The Real Estate Law Podcast

46 - Fearless Leadership and Vertical Integration with Real Estate Mastermind Kekoa Lwin

April 12, 2022 Jason Muth + Rory Gill Season 1 Episode 46
The Real Estate Law Podcast
46 - Fearless Leadership and Vertical Integration with Real Estate Mastermind Kekoa Lwin
Show Notes Transcript

Meet Kekoa Lwin! Kekoa is full of energy and knowledge, and we loved hearing his take on leadership, mentorship, growing a network, and teamwork.

He's the leader of Team Kekoa and proud Co-Founder of KECO Capital, Integris Real Estate, Pacific Rim Property Management, and Elevation Construction.

Kekoa runs a number of vertically integrated companies, starting each because of a specific need that arose during his real estate journey. Each company complements one another, creating his own "Power Team"

  • Property Management
  • Hard Money Lending
  • Licensed, bonded, insured General Contracting
  • Real Estate Agency

Kekoa started in college when he "majored in girls and minored in real estate" and started house hacking before he even knew what that was! Since then, Kekoa and his team have completed over 250 house flips (many "before HGTV made it cool") in Hawaii, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Dallas.

In this episode, we talk about:
-- Setting up a vertically integrated real estate company
-- The importance of building a team of pros
-- Why he started a hard money lending company
-- How Kekoa manages all these different endeavors at the same time
-- The "white belt" mentality of always learning, despite success and money
-- Developing talent and the value of interning and shadowing
-- How colleges should be teaching courses about financial life hacks
-- Vetting business partners
-- Networking at the gym with other 5am workout enthusiasts
-- Real Estate Professional status and the tax benefits that come with it

Kekoa gives an amazing analogy between mindset and wearing a flower lei:

"The neat thing about the flower leis is that when you have a flower lei on, everything smells amazing. And it smells amazing, because you've got the flower lei on.

And to me the mindset is like the flower lei.

It's like when you go into the day with a mindset that says, hey, I can do this, today's going to be better than yesterday. And the high of today is going to be the low of tomorrow. So you know, I'm just going to keep on pressing into the day.

And you have a mindset like that, then man, you can do anything, no matter how hard life gets, because you've got that lei of a mindset of positivity that really changes things."


Get in touch with Kekoa:
Team Kekoa website - https://www.teamkekoa.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/kekoalwin
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/kekoalwin/

Join Jason Muth and Attorney / Broker Rory Gill of NextHome Titletown and UrbanVillage Legal in Boston, Massachusetts for another episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast!

#realestatepodcast #nexthome #humansoverhouses #realestate #realestateinvesting #realestateinvestor #realestatelaw #mentorship #leadership #hardmoneylending #generatcontractor #propertymanagement #verticallyintegrated #teamkekoa #positivemindset
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The Real Estate Law Podcast is hosted by Jason Muth and Attorney / Broker Rory Gill.

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Kekoa Lwin:

If some of your listeners are W-2 workers and they're just like thinking, Man, I wish I could get in real estate but I don't have time, because they're 50 hours at work and then driving around, and then they're not sure the knowledge part, the thing about real estate is that you can do it on the side. You can literally do it when you're driving to and from the car, from work in the car, right listen to podcasts, getting educated, weekends, a little bit of evenings searching for deals, but then it's really building a good network of people around you.

Announcer:

You found The Real Estate Law Podcast, because real estate is more than just pretty pictures. And law goes well beyond the paperwork and courtroom argument. If you're a real estate professional, or looking to build real estate expertise, then welcome to the conversation and discover more at realestatelawpodcast.com

Jason Muth:

Thank you for joining us for another episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast, and I am your host Jason Muth along with Attorney broker, Rory Gill from NextHome Titletown Real Estate and UrbanVillage Legal in Boston. And Rory, you know, I have not introduced you this way yet. But you are one of Boston Magazine's Top Attorneys, right?

Rory Gill:

That I am. Yes.

Jason Muth:

Yes. I didn't even tell you that in advance but like, there's a funny story as to how we found out about this. But yeah, I mean, you got the plaque to prove it to which is awesome. So that's that's huge.

Rory Gill:

I mean, I was you know, criticizing these lists these top 10 lists and you're sitting there laughing because you have the magazine in your hand and saw that I was in it before I knew that I was in there. So that's as as criticizing the concept of lists in the first place. That's exactly when I found out I was there.

Jason Muth:

Totally set you up for that, you know, like not just now but back then. But but let's not talk about ourselves. We talk about ourselves all the time. Let's talk about our amazing guest that we have on this episode of podcast. It's Kekoa Lwin, did I say your last name correctly?

Kekoa Lwin:

Yes. Aloha!

Jason Muth:

Kekoa is a... he is a vertically integrated entrepreneur who works in a number of different real estate businesses that are all interconnected. And we're gonna have to hear how he's built his empire. But first, please welcome Kekoa to the podcast. Hello.

Kekoa Lwin:

Hey, aloha everbody! It's great to be here.

Jason Muth:

Aloha. I should have been saying Aloha from the start because I know that you know you have operations in Hawaii. And we've spent at least I've spent about a month of my life in Kauai, like over the course of the years.

Kekoa Lwin:

So the question is why only a month you really should try to make it a month year or you know?

Jason Muth:

I know

Unknown:

You look out your window and see all that snow out there and doesn't a sandy beach sound really nice right now with that with a nice Margarita?

Jason Muth:

Mai Tai? We are recording this today on yet another snowy day in Boston. So you know once again we were the losers in the weather in the weather situation but Kekoa has operations along the west coast in Las Vegas. He has an office in Florida. He has an office in Hawaii. And man you showed up on time for the interview and you were telling me that you don't even know what timezone you're in!

Kekoa Lwin:

Well, Aloha time we would have had to do the interview at least an hour late, but we're trying to work on that. That's that's something that's a goal of mine. But yeah, no, I'm originally from Hawaii. And so we have an operation in Honolulu. And then we have one in Seattle, and then Vegas, Dallas and Florida. So just kind of we go where we find really good restaurants and good gyms and we open up so we don't mind visiting.

Jason Muth:

We have good restaurants in Boston, don't we? Rory? What do you think?

Rory Gill:

We do. The gyms are not so great. But the...

Jason Muth:

The gyms are not bad here. Come on, like Yeah, but they're not outdoor gyms like you're not talking to Venice Beach or anything. Although we try to do boot camps and whatnot outdoors. You know, we do live in a beach town. I mean, Boston, we have some of the cleanest water that you'll see in the Northeast apparently in Boston Harbor like they've sure cleaned the harbor up but we have beachfront here in Boston, right, right down the street from us, like you'll see bootcamp boot camps there all the time.

Unknown:

Nice. You just have to bring your snow gear to get there. But you know,

Rory Gill:

It's a great place to work out four months out of the year.

Kekoa Lwin:

That's awesome. But ya know, anytime you guys want to come to Hawaii, you're welcome to come down.

Jason Muth:

Well, we're gonna take you up on that. I guarantee it. Tell us how you've built what what you've built so far. Um, you know, I was reading up on your background, and you have investments everywhere. And you have a you're hard money lender also. Right. So you're you finance some of the properties that you're working on or with other with other deals that you're involved with, and you do property management as well. And tell us how all that come together.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, it's all just basically, schizophrenic and It sounds like you're following in the footsteps of kind of ADHD, all kind of piled into one business model. We call it vertically integrated because it just sounds you know, more professional, but really, everyday is just a little bit chaotic. I started because in college, I actually minored in real estate. So I majored in girls minor in real estate. And when I graduated in order to finish off your minor, you actually had to take the state test. And so I took the state test actually did do a business major as well at the same time. And so just started doing some real estate stuff. And then right out of college, I built out a neighborhood on your college campus. And then I kind of just got hooked. In college, I lived in the dorms for a while and didn't like it. So then I was like, Man, I should just buy a house and rent it to six guys. So we rented to six guys, all my buddies. So basically, it's like a frat house. And I was making 500 a month after all utilities were paid. I'm like, Dude, this is really cool. So I started house hacking before I knew it what it was, and just kind of fell in love with real estate. And, gosh, ever since we've been flipping houses. So the last, we're probably on 250 House flips. So that's kind of our background is doing house flips before HGTV made it cool. And so once we got going in house flipping, you start realizing you need money, you need contractors, you need property management. And so it was really frustrating, because sometimes you can't find good people, we call it a Power team. And just like you guys, since you own properties, as well, you know how important it is to have a really good lender and a really good contractor. And then a really good property manager unless you want to do it all yourself. But we started a hard money lending company because we were borrowing a lot of money. And we're just like, hey, all these most hard money, I shouldn't say all many hard money lenders, there was just always some extra costs or hidden costs or challenges and, and new real estate investors - if you're a new real estate investor, you're listening, and you'll realize that sometimes hard money loans have a whole lot of stipulations that really have gotchas. And if you don't watch out for the gotchas, then man that makes it really hard to make any money on a flip. So we ended up starting a hard money lending company so that way we could supplement our own funding needs. And then eventually, we started funding our friends, and then it kind of grew into an entire lending company. And then we built a construction company because we couldn't find good contractors. So we have a licensed bonded insured general construction company. And then we started a property management company to manage the properties we own. And then everybody we knew was like, man, we don't like our property manager, can you manage ours? So, you know, like we do in Hawaii, we're always like, Yeah, you're a friend. Sure, we'll take care of yours. And yeah, we'll take care of yours. And then pretty similar, like, man, we got a freaking company, like, we got a lot of units we're managing now so so that we get legit, so so we accidentally got vertically integrated. And it's been, it's been an adventure, it's been a lot of fun. And I think, for anybody who's listening and thinking of expanding your business, real estate just has so much potential, and so much opportunity. It's very exciting. Amazon where they, they took something that was an expense that that they had a problem that they had, and then they just figure out a way to solve it. And then they kept bringing all these outside what would be outside vendors into their own umbrella. But I mean, you say that you built this up in that it's just kind of chaotic. And you know, it makes for a crazy. Damn sure it does. But if you have all these businesses running, there really must be some, you know, something you're doing to keep it all under control, like what do you do to manage all these different competing endeavors at the same time? First of all, I think that was cool that you said Amazon and our name and the same sentence I don't think that's ever happened before? That just sounds super cool. I didn't make the top list for attorneys. But man, I got my name in the Amazon. So I'm stoked, man. Yeah, you know, I mean, like you folks, running multiple companies or businesses really takes a great team. And so I've been really fortunate we have my, my main business partner we were flipping was a buddy of mine named Corey and we met each other. We're both personal trainers at the gym. And so so we met each other, and they were just like, hey, let's just start flipping houses, because that's what gym guys do is flip houses, right? Because we have no clue what we were doing. So we lost a bunch of money, we figured things out. And then we just kind of kept rolling. And then kind of over time, we just expanded and just kind of kept bringing on good people. There's some really, really good resources out there, if you're looking at hiring a team on how to hire, and what to interview and how to interview and all those types of things. And I would say that's been really helpful is that we're just constant learners. In Hawaii, we, we do a lot of martial arts, and the black belt is always where you want to go. But the white belt is always the rookie and the new guy and the one that gets the crap beaten out of them. But we always say in our companies that no matter how big we get, no matter how much success we get, know how much money we make, we must always maintain a white belt mentality, which means we're hungry, and we're learners. And we're always trying to figure out, you know, how to grow and get better. And so, for us, I think as as we've expanded, we've got good people, but we're already still thinking how do we scale to the next level? And how do we bring in some more good people on the teams.

Jason Muth:

So the white belt mentality is something I've never heard before. And I think that's a fantastic way to basically resay, say in a different way, that you believe in mentorship, and you believe in bringing people in, and teaching them everything, because if you want your company to maintain that white belt mindset, you know, you have to realize that you're always learning. And I'm sure there's a lot of people that are listening to this thing. How do I, how do I get my foot in the door? And it's probably finding people that are willing to train you right? Because every you minored in real estate, you said something really funny earlier, which is you majored in girls and minor in real estate, you that you've used that line before? Yeah, I think I have a title for the episode right now.

Kekoa Lwin:

You know, you get a whole bunch of people who won't listen, they'll be like, That guy just sounds shallow. Right?

Jason Muth:

So no way that's gonna be the title. But like, I'm like, Oh, my God, great line, all the stuff that you mind you minored in real estate. And but everything you're doing now you learned on the job, right? You learned this along the way.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, well, I mean, much like Rory. Rory's got an entire team of real estate agents with him. And, and we all know that when you take a real estate class, and you take the state exam, like that is not even the peak or the tip of the iceberg, on all that you need to know about doing a transaction or representing a buyer representing a seller or marketing or any of those types of things. Real estate investing is the exact same, there's just so much to learn. But what's really cool about this space is that there's so many people wanting to share, you know, I mean, whether it's a podcast, like Bigger Pockets or Wholesaling, Inc, or, I mean, there's just so many that Grant Cardone, like that's a whole another level, right? There's so many people you can listen to, and have that white belt mentality to keep learning. Or there's good people, like, you know, you both to just say, hey, you know, I want to learn from you. And so how do I do that? And you know, for somebody who's in Boston, I'd say, hey, you know, you just apply with Rory and be like, hey, I want to get to coffee, I've got my license. And I just want to learn, like, just let me sit and listen to conference calls. I tell people all the time, when they're like, hey, I want to learn from you. I'm like, well, you're gonna have to come in through the backdoor. And you just have to come serve, you have to work you're going to have to sit and and really kind of grind through some stuff. And you're going to learn so much that pretty soon you're going to be so worth having on our team that there's no doubt that we want to bring you on the team as a paid position. So I always tell folks is like, yeah, find somewhere where you can intern and go somewhere where you don't ask for money. But you asked what you can do to give them value. And man, the doors of opportunity just become huge. And you can do this for anybody. Like if you find somebody who's a really successful real estate investor. In fact, if I was to start all over again, that's what I do is I look around the country and find the guy or the gal that's got so much success in the realms I want. And it doesn't always mean money, right? Maybe family balance or, or maybe they you know, they've got the right combination of businesses, or maybe they drive the coolest car or whatever it is, and just hit him up and be like, Dude, I just I want to just be near you. And you don't have to pay me but I will do anything. You told me to do five hours a day, every day of the week. But I just want to learn I'll give you three months, I guarantee you, you will learn more than you could ever take in a class. Would you guys agree with that?

Rory Gill:

I mean, absolutely. And one of the things I love both this industry is it's not perfect, but it's a meritocracy to some degree, the people who are willing to work and learn are the ones that are going to rise. And that's not true in every part of our economy. But people come people come into our office with a variety of backgrounds, you know, educational backgrounds, personal histories, and if they're willing to learn they have a place here in this industry and that's something I really appreciate of doing this job and running this business.

Kekoa Lwin:

100% Yeah, that's the fun thing about real estate is one of the first hires that we had on the team was when I first came to Seattle, I was just gonna fly back to Hawaii every other week. And I did. I wasn't gonna really start a Seattle operations but I was at the gym - I go to the gym every morning at five - and there was this high school kid that I just kept seeing all the time. And we just you know in the gym you always eye out other guys and you're not sure exactly you know how to start a conversation. But one day we just started talking and he was 17 I think at the time just about to turn 18 And he's just like, you know, hey, I've done some research on you and I'd love to learn from you like awesome this weekend show up at two of my properties it just snowed one foot in Seattle and go scrape off the snow and I'll pay you know like a couple hundred bucks and so it's just like you know, I just want to see you know what his attitude would be like and his work ethic and and and I kid you not true story. I show up at two of my houses huge driveways like literally probably 100 foot driveways, hills and do the the driveways where you can lick them the he had de-iced them, pushed the snow to the side. And I mean did you didn't do our driveway he did it all the way down to the street to the stop sign. And when I showed up I was like my what's going on, dude? How many people do hire to bring out to do all this is just me and he still had a smile on his face. And, and after that, just like, you know what you said, I mean, there's just when you're willing to work hard, the doors of opportunities huge. And when you got a good work ethic, man, there's so many people that would love to pour into you and be a coach.

Jason Muth:

There's a strange amount of congeniality among people in the real estate industry for a cutthroat business, like real estate, where folks want to help each other. Maybe not everybody. But you know, you mentioned networking earlier on, you know, going to some networking groups meeting people that are hungry, we've done the same thing. We've talked about it on this podcast before even appearing on this podcast. I mean, you know, I have a feeling that there's a, there's a yearning to learn. And there's a lot of people that are natural teachers, and basically, they just want to tell others what, what they know. And that's kind of how information seems to get passed down in this world. I mean, like, yeah, you still need a degree, if you're going to become an attorney, like Rory's gotta pass the bar. You can't just like, kind of give all the information and then send somebody to court to defend. It's not legal to do that, but But you know, you're talking about mentoring people, meeting people at the gym and saying, Hey, listen, like if you work hard, I can teach you all this stuff. Is that how you built some of these businesses and scaled them up? Because you know, you're operating in some very different parts of the country?

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, yeah. I mean, a lot of our a lot of our... surprisingly, a lot of our staff are gym rats. And so it is pretty funny. Oftentimes, actually, many times in Seattle, to our entire team in Seattle. Yeah, we all work out the same gym in the morning. And so that's pretty cool. And most of our team in Vegas is the same way. So yeah, it's just I think there's something about me, it's been something about athletes, and the dedication and the willingness to get out of bed. And, and the team oriented perspective is really important to me. So a lot of athletes have that. So that's been great. We are in a number of markets, as you alluded to. And it's been challenging, but I think what's cool is that no matter how many different markets, because everybody understands the team aspect, it's been really, really effective. And it's been a lot of fun. So we're really kind of scaling because we're trying to move more towards bigger acquisitions. But at the same time, we want to give more away. So what we're trying to do is trying to figure out, you know, like being on this podcast is how do we help new investors start their journey, because just like Rory said, this is the one industry that if you're 15 years old, or 55, or 95, you can start in real estate investing, and you can make money in this industry. And if you have any sustainable plans, then man, its scalability is tremendous.

Jason Muth:

You discovered it early on, though. I mean, you minored in real estate, but then you started house hacking before that was probably even a term, you know, you were renting rooms to friends. Yeah. And you know, I look back at my life and say, Geez, I wish I learned this back in my early 20s, nobody taught.

Kekoa Lwin:

Right? Don't you just wish that in college, there was a class that just said, Life 101. And they taught you all these life hacks that you don't get, you know, you learn about history, you learn about, you know, various topics, but man, if somebody would just early on and be like, Hey, here's some financial tricks to set you up to do anything you want to do in the rest of your life, then it'd be such a great class. In fact, we should create that class.

Jason Muth:

Okay, that's our assignment after this. Rory, get to it.

Rory Gill:

Yeah. I mean, I mean, absolutely. I mean, I went the roundabout way, I went to college, and law school and all of that. And I wish somebody sent me aside the beginning and said, you know, actually, the most important thing you should be doing right now is, you know, planting that seed that getting that first investment done, instead of, you know, just taking on more debt to go get more degrees, and graduate from there. But that's a topic for a whole. I could go off on that for about an hour. But I wish I wish I planted that seed earlier on instead of just waiting through education to get there.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, well, in our real estate brokerage we have, it's called Team Kekoa call, we have a number of different agents, but the majority of our clients, our investor clients are all physicians gone through med school, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and now they come to us saying help us build a real estate portfolio so we can quit our W-2 jobs, have passive income, and now do what you want to do with our lives. Which is so ironic, because when we were all in high school, everybody's like, be a doctor, be a doctor, be a lawyer, you know, because that's the careers that set you to do whatever you want to do. But man entrepreneurship, really is that ticket to freedom, or the keys to freedom.

Jason Muth:

I you know, there's there's a lot of opportunity costs involved with becoming a doctor and you know, you and I were talking about before we hit record on this, how I took the MCAT was going to go to med school. You know, if I ran down that path, I would have had all this debt and I would have been 30 - Let me think about this - Yeah, would have been 30 out of my internship from med school, so four years of med school, four years of residency, and then you know, you're making a ton of money with a ton of debt unless you know you have family money that was able to pay for it all yourself. So now you're in your early 30s. And you lost 10 years of building up, you know, the empire that a lot of people that maybe you're working with, that are in their early 20s are starting to, to build right now. And those 10 years, those compound, just like a retirement account, you know, like if you start your 401k, at age 20, versus age 30. Well, you're much further along, even though it's only 10 years.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, 100%. Or if you bought, let's just say if you were 20 years old, graduated from college, and you bought your first duplex, and you lived in one side and rent out the other. And then you just kept it man and 15 years, I think we did that been debt free, you know, and then by the time you're 35 years old, you got one duplex debt free. But if you have bought any other properties along the way and put them all on 15 year notes, then you keep having all these debt free properties come up. And that's just game changing. And you're not even doing something difficult, because if you live in one unit, the FHA has this 3% down program, and it's like free money, and you can live in it and you have a place to stay, somebody pays the mortgage. And then pretty soon somebody pays the mortgage off, and then you've got a balance sheet with all this equity, which is where the power comes from, from real estate.

Jason Muth:

It is kind of crazy, because everyone is saying exactly what you're saying. And unless you're in the know are willing to listen to it. People don't hear this, right? I mean, how many people that you talk to better not in the everyday real estate world probably look at you saying God, what are you doing? Like God, you have a lot of debt, or you have a lot of properties, there must be a lot to manage. But little do they know, you know how that could set them financially free from what they're doing with their W-2 job every day?

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, well, yeah, if some of your listeners are W-2 workers, and they're just like thinking, Man, I wish I could get in real estate, but I don't have time. Because they're, you know, 50 hours at work and then driving around. And then they're not sure the knowledge part. The thing about real estate is that you can do it on the side, you can literally do it when driving to and from the car, from work in the car, right listening to podcasts, getting educated, weekends, a little bit of evenings searching for deals, but then it's really building a good network of people around you. So you know, it's trying to find some meetup in your city and just kind of linking up with some good people and being like, Hey, I'm learning I want to figure this out. And then pretty soon, some of those relationships start to blossom. And once in a while, you'll actually find somebody you'll partner with. And I partner on some properties right now. We're building a short term rental on the Big Island of Hawaii and partnered with a contractor that I had met at a meetup in Seattle. And so ironically, he's from Hawaii, too. And so it just turned out perfect. But had I not gone to the meetup, I would have never met him. And it would have never opened the door of opportunity to do some really cool partnership opportunities. So for anybody who's thinking about starting, then just take action, like just start getting moving. And then eventually you're going to start meeting some good people. And the neat thing about most people in the real estate industry is like, you know, Jason was saying earlier is that most people are pretty benevolent, and they're really open to helping one another, you'll meet a couple of greedy ones, and you just discount them and don't do business with them. But most everybody else is really into collaboration.

Jason Muth:

How do you feel like you vet your business partners? I was watching Before we recorded this, I was watching something you recorded with Cory, your other business partner, right? Yeah, just about how you guys met and how you were both, you know, personal trainers, and you know, got to be friends and trust each other whatnot. But you know, you're meeting people out and about right now, and you're probably forming new business partnerships. How would you judge somebody's character and say, hey, I want to do business with this guy, or this gal? And? Or don't?

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, no, that's a great question. Partnerships is that is always a fascinating thing. There's an old saying that says the only ship that does not sail is a partnership. And most of the time, that's super true. Because, you know, partnerships is like a marriage, it's really can be awesome. And it can be really challenging. And you've got two very different people and in a marriage, they come together, and then you're supposed to be death do us part. And that's hard, because there's some challenges along the way. Business partnerships are equally as hard and lack that dedication, because in marriage, you try to stick it out. Business partnerships are like Screw you, I'm out, you know, and then you just have a document that gets out, which doesn't set you up for longevity, right? So to find a really good partner, for me, what I've been fortunate enough to do is just I find people that share common values that I have. So you know, that's what the gym comes in, is, you know, I'm just a morning guy. I'm a discipline guy I love, you know, taking care of myself, but it's also a mindset thing to get the day started. So when I find other people like that, I'm like, man, you know, we share a lot of basic values in terms of just our mindset and attitude. But then there's also values that you have in life, like some people, you know, feel a certain way about faith or they feel a certain way about money or they feel a certain way about generosity or not generosity and, and you can hear sometimes in people's communication, they're just like, eff everybody and screw that person and you're like, Man, I'd never want to partner with you because that's just not how I think of life. You know? And for me, I'm always about how do I out give the next guy because I want to out give and not out get, you know, and so just a different mentality. Cory, my partner that you've mentioned, Jason is we're a part of a group called Gobundance and Go-Givers, which is that we're all about, you know, just kind of giving everything away. And, and so we're always giving our spreadsheets and the app to the analyzer tools. And we're just like, Yeah, take it, you know, we'll help you out. And that kind of similarity creates a good partnership, a good marriage, right? And that's always huge. And then when it comes to somebody that you look at, and you're like, hey, you know, dude, I think we can do a deal together. I always tell people don't jump to the altar, but take one step at a time. And the one step is like, hey, let's partner on one small deal together. Let's not buy a hotel. Let's not buy, you know, some multi-million dollar flip. But let's do a base run, hit. Let's just see how that looks. You know, and just see if a one simple step works for us. That's what Cory and I did, we did a very simple flip, which in Hawaii, it's over a mil because everything's over a mil in Hawaii, but but it was a basic flip. And, and we didn't do that great on money. But what we did do is we discovered how each of us have strengths and different weaknesses. And then we discovered we complement each other really well. And then we're like, hey, let's do another one. And then pretty soon was like another one. And before we knew it, it was not even a conscientious decision. Like we were a full-fledge partnership. And then it's like, well, we need to get some documents to kind of officialize this thing. So I think we're going to show up at the altar, and we better get married, because this is like, this is legit, you know. So anybody who's kind of starting off, and you think about partnerships is one of the greatest ways to scale a complex in Vegas, with a couple of partners, actually, all physicians, in fact, and they're great and, and it took a long time to vet them and to really think about them. I own a an eight-plex, with another doctor, actually, yeah, there's a lot of doctors in my life. I think I'm saving up my physician, if I ever need them, I think. I own quite a few things on my own or with my wife and I. My wife and I are actually about to open up an adult family home. So it's residential assisted living. And so in partnership with her, but then we discovered that we could scale and open up more of these across the country if we brought in this expert who's been doing this for like 25 years. And so we're like, should we partner with him? And so we've been dating him for a while, like, we've taken him to dinners and lunches, and we've taken his classes. You know, my wife's like, I really like him. And he's got a cool accent. I'm all you like, his accent better than my accent because that can be a problem.

Jason Muth:

What kind of accent does he have?

Kekoa Lwin:

He has an Italian accent.

Jason Muth:

Ah, of course, the Italian accent. I'm half Italian. I totally understand it. Yeah, it's on New York. I hear it all the time. Well, I grew up around New York Italians, which are different from like, yeah, European Italians.

Kekoa Lwin:

He's from Italy. And so yeah, he has a natural accent. It's a very nice accent easy to listen to. And I think he's probably 65 You know, so he's, uh, he's at a stage in life now where he's not trying to prove anything, but he's trying to give stuff away. And it just aligns with us so much. So. So I would just say anybody who's looking for partnerships is kind of take a look at the alignment, take a look at a basic opportunity. And then really take a look at what are some of the things that you want to do that a partnership will help you get there even faster?

Jason Muth:

And then get seduced by the accent?

Kekoa Lwin:

And then you like contractor in Vegas he's from? He has an English accent. I don't even know where that's from. But I just every time I call him I'm like, can you just keep talking to me? Because man, so sexy.

Jason Muth:

I know everything sounds a lot smarter, doesn't it?

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah. I don't even know. I can't even pay attention. I'm just like, Man, I'm just so nice.

Jason Muth:

Well, Rory, here in Boston, you know, a lot of the contractors have Irish accents, right? Especially in our neighborhood.

Rory Gill:

Right. And I That's why I can't take phone calls from them. I need subtitles, or to see them in person to get to know what they're talking about.

Jason Muth:

Sometimes they're very thick. But yeah, the Hawaiian accent. And also we love that. I mean, it just makes you feel like you're in paradise when you're talking to someone from Hawaii.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah. And then when you get two people from Hawaii talking to each other, then you can't even understand them. So I slide into what we call Pidgin from time to time, and my kids are like, what is that? That doesn't sound intelligent. Okay, I understand it.

Jason Muth:

Pidgin? What is Pidgin?

Kekoa Lwin:

Pidgin? Yeah, yeah, it's a local. So if you have any listeners that are from Hawaii, they'll totally know what it is. It's, it's basically a language that was created back in the sugarcane days, because you had Japanese workers, Filipino Workers, Chinese workers immigrating to Hawaii, and their common language was English, and they didn't even speak English well, so it's broken English trying to communicate and so that ended up becoming basically a Pidgin English. And so the verb tenses are off and that they put the noun in the wrong place. But now it's just become part of the DNA of Hawaii and so you'll you'll hear it from time to time. It's pretty fun.

Jason Muth:

I'm sure we did. I mean, Rory and I took a trip there a couple years ago, I've been there a couple times, not Rory, and next time I go, I have to listen for it.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah. Well, have you jump on a conference call? When I'm talking about Hawaii client? You'll be like, ah, that's what it sounds like

Jason Muth:

Now I get it. Yeah. So let's, let's ask a couple quick questions about some legal issues that you've had along the way, since this is a real estate law podcast. So there anything that stood out in any of your deals where you're like, oh, man, that was a situation that we could have avoided, or that was something that I needed to call an attorney in for something that, you know, just would be interesting to hear on a real estate law podcast?

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah. Well, I think that for for the, for an audience of people who are looking to get into real estate investing, I think one of the coolest things that kind of ties the ego as well as finance is something called real estate professional status. Right? Are you familiar with that?

Rory Gill:

Yeah. So it's tax inside know that very well.

Kekoa Lwin:

Super well, yeah. And I would just say if you're an investor and don't know what that is, contact Rory or get with an attorney and your CPA and ask them that question. Because that question essentially helps you eliminate your W-2 taxes. It's magical. And it's legal, which is crazy. So that's, that's a, that's a tax thing, or legal thing that I wish somebody would have told me when I was in graduating from college, because that would have been game changing early on. So that's huge.

Rory Gill:

I was just gonna say Jason married me for the tax status, which makes perfect sense.

Kekoa Lwin:

Oh, hey, out, right. You know, when investors start dating, because their their questions are not the normal ones when they date, your normal questions on where do you go? What do you like? What movies and what actors? Investors? Their first question is? Do you have real estate professional status?

Rory Gill:

Where does more than 50% of your income come from? Yeah, it's a great!

Kekoa Lwin:

Totally. Does more than 50% of your income come from passive income or active income? What kind of passive income do you have? And and what is the depreciation that you take - bonus depreciation, or do you do... Yeah, and everybody else listening? Those guys are so lame.

Jason Muth:

You know, but a lot of people that are into this are single, or they're younger, and they're probably swiping on their, you know, left or right on their Tinder profiles, Whichever, whichever way is the way that means a good thing. I think it's swiping right. So maybe you should put your real estate professional status on your Tinder profile right next to your height, your weight, your eye color, or your interests, you know, that might attract some new people.

Kekoa Lwin:

100 percent. Well, I tell my single friends who are now in real estate investing, go to real estate networking meetups. Guaranteed to find good people, because you have similar values, similar mindset, similar interests. And if they're going to show up to an event, then chances are you know, they're they're making a priority out of it, too. So, yeah, so even sometimes more than the apps are weird these days. So but you know, that's a whole 'nother topic to talk about.

Jason Muth:

That's the next episode, we'll be back for that. The real estate meetups that you go to like the ones that we go to, it's just it's all guys. I mean, like, there's very few women that go to them. I don't know about the ones that you go to, oh, I just found that striking.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, that's, that should not be true. There are a lot of women in the space. And I would just probably venture to guess that the organizers are all guys. So probably need to just get a really good dynamic real estate agent or broker or an investor in the community to join in. And it'll change because the women add to the fabric of investing. I mean, just a dynamic that is fantastic. So yeah, for sure, for sure.

Jason Muth:

Really, as we approach our final questions, which are coming up in a second, I just want to talk about your, the different states in which I operate. You know, how do you keep all that organized? You know, because it's different time zones, it's just different coasts. It's a rock in the middle of the ocean. It's nothing like I've ever, you know, I've never spoken with somebody that's, you know, has that many disparate business ventures. I can't imagine, you know, how you keep your head on straight, but you must have a great system.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah. Did you say disparate or desperate? Because I'm desperate with the right adjective for sure.

Jason Muth:

I use disparate but I'll go with desperate too.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, we do have offices, our heart. So when we have so many companies, right, so our lending company has offices in Honolulu. And then we go to the East Coast, which is in Florida. And so we cover all timezones, which our clients love because somebody is picking up the phone. And when you're when you need money to do your deal, you want somebody on the other line picking up your phone quickly. So So fortunately, our lending company does bridge loans, and so we can close really quick. So that's awesome to have that. But our real estate team that does acquisitions and then helps with our clients who want to buy or sell multifamily properties. That's that's all over the country. And now we're expanding to literally almost everywhere in the country, which is really exciting. So we're part of a group called EXP real estate as well. And so we're networked together really well. And so with us, bringing people onto the Team Kekoa brand, it's a brand that has the knowledge of real estate investors, which is the real estate professional status, cost segregation, bonus depreciation, you know, all the stuff that investors need to know, most typical agents don't know. Right, Rory? I mean, it's kind of it's kind of a specialized field. So that's our specialty. And we love it. We're about to do something in Michigan as well. And that's really fun. So we are doing a lot of different countries. So how do we stay organized, I'm on an airplane a lot, which is kind of fun. And I just, I can never find my best running shoes, or my best workout gear, because I can't remember where they're located at. That's all right. But, but it makes it a lot of fun. But it also gives us an opportunity to network with a lot of people. So if anyone's listening and you're in any of the markets we're in, we'd love to, we'd love to connect up and see if there's something we can do together.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, we'll put all your information in the show notes for this. And if people want to reach out to you directly, what do you think is the best way to get a hold of you, Kekoa?

Kekoa Lwin:

Teamkekoa.com. Team, and then Kekoa - my first name - K-E-K-O-A .com is our website. So it's got everything there. And then they can reach out to us and all of our informations there, you can check out our team and, and then if you're looking for, you know, good place to intern or learn from, you know, hit us up! You know, if you think that you fit in, if you've benchpress, at least 600 or 700. perfectly fit in. So just kidding.

Jason Muth:

A very small subset of people.

Kekoa Lwin:

That doesn't include me either.

Jason Muth:

A lot of plates there! Rory, do you have any final questions for Kekoa before we get to the final questions of the podcast?

Rory Gill:

No, I like get his thoughts in the final questions.

Jason Muth:

Excellent. All right. Well, Kekoa, we ask the same three questions of all guests on the podcast, just to wrap it up and have a you know, put a bow on the conversation and figure out a way to move forward and moving into the rest of our lives, which is not recording podcasts. And the the first question is, if you can get on stage and talk for half hour about any subject in the world, not real estate and have zero preparation, meaning something that you know, so well, what is that?

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, you know, I mean, that's, that's a big question. It's not about real estate, probably be something to do with personal fitness and mindset. You know, for me, that's a huge thing. I think mindset is massive. And, and I think that fitness is important to anything that you do. And I think we give less credit to fitness and mindset than we really should. So I would definitely talk about that.

Jason Muth:

There's a strong correlation between success and real estate and mindset, and physical activity. Like I just I keep finding it a lot of like the successful entrepreneurs that we that we all stumble upon online, they all seem to keep really fit. So there's something that is said about that, like you find time in your day to maintain your fitness. In fact, I'm guessing if you don't work out, you probably feel like you're not going to have as good of a day.

Kekoa Lwin:

Oh, 100% Yeah, absolutely. And I think mindset is huge as well. You know, I do agree with you on that. I'll give you a quick example. You know, so you said you've been to Hawaii. In Hawaii, we have something called the floral leis and everybody jokes that you get laid in Hawaii. And you may but then you also get flower leis, and flower leis are awesome because they smell fantastic. And in Hawaii flower leis they put around your neck. And the neat thing about the flower leis is that when you have a flower lei on, everything smells amazing. So you can have a flower lei on and you can go into a men's gym locker room, and the locker room smells amazing. Because you have the flower lei, right? You can go into your teenager's bedroom, and it smells amazing. You can go into a garbage dump. And it smells amazing, because you've got the flower lei on. And to me the mindsets like the flower lei. It's like when you go into the day with a mindset that says, hey, I can do this, today's going to be better than yesterday. And the high of today is going to be the low of tomorrow. So you know, I'm just going to keep on pressing into the day. And you have a mindset like that, then man, you can do anything, no matter how hard life gets, because you've got that lei of a mindset of positivity that really changes things.

Jason Muth:

So I need to be the guy that goes to the gym wearing a flower lei here in Boston, like that will really turn some heads.

Kekoa Lwin:

It would turn some heads. But you know, you never know. It could be pretty cool.

Jason Muth:

Our second question is tell us something that happened early in your life or career that is impacting the way that you're working today.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, you know, I think it's probably my dad. So my dad immigrated from Burma, which is Myanmar next to Thailand. And then they escaped it when the Japanese bombed in so they had to actually jump over dead bodies and then ran to China, landed in Hawaii, and then, but he kind of came to the country with nothing. And he went to the University of Washington, got a scholarship, and then started working hard. So I think his work ethic is what I got from him. But but he worked so hard that he actually became the United States National Transportation Director based in DC under George Bush. So yeah, so I mean, it's all because he was a really, really hard worker. And so I think that that has definitely impacted me because throughout my upbringing, I always watched him work hard, but he always coached our soccer teams. And we always had time to fish on the weekends. And so somehow he balanced it all. But yet, you know, I mean, you don't get to where he got as a foreigner to this country without a huge work ethic. and a positive attitude. So, so I'd say that that, you know, I mean, without being, you know, cheesy about it. I think that yeah, it was my dad, but he did a lot for me.

Jason Muth:

Not cheesy at all. I mean, that's an important lesson. And he probably made every minute count of every single day, you know, while you were growing up if he was working so hard, worked under, you know, a federal administration and was there for your soccer games.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, it was amazing. I mean, I had a paper route growing up, we grew up pretty poor. And he would get up at five in the morning, and he would pedal papers with me every single morning. And I was like, Yeah, this is great. You know, I mean, you didn't need to, but, but I think it was just he was showing discipline and the morning routines and everything. And so, so I tried to do the same thing with my son. But you know, kids these days, man, they're so spoiled compared to when we were kids.

Jason Muth:

That's another episode.

Kekoa Lwin:

That's all another episode. We'll do one on real estate parenting.

Jason Muth:

Final question we have for you tell us something you're listening to, or reading or watching these days.

Kekoa Lwin:

Oh, you know, I'm looking at my book list right now. And there's three books that I'm reading. That's pretty awesome. So there's this one called Traction, really love it. So if you don't have a book that just kind of talks about finding a place and just really taking off that's huge. This one's pretty nerdy, but this - I don't know if you guys ever done this one. These are Tax Strategies for the Real Estate Investors, part one and part two. So new investors get these books. They are absolutely amazing. And then the final one that I really enjoy is this book. It's called $100M Offers - you probably haven't heard about this, but this is a really good book on just how do you make offers that never get turned down? So Rory huge for the brokerage. So. But yeah, that's kind of the stuff that I've been reading lately, and it's pretty cool.

Rory Gill:

I've already have it added that to my list, so...

Jason Muth:

Well, Kekoa, I'd really appreciate your taking some time to to spend with us.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah! This is great!

Jason Muth:

To give us all this great insight. I mean, this end of the podcast, you know, I really encourage you to go check out Kekoa's website, TeamKekoa.com, is that right? Yeah, lots of info about you, you know, follow you on Instagram as well. We'll put all the links in here because you know, you do some great videos that are really you in the environment of just like the world that you're working in. I know you do some live streams also on a periodic basis. Is that right? Yeah. Every Friday Every Friday?

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah.

Jason Muth:

Are those public?

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, it's called Coffee Talk. We just bring - it's like networking. But we started doing COVID. So anybody's welcome to jump in. It's all real estate investors from around the country. The problem is you have to figure out what time zone you're in and link up. But it's at 12 noon pacific time. It's pretty cool. It's anywhere from 50 to 100 investors that jump on every week and share different things. But yeah, we'd invite anybody who's interested to, to hit us up, go to the way our website and then our TeamKekoa website will give you some opportunities to send us a message.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, we're gonna we're to check all that stuff out. And you know, we'll have to make sure that you show up on time for your own networking event. Right?

Kekoa Lwin:

Right. We may have you guys on some time. That'd be fantastic. We'd love that.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, I mean, Rory and I were talking before we recorded this saying like, you know, Kekoa has got such like a positive vibe and everything. And like, you know, here the Northeast things can be really surly. And, you know, we could have kind of this just different mindset from the Hawaiian or West Coast mindset. But I don't know, we tell it like it is out here. That's what I've always subscribed to, but not that you don't but you know, I think that your your charisma and your, you know, your just your mindset really just comes right through the camera, it comes right through everything that you're saying, you know, I could tell that everything that you're saying is genuine, all the mentorship that you know, you've put four with your team and other members. You know, it's definitely something that it's a breath of fresh air. I'm glad that you're able to kind of live your life that way and operate your businesses that way, because I'm sure really helped you grow to what you have today.

Kekoa Lwin:

Yeah, well, thanks. I'm sure you folks do the exact same thing. And it's gonna be fun to continue to watch you both grow and to watch those who listen in on the podcast where I was, well, this is a great resource.

Jason Muth:

Thank you know, we appreciate that. And Rory, we should probably give you a couple seconds to say where people could find you.

Rory Gill:

I'm easy to find. If you want to find me NextHome Titletown, nexthometitletown.com or UrbanVillage Legal, urbanvillagelegal.com.

Jason Muth:

We'll put all that in the show notes as well. And I'm Jason, you can find me at Jason@nexthometitletown.com. Or you could hit us up on Instagram and we'll probably answer those probably me answering the Instagram DM's. So slide right in there. So Kekoa thanks so much again. We really appreciate it and well mahalo and aloha and to everyone listening. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the podcast.

Announcer:

This has been The Real Estate Law Podcast. Because real estate is more than just pretty pictures. And law goes well beyond the paperwork and courtroom arguments. were powered by NextHome Titletown greater Boston's progressive real estate brokerage. More at nexthometitletown.com and UrbanVillage Legal, Massachusetts real estate counseling serving savvy property owners, lenders and investors more at urbanvillagelegal.com. Today's conversation was not legal advice, but we hope you found it entertaining and informative. Discover more at realestatelawpodcast.com Thank you for listening!