Kerry Hartley is the CEO of Hartley Capital and a man dedicated to teaching millenials around the world about real estate and financial literacy. From starting his very own fashion brand to opening up his own real estate investment firm, Hartley is a man that exemplifies success all while helping others. We caught up with Kerry to discuss his desire to impact the world through real estate and so much more!
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Kerry Hartley, I am a real estate investor, I’m also part-owner of another company that does a specific type of investing, more-so geared towards a way that beginners can start with. My company, Hartley Capital Inc., focused on buying apartment building and other commercial properties.
Tell us about your love for fashion.
I owned a fashion line in college, that was my first true business. I would say my cousin influenced me early on in fashion. She was a photographer and she was a true fashionista to me. I really grew up around my aunt and cousin, who always had magazines and tabloids around. Over time, I loved getting dressed up in suits and it grew. When it came time for college, I knew I still wanted to stay creative but I started off in engineering, which has its own ways of being creative but when I was in that major (before I switched) I just needed something that allowed me to be more creative. FAMU was where I went and it’s really known for students being able to make a statement to be individuals. That inspired me to find an escape from engineering, classes, and the things that were more mechanical. I wanted to do something that was more creative and abstract.
How did you get into real estate?
I graduated in 2018 and I was in between whether or not I should go to graduate school or if I should go straight into the work force. In between I had summer jobs, trying to learn sales at UFit. I was working alongside my current business partner, Garrett. He was speaking to one of our managers at the time about real estate. I asked him about it at lunch one day outside of work and at the time I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with fashion so I just dived right in at the time. That was last August. We’ve been non-stop ever since.
So, why real estate?
I knew for one, I didn’t want to get into real estate. A lot of people don’t and think that I’m plugging toilets or getting horrible calls at night, tending to tenants. It’s really a team sport. When I started fashion, I wanted to start a fashion house. I’m a little more ambitious and I knew I didn’t want to compete with everyone on campus. We had a free market, where you could go out and sell on Fridays. I wanted to bring people together. Real estate was an area that was very tangible. I could go right to what I was investing in and it taught me that there is no-one-man or one-woman band, everyone is a team player. For me being a creative, one of the hardest challenges was how do you pull together a team to do something larger than yourself? Real estate really offered the opportunity to translate into other aspects of life and success, especially if you want to be millennial mogul in the making. I just want to clarify that real estate isn’t always about being a property manager. Yes, it is apart of it but there are a ton of opportunities within a large industry. I truly believe in the saying, “Real estate makes the most millionaires than any other industry.” I didn’t believe it at first but I found the special niche that I could bring into this industry.
What tips would you offer our millennial readers just looking to succeed in general?
It’s a cliché but you’re in average with the top 5% you spend the most time with. As a millennial and fresh out of college, the hardest thing for me was learning how to enjoy my friends and knowing where I wanted to be on the level of entrepreneurship, physically, and spiritually. Sometimes not everyone is going to be with you but you have to learn how to use your books, YouTube University, and mentors. A lot of people believe may not have friends that do what they want to do, well those are your friends and your 5%. Dedicate your time.
Secondly, you have to give more to get more. You want to learn how to add value with anything you do. Giving is the number one thing and practicing that when you’re younger is key. Most successful people don’t want to boast about what they have, they just want to enjoy their giving spirit.
Are there any upcoming projects you could tell us about?
Hartley Capital will be launching a fund for investing in multi-family, which are apartments. Also, I’ve launched an e-book, it’s called Passion, Purpose, Creativity: How to Easily Gain Better Vision. I also have a course out called 20 Total Myths for Millennial Apartment Real Estate Investors. Lastly, I’m excited to start hosting events. I want to be able to create an elite-level networking event here in Atlanta and in the Southeast. It will include seminars and lessons so that I can start giving free information and insight in a different way.
All images by DeAndre Gresham of SlingShots Atlanta