On May 17, 2021, Meet Kevin, aka Kevin Paffrath, announced his plan to run for governor of California on his popular YouTube channel. Due to a variety of reasons, the current California governor, Gavin Newsom, is facing a recall vote, in which the citizens of California will vote to remove Newsom from office and then, should the recall pass, vote for who will replace him, per ABC7. Many people have thrown their hat into the ring so far, including Caitlyn Jenner, Joe Cox, and Luis Huang. It’s safe to say that Paffrath is joining a large group of people who are all hoping to become the next governor of California.
But just who is the popular YouTuber? Those who follow his channel know that he is a realtor-turned-investment guru who has made his wealth via great investments, selling real estate and, more recently, his incredibly popular YouTube channel. Paffrath boasts over 1.6 million followers on his channel and uploads new content multiple times a day, more recently focusing on cryptocurrency like Dogecoin and Bitcoin. He’s widely acknowledged by fellow YouTubers and his followers to have a great grasp of money, but his history isn’t perfect. Like any human, he has had some ups and downs throughout his life. Keep scrolling to find out the untold truth of Meet Kevin.
Kevin Paffrath didn't originally want to work with money
Kevin Paffrath, better known by his YouTube handle, Meet Kevin, sort of fell into the career he has today. A native Floridian, Paffrath didn’t grow up wealthy. According to CNBC, Paffrath was actually born in Germany and lived there until he was 18 months old. His parents divorced when he was 6 years old and his father struggled to make ends meet. Paffrath recalled a time when his father told him he only had “11 [$20 bills] left,” a situation that definitely seemed to shape Paffrath’s life.
Originally, Paffrath stated he wanted to work in law enforcement, and in high school, he “participated in a law enforcement explorer program,” according to CNBC. During that time, he “spent over 3,000 hours riding along with local police” and learned what it took to become a police officer. Paffrath stated he assumed he would become a cop, but one officer he rode along with told him about his side gig as a realtor, which caught Paffrath’s interest. His future mother-in-law worked in real estate, and Paffrath got his real estate license when he was just 18 years old. Knowing that no one would take an 18-year-old seriously when buying or selling their home, Paffrath and his future wife bought a condemned home and fixed it up, flipping it for a profit. That then became their business model, buying and renovating houses, then renting them out. They currently own 22 properties in southern California, per CNBC.
His wife contributes to their business and work-life balance
Kevin Paffrath and his wife, Lauren, met on a high school trip to Paris, and they became so close, Paffrath moved in with his then-girlfriend’s family in southern California to finish his senior year of high school, reported CNBC. After he graduated, he attended Ventura College and then transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles. While going to UCLA, he and his wife founded The Paffrath Organization (per California’s official business registration website).
According to Paffrath’s official campaign website, “The Paffrath Organization is a licensed real estate brokerage doing business as Meet Kevin in California.” And, as CNBC reported, Paffrath’s wife is the property manager for the organization, making “all of the design decisions and [coordinating] the renovations with contractors.” Both husband and wife take a salary from the company, but Paffrath has admitted that his wife focuses more on the aesthetics of the renovations than he does. “Lauren picks the colors and tells me where to put the stuff,” he joked to CNBC.
Lauren also is the caretaker in the family, as Paffrath focuses on his YouTube career and now his gubernatorial run. The couple has two children together, Jack and Max, and they told CNBC that “the hardest part of their success has been balancing work and family.” Paffrath’s wife told the publication, “I just had our second son right when Kevin started making YouTube videos … so it was definitely an adjustment.”
Diversifying seems to be Kevin Paffrath's niche
It’s no surprise that Kevin Paffrath has diversified his forms of income throughout his meteoric rise to multi-millionaire status. He’s the co-owner of The Paffrath Organization, along with his wife, which is focused on real estate and renovations and has his YouTube channel, Meet Kevin, which delves into all sorts of personal wealth information. Meet Kevin has videos about cryptocurrency, stock portfolios, investment opportunities, and even some relevant news stories, like information about the coronavirus relief stimulus checks. However, there is another aspect of his job that others might not know — Paffrath is a teacher, of sorts.
Paffrath has a course on Teachable, a website that enables entrepreneurs to teach the skills they have mastered to be successful. Paffrath has a course in real estate, which promises to teach “the principles and fundamentals of real estate sales to take you to the next level of sales no matter what your experience is.” His promise is to help even the most basic of beginners become a successful realtor. As part of his course, he has a Discord channel, as well, which allows him and his students to interact with one another and trade best practices. Paffrath also brings his YouTube content there, sometimes doing stock or investment streams just for students of his course.
He owes most of his success to a fellow YouTuber
While Kevin Paffrath got his start in real estate and has become a teacher to other potential realtors, the majority of his money comes from his popular YouTube channel, Meet Kevin. As reported by CNBC, he and his wife earned $1.075 million in May 2020, although the publication pointed out they don’t always make seven figures each month. They only made around $720,000 in September 2020. Still, it’s safe to say that Paffrath’s YouTube channel and its affiliate links bring in a significant amount of cash for him.
He started the channel in 2018 but, according to him, he would not have been nearly as successful if he had not met fellow personal investment and real estate YouTuber, Graham Stephan. Stephan has his own YouTube channel focused on similar content to Paffrath’s, but he reportedly convinced Paffrath to double-down on his channel, to great success. In his video announcing his run for governor, Paffrath said he met Stephan for lunch in Beverly Hills. During that meeting, Paffrath mentioned he was making content once a week, at which point Stephan told him to up that to multiple videos a day and to put most of his effort into content creation. At over 1.6 million followers, it’s safe to say that Stephan’s advice to Paffrath paid off.
Kevin Paffrath had some legal troubles
It’s no surprise that Kevin Paffrath has had some run-ins with the legal system throughout his rise to fame. As with many content creators, he took time finding his niche, and relied on parody videos making fun of people whose methods he didn’t exactly agree with to increase his fame. Two of those cases were fairly well-documented when they occurred, and they both involved fellow real estate investors.
In one instance, Paffrath flew to Miami and dressed up as an elf to “allegedly [run] through the office of a prominent real estate investor,” reported Inman. The publication wrote that the incident took place at the offices of Grant Cardone in December 2018, though Paffrath was not charged until February 2019 for trespassing and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. The stunt appeared to be a culmination of Paffrath and Cardone’s tumultuous relationship, as Cardone accused Paffrath of stalking and harassment. Paffrath had made a series of YouTube videos calling Cardone’s business practices into question. The charges were ultimately dropped, according to CNBC.
A similar case occurred in Nashville, reported the Nashville Post. Paffrath made videos criticizing the methods of radio personality Dave Ramsey, who ended up suing Paffrath for breach of contract. (Paffrath worked with Ramsey’s company for a short period of time.) Eventually, the two settled out of court, though Paffrath did take down the videos criticizing Rasmey’s company. All in all, Paffrath has spent around $100,000 on legal fees, according to CNBC.
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