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  • Writer's pictureMAREJ

Chay Lapin: President of Kay Properties and Investments

Chay Lapin


Kay Properties and Investments

Years with company/firm: 12 years

Years in field: 14 years

Fun fact:

Chay graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was a four-time Academic All-American water polo athlete and recipient of the prestigious UCLA Athletic Department “Most Courageous and Character Award.”

Chay was also a top-ranked United States performer and represented the USA in the 2012 London Olympic Games on the U.S. Men’s National Water Polo Team.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

My greatest professional accomplishment is being a founding member of Kay Properties and Investments. Our organization is special for many reasons. First, we are considered a true leader in the Delaware Statutory Trust 1031 Exchange world. Since our founding, I have helped our firm complete more than $30 Billion of 1031 investments totaling approximately 50 million square feet of multi-family, manufactured housing, single tenant net lease, industrial, self-storage, and medical properties nationwide.

I find it particularly rewarding to work with some of our younger representatives and mentor them on DST investments, and work together as a team to help understand and achieve our clients’ investment goals.

What was a notable transaction that you were responsible for?

One of the things that I enjoy about Kay Properties is our team approach to helping our clients. A good example of this involves a recent transaction with a large institutional investment firm that decided to strategically relinquish a $100 million portfolio of large retail assets and invest in custom DST 1031 exchange portfolios to help them potentially reduce over concentration.

A significant caveat to their investment strategy was to enter into smaller investment transactions as part of a “test investment” strategy. They wanted to watch our paper-work and look at how we operated as an advisory firm, while also evaluating the DST structure as an investment vehicle. Even though they were more sophisticated than the average real estate investor, they still required a lot of education and insisted on testing out the Kay Properties DST 1031 exchange platform before placing larger investments with the firm. The entire Kay Properties investment team spent more than a year educating them and carefully reviewing the risks, benefits and structure of DSTs. In the end, the client was impressed with every facet of our business model, and really felt like our team approach was critical to helping them achieve their investment objectives.

How do you Contribute to your company?

One of the ways I contribute to Kay Properties is by being a leader who works as hard as possible to help our clients achieve their real estate in vestment goals. Also, one of the most important aspects that we really insist on at Kay Properties and that I reiterate in all I do, is practice a high level of integrity when it comes to our clients, our DST assets, and our overall character.

Who has been the strongest influence in my career?

Without a doubt, Dwight Kay, the founder of Kay Properties. It is impressive how he has built the company into one of the nation’s most recognized DST 1031 Exchange advisory firms. Dwight is always motivating our team to push themselves beyond what they think they are capable of. When I met Dwight early on in my career, I knew he was going to be an influential mentor in my life, and I was right.

How and when did you begin your career?

After graduating from UCLA, I was asked to join the U.S. Olympic water polo team. And for anyone who has aspirations of going to the Olympics, you have to be “all in” because of the intense training regimen that’s required. So as an Olympic athlete, I didn’t have the opportunity to take an investment banking job straight out of college. But I did realize that one of the benefits of a real estate career would be that I could do it while training. I was fortunate to find an Alumni at my school that brought me under his wing in his real estate firm in Los Angeles. And he helped me get my license when I was in college and I learned everything from leasing to property management, to asset management, to brokerage and learned all those different areas and segments that ultimately would tie into what I’m doing today. This path ultimately led me to meeting Dwight Kay.


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