It celebrated Black History Month by educating people about the practical aspects of becoming homeowners and investors. More than 100 people attended this year’s event. Going forward, this will be an annual event that the Real Estate Group will host. The Kean Real Estate Group has been in operation since 2019 intending to change the lives of families who never thought they could build wealth through real estate. “We know that a lot of people tend to focus on Black history and Black people in February,” says Andrea Peart-Williams, real estate investor and co-owner of Kean Real Estate Group. “So we thought, why not capitalize on that by offering something free that gets everyone to look at what we can build going forward.” In comparison to white ownership of property, Williams adds, “When we look at our white counterparts, they tend to own significantly more than the Black community, so if we can guide them on what they can do going forward, we can change that.” ByBlacks.com had a conversation with Andrea Peart-Williams about her experiences in the industry and how she and her partner are guiding the Black Canadian community on investment and ownership.
About Andrea Peart-Williams
Andrea Peart-Williams was born in Jamaica and came to Canada as a young girl. Her early years were marked by challenges involving her biological family and foster care. Peart-Williams always had a burning desire to be financially independent. However, her biological family did not have the resources she needed to succeed in real estate. She drew inspiration from the foster families she stayed with because they all owned homes.
At 17, Peart-Williams had saved up enough money to buy her first property but instead ended up buying a car due to her inexperience and lack of investment knowledge. After she graduated from university, she began teaching at an elementary school. She then worked with a real estate agent to buy her first property at the age of 22.
After she met her husband, they started investing in real estate and built a portfolio including condos, semi-detached homes, and apartments. “Once we got married, my husband and I were looking for investment opportunities,” says Peart-Williams. It was a struggle, even with my teaching salary, but we eventually opted for real estate investing and decided to use real estate as a tool to build wealth.” Williams has been investing in real estate for over 25 years now. She earned a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from York University.
About Kean Real Estate
In the last 25 years, Andrea Peart-Williams and her business partner (who is also her sister-in-law), Kemba Williams, have grown significantly in real estate, and in 2019, they established Keen Real Estate Group. Their focus was on educating people of colour and minorities, especially women, in using real estate to build wealth. Currently, the two business partners have a 10-property portfolio worth over $10 million that generates over $35,000 monthly.
“My business partner and I are family and want to encourage people to use their family ties to build wealth. We desire to see minorities like the Black community succeed,” Peart-Williams affirms. Peart-Williams is particularly passionate about working with women. “We definitely focus on women; I started as a single mom, so I know how hard it is and I want to work with all sorts of women, whether they are single, married, or have kids.”
Speaking of their vision, Peart-William says, “Our vision is to help you build a legacy that you can pass on to the next generation. It’s not just financial resources, but also the educational knowledge they need to build a home or their business.”
The company offers free resources like newsletters, articles, booklets, guides, podcasts, weekly seminars, and events, to help people figure out how real estate investing works. They also provide an initial free consultation and paid coaching sessions.
“Our target audience is uneducated in terms of finances and academic knowledge, so we have developed affordable programs. For instance, our silver program is only $50/month. Our consultation sessions also help them figure out how to buy a property for investment purposes. We also help them with placing tenants and be successful,” Peart-Williams explains.
Special Session During Black History Month
The Black History Month program consisted of hourly sessions held every Thursday along with access to useful resources, covering various topics. These include statistical data showing where Black people, women, and minorities fall in terms of income, wealth, education, and how to change that with real estate. They also discuss ways to get into real estate, how to make the most of the properties they own, success stories, and how to connect with the Kean Real Estate Group for free sessions and resources.
Most of the participants were women from the local Greater Toronto Area. Commenting on the same, Williams said, “Our meetings show that even though women are motivated and interested, most of the time, their partners or their husbands don’t support them. We encourage them to go forward and guide them on how to achieve what they want.”
According to Williams, the feedback has been phenomenal. “Everyone has been so grateful to have the opportunity to attend our sessions. Some of them have attended every session because they find this knowledge is not available anywhere else.” Many attendees have booked initial consultation sessions, while others have joined their 12-month silver program to purchase their first property.
Since Fall 2020 alone, The Kean Real Estate Group had successfully helped about 30 individuals generate income using real estate. Keitha Frederick, a client of Kean Real Estate says, “They are a great group of young ladies. They offer a much-needed service to people considering purchasing a home. Their advice to me was invaluable because I was a total novice trying to get into the market. They guided me, connected me with a good mortgage broker, and realtor in the area I was able to purchase a condo.”
Keitha also encouraged others to speak to people who have been buying real estate, “Especially Black people, because most of us don’t share our experiences and end up struggling more.”
The Kean Real Estate Group is working on building a foundation or fund that can help Blacks and other minority groups with their first purchase. The goal of this initiative would be to provide people with a platform for applying for, and receiving funding for offsetting some of the costs, including the down payment, on their first purchase. The company is reaching out to its affiliates to sponsor and support the initiative. Their goal is to partner with the government to receive the capital needed to help minorities manage down payments.
Finally, Williams advises, “Never give up and connect with us if you need help.”