2018 Top 7 Industry Innovators

Featured Article in Think Realty Magazine

In every business sector, there are individuals and groups who affect the conversation about their industry in meaningful ways. Some, like Howard Hughes, the reclusive billionaire who is credited with “removing the mob” from the Las Vegas casino sector, create legacies and legends that far exceed any truth, however grand. Others move beyond their industry and into the broader consciousness, such as fictional financier Gordon Gekko from the 1987 film Wall Street. The often-villainized character was based on junk-bond salesmen from the 1980s.

Real estate investors, by virtue of our position in the broader housing market, working with distressed homeowners, motivated sellers, and foreclosure properties, often find ourselves likened more to Gekko than to positive role models. As a result, it is vitally important to our industry that we constantly expand and refine our investing strategies for the betterment of our communities and remain cognizant of the dialogue about real estate investing outside the confines of our sector.

If we succeed in influencing a more positive dialogue, every member of the investing community and our wider communities stands to benefit:

  • Creating more effective ways of generating returns in real estate leads to more investors successfully leveraging this investment vehicle to support their families.
  • Better methods of communicating about our goals improves the volume of deals we do and the number of properties taken from nonperforming, vacant, possibly blighted assets to solid residences in which homeowners and renters can take pride.
  • Making the legacy-building, life-changing opportunities that come with successful investing more understandable to everyone through education and access allows those individuals a chance at financial security and the time to pursue their passions. Furthermore, better real estate discussions and education routinely lead to countless retirees solidifying their retirement on the firm foundation of physical property.


Think Realty’s 2018 Industry Influencers list recognizes seven individuals who are making very distinct, measurable differences in the way that the real estate industry invests and in how the industry as a whole is perceived by the general public. These are our 2018 Industry Influencers, and we are proud to consider them part of our real estate family.

Kimberly Smith

AvenueWest Global Franchiseinfluencers

Kimberly Smith believes the key to financial success is simplicity, and that suits her real estate investing model perfectly. “When you think about creativity, it is often defined by complex solutions that are new and innovative,” she said. “That’s great in a lot of sectors, but for us, we believe that our investors and franchisees create better solutions and get better results by merely blending simple ideas instead of making things too complicated.”

AvenueWest provides managed corporate housing and the associated property management services via a franchise model. “Historically, real estate has been just connecting consumers to consumers. By connecting residential real estate to corporate lodging demands, we create consistently high returns in a traditionally somewhat unpredictable (although always high-end) sector,” Smith explained.

AvenueWest currently offers turnkey investment opportunities in nine major U.S. markets, and works closely with investors to help them manage their properties in a way that keeps them in accord with IRS regulations that may govern their direct interaction with self-directed retirement accounts, when relevant. By offering franchise opportunities to qualified owners, Smith has created a new, sustainable venue for real estate professionals that has carried many of her franchisees through the swings of multiple real estate cycles.

Books, Programs & Media:

  • The Idiot’s Guide to Making Money with Rental Properties
  • 3-Time Member of Inc 5000’s “Fastest Growing Businesses” list
  • Multi-year board member for the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA)
  • PIPS (Peer Innovation & Problem Solving) Mentor
  • www.avenuewest.com