RPOA Member Spotlight: Kathy Dennison – Adrianse
If you’ve been paying attention at all, you’ve probably noticed an increasing number of women are now actively involved real estate—and not just as residential real estate salespeople, clerical workers in some broker’s office or spouses helping to collect rent or turn a rental for the next tenant. We’re talking about serious investors that are wholesaling, rehabbing, flipping and investing in long-term buy and hold properties. Some own their own property management company—like our member in the spotlight this quarter, Kathy Dennison-Adrianse.
Kathy says, “I bought my first home in college. It was condemned. I cleaned it up and rented out my upstairs. I guess that is how I got started. I did work for a company for a very short period of time before starting Lighthouse, but most of my training has been through the school of hard knocks! I now personally own 39 properties: 31 single family homes, 1 commercial office park, and a couple smaller apartment buildings. It is a nice balanced portfolio spread out over two counties.”
Kathy went on to found Lighthouse Property Management with a partner in 2000. Since then she bought her partner out and has grown the business to include 127 owners and 1,450 managed units. Part of that growth was an expansion throughout the region, including opening a branch office in Muskegon in 2016. “With learning the lay of the real estate landscape and working with a new inspection department, the opening and development of the Muskegon office has been fun, challenging and exciting. We also got involved with the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce.”
Since selling the management company, Kathy says “my main focus is now on facilitating acquisitions and deals with current clients and growing the company through business development.”
The Director of the RPOA, Clay Powell, said Kathy is a humble person. She failed to mention during her interview with us that she was also the winner of the 2014 National Apartment Association for the Best Property Owned by an Independent Property Owner and honored by the Grand Rapids Business Journal with a 2017 Top Women Owned Business Award.
Kathy has served on the Board of the RPOA and as member of the RPOA Governmental Affairs Committee. Her work with the RPOA helped the association to extend rental inspection cycles in Wyoming, Michigan for 1-3 unit rental properties from an inspection every two years to one that enables a four year inspection cycle. Kathy is also past President of the Property Management Association of West Michigan.
Early in 2017, Kathy sold Lighthouse to a third party but remains the companies Managing Broker.
Kathy has been a single mom throughout a large part of her real estate adventures. She recently married and now has a supportive husband that has quickly come to understand the value of real estate investment.
Advice for new investors: “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. Be humble. And, don’t be afraid to jump in and get dirty. This business is not easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it.”