On Building a Legacy in Kansas City
Meet Rebecca Blake Cain, real estate entrepreneur who has developed a keen eye for design and investments in the Kansas City market. With over six years in the industry, she has become recognized for her tenacity, grit and building relationships that last. An avid investor who is also building generational wealth alongside her father and husband proving to her daughter Madeline that you really can do it all. She credits her success to having been well surrounded by mentors, and by keeping family and God at the center of everything she does. A truly admirable young woman who is building her empire and making real estate dreams come true for others.
Let’s begin with your journey that brought you into the real estate industry?
I studied art at the University of Missouri and then went to portfolio school in Chicago for advertising after I graduated. While I soon realized this wasn’t quite the right fit for me, I walked away with a greater understanding of design and marketing that really benefits my business today. I really pride myself on my marketing and love that my job allows me to be so creative.
Right as I was finishing portfolio school, my dad was retiring from the corporate world and looking for a passion project. My dad and I have always been very close and knew somewhere down the line we would like to work together and build something for the future. My dad’s grandfather owned rental properties, specifically duplexes, and taught him the value of having one side to pay the expenses and one side to turn a profit.
When I first moved to Kansas City and got my real estate license, we were on the hunt for duplexes (truthfully, we always are), but they were extremely scarce. My now husband and I, drove around town writing down addresses and then sending direct mail pieces to local duplex owners to see if they would be interested in selling. That is how we got our first rental property that will always be near and dear to my heart. My husband and I even lived in the bottom unit for a couple years and rented out the top. After that, I was hooked and that’s how I started Rebeccammending real estate!
Is that something that you empower your clients to do?
Absolutely. Some of our favorite tenants asked me to be their realtor when they were ready to purchase a home and we had a great discussion about real estate investing and how they could do something similar to what we have done. They ended up purchasing a single family home, but I do have them set up on search for multifamily properties in case they are ready to take that step in the future.
What made you decide to chose your brokerage of KW?
My biggest mentor in the industry would be my Team Leader at KW, Elizabeth Sady. I met Elizabeth when we were both realtors at Reece Nichols and always admired her. I felt like we had very similar styles of running our businesses and any time she was offering a training at the office, I made sure to attend. When she left Reece Nichols to work at KW, we kept in touch and she continuously met with me for one-on-one sessions to discuss how I could grow my business and offer her advice. Ultimately, it just made sense for me to move to KW as well. I’ve been there for about a year and a half now and have been extremely happy there.
When it comes to real estate investments in your area, where do you suggest people to be looking at location wise and for types of real estate?
As I mentioned before, we love a duplex. It is great security to know that if one side is not rented, the other side is paying your bills. In terms of location, safety is a major factor for us as well as walkability. All of our properties are in desirable areas, but have different appeals, whether that be within a great school district, close to downtown or full of charm and walking distance to local hotspots. It’s important to us to invest in different areas of Kansas City. There are so many interesting areas that all have something different to offer and it’s also important to spread out our investments so that if something happens in one area, it doesn’t effect all of our properties. We take great care in deciding which properties we are going to purchase and we work hard to renovate and improve them to add value to them as well as the neighbourhood.
Have you had any mentors in your family that you would say helped you become the successful business woman that you are today?
In terms of business, my dad is my biggest advisor and mentor. He’s a finance guy who had a long and very successful career in the corporate world with many big titles, CFO, CEO, etc. He has guided me and taught me so much about passive income, generational wealth and the art of negotiation, but more importantly, he has taught me how to treat people and how important it is to take care of the people who take care of you. I admire him so much and am so grateful to him for how well he takes care of our family and for teaching me to do the same.
Where do you see the bigger vision for your brand and real estate career for the future?
In the long term, I am always eager to acquire more rental properties throughout various locations in Kansas City and I am interested in adding some short term rentals to our portfolio (at the moment we only do long term rentals). I would also love to get my husband, Jacob, to join my RebeccammendedReal Estate Team. I’m working on convincing him, but I’m pretty sure I’ll close the sale.
What is a challenge that you have recently surmounted before / after covid?
Honestly, my challenges are no different than any other successful working mom. Balancing motherhood with a booming real estate business and managing our rental portfolio can be challenging, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love what I do and nothing is more rewarding than being Madeline’s mom. When things get particularly busy, I often think to myself, “I can do anything, I’m Madeline’s mom!” That always puts things in perspective for me.
How would you say that you balance it all?
I don’t know that balance is realistic! I keep God and my family at the center of everything and I wake up every day with a heart full of gratitude. I think that’s as close as it gets.
Throughout your journey, what is something you would give to a younger woman starting out in this industry?
My biggest piece of advice is to ask for what you want. I think it’s so easy to be afraid of rejection, to make excuses as to why we shouldn’t do something or assume someone else is more qualified. True, there will definitely be some “no’s” along the way but it will not break you and they will ultimately help you figure out how to get to the “YES.”
What does success represent to you?
Success to me means doing something I love and supporting the people I love. I take great pride in the fact that I am working to build something that can help support my daughter and family for generations. I would love to be able to hand over a successful real estate business to her one day (if that’s something she wanted to do) and regardless, it gives me a lot of comfort to know that our investment properties will be there to provide income for not only retirement but Madeline as well.
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