Some people are throwing the phrase “generational wealth” as the be-all-end-all solution to the massive racial wealth gap. But Kevin “KayR” Robinson, co-founder of KayJay Consulting, wants people to begin considering the power of what he calls ‘transformational wealth,” a concept he believes can be achieved easily through real estate investment.
“Generational wealth is focused on one person and one immediate need,” Robinson told Finurah. “Transformational wealth is about figuring out how to make wealth work today.”
There is a fundamental difference between generational wealth and transformational wealth, Robinson pointed out. “I consider generational wealth to move north to south. It is long-term wealth development,” Robinson said. “Transformational wealth is happening east to west. You are creating wealth today.”
Transformational wealth, Robinson argued, focuses on supporting families and networks now. Generational wealth, however, is positioned to help someone later on in life. For instance, if a couple dies, they leave their home to their children. That is considered generational wealth. With transformational wealth, the purpose is to build wealth by supporting others. For instance, you buy a property then hire your family member to become a property manager. With a full salary, your sibling can support their family. Then, they can partner with you to purchase other properties, enhancing their wealth immediately.
Robinson, a retired Wall Street investment banker, boasts a real estate portfolio that includes more than 100 units. In addition to working with a select group of family members to manage his properties, Robinson also runs KayJay Consulting, teaching novice real estate investors how to make smart purchases.
“I meet people where they are so that they can think of transforming their situation,” Robinson said. I don’t hire people on skillset, but potential. I am confident in coaching. I look for raw talent whether it is a family or stranger.”
Robinson grew up in Philadelphia with his mother and six siblings. The family relied on public assistance to supplement their lives and moved often. Robinson realized early on that he needed to live a different life. He began observing the people in his community that were able to wield power and it came down to one group of people: landlords.
“Landlords could tell you when and when not to leave,” Robinson said. “I realized then that no one will tell me when to come and when not to.”
At 13, he began reading books about real estate, business management and wealth creation. And after graduating high school, Robinson received a full scholarship to attend Bowdoin College in Maine. He followed up with an MBA from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and subsequently positions with companies such as Goldman Sachs, Sirios Capital Management, Raptor Capital Management and Truist Securities.
Developing Transformational Wealth
As Robinson launched a career in investment banking, he also began purchasing real estate. In 2009, Robinson purchased his first rental property in West Philadelphia for $84,000. Today, Robinson’s portfolio is packed with more than 100 units in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Family members invested in Robinson’s concept of transformational wealth. Robinson’s brother, Christian Washington, for instance, plays an integral role on the real estate team. After getting his real estate license, Washington was able to earn commission on homes that he sold. He then used that money to purchase his own property while assisting his in-laws with a down payment on their home.
In addition, Robinson’s stepmother also plays an important role in his operation, as a senior property manager. Other family members working with Robinson include another brother, a sister-in-law, two nephews and a niece.
Borrowing from his experiences as a real estate investor and knowledge as an investment banker, Robinson and his partner launched a series of comprehensive boot camp courses for people interested in investing in real estate. Since launching the courses in 2020, Robinson has helped 150 people learn key concepts in real estate investing. And then, over a 12-month period, he provides monthly check-ins to gauge their success.
Kayla Chan, a resident of Arlington, participated in Robinson’s boot camp in March.
“I had heard of Kevin’s success and I really wanted to be able to pick his brain and learn his mistakes,” Chan said. “He shared information that gave us all a head start.”
Today, Chan owns a rental property in Ohio and is looking for another property.
“It’s scary to get into real estate at such a young age,” Chan added. “Kevin is a great role model if you don’t already have someone in your corner.”