It’s a great time to start investing in multifamily real estate. But in order to do that, you need to build strong partnerships with investors, lenders, and other real estate professionals. Start diversifying your portfolio with apartment syndication. You don’t have to do it alone and it’s a good way to leverage that network you built. Join Lisa Hylton as she talks to Keishia Kennedy about how she built and scaled Kennedy Remedy Investments from Kuwait. Keishia is an army veteran with six years of service in the Army National Guard. She later found the power of investing in real estate, especially multifamily. Now, she is on a mission to help as many minorities and fellow veterans in investing. Learn more about her investment strategy today!
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Creating Strong Partnerships And Diversifying Your Portfolio In Multifamily Real Estate With Keishia Kennedy
I’m super excited to have on the show, Keishia Kennedy. She’s an Army veteran with six years of service in the Army National Guard during her enlistment. She was a human resources specialist and also deployed to Kuwait as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom, She has also pursued education and earned a Bachelor’s in Science and Chemistry, as well as a second Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a Master of Arts in Homeland Security.
Following her enlistment, she began investing in real estate in 2011 and has been expanding and managing her portfolio of properties for several years. In April of 2021, she decided to take the next step on her entrepreneurial journey forward by founding Kennedy Remedy Investments. It will focus on investing in commercial multifamily properties in Virginia and plans to expand to other Southern states.
I’m super excited to have you on, Keishia. I appreciate it.
Thank you for the invite. I’m so excited to be here.
I’m excited to share your story because you’ve done a lot of amazing things. You are living all the way in Kuwait and executing on your strategy of investing in real estate. Ultimately even moving into the commercial space, multifamily investments, syndications, and doing the damn thing. I want to be able to share with my readers your journey and how you got started. Back in 2011, can you talk about how you even got started investing in real estate?
That’s what we’re here for. This is what I love to do. I’m here to educate, motivate, and inspire as many people as possible. Thank you, Lisa. I am residing in a country called Kuwait. I’m an hour flight away from Dubai. I always like to reference the location because everyone knows where Dubai is at. It is past my bedtime, but here we are, doing what we love to do. To answer your question, I started investing in 2011, but I want to go back to my childhood because I believe that’s the foundation that got me started. My father was in the military. I am a military brat. I have lived all over the world.
I was born in Germany. I’ve also lived in California, Colorado, Kentucky, and back to Virginia. I graduated high school in Germany. My father’s last duty assignment was in Richmond, Virginia teaching Military Science at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2001, I joined the Army National Guard as you mentioned earlier.
I joined so I can leverage the benefit of education. They paid for my Bachelor’s degree there, which was Science Concentration and Chemistry. I wanted to go to pharmacy school. It’s high expectations but I did not enjoy Chemistry. I finished the degree. I was deployed to Kuwait as a soldier, returned back, and then came back as a contractor in 2009 to 2013. Growing up as a child, my father did have rental property. He inherited his first rental property from my grandmother.Passive investing is easy to manage and is a great way for diversifying your portfolio. Click To Tweet
I watched him manage his property. I’ve seen some in them between the property managers because he was living in Virginia. My dad retired in Richmond, Virginia. That is home and the property is in Tampa, Florida. I saw a lot of mismanagement from the property managers, but that’s another story. He also bought a second rental property in Virginia as well. I did get to see that however my parents never sat me down and educated me on investing financial literacy. In 2011, when I was living abroad as a contractor, I had some capital saved up and said, “I’m going to invest in my first investment property.” This was after the market had crashed, Lisa. The first home that I purchased was $29,500.
I will never forget the price of that home. It was built in 2010 and it also came with a lot next door. I figured it out as I went along. Mind you, I was in Kuwait. My parents went to go visit the property and said, “It looks good. All you have to do is pull up the carpet and put down new flooring.” That’s exactly what I did and placed a for rent sign out there. My first tenant, I’ll never forget her. My first check was $823 through the Section 8 program. At that time, it was called that. Now it’s with the Housing Choice Voucher. After that, the following year, I brought another home and then I brought another duplex across the street from my first home.
I continued the cycle. That’s how I got started in real estate, which was in 2011 when the market crashed. Fast forward to 2021, I decided to scale into apartments. This time, I didn’t want to be self-taught. I was listening to podcasts, reading books, and blogs. I came across the word apartment syndication. I was like, “There’s a smarter way to do it. I don’t have to do it alone. I thought I had to use the same strategy when I invested in residential space.” I found out there was a smarter way to scale by leveraging your network, so that’s what I did.
I invested in 2021 in two deals. My first deal as a limited partner in Richmond, Virginia, is 27 units, 81 units in Florence, Kentucky, and then 2 student housing in July. 19 units in Scranton, Pennsylvania, 24 units in Columbia, South Carolina, and then I had my first opportunity to be a co-GP, 56 units, in December of 2021. The second co-GP/LP, because I invested in both of the deals, was 120 units in De Moines, Iowa. We have a deal of 174 units in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’m investing both as a limited partner and a general partner, active and passive investing.
There is so much to unpack there. For someone reading, their first question is, you’ve so much different experience having your own portfolio and then also now passively investing. What made you decide to incorporate some passive investments into your strategy as opposed to continuing to execute on smaller properties?
I wanted to diversify. That was the first reason. The second reason is it’s easier to manage. I don’t have to worry about the tenants’ toilets and trash. I allow the general partners to manage the properties for me, but I’m receiving profit and cashflow from the sale. I’m allowing my money to work for me. I honestly prefer passive investing as a limited partner versus an active role because I’ve been investing actively since 2011. It does get tiresome dealing with the tenants. I’m doing it still from Kuwait. I’m managing my portfolio. Also, I have a handyman in place and then I have my parents as a backup.
I truly enjoy creating a relationship with the general partners. I’m also learning the business. That’s why I wanted to invest passively first as a limited partner prior to an active role as a general partner. There have been a lot of lessons learned as a limited partner. I’m thankful that I’ve made that decision to invest first as a limited partner.
A couple of things here. The first is investing remotely actively. You’ve done a ton of different deals. You mentioned a few of the deals that you’ve done. If someone is thinking about investing remotely and they’re looking to invest in a place that’s different from where they currently live, what would be some of the key things that you think they need to have in place?
Together, everyone achieves more. That’s how I’m able to invest remotely from Kuwait inside the States. I’ve built those relationships over time. It does take time and patience. It’s not going to happen overnight like you wouldn’t date someone overnight. You want to vet the person that you’re doing business with. You want to build that relationship, trust, and respect.
Make sure that you’re aligned with your morals and values because this is a long-term hold. It’s not going to happen overnight. You need to network, build your team out, and then from there, your team will allow you to grow and scale. You have your team, so you have someone that’s boots on the ground, due diligence, finding the deal, underwriting the deal, presenting the deal to the investor, asset managing, and investor relation.
There are different roles when it comes to being a general partner. What you want to do is find your superpower. I learned that from Lisa here. She was one of the first couples of women that I did reach out to when I decided to come into the commercial space. She has given me so many nuggets and gem. That was one of the things that she told me to do, was to focus on what I enjoy doing. At that time, when I called and spoke to her, I had no idea what I was doing. I was still new in this space. Once I figured out, “I enjoy speaking to investors, educating, and motivating. I wanted to raise capital and also asset manage. That’s something that I enjoy.”
To answer your question, Lisa, the first thing is to build a team and also educate. Educate yourself, either get a mentor or a coach, someone that can guide you so you don’t have to go through those same mistakes that they went through. Reinvent the wheel like people like to say. The first step is education followed by building that team and finding your superpower. Once you do those two things, you will be able to scale. That’s how I’m able to scale.You need to have a team when investing remotely. Together, everyone achieves more. Click To Tweet
Building on that, you also mentioned lessons you’ve learned as an LP. Could you talk about some of the lessons that you’ve learned that have helped you to continue to build your business now?
The reason why I wanted to be an LP first was to understand the perspective, what a private placement memorandum looks like, the questions that I could possibly be asked by an investor, what a subscription agreement is, and the operating agreement. It’s like on-the-job training. That is the best way to learn. That is why I wanted to deploy capital in a deal as a limited partner.
Also, I wanted to see how the sponsors communicate with their investors. Are they being transparent? Are they withholding any information? What information are they going to share with me throughout the duration of the holding period? How often will I get updated? I was able to take a lot of gems from there and put them in my toolbox. When that opportunity was presented to me to be a co-GP, I was able to refer back to my notes and say, “I understand this process. I don’t want to do it like this. I want to do it this way.”
I highly recommend if you want to be a GP to deploy your capital at least into one deal and understand the process. How can you attract capital from an investor when you haven’t even invested in a deal yourself when your peers, your family members, and coworkers don’t even know what you’re doing. That was the best decision that I’ve made. That’s how I was able to leverage from my first deal and continue to build off of that.
Advice to LPs. One of the things that are hot on people’s minds at the moment is rising interest rates and recession. As you think about investing in the marketplace now, what are some of the things that you’re sharing with investors as they think about deploying capital in real estate?
The interest rate is increasing over time. However, it is ahead against inflation. We’re also doing and offering seller financing and put in an offer for seller financing from the seller to decrease that rising interest rate. I prefer seller financing more than bridge loan or agency debt. That’s one way against interest rates. We know that there has been a recession in 2011. I believe that no matter what, people will always need a place to stay. There’s a house shortage. A lot of people can’t afford to purchase a home.
From my past experience when I invested in 2011, I know that even though the interest rates are going to increase, I know that my money is going to get to work for me and I need to invest it somewhere because it’s not going to make money if it’s just sitting in the bank and as a safe spot. My investors are well aware of the interest rate is rising, but people are still investing in deals. I had someone that sign the subscription agreement. They know that the interest rate is rising, but they know that they also want to continue to build their generational wealth and financial freedom without the fear of rising interest rates.
The reality is having your money sitting in the bank, it’s not getting any money there for sure. You’re losing at that point. You might as well find good deals to them invest in. Speaking about finding good deals, these days, what is your focus when it comes to strategy? When I introduced you, I talked about Virginia. You also mentioned in there the Southeast. Could you talk a little bit about your investing strategy at the moment?
Our investment strategy, because it is a team, we are looking to take down deals in Richmond, Virginia in the 757, like the Hampton Roads, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Richmond. We have Hope Well, Colonial Heights as well. That area is a growing and emerging market. I’m from that area. I know what’s going on in the market.
Our team is actively looking for a deal. We put in an offer but the seller accepted it for cash offer. I understand. Cash is king when you’re trying to sell your property because anything can fall through if a buyer wants to present a deal with a loan. Our target market again is in Virginia, so Richmond and the MSA surrounding Richmond.
As you think about building business going forward in the next couple of years, what are some of the things that you want to accomplish, or you’re trying to provide your investor base as you go along?
One of my biggest goals this 2022 is to create a fund. My why is to help as many minorities and fellow veterans as possible. My father was in the military. I’m a veteran. That is my target investor. Also, minorities. In order to help those investors, I believe that a fund will be beneficial and allow them to invest in a deal that has a lower minimum rather than investing directly with the sponsor. I’m excited about that.Seller financing is one way that will help you against rising interest rates. Click To Tweet
That’s a big project that I’ve been speaking to Lisa about. That was all my goal for 2022. I’m excited to get that off the ground hopefully by the end of 2022 and kickstart it in 2023. Continuing to educate, motivate, and inspire others about the power of investing in real estate and building that generational wealth and financial freedom that we desire. I believe that we should all enjoy our life.
We only get one shot at this and work a 9:00 to 5:00, working until we’re 60 to 65, not being able to take a vacation, and not being able to spend time with our family. That’s not the life that we all desire. We don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck. I believe in the power of real estate and in helping others as I go along. I am in the service industry. I’ve had a bail bondsman business prior to this and fitness business. I believe that this business is more fulfilling because it’s allowing me to help others long-term and that will allow them to leave a legacy for their family.
I know that you value fitness. I’m curious if there are certain habits or rituals that help you in terms of growing your business and being able to be there for all the different aspects of your life, your family, your job, and your business.
I was trying not to mention my love for fitness, but you got me at the end. I believe in the five Fs. It starts off with Faith. I am a believer. The second is Family. The third is Fitness. The fourth is Finances. The fifth is Freedom. My priority is how I mentioned it, 1 through 5. I fell in love with fitness in 2017 when I came back to Kuwait because this is my second time as a contractor in Kuwait. I was overweight. I was 165 pounds. I felt miserable. I was depressed and stressed. I didn’t have any confidence. I was smiling on the outside, but dying on the inside, but no one knew it.
I looked myself in the mirror one day. I was like, “I don’t even look like myself. I have to do something because I’m slowly killing myself.” I had high blood pressure and diabetes runs in the family. I did get a trainer. I lost weight. That is when I fell in love with myself again. I believe in self-love first. You have to love yourself before you try to love anyone else or expectations of someone else to come in and love you. Fitness has truly changed my life. That’s why I started the fitness business. Now I am a bodybuilder. Fitness allows me to be disciplined. The discipline allows me to be more driven. By being more driven, it allows me to be more successful. That’s how I’m able to take down these deals.
I use time blocking. I’m disciplined by the military and was raised in a military household. I believe also that if I can beat myself mentally in the gym because it’s more about mental health than it is physical health for me. If I can beat myself mentally in the gym with the weights and make that transformation with my body, then I can handle any adversity that comes up in my life. Fitness is my outlet. I believe in it. I highly recommend anyone that is feeling those symptoms that I felt that I mentioned, stress, depression, and anxiety to start off small. A 15 or 20-minute walk, and then go from there.
You will feel so much better. I believe you have to take care of yourself first. Again, no health, no wealth. If you don’t focus on yourself, you’re not going to reach that generational wealth. We’re chasing the money. We’re trying to build that financial freedom and generational wealth, but if you’re continuing doing that and you’re not focused on your self-love, then you’re not going to reach that wealth. You’re not going to be able to enjoy it if you’re not healthy.
This now brings me to my Level Up questions that I ask all my guests. The first one is, what are you grateful for in your life right now?
I am grateful for my family. I’m family-oriented. I will be going on vacation. I spend 99% of my time with my parents and with my siblings because I have more than one.
What do you attribute to your success and continuous growth?
Having that growth mindset. Mental health is important. If you don’t have the right mindset, it’s going to hinder you from progressing and succeeding.
Last but not least, this is the last of my Level Up is, what do you now know that you wish you knew at the beginning of your journey?Always take care of yourself first. Remember no health, no wealth. Click To Tweet
To get a mentor or coach and not be self-taught.
Lastly, for someone who’s reading who is thinking, “I want to get started investing in real estate.” They wanted two answers. One for the person who was like, “I need to get started and I want to do it actively.” They might be living in a state like California, which is crazy expensive, or maybe they’re living in Dubai and they’re from the US and like you, they want to invest in the US and buy a single-family or a multi, whatever. What advice would you give to them? We’re going to touch on the passive investor afterwards.
Network. You would be surprised at how many people are in your area that is real estate investors. Go to meet-ups as well. You can go to meet-ups online. I attend meet-ups online from Kuwait. There are also Zoom meetings, blogs, and podcasts. Get educated and network. You’ll be surprised at how you can leverage your network to get into deals. Find out how you can add value to someone. See what they’re lacking, and then you can build a relationship over time and go from there, but get educated first and get a mentor.
For the passive investors, people who are saying they have capital, they already know that they’re not trying to do anything active, and they’re ready to deploy, what are some of the things they’re thinking about and they’re like, “What’s my first step here to get started in passively investing in real estate deals?”
There are two things that you’re guaranteed in life, which are taxes and inflation. The best way to hedge against inflation and taxes is to invest in less than real estate. The first step is starting. People look at it as a risk to invest but it’s a risk if you don’t invest because risk can change your life for the good. I do have a gift for your readers. It’s called The Beginner’s Guide to Investing as a Limited Partner. If you were intrigued by exactly what unlimited limited partner is, I have a guide. In that guide, it’ll define what is a limited partner, the benefits of a limited partner, a sample deal, and some questions that you can ask the sponsor team.
That is a good way to get started. Also, we can jump on a call from there. That’s found on my website, KennedyRemedyInvestments.com/Guide, but I highly suggest that you get educated first and start. Find out what apartment syndication is. Find out the exact benefits. Find out what cost segregation and bonus depreciation is and how that can benefit you if you invest passively. Make your money work for you without dealing with the tenants, toilets, and trash. Create that freedom that we all desire instead of creating interests for the bank and the money is just sitting there and we’re getting loans to invest and they’re making interest off of your money through us. Start. Happy investing.
To recap here on the end, if the readers want to get in touch with you, repeat again the places they can go to get in touch with you.
I love LinkedIn. You can find me on LinkedIn, Keishia Kennedy. The business is also on Facebook, Kennedy Remedy Investments. Also, on Instagram @KennedyRemedy. You can also find the guide at KennedyRemedyInvestments.com/Guide. This is part of the business that I love doing, investor relations, building those relationships, and getting to know you. I’m humbled and so blessed with how far I’ve come within this first year. I would love to inspire you to start your journey.
Thank you so much, Keishia. It was a pleasure having you on and seeing your continuous growth.
- Kennedy Remedy Investments
- Keishia Kennedy – LinkedIn
- Kennedy Remedy Investments – Facebook
- @KennedyRemedy – Instagram
About Keishia Kennedy
Keishia is an army veteran with six years of service in the Army National Guard. During her enlistment, she was a Human Resource Specialist and also deployed to Kuwait as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. She has also pursued education by earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry as well as a second Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a Master of Arts in Homeland Security.
Following her enlistment, she began investing in real estate in 2011 and has been expanding and managing her portfolio of properties for the past 10 years. In April 2021, she decided to take the next step on her entrepreneurial journey by founding Kennedy Remedy Investments. Kennedy Remedy Investments will focus on investing in commercial multi-family properties in Virginia, with plans to expand to other southeastern states.
To make Kennedy Remedy Investments a success, Keishia plans to focus on two core tasks. Firstly, to build a portfolio of successful multi-family investment properties that create both stable revenues and appreciation in the value of capital assets. In doing so, she will focus on targeted real estate markets and on undertaking value-adding capital appreciation projects. The second task that she plans to focus on is building strong partnerships with investors, lenders, other real estate professionals, and local officials. This network of partnerships is vital to building a portfolio that offers financial benefits to investment partners and also to the communities where Kennedy Remedy Investments operates.
Passion is necessary to succeed as an entrepreneur. But passion without expertise will lead nowhere. Keishia brings BOTH passion and expertise to the table. Together with a team of like-minded and experienced experts, she seeks to make her mark with Kennedy Remedy Investments!
When not investing in real estate, she spends time traveling abroad, figure bodybuilding, cooking, and spending time with family.
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