GERARD BARRETT: BUILDING HIS LEGACY IN PRIME TIME
MEET THE FOUNDER AND MANAGING PRINCIPAL
OF PRIME LERNER COMPANIES...CHANGING THE
FACE OF NEWARK NJ HOUSING ONE PROPERTY
AT A TIME
BSN: Good afternoon Gerard, how are you?
GB: I’m doing well, thank you.
BSN: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us! We’d like for our
readers to get to know you and why what you do is so important to
the community. You are highly educated and couldv'e chosen any career path.
Let’s start by asking what inspired you to start a Real Estate company?
GB: Before I started college I had a love for real estate and I was fortunate
enough to come from a very entrepreneurial background. Also, during this
time “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, a book about building wealth through real
estate investments, was very popular. I bought my first property N.J. at 20 years old! I remember
going to East Orange for the closing, I had such a feeling of accomplishment and success.
BSN: At the tender age of 29, you have reached many of your goals and become quite the
businessman. How does that make you feel? Some people are in their 40’s and 50’s still trying to reach their
GB: It feels amazing but I feel like there is so much more I’d like to achieve. Success is relative. We all use
the talents we have to reach our goals and fulfill our destinies. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to
do what I love and help others at the same time.
BSN: Who is your greatest influence?
GB: My big brother is my biggest influence. Growing up under him and watching him become owner of his
own technology company after finishing college at UVA definitely inspired me to do great things. I also
admire Donahue Peebles, Stephen Ross and of course Donald Trump, when he was in his prime. I wanted to
emulate their success. Trump eventually became more commercial with television shows, etc.. and really
built up his brand. I am working with Mr. Angelo Ellerbee and Double XXposure now to build our brand and
expand on business endeavors. We want to work as a team and have the brand speak for itself.
BSN: What advice would you give our youth about becoming an entrepreneur?
GB: It is wonderful if you have even the slightest inkling of a drive or desire to control your own
destiny. Hone in on your talent and follow your dreams. I was lucky to have found my passion early on in
life and therefore had more time to develop it and work at it. I put a lot of time into my craft but it’s not
arduous. I love what I do! My best advice is to never give up on your passion, work at it every day until it
becomes your reality.
BSN: You’ve already made one dream of becoming a lucrative business owner and real estate developer a
reality, what other goals have you set for yourself?
GB: I would like to do more ground-up development. I recently did one in Maplewood, N.J. and it was
awesome. It’s such a great feeling when you renovate a dilapidated property and see the finished product. I
hope to expand my business and still buy properties with the same intent and passion as I did my first.
BSN: Which charities do you support, and why is it important to you to give back?
GB: My love for charity stems from growing up in the church. The bible teaches you that you reap what you
sow. I enjoy giving, not just because I want something in return, but because it’s a cycle. Those who are
able to give do and then it benefits us all. I’d like to think that that’s how people maintain what they’re
given. I donate to the N.Y. Food Bank, N.J. Cares, The Boys and Girls Club and of course my church,
Cathedral International in Perth Amboy, N.J. I have also been working diligently with Senator Payne of
Newark, N.J. developing educational and athletic programs for our children.
BSN: Why is it so important for our community to own our properties?
GB: It’s a very basic principle. You gain a sense of ownership and a sense of pride. When you sweep the
steps of your porch you feel proud because it belongs to you. This is a place where you can call your
home. It also builds a sense of community and family, helps us become more responsible. I own the
business space I work in and that was a MUST for me. I don’t want a landlord to tell me what I can and can’t
do on my property or why there is a leak in the bathroom, etc… It is so freeing to be the owner and not have
to deal with that. If you take care of your property, it will take care of you. It is the biggest economic
stability that one can have and it gives you options. I own this property…do I want to sell it and buy
something else? Or do I want to grow in the equity of the property. It’s a tangible asset, not like a stock or
bond that you can’t see. It gives you a feeling of empowerment. IT IS SO NECESSARY!
BSN: What do you have in place to help our community, especially the young, black and affluent business
men, women and entertainers, become more educated on how to deal with their finances properly?
GB: Firstly they need to become more responsible with their income. None of our incomes is infinite, so we
must be mindful about how we spend. Allocate funds to ventures that will draw income in the future. Put
your finances on a diet so to speak. Just like a balanced diet keeps you healthy, your finances need to be
balanced so they will be healthy. In the near future we will be rolling out seminars on investing and
economic empowerment. In the meantime you can follow me on social media; Twitter: @gerardkbarrett,
FaceBook:Gerard Barrett, Blog: www.TheSQFootage.com, as well as our company website
www.primelerner.com, for financial advice and real estate investment tips. I share things I have learned
throughout my career and interact with my followers. It’s another way of giving back. I want everyone to
have the key to unlock their future!
BSN: We thank you so much for your time Mr. Barrett. It was a pleasure speaking with you and you made me
want to go out and buy a house today! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Have a blessed
GB: Thank you for having me and you do the same!