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Keith appears in the Top 100 

People in Real Estate Magazine

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Keith Grayson


Keith Grayson's journey in the world of commercial real estate is a testament to the power of determination, unwavering work ethic and his unshakable faith in God; a value cultivated by his mother. This journey began in Keith’s childhood working at his father’s home building company. Here he learned invaluable skills and the value of hard work. Then after graduating with a real estate major from Morehouse College, a top tier HBCU, he embarked on a path that would shape his career and give him a passion for the industry.


As an undergraduate, Keith gained experience working for a property appraiser and secured several other internships in the field. However, his true breakthrough came during an encounter during a time when the industry was in a severe recession. One evening, Keith ran into the VP of a real estate brokerage company where he previously interned, and his friend who happened to be a VP at Alex Brown Kleinwort Benson (ABKB), a then powerhouse pension fund advisor. Keith, who believes in always being prepared, had his résumé and handed it to him on the spot. The executive was so impressed with this and his ambition and experience, the result was a series of interviews. Coupled with Keith’s persistent follow-up calls, he was offered a position, despite being an undergrad in a setting with entirely MBA graduates. This marked a milestone in his career, when he became the first black professional hired by the company, opening doors for others and fostering greater diversity in the company and industry.

In his new role at ABKB, Keith honed his skills in asset management and every nuance of real estate deal analysis. He worked with a diverse array of project types, including hotels, shopping centers, industrial buildings, high-rise office, and garden-apartments covering 5-million square feet and 1,240 apartment units. Utilizing both excel and proprietary software, Keith also gained invaluable skills and insight into analyzing deals, assessing tenants and real estate project feasibility. His expertise became a real asset during the commercial downturn because during this tumultuous period, Keith identified and corrected the habitual and unrealistic methodology used for property valuations which caused clients’ substantial portfolio declines. Keith navigated these challenges with integrity, acumen, and foresight, preparing him for the future. Keith then went on to further build on his career and experience with other powerhouses of the real estate industry.


Keith spent time as a development manager for a powerful developer, which allowed him to further build his collaboration and project planning skills. It was then that he knew it was his destiny to become a 3rd generation entrepreneur and took the risk to start his own company. Drawing from his diverse experiences in construction and his deep understanding of commercial development, he aimed to create a scalable business that would allow him to develop projects both for third-party clients and for his own account. Based in Maryland, Grayson Commercial specializes in developing, leasing, and managing a portfolio of real estate, with a strong focus on medical and retail tenants. One aspect that sets Keith apart is his keen eye for identifying promising companies and getting them into spaces with high visibility, thereby fostering their growth while gaining long-term viable tenants.

One example of Keith's commitment to building good business synergies is when he identified a young, promising entrepreneur who sought to open a med-spa oriented establishment. Instead of pursuing a franchise model, Keith encouraged him to open his own brand and as a result, the entrepreneur kickstarted his own business. Starting with just two float rooms and a few other spa-related rooms, this entrepreneur later expanded, doubling his footprint during the COVID recession. This was a real win-win, when other similar spaces were losing tenants. Today, this entrepreneur’s business thrives, and he opened his second franchise location. Keith's belief in providing opportunities for young companies and viable budding entrepreneurs has yielded many such mutually beneficial relationships. Another example is when Keith found a minority female entrepreneur who created and cultivated her own brand of salon suites. Keith steered her to a former physician’s space, which had most of the plumbing in-place, because this would defray her buildout costs by at least 75%, which opened the opportunity for her to expand with a second franchise location.


Keith’s focus remains on providing opportunities to individuals who may not otherwise have access to them, while identifying tenants who will grow and thrive. His expertise in lease analysis, lease structuring, and credit analysis allows him to evaluate potential tenants' businesses and financials to identify promising occupants and comprehensively create the optimal deal structure to ensure both landlord and tenant make sound investments. Moreover, he perfectly understands deal structure, allowing him to offer innovative solutions to assist promising businesses during their start-up phase. This way, instead of setting them up for failure, Keith fosters an environment where landlord and tenant can thrive. This approach has become the cornerstone of his success.


Reflecting on his professional accomplishments, Keith highlights two significant milestones. First, he constructed an office building valued at $6.5 million utilizing some very creative financing mechanisms. This ensured the success of the project and secured his ownership stake. Second, during his tenure at ABKB, he challenged the company's atypical method of property valuations, demonstrating that they were significantly overestimating their client’s property values. By sharing his expertise and common-sense insights, he helped the company adjust its valuation protocols and methods, thus enabling them to make better informed decisions for the benefit of their institutional clientele.


Keith’s impressive educational background has been another paramount element of his success. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in real estate from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as a Master of Science degree in commercial real estate development from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Further, as an associate member of the Urban Land Institute, Keith actively engages with industry leaders and stays at the forefront of trends and developments.

Keith Grayson

Managing Member & Owner — Grayson Commercial LLC



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