Moneeka Sawyer

Author Archives: Moneeka Sawyer

Moneeka Sawyer is often described as one of the most blissful people you will ever meet.   She has been investing in Real Estate for over 20 years, so has been through all the different cycles of the market.  Still, she has turned $10,000 into over $5,000,000, working only 5-10 hours per MONTH with very little stress. While building her multi-million dollar business, she has traveled to over 55 countries, dances every single day, supports causes that are important to her, and spends lots of time with her husband of over 20 years. She is the international best-selling author of the multiple award-winning books "Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment" and “Real Estate Investing for Women: Expert Conversations to Increase Wealth and Happiness the Blissful Way.” Moneeka has been featured on stages including Carnegie Hall and Nasdaq, radio, podcasts such as Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod,  and TV stations including ABC, CBS, FOX, and the CW, impacting over 150 million people.

Creating Notes And Doing Good In The World With Laura Gisborne – Real Estate Women

REWE 10 | Creating Notes


Too often, many people make real estate investing seem harder to get into than it actually is. In fact, for Laura Gisborne, you don’t necessarily need to know everything. You can just start by buying a property, adding value to it, and watching it take you to the next. In this episode, she joins Moneeka Sawyer to help simplify the process for us. As a highly successful business expert with over 20 years of experience from structuring and selling small boutique businesses to owning a multimillion-dollar wine and real estate empire, Laura has the wisdom and insights that could help us find our path towards success. She shares some of those with us and how, more importantly, she is giving back. Tune into this conversation to learn more about creating notes and going the owner financing route, all the while doing good in the world with it.

Listen to the podcast here:

Creating Notes And Doing Good In The World With Laura Gisborne – Real Estate Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am excited to welcome you to the show laura Gisborne. She is a highly successful business expert with many years of experience. From structuring and selling small boutique businesses to owning a multimillion-dollar wine and real estate empire, she has owned nine businesses. Her first, when she was only 23 years old. She is an internationally recognized speaker and serves as a business consultant for business leaders and entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries. The innovative business model of her company, Limitless Women, exemplifies that companies can be both profitable and purposeful.

Through her initiatives, thousands of women and children are receiving regular contributions in multiple countries across five continents. She has served as a Guardian Ad Litem for foster children through CASA, Parent Education Coordinator for Family Outreach, board member for Habitat for Humanity, The New Peaks Foundation, and is on the Business Engagement Team of the Pachamama Alliance. They’re all important and relevant for what Laura stands for, that’s why I wanted to let you know what she’s about around all of this stuff. She is the author of the books, Stop The Spinning: Move From Surviving To Thriving and Limitless Women. She has been featured as a guest expert on both CBS and ABC, as well as on the national bit show, The List. Laura, welcome to the show.

Thank you, Moneeka.

Laura and I are part of a community called The Thriving Women in Business. We met at a luxury retreat with a bunch of other women in Hawaii and hit it off immediately. We have much in common. I wanted to have her on the show to share all of her wisdom with you. Laura, why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about your real estate journey? What’s your story around that?

First of all, thank you for inviting me. I’m super excited to serve you and to help however I may. Ask away whatever questions you’d like to ask. For the real estate journey, it’s interesting. I started back in 1996, I went on a timeshare tour. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a timeshare tour or not, but it was a fascinating thing. I had no idea what it was. I said to my husband at that time, “We’re not going to buy anything. Let’s go look.” The woman who was our real estate broker, which is like you and I, we hit it off. We had a great affinity right away. The story behind the story is at that point, we had owned three restaurants in Texas.

We sold them and moved to Arizona with the idea we’re going to open up a different kind of business. A bed and breakfast or something that we could do with small hotels. Something we could do while one of us could always be with our children. This woman who sold us a timeshare said, “You should get a real estate license. You’d be great at this.” I said, “I’ve never sold anything in my life.” My background is hospitality and law.” I thought I’d be a lawyer when I grow up. God had another plan to get all these adventures, but that’s a whole other story. It took about two months at the time to get a license if you went full-time.

I got my real estate license. I thought, “This would be a good side hustle to do in the meantime. I’ll get into real estate and do that for a little while, while I’m building my next business.” I started selling, doing well in real estate. I started taking my commissions from real estate sales and buying real estate. Leverage was a beautiful thing back in the late ‘90s, early 2000s. I would buy one piece of property and then get it ramped up and then borrow against that property to buy the next one and so one thing led to another.

It’s intuitive investing. That’s what I did too. I did not become an agent, but once I started buying, I would fix it up, have it increased its value, and then take money out and buy the next one. It’s such an easy way to go. What I love about your story is that it shows women that this thing is possible in an intuitive, flowing way. There’s no magic here. You made some extra income. You decided to invest in property. That property was appreciated because you added value. You take more money out and then you bought another piece of property and just rinse and repeat. What I want ladies to read at this moment is how easy this can be because many people out there are talking about the cool ways or exciting ways to make money in real estate. You could buy everything and no money down. You can do these options and syndication. You don’t have to know all of that stuff. You can just buy a house.

That’s the piece, start with one. My first husband that I got divorced, almost two years after we’d moved to Sedona, I met my current husband. When he and I got married, he moved into my house. We turned his house into a rental. It was that piece. He said, “I can buy you a diamond. I can buy this empty lot.” I was like, “No, buy the lot. Diamonds later. Let’s get some real estate.” It’s a little hedgy. You want to start collecting and our strategy was to cashflow properties. I went to a real estate investing bootcamp in 2004 with John Burley, who was a great guy. Burley looked at what were the different strategies that were working and what works best for us over the years. I would say, it has been that cashflow that we would buy a house and then we would carry the note for somebody who was having a challenge with financing. We do owner finance for them. It worked out great. When they were ready and they were able to qualify, they were able to buy us out and it always became a great win for them too.

If you drive out of the epicenter of your city, the farther you get, the lower the prices of the houses become. Click To Tweet

Let’s dive a little deeper into that because that’s not something people have talked a lot about in this show. When we talk about cashflow, usually what people think is you buy a place, rent it out for more than what you owe on it and that’s how you make cashflow. There are lots of different ways to do cashflows. Let’s dive a little deeper into the owner financing route. We haven’t had anybody talk about that. Could you break that down for us a little?

One of the things you always have some questions about is, “What do you need to get started?” Good credit is a great asset. It’s not necessarily the only asset because even if you struggle with credit, you can bring in partners. That’s also been another strategy that was successful for us to joint venture with other investors so that we can pull our money together. We’d put in 10%, they’d put in 10%. We get our 20% down, and we would go in and do a project. That was a whole other side. Generally, we would buy a house. The strategy behind this was that we live in a high ticket area.

As real estate investors, the rule of thumb that we’ve found over the years is that if you drive out for the epicenter of your city, the farther out you get, the lower the prices of the houses become. We’ve always done well with cashflow properties from blue-collar type of families like firemen, school teachers, people that have great jobs. They may not have high revenue, but they have consistent income. They have a good job history. People fall on hard times. I talk about that in my first book. I went through my journey when I got divorced. It didn’t make my life easy with my credit. I made some mistakes, but I cleaned them up and was able to move forward.

When somebody’s gone through some life situation like death or divorce or disease, you can look at their credit and find out, “Was it an isolated time? Do they have a better history before?” Banks are not always forgiving, but as a lender yourself, you can be forgiving. You can find those people that you trust and work with them. A lot of times, that gives them the opportunity to get into a house, and our structure was, let’s say somebody who normally would pay $1,000 for rent if they were doing a lease option which is the owner finance with us who would have them pay more. Maybe they’re paying $1,300 or $1,400 a month, but a portion of that would be going towards the purchase of the property.

If they could get it together and then get their own financing, which happened for every house we ever had in Arizona, they always ended up cashing out which was great. You think as you keep them as high ticket renters for a long time, but the goal is to help others get into their own homes. You figure out a price, you buy your house for $100,000 and you decide to sell it to them for $120,000. They live there for a few years, pay the rent, and because they had an ownership in the property, they would take better care of the property first and foremost. They wouldn’t call you for every like, “I need a new light bulb,” because it’s their property. They had pride in that.

Did you get a down payment and what percentage would you normally get?

It depends on where they were. That’s the idea too. I know a lot of people that do resell houses with no money down and 4 or 5 high ticket leases. Our intention was always to have a win for them and have them be able to get to a place that they could afford.

You did take some down payment so they felt like they had bought?

Let’s say that you’re doing a security deposit on a rental. You do first, last and one-month security on a $1,200 property, that’s $3,600. Over time, they came up with $5,000. We didn’t charge them much more. The round numbers we love working-class neighborhoods as families. Those are the ones that get the hardest hit when the economy goes south.

REWE 10 | Creating Notes

Stop The Spinning Move: From Surviving To Thriving

With a lot of the owner financing that I’ve seen, they’re structured a little bit differently. What kinds of percentages do you normally give them towards their house, for instance?

People that are credit challenged are used to paying a little bit more interest. The interest didn’t come into the equation so much. If I could give you a base rate, it would be like interest rates you’ll see out there is 3%, if I charged 5% or I charge a little bit higher interest rate because it was a higher risk. It was more tied into the lease option.

You would charge an interest rate and everything else went towards paying down their house?


Did you normally still have a loan on that property when you did this?


That is such an interesting structure. I’ve never seen it like that before.

It worked well for our family and it made us feel good to be able to help people get into houses that couldn’t get in otherwise.

They’re the ones that usually get hit hard when things go bad and it’s not that they don’t want to own homes for their families, nor that they don’t work hard enough for it.

We want to be with people who inspire us, the people who lift us up, and see us when we have a hard time seeing ourselves. Click To Tweet

It’s the idea of 10% down payments. It’s hard for them versus if they can come up with a little bit down and then pay a little bit more each month. It’s like a savings account for them to move towards where they have the equity. The house is also appreciating at the same time. It was all these years in Arizona. When they go to refinance and qualify for a more traditional loan, they’ve got some equity in their other down-payment and they would cash us out.

How quickly do they normally cash you out? How quickly do they normally buy?

It’s an average of 2 to 3 years. That’s in a market where lending was more flexible. We don’t know what’s going to happen after COVID. It’s going to be interesting to see what the banks do. Interest rates are at an all-time-record low and certain things are easier to get financing for than others.

Do you help them with getting their credit fixed if they’ve had any problems or you allow it to season its way out?

No, I think they season. If they’re motivated to buy, to purchase, they know they have to make their payments on time. I’ve met a lot of people over the years when they go all-in on hard times are good people who needed a chance to pull it together and get back on their feet.

One of the things that I love about Laura is her whole outlook on life is she wants to be a limitless woman herself. She believes in time, emotional freedom, financial freedom and true freedom. Being truly limitless and lifting the people around her. She reaches out into the world in many ways whether it’s being on boards of charities or that she finances people in their homes or the way that she coaches her business, coaching clients. Everything that Laura does, her aim is to lift those people around, to be better off than they were before.

Part of what struck me about Laura in the very beginning when I first met her is she’s always, “How can I be a service for you? What can I do at this moment to help you?” She comes from this place that I call one of my bliss tenets, which is to give back to the world, to be of service. When we’re out there and serving, it’s hard to feel bad inside. We’re being of service, but it also fills us up. It gives us more to think about, to do, to feel good about. It also helps us to raise the vibration around us because anybody who then is going to come around us are going to be people that have that same vibration, intention, and blessed in their life. Wouldn’t you say?

I would. I went to a yoga class right before you and I have this interview. I was listening to a sermon on the way. One of the things he was talking about was how much we can be around people that pull us down and how important it is for us to always surround ourselves with others who lift us up. I feel like I’m hearing it twice. God must be giving me a message. This idea of who we surround ourselves with is important. We want to be with people that inspire us, that lift us up and see us when we have a hard time seeing ourselves.

That’s kind, generous and uplifting. I know much of the time when I’m not down as often as I had been. A lot of my journey to bliss was because my life experience was very unhappy. We often focus on the things that have challenged us ourselves. I remember learning early on this thing that everybody says, you become the five people you spend the most with. It sounds trite. The truth is the most time that you spend with people, those are the people that are going to influence you the most. It’s important that you decide who you want those people to be and you do have control over that.

REWE 10 | Creating Notes

Creating Notes: Banks are not always so forgiving, but as a lender yourself, you can be and you can actually find those people that you really trust and work with them.


We don’t have control over the family and don’t dump your family. You don’t want to do that. You want to make sure that when you’re out there in the world, when you have the choice, you’re choosing people who are going to support the joy in life, help to uplift you and support your values. I can’t imagine Laura ever hanging out with someone that did not believe in philanthropy.

It’s not a new journey for me. The work that I do is all about business training, to lift women so that they can use their profits for purpose. All of that’s come as a typical overnight sensation. I started volunteering many years ago. While I was building my private sector life, our restaurants, our retail stores, our real estate and our wine business, I was always volunteering as a separate. I felt like I had one foot in either world. I had a private-sector world and my volunteer world. What’s been beautiful is over these last few years, we put our stake in the sand and made our whole business about fundraising and raising awareness.

Even prior to that, even when we were percolating this business starting about 2012, that was always a common theme. We’re good. We’ve raised our children. We’ve traveled the world. My husband had a terminal diagnosis many years ago and now he is healthy and on track. We’re thrilled. We try to celebrate every day that we get to have together. For us, the motivation is not about how do I make more money. I’m more curious about how I can use my experience and my voice to lift up other women that they can find sufficiency and freedom for their families, and then join us in the contribution phase. What we know from experience of doing this work now is it’s difficult for women to see themselves as philanthropists and givers when they’re struggling financially. We need to help them get to sufficiency first.

You and I both started at a place where we weren’t in a financial place that people would normally think of us as givers. I started my philanthropic journey when I was sixteen living in India. I didn’t have a lot of money and we started to volunteer time, and a little bit of money for me. It was $10 a month. It’s important that we feel lifted up enough. You don’t want to give when you don’t feel like you have. You never want to give them more than you feel you can give. That is true whether it’s of your heart, time, or money.

There’s a little paradox in that for me only because it’s my understanding and my core premise at this point in my mid-50s. I grew up in a very poor family. I did not have access to resources and no one had ever been to college. It was that whole idea of education and freedom. It wasn’t something that we had access to and didn’t know that access. My parents did their best to ingrain in me. I can do attitude and willingness to work hard. I’ve always been a good student. I’ve got a lot of gifts and a lot of things that have come through that helped me again when I couldn’t see myself.

The most successful people that I knew and that I’ve had the blessing of knowing throughout my journey at this point are people who were always generous of heart, generous of spirit. It wasn’t someday when they got wealthy that they gave. It was getting through the stretching through the expansion. There’s something in that for us. I believe that giving causes growth. It’s an interesting paradigm when women come to one of our programs and they want education on how to build a business. I asked them to make a donation in exchange for your education. There’s often a little hesitancy if that’s a new paradigm for them. They haven’t done it before. I say, “If you can afford to invest in yourself here, you can afford to give there.” What it does is it starts them being expanded. This is either they can, then they start being a whole different level of leader.

We’re saying the same thing. I feel that women often over give. In their homes, they say yes too often. That’s more of what I was referring to about, we do need to keep ourselves filled up emotionally, internally, and mentally so that we can then stand in our power in the world. What’s also funny is that you will never expand until you understand that being of service is the most important thing. When you are able to start to understand that, then you expand in every way. You expand emotionally in your capacity to give, your compassion, wisdom, personality and also wealth.

My husband learned something from me very early on. We were broke as newlyweds. I remember one day, we were talking about the budget and I said, “I still have to donate to the temple.” He says, “We pass on it this year.” I said, “No. We’re going to double it this year,” which frustrated him. For me, when I start to close down, to cringe, feel that I can’t do it, is when I open up even more because then that releases all of that. Now, money, energy and creativity start to flow.

It sounds like it’s your story. It sounds like it’s your truth.

If we've been blessed to have an opportunity to do well for ourselves, who else can we help so that they can do the same? Click To Tweet

Do you find that’s also true for other people?

It depends on where they are. There’s some truth in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. When somebody is in survival mode, I’m always in awe, when I meet people who live on less than $3 a day, who find a way to give. There’s a place where a lot of times there’s a spiritual component that kicks in. Most people that I meet in the developed world are still running the myth of not enough, but they’re still trying to be more, do more, have more. Yet, if they can’t overcome that, then my conversation is not the right conversation for them. If they’re stuck in that, then all we can do is love and try to support them as much as we can with where they are.

What do you mean by a limitless woman?

Monica Nyiraguhabwa, who you’re familiar with, is also a donor for Girl Up Uganda through Kimberly Writing Women In Business Giving Circle. When I met this woman who’s in her mid-30s, I started to learn more about her story. She’s incredibly humble. You don’t know that until you start getting in there and digging in. She grew up in the suburbs of Kampala. She had her first pair of shoes at age thirteen. People may or may not know this, but in most places in the world, education is not free. She had to come up with school fees.

Her parents had to decide, “Do we send our son or daughter to school?” They decided to send their son because chances are, he would stay in the village versus her getting married and moving away from the village. She was resourceful. She started selling vegetables. She found a way to make her school fees. She started this at about age seven. It was mind-boggling to me. She went on the Government of Uganda partnered with the University of London and created a scholarship fund for five students in the entire country. There were 5,000 applicants. She was one of the five students who got the scholarship, went to England, stayed on for a Master’s degree in Public Policy, and then came back to Uganda to the slums. I mean no electricity, no water, no roads, no transportation, and decided to dedicate her life to lifting up other young women.

They wouldn’t have to be in a family where a family had to choose. That to me is a limitless woman. Everything that was presented to her was what we would consider I believe a limitation and she chose not to see it that way. She chose to stay deep in her faith to keep taking the next step that she could. She’s an Obama scholar, spoken to United Nations, on the Today Show. She’s right there in Uganda, in the trenches, making a difference for hundreds of thousands of girls. A lot of times when we face adversity in our lives, things that could be in way, perspective is important. For me, there’s nothing at this point in my life that makes me more excited than supporting a woman like that who’s out to change the world.

That was an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it.

She’s a limitless woman. That to me is the epitome of a woman who overcomes amazing adversity. An ordinary girl with extraordinary faith and perseverance. She chose not to just make it about herself. She has nine adopted daughters. She’s 36 or 38. She’s my relevant hero. I have many of them. It’s this work of how do we, as women, lift each other up? How do we as women continue to shift the idea that there’s any competition? There’s no competition. There’s a tremendous amount of abundance in the world. There’s a tremendous amount of resources.

If we’ve been blessed to have an opportunity to do well for ourselves, meaning that we’ve reached sufficiency. We’ve been able to take care of ourselves, our families. Who else can we help so that they can do the same? My family of origin could not help me past a certain point because they didn’t have any reference. They didn’t have any perspective. There were other people who saw me from the outside who said, “You can do this. There are other possibilities. Somebody has to open up and shine a light on what’s possible.” I feel like I’ve been very blessed. All the way plus up to this point, and as long as God lets me stay here. It’s good to be here.

REWE 10 | Creating Notes

Creating Notes: The epitome of a woman who overcomes amazing adversity is in being an ordinary girl with extraordinary faith and perseverance and choosing not to just make it about herself.


Laura, how can people reach you if they want to get in touch with you and find out more?

The easiest way to get connected with me is through the web. If you go to Free Gift Friday, you can opt in for a copy of my first book, Stop the Spinning: Move from Surviving to Thriving,where I tell my own limitless woman story, where I came from and where life has taken me. It’s a little bit of that journey and the power of the formula. The tools and the resources that I and the most successful women I know used to keep themselves on track financially, with the time, their operations, and community. You can always contact me through the website, There’s a Contact Us form that comes right to me.

Ladies, I would go there and get that book. That sounds amazing. I know I’ll be doing that. Laura, are you ready for three rapid-fire questions?


Give us one super tip on getting started in real estate investing.

One of the fastest ways that you can grow your real estate business is to get comfortable with using other people’s money. When you think like an investor, you look at how the profit on a property is made when you buy it, not when you sell it and you get clear about your numbers, metrics which all are part of the education. You can bring in business partners because everyone will run out of their own money at some point. If you want to keep growing, you want to keep expanding your business. Learn early on how to make it a win for other investors. A lot of people don’t necessarily have the time or inclination to get an education. If you’re one of those women who’s motivated by giving the education, understanding how to do this, and you partner with someone who’s an investor, who wants to get a good return on their investment, but they don’t want to have to do all the work, that’s probably the best super tip that moved us the fastest.

What would you say is a strategy to be successful as a real estate investor?

You have to get clear about what your revenue-generating activities are. If you’re not writing offers on houses, connecting with investors, and bringing in joint venture partners, not advertising your properties and finding leases, you’ve got to get clear to where are the actions that drive your revenue, not shopping. Shopping as fun as that is, that’s not always the best thing to be spending your time on. Get clear about your paradigms. Get your education in place, and then get into the actions that going to bring in revenue to your company.

What is one daily practice that you would say contributes to your success?

One of the fastest ways to really grow your real estate business is to get comfortable using other people's money. Click To Tweet

I’m a very faith-based person. A lot of conversations with God throughout the day and I never say never. Almost every day, I don’t get out of bed without a deep gratitude practice. I have an incredible amount of blessings. I’ve overcome an incredible amount of adversity by American standards. At the same time, I know that we get more of what we focus on. I’m constantly in prayer and gratitude for all the good things that are happening. I’m open-minded and allowing myself to be led to what the next step is.

I love how you talk about that. You’ve had a lot of adversity according to American standards. Let’s keep it in perspective.

As a child, I was sexually molested. I experienced a tremendous amount of abuse and domestic violence relationship in my late teens. This is the piece, not that those things weren’t hard. They were very hard and I always had a roof over my head and I had fresh water. Now, the perspective I have after working locally in charity projects humbles me. It tells me what people are capable of creating and achieving with little in the way of resources. I’m inspired to see how many of them I can continue to support.

Laura, I loved this conversation. Thank you for what you’ve offered to my ladies.

It’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Ladies, thank you for joining Laura and me for this amazing limitless conversation. I look forward to seeing you next time. You know how much I appreciate you. Always remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action, and create the life that your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon.

Important Links:

About Laura Gisborne

REWE 10 | Creating Notes

Hey! I’m Laura

An entrepreneur, philanthropist, writer, wine maven…

And fierce advocate for helping brilliant, passionate women like you mobilize their richest gifts into a business they adore that transforms lives and the world around them.

Working with me, you escape working harder and harder just to feel “good enough.” You shed the frustration of not being where you thought you’d be by now.

And instead, start living your greatest purpose. Far faster and with far greater ease, clarity and power to do good than you ever imagined possible.

Now, just in case you’re thinking “Sure, Laura, easy for you to say. You’ve already got the luxury of freedom and time. You’ve already got a string of successful businesses under your belt.”

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[Customer Convo] Choosing Bliss, A New Giving Thanks Practice, And Real Estate With Chaitra Rai – Real Estate Women

REW 34 | Choosing Bliss


As host of the Real Estate Investing for Women podcast, we rarely hear what Moneeka Sawyer has to say about her experiences in real estate. In this episode, she sits on the hot seat as her customer, Chaitra Rai, asks some of the most curious questions that let us take a peek into her life, most especially with her real estate journey. Moneeka talks about her book, Choose Bliss, laying down what her typical workday looks like and how she inserts meditation and gratitude into her everyday life. She then goes to real estate and tells us some of her ways of finding a good investment deal, giving a loan, and applying for your second investment property.

Listen to the podcast here:

[Customer Convo] Choosing Bliss, A New Giving Thanks Practice, And Real Estate With Chaitra Rai – Real Estate Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

Chai, welcome to the show. How are you?

I am doing wonderful. It’s great to hear your beautiful voice again. How are you doing?

I’m doing great. I’m sorry, it’s taking long for us to finally get this together, but I am excited about this conversation. You’ve got good questions. Thanks for being patient with me.

It’s all worth it. It’s all for the greater good.

Some of the questions that you sent me, you had some stuff about my book, Choose Bliss and you also had some real estate questions. Shall we start with Choose Bliss? Does that sound good?

That sounds great. After reading your book, I have a lot of questions that I wanted to talk to you about. One of the biggest questions I had after reading your book, you seem somebody who has varied interests in addition to your business ventures. I was wondering if you could share with us how your typical workday looks like and how many hours you spend on different things like your business ventures, blog, writing and podcasts. Do you have time for hobbies after that?

The first thing that I want to say about that is we each design our lives based on what makes us feel the best. How I would define a blissful life is that we get to do the things that make us feel most fulfilled. There are a lot of people that are out there talking about having a balanced life. A balanced life is a farce because there is a lot of stuff in a balanced life that doesn’t make our hearts sing. I designed my life. The way that I designed my life is more about doing the things that make my heart sing, spending more time doing that and less time doing the things that don’t make my heart sing.

I do have a typical day, but it depends on what my main focus is. I’ll give you an example. I have a property that’s being turned over, which means we’re in transition. I had a tenant leave and I’m putting a new tenant in. When I talk on my show about, “I only spend 5 to 10 hours a month,” what that means is most months, I spend zero hours and then if I have a transition, I might spend closer to 20 to 40 hours on that transition. It takes a lot of time to do a transition and do it right.

I only might do a transition every two years. I don’t do that often. I don’t spend a lot of time on real estate. In the morning, I wake up and I have a morning routine. That morning routine includes my shower, meditation, a little bit of journaling, a walk with my dog and my husband, coffee at the coffee shop and a walk back home. I sit at my desk and I look at a library of things that make me feel good, whether it’s a YouTube video, clothes or it’s a sweet letter that someone sent me like good reviews on my books or on the podcast.

I have an arsenal of feel-good material that I start the day with. I might take three minutes for that unless I’m watching a longer video, but that’s what I do with the first thing that I sit down at my desk. After that is when I start dealing with email. That’s how my day starts. After that, there are other things that happen. I do my email and then it’s what’s the focus of the day. Now, the focus of the day is I’m calling references for employers and for past landlords. I’m doing credit checks. I have to go to the property every single day because there’s something going on. It’s either I’m meeting a contractor, I’m putting up a new sign, or I meeting a possible tenant.

We each design our lives based on what makes us feel the best. Click To Tweet

I’m spending a lot of times specifically on the real estate piece. However, I do think that I’m going to have a renter. It’s taken me about a week and then I will go back to my regular schedule. Once a week, I record shows and then the rest of the week, I might have a couple of hours set aside for writing. I do a lot of reading and a lot of background stuff that has to go on with running a business. I’ve got to keep my website and products going. Sometimes I’m dealing with technology all the time. It’s our best friend. It can also be a time thing for a lot of things. There are all of those things. I usually start work at about 10:30 or 11:00. My husband is at home because of COVID, so he and I take about 1.5-hour lunch.

That’s called work-day balance. Having a balance includes that.

I have a good solid amount of time that I work in the afternoon. It’s starting about 1:30 until 6:00. I take a break in the middle of the afternoon to do a twenty-minute meditation. There’s also something interesting now that David is home, we’ll often go for a twenty-minute walk in the middle of the day. He goes back to work and I do the meditation. I get a 40-minute break in the middle of that afternoon.

That’s super productive for the brain as well to break it up in chunks like that.

I get some good focus time, but I also get some nice breaks so I can rejuvenate. One of the things you asked me before the show is to talk a little bit about dance.

That’s the exciting part, your love for dance.

It’s such a big piece of my life and there’s an unfortunate truth. In the book, I talked about a one-car accident, but I’m recovering from another one. Most people don’t know, which is fortunate. I’m doing fine, but it was a highway pile-up about several years ago. My right arm has not been working very well since then. In the first two years after the accident, my legs were not badly damaged, but I was in a lot of pain. For whatever reason, my legs, arm and back got jammed in the accident. I’ve been in physical therapy, acupuncture and all of that stuff. I had surgery on my shoulder. There’s been a lot that’s going on. What that has meant is that I can’t dance every day.

If you read the book, you know that from my perspective, and we’ve heard this from many experts, exercise is a big factor in keeping happy. Our bodies need to move. I was a dancer. I didn’t even have to think about exercise and that was even better. Now, I’m not able to dance and I’m not moving. I have been able to move. I’m starting to be able to move my arm so I can start to dance again. Even before I would try to move and my arm would get torqued because it’s sympathetic movements in your whole body when you’re dancing.

That was painful, but in order to make sure that I am getting the exercise that my body is used to getting, I do four twenty-minute walks a day. I do one in the morning with my husband, one in the afternoon and one after dinner. That’s three and then somewhere in between. For instance, in the morning, we might do twenty minutes before coffee and twenty minutes after. It ends up being a full hour or we’re out with a dog and having some coffee. It’s 3 or 4 twenty-minute walks a day.

REW 34 | Choosing Bliss

Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment

You found an alternative to getting your dance practice. You’re doing more walks now.

That’s one thing that I want to emphasize to people is we get so busy in our lives that we forget that our bodies were built to move. If we don’t move, the body cramps up, so we physically don’t feel well. If we physically don’t feel well, it impacts us emotionally. The other thing is that exercise releases all these endorphins in your body that are natural mood enhancers. This makes you feel better in general. Exercise is such a big piece of creating a blissful life. It’s the piece that people tend to overlook the most because it feels like a time sink, but it’s such an important part of staying blissful. Does that make sense?

I totally agree with you. It’s this principle of contraction versus expansion. I feel like when you go out and have your walks, you’re expanding your mind and your consciousness. As opposed to staying inside the house and your body is not getting any movement, and you’re contracting in some sense. You get the blood flowing too when you’re out and about.

Get some air and your creativity flows a little bit more because you’re not so focused on one thing. You open and expand, and more can come in. It’s having peripheral vision rather than tunnel vision. You can take in so much more.

When you’re out in nature too, you get all these creative ideas and thoughts, which would not have come if you had been stuck in the house.

Did you have any other questions about the book?

In your book, you have mentioned your gratitude habit and I thought that was fascinating. You mentioned that as you wake up first thing in the morning, you write out three things that you’re grateful for. I’m wondering if you could expand a little bit about that. Do you do a gratitude habit in the morning? Is it something you practice throughout the day? Do you write more than three things that you’re grateful for? Anything you could tell us about that would be helpful.

I’ve created a whole new practice that nobody knows about yet. I’ll let the secret out for you. I even don’t get up. My alarm goes off and I push the snooze. It’s during that snooze period that I do the gratitudes in my mind. The way that I do it is I feel into the emotion. Any gratitude practice is good, but there is a right way to do a gratitude practice. That is to get into the emotions of feeling gratitude. I find this in my own life. I was in a car accident years ago and woke up every single morning in pain. When you do a gratitude practice and when you’re feeling pain or you’re feeling bad, it feels uncomfortable to be feeling that level of gratitude and joy. I don’t know if you’ve ever had this experience.

You’re lying to yourself in some sense until you believe it.

When you start to believe that you’re afraid, it will run away. That’s been my experience. There are a lot of times that I’m like, “I don’t want to get too happy because it’s not feeling real and comfortable.” The first thing to realize is that our most natural way of being is to be in bliss. Let me explain to my readers why I’m saying this. When we were born, we were born as these little bundles of bliss. We’re filled with joy, excitement, awe and wonder. We’re newly alive and we want to learn. There’s no fear and we’re going to try everything. That’s who we’re born as and somehow through life, we learn about fear, shame and we’re bad. We learn all of these things and it chips away at that bliss that is deep at our core.

A blissful life is when we get to do the things that make us feel most fulfilled. Click To Tweet

That bliss is that light that’s talked about inside our core. It shines bright as always.

Gratitude is the quickest access we have to that little light of bliss deep down inside of us that wants to shine through our entire bodies.

It’s a gateway that do that special vision in us.

It’s okay that as you move into gratitude, sometimes you’ll get flushed with this feeling of joy and it’s uncomfortable because we’re not used to it. The more that you do it, the more natural it becomes and the more willing you are to go there. What’s even more delightful is that you start to stay there longer. Your body gets in the habit of being able to sustain that level of emotion on that vibration. Everything that happens inside of our bodies, whether it’s endorphins from exercise or being on a diet, whatever it is that we’re doing, our body needs to adjust to accommodate the level of bliss that we’re capable of.

The more that we practice, the more our capacity expands and the more comfortable we are with that. That also means that when we fall or things go bad, we’re more quickly able to move back into that place of bliss rather than staying in those distracted emotional states like depression, sadness, anger. Even ecstasy can be a huge distraction because it doesn’t support what you want in your life. It’s a good feeling, which is great. I’m not saying I don’t feel that. I’m saying that we want to live in this place that it’s expansive and supportive of our sustainable joy.

It’s like you’re attuning your body to the frequency that is emitted by that inner vibration. Your body needs to get acclimatized to that.

I do it first thing in the morning and that gets me started. I have an alarm on my phone. When it goes off on my screen, on my phone, it says, “I am so grateful for.” During the day, 2 or 3 times, I might be reminded to do a little bit of gratitude. The other thing that happens is I get in these moments when I’m working and I want to throw my computer across the room. At that moment is when I take some deep breaths and I say a couple of gratitudes because that calms me down. It clears my mind as a fog that happens in us when we get frustrated so that I can then think more expansively. If that doesn’t work, that’s when I go for my walk.

Gratitude can also help put you back in a rational place, so you can be more creative and more productive. That’s all the stuff that was covered in the book and what I’ve been doing for many years. Now, there’s a new piece and this is a piece that I do in the evening. I started to do a new I love you practice. At night, I write a little love letter to myself and what the love letter says is, “Dear Moneeka, I feel so lucky to be you and to be able to live my life through you,” and then I put gratitudes about myself and my life.

I might say something like, “I am grateful for your spirit and your willingness to share your point of view with the world. I know sometimes that’s hard for you and I appreciate that you do that,” or “I so appreciate your commitment to getting the word out there that bliss is a priority. I know that people sometimes look at you like you’re a crazy person, but thank you so much for being tenacious and committed.” I’ll say things like that. At the end of it, I’ll say, “Thank you for being you. I love you so much,” and then I sign it, Moneeka. You have no idea how good that feels.

After you write a love letter like that to yourself, and you go to sleep, you wake up in the morning wide open. It’s almost like an emptiness. There’s a space where it’s completely open that you can fill it with the good stuff. Most people, when they wake up in the morning, the first thing they think of is, “It’s another day, I want to sleep a little longer, or I’m late.” There are all these other things. Those are all negative things. Instead, if you do a gratitude practice, you’re filling yourself up with good things. The other thing that’s important to make sure that you’re not distracted from the gratitude piece is to be careful about what you’re waking up to.

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Choosing Bliss: Gratitude is the quickest access we have to that little light of bliss deep down inside of us that wants to shine through our entire bodies.


You want to wake up to a sound that’s pleasant to you and that does not feed your subconscious mind negative information. For instance, do not wake up to an uncontrolled music or news station. Don’t listen to the news. The second that you wake up, don’t wake up to that because most of that is negative stuff. You don’t want to put that negative energy in you when you first wake up. The other thing you don’t want to do is have advertising because advertising is designed to make you feel like you are not enough of a person, because of that, you need this product to be a better person. You don’t ever want that to be fed into your mind when you’re first waking up.

You don’t want sad songs. If you can control it, you don’t want things that are going to make you feel bad, hurt, or have bad memories. This sounds controlling, but you do want those first moments that you wake up, that you open to the world, that’s going to set up your entire day. You’ll make it a lot easier for yourself if you wake up to something beautiful, some beautiful tinkling, soft nature sounds, and birds chirping or crickets chirping is something I know one of my clients likes to listen to. My husband wakes up to Mexican music. He speaks Spanish, I don’t speak Spanish, but I love the way mariachi sound. It’s wonderful to hear that in the morning. Controlling what you wake up to is also going to help to support that gratitude practice.

It’s like you’re controlling your mentality on some level so that you can put your best foot forward as you start your day. Another thing I loved about what you share with us is your love letter the previous night because they say what you sleep with at night is what goes forward. It’s important to have positive things, not only when you get up, but when you sleep as well. That’s why I love your new practice that is incorporated into your routine. Thank you for sharing it.

One of the things that I love talking about more than anything else is how people can live a blissful life, and I feel that we can keep talking, but I think we should move on to the real estate piece.

You’re taking your first loan, venture into your first real estate investment and you go to the bank and because of the period we’re in, there are certain downturns in some areas, banks are asking for a higher down payment. Once you do buy your first property and you go ahead with the process, how do you know that this is a good deal? How do you find a good investment deal when you’re doing this for the first time?

There are a lot of different pieces to that. First is finding the right property, the right loan and what happens next after that? It’s a three-step question I heard. We’re going to talk about the economy later. There’s no such thing as a perfect property, but there is a perfect property for you personally. I teach this in my coursework. The short version of this is that you want to look at your resources and your tolerances before you pick a property. My bank is offering a loan at 3.25% interest with a down payment of 30%, is this good?

Every bank is going to be offering different things. Most of the banks are requiring a down payment between 25% and 35%. Yours is right there in the middle. A rate of 3.25% is fantastic. It’s fluctuating about an eighth of a point. You might be able to go down to eighth, but you also might end up at 3.75%. I got quoted at 3.875%. For our readers, understand that we’re talking during COVID. I want to give you an overview of what I look at when I’m looking for a loan.

What is the market bearing right now? The market is asking for between 25% to 35% down. A rate of 3.25 % is right in the middle of what I’m seeing. You’re going to find out more about that by calling a broker and getting an idea because a broker has access to many different products. He will have access to a product that’s only 5% down, but he’ll tell you the rate is higher and you’re going to have to put five points down, which is 5% down in fees. Brokers are going to be able to tell you the range of what rates are looking at and what down payments are looking like. That’s the first thing.

The other thing is going to be, can you put that 30% down? If you can’t put it in your area, how much do you have to put down? What is that 30% of? If you have $30,000, 30% means that you can only buy $100,000 price. That’s going to also determine if this is the right time for you to buy or not and what to buy. The next thing that I always look for is the perfect property for you is the property that is in a neighborhood where you’re going to find tenants that you like doing business with and it’s a property that you enjoy maintaining.

Let me give you an example of what that looks like. I have a property that is vacant. When I bought that property, it is walking distance to Starbucks and the Sprouts and to a bunch of cute walking area. The property is only a three-bedroom, one bath. It’s fairly small. The tenants that I was looking for at that time, and I predetermined this, was a small or a new family, husband, wife and 1 or 2 kids with no pets. You’ve got your customer avatar. My tenant is my customer.

We get so busy in our lives that we forget that our bodies were built to move. Click To Tweet

They’re starting their life. They’re involved with their work, helping the kids with homework and family time. They don’t have time for all the maintenance of a house and all the gardening. They’re looking for something that’s a little bit lower maintenance. A condo might be a good idea. They’re making about this much money. These are the tenants that I want to work with. The other thing is where does that tenant want to live?

If they’ve got young children, they’re going to want a safer neighborhood. Ideally, for me, I wanted a safer neighborhood and here is why. Every evening, I’m going over to the property after my workday to do something, not every evening, but frequently. If I’m going over there in the evening when it’s dark, I need to feel safe as a woman. Men are going to have different considerations. They want to feel safe too, but it’s going to feel different to them what’s appropriate and what’s not. I need to feel safe in the neighborhood, in the home and with my tenants. That’s another thing that I consider.

When you’re looking at the perfect first investment property, you want to take all of that into consideration and you want to look for the property that is perfect for you. Does that mean you might have to wait to get the right property? It does, but you don’t want to wait for the perfect property. The first property that I bought was a smaller property, a three-bedroom and two baths. Now, much of what I own is executive homes.

The ideal property was an A-class neighborhood and executive home. That was perfect for me, but I couldn’t do that at first. In the beginning, I had to do something that was a perfect fit for the first investment. That means I needed to feel safe, I needed to be able to deal with the kinds of tenants that I wanted to do business with and how much money I have to put down. You might have to wait to get in because you may not have the money to buy into that neighborhood. Make sure that the second you can buy into a neighborhood that fits your parameters, that you do that because sooner is always better than later.

Those are great points about the safety aspect. I wouldn’t have thought of that.

Most people don’t, but for women, it’s a big deal especially if you are managing. My husband is not managing my properties. He helps me out every once in a while when I’m desperate, but that happens rarely. The other thing you asked about is the loan piece. You get your first loan, your first property, and now you’re like, “How do I get the next one?” It depends on what area of the country you’re in. Fannie and Freddie, which are the government-backed loans, in most areas, they will allow you to go up to ten conforming loans without rates going up. That’s pretty easy. Conforming is different in different parts of the country. In some place it’s 149, in California it’s 510. In California, our parameter is five loans. After five loans, we can still get the next five loans, but the rate will be about one percentage point higher. The rates on the first loans are all at 3.25%. The next one would be at 4.25% or 4.75%. It’s going to go up a point to a point and a half after the fifth loan. That’s when you go to loan number six. That’s in California.

If you’re talking to a mortgage broker, they’d be able to give you their parameters. When you’re talking to a mortgage broker, find one who is well-versed in investment properties. You want to find out, do they have investors? How many investment loans do they do per year? Is that their main business or they’ve got 1 or 2 clients that they do or they might do 1 or 2 a year. They’re not going to know enough. You want somebody who can answer all these questions like, “How many loans can I do? What are the different investment property products? How is my primary residence loan going to be affected by those other products and vice versa? How many points can and how much more down payment?”

You want them to know all of that stuff. Some of those loans will have restrictions based on the CC&Rs, which is all the HOA rules for condominiums, townhouses and PUDs. If you have a mortgage broker who understands investing, they’ll know the right questions to ask, and they’ll also know how to guide you as far as what kinds of properties to look for. My loan officer asked me for all of the information that then he’ll say to me, “Moneeka, what’s going on out there? What would you expect those to be?”

Let’s say my HOA dues are $650, that’s going to take down the price of my house that I can buy by about $100,000. That’s calculated into the debt-to-income ratio. I have to pay that additional amount. If it’s only $200, it’s going to be a different thing. He knows to ask me that so that we don’t have an ugly surprise when we send it to the underwriter and they’re like, “There are these HOA dues that we did not calculate into the debt-to-income ratio. You don’t qualify for as much.” That’s one example.

When you talk about your loan officer, do you normally take loans from the bank or private investment companies are an option as well?

REW 34 | Choosing Bliss

Choosing Bliss: Advertising is designed to make you feel like you are not enough of a person; because of that, you need this product to be a better person.


You can do either one. I’ve done everything through the bank right now because it’s super easy. It’s streamlined, but I have a lot of different options as far as private money and other investment options too. I just haven’t taken advantage of them. That was all of that. Did you have any other questions on that stuff? I know I covered quite a lot there.

You answered all of those three. We covered finding the perfect property, getting that loan and the third one was applying for your second investment property. You told us about the conforming loans. That was very useful. The loan officer would be able to give us that information too.

If you’ve got a loan officer that is used to dealing with investors, then they’ll be able to give you all that information.

Thank you. That was super helpful, especially in the location, how important it is when you’re selecting your first property. Real estate investing is known as hassle-free, once you have the perfect property and things are going well. How do the ups and downs of the economy change that? Would it change in case the economy has some major changes?

The economy is a big question that people want to hear a lot about. I’ve done several shows on this. Here’s the thing that I always say about predicting the economy and predicting real estate’s movement. Someone out there is going to be right on their predictions, but we don’t know who that person is going to be. I talk about my experience of many years in real estate of what that looks like. I’ll talk to you a little bit about what my experience has been and what I have gleaned from that. It was either ‘87 or ‘89, my dad was paying for my college education through real estate and then the tax laws changed. Prop 13 came in California and they removed some of the tax benefits of being an investor.

The real estate property values plummeted. There were a lot of us that were in school at the time whose parents were paying through real estate. There was a lot of stress about money during that time. Things recovered and then the market started to march up. It was going up. It was doing phenomenally well because people adjusted and property values all recovered. In 2001, it was when we had our next crash. When I graduated from college and got married, my husband and I bought our first home with 5% down. Our property was going up. We took an equity line on that first property and we bought our second property, the beautiful home that we bought. We bought that in January of 2001. Right after that, the whole market crashed again.

We went along. We stayed in that property. I took another equity line. I bought a few more properties. In 2008, I bought my dream home. It was a million-dollar condominium on the top floor. In 2009, the market completely crashed again. My timing was not good. I wish my timing was better. I do think that it is wise if you can time the market. I’ve never been able to do it with any level of success, even so, we started our real estate investing journey with about $10,000. By twenty years later, I would have been able to retire, in spite of the fact that the market crashed twice during my journey in real estate.

The California market is volatile. We count completely on the appreciation. You’ll see that the properties are volatile. What we see mostly is properties in the very low-end and high-end tend to crash most often. In 2001, if it was below $200,000 and above $700,000, you would see a lot of volatility. If it was between that $200,000 and $700,000, it stayed fairly stable. It might have lost 5% or 10%. In 2008, it was a completely different thing because the crash was caused by a real estate-specific problem, which was the loan industry.

We saw all houses dropped fast. That particular phenomenon will hopefully never happen again. That was something that was real estate-specific. There was a problem with the banking system and we fixed that in many ways. That kind of crash is not likely to happen. Are we at the top of our economy? We’re pretty close. Real estate is going gangbusters here in California or Northern California in the Bay area. However, I don’t know how it’s doing in the rest of the country. I don’t think it’s going gangbusters the same way. One of the things that I’ve been giving advice to people and I have been given advice also is to look at markets like what you talked about where in Central Texas, for instance, the pricing stays stable even in 2008. When you are looking at that, what’s also going to be true is have the market values appreciated significantly since 2008?

They have, especially in areas like San Antonio and Houston. They’ve appreciated. There’s a lot of demand.

When you start to believe that you're afraid, it'll run away. Click To Tweet

If you can find a magic area like that, where it’s fairly stable, but then you’ve also seen a lot of appreciation, you’re going to have a good chance of not being heavily affected by the economy. Most areas that are not going to be affected by the economy as much are going to be places that are more cashflow places. What will happen is you’ll get a property that is going to cashflow right out of the gate, which you can never find in California. If the economy takes a turn, that cashflow will stay stagnant or will continue because people still need to rent homes. People are not flooding into those areas so the property is not going to necessarily go up high, but it’s also not going to go down very low. It’s going to stay fairly stable.

When you’re looking at an economy, you want to look more for those safer markets where you’re going to get some cashflow and that cashflow then offsets any loss that you could make or you could endure. Those markets are also likely to recover after if they take a 10% drop. If you’re investing in a place like California or an appreciation-focused market, you’re going to see a lot more volatility. What’s important then is to have the wherewithal. What I mean by that is liquidity. You want to have some cash, the emotional wherewithal and the mental mindset to hold on for the long-term. You want to make sure that if things go wrong, you have time to recover so that you can become right again. You need about a ten-year cycle to recover from a hard hit.

What you’re saying is location matters very much, especially if we’re seeing some uncertainties in the economy. Keep in mind that if you’re in an area that has substantial cashflow, that’s probably a better area to invest in.

I still want to buy property in California. This is the market that I love. I need to have a ten-year timeframe on that. I need to make sure that I don’t need to make money on that property right away. I want to make sure that I’m covering my mortgage and my expenses. If the market turns and I lose a significant amount on the property, if I’m upside down, then I can continue to pay that mortgage either through rents or by selling something that I have liquid. For instance, stocks or there might be other things that we have that are liquid, that we can then put into our real estate to sustain ourselves. I’ve been known to do that. When things go bad, I make sure that I can cover myself.

That’s great planning.

I tell people don’t put all of your money into real estate. It’s very solid. It’s the most secure investment on the planet, but there are times when it cycles also. It’s good to make sure that you’ve got some cash and some different things so that if you need liquidity, you’ve got that. The other thing I always say is always have an equity line taken out on your primary residence. You can’t get them on rental properties. That can also serve as an emergency fund if you need to pay mortgages or stuff on your rental properties. Don’t use it for things like vacations, buying a car and consumer debt. Use it to make sure that you’re sustaining your investment business so that you don’t end up losing properties if things turn and you need a little bit of help during that time.

I can’t believe how much information has value that I’ve been able to get out of your show and your readers too. You explained everything so beautifully and easy to understand. We could have asked for a better mentor than you.

Did you have any other questions before we close?

This is coming back to your book, your new habit, the beautiful letters to yourself. I wanted to know if you were planning to come up with a book on affirmation.

I’m not. Many people asked me that. There are many out there that are good. I’m a co-author of a book called Experts & Influencers: Women’s Empowerment Edition. It came out and we are doing their little quote cards. Each of us ladies that were in the book wrote six quotes and you can get a card deck with all of these quotes. If anybody is interested in a card deck, please email me and I can send that to you. It’s $20 per card deck, but you get 52 cards in any case. However many that you get, you get all of these quotes by powerful women that help you to empower yourself and live your best life.

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Experts & Influencers: Women’s Empowerment Edition

That sounds like an amazing deal. I wouldn’t want to miss that.

You can go to You’ll see my email address there. Let me know if you want some cards. This is a good conversation. Thank you so much for asking your questions. This can benefit my entire readers and all the ladies out there. Thank you for being willing to do that.

Thank you for being a great mentor to all of us ladies who tune in to your show regularly. I’ve got so much value from it. I’m coming from your knowledge in real estate investing to feeling like I’m learning so much and I’m ready to move ahead. Thank you for everything that you do.

It’s my pleasure. It’s comments like that that lets me know people are reading, and I love that. Thank you. It makes it all worthwhile.

I look forward to catching up with you soon. Thank you for this opportunity to ask you questions. I love your book and I’ve been recommending it to all in Sundry.

Ladies who are reading, I love doing this show and having the conversations that I get to have with these amazing experts. The reality is that I am doing this to be in service of you. If you have any questions, email me and maybe you can be on real estate investing for women as one of the guests. We can have another conversation like I had with Chai. It can help all the other readers too. There’s never a dumb question. All the questions that you’ve had, all the other people have had before you. Feel free, and other people have after you. Many readers have the same questions. Please let me know if you have any questions, and we can record a call and help all the ladies out there.

When I read your book, every chapter touched something in me and the chapter that you mentioned about giving also touched a deep chord in me. You found a school in India that you donate and you help run. It’s been a dream of mine to do something like that to provide education and school. You found a school that makes your heart happy and you’re donating. How did you find your calling to serve this particular organization or this particular school? How did you know that this was the right fit?

There’s no real right answer. I want to mention how my husband found his, because he didn’t have a heart calling. One of the things he does is he goes online when he’s looking at an organization that feels like it resonates with something that he wants to donate towards. One of the things that he looks up is how much of the funds go to administration and charitable services. He’s always looking for organizations where most of the money goes to services rather than to the administration. That’s a tip-off the top of my head that he has always done.

I went to India when I was sixteen. I was a foreign exchange student. I was out and about and I was meeting people. One of the things that struck me was how the women in India were being treated as opposed to what I was used to in the United States. I would hear these horror stories about Sufi, about these arranged marriages of these girls that were very young and how girls didn’t get any education. There was all this stuff that horrified me. At a young age, I decided that I was not going to be like that. I was going to be the captain of my own life. Nobody was going to determine who I married, how and when. I was going to get an education. I determined those things for myself, but I also realized I had the freedom to do that in the US and that in India, women didn’t always have those options.

Always remember, goals without action are just dreams. Click To Tweet

I became committed early on to the education of women in India. One of the things that I was convinced of was that the more educated a woman is, the more likely she is to be able to make choices that are more supportive of her than if her life is completely run by her father and by people that were “more educated than her.” The other thing that I realized is that women can fight for their rights, but if we are constantly fighting against men who do not believe the same things, we can never win. It’s important that the education of men also supports the equality of women. Women need to know what is possible for them. Men need to understand and believe that women are equal to them.

I started donating to schools in India at the age of sixteen. I would do $5 a month. I started to donate to different schools in India that supported the education of women and the upbringing of women as equals. In the United States, we used to go to a temple. When I moved to California in 1976 or ‘77, my parents plugged into a Hindu temple that was up in Oakland. That particular Swami, we became close to. It was in 1987, he started this school in India. When we started talking about what the philosophy of the school was, I knew I had to get behind it.

That’s why I started donating quite a lot of money to help to support the school and those sorts of things. Because of that, I was able to impact also some of the direction of the school, the way that the approach was for the education of both girls and boys for the uplifting of women in India. I’m close to the Swami. I’ve gone to India and I did a little movie in the school. I’m involved. The thing that I loved most about it was that I knew the people that were running the organization and I knew what the accounts were.

They didn’t have a huge amount of administration. Most of the money was going towards the school or in the United States. It depends on where you donate. You can donate to the school or you can donate to the temple here in the United States for the upkeep of the building and the temple here. You can designate those funds. I see and I watch every single year more buildings go up. They get more computers, they’ve got more students, and there’s a new farm. It’s becoming a little bit more sustainable. They had to build a bunch of wells because their water levels went way down because their wells weren’t producing.

This is a thing that happens in many of the villages in India. We know that that’s another problem. I’ve been watching the whole thing and where the money goes, and that’s why I feel so committed to it because I know that it’s going to essential services. That’s how I made that choice. It happened as a process throughout my whole life. For David, he will find something that he wants to donate to and he’ll find an organization where most of the money goes to the essential services.

It sounded like it almost happened in a natural way for you. It unfolded naturally.

It did. It’s in my book. It’s one of my pillars of Bliss. It has defined so much of who I am because when you’re looking at the world for a way that you can help and that you can make it better when you’re making an impact, there’s something that happens inside of you. You’re not as a mercy of the world. You’re able to create impact and affect change. It feels empowering. It feels good on so many levels and it’s also helping the world. It’s that thing that we’re giving back. When you feel grateful for everything that you have, if you’re truly grateful, you want others to experience having some of the benefits that you have. Having the opportunity to do that makes you feel even more grateful. It also fills you up with this feeling of empowerment and feeling like you’re doing good things in the world. It’s always been integrated.

You’re making a difference.

In the book, one of the things that I talk about is making an impact is not about giving money to a school in India or Africa, or helping with a water system somewhere. It’s also holding a door for somebody. It’s giving somebody a smile if they seem to be having a bad day. It’s being kind. All of that is creating an impact in the world. It creates a ripple effect of kindness and bliss everywhere you go. That in itself is making an impact. It doesn’t have to be something big. It doesn’t have to be something monetary. It can be who you are being in the world when you’re out there with people.

It’s being aware of our behavior when we’re out there with people.

Practicing kindness and giving back in that way.

Thank you. I have a lot to write in my journal from our conversation.

Thank you for asking that question. That’s not anything I’ve talked about on this show. I’m sure the ladies will get a lot out of that. Ladies, thank you for taking this extra step towards your future, bliss, and financial freedom. Always remember, you do have control over your success. I’ll see you soon.

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How To Earn Real Wealth From Turnkey Rentals With Kathy Fettke

REW 33 | Real Turnkey Standards


You can go to 10 states and get 10 different ideas of what a turnkey rental means. Seeing a need to create a benchmark for the industry, Kathy Fettke created the Real Turnkey Standards, a checklist that sets the tone for what turnkey means. If you didn’t know Kathy yet, she is an active real estate investor, licensed real estate agent, former mortgage broker and host of the Real Estate Wealth Show and Real Estate News for Investors podcasts. Join in as she talks to Moneeka Sawyer about the opportunities you can take in building passive income with turnkey rentals. She also shares her predictions on real estate investing opportunities for the rest of 2020 and beyond. Want to hear her step-by-step process of turnkey investing? Tune in to Real Estate Investing For Women – Extra as well and join Moneeka and Kathy there!

Listen to the podcast here:

How To Earn Real Wealth From Turnkey Rentals With Kathy Fettke

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am so excited to welcome back to the show, Kathy Fettke. For those of you who don’t remember Kathy, let me tell you a little bit about her. Kathy is the Co-CEO of Real Wealth Network. The bestselling author of Retire Rich with Rentals and host of the Real Estate Wealth Show and Real Estate News for Investors podcasts. She is an active real estate investor, licensed real estate agent, and former mortgage broker specializing in helping people build multimillion-dollar real estate portfolios that generate passive monthly cashflow for life. With a passion for researching real estate market cycles, Kathy is a frequent guest expert on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Bloomberg, NPR, CBS, MarketWatch, and The Wall Street Journal. She was also named among the top 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs two years in a row.

Kathy, welcome back.

Thank you so much for having me.

Kathy, you’ve talked a little bit more about market research and what the market is going to be doing. I want to focus on your turnkey business. Could you tell us a little bit about how you got started with that?

It was back in 2004 when I was a mortgage broker and I learned about the business through mortgage brokering and many of the clients that I worked with were buying properties all over the country. I started to investigate that and find out why. It was simply because there was this word ‘cashflow’ that a lot of Californians don’t understand or don’t know what that is. It’s impossible. It’s cashflow but it’s of the negative variety. That’s what people understood. If you buy a property in California, you might breakeven or negative cashflow but it will appreciate so much that it offsets and makes it worth it.

The down payment alone is difficult for people to come up with to buy very expensive California property. I learned long ago that if I wanted this thing called cashflow, which is more of a sure thing than appreciation that it wasn’t going to be in California, therefore we’d have to get good at figuring out how to buy rental properties where I can’t drive by them, fix them myself if needed, or manage it myself in any way. That journey started in 2005. I also had Robert Kiyosaki on the Real Wealth Show which is my podcast and I was doing it way back then.

In 2004, real estate prices had doubled if not tripled in some areas. Kiyosaki came on the show in 2005 and he said, “I made all this money. I’m going to sell now while everybody else is buying because they think these prices are going to continue to go up.” What a lot of people don’t realize is that when values go up, that’s the time to cash in, take that money, and buy cashflow. That’s what I learned from him. I jumped on an airplane, went to Dallas because he said that’s where he’s buying, and he gave lots of good reasons. The job growth, population growth, affordability there, and infrastructure growth. I came back with five properties that cashflowed with what would have been a down payment on properties in California. That’s what started it.

I talked about that on the Real Wealth Show and people said, “I want to do the same thing. How do I do it?” I said, “Here’s the real estate agent I used. Here’s the property manager I used. Here’s the lender that I used, which at the time was me. Here’s the whole team. Here’s this turnkey process for you.” That was before the turnkey property was a thing but it’s packaged for you to make it easier, “These are the people I’ve worked with. I’ve had great success with them. Here you go.” That turned into a business where we still do that. We find teams that can acquire the properties or build them if they’re brand new, screen a tenant, and manage that tenant ongoing so that people from out-of-state can have it done for them by somebody local.

REW 33 | Real Turnkey Standards

Real Turnkey Standards: Investors love new homes because they come with warranties. They’re brand new. Tenants love them, especially during COVID.


You have different teams in different areas so you’re not managing them anymore. Do you invest with each of the different teams that you investigate or they’re managing properties for you? How does that work?

We invest in a lot of them. Rich and I get busy. I’m embarrassed to say that so many times we haven’t had the time to build our own portfolio the way that we want to. Sometimes we’ll get ten amazing properties in Florida. We do a webinar on it and they’re sold out. I look at Rich and go, “We didn’t get one.” We have properties in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California too. California is not cashflow, although I do have one Airbnb and that has been cashflowing. If you’re going to own property in California and you want cashflow, that is one way to do it, but it is more time-intensive for sure.

That’s a little bit more like a job. I know that you’ve got your checklist and all of this stuff for turnkey properties but I want to talk a little bit about the new construction. I’ve been seeing going through my email that I’m getting all these webinars about new construction that you guys are working on. Could you talk a little bit about that and why that is so exciting?

When I started investing out-of-state, there was so much limited inventory at that time. In 2005, everyone was buying real estate as you may recall so it was difficult to buy anything. There were multiple offers and everybody is competing. In 2005, I met with builders and said, “Can you save 10% of your inventory for our network at Real Wealth? You don’t have to worry about that. It will be for rental.” That’s how we got into it. Investors love new homes because they come with warranties. They’re brand new. Tenants love them, especially in COVID. They’re clean, got yards, people are moving out of apartments, condos, big cities and realizing, “We’ve got to this space. We need it since we’re now teaching, working, cooking, and entertaining at home.” The home is now the central focus of our lives these days. People are wanting to either rent or particularly live in a new home. They love that in this environment.

The thing that’s amazing is the cashflow is not that different because prices have gone up so much and there’s so much limited inventory in general. I can talk about why that is and why we’re in a V recovery in real estate. It makes no sense. I was at my Pilates class and the Pilates instructor is like, “I don’t understand how people can be out of work, and yet the housing market is taking off.” There’s a good reason for that. It’s a lack of inventory. Because the builders have not been building over the years, existing home prices have gone up but we’ve been able to work with builders who are willing to take a smaller margin to be able to sell in both investors. You can almost get the same return from a new home than an existing one in this moment. That’s not always the case. It’s definitely not the case years ago.

It was better to get an existing home, buy it in foreclosure, fix it up, get amazing returns, but that’s difficult to do now because there are bidding wars on properties. Once again, we’re doing what we did years ago which is going to the builders and saying, “Will you please reserve a percentage of your inventory for us?” Sometimes builders are done with a project and they want to get out. It’s expensive for them to hold shop at the development and that last 10%, they don’t want to deal with. They’d rather pick up and move the staff to their next project. We come in and say, “We’ll help you out. We’ll pick it up.” We get to be in these beautiful residential neighborhoods and own the tiny percentage of rental properties there. It’s great for the investor and tenant.

What markets are you doing that in?

We’re working with builders in Florida. This has been projected before COVID that people are looking for a more affordable lifestyle. They would love to be near beaches and a place that feels like vacation. If you’re retiring, you want to retire in a nice place but affordable. Where are you going to do that? Shockingly, you can do that in Florida. If you don’t want to be anywhere near the hurricanes, then you go inland a little bit. Don’t buy anything on the water. You can visit the beach but don’t live on the beach because you have higher property taxes and you’re going to have to deal with boarding up your house every time there’s a hurricane. If you buy or own property inland, then you’re not in flood zones. It’s just a bad storm which you have everywhere.

REW 33 | Real Turnkey Standards

Real Turnkey Standards: Always get an inspection if you’re buying a property whether it’s turnkey or not, next door or not. Unless you are an inspector yourself, it’s worth it.


That area between Tampa and Orlando is the fastest-growing part of the country. It has been for the past few years. That has dramatically accelerated because of COVID as more people from New York City and bigger cities on the East Coast are finally making their dream come true of retiring in Florida because they can work from home. They’re maybe not retiring but they get to go there early. We’re seeing a mass exodus out of the high tax states of New Jersey and New York moving to a place where it’s more comfortable with this new normal. There are certain states that are more landlord-friendly and business-friendly. That’s a fact. Florida is one of those states. There’s no state income tax. They didn’t shut down during COVID. A little bit, but they opened up quickly.

People who are looking to get back to normal, they can do that more in Florida than New York, New Jersey, or California for that matter. Again, you’re seeing what was already in motion is a massive demographic shift to the Southeast and yet home prices are very affordable. These markets were off the radar, big builders were building in places like San Francisco and New York because they could make so much money on those high-end condos and Chicago and so forth. There’s still a lack of inventory with all this migration to Florida, Georgia, and Carolinas. Home prices are still within the $200,000 range. We think that the material cost is going up, we’re going to see prices go up over time.

Do you guys buy the properties or do you reserve them for your investors?

No. We’re simply a broker. We are with eXp which allows us to be a national brokerage. We have agents all across the country, they find us properties, and we work with the builders. I have relationships with a lot of builders so they do reserve that inventory for us. Normally, they don’t like selling to investors and don’t want investor neighborhoods but they’re willing to have 10% to 20% of their neighborhoods be rental properties. They don’t want somebody coming in saying, “I want to buy a property and make it a rental.” They know that we have worked very closely with the property managers and we have high standards for screening tenants. We have one company that will be managing those. It’s very professional and high-end so they’re more willing to do it.

You have one management company that any investor that buys in, they get that management company. That’s all completely handled.

You’re not required to use that management company but we do have some influence. It’s not our company, it’s one that we found. We interviewed them. We have a list of twenty questions that we share with investors. You can download that from our website at Real Wealth, The Property Management Investor Questionnaire. We want to know how many properties are you managing. How long have you been in business? How many people and staff do you have per property? How many evictions do you have? If it’s too many, you’re not screening well. If it’s none, I don’t believe you. How long does it take to evict and what’s your process? These are things that we want to know.

We want to see that there are great reviews, there are happy tenants, and those tenants are being cared for. We have a deep vetting process for finding property management. Even beyond that, if we have a few hundred investors that are using that property management company to manage properties and one of those landlords has an issue that they’re dealing with and they’re not getting a response from the property manager. If I call from Real Wealth and say one of our members is having these issues and that property manager doesn’t take care of it, they don’t want us to pull everyone and find a new property management company.

We have a little bit more leverage. They want to keep us happy. They want to keep us bragging about how great they are. That’s the whole beauty of referral-based businesses like Yelp. Businesses and Yelp will go beyond what they might’ve done in the past because they want great reviews. That’s what these property managers want us to do. It’s to review them and tell our members that they’re great. They better be great because if they’re not, they’re not on the list anymore.

When values go up, that's the time to cash in, take that money, and buy cashflow. Click To Tweet

One of the things you mentioned is that you’ve got a high standard for the property management companies. You also have a high standard for the properties that you get. You’ve got these construction properties that are all brand new. You’ve also got a checklist of everything that those properties have to have if you’re buying an older property, remodeled property, or something else for your clients too. Is that true?

We have a checklist. It’s called our real income property standards. There’s this thing called turnkey rental property businesses that popped up in Real Wealth. We were one of the first, as I said, to discover that and realize there are investors who want to buy out-of-state, but they don’t know how, don’t know who to trust. They want a referral from someone who has a track record. That didn’t exist back then so we created the systems to make that happen. This idea of turnkey popped up and anybody could say they had a turnkey business, but nobody defined what that meant. You might work with one turnkey provider in Ohio who’s mind-blowingly awesome and then that’s your idea of what turnkey means. You go to a team in Columbus and you’re so disappointed because they didn’t do the same thing.

That’s what we discovered when we were looking for these teams that could help us out. They all had different standards of what they consider turnkey. This one guy I went and looked at his properties and I said to him, “You got this from foreclosure. Foreclosures have a distinct look, feel, and smell.” Many times, they’ve been sitting for a long time. They can be vaguer if someone lived there. They need a lot of clean-up. I looked around this property and said, “What did you pay for this?” Turnkey was in his company name. That’s how I even found him. I said, “When are you going to do the renovation?” He goes, “What do you mean? We already did?”

I’m looking around and this looks like it came right from the bank. Things were broken, curtains hanging lopsided. It was awful. I said, “You can’t be serious that you’ve renovated. What did you do?” He said, “We put in new carpet,” something like that. I’m like, “This would definitely not meet our standards.” He goes, “That’s okay. I have a waiting list of people from out-of-state who will buy it.” I thought if they only knew, they have no idea what they’re buying. They saw turnkey but they have an idea of what that means. They never bothered to check, never got appraisals, inspections, or anything like that. That’s when we thought we need to define what turnkey means to us.

We called it Real Turnkey Standards and we have a certain amount of life left that we expect to see on roofs and on HPAC systems. All those big-ticket items that cost you so much money and blow all the cashflow that you ever earned on that property, it could be gone with one problem or one repair that you need on that big-ticket stuff. We want to make sure that there’s enough life left, at least the inspector says, “It looks like there are ten years left on the roof,” or so forth. Those turnkey standards are also on our website at Real Wealth.

We tell people, “If there’s anyone on our referral list that you want to work with, download those standards and give it to the inspector that you hire.” Always get an inspection if you’re buying a property whether it’s turnkey or not, next door or not. Unless you are an inspector yourself, it’s worth it. Get the inspection and give them the turnkey standards and say, “I want to make sure that they’ve renovated this to these standards.” If they haven’t, then that team doesn’t get to be on our referral list any longer or they need to fix it and bring it up to the level that we expect. Again, another reason to get an inspection is you can often get work done that you would have had to pay for later but the seller pays for it.

Do you help people to get that inspection like arrange all that and do all of those things?

We have a list of inspectors that we recommend. We’re legally allowed to give a list of three inspectors that have been recommended by our members but we don’t make the phone call.

REW 33 | Real Turnkey Standards

Real Turnkey Standards: Right now, there is a short window for new construction. In 2021, there will be a great opportunity in pre-foreclosures and foreclosures.


How about financing? With these turnkey properties, what I found is that a lot of times you can do it like any of the hats. You put some money down, get a loan, all of that stuff.

What is amazing and I try to tell as many people as I can who feel discouraged that they’ll never get into real estate because they live in California or they live in a high price market and they think, “How am I ever going to come up with $100,000, $200,000 down payment or qualify for that massive loan?” What they don’t realize is these loans are like a car payment. If you’re buying a $100,000 house, your mortgage is $80,000 and your payment is $400 a month. People are shocked that they can qualify. Sometimes with low paying entry-level jobs, they can still qualify for these investment properties. It’s almost cheaper than getting a car because it’s amortized for 30 years whereas a car is amortized for 4, 5 or 6, whatever they’re doing these days.

The payments are low. My daughter was two years out-of-college working an entry-level job and she was able to qualify and she saved her money. She did not buy a car, expensive fancy drinks at Starbucks. She saved her money, and she was able to do it on a low salary because again, almost anyone can qualify. They’re looking for high credit. You can get up to ten investor loans with Fannie or Freddie. They’re conventional with these unbelievably low rates in the 4% arena if you have good credit and then you need 20% down.

If it’s a $100,000 house, you’re talking $20,000 and $80,000 mortgage, and then that income that that property generates, you get to add to your income. At least 75% of it or whatever the bank says so you’ve increased your income and you can qualify for more on the next one. Save that cashflow as the down payment for the next and do it again. I tell people, “If you have $200,000 cash that you are able to save, maybe you’re saving it for a down payment, you could buy ten rental properties, get that financing, have a $500,000 portfolio.” That might be harder to qualify for in a high price market because you’re having to qualify for the whole payment without the income.

What kind of income could people expect if they do that scenario? They do 20% down, they’ve got an $80,000 mortgage, what kinds of cashflow would they be looking at?

In a market like Florida or in parts of Atlanta even Charlotte where they are red hot. You can’t even imagine the number of people moving there every single day. There are waitlists. There are bidding wars so prices have gone up. When prices go up, cashflow goes down because you’re paying more for the property and rents don’t go up quite as quickly. They are going up but not as quickly as the home prices are. We’re seeing about 6% to 8% return on those new homes. On existing homes, homes that had been in foreclosure, have been fixed up, or a little bit older, you can get a higher return on that.

When you consider that you’re putting a down payment, let’s say you’re putting $30,000 down on $150,000 property and that property goes up in value of 5%. You’re talking about an increase in value of the $150,000 property, but you only put $30,000 down. People don’t realize that it’s the cash-on-cash return that matters. The cash you put into it versus the cash you’re getting out of it. When you include the appreciation on that, it’s phenomenal. I don’t know any other investment that has returns like that. You can double your money very quickly because of the cashflow you’re getting along with the appreciation because you’re getting appreciation on the whole thing, even though you only put money down on a portion of it.

Do you feel, Kathy, with your construction projects and all of that stuff that there’s a window of opportunity that might slip away from us? Do you feel like this is something that we can count on into 2021 and beyond? What do you feel about that?

There is a good reason why despite people being out of work, the housing market is taking off – lack of inventory. Click To Tweet

It’s a short window. Prices are going up because material costs are going up. Labor costs and permit costs are going up. Lumber costs went up 60% or something like that and there’s such limited supply. Builders have been raising prices. It’s very all unexpected and you’ve got lower interest rates that allow more people to get into the game so to speak. The payments are lower. When you’ve got bidding wars, more people are being able to afford these homes. Bidding wars do one thing, they drive prices up. I do believe it’s a short-lived window. With that said, probably in 2021, there will be a great opportunity in pre-foreclosures or foreclosures.

Sadly, some people aren’t able to recover from this situation and aren’t able to keep their homes. There will be an uptick in foreclosure but I want to emphasize that it’s not going to be anything like 2009 in my opinion. If you’re waiting for the market to get flooded with foreclosures like they were and get this crazy, amazing deal, I don’t necessarily see that coming. There will be more opportunity than there is now but it’s the opportunity we need to have more inventory so that people can buy something that there’s something on the market. I don’t think we’re going to see prices go down. It’s shocking because if you talked to me months ago, I would have not been too sure about that.

I’m not sure what I said months ago but it’s a lot of, “I don’t know what’s happening.” When we thought, “This is unprecedented. Millions of people are losing their jobs every week. They may not get them back. They might, they might not but we don’t know how long this thing is going to last. We don’t know if we’re getting a vaccine. We don’t know if anyone wants the vaccine. What is happening?” You’re not allowed to work but you’re also not getting a stimulus check. It was confusing. Of course, add the eviction moratorium, foreclosure moratorium, and all of these laws that never existed before and change the rules of the game midway.

You’re like, “This is not what I bet on. It was very shocking. At the same time, we called all fifteen property managers from different cities that we work with. We got them on a Zoom call and said, “What are we going to do? People are losing their jobs. They’re receiving eviction moratorium so they might not pay.” All of the property managers came together and said, “Let’s help the tenants out. This is not their fault that they’re losing their job. They didn’t do anything wrong. They got fired. They got laid off by nothing that they did. Let’s help them.”

These property managers got together and helped their tenants find the stimulus packages they need, apply for the PPP loans. They give them a whole list of job applications, jobs that were available, and gave them payment plans. They reached out to help. The landlords and investors within our network were like, “We want to help the tenants.” We ended up having a higher collection rate during that time of uncertainty than ever. That was again, another shocking thing. During this time, this is not the same recession we’ve seen in past recessions.

It is weird. It’s nothing we’ve ever seen. We know the last recession was caused by housing and bad loans. That is not the case this time. The loans of the last ten years have been good loans, solid loans, good borrowers with high credit scores, job history, and down payments. They built equity because the values have gone up. There’s nothing the same about it. They’re locked into low payments. It’s a very different deal than before. We also came into this with a limited inventory already, then you have more people saying, “I’m not even going to walk outside my house and let alone let someone in it.” No one was moving and no one was selling.

Nobody wanted to get kicked out of their home. The home move to this new level of incredible importance where everything happens and it had to be a wonderful place. People were willing to do whatever it takes to make that payment, to pay their rent so they didn’t get kicked out or they weren’t in a situation where they’d have to pay it all in three months like, “I don’t have to pay it now but I’ve got to pay it all in three months.” That would be difficult. People have not wanted to move and they’re having their extra funds or the stimulus money they got to go to paying their rent.

That’s so good to hear. What I love is the encouragement by the property managers and also by your team to your members to support the renters so that everybody can experience success together so people don’t get kicked out and the landlord still gets eventually paid. It’s a team effort. It takes a village. All of us have to be on the same team for this collaboration to happen for everybody to succeed. I love that.

REW 33 | Real Turnkey Standards

Retire Rich with Rentals: How to Enjoy Ongoing Cash Flow From Real Estate…So You Don’t Have to Work Forever

There’s so much talk about landlords versus tenants and this war between the two. We’ve got to work as a team, as you said, and care about these tenants who are hopefully taking care of the properties, our assets. We even would send birthday cards and gifts to our tenants.

Kathy, I knew that you’ve created a special link with some special stuff for my ladies and that is There will be all sorts of education. Why don’t you tell our ladies what they will find there?

On there, we have a list of fifteen different cities. It changes but under the Invest tab, you have to join. It’s free to join. Once you do it, it unlocks all this data on the demographic shifts that we’re seeing where the job growth is, which markets are going to recover the quickest from COVID and this situation, where are the areas that are most landlord-friendly, where if someone doesn’t pay, you do have the right to evict them. All of that information is under the Invest tab with a list of the different cities and all the data there, plus a list of the referral groups, the turnkey companies on there who we’ve been working with for years in many cases and have this rave reviews from our members.

That’s such a nice thing to know, “I’m going to work with this team that has 25 people who rave about them or 100 people,” or whatever it is. We also have a ton of information there on asset protection, tax benefits of owning real estate, how to get started, and financing tips. It’s all free in webinar form under our Resources tab. Under that tab, you’ll also find the list of lenders to work with. You want to work with a lender that understands investment property so we have a list of those people.

Again, one application and they can use that to get you qualified for up to ten loans with sometimes a little bit more paperwork needed but they’re great efficient lenders. I also have my podcasts, The Real Wealth Show and Real Estate News for Investors. That is a quick one that gives updates on real estate news. The Real Wealth Show interviews people who can share their success stories. Finally, my book Retire Rich with Rentals is on Amazon. On that, there’s a clear checklist of what you need to do to get started to build your passive income rental portfolio.

You have so many great resources. Thank you so much for that.

Thank you for letting me share it.

Everyone, check it out at Use that link so you can get any of the special content that’s on the site. Ladies, I am so excited about what we’re going to be covering in the next portion of this show in EXTRA. Kathy has shared all this amazing information so far. Thank you for that, Kathy. She’s going to talk about how to get started and turnkey with her, the step-by-step on how to do it. I know many of you ladies have been wanting to get into real estate. You have done so much research, but you don’t know the steps to take to get started.

Kathy is going to be sharing that with us in EXTRA. If you are subscribed to EXTRA, we’ve got more. If you are not subscribed to EXTRA but would like to be, go to You get the first seven days for free. You can download a ton of content, see if it’s for you, and then you can stay subscribed or not. This EXTRA is going to be action-oriented. This might be the exact time to try EXTRA. Thank you so much for joining Kathy and I. I so appreciate you. I look forward to seeing you again next time. Until then, remember, goals without action are dreams, so get out there, take action, and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon.

Important Links:

About Kathy Fettke

REW 33 | Real Turnkey StandardsKathy Fettke helps people build and secure wealth through cash flowing real estate. She is a real estate developer, fund manager, and educator.

She is a regular guest expert on FOX News, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, NPR, CBS MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal, and was named among the “Top 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs” by Goldman Sachs two years in a row.

Kathy believes we become more successful by learning from those who have done what we hope to achieve. As host of “The Real Wealth Show,” a featured podcast on iTunes she interviews successful real estate investors to share their secrets. She also hosts the Real Estate News podcast, and is author of the bestseller, “Retire Rich with Rentals.”

Real Wealth Network offers free resources and cutting edge education for beginning and experienced real estate investors. The organization also searches the country for high job growth markets. In those metros, they find highly rated property providers who offer “turn-key rental properties” to investors. Turnkey means that the homes are already renovated, with qualified tenants and experienced property management in place.

Real Wealth Network offers free education on tax savings, asset protection, self-directed IRA’s, 1031 exchanges, note investing, multifamily and commercial property, land development, syndications, crowdfunding and more.

Kathy and her husband Rich are active real estate investors in single family homes, apartments, commercial property, land development and homebuilding.

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To listen to the EXTRA portion of this show go to

To see this program in the video:

Search on Roku for Real Estate Investing 4 Women or go to this link:

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Simple steps to get started investing with Amy Bersamin – Real Estate Women

Today I’d like to welcome to the show our guest Amy Bersamin!

About Amy Bersamin

Amy is passionate about helping people purchase real estate using money they never knew was available to them.  She was in her early 20’s when she first bought a house.  It was not until after learning how to use OPM to purchase real estate that she was able to buy rental properties.  Her vision is that young adults get the financial education and coaching so that they can be well on the path to earning passive income shortly after entering the job market. 

As the Managing Partner at Sweep Strategies, a financial education and coaching company that has changed the lives of over 3000 individuals and families across the US, Amy knows that having your own coach to help you with implementation is the key.  Sweep Strategies specializes in 1:1 coaching tailored to your unique situation.  Amy herself has coached clients so that they were able to purchase rental properties within months of joining their program.

In This Episode We Talked About

The Surefire Way To Purchase Real Estate With Amy Bersamin 

REW 32 | Purchase Real Estate


Many people struggle with starting in real estate because of money. They think that without it, they can never start their journey. But what if you can access money you never knew was available to you? Amy Bersamin, the Managing Partner of Sweep Strategies, has just the wisdom to help you tap into that so you can start purchasing real estate. In this episode, she sits down with Moneeka Sawyer to talk about using OPM, Other People’s Money, in the form of lines of credit—home equity, personal, and business. She helps you identify which ones to go after and the tools you need to be completely guided in using this unconventional tool. Follow Amy in this discussion as she shares more wisdom to help you get started on your real estate journey.

Listen to the podcast here:

The Surefire Way To Purchase Real Estate With Amy Bersamin

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am so excited to welcome Amy Bersamin to the show. Amy is passionate about helping people purchase real estate using money they never knew was available to them. She was in her twenties when she first bought her first house. It was not until after learning about using OPM, Other People’s Money, to purchase real estate that she was able to buy rental properties. Her vision is for young adults to get financial education and coaching so they can be well on the path to earning passive income shortly after entering the job market.

As the Managing Partner of Sweep Strategies, a financial education and coaching company that has changed the lives of over 3,000 people and families across the United States, Amy knows that having your own coach to help you with implementation is the key. Sweep Strategies specializes in one-on-one coaching tailored to your unique situation. Amy herself has coached clients so they were able to purchase rental properties within months of joining her program. Amy comes to us as a referral from Lorraine Conaway and I know that you saw Lorraine on the show. I love Lorraine because she comes to us with an entire network. She is a wealth strategist.

You see wealth strategies with stocks, financial planners, and insurance but I have never met anybody who does the whole wealth strategy where they take into account real estate. I was beyond delighted to meet Lorraine and introduce you to her. She wanted to introduce me to Amy because Amy is one of the partners in the network that provides the services for the wealth strategies that are set up with Lorraine. I’ve got Amy on the show. I’m so excited. Welcome to the show, Amy.

Thank you, Moneeka. I’m so excited. Thank you for having me.

I’m so glad. Amy is in Hawaii. Aloha.

Yes. Aloha, everyone.

Amy, can you give us the two-minute version of your story? How did you get into real estate and start doing all of this amazing stuff?

I was in my early twenties when my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, said, “Why don’t we purchase a property with my parents?” I was like, “Okay.” We were renting so he suggested that so I said, “Sure. Why don’t we do that?” That’s my introduction to buying real estate. It was our first home. I want to say about eight years later, we purchased our own house. A few years later, we bought our second home. Those two homes became rentals, but we did not purchase them as rentals. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I came to Sweep that I learned how to use other people’s money to buy rentals.

I was so blown away because I didn’t know that I could do this. I’ll explain the specifics. I went home and I told my husband. I’m like, “I learned a way that people aren’t talking about how to go buy rentals.” I have to back up a bit because when we purchased a second home, my husband was like, “We’re going to buy this house. It’s going to be a vacation house. In a couple of years, we’re going to go in and rent it out or sell it.” I was like, “Why? This is our vacation home. Why would you sell it?” He’s like, “It’s an investment.” I was like, “No, it’s our house.” He goes, “Fine. We’re not going to sell it. Why don’t we rent it?”

I’m like, “What you’re going to have other people live in our house? I’ve heard horror stories about people damaging homes.” As you can see that’s why I’m so glad that you have your show for women because I was one of those women. If it weren’t for my husband, I would never have gotten into real estate because it’s more of, I want to say, a man thing because I do see that in a lot of my clients. The husbands are going to be like, “We want to buy a rental property.” I’ll look at the wife and they’ll be like, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

It’s so true.

Everything is a mindset and how you're educated. Click To Tweet

I’m sure you see that.

All the time. Absolutely. That is such a great story because it’s so real. I remember the first time my husband brought to me that we should take a loan off his 401(k) to help with the down payment on our home. I was like, “Don’t touch your 401(k). That’s our retirement funds.” He was like, “Relax.” It’s so funny because I’ve been in real estate for so long by then but every time you hear something new and we’ve been so marketed to about the way the world is supposed to look. We don’t even realize that we’re taking it in and what it’s creating inside of us.

The horror stories of rentals so many people have heard that. I’ve never had one of those horror stories happen to me. It doesn’t have to be that way but that doesn’t make the news. Things being simple and blissfully easy doesn’t make the news. We hear about all this other stuff and it damages the way we feel about things and the willingness to experience and take a little bit of risk and grow our world becomes a little bit limited, don’t you think?

I agree.

Talk to us about other people’s money. What I love about this is I know so many people who are reading who are like, “I’m 23. I need to save for ten years because I don’t have a down payment. I can’t buy real estate. This isn’t for me now.” What I love is you’re like, “After college, use other people’s money and get started.” I’m excited about that. Talk to us about other people’s money. What is it, first of all?

OPM is Other People’s Money. People may know about private money and hard money, the money in the bank is other people’s money, too. I want to talk about lines of credit. Lines of credit are other people’s money. The power of it is people in their early twenties have to save for a while before they can even purchase a property. To put a down payment on a property you have to save for months. To even think of buying a rental with cash, that’ll take years. Here we can teach our clients a way to be able to use other people’s money and be able to go and purchase the rental that they want in a short time.

Tell us about the different kinds of lines of credits.

There are different types of lines of credit. One, a lot of people are familiar with because it is a home equity line of credit. A Home Equity Line Of Credit or a HELOC is tied to your home. Your home is used as collateral. If you do not have a home, no worries because you can use a Personal Line Of Credit or as we call it, PLOC. That is unsecured. You don’t need collateral for a personal line of credit. There’s also a business line of credit. That also does not need collateral. If it is under your business, it may not even show up on your personal. Those are the three that we focus on as far as the different types of lines of credit.

How can someone figure out which one to go after? Will they qualify and that sort of thing?

That’s what we do. What we do is we do an assessment. We look at a lot of things. When you start something it’s what is the goal? Why do you want to buy this property? Why do you want to buy a rental? What is the goal? I’ve heard anywhere from, “I have three kids. We have one house. I want to buy two rentals so I could have one house for each of my children.” For some people it’s, “I want to get a passive income.” We run the numbers for our clients that way we can make sure that they’re not over-leveraged. Everyone’s situation is unique and that’s why we do that.

Talk a little bit more about how that process would work. You basically would talk to people, do an assessment and you would tell them whether a HELOC, PLOC, or the BLOC is the best option. Home equity, personal, or business line of credit, is that true?

REW 32 | Purchase Real Estate

Purchase Real Estate: Who uses a line of credit to go buy a rental or a property? It’s a tool that you will need the proper coaching to be able to implement it correctly. Otherwise, it could be risky.


Correct. When they come to us and they don’t have a home, the HELOC is not the tool for now because we use the line of credit as a tool. If you use a line of credit as a tool to go and help them purchase a rental property. If they do not have a home and they can’t use the HELOC we would suggest a personal line of credit. If they have a HELOC, that’s easy if they have a home equity line of credit. Even if they don’t have a home equity line of credit, if they have a property that we can go and take a HELOC off that property, they can then use the HELOC. If they don’t have a home, it would be a personal line of credit, or if they have a business, it would be the business line of credit. It all depends on what they want to do. We run the numbers to see what is a good fit for them.

I know that I didn’t prepare you for this so you may not have the answer for this but what is the range and rates? I know a HELOC is between 3% and 4% at least for the beginning section and it goes up. What is the range or the rates you would you expect with a PLOC and a BLOC?

I’m smiling because you said, “Amy is in Hawaii.” Not only do we have sunshine almost all year long and nice weather but people want to buy properties in Hawaii because the banks have what we are calling promotional rates or teaser rates. The teaser rates could be low. They’re as low as 1.49% for two years. Moneeka, you should come in by your priority there and I’ll teach you how to take out a HELOC on it. You could go and buy more properties.

I know that on the mainland, they don’t offer that low of a rate. The average is about 4% to 6% depending on the banks and the credit also makes a difference. As far as personal lines of credit, I’ve seen them anywhere from 5% in Hawaii, but on the mainland, they tend to be higher. I have seen them on the mainland for probably about 14% and even 16%. We show them how to use the tool and how to pay off the tool.

It’s a tool. It’s a way to get us in and we can leverage what we do with it to pay it off and circulate it so we can use it again and again. I love that. Tell us a little bit about the way that you fit into Lorraine’s financial network.

We are so excited to be a part of this financial network because I don’t think there’s any company or a group of companies that can offer the services that the network is offering. What I mean by that is it is a one-stop solution. If you want to purchase a rental property, the network has a company that offers lending. There’s a company like our company that teaches how to use the OPM to go buy the rentals. There’s also tax because a lot of people purchase rental properties for the tax offset. Not only for passive income but also to offset the tax. There are other companies in the network that if you want cashflow there’s a way that you could get cashflow through real estate that you don’t own. That’s an option. There’s also insurance and legal.

A lot of times a lot of people have a financial planner and CPA, but do they talk to each other? Does your CPA talk to your financial planner throughout the year? Does your CPA talk to a lender that you choose? Normally, people will use a CPA for tax prep, not necessarily for tax planning. I’m so excited because now you can come in through any one of the companies and you would be able to utilize all of the services that would be available to you and all of us are talking to each other. I talked to Lorraine and I talked to the other people in different companies. It is so exciting because we are all under one umbrella as far as what’s available for people out there.

I love that too because it’s a one-stop shop. You go to one company and you’ve got a whole team of people who work for you that can communicate. They’re all on the same wavelength, each of them will understand a different aspect of the client and they can bring that knowledge to the team so all the tools are best utilized. That’s what excited me when I met Lorraine. I was like and I said this to her on the show, “Where have you been all my life?” It’s good stuff and I’m so delighted that we were getting introduced to you too, Amy.

Thank you. We talked about the mindset because everything is a mindset and how you’re educated? Because all we do is we educate. We educate and we coach. Everyone is so used to traditional ways of thinking and banking. Everything is traditional so we are non-conventional, because who uses a line of credit to go buy a rental or a property? Who does that? It’s a tool because it is a tool that you will need the proper coaching for you to be able to implement it correctly. Otherwise, it could be risky for you. It’s all the same with the financial network. It’s a different way of thinking. It’s a different way of looking at all of your assets and making them work for you and not waiting until you stop working or when you’re 65. It’s how can we help you now?

I love that.

When we talk about my passion I was in my early twenties when I first was introduced to real estate, but if I had known that something this was available to me back then, I don’t think I’d be talking to you, first of all. I am so glad to be talking to you.

You can use a line of credit to go buy a rental property, but you can also use the line of credit to help you pay your debts a lot faster. Click To Tweet

I’d be on the beach over here in Hawaii.

I would not be here but I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe I’m supposed to be here talking to you and telling you my vision and my passion because when students, early twenties and young adults when they get out of college, most of them will have debt. They enter the job market and a lot of times purchasing a property is the last thing on their mind. It’s more about, “How am I going to pay my student loan?” “I’m working now. I’m going to go buy a car.” “I can get this credit card and I don’t have to pay for it until I’m going to make the monthly payment.”

If we can educate the young people after they enter the job market, teach them financial education, provide them with coaching and show them that they’re able to get passive income through rentals, whatever passive income they’re getting, they can use that to help them pay the debt. Maybe they won’t have to rely on their parents to pay for the student loan. I’m looking at it like, “If we can give them that solid starting point, think about how the world would be.” If we could introduce these young people to financial education, how to get passive income and how to take care of your taxes, all the way insurance, lending, and everything if we educate them. I’m thinking by the time they’re 40, they’re retired.

I’m with you.

Think of all of the problems that we have and how that could help them. A lot of times when I say they need financial education and coaching because we were young ones. Did we listen to our parents all the time? Parents, your readers and moms, we tend to want to pave the way for our children. We want to try to make life as easy for them as possible. That’s something moms do but a lot of times your children are not going to listen to you because they’re not supposed to. It’s a vicious circle. We didn’t always listen so why should we expect them to listen to us, but it’s human nature. If they can get professional education and coaching, the moms and the dads would be so happy. It’s like, “I don’t have to go in and force my child to listen to me to go do this, that I wish I had done twenty years ago because now they’re getting an education from professionals.”

One of the biggest questions I get from people is, “How do I get out from under my debt, student loans or whatever it is?” I am not a good person to talk to about that because I never carry debt. I worked all the way through college and stuff that. I feel good about the fact that now we’ve got someone on the team, the Wealth Network team that can talk about that piece. How to get out of debt? How to leverage other people’s money? How to balance this idea of getting out of debt and also building for the future? Both of those things are important. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It can be something that you do at the same time.

Correct. We teach our clients how to use the tool, which is the line of credit and we teach them how to pay it off or how to pay it down. It’s like, “How do we help you use this line of credit to help you achieve your goal of getting a rental property, but let us help you pay it down so you can use it over and over again.” We can also look at your other debts because we can also use the line of credit to help you pay off your debt. You can use a line of credit to go buy a rental property, but you can also use the line of credit to help you pay your debts a lot faster.

In EXTRA, we’re going to talk about the three simple steps to get started and we’re going to talk a little bit more about the specific ways that you help people to buy real estate. I’m excited about those two things. I’m excited that we’re going to be talking about that in EXTRA. Before we move towards the end of this show, could you tell everybody how they can get in touch with you?

The easiest thing is you can go on our websites, but they can also watch an interactive video and it’s We’re also on Instagram and Facebook but our website is at

I watched the video and it’s amazing. I love it so you guys should go check it out. Amy, are you ready for three rapid-fire questions? I did not prep Amy on this one.

It’s like going on a roller coaster and you didn’t know it was 200 feet high.

It’s so awesome. The first one is Amy, give us one super tip on getting started in real estate investing.

REW 32 | Purchase Real Estate

Purchase Real Estate: The first step in real estate investing is knowing where you are going to get the down payment, where it is going to come from, and who’s going to be your team.


The first step in real estate investing is where are you going to get the down payment? Where is the down payment going to come from? Who’s going to be your team? That’s important.

What is one strategy for being successful in real estate investing?

Not to be over-leveraged. That is one strategy and that’s why we run the numbers because our clients can see how much. They’re going to if there’s going to be debt. How much are they going to be paying for the deb and how much are they going to be getting as far as rental? Is it a mortgage that you have to pay? Is it the mortgage, property taxes and insurance? Are there maintenance fees? What about the monthly maintenance fees? We run all those numbers and they get to be able to see if it still a good fit? Are they over-leveraged or will they come on ahead?

Amy, what would you say is a daily practice that contributes to your personal success?

As women and most women tend to want to multitask all the time. That’s in our DNA. Sometimes I wish I have eight arms because we want to be able to do eight things at the same time.

You want to become an Indian goddess.

The one thing that I try to practice every day that’s helped me a lot is to focus on one thing at a time. When my mind thinks I want to do something else, I stop and I ask myself, “What is the one thing that you need to do now that’s going to make a difference?” Whether it’s I have to go take the laundry out of the washing machine and put it in the dryer or I need to finish my email now before I go and do another thing. I need to finish cooking. I need to finish listening to this podcast before I move on to the next thing. It’s focusing and I find that by doing that, I can accomplish so much more by focusing on one thing at a time and completing that one important thing that I need to finish before I go on to the next one. I feel I can accomplish so much more by doing that. There are days when I still think I have eight arms.

I agree with you on that. Focus is a real key to success for sure. Thank you so much. This has been so much fun. I can’t wait to talk more.

Thank you. You’re so much fun to talk to so thank you.

Of course. Ladies, thank you for joining Amy and me for this portion of the show. If you are subscribed to EXTRA stay tuned, we’re going to be talking about the three easy steps to get started using other people’s money and how specifically Amy can help you to buy your first rental property. We’re going to be talking about that in EXTRA so stay tuned. If you’re not subscribed but would like to be, go to and you get the first seven days for free.

You get this one for free and you can get as many as you for free and check it out. See if it’s for you and you can stay subscribed or not. It’s totally up to you. If you’re leaving any and I now, thank you so much for joining us for this portion of the show. I love having you here and I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, remember, goals without action are dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon. Bye.

Important Links:

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Real Estate Investing for Women Community today:

Amy is part of the WEALTH NETWORK with Lorraine Conaway. If you’d like to learn more about the network please go to

To listen to the EXTRA portion of this show go to

To see this program in the video:

Search on Roku for Real Estate Investing 4 Women or go to this link:

On YouTube go to Real Estate Investing for Women

Learn how to create a consistent income stream by only working 5 hours a month the Blissful Investor Way.
Grab my FREE guide at

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