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Real Estate Investment Overview and Professional Insight for the Kansas City Market

real estate investment kansas city

Announcer:
Live from the KC Property Guys and KC Pier Studio in beautiful Kansas City. Home to over 200 fountains and more barbecue restaurants per capita than anywhere in the nation. It’s the Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leader Show. A show about industry leaders from the local Kansas City Metro market for Kansas City real estate related professionals and enthusiasts, like you. Like you. And now here’s your hosts, Eric and Lucas Scheele.

Lucas Scheele:
How’s it going everybody? My name is Lucas Scheele, and welcome back to the Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leaders podcast. I’m here with my cohost Eric Scheele, as well as Ben Kalny from Axiom Equities. So Eric, you want to just start us off?

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, you bet. So Ben, good to have you in studio today.

Ben Kalny:
Glad to be here. Thank you, guys.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, you bet. So we sit down, we talk shop every week, right? We do it three ways. We talk to Kansas City real estate industry leaders, which Ben is, and we’ll tell you about him in just a few minutes. But we also talk KC Property Guys, and we talk KC Peer Foundation issues. And so today we have the pleasure of having Ben from Axiom Equities. And we’re going to have you kind of talk Real Estate Investment with everyone.

Ben Kalny:
Sure.

Background

Eric Scheele:
And we really kind of start and talk a little. What’s your background? How’d you get started? If you can give us the elevator pitch, and we’ll kind of go from there.

Ben Kalny:
Sure, sure. Well, I started investing in real estate after I got out of law school. I went to an expensive law school, and I always knew I’d come back to Kansas City. I got back here, and I said, “Gosh, I’ve got to figure something out. I got a lot of student debt.” So I started looking at real estate, and began investing just for myself, and quickly realized that it was a good fit.

Eric Scheele:
Yep.

Ben Kalny:
I enjoyed it. I found it a challenge, and it was fruitful. Pretty early on, I got pretty aggressive in my investing.

Eric Scheele:
What time period was this?

Ben Kalny:
That would’ve been in the mid ’90s.

Eric Scheele:
Mid ’90s, okay. So we’re rolling it back 20, 30 years.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah, yeah.

Eric Scheele:
Hard number to say.

Ben Kalny:
The number gets bigger every year. It’s crazy how that works.

Real Estate Investment Kansas City

Eric Scheele:
Yeah. But that’s interesting because, obviously, Luke and I talked cash investor real estate, and we talk real estate investment quite a bit. To find someone out of college essentially saying, “Hey man, I want to get into this real estate investment game.” You’re kind of the exception to the rule. You’re ahead of the curve.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah. It doesn’t happen often.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah. Most of those guys that we see jumping in, and we get queries from, and from online, they’re kind of mid-40s. And they’re like, “Man, I want to dabble. I’m finally financially secure.” You’re the opposite way. And you’re like, “I got debt. I want to go maybe in more debt, but I know this is a winner.” And that’s brought you to the table back in the ’90s, huh?

Ben Kalny:
No, I tell you, necessity is the mother of invention.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, there you go.

Ben Kalny:
I tell folks the first house I bought, my student loan payment was more than my mortgage.

Lucas Scheele:
No way.

Ben Kalny:
That’s when I was like- [crosstalk 00:03:07] “I need a bright idea.”

Eric Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
“And a shovel to dig myself out of this.”

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
I got to figure some stuff out.

Eric Scheele:
Right. That’s fantastic. So you’re investing in the ’90s in Kansas City, specifically?

Ben Kalny:
Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah? Kansas and Missouri side, or focus on the Kansas Real Estate Investment side? What was your flavor?

Real Estate Investment Johnson County

Ben Kalny:
Yeah, I’ve always been a proponent of good… And let me just preface by saying I’m a firm believer in everyone has their own path and their own philosophy. I strictly do Real Estate Investment in Johnson County. That’s been 90 some percent of my stuff’s in Johnson County.

Eric Scheele:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lucas Scheele:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Kalny:
That’s just what I like. That’s what I know. That’s where I grew up. I have some other things, like I don’t do Section 8. Nothing wrong with it. I know lots of guys who are a lot smarter than I am who are doing very, very well in Section 8.

Eric Scheele:
Yep, yep. Right.

Ben Kalny:
More power to them. Different areas, everyone has their own focus. I try to stick to what I know and not get too cute. And generally, I do longterm real estate investment. I don’t flip. Buy and hold real estate investment has always been my thing.

Eric Scheele:
Yep.

Ben Kalny:
So I try to buy in good areas that I think are going to be basically the same or better in 20 years.

Eric Scheele:
You bet.

Good Solid Real Estate Investment

Ben Kalny:
And by just good solid real estate investment. Not sexy stuff, but just steady.

Eric Scheele:
Well, what you get there is you get stability, and with stability you probably get some return on the real estate investment that you know is going to accelerate at least over time at a minimal pace, at best accelerated to a really nice pace to where you have some built-in equity. But when you built it, people talk about classes of homes and A and B and C and D class homes. And some people just make their living, like you said, in those Cs and Ds and Section 8s.

Ben Kalny:
Absolutely, yeah.

Axiom Equities

Eric Scheele:
And the other underlying message here… Which we talk to real estate industry leaders. Axiom Equities is a extremely successful, Kansas City acquisitions multi-family firm, here, with private investment. Correct?

Ben Kalny:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Eric Scheele:
And you also do personal investment. This is kind of your path to leading to what you do today. Correct?

Ben Kalny:
Yeah. I was one of those guys that I got deep into real estate investment. I went big, for a little guy like me. I leaned into it. And I had several dozen rentals in Johnson County, and I had a full time job. And I had a manager. In fact one year, it was kind of funny, I looked at what I paid the manager, and it was almost what I made.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Ben Kalny:
I was like, “Wait a minute. I’m not sure that’s a good idea.” I was trying to unpack that one.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Ben Kalny:
But I was deep into it, and I got to a point where really I talked about it all the time. It’s my life work. It’s my passion.

Eric Scheele:
Passion.

Ben Kalny:
I couldn’t go to a cookout without someone saying, “Hey, if you get a deal, I’d love to throw some cash in,” and, “If you’re looking for a partner…”

Eric Scheele:
Okay. Yeah, yeah.

Ben Kalny:
So my business partner John Emmanuels, he approached me and said, “Hey, look. Let’s just make a business out of this. We can still do our stuff, our own stuff on the side,” which he had a very similar situation that I did. But he said, “Hey look, let’s provide a path for just the regular guy who says, ‘I know I need real estate investment in my portfolio, but I don’t want to deal with leaky faucets. And I don’t want to try to crack the code myself.'”

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
Absolutely.

Ben Kalny:
So that was about, it was 10 or 12 years ago. I have my own personal stuff, and then on the Axiom Equities side, we invite folks to co-invest with us on cash flow in real estate investment. We joke with ourselves, “We like old, ugly, and full apartment complexes.”

Eric Scheele:
Great mantra, right?

Ben Kalny:
In good locations.

Eric Scheele:
And it obviously works, right?

Real Estate Investment Portfolio

Ben Kalny:
It does. Yeah. Well, we’re thankful as can be, but we’ve got about 150 investment partners, raised not quite a hundred million. And our portfolio, we’ve got about 30 projects around the Midwest. Our portfolio’s not quite a quarter of a billion. So…

Eric Scheele:
You bet. Did you ever think back in the ’90s, when you’re investing in Johnson County and just following the passion, that it would lead to something like what you’re doing today in a multi-investor environment?

Ben Kalny:
What’s interesting is that my motivation was more a safety, a backup. My view when I started, I’m not a cashflow… Cashflow is like oxygen. You got to have it to live.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
But for me, that’s not the motivation. Even from day one, I didn’t go into a project saying, “Hey look, I can clear off 400 bucks a month off of this and go buy a jet ski,” or whatever. That’s not how I think.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Ben Kalny:
My view is to slowly build wealth over time. So that was kind of my motivation in-

Eric Scheele:
You were ahead of the curve. And did you realize that then?

Ben Kalny:
Well-

Eric Scheele:
I assume you can look back and say, “Yeah, I probably made some smart choices in that thinking.” Whether it was a mentor that drove you in that direction, you were smart enough to ask, or he happened to fall upon you, or you actually just organically had that thinking, you were ahead of the curve at that age. I just find that intriguing because you don’t even see that thinking with a lot of these middle-aged investors that are just simply, like you said-

Lucas Scheele:
Like the New Year investors. “Oh, it’s a new year. I’m going to dabble in real estate investment.”

Eric Scheele:
Right. And the questions they’re asking, you go to social media and you really get misdirected. I’ve heard a lot of underlying messages, and I hope people that are listening and watching can listen between the lines. Because we were talking about that off air earlier, that we were just listening to people between the lines. But I’ve heard, and I’m repeating this just to bring out the obvious is, do what you do and do it well. Follow your passion, and you don’t need to divert.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
Right? And that will, in its own, will play in your favor over time, is what I’m hearing. Right? And like you said, you just happened to maybe do Johnson County, class As, Bs, at least the stability channels, but there’s other people that you know that dabble in other particular areas, as well. Right?

Ben Kalny:
Yeah, absolutely. I’ll bump into people all the time that are in tranches that I don’t go near, and they’re extremely successful. And they’ve kind of got their widget, and they know how to do what they do. We talk a lot in our shop of just having a sobriety about your limitations. If you’re good at one thing, sometimes it’s tempting to think, “Gosh, I can go do this or go do that, as well.” And that may be the case, but I think it’s a healthy posture to say, “Hey, look, I’m decent at a couple things.”

Eric Scheele:
Yeah.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
Be careful about having a high opinion of yourself, as you-

Eric Scheele:
Right?

Lucas Scheele:
Kind of hone your craft first.

Ben Kalny:
Absolutely. Yeah. And when you find something that works, I tell guys all the time… You see it a lot in real estate investment, where they’ll focus on even as specific as a single neighborhood or a few neighborhoods, where they just know every property.

Eric Scheele:
You bet.

Ben Kalny:
They know exactly what they’re selling for. And that’s wise. You can’t limit it too much. You got to be broad enough to have enough opportunity that’ll satiate your appetite, but I don’t have any business buying retail in Milwaukee. Right?

Eric Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
That’s not my thing.

Eric Scheele:
But some people do.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
Right?

Ben Kalny:
Yeah.

Out-of-State Interest

Eric Scheele:
Some people do. And we see that Kansas City happens to be a hot market. We kind of talk about that. We probably expand on that a little bit, and we see a lot of out-of-state real estate investment interest. And maybe you probably do, I would assume from the real estate investment level.

Ben Kalny:
Absolutely.

Eric Scheele:
Right? Have a lot of out-of-state. All these 150 private investors you have, there’s probably a large contingency of interests that are not necessarily located between the hour’s drive of Kansas City.

Ben Kalny:
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And I think there’s a perception in Kansas City and anyone who looks at real estate investment in Kansas City and has as, for example, family in another market, you can call and say, “Hey look, there’s a four bedroom home here for $250,000.”

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Ben Kalny:
And they’re saying, “You got to be kidding me.” You know?

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
“What is that?” So we have an environment where there’s a lot of value in Kansas City. So I’m super high on Kansas City, right now. A lot of my motivation for going so aggressively into real estate investment early on is when I moved back to Kansas City… I went to school away. And when I moved back, I looked around and I saw what you got for the money.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
And I use the phrase a lot, it’s like a pound of flour. If you buy just a boring house in a boring neighborhood, and it’s just kind of right down the middle.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
But it’s like a pound of flour. People still need a place to live.

Lucas Scheele:
That’s true.

Ben Kalny:
And that’s how we think. And when I came back to Kansas City, I looked around and-

Eric Scheele:
You were on one of the coasts, I assume.

Ben Kalny:
I was in Virginia.

Eric Scheele:
Okay.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
So you’re looking at coastal prices.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
Coming back to Kansas City, you’ve already valued your Virginia perspective.

Ben Kalny:
Right.

Eric Scheele:
You have the real estate investment, and then you’re looking at your pound of flour, the house, saying, “It’s all aligning. My interest aligns, the commodity aligns, the value is there.”

Ben Kalny:
Yeah. And I’ve been to all 50 states. I travel around and my natural affinity, I can’t roll into a town without stopping by the real estate investment office and looking.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Ben Kalny:
I can’t go to a different country and not look and say-

Eric Scheele:
We do the same thing, of course.

Ben Kalny:
“How much does this cost?” It’s just the way you’re wired, right?

Eric Scheele:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Kalny:
I bring in this just weird affinity for trying to figure out what things cost. And when I come back to Kansas City after law school, I was like, “Golly man, this is an amazing place to live. It’s centrally located. The value’s incredible.” I really asked myself, “Where else can you get this?” And the answer was there’s not many places where you can.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Real Estate Investment: Kansas City Up & Coming

Ben Kalny:
What’s really interesting is, I’ve never said this over the last 25, 30 years, but I see that happening now. I think everyone says, “House down the street just sold for X. I could have bought it for whatever, three years ago. I should have bought it. We’ve gone up on a big run,” which is true. And no one has a crystal ball. But my feeling, my gut feeling is, you look at Denver, look at other areas, even go up to a smaller market like a Des Moines or whatever. Look what you get in Kansas City compared to the Austins. And comparing Kansas City to Austin, Denver 15 years ago would have been a joke. But Kansas City’s coming along.

Eric Scheele:
Yes.

Ben Kalny:
We’ve got the River Market. I look at downtown.

Eric Scheele:
You be.

Ben Kalny:
I look at Crossroads. I look what’s happened on Strawberry Hill.

Eric Scheele:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lucas Scheele:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Kalny:
When you see these areas… I think the West Bottoms is up and coming big time.

Lucas Scheele:
Oh yeah.

Ben Kalny:
Look at North Kansas City.

Eric Scheele:
Yep. Yep.

Ben Kalny:
I mean North Kansas City 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have touched with a 10 foot pole.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
Well, people who did, they’re probably on an island with an umbrella now.

Eric Scheele:
But you’re also saying though, in retrospect and in its current state, it’s still very attractive.

Ben Kalny:
Well, yeah.

Refocusing in Kansas City

Eric Scheele:
You’re still highly motivated. You’re getting excited about just talking about these areas because you’ve already compared these to these other markets. And I know that because we’ve actually talked quite a bit offline about some of the other markets that you’ve kind of entertained, but you’re refocusing right back here in Kansas City. That appetite stays high.

Ben Kalny:
That’s right. My original emotion of coming back to Kansas City after going off to school and looking around and traveling a bunch was, “Wow, you get a lot for the money.”

Eric Scheele:
Yep.

Ben Kalny:
Now the numbers are a lot higher, but my emotion for the first time in decades is again, “Wow, you get a lot for the money.”

Eric Scheele:
Yep.

Ben Kalny:
It’s a hell of a lot more than it was three years ago, I get that.

Eric Scheele:
Yep, right.

Ben Kalny:
Or five years ago or eight years ago. But still, if you pick a suburb, pick a property that’s appropriately priced, and go look at other markets. Go look at other MSAs, and see what things are trading for. Whether it’s a multifamily asset or whatever, you get a lot of value in Kansas City. And what’s most important, I think, is we have a ton of momentum in Kansas City with all this stuff going on with the streetcar, with the music scene.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Ben Kalny:
The food scene is legit in this town.

Eric Scheele:
Right on.

Lucas Scheele:
Oh yeah.

Ben Kalny:
It wasn’t 15, 20 years ago.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, right.

Ben Kalny:
We had a couple of guys fighting the good fight.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Ben Kalny:
But now we’ve got a lot of great options. So I think Kansas City’s a great place to be. I’m thrilled to own property in Kansas City. We’re actively looking. There are a lot more dollars chasing properties here in Kansas City because the word’s getting out.

Eric Scheele:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Kalny:
I’m probably not helping. The words getting more out.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, right. It does. It does. But let’s talk about that a little bit, and let’s talk about the current state of what you actually recognize as an investor, whether it be multi-property or even single properties. That’s something we talk about. That’s our shop, but I’m always interested to hear someone else’s take on real estate investment.

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Ben Kalny:
Clarify your question, I-

Eric Scheele:
I’m more in tune with what’s your take on status of the interest with, not only the interest in the market, but where do you think this is going overall, with the added interest and the competition? Whether it be at a multi-property level, the 100s and up? We’ve talked about this a little bit before, the 50s or so. The 10s and 20s, even down to the single. Is it kind of cohesive and congruent, where you can see similar interest and competitive natures? Or do you see some segregation based off of your plays, like duplexes or single family or even the 100 property?

Ben Kalny:
That’s a good question. What we typically do at Axiom Equities, we focus on generally 100 to 200 units. That’s a ballpark call.

Eric Scheele:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Kalny:
But basically that’s our jam, man.

Eric Scheele:
Right?

Ben Kalny:
We love that stuff. We like old, ugly, and full. We like B and C assets in A and B locations. I can fix ugly, I can’t fix neighborhood.

Eric Scheele:
Great take.

Lucas Scheele:
That’s very true.

Eric Scheele:
Extremely wise.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
So we’ll go into the best neighborhood we can, and we’ll get the ugliest thing we can find.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Ben Kalny:
Clean it up and create an environment-

Eric Scheele:
We’re huge fans of the Mansford front.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah, yeah.

Eric Scheele:
Give me the ’70s. Right?

Ben Kalny:
Bring it on, man.

Eric Scheele:
Where’s the orange doors?

Ben Kalny:
That’s right.

Eric Scheele:
Okay. I’m good.

Ben Kalny:
We can fix that. But yeah. That’s our deal. So we’ll go in and do that. But what we see, to answer your question, we typically focus on 100 to 200 units. That’s kind of our sweet spot. What we see is, it’s a little larger than your typical mom and pop real estate investment. So there’s less activity, but then it’s really smaller than the big boys want to run. Most shops that do what we do, are 8, 10 times, 20 times our size.

Eric Scheele:
Yep.

Ben Kalny:
They don’t even know we exist, which is fine. But we’re very under the radar, boring, just kind of steady Eddy, not real sexy. What we aspire to be is just kind of in that middle ground. Where it’s too low for the big boys to fiddle with and a little bit of a stretch for-

Eric Scheele:
It’s a good thin air.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah, we’re well-capitalized. So that’s a big sales point, if you’re going against a smaller real estate investment.

Lucas Scheele:
Definitely.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

100 Units

Ben Kalny:
Because we have a track record. We’ve always closed. We’ve never not funded a deal. Our track records quite, quite good. And the broker community knows that. So when Axiom Equities puts an offer on something, it’s a real deal. So we protect that. That’s part of the deal. To further answer your question, you get below 100 units, then you start opening up to that investor that aspires to do more, and it’s not uncommon. And we see a real disconnect in the pricing, it’s all over the board. I always give a word of caution to the guy who has three duplexes, and now all of a sudden he’s going to jump into a 48 unit deal.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Lucas Scheele:
Oh yeah, definitely.

Ben Kalny:
It’s really luring because you want to say, “Man, I-”

Eric Scheele:
Economy’s a scale of [inaudible 00:19:53], right?

Ben Kalny:
Oh, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eric Scheele:
And it’s all roses.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah. But generally speaking, 100 units is where you can have a full time onsite manager, a full time maintenance guy, where the volume will support that. So that’s a general rule. We have properties with 80 units or even I think one was 65, so there are certain circumstances. And you can combine, if one’s down the street, you can kind of combine [crosstalk 00:20:18] and share.

Eric Scheele:
Sure, absolutely.

Ben Kalny:
There are plenty of folks who are quite good at it and make plenty of money in the 24 unit, 36 unit…

Eric Scheele:
You bet.

Ben Kalny:
More power to them, and God bless them. That’s awesome. That’s not our deal. And we’re not good at that. But I always had a word of caution to those folks. What you really want to think about, what is the expectation of onsite help?

Eric Scheele:
Yes.

Ben Kalny:
And if you have a 16 unit deal in Midtown, you don’t have an office where you can go in and say, “Hey, I have a leaky faucet, how can I…”

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Ben Kalny:
So efficiently addressing those concerns, in that context, is a thing. That’s not for the lighthearted. And so there are folks who do it well, and there’s a lot of folks who try.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, you bet.

Ben Kalny:
And it’s a really tough, tough way to… People do it. And guys are quite good at it and very smart folks succeed in that space. I’m not one of them.

Eric Scheele:
Well, it’s tougher when it’s a single person, entrepreneur trying do it on its own versus someone who has multiple properties already and that are replicating in that similar area, then the economy’s to scale, and his resources internally begin to work in his favor financially to be able to support that 20 minute drive from A to B and still not necessarily have those onsite support staffs. And so probably some of that is working.

Eric Scheele:
But really good point where in terms of your finding that you’re thinner air and you finding your niche versus scaling it down, it just becomes a little bit more reachable for the average real estate investment. So the numbers begin to not work necessarily for you guys, which makes a lot of sense because, in this HGTV world of real estate investment that we live in, where we have a lot of weekend chasers and people dabbling. That only kind of escalates up, and I can easily see that inflate and not formulate out to be a very dangerous water, is what I’m hearing, for someone to kind of dabble into and really find out that a year later they made a critical mistake, and their investment days might be close to waning out.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah. Well Eric, early on I think I mentioned to you, I had a mentor and a fine gentleman who was kind enough to share information with me when I was getting started. And he had over 700 rentals, and they were all duplexes.

Eric Scheele:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Kalny:
And I’m sitting there thinking, I was reasonably new and I was like, “Why wouldn’t you get into strip malls or apartment complexes? Or why wouldn’t you…”

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, why not?

Ben Kalny:
A brilliant guy, very, very wealthy, fine, fine individual. And he just said, “Look, I know duplexes.” He goes, “I know how to do it. I know how to make money in my sleep. I know where the ‘gotchas’ are. Why recreate the wheel?”

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, right. Do what to do, and do it well.

Lucas Scheele:
There you go.

Ben Kalny:
And what a beautiful example of the guy who says, “Look, this is my sweet spot. I’m going to stay in my lane. I’m not going to try to be everything to everyone. I found a drum. I’m going to keep beating it.” More power to him.

Eric Scheele:
Well, but to be exposed at that young age, and actually see it in working, and being a smart guy, like, “Well, if it’s working for him, it’s got to work for an average Joe like me.”

Ben Kalny:
Right, right.

Eric Scheele:
You know? And you put it to practice and that’s fantastic stuff. We always kind of end things with some local Kansas City. We’re Kansas City Real Estate Industry Leaders podcast.

Ben Kalny:
Sure.

Eric Scheele:
And so we like to talk some local KC stuff.

Local Kansas City Scene

Ben Kalny:
Sure.

Eric Scheele:
And so being in Kansas City, we always talk food, but we always talk about this, too. No offense against Olive Garden, no offense against Red Lobster. We just-

Ben Kalny:
Cheesecake Factory.

Eric Scheele:
Now wait. No offense against Cheesecake Factory. We love you guys. But we also talk about the niches. All right? So you’re a property guy, you’re driving around the city, you’re looking for real estate investment properties, you got to be taking clients and investors out to lunch. We’re assuming that you know some secret spots that you could share.

Ben Kalny:
Oh, restaurant-wise?

Eric Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah. Boy, there’s a lot. And of course, it depends on what I’m up for. I’m a huge fan of Lulus Noodles and Crossroads there. They also have- [crosstalk 00:24:34].

Eric Scheele:
Lulu’s Noodles and Crossroads.

Ben Kalny:
I think they have one in Westwood. Yeah, it’d be over in the west.

Lucas Scheele:
We just saw something on the Crossroads today on YouTube.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah. They’ve got a-

Lucas Scheele:
[inaudible 00:24:43] up and coming, remember?

Eric Scheele:
Oh yeah. It’s very up and coming. But they were talking about graffiti.

Ben Kalny:
Oh.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah, graffiti issues down there.

Eric Scheele:
Tagging. Tagging some issues down there.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
City’s coming down on them, but yet the city’s not necessarily acting. And so there’s this little on-

Lucas Scheele:
Ongoing argument between small business owners and just the taggers because they see the same ones in certain spots. And apparently there was like 1,150 reports made or something, and only like 20 something were getting acted on by the enforcement down there. So that’s pretty crazy.

Eric Scheele:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lucas Scheele:
Lulu Noodles.

Eric Scheele:
Lulus Noodles.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah. Is there a number two?

Ben Kalny:
Oh man, there’s a bunch.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah, I got the chassis to prove it. I’m not going to blow away anytime soon.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
Oh gosh. Well, let me think. Well, the barbecue is great.

Eric Scheele:
It’s always a fallback. You have to.

Ben Kalny:
I like Taco Republic. Taco Republic’s good.

Eric Scheele:
Nice. Is this near Westport?

Ben Kalny:
Yeah. That’s off 47.

Eric Scheele:
Yes. Yeah, right across from a great barbecue place.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah, yeah.

Eric Scheele:
That I mention quite a bit.

Ben Kalny:
Joe’s.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
What do they call it? Joe’s KC, now.

Eric Scheele:
Joe’s KC. Yeah, absolutely.

Ben Kalny:
Yeah.

Kansas City Events

Eric Scheele:
Okay. We talk events. You’re a Kansas City guy, right? You’ve been here all your life, except for law school. So what’s your events? What do you like to do?

Ben Kalny:
American Royal’s great. That’s a big thing. I’m a terrible golfer, but Lake Quivira Country Club has a great member/guest tournament that’s right on with a bunch-

Eric Scheele:
Yeah, right on.

Ben Kalny:
A lot of the guys are really good. I’m terrible, but it’s a fun enough event that a knucklehead like me can go have fun.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah.

Ben Kalny:
So I like that quite a bit.

Eric Scheele:
Yeah. Excellent. Royal’s moving. You saw that, right? [inaudible 00:26:29] property guy, you see that?

Ben Kalny:
The-

Eric Scheele:
American Royals got that property out in Western Kansas City, Kansas.

Ben Kalny:
I thought you said Royals are moving, I was like, “Wow.”

Eric Scheele:
Oh no, Royals are here.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah, I was like, “No, we’re losing baseball, too.” Man, that would be a big bummer.

Eric Scheele:
American Royal is moving west. Yeah. It’ll be interesting to see. Kansas City, Kansas, talk about just in terms of from the ’90s to today, you look at that area and the legends and the sprawl that that place has had, it’s absolutely unbelievable.

Ben Kalny:
It’s unbelievable on the unified government, just in general. They’ve done a great job, I think. I have not invested in Nickel and Strawberry Hill, but I have a number of friends who have.

Eric Scheele:
Right.

Ben Kalny:
What a great example. What a beautiful property story for the guys.

Eric Scheele:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Kalny:
I’ve got a handful of friends that they went strong into Strawberry Hill. And man, that’s just caught fire. North Kansas City, same. I love those stories, and I’m inspired by them. I love watching a guy or gal just go kill it on a… So yeah. But western Wyandotte County, they’re doing things right.

Eric Scheele:
There’s a lot of good stories and that’s one of them. Well, we appreciate you coming in studio.

Ben Kalny:
Happy to. Yes.

Lucas Scheele:
[crosstalk 00:27:41]

Eric Scheele:
Chatting with us. Great, great knowledge. I hope for the average listener that you can read between some of those words because there’s some wise, wise real estate investment advice.

Lucas Scheele:
Absolutely.

Eric Scheele:
Appreciate you having it.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah. Thanks so much for coming out here.

Eric Scheele:
You bet. You want to wind us up.

Lucas Scheele:
Yeah, absolutely. So we just had Ben Kalny in here from Axiom Equities on real estate investment. We’re just going to wrap up this episode, and we’re going to see guys on the next one. You guys take care.

Eric Scheele:
Take care.

Announcer:
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