Real estate: Robert Kiyosaki offers investment advice


TOGETHER MAGAZINE REAL ESTATE DM: And how do you perceive the rise in social media? How do you see the link between social media and real estate evolving in the future?

RK: Well, I don’t know social media. But I do know in my company we use it to attract clients and potential tenants and keep them with us. But also, what AI (artificial intelligence) is doing is reducing the number of employees. So, again, the rich get richer because you can run larger portfolios with fewer people, unfortunately. So that’s when I go back to the states for a few months, and the next thing my friends and I are talking about how we can (and I hate to say this) eliminate more employees. That’s the future.

DM: And how do you see the role of the banker evolving in real estate?

RK: Well there’s a love-hate relationship between bankers that has caused a lot of problems in the world – the Federal Reserve Bank, Wall Street as well as the US Treasury that caused the last 2008 debacle, which almost brought down the world economy. You have to find honest bankers, but there are not very many of them, because it’s always about self-interest. So, I just had an appraisal done and the reason that there was such a big disconnect between the property and its value was there were guys who were bribing their appraiser. So, the appraiser produced an elevated appraisal and the banks therefore lent more than they should have, and that’s what brought the thing down. It was the banking system plus financial derivatives and then the whole thing came down and instead of all those bankers being punished, they were given bonuses by the US taxpayer. So, it’s a really messed-up system. That’s why you have to be smarter, that’s all I am saying, it’s not good or bad, it’s just about being smarter.

DM: Do you see Facebook and Google playing a role in lending for real estate in the future?

RK: I don’t. I don’t do that crowdfunding stuff at all. You know, to me, it’s still very basic dog’s work. You rent it out, and you have to be very careful about funding anything. So, I don’t agree with crowdfunding, because I think that’s there are going to be huge scandals, which is always the case with anything that looks too easy. So, you know, debt is a very powerful four-letter word and I take it very seriously. So, when I’m raising capital, I want to make sure that I’m clean and the money coming in is clean. So that’s why I’m kind of old school.

DM: So those are the main questions that I had; I know you’re tied for time and I just wanted also to share a story with you – we launched Together Magazine in the Ivory Coast, and I was with some of the team and we were driving down the road and, do you know, they were actually selling your book at the traffic lights? It was incredible. They gave one to one of my colleagues and he was delighted with it and he has thanked me for it ever since.

RK: Yeah, it’s like how many books have you sold? More than 30 million that we know of, but at least 41 million in estimates, because there’s also the pirated books, which I am happy about.

DM: So, thank you so much for sharing and for your contribution today, it has been a real honour to meet you.

RK: Thank you, and keep up the good work [points to Together Magazine]. I give you guys credit – I mean with this magazine you’re flying into the face of the future right here, it’s hard work, so congratulations to you. Thank you so much.