Atlanta native takes lead of one of the largest Black-owned CRE firms in country

(AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

An Atlanta native recently took over as one of the youngest Black men to lead a commercial real estate firm in the country.

Leonte Benton started work as an intern at the Atlanta-based T. Dallas Smith and Company more than 15 years ago while he was student at Morehouse College.

“I know what it’s like to have a dream and a desire to participate in my future because I was once that kid who benefited from having great mentors to pave the way for me,” Benton said.

His commercial real estate transactions portfolio includes prominent entities like Airbnb, AT&T, The Coca-Cola Company, FedEx, JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft.

Now the brokerage firm’s namesake founder is passing the torch to the 38-year-old Benton to take over as president.

Leonte Benton has taken over as president of T. Dallas Smith and Co., one of the largest Black-owned CRE firms in the U.S. (Courtesy of T. Dallas Smith & Co.)

Dallas will retain the role of chief executive officer and expand his role to include the development of additional real estate opportunities for the firm.

A little over a week into the new job, Benton joined WABE’s “Morning Edition” to talk about his direction for the firm in Atlanta’s current real estate market.