New Edition singer Ronnie DeVoe talks recharging his career through real estate

Ronald Boyd DeVoe Jr. has and continues to live an enchanted life. He began his professional career in 1983 with New Edition, a multi-platinum musical group. Then he broke up with the new jack swing band Bell Biv DeVoe, made up of Ricky Bell and Michael Bivins. After their Home Again tour, New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe broke up around 1996-1997. DeVoe credits inner conflict and friction between the two musical teams as the reason for their breakups.

“It was very tumultuous, we didn’t agree,” he says, recalling serious career problems in the late 90s. “And honestly, at that time, the type of money that we were earning, and my bills, and all of the above, because we were separated from each other, started to go down to bankruptcy.”

Facing financial difficulties while residing in Los Angeles, where the cost of living is astronomical, DeVoe moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2001 and got into real estate investing through the mentorship of a real estate agent. He quickly realized that he could achieve the same earning power comparable to his days as an artist. He has even returned to the time in his career when he was financially able to buy a house at 17 and lost it at 30 and can adequately advise his clients on how to avoid those same missteps.

In 2002, DeVoe earned his license and assembled a team at Remax, working for four years while aiming to master his industry knowledge and run a business effectively.

“I had 25 agents and went out on my own, and we left in 2006 as DeVoe Broker Associates and now do business as Devoe Real Estate,” he says of his accomplishments. His entrepreneurial pursuits truly evolved into a family affair, with his wife Shamari DeVoe obtaining her real estate license in 2005. Shamari, the former lead singer of the R&B group Blastedwas his first client when she bought a townhouse while they were dating.

DeVoe runs its business through acquisitions, sales and development as a full-fledged real estate company.

“Acquisition, land is the only thing they can’t do anymore, so it’s always increasing. So acquisition [is not only] for ourselves, but as transaction brokers for our clients,” he explains, he also thrives in the field of development. “We are actively working on a smaller community now with ten houses priced at 850,000 on average. His company also facilitates business transactions for clients interested in purchasing apartment complexes for their portfolios.

DeVoe is good at leveraging his celebrity reputation as a strategic method of cultivating relationships with potential clients. Many are familiar with his days playing for New Edition, which resulted in a great training ground to showcase a lovable personality to his clients.

“Any time you can get on stage and command an audience of 20,000 people at once so you can sit with one person, you’d think it could be easy, and it is; it’s just a matter of know what you’re doing at the end of the day,” he says, noting that his relationships with other real estate owners who operate at a higher caliber are incredibly beneficial to growing his business.

He continues to interweave his background as an artist to serve as a promotional channel for DeVoe Real Estates. He remembers playing in the arena that is home to the Miami Heat and putting up a booth with literature about his organization which received a monumental response from his fans.

“They were taking pictures in front. Some girls hug the posters and the pictures like I was there. So allowing that to go together is something I’ve been doing more recently, and it’s been a help for me. ‘company,’ he says, also drawing attention to the fact that his former band members continue to support each other.

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

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

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

“You look at real estate, the number of people who are starting to start the process of acquiring and gaining generational wealth through home ownership, the equity in that house, holding onto it for a certain time and allowing it to rise in value, and then, of course,” he recalls that many people have started businesses, funded colleges, and created generational wealth using the equity in their homes.

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