Please introduce yourself.
My name is Jay Kennedy “Jay K”, and I’ve been in the Real Estate Industry since 2003. I began with Wholesaling as I was “broke as a joke” and had poor credit. After earning my Master’s Degree in Counseling, I was laid off from my “Career” position as a High School Counselor. When I launched my firm, I was in over $100,000 in debt. The first several years were spent mostly on wholesale deals in the Midwest. As I was residing in California at the time, I sold the deals to California Investors. From there, I moved into Fix and Flips, Rentals, Lease Options, and ran a property management firm in Detroit, MI. I’ve closed deals in California, Nevada, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, and Indiana. I am currently concentrating on larger commercial projects in Arizona and Florida.
How did you get started in the real estate business?
As previously mentioned, I got my start in an unconventional manner. In June of 2003, I was laid off from my work. At that time, I resolved to never work for anybody else again and started my own firm. I chose Real Estate since the market was flourishing where I was living in, which is Sacramento, CA. I also saw many of my friends making good money, so I figured I could do the same. I went to a seminar and purchased the advanced training package, which seemed exorbitant at the time, especially since I had no money, but the ROI has been fantastic!
What are some hot markets for real estate that you are excited about?
I’m looking forward to the “bubble markets.” This includes Florida, California, Nevada, and Arizona. Those markets have extremely dramatic “peaks and valleys,” and we are about to enter a “valley” in those markets. There will be plenty of deals! Furthermore, we will see a lot more sellers that are eager to be innovative while selling!
How do you source your real estate deals?
I source opportunities through a multitude of channels, including wholesalers, realtors, social media marketing, networking at investor clubs, direct relationships with a few banks and trustees, direct relationships with sellers, several hard money lenders, as well as Bird Dogs. Over 90% of my transactions are off market.
How do you see the lending industry evolving over the next 24 months given the rising interest rates, foreclosures and evictions?
I expect lending to become more restrictive over the next 24 months. Interest rates have begun and will continue to increase. Terms may become less appealing as a result of lenders’ reaction to a riskier market. This will also be a great opportunity for Investor Lenders that understand how Investors think and function and can adapt to a changing market.
What are some checks and balances you’ve put in place to protect your real estate transactions?
I have fully staffed teams in each market to guarantee that I have “eyes and ears” on all of my transactions. I dislike surprises, therefore one of my team’s responsibilities is to ensure that we keep them to a minimum. In addition, I always plan at least two exit plans for any deal I undertake. Plan A, B, and C. That way, I’m never stuck with an underperforming asset.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting their real estate career?
My most crucial piece of advice is to find a mentor. Someone who is presently completing transactions in today’s market and has a proven track record of success. I’ve seen a lot of would-be investors lose money by employing the “Trial and Error” technique. Ignorance does not equate bliss. It is expensive!
What is one software you use for your business and recommend to others?
I’m straightforward. I utilize what I have on my phone. I use my phone to schedule calls and appointments, sign, transmit, receive contracts, have conference calls, and so on. Most of my revenue currently comes from word of mouth, so I haven’t utilized anything in a long time.
What is your superpower in life?
My “superpower” is my capacity to discover and connect with the right individuals in order to form long-term connections. Whatever job I take on, I know I can complete it since I have a vast network at my discretion. For example, last year I raised nearly $2 billion dollars for a big development project in 11 phone calls. This is a business about connections, not bricks and martyrs.
What is a failure you’ve had in life that set you up for eventual success?
That is a fascinating question. A good example of this is being laid off. My initial goal was to earn my degrees, get a “decent career,” work 30 years, and hope and pray that there would be enough money left over to retire at the end. However, one year before finishing my master’s degree, I’m laid off. I was furious at the time, but now I see that it was the trigger for my entrepreneurial career! One of the finest things that ever happened to me was being laid off!
What is one book that has influenced your life the most? Why?
Given where I was when I initially started, Robert Allen’s The One Minute Millionaire was a tremendously encouraging book for me. This is the story of a woman (whom I know) who had no option but to succeed. I would suggest it to anyone who is just starting off!