Beyond The Bio: Bainbridge Chief Operating Officer Kevin Keane
This series profiles men and women in commercial real estate who have profoundly transformed our neighborhoods and reshaped our cities, businesses and lifestyles.
Kevin Keane leads all business strategy for the 10th-largest multifamily developer in the nation, The Bainbridge Cos.
Wellington, Florida-based Bainbridge owns apartment properties in New York, Maryland, D.C., Virginia, North Carolina and its home state. In addition to developing and acquiring properties, Bainbridge has a third-party property management arm and a construction division.
As executive vice president and chief operating officer, Keane oversees strategy and client relationships across all of Bainbridge's divisions. The company employs over 600 people across six offices.
Before joining Bainbridge in 2017, Keane spent 30 years at Lincoln Property Co., where he led the company's Midwest region. He received his bachelor's degree from Penn State University in 1980. Keane serves on the National Multifamily Housing Council's executive and finance committees, and he is a member of the National Apartment Association and Urban Land Institute.
Bisnow: What is your favorite part of your job?
Keane: I get the greatest enjoyment from watching the various divisions of our company, including the development, construction, property management, investment and marketing teams, work together to execute a plan that delivers the best-in-class apartment communities and management services.
Bisnow: What is the worst job you ever had?
Keane: When I was in high school, I had a summer job as a furniture mover. I was in Pittsburgh where it was hot and humid, walking up hundreds of steps on a daily basis. I can tell you that hoisting a piano up three flights really is as hard as it looks on TV. It was a difficult job and I’ll always have an appreciation for the work movers do.
Bisnow: If you weren’t in commercial real estate, what would you do?
Keane: I would be operating a construction company.
Bisnow: What deal are you proudest of?
Keane: Bainbridge has delivered exceptional projects, and the ones where I have experienced the most pride in our company are those that defied the logical data of developing a luxury apartment community. Our intuition was that these particular sites exhibited variables not evident to the casual observer. We detected them and capitalized on what was not obvious.
Bisnow: What deal do you consider to be your biggest failure?
Keane: While I don’t consider any of our development projects a failure in the broadest sense, there have been situations that we bumped into surprises during construction, causing us to have to call audibles in terms of delivery, temporary leasing centers, model units and amenity deliveries. Most often, these surprises would come during site work. Those projects taught us to do much more investigative work on sites to ensure due diligence.
Bisnow: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Keane: When someone raises a problem, but has not thought it through themselves. When someone brings an issue to my attention, I like to see that they’ve taken steps to identify potential solutions on their own first.
Bisnow: What is your greatest extravagance?
Bisnow: What motivates you?
Keane: The challenge of making all of the parts of our business work together on a daily basis. I get the greatest satisfaction executing a plan and achieving a successful result.
Bisnow: What advice do you wish you got when you started in CRE?
Keane: I’ve been in the industry for over three decades, and I’ve learned that this business is not a sprint, it is a marathon.
Bisnow: What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
Keane: In Pittsburgh, we developed an apartment community that was the first top of the market in the community. We faced unproven rents, a demographic that had not seen the amenities we were delivering before, and misconceptions towards renting by choice. The community turned out to be a renowned success.
Bisnow: What keeps you up at night?
Keane: Unfinished business from the day before. I find myself sending emails and notes at all hours of the day and night. Many of my co-workers think I am nocturnal.
Bisnow: What is your favorite place to visit?
Keane: The Florida Keys.
Bisnow: Outside of work, what are you most passionate about?
Keane: My family.
Bisnow: What CRE trend do you think will have the most impact over the next few years?
Keane: The advent of short-term housing, virtual offices, electronic communications and documentation. We’re starting to see these trends accelerate further under the current conditions.
Bisnow: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Keane: I am involved with numerous associations and community groups who serve at-risk children and families, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Achievement Center for Children and Families of Delray Beach and the Boys & Girls Club of Delray Beach, where I serve as a board member.
Bisnow: What do you want your legacy to be?
Keane: That I have delivered outstanding spaces for people and families who are proud to call them their homes.