“I had 25 agents and stepped out on our own, and we were off and running in 2006 as DeVoe Broker Associates and now doing business as Devoe Real Estate,”

By Yolanda Baruch

Ronald Boyd DeVoe Jr. has and continues to live a charmed life. He started his professional career in 1983 with New Edition, a multi-platinum-selling musical group. Then he broke off into the new jack swing band Bell Biv DeVoe which consisted of Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins. After their Home Again tour, New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe disbanded around 1996-1997. DeVoe attributes inner conflict and friction between both music crews as the reason for their breakups.

Former member of New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe, Ronald Boyd DeVoe Jr. is the Founder and CEO of DeVoe Broker Associates.

“It was very tumultuous; we weren’t seeing eye to eye with each other,” he says, recalling the severe career issues arising around the late nineties. “And honestly, at that particular time, the type of money that we were making, and my bills, and all the above, because we were separated from each other, began to dwindle even to the point of bankruptcy.”

Dealing with financial woes while residing in Los Angeles, where the cost of living is astronomical, DeVoe relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, in 2001 and dove into real estate investing through the mentorship of a real estate agent. He quickly realized he could attain the same earning power comparable to his days as an entertainer. He even reverted to the time in his career when he was financially able to purchase a home at 17 years old and lost it at thirty years old and can adequately advise his customers on how to avoid those same missteps.

In 2002, DeVoe earned his license and assembled a team at Remax, working for four years while setting his sights on mastering his knowledge of the industry and how to run a business effectively.

“I had 25 agents and stepped out on our own, and we were off and running in 2006 as DeVoe Broker Associates and now doing business as Devoe Real Estate,” he says of his accomplishments. His entrepreneurial pursuits have truly evolved into a family affair, with his wife Shamari DeVoe earning her real estate license in 2005. Shamari, the former lead singer of the R&B group Blaque, was his first client when she purchased a townhouse while they were dating.

Shamari and Ronnie DeVoe are actively involved in growing their real estate empire through DeVoe Real Estate.

DeVoe steers his company in acquisitions, sales, and development as a full-fledged real estate firm.

“Acquisition, land is the one thing they can’t make any more of, so it’s always going up. So acquisition [is not only] for ourselves, but as transaction brokers for our clients,” he explains that he is also expanding into the field of development. “We’re actively working on a smaller community now with ten homes sitting at a price point of 850k on an average.” His company also facilitates commercial deals for clients interested in purchasing apartment complexes for their portfolios.

DeVoe is gifted at leveraging his celebrity reputation as a strategic method to cultivate relationships with potential clients. Many are familiar with his days performing for New Edition, which resulted in an excellent training ground to present an amiable persona to his customers.

“Anytime you can get on stage and command an audience of 20,000 at a time to be able to sit down with one individual, you would think it could be easy, and it is; it’s just a matter of knowing what the hell you’re doing at the end of the day,” he says, detailing his connections with other real estate proprietors who operate at a higher caliber are incredibly beneficial to the growth of his company.

He continues intertwining his experience as an entertainer to serve as a channel for promoting DeVoe Real Estates. He remembers performing at the arena that houses the Miami Heat and placing a booth with literature about his organization that received a monumental response from his fans.

“They were taking pictures in front of it. Some girls are hugging the posters and pictures like I’m standing there. So just allowing it to go hand in hand is something that I’ve done in more recent times, and that’s been a help for the company,” he declares, also calling to attention that his former band members continue to support one another.

“Whether it’s my real estate company or Bobby Brown Foods or Sporty Rich for Michael Bivins, his apparel company, that’s just kind of what it’s all about nowadays,” he says.

ATLANTA, GA – MAY 20: Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins of RBRM (Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike) attend 2018 Funk Fest Tour at Wolf Creek Amphitheater on May 20, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

DeVoe believes in helping others and closing the wealth gap, especially for African American men. His company hosts seminars, networking events, lunches, and mixers where people can gain educational resources to aid them on their real estate journey.

He recommends that one of the most effective methods to start building generational wealth is through real estate.

“You look at real estate, the number of the people begin to start the process of achieving and gaining generational wealth through homeownership, the equity in that home, holding on to it for a certain amount of time and allowing it to grow in value, then, of course,” he recalls that many people have started businesses, funded college, and created generational wealth by using the equity of their homes.

For more information, visit: www.devoerealestate.com

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