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.

Knowing Your Numbers And Keeping Track Of Them With Melissa McRay-Johnson – Real Estate Women

REW 49 | Knowing Your Numbers

 

When you know your numbers, you can map the business deal in your head, and you’re able to make smart business decisions on where to spend your money. Joining Moneeka Sawyer in today’s episode is Melissa McRay-Johnson, the Founder of E3 Coaching, LLC. Melissa further explains the importance of knowing your numbers and keeping track of everything to your success. Are your numbers going where you expect them to go? Tune in and learn from this discussion on how you can stay on top of your business.

Listen to the podcast here:

Knowing Your Numbers And Keeping Track Of Them With Melissa McRay-Johnson – Real Estate Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am excited to welcome to the show, Melissa Johnson. Melissa has been flipping houses in San Antonio, Texas since 2003, growing and expanding the business into a thriving real estate investment operation. With over 1,000 houses flipped, she has also built a portfolio of rental properties and real estate notes while raising five children. She provides coaching support and education for other high-level real estate investors nationwide. As a Co-founder of the San Antonio InvestHer meetup group and an active member of the Forbes Council on Real Estate and the National Association of Women Business Owners, she is dedicated to the success and empowerment of women in business. Melissa, welcome to the show.

Thank you. I’m excited.

This is going to be a great conversation. This is a marketing conversation, right?

Yes. I love marketing.

I’m excited to have someone on the show that’s an active investor who is also going to be talking about marketing. There is a lot of crossover, but most of the time I have a marketing person on the show, they’re not an investor. I’m super excited about what you have to offer to my audience. Could you give me a high-level story about how you got into doing what you’re doing?

REW 49 | Knowing Your Numbers

Knowing Your Numbers: Run the numbers ahead of time to see how you can map it all out.

 

Back in 2003, real estate was not on my radar at all. I was always interested in real estate, but I thought maybe an agent. I didn’t follow through with that at the time. I was working for a defense contractor and my husband at the time, his father was investing in real estate. We spent a lot of time with him and it seemed like he was having this great time all the time, traveling in his RV, taking time off and getting all these doors, rental properties and stuff. I’m like, “That’s pretty cool.” We talked about it and said, “Why don’t we try it? This could be something good for us.” It sounds fun. It’d be great to be our own boss and get out of the cubicle life. We started down that road pretty simply at first, doing it part-time while we were working. Eventually, my husband ended up getting laid off because we worked for the government and there were issues with contracts and stuff like that. It’s two weeks before our wedding, so I wasn’t freaked out at all. I was.

We rolled with it and we thought, “Maybe this is a push, we needed to do this full-time.” He went full-time. I stayed at the job for about six more months was about all I could handle. Before the jealousy, “This isn’t fair. I don’t want to be sitting at this desk, you’re out running, having fun and I’m here. It’s miserable.” I then quit. I have pretty much been doing that ever since doing different exit strategies. I have been rehabbing for many years, I’m building a portfolio again of the rental properties. I love notes, creating notes. The last few years I have been more focused on wholesaling because it has seemed to fit well with the way the market was going and stuff like that. A little bit of everything I’ve done throughout the years. I’m still real estate investing, but I am also moved into more of a coaching and mentoring space, which I’m enjoying. That was born out of this whole COVID thing. Time to reevaluate life, “What do I want to do?” I got divorced. That was a rough thing to go through. It was a time to reevaluate everything. Things are looking good now.

Tell me, what do you mean by you create notes?

I know a lot of people having rental properties and things like that, but I love doing seller financing and creating notes from that. It’s a great way for you to get passive income without all the headaches of the rental properties. With rentals, you’ve always got to worry about maintenance and there are taxes. Those calls, “Something is broken,” and the big-ticket things that have to be done. Maintaining all that stuff is a lot. What we found was that by creating notes, you’re still getting that passive income, except you’re making money now in a cool way because you’re collecting interest. You’re not on the hook for taxes or insurance. I hold back escrow for those things. That strategy has been nice, but I do have rentals too because it’s good to have a balanced portfolio, rentals for the depreciation, things like that. The notes for creating that long-term stuff. What I liked doing is creating these notes, buying a property on a very short-term note for me, and then selling it on a 30-year note to an end buyer. Once my short-term notes paid off, it’s all gravy after that.

Take the time to reevaluate your life. Click To Tweet

When you purchase it, you have the seller that’s selling it to you, carry back the note?

No. I get my own financing and what I do is it’s called a wrap. It’s a wraparound mortgage. I’ve got a very short again, like a five-year note for that property. I’ll buy it. I’ll fix it up and then, be into it for X amount of dollars. I turn around and sell it for full retail to an end buyer, charge more interest than what I’m paying so that my payment is always covered every month. I don’t make a whole lot initially, but after that five-year period, then it’s free and clear. It’s checks in the mail every month.

I’m sorry to delve in. We weren’t planning on talking about this, but it’s so cool.

It’s one of my favorite exit strategies.

Let’s say for instance, you purchase it, you get financing and you’re going to pay it off in five years. Let’s say for the sake of argument, you might get a loan for 3% or 3.5%, then you’re going to sell that on a 30-year note. I know that this is not your number, as you can tell me if I’m correct or not, but something closer to 7% or 8%. If you’re selling that note at 7% or 8%, does that cover the payment of your shorter-term note upfront?

That’s what I always want to make sure that is happening, but yes. I’m buying at a such a deep discount. I’m into the property for so much less than what it’s selling for. I make sure when I run all the numbers when I run out of the scenario, I want to make sure that payment is covered because I’m collecting a down payment too from those end buyers also. That’s putting cash in my pocket too, which is nice. Their mortgage is always covering mine as a minimum. Sometimes there’s more. I make more, but I never pay less if that makes sense. I know in my mind I can run the numbers ahead of time to see I can map it all out. That’s part of the deal analysis, buying these things to make sure that, “If I buy this property for this much into it, I know my interest rate is this much. I want to finance it for this long and it’s going to sell for this much at this interest rate for this amount of time.” I can check all those numbers ahead of time before I even buy the house to make sure.

How much down payment do you usually take? Is it a percentage or is it what they can afford? How do you determine that?

It’s what they can afford. There are a lot of different ways of doing it. I don’t do super-expensive houses. I’m trying to do those deals in certain areas where it’s hardworking middle-class people. They want to own a home. Maybe their credit is not that great, or they can’t get a loan from a bank traditionally. Although I always tell them if you’re able to qualify down the road, feel free, go refinance. They can refinance at any time through a bank and get a lower interest rate when their credit improves or whatever and then I get cashed out. It’s a win-win either way. That’s the approach there.

REW 49 | Knowing Your Numbers

Knowing Your Numbers: You can be creative with your marketing. It’s fun to try, test, and measure new things.

 

How do you get the houses? Do you get them through auction or do you have a strategy around that?

All of my marketing is all direct to sellers. I don’t buy off the MLS. I don’t buy from other wholesalers. I’m not buying at auctions or anything like that. It’s strictly direct from sellers.

That gets to the marketing piece. The conversation has been fascinating so far just about to get better. Talk to us a little bit about marketing for investors and what that looks like.

It looks amazing. I love marketing. I love it because it’s creative. You can be creative with your marketing. It’s fun to try, test, and measure new things. That’s always a cool thing to do. I like being very focused on marketing. Some people will do direct mail and they’re like blasting stuff out all over the place. I did that for a while and that shotgun approach works sometimes, but I’ve learned over the years, how to be more focused with things and how to tighten things up. I like stuff simple, efficient and very clear. That works in all aspects of my business, especially with marketing. What I’ve done is chosen certain marketing channels to do and then tracking all of those things.

Marketing is cool because there are many aspects to it. You can launch a campaign and maybe you get nothing. You can launch another campaign and it rocks. It’s like, “What worked? What didn’t work? What am I measuring? Do I need to change my message?” There are many different pieces to it. If something is not hitting, it’s like, “Am I not hitting the right people? Is there something wrong with my message?” A lot of different things play into that. It’s very important when you’re doing marketing to pick those few things and make sure you’re tracking them to see how they’re working because marketing is where we spend most of our money. Without marketing, you get no leads. You have no deals and then you have no business. Marketing is critical.

Tell me a little bit about the specifics. Where do you market or how do you do that marketing? Give me a little bit more detail on that.

I’ve done a lot of things over the years and what I’ve noticed is that things come and go. Something that works ten years ago isn’t going to work now necessarily but it could come back. I tell clients this all the time, like with direct mail. It was good for a while and then, it wasn’t so great. Now, it’s making a comeback again. We used to do billboards and Yellow Page ads. Yellow Page ads were kicking back in the day. We get a lot of deals out of this.

For people who are like, “What’s the Yellow Pages?”

“Isn’t that online?” These are like the straight-up phone book where you just turn the pages. That was a very effective marketing technique back then. Not so much anymore. I love online marketing. That’s been a big one for us. I’m back to direct mail again. Those are the two biggest places that I like to spend my time and referrals. I love referrals. Once you’ve been doing this for so long, because I’ve been doing this for many years now, so you build a reputation over that time. The great thing about that is you’ve sold a lot of houses in that amount of time. That’s a lot of people you’ve reached that are right for referrals. The last couple of deals that we’ve got have been strictly from referrals, not from any specific marketing that we’ve done, from them having a great experience. We were very conscious about the experience that we give the sellers.

When you're first getting started, always start simple. Click To Tweet

We make sure we communicate with them all the time and things like that. When you get that good experience, you get a good referral. If I get a referral, I’ll film $500 as a thank you. They’re not going into it with the expectation. They’re going to get anything, but it’s a great place to get more deals is through your referrals. Referrals, online, and direct mail. I like to play with all those three things together. Even when I’m doing a direct mail campaign, I’ve always got links to the website and things like that in there and vice versa. With the website, I’m always trying to provide information, good content, and things like that. It all works together. I’ll use those things from the website and the direct mail too. I’ll pull a testimonial. If I’m hitting probates, I’ll pull a testimonial from probate and put it in the mail piece. It all works well when you use them all together.

Talk to me a little bit more about online marketing. You have a website. Tell me a little bit more about how the whole thing works.

Nowadays, you have to have an online presence. It’s tough to have a business when you don’t have an online presence because that’s where everybody goes now. They don’t go to the Yellow Pages anymore. If they want to know about you, they’re going to search online. That’s the first place people go when they have a problem that they need to solve, they’re going to go online. If you are present there, you’re already a step ahead of people that don’t have a website or a web presence. It’s important to have that there. It’s important to have a very easy-to-use website that people know what’s happening. They know the steps of the process. It’s very easy for them to contact you. We get a lot of leads online. You can do it organically or you can throw money at it. If you’re doing AdWords or PPC, you can do things like that to help boost. Also, social media marketing, Facebook ads and we’ve done it in the past. You just got to be online.

The thing is your whole online strategy is to have a website and drive traffic. How do you analyze your marketing and pivot? You analyze it. You need to look at some stuff. Tell us how you do it and what’s important to analyze?

I’m old-fashioned, I guess. I have this spreadsheet that I use to track my marketing and I use it with my CRM system. What I’m tracking are all my leads to come in. I want to know what leads came in. What source channel did they come from? Was it from a direct mail campaign? Was it from a website? Was it a referral? Was it a realtor lead or something? Was it from networking? Was it a wholesaler lead? Whatever that is, I have it all broken up that way. I want to know what leads are coming in and then which leads are good leads. You think it’s a lead because you got a phone call, but what if it’s spam or if it’s a, “Take me off your list?” That’s not a lead.

Those numbers can get skewed very quickly. It’s like, “I got 57 leads or whatever,” but half of those were spam or junk. It’s important to know if they’re good leads or not. From that then, I’m tracking, I want to know, “What did I spend? What was my cost per lead? What was my cost per deal? What were my conversion rates?” We got these many leads. We got these many appointments. How many of those appointments turned into actual contracts? How many of those contracts turn into closed deals? What do we spend for all those? I’m also tracking profit on those too because I want to know what’s my profitability for each of those marketing channels. That gives me a better picture of the ROI.

Fallout too, you want to track your attrition rates too because some marketing channels have a higher fallout than others. I get a lot of data from that. I’m able to make smart business decisions on where to spend my marketing dollars. “Do I need to spend more here because it’s working? Do I need to cut back somewhere?” That’s what I’m tracking and why that’s important. What I use that for is to make smart decisions about where I’m spending that money.

REW 49 | Knowing Your Numbers

Knowing Your Numbers: Marketing is critical. Without marketing, you get no leads, have no deals, and have no business.

 

Talk to me a little bit about crafting the message that you’re getting out there and how you do it for the different channels, whether you’re online, you’re doing a mailer or whatever.

What I do is I like to think about the person that’s going to get these pieces of mail. You should always have in mind who you’re talking to and this is with any marketing, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. I find that people aren’t taking that in and bringing that into the real estate world. You hear about it when people are doing every other marketing, but why aren’t you building a persona for your real estate business? What I started doing was that very thing, figuring out, “Who am I talking to?” Crafting a message that speaks directly to them. I just wrapped up a probate mailing and it was finishing up. It’s a drip campaign of messages that are very specifically tailored to people that are in that situation.

Once you figure out what other pain points are and things like that, if you craft a message that resonates with them, the odds are higher that they’re going to contact you or at least be in front of mind when they are ready to make that decision. Sometimes people don’t always make a decision right away. We know from research that it takes 6 to 7 touches with a direct mail campaign before somebody is going to reach out to you. It’s going in with a consistent message that builds on top of the message before that until it ends in a point where, “What are you going to do if you don’t sell this house? Let’s think about that.” Having a good message that’s specific to what they’re saying and telling them how you’re going to solve their problem too in a very simple way. Keeping it very simple and not overloading them with too much information.

You mentioned a drip campaign, define that for my ladies, for anybody who doesn’t know that marketing term.

It’s a regularly scheduled campaign. We know we’re going to hit them with this mail piece first because this is like, “This is who I am and if I can help you,” it’s like an introductory thing. Four weeks later comes the next message. A little bit different and talking about something else but still related to their situation and then four weeks after that. That’s what a drip campaign is. It’s that having a very systematized setup way of releasing those pieces out to people.

Thank you for that. Tell us about the websites. What should we have on the website in order to bring in the leads that we’re looking for?

You want to have a website and not just a landing page. A landing page could work too, but having a full-on website where you can separate the information out a little bit for them. What I found is keeping it clean, keeping it simple. A very clear call to action, you want to have on your website. Anywhere they go on that website, you want to make sure that there’s a spot for them to contact you. You don’t know what they’re going to be scrolling through and see and say, “I relate to that. I understand that,” or, “That makes me want to do something.” The buttons right there for them to contact you. You want to make sure that you’re doing that. You want to make sure you’ve got the forms to capture their information. You also want to make sure that the most pertinent information is above the fold.

What that means is you don’t want them to scroll past. When you go to a website, whatever’s pops up on the site before you even start scrolling down, that’s above the fold. You want to make sure you capture their attention right there. You want to have that call to action big up there. You want to have a form for them to fill out, to submit their name and information. I don’t recommend putting any other social links up there because you want them to stay on your site. You don’t want them bouncing off somewhere else to your YouTube channel right there and then. That’s not good. If you can have a video above the fold, that helps with rankings. There are a lot of things you can do with SEO and stuff to get your website to rank. The video is important. If you can have a well-done video, it doesn’t have to be professional or anything like that, but some video that talks about who you are and what you’re doing and how you’re helping people. That’s a great thing to have on there.

Anything else people should keep in mind?

For their website?

Yes.

I would say if you can have testimonials on your website because that’s very important. People can see, “Here are some real people that you’ve helped,” so that’s good. Anything you can do to have credibility, especially now, there are so many fly-by-night people out there doing stuff. The more you can show that you’re a legitimate business, you know, and that you’ve got some credibility, so maybe a Better Business Bureau symbol. I forget what they call it. If you get registered with the Better Business Bureau, then you can use that on your marketing pieces. That’s been good for us just being able to say, “We’re A-plus ranked on Better Business Bureau.” Having a Google business page is good also. It helps you with your ranking and shows people where you’re at. When you google something like, “I need to sell my house,” and wherever you’re at you’ll pop up there on the map or on the sidebar or whatever. Those are good to have too.

Do you have any other marketing super tips?

Track everything. I can’t stress that enough because sometimes you think things are working, but when you drill down and start digging into that stuff, things that you thought were working might not be working as well or could be working better. Make sure that you track. Find some system to track everything that you’re doing for marketing.

Do something every day that helps you move forward. Click To Tweet

Melissa, tell everybody how they can reach you.

I have a new website that launched not too long ago. It’s TheMelissaJohnson.com. On there, there’s information about me. If anyone wants to reach out about coaching, I have a podcast that I’ve launched. That’s up there. There are going to be some more resources and freebie, things that I’m working on putting up too. There are lots of info there. All my social links are on that website also.

Thank you, Melissa. That was awesome.

Thank you.

Ladies, before we go into our three rapid-fire questions, I want to let you know that Melissa and I do have an EXTRA plan. What she wants to share with you is how to build a business that fits your lifestyle. Most flippers that you hear from their businesses own them. She’s managed to do this by having five kids and all this other stuff. She’s figured out the whole building a business that you own rather than it owning you. We’re going to be talking a little bit more in-depth about that in EXTRA. I’m excited about that. Melissa, tell us one super tip on getting started investing in real estate.

When you’re first getting started, I always say start simple. There’s no need to go out and try to master every single exit strategy. I always recommend, pick a few marketing techniques. Pick a couple of exit strategies that you might want to do. Keep it very simple getting started because there’s so much out there and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Keep it simple. That gives you the opportunity too to master what you’re doing. Cheap, low-cost marketing, become the master of that, and then build on top of that as you grow.

What would you say is a strategy for being successful in real estate investing?

Track everything.

We didn’t get that message at all on the show.

When I say track everything, treat it like a business. Make sure that you are treating it as a business because it is. Many people are just doing stuff and they’re not tracking anything. Document those systems and processes. I can’t say enough how important that is to do, because even if it’s just you, you need to know what’s going on at all times. You can’t delegate something that you haven’t documented already. Get it out of your head, document, track and measure everything.

Melissa, what would you say is one daily practice that contributes to your personal success?

For me, it’s making sure that I do something that moves my business forward every day. Maybe I do that thing first thing in the morning, maybe it’s late at night but I always make sure that there’s one thing on that list that I’m doing that is something that’s going to move the needle forward. Not being in the weeds but move the business forward.

Melissa, this has been amazing so far. I’m so excited about EXTRA. Thank you for what you’ve shared so far.

You’re welcome. It was so fun.

Ladies, thank you for joining Melissa and I for this portion of the show. We’re going to be talking about how to create that business that gives you the lifestyle you want. I’m super excited. If you subscribe, stay tuned, if you’re not but would like to be, you can do that at RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com. The first day of seven days is free. You can check out this EXTRA and as many others as you can download in seven days and see if it’s for you. For those of you that are leaving Melissa and I now, thank you so much for joining us for this portion of the show. I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, remember goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon.

Important Links:

About Melissa McRay-Johnson

REW 49 | Knowing Your NumbersMelissa Johnson has been flipping houses in San Antonio, TX since 2003, growing and expanding the business into a thriving real estate investment operation. With over 1000 houses flipped, she has also built a portfolio of rental properties and real estate notes while raising five children.

She provides coaching, support, and education for other high-level real estate investors and business owners nationwide. As co-founder of the San Antonio InvestHer meetup group and an active member of the Forbes Real Estate Council, and the National Association of Women Business Owners, she is dedicated to the success and empowerment of women in business.

Melissa also recently launched the E3 Podcast on iTunes where she highlights everyday women and the struggles, lessons, and wisdom they encounter as entrepreneurs.

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The Common Path to Uncommon Success with John Lee Dumas – Real Estate for Women

REW 50 | Uncommon Success

 

The path to success is not hidden; it’s well-known and well-worn. You simply need a roadmap to help you get there more quickly. This is the message of The Common Path to Uncommon Success, the first traditionally published book by John Lee Dumas, founder and host of the award-winning show, Entrepreneurs on Fire. John’s book is a seventeen-step roadmap to achieving financial freedom and fulfillment in your life. Want to get more glimpses of the book? Listen in to his comeback chat with Moneeka Sawyer so you, too, can learn how to walk the common path to uncommon success!

Listen to the podcast here:

The Common Path to Uncommon Success with John Lee Dumas – Real Estate for Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am so excited to welcome you back to the show John Lee Dumas. He is the Founder and host of the award-winning show, Entrepreneurs on Fire. With over one million monthly listeners and seven figures of annual income, JLD is spreading entrepreneurial fire on a global scale. His first traditionally published book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success, is available now for pre-order at UncommonSuccessBook.com. John, welcome back to the show. How are you?

Moneeka, I am fired up. Your energy is next level. I love your laugh. I’m so happy to be here.

I asked you to come back to the show because I’m excited about your new book, the title is?

The Common Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom and Fulfillment.

The reason that I brought you back, I want to tell a quick story. When I was sixteen, I was a foreign exchange student in India. I remember going to the book markets. One day, I bought four books that changed my life. There was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie and The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. There is a secret book that I’ll tell you about later. Anyways, those books started my journey towards personal development and the idea of being in business for yourself.

The path to success is hard work, but it's a very common path. It's not complicated, hidden, or scary. Click To Tweet

Now, when I go back to read them, they feel very old school. I’ve been looking for the newer versions of these books to re-motivate and re-inspire me. What I love is with Think and Grow Rich, it was all about Napoleon Hill doing interviews. You are like the interview guy. You have interviewed thousands and thousands of super successful people. It’s like the next level. That’s why I’m so excited about talking about this book. Thanks for coming on. What I want to start with is, tell us why you think people have been lied to by experts out there in the business world.

This is the reality. There are amazing experts out there in this world. You just named a number of those authors who are spreading amazing, great content and helping so many people. At the same time, there are some so-called experts who aren’t quite doing that. Here’s where the red flag comes in. When you hear somebody tell you that, “The path to success is secret, hidden, and complicated, but I have the key to your success. For $1,997.97, I’ll unlock that key for you.” That is a red flag. I’ve interviewed over 3,000 successful entrepreneurs. I personally have been a successful entrepreneur for almost a decade now. I’ve been running a multimillion-dollar a year business for several years.

I know that the path to success is hard work, but it’s a very common path. It’s not complicated, hidden and scary. It’s a common path to get to your version of uncommon success. I am passionate about letting people know what that path is. That’s why I wrote this book. I sat down and said, “I’ve interviewed over 3,000 successful entrepreneurs. What are the commonalities that all of these entrepreneurs share with each other?” When I boiled it down, there were seventeen core foundational principles that every successful entrepreneur share with each other.

REW 50 | Uncommon Success

The Common Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom and Fulfillment

I decided to say, “This is a step-by-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment.” I put it in chronological order and created this book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success. It is that seventeen-step roadmap to financial freedom and fulfillment. I wrote every single word, 71,000 words, 273 pages. It took me 480 writing hours. I did it and I’m proud of it. I want to get this book into your hands so that you can have the gift of financial freedom and fulfillment so that you can have the gift of living your version of uncommon success.

Tell us a little bit about what we’re going to find in this book that I’m comparing it to. Think and Grow Rich was more about philosophy. My understanding is that yours is more about strategy. Is that true?

It’s 100%. There are enough books about motivation and inspiration out there. There are fantastic books. That’s not what this book is. This book is a step-by-step strategic book. This book has every single step in the process that you need to achieve financial freedom and fulfillment. You’ve got to put in the work. It’s going to be hard. It was hard for me launching this business and putting in the work to make this happen. Every one of the 3,000 entrepreneurs that I’ve interviewed has had to put in hard work. What’s also hard is being broke, living paycheck to paycheck, waking up every morning being miserable, going to a job that you hate. That’s hard too. Why don’t you choose your hard? Why don’t you choose which hard you’re going to choose? If you don’t choose this hard of building a business, you’re choosing the other hard by default, which is living a life that’s less than you’re capable of living. Potentially, miserable, broke, and living paycheck to paycheck. You don’t need to choose that hard. You can choose your hard. This is the book that will get you there. This is the seventeen-step roadmap.

REW 50 | Uncommon Success

Uncommon Success: If you don’t choose the challenge of building a business, you’re choosing the other option by default, which is living a life that’s less than you’re capable of living.

 

I know on your show I mentioned this quote. I love saying this quote all the time. My dad, when I was 21, shared with me something that completely changed my life. He said, “Everybody has stress, fear, and money problems. Do you want poor people money problems or rich people money problems?”

I got a money problem, but the rich people money problems.

They’re good money problems, aren’t they?

Yes, they are. They’re still problems. They’re better than the alternative.

This is the same thing with success. There’s a lack of success problems and successful people problems. On this show, I don’t talk about life being hard. We talk about life being blissful. Part of being blissful is being willing to put in the work to make your life what you want it to be. If it’s hard work, for me, I love to work hard when I’m super passionate about something.

By the way, Moneeka, that brings up a good point because that’s exactly what step one, chapter one is. Most people will never identify this in their life. What is that? Their big idea. Your big idea is buried within you. We need to take it out. It’s your big idea and zone of fire. You can live in that zone of fire every single day. Like Moneeka said, you wake up and you’re still going to work hard. You’re going to work hard doing something you love, you’re passionate about, that fires you up and lights you on fire. If you’re going to work hard either way, why not it be something that is your big idea, your zone of fire? That is what step one, chapter one is, identifying not Moneeka or JLD’s big idea, not being a pale, weak imitation of somebody else’s big idea, but your big idea. There’s a big idea inside of all of us. Let’s get it out.

Tell us a little bit more about what we’re going to find.

Let’s move on to chapter two. This is the thing that a lot of people are surprised at. They come up with their big idea. They’re excited and they should be. It’s a big idea. It’s a good idea, but other people have had this good idea. There’s a lot of people in this world. It’s a good thing that other people have had your big idea before because that’s proof of concept. That means that your big idea is a great idea. It’s viable. That’s awesome. You can’t though, now with this entrenched competition out there, go like a lamb to the slaughter and enter into the market of where your big idea is. You will get crushed. What you need to do is get initial momentum and traction. How you do that is step two, discover your niche.

You need to find the void in the marketplace that’s not being filled and fill that void. You need to find the place in the marketplace that’s not being served and serve it to the best of your ability. By the way, you should become the best solution to that one, single niche problem. I teach you how to do that in step two so that you don’t go out and get walloped by all the competition out there in this broad, vague idea of yours that’s a good one. We’ve got to start small and then we plant a seed. We crank a little wedge in there and then we crank it out.

My big idea was a podcast. I did niche down to business podcast. I did niche down again to interview business podcasts of entrepreneurs. I did niche down a fourth time to daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs. I did niche and became the best daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs. By the way, I was also the worst because I was the only daily podcast interviewing entrepreneurs, where sometimes you have to do. I got my initial momentum and traction, wedged in there. What have I done over the years? I’ve blown up and created a media empire as a result. You can, too.

REW 50 | Uncommon Success

Uncommon Success: If you’re going to work hard either way, why not it be something that is your big idea, your zone of fire?

 

Is this book for everybody?

This book is not for the people who want to become filthy rich. There are people like that who are out there. I’m not saying you’re going in the wrong direction there. If that’s your heart’s desire, go after that. This book is not about how to become filthy rich. This book is about how to become financially free and fulfilled simultaneously. Those two things are so important in my opinion. I’m teaching people how to become financially free and fulfilled. That might also equate to making millions of dollars. It might equate to be making hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I have a friend, by the way, to give you the alternate example, who’s living in Bozeman, Montana making $47,000 a year. This guy lives well below his means. He wakes up every single day, does exactly what he wants to do, and loves his work. He is so obsessed with fishing and hiking. He gets to do that with his dog and all this. He is so financially free because he’s smart with his money and lives below his means. He’s fulfilled because he’s doing what he loves. That’s a win. I’m a win. I make millions of dollars a year. I’m financially free and fulfilled because I’m doing what I love. You can have both ends of the spectrum. There’s not a right or wrong answer. This book is for people who want that latter, financial freedom and fulfillment, not just becoming filthy rich. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know how to do that because I don’t want that.

Your personal big idea is buried within you. It's your big idea and zone of fire. Click To Tweet

Instead of filthy rich, blissfully rich. That’s more about without having the whole picture and puzzle. Thank you so much for joining us, John, and sharing with us your book and information. I’ve already got my copy coming. I’m so excited about that. Ladies, thank you so much for joining John and I for this show. I hope you found it as incredibly exciting as I did. I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires.

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About John Lee Dumas

REW 50 | Uncommon Success

John Lee Dumas (JLD) is the founder and host of the award-winning podcast, Entrepreneurs on Fire.

JLD has interviewed over 3,000 of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs on his award-winning podcast Entrepreneurs On Fire, which has amassed over 100,000,000 listens and 3,000 5-star reviews since its launch in 2012. Past guests include Tony Robbins, Barbara Corcoran, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

JLD has spent the last 8 years studying and interacting with those who have reached the summit of business success, and he has created a 17-step roadmap that will guide YOU to financial freedom and fulfillment.

 

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On YouTube go to Real Estate Investing for Women

Connect To Your Inner Feminine To Create Fulfilling Success With Stacy Bahrenfuss – Real Estate Women

REW 48 | Inner Feminine

 

Connection is the missing piece to whole life success. It can mean many things, but most importantly, it means connecting with your source, your inner state, your inner feminine. It’s not that hard to reconnect with it. It’s just the fact that so few among us have done it that it looks difficult when really, it’s not. Real estate investor and life coach, Stacy Bahrenfuss joins Moneeka Sawyer today to show you just how simple it can be. With just a few steps, Stacy can guide you to connect with your source, nurture a blissful inner state, and allow it to lead the way to success and fulfillment. Join in to learn how you can do this at home! And don’t forget to rejoin them on Extra, where Stacy throws in even more valuable wisdom!

Listen to the podcast here:

Connect To Your Inner Feminine To Create Fulfilling Success With Stacy Bahrenfuss – Real Estate Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am so excited to welcome to our show, Stacy Bahrenfuss. Stacy is the Founder of the Catalyst Group and creator of the Inside Out Success Method, a system at the core of her premier consulting program for female change-makers, the Limitless with Stacy B. Stacy started Catalyst Group, her real estate company, at the age of 19. She sustained her company through the housing crisis of 2007 to 2010. She continues to scale her business beyond the seven-figure mark to become one of the top-performing real estate teams in the state of Idaho. Stacy’s experience is vast. She has been a single agent, has run a large team, and has even operated as the designated broker for Catalyst Group as a brokerage. She has personally funded and sold a development project consisting of eleven upper-tier new luxury homes while still operating her real estate team at the Catalyst. Her success in the real estate world has given her a vehicle to share her mission, vision and purpose. Now she guides female global change-makers to discover inner freedom and fulfillment to create lasting success from a beautiful inner state to achieve the change and results they wish to see in the world. How are you?

I am great. Thank you so much for having me.

You’ve done a lot of stuff. It’s interesting when I looked at your bio or looked at your questions, I knew that so much of what you do is mindset stuff, which is key to success. I didn’t realize initially how involved in real estate you are. This is fantastic. I’m excited how relevant this is going to be. 

I’m very excited too. The merge between both is so vital for a successful real estate business.

Most of the people that come on board to talk on the show about mindset might have a little bit of investing experience, but not to the depth that you have. This is amazing. Why don’t you start by giving us a little bit of your story, the two-minute version? 

REW 48 | Inner Feminine

Inner Feminine: Succeeding without stress means going to the root of the issue internally and being willing to courageously look at whatever is there.

 

It all started when I was a senior in high school. I was joking around with a few of my friends and we had heard about a local real estate office near a resort town that I lived in that was going to be opening. I said, “I’m going to apply as a salesperson.” I was seventeen at the time. They ended up calling me and hiring me as the sales coordinator’s assistant. I worked part-time and did that, and finished high school at that time. I knew right away that this was my career path to get into real estate.

I saw a gap that I could fill, which was the consumer experience and the way that I was seeing agents at that time. It was 2004, 2005, things were booming and going crazy. I saw a gap that I could fill to improve the industry. I got started at that point and then got licensed when I was 19 because I knew I wanted to be the change. I started my career at that point and then started building my team five years later in 2011. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done it intentionally to be able to simplify things so that I can share with others, that they too can do whatever it is they want to do in the real estate business or beyond the real estate business.

I say the same thing in all of my stuff, but you say that you can have success without stress. Let’s talk a little bit about that. I’ll give you a little background on me too. I talk a lot about bliss, and bliss is about creating systems, a business or a life that has very little stress and is filled with joy through the whole process. I feel like we’re aligned with that. Talk to me a little bit about building success without stress. 

Your methodology and your mission are what I was very excited about, meeting you and coming on your show for all of those reasons you listed because we’re much in alignment. For me, succeeding without stress is different than taking an intense breathing exercise to raise the stress in the body, to be able to perform at a higher level. That’s a different type of stress. The stress I’m talking about is that inner state of suffering that no matter what’s going on externally, it could be a different situation. You’re still feeling that same thing, that same feeling.

Succeeding without stress means going to the root of whatever the issue is internally, and being willing to courageously look at things that may be whether it’s a pain or hurt or something that happened in your past. That is the trigger that keeps being activated by these external situations. When you do that and you start to clear things, it’s like the drain. Seeing your truth is like the drain pouring down to clear things. When you can do that, you’re able to succeed at such a different level because you’re clear and calm inside. You’re able to make more clear and powerful decisions. You don’t have to work as hard with so much push. It’s more of the flow.

You have a specific methodology for this. Is that true?

That is true.

Could you tell us a little about that?

The methodology is going to the root of whatever is going on as I explained briefly, identifying whatever that thing is. A key one is looking at relationships in your life that may be a soft spot or a pain point, and seeing how you contribute to that pain. It’s so easy for us to blame others. If we can start to look at situations, if we’re frustrated or feeling pain in some way, to ask ourselves, how are we contributing to that situation? The game changes at that point. That’s what that methodology is all about. It’s not only taking your power back, but taking your power back by taking responsibility for your life completely. In doing so, you’re able to look at things differently so that you can perform at a higher level.

That methodology is first to see the truth and to see that pain, but not to stop there. What you need to do then is build that vision for your life and understand what you’re seeking. Once you are successful at this level, then you’ll be happy. We’ve all heard that. To understand what the emotions are, I always say it’s like a vending machine in a way that is already within you. You just need to select. “I want to be happy. If I succeed at this level, I’ll be happy.” Changing that and seeing that you can get the happiness out of the vending machine now without going after that. Therefore that might change your pursuits and what you’re trying to achieve. The methodology breaks that down so that can come into focus.

I still love what you’re talking about around there’s a way that we are taught in the world to create our happiness. We pursue this. Once we achieve that, we will be happy. There are all these people out there saying, “Happiness is an inside job and you should be,” or whatever. We’re all trained to go after the things that are going to make us happy, whether it’s business success, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a car, a house, or whatever it is. We’re going after those things that we think they’ll make us happy. What’s interesting is that for those people who have gone after those things and gotten those things, you realize that, “That didn’t make me happier.” Who you are on the inside is what you take to that final result. You’ll never be happy then if you can’t be happy now. There will always be a feeling of discontent. Turning our training in the way that we’ve been culturally brought up on its head, starting with the happy feeling, and then determining our pursuits from who we are on the inside, rather than what we think is going to make us happy, can completely change the trajectory of our life. 

You can either be fueled by a blissful inner state a fearful inner state. There isn't any other option. Click To Tweet

Also to your point of turning it on its head, a lot of people go, “If I start with happiness first inside, I’m truly discontent.” The response to that is, “Exactly, you need to see first that you’re discontent.” That is the truth. If you stop trying to escape that and see it for what it is, that is when you can make room for the formula to become happy first. You first have to see the truth instead of resisting the discontent.

I love that. I use the term bliss rather than happy. It’s a deeper emotional content. One of my coaches specifically said to me, “I don’t want to be blissful because then I’ll lose all my motivation.” I was completely shocked by that. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this yourself, Stacy, “I don’t want to be happy because then, why would I work hard?” The thing is that when you’re content, you tend to work harder because your dreams are bigger. They’re based more on you rather than some outside force telling you what you should be. When it’s based on you, your drive is significantly bigger. Your passion is bigger. Your want to achieve becomes bigger. That’s also counterintuitive. When you’re happier, you will achieve more because of your capacity to dream. Would you agree with me on that? 

Absolutely 150%. It is stemming from you either can be fueled by a blissful inner state as you describe it or a fearful inner state. There isn’t another option. You can call it different things, those are the core options. When you are coming from a fearful state, it’s not going to be sustainable and you have to work extra hard to get the same result. When you’re fueled by bliss or that beautiful state, it’s a natural passion, a natural motivation that rises. It’s not a contrived motivation that you have to create if you’re coming from suffering.

You talk a lot about inner states. Bliss from my perspective is the ultimate inner state, but we have many of those. Your methodology is based on inner states, how to distinguish them, how to utilize your inner states, and distinguishing them for success. Talk to me a little bit about how that works in your methodology.  

As we were talking about, there are two options of the inner state. The first part is looking at resistance first, and any disconnect or discontent, any uncomfortable inner vibe or feeling that you’re experiencing. Although it may seem like something you have to overcome, it’s the biggest gift because it’s come to show you the way. What I mean by that is if you’re willing to dig into that to clear up at inner state, you’re going to see how to clear that at such a deep level that you no longer are struggling with that anymore. The importance of that is things you create will become more sustainable and your relationships are going to improve. It’s not only that but also your presence. We all want more confidence. We all want to play full out. All of these terms of let’s go to that next level. Truly what happens, and that’s why I call it limitless, is when you are willing to get in touch with the resistance, the disconnect, and the discontent within you, and dig into what that is and stop resisting it, your next level is limitless because you’re not bogged down by those negative emotions.

It’s so interesting because as humans, we only have so many hours in the day, and we only have so much energy to expend. If we’re expending our energy on trying to keep ourselves lifted up because we have to fight the anchors that are pulling us down, that’s an energy drain that we cannot use in other ways. We cannot use them to create freedom, success and love. We’re using them to fight anger and to carry that around. When we’re able to release those inner states of fear or whatever, then we release a lot of energy to focus on the things that we want. The one thing I strongly believe, I’d love to hear your feedback on this, is all of our emotions teach us something. They show us where the discontent is.

I believe that we have a right to all of those feelings. If we’re angry, in despair, having a bad day, or if someone died, we’re having a bad month, we have a right to all of those emotions, but we don’t have to live in those emotions. What I say is honor them, feel them, live in them for a little while, but don’t make them your home. You want to make your home those inner states that support your joy, success, and freedom. Do you agree with me on that? 

I do, and to go into a little more detail of my thoughts on it is especially as women, we are told what it means to be a good girl. We’re taught that a good girl doesn’t show if she’s upset. That’s part of the problem why both men and women have difficulty not making it their emotional home because we’re taught so much in society that, “You don’t feel it. Who has time for that? Put it in this file over here.” That is that heavy shackle on us that doesn’t allow us to create a new emotional home. If we can just see it, allow it, feel it, and sometimes you don’t even know how to feel it because we’re so ingrained to escape, distract ourselves, go over here. The problem is that the monster keeps getting bigger and bigger, and it starts to bring all of its friends. I agree with you.

Tell us a little bit about the Triple Threat System.  

REW 48 | Inner Feminine

Inner Feminine: Although discontent may look like something to overcome, it is actually the biggest gift because it has come to show you the way.

 

The Triple Threat System is something I use every day, and something that I contribute much of my success to because it’s given me that foundation. In many ways, a quick process to go through if time is short or if I have all the time in the world. It’s very versatile in that way. There are three steps, thus the name Triple Threat System. The first step is to take three conscious breaths. When I say conscious breaths, I mean to set a timer on your phone for three minutes and take deep inhalations, and try to make your exhalations longer. If you can, double the count of the first inhalation. It would be breathing in deep for two counts. You count in your mind and then exhale for four. That would be double. Do that for three minutes. That’s step one of the Triple Threat System. Once you do that, what you’ve done is you’ve created very calm soil to then plant what the contents are of step two, which is to write down three things you’re grateful for.

Sometimes it’s like, “I don’t know what I can come up with.” Think about the last 24 hours. Think about simple things that you’re grateful for like you could brush your teeth this morning, that you can walk down the hallway. Sometimes the simpler, the better to start because our mind is conditioned to look for what’s wrong. When you can start the day with that calm first step of a clear mind, that first batch of seeds that you plant are those of gratitude, then it’s a prime foundation to go into step three, which is focusing on your short and long-term goals. My three short three long-term goals. What that does is it sets you up for the day. It prepares you no matter what comes your way. It also keeps your short and long-term goals front of mind. What I love about that is, we need to constantly be asking ourselves if my vision is current.

When you’re that in touch with short and long-term goals, you’re able to adjust as life evolves. You could be in the middle of a pursuit of a goal and decide that, “This isn’t what I want anymore,” and change course. That’s the Triple Threat System. You can do it in ten minutes. You could also stretch it out to 30 if you want to do a little bit longer breathing. What I love about it is that no matter how much time you have, it’s very adaptable.

I love how simple it is. I want to say, ladies, so much of the time when I talk to you, one of the questions that I get, or one of the comments that I get a lot of is, “I don’t have a lot of time and I want easy systems to be able to fit into a little bit of a time that I’ve got.” If I give an easy system, something like the Triple Threat that’s very simplified. We’ve all heard a lot of these components in different shows and different places. You’re like, “That’s too simple. I’ve heard that before. I need something that’s going to be a little bit more effective than that.” You’re not alone, ladies, if you’ve had those thoughts. I’ve had those thoughts too. 

The thing is that until you try it and implement it for a significant period of time, and I’m talking like a month, you’re not going to know what the results are. Just because it’s simple does not mean that it’s not powerful. The simpler it is, the more implementable it is, the more powerful it is. You do need to do it. You have to take action. We talk about action all the time. You have to do it and give it a chance to work. I want to say that I love this. We’ve had a lot of people come onto the show and talk about morning routines. I’ve talked about morning routines, but Stacy is giving you something super easy and super implementable. 

You can do it in five minutes, or you can do it in 30 minutes, and just because it’s simple does not mean that it’s not powerful. I would encourage you to write down her three steps, and then implement them into your life for the next 30 days to see if they work for you. Everybody is different. Different things work for each of us in different ways. You might want to change your route. You might want to implement it a little bit differently but first, you try it her way. I love how simplified that says, so thank you for that, Stacy.  

One thing that I do too is I look at this as that foundation. I said that multiple times. What’s great about it is that it’s very easy to add an accessory to it. Maybe you want to work on another aspect. Keeping that in mind is something that I’ll do when time is allotted. I like to have that go-to. If I can find ten minutes anywhere, no matter how crazy the day is, it’s nice to have that go-to no matter what.

Inner connection is the missing ingredient to whole life success. Click To Tweet

We’re going to talk more about how she fits this into her life and the actual implementation of this into her life. I’m excited about that in EXTRA. Let’s talk a little bit about EXTRA. We’re going to talk more about the Triple Threat System. We’re also going to talk specifically more about real estate. One of the things that Stacy and I talked about before was when people see a property online, they think it looks like a good deal, but it’s important that we go through the numbers. We take a look at, is it a good deal on the balance sheet? I always say to you, ladies, that our business in real estate investing is a people business, but the numbers have to work for us to get to the people part. Stacy is going to go through in EXTRA how to validate a property if you think it’s a great deal, how do you go through and make sure that it is? Those are the couple of things we’re going to be talking about in EXTRA. Do you want to add anything, Stacy? 

I’m very excited about both of those. I didn’t talk about this in the pre-show, but I do have a special tool that I’m going to share with you to share with your EXTRA people that helps validate that investment at a deeper level. It’s a simple Excel spreadsheet that works every time. That’s my gift to you.

That’s for the EXTRA portion of the show. We’ve talked a lot about being limitless, inner states, and all of that stuff. What would you say is the missing ingredient for a whole life success?

Much of it is related to what we’ve talked about that we’ve lost that connection. The missing piece is connection. It sounds very simple, but it’s profound. We’re in a society, in a world that’s more connected than ever technology-wise, but leaving us feeling more disconnected than ever. The missing ingredient being connection, it means first and foremost, connecting to yourself and being able to utilize that not just in the personal development side of things. What we’ve talked about thus far, but also connecting to yourself when you have a gut feeling about something, analyzing your business. Connecting to your source is also what I mean. That is that missing ingredient to a whole life success. When you understand that you no longer have to rely on external feedback to justify how you’re feeling or your thoughts about something, the power goes from 5 to 50, as far as that. It’s an immediate increase in your ability to take action, follow through, and achieve your goals.

Thank you so much for that. It is true and even the client relationships or tenant relationships we fail, and I fall into this. I’m a little bit surprised to watch myself sometimes because I feel like the relationships in my life are everything. Those are the things that have been the reason for my success. Even then, there’s an awful lot of texting that happens. That could be a phone call that creates a connection or a visit to the house or something like that. Communication has become so easy that it’s allowing us to not make it a priority or not give it the attention it deserves. 

One thing that we’re implementing within the team is the rule that a connection is not an email or text. It’s only a phone call, and that it’s an adjustment. It’s a reminder to be more mindful of more than anything. People are craving for connection right now. That alone can be your differentiator, by reaching out instead of doing what everyone else is doing, which is relying on technology.

Could you tell everybody how they can meet you? 

Yes. Because my last name is so challenging to say, everyone calls me Stacy B. My website is the best way to get in touch with me. That is LimitlessWithStacyB.com.

Are you ready for the three rapid-fire questions?

Yes, I was born ready.

Could you tell us one super tip on getting started investing in real estate?

The biggest thing is to do the homework and the research. What I mean by that is go and connect with a lender because a lot of times, we let the lack of knowledge in something hold us back. We think that we need to wait until we do X, Y, or Z. I can’t tell you how many times I have experienced and clients might have experienced going and doing that research, getting different opinions on the lending side has opened up an opportunity to take action on an investment property. The biggest thing is if you are interested in real estate, get in touch with a professional, a mortgage professional, or a real estate professional that you know because you would be surprised at how empowered you can be so quickly. Let’s say you can’t get the loan, or it’s not a good time. You can make a very aggressive plan to prepare for whatever it is you need to complete to be able to qualify.

What would you say is one strategy on being successful in real estate investing? 

The biggest strategy is to go for it. The only thing that a seller or someone else can say is no if they don’t accept your offer. Don’t be afraid to make ten different offers. Throw that net out to see who bites, depending on the product. That’s one way, but another way is don’t be afraid to pursue a property. Although it doesn’t happen as much right now, it will happen again. If it is overpriced, going in $50,000, $100,000 low with the justification of how you arrived at those numbers. All they can say is no. I’ve had so many times where they came down to almost the price that we offered. The biggest thing is to pursue it and don’t be afraid of that rejection.

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

It’s my morning routine. With that though, it’s that Triple Threat System and it’s also incorporating at least ten minutes of reading my workouts, and my time with my Earl Grey tea, which is my favorite beverage.

REW 48 | Inner Feminine

Inner Feminine: We’re in a society that’s more connected than ever technology-wise, but it’s also leaving us feeling more disconnected than ever.

 

Stacy, this has been so much fun. Thank you so much for everything you’ve offered on this portion of the show.

Thank you so much for the opportunity. It’s been a pleasure.

Ladies, thank you for joining Stacy for this portion of the show. If you’re not subscribed to EXTRA but would like to be, you can go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com, and you get the first seven days for free. You can get this EXTRA. You can get a ton of other EXTRAs. I’ve got more than 50 up there, so you can binge on those and see if it’s for you. If you want to stay subscribed, you can. If not, you’ve got a lot of good content so check it out. Thank you so much for joining us. You know how much I appreciate you. I look forward to seeing you next time and until then, remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action, and create a life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon.

Important Links:

About Stacy Bahrenfuss

REW 48 | Inner FeminineStacy is the owner of a 7-figure real estate company, and Founder of The Truth Teachers™ and Ultimate Breakthrough Accelerator™. Her programs consist of intuitive 1:1 consulting, group coaching, and an exclusive certification program.

Stacy began her entrepreneurial journey in the real estate industry at the early age of 19, sustained through the housing crisis of 2007-2010, and continued to build the business to be a 7-figure operation and one of the top real estate teams in the state of Idaho.

In 2018, Stacy personally funded and sold a development project consisting of 11 upper-tier luxury homes while still operating her real estate team. Her husband runs the operations of the real estate team today, while Stacy resides in an Advisory role.

Stacy is on a mission to smash the shackles of suffering by shining a light on the truth so that her clients can achieve everything they want. Her programs serve as a catalyst for deep inner transformation to create lasting whole life success, and how to do it all from a limitless, beautiful inner state.

Stacy is a recipient of a 2020 Gold Stevie Award in Consumer services with 10 or less employees.

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Join the Real Estate Investing for Women Community today:

______________________________________

To listen to the EXTRA portion of this show go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com

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Making Multi-Family Investing Work with Sri Latha

Today I’d like to welcome to the show our guest Sri Latha!

About Sri Latha

Sri is a business leader with over 6+ years in the Credit Scoring Industry and over 6+ years in the Real Estate industry. As a former data scientist for FICO, building FICO scores for banks all over the world, Sri has extensive knowledge and experience with the mortgage loan process, allowing her to educate and support her clients as they pursue their dream to own property.

An investor in Silicon Valley, Sri has actively invested in commercial multi-family properties since 2014 with outstanding results. Sri shares her insights, resources and strategies, taking the fear out of real estate investment for both first-time and seasoned investors alike. Her specialties include Real Estate, Statistical Modeling, Credit Score, Business Strategy, Business Development, Analytical Realtor.

In this episode of EXTRA we talked about:

  • Dive deep to look at exactly how to make the strategies work in more detail.

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Finding Financial Freedom Through Multifamily Investing With Sri Latha – Real Estate For Women

REW 47 Sri Latha | Multifamily Investing

 

To become a successful real estate investor, you must employ some strategies, one of which is to invest in multifamiliesMoneeka Sawyer’s guest today is Sri Latha, an expert investor in commercial multifamily properties. Sri gives us an outline of how she gained outstanding results in a short period. Join in the conversation and find out why multifamilies remain lucrative even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you are a new or seasoned investor, Sri will inspire you to dive right into real estate after listening to this episode! 

Listen to the podcast here:

Finding Financial Freedom Through Multifamily Investing With Sri Latha – Real Estate For Women 

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am so excited to welcome Sri Latha to our show. Sri is a Business Leader with a few years in the credit scoring and real estate industry. As a former Data Scientist for FICO, building FICO scores for banks all over the world, Sri has extensive knowledge and experience with the mortgage loan process, allowing her to educate and support her clients as they pursue their dreams to own a property. She is an investor in Silicon Valley like me. She has actively invested in commercial, multifamily properties since 2014 with outstanding results. Sri showher insights, resources and strategies, taking the fear out of real estate investing for both first-time and seasoned investors alike. Her specialties include real estate statistical modeling, credit score, business strategy, business development and analytical real estate. Hello thereSri. How are you? Welcome to the show. 

MoneekaI’m so happy to be here. 

We finally meet. We’re going to have to do that in person since we’re both local and so excited.  

That’s exactly what I was going to say, too. Someday, we’ll get to see facetoface. 

Sri, tell us a little bit about the high level of your story. What brought you to real estate? 

My real estate journey started with a personal, notsonice story. My husband got pretty sick in 2010. He found himself unable to walk one fine day. He couldn’t go to work. We were scaredIt turned out he had an autoimmune disease that we were able to cure and maintain. It took a while but he’s 99% better now. That lit a fire in our bellies to get something moving in the event that something didn’t happen to him. We got into real estate with that intention. We wanted financial freedom. We wanted the ability to have him either reduce his work or stop working if it came down to that. It never did. On the other hand, our real estate investing took off. We started in 2014. It did well for us. We’ve been growing that business ever sinceIn 2018, I stopped working and I’ve been doing full-time real estate. 

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You never hope that anybody ever goes through that level of trauma. It shows us who we are. It shows us how strong we are and what we’re capable of. It lights a fire under us like nothing else can. I‘m glad you came out on the other side with so much success. I’m glad he’s doing well. 

That was always the most important part. Once we established that he would be getting better and he did and then we supercharged our real estate stuff towards that goal. Unlike my peersI’m still in my 30s, it feels like, “How did you even think about this stuff that early?” It’s simply because we were put in that situation where it made us think that far ahead.  

Tell us a little bit about your strategy. I know that you live in Silicon ValleyYou’re 10, 5 miles away from me. We’re in a similar market. The ladies that are reading know that I do executive properties. They also know that we play mostly or I for appreciation. I usually cut even and then I play for appreciation here. I’m making some shifts for cashflow now as I’m thinking about retirement. My strategy is in transition. Normallywe don’t talk about cashflow in Silicon Valley and yet you do it. Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing in this highcost of living area to make that happen.  

When I started, I bought into that narrative as well, which was, “You can‘t cashflow in California. What are you trying to do with apartments?” Cashflow is tied to the value of the apartment. It’s all connected. I first started my investing career out of state and then I brought my money back to California. Even I couldn’t afford California when I first started. I took my money out of state, doubled it in a year and a half and then brought back enough about $700,000, which I then invested into an apartment here in California. To answer your question, the strategy that I‘d use is I buy in rentcontrolled markets. Historically, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, they were all rentcontrolled for decades.  

There are apartments that are way below current market rents. An apartment now in Oakland, a one-bedroom is paid $2,500Oakland has been historically rentcontrolledProbably, a onebedroom is at $600, $700, way below where the market is. The strategy involves buying an older, valueadd apartment, which has work that needs to be done. Talk to the tenants and negotiate what I call Cash for KeysIt has been used all over the country. It’s an agreement between the landlord and the tenant to pay an agreed-upon sum of money in return for an empty apartment 

You talk to the tenant. If they’re willing to talk to you then you come to an agreement on what amount of money would be paid for leaving the apartment. Once you do that, you would draft up a piece of paper that says that. You pay them the money. You are left with an empty apartment that you can now renovate and put it back on the market at that $2,500There are lenders who will lend you both on the renovation, purchase and the Cash for Keys. They’ll even pay you the amount of money you need to pay the tenant. 

What if a tenant says no?  

If they say no, it’s a no. There’s nothing you can do. You can wait six months and then you can go back and initiate a conversation. What I recommend is while you’re in contract on a property to start the conversation so you know how many people are likely to move out. If you are not going to make the cutoff to make your numbers work then back out of the deal. If you are able to hit the numbers that you’re looking for then you move on. When I started, I did not have this piece of information so I took a chance. What I found is as you buy more and more number of units, about half the units tend to turn. People are willing to move out and all of that good stuffI recommend folks to talk to the tenants while you’re in contract to know for sure where you’re going to land with that. 

Fifty percent is enough to make the numbers work. Is that true? 

It is enoughin most casesIt’s case by case. In most cases, 50% is enough. 

Talk to me a little bit more about the valueadds that you put in. 

I do heavy lifting valueadd, which means I gut the whole unit. Historically, I’ve had success with converting studios to 1bedrooms, 1bedrooms to 2bedrooms. We live in such a dense area, you can get a significant bump up in rent if you did that even if it’s a small onebedroom. My studios are probably 475, 450 square feet. I was still able to add a bedroom by removing the kitchen. If you think of an older apartment, kitchens used to be a separate room. People don’t want that anymore. They want the open kitchen floor plan. We moved the kitchen into the living room, took some of the square footage that was previously a kitchen, added some more from the living space and then made a separate bedroom. That allows us to bump up rents $300 more than what I would have gotten for a studio. 

I know this number is not correct but I’m going to give some examples to keep it easy. You’ve got a studio that should rent for $1,000. Maybe it’s renting for $500. You do Cash for Keys to get them out. Normally, you could do a basic cosmetic refurb and get people in for $1,000 just by doing that. Now, you cut even on your Cash for Keys. If you gave them $2,000 to move out, now you’re up in here than at four months. You’re getting better range. You can refinance from there. However, you’re not even stopping there. You’re turning that studio that would normally go for $1,000 into a onebedroom. It might go for $1,500 to increasing your rent significantly more, correct? 

That’s exactly right. It still ends up being a junior onebedroom. You may not get the $1,500 but you’ll get $1,400 or $1,350. It’s still a significant amount on top of what you were expecting to get. Usually, a city does not have a problem with that kind of conversion because you’re not increasing the square footage at all of the unit. You’re just changing the interiors. Once you establish that with one of your units, you can now do that for the rest of them. 

You do need to get city approval for all of that stuff. How big are the communities you‘re buying? What are the apartment building sizes usually? 

REW 47 Sri Latha | Multifamily Investing

Multifamily Investing: It all starts with a good broker who then refers you to the right people.

 

Usually, I buy 12 to 20. That’s the range that is the sweet spot. I do sometimes buy portfolios of smaller properties. If someone wants to unload say 3, 4 or 5 units, I might buy those as well. I found over the last few years from my experience that I prefer the big one, as opposed to many small ones. It takes away from your mental capacity to manage five as opposed to managing one. 

Also, with lending, when you buy a portfolio, do they lend on the whole portfolio? Do you have to get each one separately? 

They do lend on the portfolio. It’s a little bit more complicated when you sell it off piecemeal. There are some nuances there for sure. I tend to use hard money lenders when I buy in California. Those are the lenders who would finance a property that is so under market, where the rents are so terrible and no one else would put a bank loan on it. The hard money lenders are the ones who would finance either distressed properties or properties that are severely under market. 

What kind of terms do you get with them? Do you still do a five-year with them? Do you do a shorter term and then refinance with a normal bank after? 

Correct. It’s shorter term. It’s about a year to eighteen months with an optional extension. The interest rates are 9% to 12%They’re pretty high. The goal after it’s stabilized, you will then refinance with a permanent loan, say years, 10 years, something like that. 

You mentioned something about a hotel conversion. Can you talk to us about what you’re doing around that?  

I’m in contract on a hotel to multifamily conversion out of the state. I’m in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That’s where my property is located. I’m still in contract and yet to close but now we just got financing and all that good stuff in place. That’s exciting. What that strategy is, one, we are in COVID. Hotels are badly hit by COVID. Therefore, there are hotels that are looking for buyers before they go into severe distress. They’re looking for buyers because they anticipate going into distress down as time goes on. We were able to find properties that were already zoned for multifamily. They’re hotel but the land use allows that piece of property to also function as a multifamily property. I only went after those kinds of properties because rezoning, generally speaking, is a nightmare. You don’t want to get caught in that web. 

I went after properties that would allow me to convert to multifamily without that extra work. Once I identified those properties and I called the hotel broker, who did all the talking for me and got us in contract and now I’m putting kitchens in each of those hotel rooms and converting them to studio units. Why this strategy works is I buy a hotel room at $20,000. I put in about $15,000 of work. Now, I’m at $35,000. A multifamily per unit sale price is at $70,000 in that marketI’m buying, finishing and stabilizing every unit at $35,000I get to sell it at $70,000 in a reasonably good location. That’s how that strategy plays out. I’m in the process of doing it. 

Are they condo conversions or apartment conversions? 

They’re not condos. They continue to be multifamily rental apartments. You can condoconvert. One thing that happens a lot in San Francisco and Oakland is you buy a multi and you convert it to condo conversions. The problem with that is condo markets are very volatile. By the time you were converted, it takes about a year and a half to do that. By the time you’re done, you don’t know if the market’s going down or up. With a lot of new construction coming into San Francisco and Oakland, it’s hard to compete with smaller multifamily when they’re looking at nicenew buildings. Condo conversions exist in California. The one I’m targeting is a hoteltoapartment conversion and it cashflows well. It makes a profit on the back end when you sell. 

Why did you not do any of those in the local area? Were they not available? 

There are two aspects of it. One, you need a hotel that’s a little bit older, like built in the 1970s or so. You need an influx of a lot of new hotels in that neighborhood or that citywhere people are not patronizing the old hotel as much and they’re not operating at capacity. The last thing is the zoning needs to lend itself to that conversion. We came across a property that was already zoned in Albuquerque and that’s how the light bulb went off. We pursued that market strongly until we got into contract on one that worked for us. The truth is, zoning is so varied and so incredibly nuanced. It’s very hard to just pick or 10 markets where everything fitsWe’re nearly half nowI’m in the process of digging into particular markets where this zoning is similar to AlbuquerqueNew Mexico where I can then implement this in other markets. 

How do you find your teams and staff in those out-of-state markets? 

When you go out of state, it’s like“You know nobody. How are you going to set things up?” I think it all starts with a good broker. Honestly, from my last experience with investing in Dallas and this experience in Albuquerque, it starts with a good broker who then refers you to the right people. The second is I also happen to be a realtor. I get to dig into like, “Who owns what? Which banks are funding what? Who did which deals?” CoStar has been very helpful in the process of going out of state. Now, I know who are the agents who are doing big deals in that state or who are the agents at least working within the unit sizes that I’m looking for. Who are the banks that are financing these kinds of properties? I know all of that stuff from CoStar. 

CoStar, is that available to people that are not realtors? 

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It is available to investors now but there’s a high price tag on it. Let’s put it that way. It’s a commercial MLS, where all commercial properties show up. If you’ve heard of LoopNet, LoopNet is owned by CoStarCoStar is the parent company. It owns LoopNet. LoopNet previously had a lot of information on it. Once CoStar bought them, they took off a whole bunch like you can‘t find comps and the cap rates. It’s very hard to get information from LoopNet. Now, they want you to buy CoStar and get a license. You have access to a lot of data. They have even cityspecific data like household income. You can sort all over the country by population growth, household income, all of that good stuff. It helps narrow down your out-of-state markets significantly.  

How do you find a good broker out of state? 

I would pick up the phone and call. 

It’s the conversations to find somebody that you feel comfortable with. Is that true? 

No. 

It’s just pick up the phone, make phone calls and then you’ll pick somebody that you feel comfortable with. 

The first initiation is usually they tend to have a listing that’s on the market. You call specific to that listing. You may not end up buying that one but you get in conversation with the broker itself. For multifamily, I also recommend Marcus Millichap. They’re all over the US. They’re a brokerage firm. Someone who’s at the associate or senior associate level tends to be hungrier for newer investors. At that point, they’ll be willing to work for you.  

Tell me a little bit about investing out of state. Like you said, initially, you invested out of state, doubled your money and brought that money back. What were you investing in then? What was the strategy that you were using that you said you doubled your money with? 

The strategy is simple. It’s the valueadd apartment strategy. You buy an apartment that is renting a little bit under where the market is. I would go in there and renovate the units as the lease ends. Whenevethe lease ends, unlike in California where you can’t have your tenants move out at the end of the lease. States outside, which are more landlordfriendly and not rentcontrolled, will allow you to go in there and renovate your units whenever the lease ends. When the lease ends, I would go in there, renovate those units, put in washer dryers, make them more attractive and then put them back on the market at the new rents. 

I did that for all twelve units. In a year and a half, I was done with all twelve of them. I put that property back on the market. These apartments make more income now. The crux of the strategy is that apartments have valued on income. When your net income is now increased, that property is now worth a lot more than when you bought it. The down payment that I put in was about $300,000I walked away with about another $300,000. I walked away with about $700,000 and I brought that back to California. 

This is something I want you ladies to understand. She said something key here. This is something you want to know when you’re looking at value-add and that thing with apartment buildings. We’ve talked about this before on the show. Lending for buildings that are five units or more is based on the rental income. It’s not just the rental income. There is other income. There’s from laundry and other things, parking. There are other places that you can get incomeThe income of the property is what you get your loan based on. It’s not based on your personal credit score or your personal financials. It’s based on the income of the property. That’s the difference between when you’re getting a loan for anything that’s four units or lower or if you’re going for five units or higher. 

That’s exactly right. That makes a huge difference in the valueadd strategy from the point of view of an investor. You now know how to control the value of your property simply by increasing its income or reducing its expense. By doing both, you can now supercharge your investing strategy. You do that on one, you unlock the value on that property. You sell it. You do it again, you unlock the value on that one. If you find yourself in a market that has suddenly turned, you do nothing. You just hold on. It cashflows like it would normally do 

REW 47 Sri Latha | Multifamily Investing

Multifamily Investing: Cashflow is tied to the value of the apartment.

 

You can choose to renovate or hold off on renovations until you’re certain where the market’s going. It lends itself to a safer strategy. The lenders that used in out-of-state markets are the commercial banks, did fund those deals, unlike California where I use those highpriced loans where you‘re forced to refinance, which is much harder. You don’t want to put yourself in that situation. If you’re going out of state, you have way more ability to control the financing aspect of it because you’re now in an apartment that makes money. 

Do you have any other states that you particularly like? Do you just look for specific projects? 

I started out in Texas. That’s always a good oneHalf of California is moving to Texas. Texas is always a good one. Florida is another favorite. The rest is just based on the deal itselfI try to get in contract on the deal. If it looks good on paper, I try to get in the contract firstIt’s either me or my husband who flies out there and looks at the property. 

I have never heard of this particular strategy. Thank you so much for bringing that to my ladies. I know in EXTRA, we’re going to do an even deeper dive. You’ve given some good details on how this works but it is still highlevel. Ladies, she’s going to go into a deeper dive and give us some real specific pieces of the strategy and a breakdown of the numbers so we can see exactly how she’s implementingWe’re going to be talking about that in EXTRA. Stay tuned for that. For now, Sri, tell us how my ladies can get in touch with you. 

I have a website. It’s TheSriLathaGroup.comMy name is Sri Latha. It just goes with that. I’m on Instagram as @BayArea_Multifamily. It’s fairly straightforward. I’m also on Facebook. I have a Facebook group called Bay Area ApartmenInvesting Mastermind. If you’re local to California or any highcost of living area and you want to know the inside strategies or want to ask me a question, you can go on FacebookSearch for Bay Area Apartment Investing Mastermind. You’ll find the group and feel free to talk to me there.  

Thank you so much. I know that you’ve got a free gift also that you wanted to offer my ladies. 

Yes. I do have a link to Apartment Investing Basics video where I go into more details of why apartments are different from four units and under or residential, how to add-value to apartments, how to increase the value of your property specific to apartments and some examples of what I’ve done in the past. 

That’s a Vimeo URLladies. Go ahead and look for that there. Thank you for that. 

Thank you, Moneeka. 

Are you ready for our three rapidfire questions?  

I am. 

Sri, tell us one super tip on getting started investing in real estate. 

The super tip I have for your readers is to not use anybody else’s calculator. That’s how I got startedPut the numbers into a blank Excel spreadsheet. That’s my tip. You will learn so much from doing that. You won’t have any hesitation jumping into a property after you build your calculator. It’s a great way to get started. 

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

My strategy or tip for that is when you’re in your early stages of real estate investing, try to exponentially grow either the number of units or your strategy itself should lend itself to exponential growth. You don’t want to buy one and then never sell it for 30 years. Maybe I’m not talking to the majority of the people out thereI truly believe in growing your strategy exponentially, where you buyunlock the valuesell it and upgrade to bigger and larger number of units. Holding onto one and then saving enough to buy another is going to take forever. I highly recommend exponential growth in the early stages of your real estate investing so that you can cut that 20year time frame to 10 or to even. 

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What is one daily practice that you do, Sri, that you would say contributes to your personal success? 

As a mom of two kids, it has to be my morning routineI wake up before my kids do. Otherwiseyou’re not going to find any time to do anything. My kids are and 4I try to wake up before they dodo some meditation, some affirmations, some journaling. All of that keeps me sane through all of the madness of real estate. 

In my book, Choose Bliss, one of the very first strategies that I talk about for bliss is setting that morning routine. The thing is we all have a morning routine anyways. For most of us, it doesn’t serve our day. It doesn’t set us up for success and bliss. It normally just gets us out the door frenzied. Thank you so much for that. Sri, this has been amazing. Thanks for all that you’ve shared on this portion of the show. 

Thank you so much for having meMoneekaIt’s always fun to talk to you.  

Ladies, thank you for joining Sri and I for this portion of the show. If you are subscribed to EXTRA, stay tuned. We’re going to be talking more deeply about the specifics of this strategy that Sri shared with us. We’re going to get more specifics on how to create the strategy, implement the strategy and also some more of the numbers to hash that out for us. I’m excited about that. If you’re not subscribed to EXTRA but would like to be, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com. You‘ll get the first seven days for free. Come check us out. If you don’t love it, you don’t have to subscribe. For those of you that are leaving us now, thank you so much for joining Sri and I for this portion of the show. I appreciate you and I can’t wait to see you next time. Until then, remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon. Bye. 

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About Sri Latha

REW 47 Sri Latha | Multifamily InvestingSri is a business leader with over 6+ years in the Credit Scoring Industry and over 6+ years in the Real Estate industry. As a former data scientist for FICO, building FICO scores for banks all over the world, Sri has extensive knowledge and experience with the mortgage loan process, allowing her to educate and support her clients as they pursue their dream to own property.

An investor in Silicon Valley, Sri has actively invested in commercial multi-family properties since 2013 with outstanding results. Sri shares her insights, resources and strategies, taking the fear out of real estate investment for both first-time and seasoned investors alike.

As a wife, mother of two and resident of the Willow Glen area of San Jose since 2008. In her free time, Sri loves Bikram Yoga and hiking with her dog and her family.

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