell Banker. I’m grateful to her for showing me how to be a good agent and provide excellent service.”

A quick study, Jerell soon became a top producer, selling $6 million in 2019 and becoming one of Coldwell Banker’s Top 100 agents in the Carolinas. He also earned the Silver Award that year, but instead of accepting it, he left the firm to start his own team elsewhere. “Although the Coldwell team was great, I felt something was hindering my growth,” he says. “I simply didn’t feel I could become my best there. Being one of the only successful persons of color at the firm was an issue for me. It wasn’t the office’s fault, but to achieve my personal goals, I needed an environment where I could find consistent collaboration AND constant competition amongst more people who look like me and share similar experiences and backgrounds.”

Keith Sandman, a friend from real estate school, suggested Costello REI. “I met with John Costello in February of 2019 and was so excited that I signed my paperwork that day,” Jerell says. “Ruvell Martin, also an African-American, was a top producing agent there at the time, and I knew he could give me straight forward and honest answers about how he had become so successful under the Costello umbrella. The first week I started, REALTOR® Steve Lonnen shared his business plan for everyone to see. I love the Costello culture of winning together. Plus, our training focuses on day-to-day questions that we hear all of the time as agents. I was finally getting the answers I needed.”

More importantly, Jerell wasn’t asked to change to fit the norms of the industry. “I could be myself instead of trying to fit into a mold that wasn’t me,” Jerell says. “When I told John I wanted to start The NÖIRE Real Estate Group, he didn’t try to talk me into settling for an assistant. He was with it 100%, and that’s the way it should be!”

From Jerell’s history of meeting and working with other young minority agents while at Coldwell Banker, many were eager to join when he mentioned starting his own team. “Noire is French for the word Black, and it’s a classic, roll off the tongue kind of name that no one would ever feel like they’ve outgrown,” he says. “People look at our group as empowering the culture, and that’s huge. It’s also rewarding to be one of the guys whom other minority agents can relate to, ask questions, and build with. I feel like I am blessed to be doing what God put me here to do, and my goal is to grow the NÖIRE brand into every city with a Costello REI office.”

Golf is still a part of Jerell’s life. He and his wife, Terese, joined Raintree Country Club to share the sport with his nine-year-old son, Cameron, and five-year-old daughter Londyn. “We like to play with grandpa, too,” Jerell smiles. “My family is my ‘WHY.’ One of the first things I did after we joined the club was to invite my dad out for a round of golf to share the experience with me. Golf shaped a lot in my life, but it all started with how my mom and dad raised me. My parents taught me to believe in myself and work hard for my dreams. Or, as some might say, my destiny!”

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