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Syndication Series #5: Scaling A Multifamily Portfolio With Liz Faircloth

REW 87 | Scaling Multifamily

 

Multifamily is the ultimate goal of many real estate investors in America. Achieving the dream is possible, but how about scaling? That’s where Moneeka will help as she discusses scaling multifamily investments with the cofounder of the DeRosa Group and the Real Estate InvestHER community, Liz Faircloth. Liz talks about getting into real estate, how she and her husband pivoted into multifamily, and what you need to know about out of state investing. Learn more from Liz and Moneeka about the multifamily market by tuning in.

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Syndication Series #5: Scaling A Multifamily Portfolio With Liz Faircloth

Real Estate Investing for Women

In this episode, I am so excited to welcome to the show, Liz Faircloth. She Cofounded the DeRosa Group in 2005 with her husband, Matt. The DeRosa Group, based in Trenton, New Jersey, is an owner of commercial and residential property with a mission to transform lives through real estate. DeRosa has vast experience in bringing properties to their highest and best value, which includes repositioning single-family homes, multifamily, apartment buildings, mixed-use, retail and office space.

The company controls close to 1,000 units of residential and commercial assets throughout the East Coast. Liz is the Cofounder of The Real Estate InvestHER community, a platform to empower women to live a financially free and balanced life through over 25 Meetups across the US and Canada, an online community and membership that offers accountability and mentorship for women to take their businesses to the next level.

She is the co-host of The Real Estate InvestHER Show, which I will be on too. They published their first book, The Only Woman in the Room: Knowledge and Inspiration From 20 Women Real Estate Investors. Liz has been interviewed for many articles and top-rated podcasts, including mine, including being a two-time guest on the top-rated BiggerPockets Podcast and the Best Ever Show. On the personal side, Liz is an avid runner, has completed several triathlons and marathons, has two adorable children and is a New York Mets fan. Liz, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me.

It’s nice to see you again. You and Andresa do so much cool stuff with the investor community. I love what you’re doing together, but I haven’t gotten to chat with you about what you’re doing. Why don’t you give us a high-level version of your story of how you got interested in real estate and what your path has been?

It wasn’t a linear path. My husband and I at the time had started dating. Before we started dating, I was in graduate school for Social Work. I got my Master’s in Social Work, wanted to open my practice and help people. That’s always been my passion. I grew up in a great family but middle-class family. My dad was a school teacher. I was never introduced to entrepreneurs or investors. That wasn’t in my sphere of any context growing up. Hard work ethic was there, but certainly the business piece of it, I was not familiar with or didn’t have a lot of exposure.

Until I met my brother-in-law, who was an entrepreneur, started a business and handed me Rich Dad Poor Dad. I’m 23 at the time. He’s like, “You got to read this.” I liked personal growth books. I started in college reading different books and always enjoyed them. I liked learning and growing. I’m a dork in college. I’m reading Awaken the Giant Within and everyone’s like, “What are you reading?” I’m like, “I don’t like fiction.” I still don’t like fiction. I have to learn something from it.

Long story short, I read that. My eyes were open to this idea of passive income. I honestly never heard of that before like, “I can have money working for me, not me working for money.” It was a whole new opened my eye concept, which I know a lot of people have said, but what got us involved, I then started dating my now-husband. We lived about two hours from each other. Every weekend we’d go to all the REIA meetings and start learning.

Make sure you’re mitigating risk for yourselves, but most importantly, your investors.

We’re in our twenties and didn’t know anything. We didn’t have any money to invest, but we said, “Let’s just give this a go.” We start taking courses. They told you to like the door knock. This was before Facebook Marketplace. It was literally opening the newspaper, go to the foreign ads and calling tired landlords. That was the million-dollar tip we got at one of the events. That’s what we did.

Every weekend, literally, we are knocking on doors, right outside of Philadelphia, where my husband lived when I visited him. One day, we got someone to say, “That’s interesting. Let me think about that.” We called them back and struck up a deal. A year into us taking courses, door knocking, cold calling and bootstrap whatever we could do, we struck up a deal and bought our first property. It was a duplex for $150,000. We learned everything on that property. We’d go with people.

When you buy a property, the tenants that are there may not be your tenants ongoing because of a new sheriff’s in town. We learned the whole multifamily. It opened our eyes. It was only multis in this neighborhood. It wasn’t like we chose a duplex. It just happened because it was older homes right outside of Philadelphia. There were only duplexes and small multis. Long story short, we got our start there, we moved to New Jersey and started our business. We focused on New Jersey in buying properties there.

We sold that property and did a 1031 into a four-unit and then that started our trajectory in New Jersey. Over many years I’ve been doing this, we had lots of twists and turns. I wished we focused on multi, but we didn’t. We got involved in a lot of different things early on, like people who get distracted as they do and people that are probably a little naive, little young as well, can do. We flipped houses.

We got into tax liens. We bought a commercial building. We bought raw land. Every random thing you could possibly think of, we probably have done it until we doubled down on multifamily. Our business is focused on multifamily. We went from a 2-duplex to a 10-unit. We grew very steadily. We didn’t go from a 2- to a 200-unit. We did, but over time and now we focus on larger multis and we’re starting a fund where we’re investing with other operators and things of that sort.

We’re diversifying a little bit outside of multi but more from a fund perspective. I’m involved in that, not day-to-day but more from like strategic level, helping build our team out and exciting to be able to invest in different sectors of real estate, not just multifamily, but we love multifamily. We have a letter of intent on a property in the Southeast, which is where we focused on.

Tell me a little bit more about this fund. Let’s dive a little deeper into that.

REW 87 | Scaling Multifamily

The Only Woman in the Room: Knowledge and Inspiration from 20 Women Real Estate Investors

With regards to the fund, we talk to people all the time. People are like, “This sounds like a great opportunity for a passive investor.” You’re like, “I don’t have a building. I don’t have anything under contract right now.” We refer them. We know a lot of people we like and respect in the business. We have no problem with that. There’s a lot of good syndicators out there.

We wanted to have another flavor of ice cream if you will. The fund will obviously be an ongoing rolling fund and it will give investors what we’re going to invest in and all things that we know and that we’ve vetted. We’re not going to start investing in a business that we have no idea about because that’s a whole other level. It’s like mitigating risk. We want to mitigate your risks. You want to make sure you’re mitigating risk for yourselves, but most importantly, your investors.

Hard money loans will be one. We’re going to start to work with hard money operators that we like and respect, that we know to do good business. We were not the hard money lenders. They are and we’re going to do that. Multifamily will be a piece of it. If we have a project that comes up, we’re going to almost invest in our own projects. That will be a piece of it. Those are the two main pieces.

I want to say, even self-storage, there have been operators. That might be another sector. It will be all related to investing in real estate on some level, but it will be in a way that we are not the sole operators of everything. That’s where, as we evolve, it’s like, you don’t want to do everything yourself. Once you figure that out, you got to focus on that. That’s what that looks like. We’re building out a team and that’s been in the making for some time, but that’s the goal.

I’m so fascinated by that idea because I feel like for me too, there’s something that I do well. I do executive homes in Silicon Valley. I’ve got my entire system. It’s all built out. It runs itself. I don’t worry too much about it. I was telling you before that I’m taking all of May off for my birth month because that’s where my birthday is. We’re traveling to Hawaii and going to a spa in Palm Springs with my sister.

I get to have that lifestyle. It is fantastic. I’m not particularly interested in working significantly more. I do get bored because we have construction projects. We have some other stuff going on so that my entrepreneurial mind doesn’t slow down or get bored. What is happening is I’ve found several different syndicators doing different things. I’ve invested in storage, multifamily and a variety of different things like what you were talking about.

I don’t know how this is going to work for you guys, but every single time I invest, it’s a minimum of $100,000. That’s great for us because we have that money. We’re looking to retire. We’re moving that way, but not everybody who’s reading to this show has access to $100,000 for this and that. They want to be able to diversify without spending that much money. What is that fund look like for you? Is there going to be a minimum investment? Have you worked that out? What does that look like?

One organization we’ve started working with is called Republic. Basically, what they do is, in essence, have a similar type of approach in that people could invest $10,000, even down to $1,000. Don’t quote me on that but I’m not familiar. What’s fascinating though if that for our last syndication, it was a 336-unit apartment building. To your point, our minimum was $50,000 on that project. Not everyone has that, but they want to invest in real estate.

Don’t do everything yourself. Do what you do and do it well.

We found this company and what basically they’re doing is they’re the investor in that project, but they’re the ones going out to the accredited investors because it was the accredited investors to then say, “We are all pooling all this money to gather,” then they are the investor in that project with us. Just so Jane Doe, who’s got a $1,000, they’re all pooled in this together in this company called Republic. Republic is ultimately the investor, if that makes sense. It was really cool because that was the first time we’d ever done that because we thought about it. We have a 336-unit apartment complex. We had close to 80 investors. It’s a lot of people and that’s even at a minimum of $50,000.

You had some people who put a $500,000 and some people put any amount. There’s a lot of money assigned. I’m the cheapest person. I would be putting $1,000 at anything. I’m like, “That’s me. I’m in that kind of money.” I know. I get it. That was interesting. We were pleased to see that. It’s a neat approach. That’s the future, to be honest, because I love that concept and I was intrigued by it. As we do other deals, we’re going to be working with them. I’m not sure the relationship exactly and how that’s going to play out in the fund, but those are the neat example for our last syndication that gave everyone the opportunity and that’s cool.

Are they more of crowd funders, syndicators or do you have any idea of their structure? I’m interested.

I’m not too sure which level they are. I heard about it conceptually and was intrigued, but I know that they’ve been around and they’re not just at the start of the company. There are a lot of different pieces around it to ensure how you do it because some funds are accredited and not accredited. There is an of legal stuff and a lot of money to the SEC attorneys and all that kind of stuff.

I know this is a project we advertised because we only accepted accredited. It’s a project that you can’t solicit. It’s illegal to do that. We have these other projects from friends and family, but I know with this particular project, we advertise because we only accepted accredited. It’s a neat approach, but I’m happy to get more info.

Let’s put our heads together. I’d love to know a little bit more about that because I’m always looking for ways. When I get phone calls from my ladies, when they say, “I’ve only got this much, what can we do to that, for that and with that to benefit them in the biggest way?” Another topic that I’m getting a lot for my ladies is this idea of out-of-state investing, especially here in California. There are a lot of markets where people feel like, “I can’t invest in my backyard.” They’re scared to go out of state. I know that you do a lot of multifamily out of state. Let’s talk a little bit about that, share your perspective and how to look for projects and stuff like that.

For our first seven years, we invested locally. We don’t invest more than 30 minutes away. We had a team. We had a leasing agent. We had our bookkeeper who did all the accounting. We have a tenant relations person and a maintenance person. We had literally four people on our staff besides my husband and me, helping us manage our local properties. We bought a property in Philadelphia, which was an 18-unit and now it was 35 units. It’s like, “We can still do it.” The market shifted. I’m in the Northeast and New Jersey is not the most favorable state on taxes in this country. Even in Philadelphia, the projects that we were looking at were getting outbid.

REW 87 | Scaling Multifamily

Scaling Multifamily: We’re not going to start investing in a business that we have no idea, because that’s a whole another level.

 

It was getting more expensive and we raised money. We work with investors. The returns are important to ensure that we’re going to get into the right project. We’re not just parking millions of dollars from a relative. we’re constantly looking at, “How are we going to get into the right area for our investment goals and our investors?” A broker had brought the same broker. That’s the first thing I’d say as a good tip is to start building relationships with commercial brokers.

Sometimes it’s tough, especially now. You think about a hot market. Everyone’s calling commercial brokers saying, “I invest in multifamily. Do you have anything for me? You and 90 million other people.” You got to like differentiate. Keep that in mind too. We had closed that eighteen-unit with the same broker who called us about a property in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, which is about an hour and a half from where we were living at the time.

He said, “Are you interested?” We like, “One hour and a half, we’re not going to send our leasing agent there. We’re not sending our maintenance person there. We need to look into property management companies.” After betting the deal and that’s a great story in and of itself. The first domino always is a good property management company. You’re going to need that. Some people successfully invest in properties and they self-manage the properties. I’ve heard of it. I know a lot of women who do it successfully.

We knew at a 49-unit, it wasn’t going to be our best strategy. We knew it was going to be important to have a local property management company. Why I say that’s a great person to have on your team? Let’s say your sourcing an area in Alabama or wherever you’re sourcing deals. Before even looking for property, start getting to know the property management companies there because that’s going to follow.

If you cannot find a property management company in a geographical area, that might be a sign for a lot of reasons that something is off. Even with Airbnb, I know that’s very hot vacation rentals and luxury vacation rentals or whatever the people are interested in. If it’s a hot area, there are people managing in that hot area. That’s a great source and a great team member to start to talk to. Number one, they know the area, what streets are good or aren’t good? What areas are up and coming? What areas are just too hot and too expensive because we know that’s the case.

In it exuberant, everywhere is like, “Hold on. What do you want?” On my way to Target, at the end of the day, you’re a real estate investor. You never turn it off. I saw a lot for sale. I’m tangent. I saw a sign that said For Sale and a handwritten phone number. I’m like, “That’s a good sign.” It’s a great area and what county where I live. I’m like, “That’s an interesting area.” I texted the person. I said, “How much is the lot? What’s the size?” All the things you ask. “We’ve done a bit of new construction a time, but we could probably pull it off $250,000.” I’m like, “I don’t even know if you’d get $500,000 for the property. That’s just for the lot.”

People are not even with their prices. Going back to out of state, property management companies are helpful to have on your team. What commercial brokers care about is if you’ve closed deals. They do not want to work with people who are going to get to the finish line and not be able to pull the money together because they want their commission. That’s what they care about.

Beyond everything else you want to talk about with them, they care about if you’ve closed with them or with anyone of them. If you or someone on your core team has closed deals that you’re looking for. If you’re looking at 100-unit, you better have someone that you’re bringing to the table that, “This is the kind of team we have and we’ve done. This is what we’ve closed.”

The idea of the diversity of jobs is even more important than job growth.

That is what they’re thinking right now when you call them. This broker brought us this project and we started to talk to property management companies in the area. What helped and I’d always say this, is if you have somebody in your family or network who lives in the area, it is helpful. You don’t need to have a degree in real estate. They don’t have to have ten years of investing.

If you have some boots on the ground and feet on the street, people that aren’t just property management because our property management company is a vendor, we always like to offer our property management companies potential ownership in the building. Every time we buy a building and we say, “We’re syndicating this. Would you like to own part of it as well?”

It’s not the best sign if they’re like, “No.” Even if they put $25,000 and maybe they think that’s chump change. Most of all the property management companies we’ve worked with have invested in our deals. That’s a good sign. That’s skin in the game, so to speak. I would say the second, start to look at, “Is this an up-and-coming area? Do I know anyone in my network that can help me? Is there a reason to go there? Do I want to go there?” If you’re going to invest in an area that those are questions to ask. If I have to now get on a plane, is that on the way to my aunt or my parents? Is this an area where my kid’s going to college for the next four years?

I don’t know, but make it make sense versus an area that literally you know no one. That can work, but if you can blend a few things in there and it is an up-and-coming area, you’re going to want somebody that’s 10 to 15 minutes from the property, whether it’s a realtor, you got to pay them hourly. If you can’t get there, someone needs to get there because fires happen. Things happen. We have a cousin in this area, Lancaster.

When we’re looking at it, we’re like, “What do you think?” He’s an investor, which was even better, but he was able to be our boots on the ground. He’s part of our general partner. It has been huge. We had a fire there years ago. We want to be to make sure everyone’s okay. We couldn’t be in one hour and a half. The fire is probably going to throw a little more damage than ten minutes.

You said so much there, but a couple of things that I want to highlight is I think that people think that you hear about an amazing market and you should just invest in there. I remember before 2008, in the mid-2000s, everybody was in Henderson, Nevada, outside Las Vegas. I have close friends who are all invested. There was also Florida and Chicago.

Those were some big hubs where they were marketing to investors from out of state, especially California, because California had a bunch of equity and wasn’t working for us. Everybody could get loans by just stating things, so there were these pockets that were trending. People were making money hand over fist.

REW 87 | Scaling Multifamily

Scaling Multifamily: You’re going to need a good property management company if you’re investing out of state.

 

I thought I always play the longer trend. I don’t play the short short-term trends. I will admit I would probably be a lot richer if I got that right more often, but there are so many people that get that wrong. Part of it is they didn’t do some of the things that you talk about. It wasn’t a place that I would ever want to visit. It wasn’t a place on the way to anything Las Vegas, Chicago or Florida. A lot of people didn’t have that mentality of, “Would I want to go there? Would I vacation there? Would I want to live there? Would I want my kids to go to college there? Is there any reason for me to go there?”

Even in Henderson, it’s not like people were like, “I’d like to have something in Henderson because I like to go to Las Vegas.” It was, “I’m investing in Henderson because everybody else is investing in Henderson.” I love how you talk about this, especially in your first few deals. This is hugely important is as you’re getting to know what this is like, the very first time you step out of state, you don’t want it to be in a market that you completely don’t understand that you get a bunch of numbers from someone that’s a vendor. They’re interested in selling these properties.

They’re not going to lie to you, but they’re definitely going to paint a very pretty picture. If you don’t know the market and you don’t know anybody who’s there. We had a friend that moved to Henderson and we went to visit them one time when we went on a trip to Las Vegas. He was like, “There are all these crazy investors coming in here.” All around town, people are like, “This bubble’s going to blow,” because there weren’t as many people in the restaurants anymore and there were things that were closing down.

We’re like, “How is it possible that all his expansion is happening, but the Asheville economy is shrinking?” There’s no way to have known that if we hadn’t had this conversation with our friends that had just moved there. There’s all this hype about Henderson, but they just closed down the local, Whole Foods or whatever market it was. I love what you talk about as we don’t have to have boots on the ground all the time, every time. Eventually, you do develop a skill and get to know markets or you focus on certain markets.

Especially in those first few deals that you’re going out. That is all such good advice. Make sure that it’s someplace you would want to go. It’s like basic, intuitive, common sense stuff that we don’t think about because we get whisked away in the excitement of what’s possible. That basic comments and stuff, I like to go there. Is there anything there that I appreciate? Do I have someone that’s relatively close by maybe within a half-hour that they’re not going to be boots on the ground? Just have the conversation once in a while, see how things are going in that market or whatever.

Thank you so much for that because normally, people are like, “You need to look at the colleges, employers or the average income rate.” You do need to do all those things, but it’s not the end of the story. Especially when you’re starting, it’s not necessarily going to give you the comfort that you need to get out there and do it because nothing happens for you until you take action. If it’s just the numbers and that’s not inspiring you to take action, then nothing is happening for you.

Many people do get caught up. There are so many important numbers as you analyze markets and deals, but even just the idea of what COVID brought is the importance of diversity of jobs. Are there different jobs that people can be employed by? They’re literally all in on the tech, government or in whatever industry. The idea of the diversity of jobs is, to me, even more important than job growth.

They’re both important, but just to know that people can get different jobs. These are positive things. There are many markets that don’t have that. Even high-priced areas don’t have that. We probably invest more in the workforce housing, more up-and-coming areas, not areas that are on any hot market list. If those are the two expensive areas, we’re like, “No. We don’t want to invest in an area that’s on any list.”

Your mistakes are going to just make you propel you forward and you’re going to learn from it and you’re going to grow from it.

It’s much more practical advice. My ladies learn a lot of good advice here from very smart people because sometimes we got to ground it. This is how you make yourself comfortable with that. Ask yourself some real common sense questions because so much of building a real business is common sense. There’s a lot of fancy languaging. There’s a lot of people that say things that sound smart, but in the end, it’s a common-sense business. Thank you so much for grounding that for us. That was helpful.

Ladies, we are going to do EXTRA. Liz and I are going to be talking more about building your team. Finding partners, building teams, when you’re in-state or out of state. She likes to say, “Who’s on the bus,” and then team-building with all those people that are on the bus. I love that picture because you’re all going out on a field trip and you’re all on this bus. Where are you going to go? How are you going to get there? Is it going to be fun? Is it going to be profitable? That to look forward to. Before we move to our three rapid-fire questions, could you tell everybody how they can get in touch with you?

In terms of some of the active multifamily projects or funds or to learn more about some of the day-to-day real estate projects, you can go over to my DeRosaGroup.com. My husband got a lot of teaching as well. We’re both love teaching and helping. You’ll see a lot of YouTube content and things of that sort from him. In terms of women who are interested in getting more support from women and getting connected, check us out, TheRealEstateInvestHer.com. From there, you can learn all about our meetups that are across the country and our Facebook Community, membership and things we got going on with helping women.

Are you ready for three Rapid-fire questions?

Yes, definitely.

What’s one super tip on getting started investing in real estate?

Don’t get distracted. Focus on a niche and go all-in on one thing.

What’s one strategy to be successful as a real estate investor?

REW 87 | Scaling Multifamily

Scaling Multifamily: Everyone gets stopped after they lose money and something bad happens, but don’t give up.

 

Don’t give up. I hope you don’t lose money, but you may lose money, like many of us. You’re going to see it potentially. In many years, I can tell you a lot of interesting stories. It had money like the mini Bernie Madoff situation where literally hundreds of thousands of dollars were stolen from us. We don’t give up. That makes anyone that’s successful in any line of business or anything in life, don’t give up. Know that your mistakes are going to make you propel you forward. You’re going to learn and grow from it. If you don’t have that attitude, then everyone gets stopped after they lose money and something bad happens. Don’t give up. That’s the key.

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

It’s something I’ve always done, then go back and forth and don’t do it consistently. I do daily prayer. I read a little spiritual and think about it. I’ve been doing like ten-minute meditation. I’d like to increase that eventually. For me, it’s been super helpful. I focus on whatever I learned in that prayer. I focus on that in my meditation. If I miss a day, it’s rare, but I have maybe missed 1 or 2 days for four months. Every day, I get that in.

My meditation practice has gently worked its way into my life, to where I don’t even think about it. It started just to happen, then I missed three days. My husband and I were on edge. I lost my temper at a restaurant. I didn’t yell at anybody, but I didn’t have the patience to wait. Nobody saw it, but I felt it. I’m like, “What is going on with me? Who is this person?” My husband was like, “Are you stressed out?” I was like, “I haven’t been meditating. I haven’t been taking Moneeka time.” I have been taking Moneeka time. I got a pedicure. I still do, but that piece that starts my day has been so important. I’m glad you mentioned that.

It’s constant. It’s like going to the gym. You can’t do it once and you’re good.

I always say about bliss, like all of our bliss practices. You can’t just brush your teeth once in your lifetime and hope your teeth are going to be good. You got to brush it every day. You got to keep doing those little things. Liz, as always, I’ve loved our conversation. Thank you for everything you shared in the show.

Thank you so much for having me. This is amazing. I hope I was helpful and gave some content that your audience will help them with.

Liz and I have more to talk about. We’re going to be talking about building teams, who are on the bus, and all of that good stuff. Stay tuned for EXTRA. If you’re not subscribed, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com. You get the first seven days for free. Check it out, see if you love it, and if you don’t, that’s totally fine. For those of you that are leaving Liz and I, 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. Bye.

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About Liz Faircloth

REW 87 | Scaling MultifamilyLiz Faircloth co-founded the DeRosa Group in 2005 with her husband, Matt. The DeRosa Group, based in Trenton, NJ, is an owner of commercial and residential property with a mission to “transform lives through real estate.” Liz is the co-founder of The Real Estate InvestHER® community, a platform to empower women to live a financially free and balanced life on their own terms through over 40 Meetups across the US and Canada and an on-line community and membership that offers accountability and mentorship for women to take their business to the next level!

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Syndication Series #3: Fundamentals Of Investing To Achieve Financial Independence With Chris Larsen

REW 84 | Financial Independence

 

Real estate is the best path towards achieving financial independence. Becoming financially independent means having the choice to do what you want with your time. In this episode, Moneeka Sawyer sits down for some great insights into real estate with investor, author and entrepreneur, Chris Larsen of Next Level Income. We hear Chris narrate what got him into real estate, starting from single family to commercial real estate.  Chris also shares his investing strategy and how Infinite Banking works, and how to leverage your insurance policy for cashflow. Drop by and listen in as Chris and Moneeka share valuable information for investors to  use.

Watch the episode here:

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Syndication Series #3: Fundamentals Of Investing To Achieve Financial Independence With Chris Larsen

Real Estate Investing For Women

In this episode, I am so excited to welcome to the show, Chris Larsen. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Next-Level Income. Chris has been investing and managing real estate for several years. While still a college student, he bought his first rental property at the age of 21. I love people that get into this industry young.

From there, he expanded into development, private lending, buying distressed debt, as well as commercial offices and ultimately syndicating multifamily properties. He began syndicating deals in 2016 and has been actively involved in over $225 million of real estate acquisitions. He is passionate about helping investors become financially independent. Chris, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

I’ve been looking forward to this show and you’ve been so patient with me with all the rescheduling. Thank you. I’m glad we’re finally here. Chris, give us a high level of your story. I know it’s very exciting.

First off, I love that you bring up to get started early. Now it’s early, whenever you can do it. I was 21 when I was in college. My passion at the time was racing bicycles. I went to Virginia Tech for Biomechanical Engineering. I did pretty well in school and I was told like, “You should be an engineer like your grandfather.” All I want to do is race bicycles.

Cycling is like a real engineer sport because it’s all about numbers and power to weight ratios. At that time, drug which I wasn’t into. That was the end of my story in a lot of ways because I didn’t want to do that. Along the way, at that same time, when I was at this turning point, trying to decide what to do as I was looking towards a professional career, my best friend, roommate and training partner passed away. He had a massive brain hemorrhage between my freshmen and sophomore year in college.

I poured another year into the sport and then I realized even after I was winning more and more races, that I wasn’t happy. Even though my team went professional, I didn’t. I stepped away from the sport, went back to school. As a junior in college, I thought like, “What the heck am I going to do with my life? I don’t want to be an engineer. I was going to go race and then figure out what I wanted to do.” While I was racing and even when I was young, the first thing I remember and probably if you’re reading, you think the same thing. You hop on your bike and you have this tremendous sense of freedom. That’s what I wanted.

I wanted the freedom to live life on my own terms to respect not only the life I was giving them but also the life of the friend that I lost. I turned towards investing. I was introduced to it by the same gentleman, Clint Provenza, who introduced me to cycling. My father passed away at five and he was a real mentor to me. I started looking into investing. I was day trading, and one of those nights/mornings that 3:00 AM, when I was laying there in bed, thinking about what I should do with my trades. I thought like, “Do I want to be doing this twenty years from now?” The answer was no.

I looked at other investments. I read over 250 books on money, investing and settled on real estate because you could control it. I bought my first property at 21. I built and managed a portfolio of single-family rentals for fifteen years but ultimately transitioned into commercial real estate. That’s what we focus on. I try to enlighten people and share my mistakes, so they can take the fast track to get towards financial independence, which took me a couple of years.

It’s so interesting. I have a very similar story in that. I wanted to be a dancer and that was my thing. I came to investing for a similar reason. I wanted a life of choice. I think that freedom of choice is our true wealth. That’s what I wanted and real estate allowed that. It did take me several years before I could say I could retire, my husband and I, but I couldn’t do with the lifestyle that I wanted in California. We would have had to move, so we continued to grow our portfolio, but it was the same thing. After several years, we are doing everything now that we’re doing because of the choice and we want to do that. There’s nothing more liberating than that.

At some point, income is important, but it’s the freedom to choose that brings happiness.

I think studies show. I teach a financial literacy course here. It’s high school students coming out of underprivileged homes. Most of them are living below the poverty line. We had a conversation about, at some point, income is important, but it’s the freedom to choose. I cited the study that shows the janitors that have freedom in their day-to-day choices are happier than the CEOs that are making 10,000 times now what they are, but they’re not happy because they don’t have freedom.

My TED Talk is about this and there’s a lot of research about there’s a threshold where money does buy happiness to a certain threshold. The original number they came up with within 2010 was $75,000, but a study was done in January 2021 that said it was $100,000. It’s gone up because of inflation. Whatever that number is, it’s $100,000 now.

Up until then, the number of dollars that you bring into your household does relate directly to the level of happiness in the household or the level of satisfaction. After that, now we have freedom and excess income. We are taken care of and now we can focus on joy, bliss. I’m so glad we’re on the same wavelength around that. Tell me about this concept of infinite banking.

Next-Level Income was born of this desire to curate information around financial literacy and education. As I built it out, we have three main areas. We talk about how to make, keep and grow your money. Those are the three steps. I have coaching clients and that’s what we work through like, “How can you maximize how much money you’re making? How can you keep more money?”

 

REW 84 | Financial Independence

Financial Independence: Freedom of choice is our true wealth. Real estate allows that.

 

Thank you so much. Talk to me about your perspective on multifamily. This is a hot topic with my ladies.

I call multifamily real estate the holy grail of investing. If you look at my book, it says How to Make, Keep, and Grow Your Money Using the ‘Holy Grail of Real Estate’ to Achieve Financial Independence. I’ll send you a copy for free if you go to the website. I’m so high on multifamily. I was the person that managed my portfolio for fifteen years.

I was the person that got the phone call on my honeymoon in Costa Rica and paid $40 and collect call fees to deal with a problem tenant. I was the guy that stayed in too long and didn’t get a great return on my properties. I was also the guy that was fortunate enough to run into somebody that introduced me to this space. I started to investigate multifamily real estate and I’m a demographics guy. I spent eighteen years in the medical device industry. That’s how I made the money to invest. I got into a medical device.

I moved and lived in Asheville, North Carolina, because we have great demographic trends. When I started to investigate multifamily being an engineer, day-to-day guy and analytical, I found that multifamily was supported by these terrific demographics by what we now call the Millennials. They rented and guess who’s supporting multifamily now? It’s their parents, the Baby Boomers. They’re selling their homes and renting and now Gen Z is renting as well. We’ve turned into this nation that we like to own the American dream, but also flexibility.

I jumped into multifamily because of the demographics and the analytics. My MBA is in Portfolio Managementhat I found is something that Ray Dalio calls The Holy Grail of Investing, which allows you to increase the Sharpe ratio. The Sharpe ratio increases the returns of your portfolio and decreases the risk. It’s like a boat that goes faster and it has less bumps when you’re on it. I thought, “What is better than that?” Ray Dalio calls that The Holy Grail of Investing. I call multifamily the Holy Grail of Real Estate because it allows you to increase the returns in your portfolio and allows you to decrease the risk.

I know that in EXTRA, we’re going to talk a lot more about multifamily. We’re going to go deeper to the pros and cons of multifamily and then he’s going to do some number breakdowns for us. These are things that I get asked about a lot. It’s not my strong suit. My husband and I have not been involved yet in multifamily. The commercial evaluation of the numbers is not his strong suit, so he hasn’t had to do it yet. This will be fun. EXTRA will be talking a lot about that stuff, but why don’t you give us a high level on why you like multifamily? What’s so exciting about it?

There are a few things. If you’re reading and you’re like, “I love real estate, but I don’t want to be the person that has to go in and fix toilets, find new tenants, screen people and do showings and all that.” I get that because I’ve done it. The big thing is if you invest in multifamily with an experienced operator, it’s 100% passive. You can invest, be a direct owner, get the income, the depreciation and the depreciation of great tax benefits, especially if you’re a high-income earner, but you don’t have to deal with it all yourself. That’s fantastic. It’s scalable.

You could buy a 100 unit multifamily building for $10 million. You could buy a $1 billion multifamily portfolio. Whether you’re investing in your first deal or you’ve been investing for twenty years and you’re looking to place $1 million or $10 million of capital, you can use the same strategy. It’s very scalable. There’s something that I like even more, it’s the control. You might’ve heard me talk about laying in bed at 3:00 AM feeling like things were out of control with my money. I like real estate because you can control it.

We’re acquiring a property in Greenville, South Carolina and we live in Asheville, which is about an hour away. We were down in South Carolina for my son’s 9/11 lacrosse game. I took him to the property and we drove around. It was built in 1997. It’s a little beat up. The stairs needed to be replaced. They need new paint. We can control all of those things. If you own a business, apartments are valued like a business. They’re valued by net operating income. If you live in your home or you have a rental home and it’s 1,000 square feet, and it sells for $300 a square foot, it’s worth $300,000. It’s easy math.

REW 84 | Financial Independence

Financial Independence: Next Level Income was born of this desire to curate information around financial literacy and education.

 

The bank figures that out because they say, “The home on your right is worth $305 a square foot, on your left is worth $295 a square foot.” Yours is about $300 a square foot. You don’t control that. The market goes up and down. If we go and buy an apartment building for $10 million and it has $1 million of net operating income, that’s probably not a great metric. Call it a $20 million apartment building with $1 million in net operating income.

We increase the net operating income 50% from $1 million with a $20 million to $1.5 million new valuation. You’re probably thinking to yourself when your cap rate is $30 million. We control that when we’re able to move the rents by the renovations, operations, being more efficient, bringing better management and those sorts of things. Again, it’s passive and scalable, but most importantly, it’s controllable.

I’m sure some of you are like me going, “Wow,” but we will break this down so you can go through this again and we’ll break down more of that in EXTRA so we can take it a little bit slower. I feel like you already covered this. What are the important metrics? What exactly should we be looking at?

I’ll dive a little deeper again. We can unpack this a lot more in the EXTRA section. I started as an investor in these deals. I was called a limited partner before I syndicated these deals and became a general partner. If you’re a limited partner and you say, “I’m interested in this.” You need to look at three different things. You need to look at geography. Are you investing in an area of the country that people want to move to? I wrote a whole blog post about this. I talked about how you can identify these. It’s very easy to see with reports from companies like United Van Lines. You can go on our blog at the beginning of 2021 and read the post I put on there.

You want to be in large cities where people are moving, that is growing faster than the national average. Where are these cities? A lot of these are from the Southeast. I moved to North Carolina for the demographics, the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Phoenix, Colorado and Boise, Idaho seems to be a big one here. Why are people moving here? They’re moving out of California to places like Colorado, Texas and Idaho.

They’re moving to the Southeast from places like California, LA, New England and New York. The places that are cold and don’t have a great quality of life. Taxes are going up. I have a coaching client. He told me and he’s like, “We’re looking at South Carolina to move. Taxes are going up. We don’t want to live here anymore.” Number two, the operator. Are you working with an operator? This is somebody that’s going, finding and buying the property. That’s going to bring you in alongside them and then they’re going to operate it. They’re going to increase that net operating income.

Have they done it before? Have you done it in the geography that you’re invested in? What is their experience there? You want to ask him some tough questions about what’s their strategy. You look at the metrics in the deal. That’s pretty complex. We looked at over two dozen different metrics on the deals that we’re in, and there are a lot of different variables that come into play. Again, if you’ve ever invested in a business, if you’re a business owner or professional, you can read a financial statement.

That’s the thing. If you call me and say, “I’m interested in this deal.” As an owner of this property, you’re entitled to all the same information that you would be entitled to if you own a single-family home. You can go through those and you can call the operator and say, “Walk me through this. What am I seeing here and there?” Don’t be afraid to ask those questions and understand the numbers, strategy and why an operator is going into the market.

Talk to me a little bit about ROI. Different operators do this differently. Tell us a little bit about how you structure your deals for your investors.

What we do is called syndication. Syndication is very simple, it is someone, an operator going out and bringing in investors alongside them to invest. What’s important is how that syndication is structured. What we do is we do what’s called a preferred return. If you look at deals, say 6% to 8%, what does that mean? That means investors get the first 6%to 8% of the returns coming from that property. Investors are preferred in front of anybody else. They’re going to be subordinate to the lender.

The other thing that’s nice about these properties is it’s called non-recourse debt. I work with a lot of doctors after spending several years in the medical device profession. They don’t want more risk, more debt and a bank to come after them for something. They have patients that are out for them if something bad happens. That’s a nice thing about these properties as well.

After taxes, the next biggest expense that a lot of people don’t think about is financing.

After the lender, the investors get that preferred return. There’s an equity split. That split is a large part that goes to investors and then the partners that organize these deals get the minority position in there, but that’s the incentive. You want to work with the group, in my opinion. How we do it is we give the investors the first big portion of the returns, about a half of the returns upfront. The other half comes from that split on the backside and then we as partners get a piece of that split.

We’re incentivized to maximize the profit of that property on the backend. You asked a question there and I’ll address this. There are a couple of different ways to look at this. You can look at a total return. You’re going to get a 10% return comprised of half cash and half appreciation on a property. There’s also an equity multiple. You’re going to double your money over a certain period of time, it’s another way to look at it. There’s also what’s called the IRR, the Internal Rate of Return.

We can dive deeper into the EXTRA portion of the show or you can go ahead and check out my book, which goes deeper into this as well. You can always read on a site like Investopedia, which dives deeper too. It depends on what type of investor you are. Maybe cash or the total return is important to you. It all depends on what type of investor you are.

Do you pay investors immediately? When they first invest money, are they guaranteed a certain return each year while the project is happening? How do you structure that for your people?

One little red flag is we never say guaranteed because these are investments that have a risk associated with them. If you ever hear me say guaranteed, you should either slap me on the face with a stick and a paper towel or something in my mouth too. We have a couple of different types of investments. We have investments that we pay investors a fixed return based upon the performance of the property. Our group pays out monthly. We like to pay out monthly. There are groups that payout quarterly. It’s not necessarily better or worse, but personally, I like to get money in my account every month.

You then get some stuff on the backend depending on how the project goes.

In multifamily syndication, you’re going to get regular cashflow monthly, quarterly or annually. When the property sells, think about it like a rental property. You’re getting rent. If you’re renting it out for $1,000 a month and your expenses are $900, you might get $100 a month. When you sell it, if you bought a property for $100,000 and you sell it for $150,000, you get that $50,000 profit on the backend. It’s very similar to that.

Do you guys do the whole refinance structure piece too or do you go for the sale?

When we model out the returns on a property which is called the pro forma, we don’t assume we’re going to refinance the property. If you’ve ever owned a rental property or you have a property of your own, what’s nice is if you have a HELOC, a Home Equity Line Of Credit and you pull money out of your home or an investment property, you don’t pay taxes on that when you pull that money out.

You might pay taxes when you sell it, but you don’t pay taxes when you pull it out. It’s very similar to what we do. A lot of times, we look to do that if the property is performing. We don’t tell investors that’s part of the plan because we want to be a little bit more conservative than that but that is a very optimal way to pull an investor capital out in a tax-efficient manner.

While we dove pretty deep into all of that stuff and I know we’re going to get even deeper, so definitely stay tuned for EXTRA. We’ll be talking more about the fundamentals of multifamily investing and the numbers around that and also the why or why not to do it.

Before we move into our three rapid fire questions, I want to let you ladies know how you can get in touch with Chris because he’s amazing, isn’t he? He’s got two awesome offers for you today. First of all, he’s going to give you his book for free and he and I are holding a webinar together so that you can meet him live and ask as many questions as you’d like.

Learn how you can invest like the rich to create true freedom for yourself by getting a free copy of his book nextlevelincome.com/bliss, where he’ll send you a copy of his book for free.

Also join Chris and me for a free webinar designed just for you to get informed and ask questions about how Chris does syndication and how he can help you to save the date. December 2nd, at 4:00 PM Pacific time. Go to blissfulinvestor.com/syndicationwebinar. That’s blissfulinvestor.com/syndicationwebinar.

 

REW 84 | Financial Independence

Financial Independence: Syndication is very simple. It’s an operator going out and bringing in investors alongside them to invest.

 

 I didn’t tell you this, Chris, but we have three rapid-fire questions. Are you ready?

I love it. I’m ready. I told you I’m wide open here, so let’s do it.

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

The best tip I can think of is to find somebody that has gone down the path you want to go down and either ask them for advice or hire them to help be a mentor.

What would you say is a strategy to be successful in real estate investing?

I think success, in general, is habits. Whether you want to be successful in real estate, successful in life, losing weight or whatever it may be, you need to focus on your daily habits. If you want to be successful in real estate, that may be in as far as syndications or passive investments or reviewing a deal every day or every week. If you are going out and buying your own properties, that may be contacting brokers, making phone calls and getting options out there that are coming in towards you on a regular basis.

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

I’ve learned a lot over the past years. I bought my older son The Five Minute Journal for Kids. It is basically a gratitude practice. I know you’re big on this. I think happiness comes before success. You have to get in that right mindset, the abundance mindset, which is what you share. You know that success and that money will come to you and there’s always a deal out there. You don’t have to worry and fight over these things. Share, help other people and other people will help you get in the right mindset. That’s what I try to do every day.

This has been an amazing show. Thank you so much for all you’ve already contributed, Chris. This has been great.

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

Before we close out the show, I want to head off any confusion we might have about upcoming webinars. So in order to make this series the most valuable possible for you, I have arranged to have two webinars during the next couple of weeks.

The first one is going to be with Dr. Sam, who you heard from a couple of weeks ago. He is an investor just like you ladies. And he has figured out how to evaluate syndication opportunities that come across because he gets a lot of them. And if you’re interested in them and you put your name out there, you will start to get a lot of them. You’ll learn how he evaluates them so he can figure out which projects are the best for him regarding his risk tolerance, his capital availability, and what kinds of projects he’s actually interested in, like location and that sort of thing.

Dr. Sam has developed a tool he’s now sharing. So we’re going to do a webinar with him and you can talk to him about what it’s like to be an investor in syndications and what to expect. And then also he’s going to go through his tool specifically and show you how he’s evaluating different projects. So I’m really excited about this because you actually get to have a conversation LIVE with another investor who’s actually doing investing in syndication projects. So in order to sign up for that webinar, go to blissfulinvestor.com/Samwebinar. So that’s for Dr. Sam, right? So blissfulinvestor.com/Samwebinar. And that webinar is going to be held this week on Thursday, November 18th at 5:00 PM Pacific time. So again, that’s Thursday, November 18 at 5pm pacific time.  Go to blissfulinvestor.com/Samwebinar.

The second webinar we’re doing for the syndication series is with Chris, who we just heard from in this episode. As you know, he’s an operator. So he’s going to be able to answer questions about how syndications actually work, how they’re put together and all the details of what you can expect from an operator. So that’s really exciting because you can ask as many questions as you want from an actual operator LIVE. So that’ll give you more confidence what you need to know with regards to how syndications are run. So I’m super excited about this one too. And this one is on Thursday, December 2nd, at 4:00 PM Pacific time. So that’s Thursday, December 2nd at 4:00 PM Pacific time. And to sign up for this one, go to blissfulinvestor.com/syndicationwebinar. So that’s blissfulinvestor.com/syndicationwebinar.

So to give you a really quick recap, Dr. Sam, who is an investor and is going to be sharing his evaluation tool, we’ll be holding a webinar this week on Thursday, November 18th at 5:00 PM Pacific time . Go to blissfulinvestor.com/Samwebinar.

And then Chris Larson will be holding a webinar as an operator on Thursday, December 2nd, at 4:00 PM Pacific time, just go to blissfulinvestor.com/syndicationwebinar.

I think you’re going to love both webinars because you’ll get two completely different perspectives. So don’t miss them sign up now.

Stay tuned for EXTRA. We’re going to be talking more about the fundamentals of multifamily. If you are not subscribed but would like to be, please go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com. You get the first seven days for free. Check it out, download as much as you can and you can stay if it’s for you. Thank you so much for joining us for this portion of the show. We appreciate you. I look forward to seeing you and until then remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires.

 

Important Links:

About Chris Larsen

REW 84 | Financial IndependenceChristopher Larsen is the founder and Managing Partner of Next-Level Income. Since “retiring” after 18 years in the medical device industry he dedicates his time to helping others become financially independent through education and investment opportunities. Chris has been investing in and managing real estate for over 20 years. While completing his degree in Biomechanical Engineering and M.B.A. in Finance at Virginia Tech, he bought his first single-family rental at age 21. Chris expanded into development, private-lending, buying distressed debt as well as commercial office, and ultimately syndicating multifamily properties. He began syndicating deals in 2016 and has been actively involved in over $400M of real estate acquisitions. In addition to real estate, Chris has invested in equities, oil & gas, and small business lending, as well as being active in Venture South, one of the nation’s Top 10 Angel Investing groups. Chris lives with his wife and two boys (and Viszla, Lucy!) in Asheville, NC where he loves spending time with them in the outdoors and enjoying the food and culture that the region has to offer.

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Using Both Sides Of Your Brain In REI – The Art And Science Of Off-Market Acquisition With Jeff Stephens – Real Estate For Women

REW 55 Jeff Stephens | Off-Market Acquisition

 

If you’re following an extremely conventional path of looking only at listed properties, you only get to grow at the rate the market says you can grow. There’s freedom in off-market acquisition that allows you to focus more on connecting with your clients. Moneeka Sawyer’s guest for today is Jeff Stephens, the founder of The Thoughtful Real Estate EntrepreneurMoneeka and Jeff discuss using both sides of your brain when interacting with your clients. Real estate tends to be very left-brain. Jeff explains you work best when you use both. You need to be analytic but also empathetic. Tune in to learn more! 

Listen to the podcast here:

Using Both Sides Of Your Brain In REI – The Art And Science Of Off-Market Acquisition With Jeff Stephens – Real Estate For Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am excited to welcome Jeff Stephens to the show. He is the Founder of The Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur and host of the show, Racking Up Rentals. Jeff is a full-time real estate entrepreneur by day and a real estate investing mentor, coach and podcaster. His focus both as a real estate entrepreneur and coaching others is on growing a rental real estate portfolio that builds long-term wealth through the timeless fundamentals of relationship and negotiation directly with the seller to buy off-market properties with seller financing. You can visit him at ThoughtfulRE.com for more information and we’ll talk a little bit more about that. Thank you, Jeff, for coming to the show. It’s nice to see you again 

It’s nice to see you too. Thank you for letting me be a guest on your awesome show. 

It’s my pleasure. Ladies, when I was on Racking Up Rentals, that was probably one of the nicest, most blissful conversations I’ve had on someone else’s show. You need to go check it out. It was good. I love this whole idea of thoughtful real estate. It’s very aligned with my idea of bliss. Jeff, could you tell us about your story and what brought you to where you are now? 

[bctt tweet=”The right approach to real estate investing is the approach that feels most authentic and aligned. ” via=”no”]

I first fell in love with real estate probably in the way a lot of peope did, which is we picked up a book that has a lot of purples and the word Rich Dad in the name. This is going on many years ago. I got excited and I’m a high-action taker. We bought a property. It was a very conventional deal and that went fine. It was not the most exciting transaction but it was okay. I got more excited. I got started, then learning some of the more entrepreneurial ways to do real estate. I went down the rabbit hole of all that education, but I’ve hit two walls that led me to where I am. 

The first wall was when I was attempting to do some wholesaling. Deep down, it didn’t feel super authentic to me, but I was taking action. I thought that’s what you were supposed to do. I had this traumatic experience one day, where somebody showed up on the doorstep of my own home. I had gotten myself into a transaction and I was trying to wholesale it. He was standing on my doorstep, angry, pointing at me and saying, “I see what you’re trying to do here. This is sleazy. We don’t do that kind of stuff around here.” 

Maybe that doesn’t sound that traumatic but for me, my whole life up to this point was like, “Jeff is a good boy. Jeff follows the rules. Jeff does the right thing, and this was my early twentiesThat rattled me to my core. It practically knocked me out of the game for about seven years. I continued to dabble, but I would do very benign types of things in real estate. Eventually, I thought, “I have to do more because I want to learn this.” I got back on the horse and I started learning again. I found that the more I connected with people, the more success I had in the sense that they liked me. We could come to an agreement, but I couldn’t always figure out how to structure the deals. 

The second wall I hit was when I saw that I had some peers who I respected who were getting deals done that I could not figure out how to do. When they would explain it to me, it sounded like they were speaking a completely different language. At that point, I hit that second wall. I did what I needed to do to learn more creative deal structuring. The two things clicked for me, an approach that felt authentic to who I was and secondly, the technical toolbox I needed to be able to get deals done. Those two things together then catapulted my progress from there. 

It’s interesting the way that you talked about that because one of the taglines of this show is, “Goals without action are just dreams. Get out there and take action.” First of all, when I say that, it’s because taking action is one of those barriers. A lot of people won’t act. They want to learn and learn. We get stuck in analysis paralysis. We get stuck in, “I need to take one more course. I don’t know enough.” However, just taking action is also not the solution. We want to take action, but we want to take intentional action. 

What I love most about what you talked about is this thing about feeling inauthentic or sleazy. It doesn’t matter one way or the other what anybody else thinks. What matters is what you think of yourself. A friend of mine, Leeza Gibbons, will often say, “You need to earn the right to your own respect.” Earning the right to your own respect is feeling good about who you are, how you’re showing up in the world, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to make $1 million in real estate. Choose whatever makes you feel good. Learn about that and then take action. 

It’s the self-image of how you see yourself. I can’t think of anything much more important than either be an enabler or absolute restraints to where you’re trying to go. The right approach to real estate investing is the approach that feels most authentic and aligned. A word I think about a lot is alignment. Until you get that alignment, you’re just trying a lot of different things, but once you get it, for some reason, things seem to take off. 

They’re simpler. You’re more successful. You’re able to stick with it when challenges happen because we both know challenges always happen, then you’re able to get through them. It becomes more of a growth experience rather than a taking you off the horse experience like you had. 

It becomes a North Star. You get to a point. You find that challenge and say, “I know that my guiding light is in this direction because that is authentically who I am.” It does help navigate difficult decisions or situations. 

Let’s talk about what you do. You focus on owner financing, which means your acquisition process is going to be a little bit different. Let’s talk about that acquisition. You do more off-market rather than listed properties. 

My heart is in long-term holds. I love the fun, excitement and entrepreneurial opportunities of things like flips and whatnot, but I primarily look for long-term holds. In that process that I described there when I was stumbling around in the dark, trying to find alignment. I realized that I like to connect with people. I feel I’m an introvert, but I like to connect with people. They seem to like to connect with me. I thought, “There’s clearly a correlation between the success I’m having and my contact directly with the person on the other side of the table.” I started to think, “Do I need people or agents standing between me and a seller?” I started to realize, “No, I feel like it’s almost like I’m a tailor. If I can measure the seller in a lot of different ways, I can propose something that’s going to fit them well.” 

My whole approach now is finding the people with who I can connect and sit down face-to-face to see if we can work something out together. Oftentimes, that does lead to seller financing. I have a belief that as real estate entrepreneurs, we should get to have the right to grow our portfolios at the rate that we want to. I feel like if you’re following an extremely conventional path of looking only at listed properties and going only to banks and credit unions for loans, you get to grow at the rate that the market and lender say that you can grow. I like the freedom of these off-market deals and the seller financing that can come with them. 

REW 55 Jeff Stephens | Off-Market Acquisition

Off-Market Acquisition: Find people you can connect with and sit down face-to-face to see if you can work something out together.

 

Talk to me about this phrase that you use, “Solve the person, and then you can solve the deal.” I know you’ve already alluded to that, which is why I wanted to continue that conversation. 

I have a framework called the Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework. The two Ss in the middle are solve the person and then solve the deal, but solving the person comes first. What this means is real estate is dirt, sticks, bricks, but real estate doesn’t sell itself. People sell real estate. To me, even though the words it’s a people business might sound a little trite, I can’t believe how true it is. I believe that you have to solve the person before you can solve the deal. If you don’t understand the person on the other side of the transaction, what they’re trying to accomplish, what matters to them, what they think about their own property, what they think about the economic climate, the market or a million things. If you don’t have the empathy to be able to understand the other person, whatever proposal or offer you put in front of them is going to be a version of a shot in the dark. 

I know that so much of the time, when people are teaching real estate, there’s an adversarial attitude like, “I need to get the best deal.” They give a lot of lip service to, “I’m going to help that person.” I’m like, “You’re getting a property at $0.60 on the dollar is helping them get out of a problem.” To me, that feels inauthentic, not because it’s not true. In many cases, it is true but it’s the approach about it. It doesn’t feel like you’re on the same team. It feels like you’re on opposing teams. I love how you talked about when you’re solving the person, you end up being on the same team to make everybody happy. You’ve got something that will make you happy, and they’ve got something that will make them happy. 

One of the most powerful questions I’ve ever asked a seller is, “Paint a picture for me here to understand how you’d like to see this thing come together.” In “normal” real estate, nobody asks that question because it’s more about protecting your own interests. I believe that Jeff is going to get more of what Jeff wants if Jeff helps somebody else get what they want. Not to talk about myself in the third person or quote Zig Ziglar too much, but I do honestly believe that. There’s this coexistence simultaneously of self-interest and helping somebody else. I believe it’s best for me if I do what’s best for them. That’s been my experience. 

Talk to me about this belief that you have that you need both sides of the brain to be successful in real estate. 

Real estate tends to be a very left-brain. They’re very analytical. 

There’s one that’s analytical. 

There’s one that’s relational, intuitive and creative. I think that we are at our best when we have both of them firing simultaneously. A great example is when I’m sitting in a seller’s living room. That’s my venue. That’s my arena. That’s where I go to step onto the stage. I am talking to that person and trying to solve the person, which is very right brain. It’s relational. I’m trying to ask good questions, listen and read between the lines. Meanwhile, there’s this computer apparently in the back left corner of my brain that is calculating like, “Here’s the possibility with this. We could buy it for this. The rents would be that.” 

Both things are happening simultaneously. What we do ilike a dance with the seller. Like any dance, you got your arms around somebody. There’s a leading and following that happen at the same time. I feel like that’s the left brain, right brain thing here a little bit too. There’s so much value in thinking through the possibility and then asking a thoughtful question to that seller that may tests out that opportunity. It’s a dynamic balance of the two thought processes. Most real estate people grab a clipboard, and they’ve got a worksheet of questions. They’re like, “How many bedrooms are there? When was the furnace replaced?” They’re just making entries into a database and a computer. They’re going to hit the submit button and come out with an offer. That’s not how I do it at all. 

In real estate and in any kind of investing, the numbers have to work. We don’t make money unless the numbers work, but I agree with you that it is a people game. We talk about selling real estate and people think of it as hardcore, but it’s also buying. We are buying so that then we can sell too. Both sides of those are all about the relationships that we build, whether we’re building with a seller or buyer. There are a lot of other relationships we’re building. We’re building maybe with agents, vendors or a bunch of different people. I love what you’re talking about here that it is a relationship business because once the numbers work, the rest of it is all how we show up and build those relationships. 

I couldn’t even say it any better than that. It’s true. We’re not going to get the level of collaboration, cooperation and flexibility that we need if we don’t have sharp people skills to deal with the most important ingredient in the whole recipe, which is the humans. 

Could you tell me the five myths of seller financing? 

Yes. I love talking about seller financing for reasons we’ve already discussed. When I observe people talking about seller financing, there are a few things that they make as assumptions. These myths are assumptions. These are the five that stand out to me, and then the quick way I can refute each one. Number one, people think that seller financing is what a seller does when they can’t sell their property in the other way. We’re looking at something that’s been sitting on the market forever, funky or not financeable. While those things might be levers that would lead to seller financing, there are plenty of sellers who want to do seller financing. 

With a little light bulb that you could help come on in their brain, they would realize that it is in their very best interest to do so. To put it very simply, those are the people who might have capital gains concerns. A well-structured seller financing deal would help significantly with that. Those are the people who want to sell a property but they don’t want to give up the income stream that they have. I’ve had sellers call me and in the very first contact, they said, “By the way, I want to sell this on a contract.” It doesn’t get any better than that for me, but there are people who want to do that. That’s the first one. 

The second one is the inverse of that. That is seller financing is only offered because the buyer can’t find any other way to pay. That’s not the case either. A lot of people like me could finance a deal in lots of different ways. At the end of the day, I believe a well-negotiated seller financing deal is framed around what the seller wants to accomplish. It isn’t that the buyer can’t do it in any other way. Maybe there are some scenarios like that, but that’s not always true by any stretch. 

Number three is that people tend to think seller financing loans have above-market interest rates. This ties into the first two, which the seller doesn’t want to do this but if they’re going to, they’re going to demand something super high-interest rate. While there are scenarios where I’m sure that that does happen, if you can find a seller who has the proper configuration of motivation, maybe you can unpack that conversation with them in a way that helps them understand the benefits. They will be more than motivated to simply provide very reasonable terms. It very well might not be much different interest-rate-wise than what you could get with a financial institution. 

The fourth one is that people tend to think seller financing loans are for short-terms. That also sprouts off this idea of, “The sellers don’t want to do this anyway. I better be fast if I’m going to have to carry this note.” There were a lot of people who want to sell their property and continue to get an income stream for selling it for a long time. They want to take their capital gains and punt it as far into the future as they possibly can. Short-terms is not another issue for me or for most of the people that I work with at all. 

The fifth one is that seller financing is only possible when a property is owned free and clear. It’s probably simpler, and there might be more options when it’s owned free and clear. Seller financing is a broad umbrella of things that could fall underneath it. Mostly what I do and teach people is about what I call note and trustee investing, “I am becoming the owner. The seller is now becoming the bank and I make payments to them.” There are other things that would be creative deal structures like lease options, land sale contracts or lots of other different things that could be considered seller financing. I think of it as a bunch of tools in a toolbox and based on what the seller’s situation is. One of those elements of their situation is outstanding debt, then you pick the right tool out of the toolbox and get to work. 

I’ve had a few other people on the show talked about they create the notes themselves so they become the bank. They’ll buy a place and put their 20% down. They might get a loan at 4% or 3%. Someone else who might not qualify for a loan but is looking to buy, they’ll then sell it to them and carry it back at 5.5% or 6%. They’re making the delta. They’ve got some cashflow and also helped someone get into a home who wouldn’t normally be able to get into a home. Other people can also be doing this. I know that there are a lot of people, especially here in my area, where their houses have appreciated dramatically, but they’re no longer working. They’re looking for ways to create cashflow. They know in real estate investment, they’re not going to be able to make more than a couple of percents. You’re able to offer them something attractive that helps them supplement their Social Security or whatever it is they’re planning to retire on. 

[bctt tweet=”Solve the person, and then you can solve the deal. ” via=”no”]

There are a few simple clues that you can listen for that a seller might say. For instance, they might say something like, “I’d love to sell this property, but I don’t want to deal with the capital gain. I feel compelled to do a 1031 exchange, but the truth is I don’t want to trade one responsibility for another.” They might say, “I want to sell this property, but I don’t know what I would do with all the money anyway. I want to sell this property, but I don’t like the stock market. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I like tangible assets.” All of those things are clues. It can be a very great solution for you to propose to them that is also excellent for you as the buyer. It scratches their itches perfectly. They might not be aware of that yet, but if you unpack that conversation with them in a thoughtful and sensitive way, they’ll get the picture for sure. 

Could you share with me how do you structure it to avoid capital gains? I know you’re not a lawyer or CPA. Could you give us a high level of what that looks like? People have said it all the time and nobody will explain that. 

I will explain it to you like I would when a seller asks me that question. Thank you for the disclaimer. I always make that disclaimer to you. I’m not a CPA. Here’s the big picture as I’ve understood it in a non-technical way. When you sell your property, you will find yourself receiving a capital gains tax bill in a way that’s correlated with when you receive the gain. If you bought a property for $200,000, now it’s worth $700,000, factoring all your things like depreciation and all that complicated stuff. The main idea is you have this big gain of $500,000 or so. As you receive that gain back, that’s when you will be expected to pay the tax. 

The concept with a 1031 exchange is, what if I don’t receive that gain back at all, it goes straight into a third-party intermediary and then I’m not getting the bill? The same idea applies here to our seller financing structures that say, “Let’s make sure that you are receiving your gain on a schedule that correlates with when you want to pay this tax.” As the buyer, if I come along and say, “I’d like to give you a down payment and then make monthly payments to you over time,” the basic idea is if that down payment is going to be part of the gain that they receive, they might have a little tax bill from the down payment. 

If the payments are interest-only, they’re not receiving a principal or gain back during each of those payments. They’re avoiding that capital gain at that time until there’s maybe a balloon payment at the end. You have to reckon with the gain one way or the other. It’s about asking the seller, “When and how do you want to do that? Let’s work backward to structure the timing of your receipt of that gain in a way that works for your financial strategy.” 

I am in the process of creating notes. I’m buying small houses and creating notes. One of my ladies is doing the same thing with me. She was talking about you can structure it so that you pay the capital gain. Let’s say we structure a note for seven years. You can either pay the capital gain at the end of the seven years, or you can pay it annually so that you don’t have this big capital gain that you’re paying at the end. Is that true? 

Part of that is a little above my pay grade as a non-CPA. If the loan was amortizing heavily over seven years, then I can see how that would trigger an equally amortized capital gains bill. Perhaps there are other provisions that allow you to make installment payments on future capital gains. I don’t know how that part works. Most of the people I work with are thinking, “I’ve got this gain. I’ll figure it out later. I know I don’t want to deal with it now. Give me a small down payment, so I know you’ve got some skin in the game, but not too much because there’s going to be a tax bill associated with that.” We’re going to set a ten-year term and I’ll deal with it then. 

I can see why some would be like, “I know I’m going to sell this. I don’t want to have this big bill at the end.” Although if you get the big bill at the end, there are other ways to deal with it too. I hadn’t heard of anybody talking about that. I wasn’t sure if you had heard about it. 

An important point off of that is to do this as the buyer, you don’t have to be CPA-level informed on every nuance of that area of the tax code of the installment sale. There certainly comes a time when, as a thoughtful person who’s dealing empathetically with the seller, you’re going to want to say, “Seller, I want to make sure that you have got all your questions answered and you feel good about this. Do you want to call your CPA and ask some questions? You don’t have a CPA? Do you want to call my CPA and ask some questions? I want to make sure you know what you’re doing.” That’s part of the nature of being a good direct-to-seller type of buyer. You give them the opportunities to check with the outside resources to feel good about what they’re doing, especially on a complicated potential topic like that. 

I love your verbiage around a lot of this stuff. It’s a great demonstration of what talking to somebody to help solve their problems looks like. I’m looking forward to our conversation in EXTRA because we’re going to be talking about this Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework. Could you tell us a little bit more about what that deep dive is going to look like? 

I’m going to talk about how the Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework applies to intentionally source deals that you can buy with seller financing to hold for the long term. There are a few key strategies I’ll share in there about how we’re not shopping for a property. We’re shopping for a person. That’s one thing we’ll talk about. The idea of seller financing is that you buy your financing when you buy the property. That is a very different mentality by itself. We’re not going to talk about that. Overall, we’ll talk about if you want to buy properties with seller financing. It’s critical to start with the end in mind and reverse-engineer the whole marketing process so that from the very first step, it’s all about finding those people for whom seller financing would be an excellent solution. Their Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework will be our step-by-step process for discussing those strategies. 

Can you tell everybody how they can reach you? 

If you look up The Thoughtful Real Estate, that’s who we are, ThoughtfulRE.com. We have a Facebook group called Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders. We’d love to have anybody join us there to talk about this specific way of doing acquisition for investment real estate. 

I know that you’ve got a gift for my ladies. Let’s talk about that. 

I am putting together a download that is called the Three Ways Women Can Have a Real Competitive Advantage in Real Estate Investing as Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneurs. These are my thoughts, reflections, and experiences. When you take a look at what it means to be a thoughtful real estate entrepreneur, women are well-suited naturally to be great with those skills. I hope that’s very encouraging to your audience. I wish that I saw more women in my own communities trying to do these things. They’ve got so much potential. If someone wants to get that, they can go to ThoughtfulRE.com/bliss. It will be very easy to download that special guide. 

Ladies, Jeff and I were having this conversation. He’s putting together a gift, especially for you and this show. One of the things I’d like to talk about in this download is empathy. It’s funny because I have never thought of myself as an empathetic person and yet he was like, “Really?” You noticed that as human beings, we take for granted our gifts. We don’t notice them. It’s nice to have someone to shine a light on what your strengths are and what you should be highlighting in a way that maybe you can’t see. Maybe you’re blind to it. I love getting this different perspective. 

Women all have ideas of what we’re good at. It’s fun to hear from the other side like, “What do men do? What do they look at?” Then say, Women are good at that thing. I wish I was better at that. I need to learn that. That’s a skill that they know and take for granted. I need to develop that.” I know that Jeff, Based on the conversation that we’ve had, I know that Jeff is going to give us some good ideas about what our strengths are and what we can amplify, utilize and value in ourselves. 

It’s such an important point. We can’t help but undervalue the things that come naturally to us. We don’t even necessarily realize they’re gifts. I’m going to try to point some of those things out and see how they can be aimed at being a great real estate entrepreneur. 

Thank you for that. Jeff, are you ready for our three Rapid-fire questions? 

I’m ready. 

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

Here’s what I would recommend. Maybe this is not common advice. Instead of thinking about, “I want to buy a property. What is available for sale?” I would say, “Everything is available for sale.” I don’t mean, “Everything is for sale at the right price.” I mean, “Everything is available when there’s a relationship. Here’s what I would like you to do. I would like you to go into your town and identify ten properties that you would like to own, “It sure would be awesome to be the next owner of that property. Maybe I see potential or think it’s beautiful. You love it, that’s all that matters. Grab a pen and a stack of paper. Sit down and write a simple, nice handwritten letter and send it to the owner of that property. 

Don’t say, “I’ll make you an offer of thisI’ve got the cash. I can close quickly.” It’s none of that stuff. Say, “Hi, this is my name. I see your property all the time. Frankly, I love it. If you would ever consider selling it, would you please let me be somebody who could talk to you about that? Hold onto my letter for whenever the time is right. I hope to hear from you.” Send that handwritten letter ten times. Chances are your phone will ring whether it’s immediately or not too much time. That is a great practice. It’s emblematic of overall what we need to be doing more and more as real estate entrepreneurs. 

I have to ask a question. If someone doesn’t respond, do you write it again and again to the same person? 

Yes. I’d say send it 3 or 4 times a year. Every 3 or 4 months, write another letter to the person. Make it seasonal if you want to. Don’t photocopy and send exactly the same thing. What I used to do is I would go sit in my car in the neighborhoods where these properties were. I would write the letters by hand so that I was soaking up the environment of where these properties were. You could do that. If you ever get to go to a coffee shop again, you go sit down in the coffee shop and do it. 

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

It is very much what we have talked about in the broad sense, which is to take a people-oriented approach to real estate. It’s people who sell properties. It’s not properties that sell themselves. I saw in a Facebook group that somebody said, “I’ve identified 3 or 4 properties on the market that would be good for seller financing.” I had to comment, “I appreciate your enthusiasm but properties aren’t candidates for seller financing. People are candidates for seller financing.” Take a people-oriented approach. Don’t be afraid to talk directly with people who own properties. Don’t be afraid of saying the wrong thing, screwing it up, or overcommitting yourself. Get comfortable with the idea of talking. Practice talking directly to people who own properties. Good things will come of that one way or the other. 

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

I’ve been trying to think of a catchy way for this to be articulated, but you know how they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This is a work in progress, “A handwritten thank you card a day keeps the poverty away?” I’m still working on the last part. One of the best things you could do would be to go online or go to your local office supply store, buy a giant box of thank you cards, get a bunch of stamps and have that pen sitting there. Every time I meet with a seller in person, maybe a potential lender or a regular person, I always send a handwritten thank you card. Sometimes people comment about that, but even if they don’t comment about it, just the fact that you did it says so much about you and shapes the way they perceive you in a very positive way. It’s very difficult to send too many handwritten thank you cards. If you send one a day, that’s a great rhythm that you can get into and it’s not a difficult habit. 

It’s also like your own personal gratitude practice in a way. Jeff, this has been amazing. I loved this portion of the show. Thank you so much for all that you’ve shared. 

REW 55 Jeff Stephens | Off-Market Acquisition

Off-Market Acquisition: If you don’t have the empathy to be able to understand the other person, whatever proposal or offer you put in front of them is going to be a version of a shot in the dark.

 

Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to share this perspective. I know I’m the oddball in the world of real estate investing. This is not how most people do it, but I’m cautiously optimistic that the more people who hear this message will go, “That would be authentic for me too.” I hope some of your readers can have that light-bulb moment. 

Ladies, thank you so much for joining Jeff and me for this portion of the show. We have more in EXTRA. We’re going to be talking about his Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework. I always say, “Say yes because it’s so much more fun than no. He’s got a six-step process that he’s going to be talking about. We’re going to be doing that in EXTRA. If you’re not subscribed but would like to be, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com, and you get the first seven days for free. You can check it out. I appreciate you. I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, remember, goals without action are just dreams, so get out there, take action, and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon. Bye. 

Important Links: 

About Jeff Stephens

REW 55 Jeff Stephens | Off-Market AcquisitionJeff loves delivering presentations to great organizations!  In his first entrepreneurial career, he was a paid speaker at banking and credit union conferences all over the US and Canada, and even spoke at a marketing conference in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Today, Jeff speaks to groups of entrepreneurs and real estate professionals.

 

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Getting The Benefits Of Real Estate Without Being A Landlord With Matt Argersinger – Real Estate for Women

REW 53 | Real Estate Investment Trust

 

You can invest in real estate without being a landlord through real estate investment trusts (REITs). Today’s guest is Matt Argersinger, who joined the Motley Fool in 2008 as part of its analyst development program. In this episode, Matt discusses with Moneeka Sawyer why investing in real estate is much safer than investing in the stock market and why you don’t need to be a billionaire to start investing in real estate through REITs. It offers you the option of investing with as little as a hundred dollars! If you’re an income-seeking investor, you may want to know that REITs have a high dividend yield because it pays out 90% of the profits to investors in dividends. Excited to learn more? Join in the conversation and find out how you can start investing in REITs today!

Listen to the podcast here:

Getting The Benefits Of Real Estate Without Being A Landlord With Matt Argersinger – Real Estate for Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am excited to welcome to the show, Matt Argersinger. He is the Lead Advisor of Mogul. He joined The Motley Fool in 2008 as part of the company’s Analyst Development Program. He’s worked on numerous full-investing services including Stock Advisor, Rule Breakers, Million-Dollar Portfolio and Supernova. He helped establish The Motley Fool Germany and also appears regularly on The Motley Fool Podcasts including Market Foolery and Motley Fool Money. In addition to stocks, Matt and his wife, Jean, own and manage a few income properties in Washington DC and have an interest in several commercial real estate developments.

He’s excited to use that experience and his full-investing knowledge to help Mogul and Millionacres members find the best real estate opportunities. Matt earned a degree in Economics from Brandeis University. He lives in Washington DC with Jean and his beloved King Charles Spaniel, Daisy, who we’ve heard about before. Other than hunting for investing ideas, Matt enjoys traveling, skiing, mountain climbing and board games that take at least four hours to complete. Welcome to the show, Matt.

Thank you so much for having me, Moneeka. I’m happy to be here.

Ladies, you met Deidre Woollard with The Motley Fool. She was with Mogul. Is that true, Matt?

Yes, she’s with Mogul. She’s the editor at large for Millionacres.

You heard about the amazing thing that happened. It wasn’t amazing for them. It was amazing for me. I got rated in their top ten podcasts to listen to for real estate. I did a happy dance because I’ve had this long relationship with The Motley Fool since 1994 when their very first book came out. You guys started me on my journey in investing. That’s what started the whole path to the building wealth paradigm that my husband and I have followed. You’ve been a big part of my life. For you guys to reach out to me was like God reaching out down his hands saying, “You have won. You are awesome.” That sounds weird. I don’t know how to express it. Anyway, I’m excited to be talking to you, Matt. This is fun. I want to talk about you in a second, but I want to talk about the difference between what Deidre talked about and what you’re going to be talking about.

With Deidre, she spoke about our mobile service, which is a real estate service design for accredited investors. It’s looking for deals in the private market, oftentimes, deals where you need a substantial amount of capital to get started. What I’m excited to announce is that we launched a new service called Real Estate Winners, which is designed for more beginning investors or investors looking to gain a bigger exposure to real estate within their stock portfolio. It’s a service where you can get started quickly for hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars, no matter how much you want to invest. All you need is a brokerage account and you can get started. It’s our way of reaching out and trying to broaden the number of people who can invest successfully in real estate. Overall, what we’re trying to do with Millionacres is to help people get happier, richer and smarter through real estate investing. Deidre probably said that many times. I’m going to say it a lot too. It’s our guiding light.

Each company has their mission. You want to make sure that everybody is consistent with that mission. Give us a high level of your story of how you got to where you are now working with Real Estate Winners.

I started with The Motley Fool in 2008. I’ve worked mostly on our stock investing services at The Motley Fool. I loved it. I had a great time. I worked closely with David Gardner, one of the Founders of The Motley Fool. Over that same time when I was doing that, my wife and I were investing in real estate. We bought our first property in 2009 in Washington DC. It was a house we lived in but it also had an income property attached to it. I love telling the story because one day we bought the house. We were figuring out how to rent the property, the income apartment. My wife read this article. It was the New York Times at the time and said, “There’s this new company called Air Bed and Breakfast. They’re expanding.” Now we know that as Airbnb.

At that point, there were three Airbnb listings in all of Washington DC. We thought, “This is interesting. Let’s try renting this income property through Airbnb. People like to come to DC for short periods of time. Let’s try it.” That was successful. We listed it on Airbnb. Within a week, we were booked for six months. It was amazing. That was the catalyst for us to invest in more properties and follow that same short-term rental approach. We did that several times. Now we own several income properties in DC.

Eventually, we also were able to invest in some commercial properties. For example, a self-storage facility out in Colorado and a big apartment building that’s being developed in DC. We expanded. As I’m working at The Motley Fool, I’ve got this sidetrack of real estate investing going on with myself and my wife. A few years ago, I sat down with a few colleagues at The Motley Fool and said, “Real estate is this big asset class. It’s three times the size of the stock market.” If you add in single-family homes and commercial real estate, it’s three times the size of the stock market. It’s a huge asset class.

[bctt tweet=”Through crowdfunding or real estate investment trusts, there are so many ways to get involved in real estate investing.” username=””]

It’s not as volatile.

That’s right. It has all these great things. I met with some colleagues and said, “Let’s try to do something with real estate investing at The Motley Fool. We’ve been so focused on stocks. We got real estate out here. A lot of investors want to know how to invest in real estate.” That was the genesis of Millionacres. We launched the site a couple of years ago. We’ve been building new product since and trying to get more people to invest in real estate.

Thank you for that. I’m glad you guys did move into that asset class because it is huge. Deidre talked a little bit about when you look at the dynamics of how many women are investing in real estate as opposed to men, the percentages are low. There’s a huge asset class and huge opportunities on many different levels and women aren’t getting in. I’m proud to say that because of my show and several other leaders in the industry that are now women, we’re seeing a lot more women flooding in. I love it but still, we are the minority investors in real estate. I want to see that expand because of the potential.

The great thing is I feel like real estate now is more accessible than it’s ever been. It was that asset class that not just women but any individual investor who had never done real estate looked at it and said, “How do I get involved in real estate investing? Do I have to save for a down payment for years? If I ever wanted to buy a commercial property, I have to be a millionaire. There’s no way.” The beautiful thing about now is that through crowdfunding or Real Estate Investment Trust, there are many ways to get involved in investing in real estate and getting exposure to this asset class. It has a great track record over time. It’s less than half as volatile as the stock market. If you’re tired of the up-and-down swings in the stock market, real estate is certainly a great option.

I want to point something out. I had this conversation with my dad. He loves stocks and they’ve done phenomenally well. David, my husband, loves stocks and we’ve done phenomenally well. Thank you, Motley Fool. I’m not dissing on the stock market but I will say this. Unless you understand it, the volatility can get you. Let me tell you a little bit about what I mean by that. Let’s say you put in $50,000 in the stock market. It goes up to $100,000 in 3 or 4 years. It doubles, then there’s a huge crash. In 2008 and 2001, there have been some big crashes in the stock market because it was so volatile. It goes down. Let’s say it’s at $25,000. You’ve lost 50%. It feels bad because you lost $75,000. Let’s say it doubles again. Now you’re at $50,000 right where you begin, but it says that it’s doubled.

The volatility is what happens with it. The thing is the difference between the stock market volatility and the real estate market are two big ones. The first one is it’s liquid in the stock market. When that thing crashes and you have this emotional response, what do most people do? “Get me out of here. That was scary.” If the real estate market crashes, you can’t sell usually. You can file for foreclosure, which most people won’t do if they can avoid it. You’re forced to stay in for recovery. Here’s the thing. You don’t take a loss or a win until you sell. There’s forced longevity in real estate. The other thing is leverage. Let’s talk about what happened in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The stock market was going gangbusters. This happened in 2001 too just before the bust of the boom. Do I have those dates right?

Yes. Starting in 2001, the dot-com crash had started.

Before that, what happened was the stock market was going up. People were so excited and they were starting to margin their accounts. When you margin an account, what you do is you take the amount that you have and buy double the stock. You’re at 50% leverage. What happens is if you’re at 50% leverage and the market is going up, you’re making double the money. That’s exciting. What happened in the bust was that those accounts were leveraged and then the stocks dropped. The problem is when the stocks drop, all the brokerage firms need to come up with the money so they call your margin. People ended up owing hundreds of thousands of dollars on a stock they never owned fully. They owned 50%.

That’s what the problem was with the stock market. It’s not that you couldn’t hold on to good stocks. It was a lot of people were margined so they got called on that. The other thing was the freak out of, “Even though it was a good company, look at the way the stock market tanked.” Let’s compare that with what happens in real estate. In real estate, we put 20% down and we’re margined to 100%. We’re margined 4 or 5 times. What is that, Matt? Is that 4 or 5 times?

It’s 4 or 5 to 1. Usually, you keep 5% down.

If the value of the home drops, you don’t ever get called on that margin. You keep making payments. You get to hold on to that property. You get to watch it recover if you stay in. When we talk about the volatility of the stock market versus the real estate market, there are a lot of things involved in that. There are a lot of reasons that real estate is a much safer investment. I’m not dissing on the stock. We do a lot of it. We don’t margin on the stock. There are some things that we do to keep ourselves safe. Ladies, I just wanted to give you perspective because it was top of mind. My husband and I were talking about this. When you’re investing in real estate, that’s what happens. If you go with Millionacres and they’re talking about REITs and stuff like that, understand that you’re investing and somebody else who’s making those same decisions. How that works relative to volatility is still relevant.

REW 53 | Real Estate Investment Trust

Real Estate Investment Trust: Real estate is a big asset class; it’s actually three times the size of the stock market.

 

Your points are so spot on. We did a study once that looked at America’s billionaires. It turns out that none of us is a billionaire. Maybe some of your readers are billionaires. If you looked at the billionaire families that have sustained their wealth for decades, almost all of them are in real estate. They were never forced to sell and panic emotionally. They couldn’t offload their properties. They invested in properties. Oftentimes, they’d roll them over, put 1031 and save on taxes so you save on capital gains They kept rolling into real estate and holding on. That’s such a key point. If we talk about REITs for a moment, REITs are like stocks. They are traded in the public market. A lot of people will think, “What’s the difference between a REIT and a stock? It’s probably just as volatile.” They’re not.

If you look at the historical performance of Real Estate Investment Trust and the data that goes back over 50 years. Not only have they outperformed the stock market, but they’ve also done about 50% of the volatility of the average stock. You’re investing in a REIT. Most of the time, you’re getting a nice dividend out of that so you’re getting income. The stock doesn’t move nearly as sharply as your typical stock. It’s a lot easier to hold on. You’re building wealth over time and you’re getting income. I love that part of the stock market because it gives you exposure to dozens or hundreds of real estate properties. If you’re investing in a retail REIT, you’re getting exposure to hundreds of retail properties. If you invest in a multifamily REIT, you’re getting exposure to hundreds if not tens of thousands of apartment units around the country.

There are going to be downdrafts in certain markets or there’s going to be volatility in the overall market. Over time, that should build wealth. The volatility is so much less that you can sustain your investment in that and not get panicked out of it. It’s a great option for any investor. We know on the Millionacres side, a lot of people were thinking about retirement. They look at REITs as a way to generate a nice, steady income in a lower volatility part of the market. That’s one of the benefits of real estate investing.

Let’s define what a REIT is and how it works.

REIT stands for Real Estate Investment Trust. They were formed by Congress in the 1960s as a way for the average individual investor to buy into a pool of real estate. Nowadays, there are hundreds of REITs. They’re all structured so that they don’t pay taxes at the federal level. In order to qualify for that, they have to pay out 90% of their after-tax income in dividends. That’s why your typical REIT has a pretty high dividend yield. That’s because 90% of the profits from its real estate operations pay out to investors in dividends. It’s a great option for an income-seeking investor. Over time, the REIT category has grown. Now, it includes things like data centers, for example. There are data center REITs.

If you ever drive on a highway, you’ll often see a big tower that looks like it has dishes or rays on it. Those are often cellular towers. There are several REITs that only invest in cellular towers, wireless towers. As we roll out 5G and we use more data on our phones, those towers are being used. You can invest in those in Real Estate Investment Trusts. It’s expanding. There are self-storage REITs that only invest in self-storage facilities. There are all kinds of ways to get exposed to real estate. REITs are a very efficient and profitable way to do that.

The historical track record is so great. In fact, Moneeka, we look at this all the time. If you look at the last twenty years since 2000, the average REIT has returned twice the return of the S&P 500. It was remarkable. If you think about that, we had this massive financial crash in 2007, 2008, which a lot of us think was real-estate driven. It was to a certain extent but even through that, REITs have outperformed the stock market and with lower volatility. I’m biased but if you ask me where do I invest most of my money when it comes to the stock market, I tend to do it with REITs.

Give us some real and clear comparisons between investing in a REIT versus other real estate investing opportunities.

If I’m starting out as an investor and I’m thinking about where am I going to invest and I wanted to get exposure to real estate, I could invest in a rental property. That often takes a big down payment. Generally, your mortgage options on a rental property are not going to be as good as they are if you’re buying a primary home. That can be a big burden to take on. The commercial side of real estate is very big. You have to approach it with millions of dollars and it’s very expensive to get into. REITs offer you the option of investing as little as $100 or $1,000. All you need is a brokerage account. Instantly, you buy a basket of REITs and you got exposure to hundreds of real estate properties around the country.

It is probably the cheapest and most efficient way to get exposure. You can also invest in real estate stocks. Let’s think about Zillow, for example. Everyone knows Zillow. They’re publicly traded and you can say to yourself, “I can invest in Zillow. That’s a real estate company that’s publicly traded.” With that, you’re investing in a stock. Hopefully, you understand how Zillow’s business works. You’re going to face some serious volatility by doing that. I buy a REIT instead. A REIT that I’m familiar with is Mid-America Apartment Communities, which they’re the biggest apartment owner in the country. They own most of the apartment buildings in the Southeast and Southwest parts of the United States where a lot of people are moving these days. They’re a good performer over time and consistent. They pay a nice 3% dividend. That to me seems like a great way to play the real estate market rather than the high-flying or other expensive alternatives in the market.

You brought up a good point about one that you were interested in. How do we decide what kind of REITs to get into? With stocks, we all know there are a lot of different resources to get information. How do you do that with REITs?

[bctt tweet=”By investing in REITs, you don’t have to be a hands-on landlord. All you need to do is sit home and collect a dividend check.” username=””]

There are a lot of ways. When I am learning about a REIT, I find what I’m interested in. Go to the company’s webpage. We’ll use the example I had, Mid-America Apartment Communities. You can Google Mid-America Apartment Communities Investor Relations. That’ll take you to their website where they have presentations. They’ve got press releases and filings. You can get to know the company a little bit, the history of the company and how many properties they own around the country. One of my favorite things and it’s easy to do is if you look at the long-term track record of the stock. The ticker for Mid-America is MAA. Look at how they performed over time. If you look at MAA, over the last twenty years, they’ve delivered a great return to investors. They’ve had the same leadership in place the entire time.

You can have confidence, “I’m getting a great return from this REIT. I know I have a management team there that’s been in place for over twenty years.” They’ve been through many economic cycles and yet the stock continues to outperform. It’s a good bet that Mid-America is probably going to continue to perform well in the future. My tip is always if you find a REIT that you’re interested in learning more about, go to the website, learn more about the REIT. See how that’s done over time for investors. If you have a REIT that’s been around for at least ten years and it’s performed well, it’s a good bet that REIT is going to continue to perform well for investors. Especially if you see it has raised its dividend over time, that’s another good indicator that it’s a well-managed REIT that’s raising the amount it’s paying to investors over time. You can use it as an opportunity to earn income and grow as the stock grows.

The other thing that happens is with the stock market, we’re hearing about stock all the time. It’s culturally something that people find interesting to talk about. You might say, “I’ve heard about this company called Google and they spun off ABC. I want to check that out or this weird company called Amazon.” You hear about this culturally out there in the world but we don’t hear about REIT. Where can we go to even start? I might be interested in a REIT to do research on, but how do I even find out what I should be looking at especially if there are thousands out there? It can be confusing.

One place to start, it’s a little boring but if you look up the National Association of REITs, Nareit, they have a website. It’s not the greatest website in the world but they have a lot of information about REITs on that website. You can go check it out. There’s a lot of great information. If you want to find out some great investment ideas in the REIT space, go to Millionacres.com. That’s our free website. We have dozens of articles we’re publishing every day, at least a few each day on REITs. We have several writers who focus full-time on finding great REIT ideas and stuff in a marketplace. They’re writing articles every day and putting reports out there.

The URL to go to would be Blissfulinvestor.com/millionacres.

Start there. Nareit is a great service out there. The links you put out for Millionacres, use that as well because I think you’ll find some great timely articles on REITs if you’re looking for ideas.

When you sent me the information, it says, “Real Estate Winners’ advisors identify a select group of real estate investments and REITs that are at the heart of some of the biggest demographic and technological trends shaping society today to generated returns of 15%, 18% and even 21% annually.” Could you talk a little bit about that?

If we think about real estate, it can seem quite boring. It’s rental properties, office buildings, retail, hospitality, hotels. Some interesting parts of the real estate market are seeing tremendous change. We’ve already talked about data centers and cell towers, for example. When we think about data usage and cloud computing, there’s real estate infrastructure behind those big trends that you can invest in. Industrial is an interesting one. When the average person thinks about industrial, they think of a factory, manufacturing plant or something like that.

In real estate, there are also some interesting facets of industrial if you think about warehouse space or logistics centers. Think about how much time people are spending at home and ordering online these days. There’s real estate out there that’s benefiting from that trend. The returns you threw out. We’ve identified companies with our Real Estate Winners service that we think are benefiting from these trends. We do our projections of those returns that we think investors can get with the dividend. Those are some of the returns we’re finding.

Real estate isn’t boring if you’re earning 15%, 18% or over 20%. That’s possible out there. You have to do your due diligence, get to know the company and the management a little bit, see how they’ve done over time, and if there are some tailwinds behind it. One of the reasons I like Mid-America and keep coming back to that name is because if you think about the country at large, there’s this big Sun Belt migration going on. A lot of people are moving to places like Florida, Texas, Arizona, away from the traditional Northeast or Coastal cities. I’m looking for companies that own a lot of real estate in these places where people are moving to. I like to say, “Real estate follows people. It follows capital.”

As people move to these places and income flows to these places, real estate is going to follow. A lot of these places are underserved in terms of how many apartments they have available or other types of properties. There are some big trends out there in real estate. In 2020, we accelerated a lot of them and we’re going to see those play out in 2021 and beyond. What we’re doing in Real Estate Winners is trying to identify those trends and put money behind them.

REW 53 | Real Estate Investment Trust

Real Estate Investment Trust: If you’re investing in REIT, you’re going to get exposure to hundreds of retail properties.

 

We’re going to be talking about that, ladies, more on EXTRA. He’s going to talk a little more in detail about those trends, where they’re going to be looking, and where we should probably look in 2021 to take advantage of the trends that already have some momentum. I’m excited to talk about that in EXTRA. Talk a little bit about the premium subscription service. There are Mogul and Real Estate Winners. You have a few different things. You started by talking about that. I want more information. I want to know all about it.

Under the Millionacres umbrella, we’ve got a service called Mogul. That was the first service we’ve launched. That is what we think about as our go-anywhere real estate service. We’re looking at REITs like we talked about. We’re looking at the stock market, but we’re also looking at private opportunities. There’s this whole world of crowdfunding now. Some of your readers might have heard of Fundrise, CrowdStreet or maybe some of the other big platforms out there. These platforms are coming out with private real estate deals all the time. We wanted to develop a service that would help investors navigate these platforms and figure out what the best deals are among those platforms. With those deals, you often have to be an accredited investor. You have to come to the table with a pretty high income or net worth.

It can be pretty prohibitive. That was one of the reasons why, in addition to Mogul, we launched Real Estate Winners. Real Estate Winners is geared toward the person who’s either new to investing, maybe new to the stock market or new to REITs, or wants more real estate exposure to their portfolio and wants to do it in a very cheap and cost-effective way. That’s the beauty of what we talked about as well. You don’t have to be that weekend landlord that my wife and I spent a lot of time at. With a small amount of money, you could get exposure to some great portfolios of real estate managed by professionals. All you need to do is sit home and collect a dividend check, hopefully. It’s great. That’s what we’re trying to do. Those are our two big services behind Millionacres.

Deidre talked a lot about Mogul and that was more of the crowdfunding piece. With Real Estate Winners, which is what your focus is, that’s more of this beginner investor, which is more for REITs and that sort of thing. Ladies, I want to tell you a little bit more about how to find out more about Millionacres. You know that I’m a huge fan. You can go to BlissfulInvestor.com/millionacres. There is a free gift there waiting for you. It’s the Ten Best Real Estate Investments. Go check it out at that website. Get your free gift and start studying. For me, when I talk about blissful investing, you know that a lot of it has to do with low stress and low-time commitment. That’s what bliss feels like. Everybody can define bliss how they want to. From my perspective, it is a hands-off, high-return thing that I focus on so much. This is another one of those ways to accomplish that. Go to that website and download the report. Matt, are you ready for our three rapid-fire questions?

Always. Let’s do it.

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

First and foremost, decide what kind of real estate investor you want to be. Do you want to be someone who’s hands-on, who likes to get their hands dirty, doesn’t mind dealing with tenants face-to-face and getting involved in real property, really challenging? If it has huge rewards, great. If you’re instead on the blissful side, you’re more of a hands-off and you want to identify some nice trends in the real estate market, decide on that. Maybe REITs or other options in the public markets are probably the places to go. That’s the first thing you do. Decide what kind of real estate investor you want to be. After that, you can find the right path to get started.

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

You touched on it earlier, which is being able to hold on. If we think about the stock market and REITs, we get excited about buying, investing and putting money into work. We get dividend checks. It feels great. What happens when volatility or the inevitable downturn comes? Being able to steel yourself against that and accept the fact that now and then the stock market is going to drop like it did last March 2020. It’s going to drop 20%, 30%. It’s going to drop fast. How you act in those kinds of moments determines how much wealth you’re going to be able to accumulate over time. If you can hold through, even take advantage of some of those downturns, you’re going to come out great. If you’re someone who can’t, panics and sells at those moments, you’re going to do some real disservice to your portfolio and returns. Emotion, I don’t know if it’s a skill or what, but it’s the hardest thing to maintain to be an investor. If you’ve got the right emotion and you can steel against those downturns, you’re going to be very successful.

I often say on this show I love Warren Buffett’s quote, “If you can’t control your emotions, you can’t control your money.” That’s what we talk about with Blissful Investing is learning how to manage your emotions so you can handle those challenging times. Even when the market has dropped and you freaked out, that you don’t live in that place. You’re able to bring yourself back to the bliss equilibrium where you can make rational decisions rather than emotional decisions. What would you say is one daily practice that contributes to your success?

Finding time to go for a walk, get fresh air and do a little exercise. My brain is always so full because I’m always thinking about things, reading about companies or working on a project. I’ve got so many things dancing in my head all the time and the idea of being able to shut it all down for a little while and go for a walk. It’s easier these days with the pandemic because here I am at home with my wife. We have a two-year-old son and being able to go spend a little time with him and clear the head, and then come back to work. A lot of us are stressed out even in non-COVID times. The ability to disconnect for a while, get some fresh air, exercise the brain and the body a little bit and come back to work. If you can do that and fit that in for at least 30 minutes a day, it has made a huge difference to me. It will make a huge difference to your readers as well.

This has been awesome. Thank you for all that you’ve offered in this portion of the show, Matt.

Thanks, Moneeka.

Ladies, we’ve got more coming in EXTRA. We’re going to be talking about the potential growth of investment classes that expanded in 2020 and have continuing potential in 2021. If you are not subscribed to EXTRA but would like to be, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com and you get the first seven days for free. You can take a look and see if you love it. If you don’t, no obligation at all. Thank you for joining us. 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 next time. Bye.

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An Unclaimed Secret To Investing – Exploring The Power Of Your Body’s Inner Wisdom – With Tarnie Fulloon

REW 52 | Inner Wisdom

 

How do you use the power of your body’s inner wisdom to make wise decisions when investing in real estate? To answer that, Moneeka brings in Tarnie Fulloon, the creator of Body Centered Medicine®. Tarnie’s system is all about listening to your body so you can find your inner wisdom – that feminine energy system that guides you to make wise decisions. Tarnie and Moneeka discuss how ignoring your body’s inner wisdom generates doubt and fear that cripples you. It makes you too afraid to buy a house for yourself, making you think, “Can I do this as a woman?” In this episode, Tarnie gives you tips on how you can find your body’s inner wisdom so you can make bold and wise decisions when investing in real estate. Listen to this episode and unlock your feminine energy!

Listen to the podcast here:

An Unclaimed Secret To Investing – Exploring The Power Of Your Body’s Inner Wisdom – With Tarnie Fulloon

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am excited to welcome back to our show, Tarnie Fulloon. Tarnie is the creator of Body Centered Medicine, a somatic healing practice that uncovers the messages the physical body is holding about how you think, what you feel, and who you are. Tarnie’s expertise lies in transforming pain and anxiety at a cellular level by uncovering the inner landscape for answers to body pain and symptoms, anxieties, and stuck places one feels in life. She is a healer, mentor, speaker, TEDx presenter, and budding author. She was also an Australian-trained sports medicine physiotherapist for the Australian Olympics 2020. She enjoys partnering with those committed to their healing on all levels, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, to empowering them to be grounded in their body, and lead from the inside out

Tarnie is a close friend of mine. We’ve known each other for years. I’ve had her on the show before. Some of you would know what she’s about, but I want to share with you that it’s been years when we met. I was making a transition in my life about what was going to be my next career. I was looking for my sole purpose and feminine leadership inside of me because I had been in such a male-dominated world that my feminine side had been lost in a lot of ways. Tarnie and I worked together. She brought back blissful Moneeka. That’s why I love Tarnie, her work, and I wanted to share her with you. Welcome back to the show.

Thank you, Moneeka. It’s lovely to be with you again.

Can you talk to us about this unclaimed secret, which is our body wisdom and why you think it’s unclaimed?

Thank you for having me on the show again. It’s fabulous to be with you. It’s unclaimed because most of us live in our heads. Most of us try and think things through. I call it body wisdom, but our inner wisdom lives in our body. We’ve been taught how to operate and think things through to feel it and know it’s challenging. We don’t trust that inner feeling. It’s unclaimed because most of us have self-doubt. we’re self-critical, we don’t listen, and we don’t know how to listen. We haven’t got the skills to listen deeply into the body. As you are doing life, it’s like, “I’ve got to think that through, and I’ve got to work that out now. What if I just took time and felt into it?” How you’ve experienced this, what’s in there, and what’s more deeply in it. It’s very much unclaimed for many of us.

Even those of us that have claimed it in the past sometimes, we lose track of it. That’s what had happened to me as I got off the path and needed someone to bring me back. You did that beautifully and strongly. Ladies, whether you feel like you already had that experience and need it to be more powerful or you don’t have that experience, it has such a big impact on how we make decisions in life and keeping things blissful because then you’re not pushing so hard, you’re more with the flow.

You’re staying open to the information that’s coming often. There’s always information coming, but we don’t keep that little inner radar open or we don’t trust it. It comes but we don’t grab it. We’re unaware of it at all. We are busily externalizing or looking out there. We don’t listen inside.

Could you tell us your story, how your journey began, and how it influenced what you’re doing now?

REW 52 | Inner Wisdom

Inner Wisdom: We’re so busy externalizing and looking out there that we don’t listen to what’s inside of us.

 

I’m going to start with what I’m doing now. I created Body Centered Medicine. It’s been an evolution from starting out as a sports medicine physiotherapist, doing my Master’s in Psychology and somatic training. Body Centered Medicine is about listening or developing that relationship with our body so I can listen to it. The body reflects everything that’s going on. There’s always pain, anxiety, financial issues, decisions you have to make, relationship stuff, purpose, and work. It all is present in the body. I’ve been working for many years. I’ve been on this body centered exploration journey for many years, but it came out of my own health journey.

That started when I was a child. I had severe stomach aches and a lot of allergies. One thing led to another, I eventually ended up in my twenties in a doctor’s office, not excessively overweight but in a foggy brain and not feeling good. The work I did with starting to clean up my diet at that stage. That was the first step and then starting to explore. That started cleaning up and then I started to get much more interested in the physical body was reflecting.

People were starting to share with me emotional issues or deeper issues. I thought, “There’s something here,” so I then went on to do my Psychology training. It was my exploration of myself first, then starting to notice what was happening with my clients, and then took me to where I am. I’m deeply committed to people finding that in wisdom soul voice which is related to what you brought up, the feminine energy system that we want to activate. Most people that live in our heads don’t have access to that.

I know that you and your husband are successful real estate investors yourselves. I know that you do tap into your inner wisdom for that. Talk a little bit about how you utilize that. If you don’t utilize that or if you haven’t in the past or making investments, what might those consequences have been, give us a picture of what that looks like for your investing.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t beat yourself up. Be very kind to yourself. ” via=”no”]

It was in 2009 or 2008 when the market was depressed, my husband was looking at what real estate was doing. He was aware of it and was very interested. He was looking, it went months, and he was talking about it. One day, I got this feeling. I said, “Why did I come with you and start looking at these properties?” I live in Los Angeles and this was outside of LA. “Why don’t I come with you?” I did. He was talking about everything. There was a house that he wanted to pay $40,000.

The bank said no. They’re offering it at $42,000. The house is now worth $300,000. We didn’t buy that house because he was looking at flipping. I went, “What happens if we buy rental properties?” At that moment, there’s something that came into my thought. I was like, “What if we buy rental properties?” It shifted. We bought six properties quickly because we turned it around. We didn’t have to have a lot of money then. Things were like $80,000. You didn’t have to put a lot down. It was 5 or 6.

We sold one property and we ended up buying three more. One day, I went, “This isn’t feeling right for the direction we’re going where we’re looking. It feels like we’re investing too much. We’re going to be out of pocket.” He started expanding his look. We ended up in Atlanta. We did take a plane flight in November 2020. We quickly flew over there. My intuition was like, “Let’s go there, have a look, and see what we’ve got.” We bought three houses. That’s from following this inner radar. He can do the math. He’s good at working out the logistics, which is not me, but it’s my intuition, and he uses me.

I go into an area, I feel into the area, and get a sense of what it’s like. We bought one house while we were there, but we looked around the area, then we had to come home. We have to buy the other two online. That’s because I’d already felt out the area where I didn’t trust myself. I have to be very kind to myself to not beat myself up about this. My father died when I was young. I was twenty and he left me some money. I invested in real estate in Australia. I bought a house. At that time, it was $300,000. It was expensive but we had a little bit of cash.

Most of our friends didn’t have that cash because we were all young and newly married, but I did. We were 28 when we bought that house and then I got divorced. Instead of buying him out, we sold the house. Now I know I could have taken a loan and bought him out. The $300,000 is now worth $4.5 million. The same old house when we bought the one we were living in, we could have kept it and rented out. We didn’t know. We were thinking. We were following that very logical simple, sell one house, buy the next. We didn’t know about the possibility that you could expand your other options.

What’s true is that all of us make the best decisions that we can with the information that we have. What you’re trying to say here or what I’m getting is we have knowledge. We’re limited by that knowledge unless we have other friends in this industry, doing what we are doing, or wanting to do. We don’t get the advice that might help us to expand. I do think that even if you don’t have the knowledge, if you keep yourself open, in the flow, and connected to your feminine wisdom, you also become very attractive to resources. The conversations may have come to you in those times or not. Maybe that was the best thing for you and the universe was taking care of you.

We don’t know but it’s possible that if you were a little bit more open, a little bit more connected to your feminine, or trusted it. I’m speaking for myself too because I’ve made similar mistakes. I know that knowledge is one thing, but being open to the flow and to the attraction of the resources is also a big part of success. Women have so much more access to that than men because we’re naturally the yin, which is naturally an attractor. When we look at the yin and the yang, the yang is the hunter, and the yin is the attractor. If we allow ourselves to be our natural default selves and we listen, we are the attractor, and things flow and come to us.

When I feel into what you’re saying, I realized I was in a lot of fear. I was getting a divorce, but the fear sits on. That dampens it. The fear of, “Can I do this?” The self-doubt, “I’m not sure.” I realized my fear, “I can’t do that.” I also was going to buy a house myself once I got divorced. I was too afraid to buy a house for myself. It would have been $200,000 or $300,000. Those houses are now $1 million, $2 million, and $3 million. It’s not far from here. Fear stopped me as well. Can I do it as a woman? Am I confident enough?

There’s a love that dampens that feminine natural flow. Much of it is what a picture that society has painted for us that we buy into. For years, things are opening up dramatically, but even now, if you look at the numbers for investing in real estate or investing in general, women are only about 30% to 40% of the investors. Still, many more men invest. It’s because of societal support around that. Not just in our network but also what we talk about. What’s considered interesting. I remember I was having a conversation with a cousin of mine. She and her husband want to buy a house.

They didn’t have a good down payment. We were talking about options and here mom was with us. She says, “Could we talk about something interesting, please?” I have to generalize it but I was horrified like, “Your daughter wants to do something wonderful for herself and her family and that’s not interesting to you.” Some of it is not knowing, not feeling smart enough, and not wanting to engage in something that feels out of your reach or out of your thought process. It’s the way that we have conversations. You hear men in a coffee shop and they’ll be talking about what the stock market is doing or real estate. You have women in a coffee shop and they’ll be talking about the most recent book they read, which is fiction. Not bad but it’s indicative of our focus.

My mother was very clear, “Tarnie, a man is going to look after you. He needs to make the money. He’s the one that’s going to lead.” In my first marriage, I made the money and I was the provider. I provided the house but that’s from my dad. I had the income but I somehow didn’t do that next step. It’s interesting. I hadn’t done the work.

I want to be clear. Talking about books, makeup, and fun stuff is not a bad thing. It keeps us well-rounded, feminine, and it’s great. We need to develop both sides of us. Somehow, women are in this male-dominated world but we are not taking on those male interests. We’re taking on the female interests, but we’re not plugging into the flow of the feminine. We’ve got to go deeper on both sides.

We all need support. We’re not solo. How do I have a little more support around my divorce? I was over here when I got divorced, and everything was in Australia. It might’ve been a little bit different because we all need support. This is not a solo game. That’s why your show is fabulous in creating some support around you. That’s very feminine. My husband did all the figures but he needed my support for us to do the purchases. I needed him to do the figures so I could use my intuition.

REW 52 | Inner Wisdom

Inner Wisdom: It’s very important to take time and slow down the mind. Take a deep breath and literally just find time to stay still.

 

Could you tell us three things that we can do to awaken, develop, and trust that feminine wisdom?

Slow Down The Mind

The very important one is to take time to slow down. It’s not just sitting down in the chair but slowing down the mind. The way to do that is to start to be aware of your breath in your body. Step number one is to slow down, take a breath, and find some still time. Some quiet. If we all took 30 seconds now to take a breath, sink into the chair, or wherever we are, stop what you’re doing for a minute, feel yourself, feel your breath in your body. As you do that, that starts awakening the sense of being in your body.

Deeper Listening

The second one is to develop deeper listening. As I take a moment to stop, I take my attention inside to a deeper listening inside. As I’m saying this, you might like to follow me. You take your awareness. A lot of us can take our awareness down into the heart but it’s dropping it down into the soft belly even to the lower belly. It’s sinking down or taking your breath and attention down into yourself. You want to develop that ability. What am I hearing? What am I listening inside to? As you develop that, when you get that gut reaction, contraction, or you get a little bit of a sharp jolt, you get a body signal or body reaction, you can feel the signal.

Building Takes Time

The third is building trust takes time. You don’t just trust something. Trust comes with time, practice, and positive reinforcement. By doing building trust every day, taking time to slow down, starting to feel and listen, and then getting a sense of, “Did I get a feeling about that? I could have said something else. I could have done something else. Did I get a feeling about that, and did I follow it?” You do a self-summary each day, or you might do something like, “What happened when I did follow that in guidance?” You’re looking for this inner guidance that lives inside the body.

It’s not just the emotional gut reaction because we can have that and that can belong to an inner child self or a protective self. There are all things that can happen in the body that are emotional. We’re talking about something a little bit deeper. They’re good indicators and they’ve got the information but where that inner wisdom is that deep knowing that lives through the core. They’re the three. Take time to slow down, develop the ability to slow down and breathe, be connected to your body, develop that sense of listening to the deepest self. Keep digging and, “What else is there? Is there something else?” Learning to trust that and doing a daily review of that.

A daily review will help you to feel that success and build the trust. I know that in EXTRA, we’re going to be talking about the actual elements of feminine wisdom and how to use them in real estate. Ladies, here are three tools that we can take forward. We’re going to talk more about how to utilize that feminine wisdom in real estate, specifically in EXTRA. I’m looking forward to that continued conversation, Tarnie.

This is not negating the masculine, the doing, and the thinking. Lots of us have got beautiful minds, well-developed, and we can think things through. I talk about my husband doing the figures but I’ve been in business for many years. I know how to hold things together. When we talk the unclaimed secret often is we’ve obviously got highly developed minds, beautiful hearts, and giving. This is about claiming another self that can help guide you, lead your life, and lead in investments in real estate.

Thank you so much for saying that because I’m hoping that the ladies didn’t get the impression that we’re negating, medializing, and minimizing the masculine energy. As women, we are lucky because we’ve been brought up in this masculine world. We’ve been taught how to do numbers, use our brains, be logical, reasonable, and all of those things. We’ve been taught all that. We have to live that way most of the time in the outside world but we also have the innate feminine.

Look at men, they have been taught to be masculine and their default is masculine. They have to struggle to get any access to the feminine. We get, by default and most is, masculine. We develop that, go to college, read, and do all of these things. We hear the conversations in the coffee shop but we also have this innate default feminine and all of those resources that we have access to that they don’t. If we can marry the two of them within us, we are powerful. Talk about limitless. Women are so powerful because we have access to so many resources easily.

[bctt tweet=”Women should get together because we all need support.” via=”no”]

I do feel blessed because we have access to both. They do say women need women, and men need women.

I read something where they say, “Behind every successful man is a strong, good woman,” but also, behind every strong woman is a good woman. We need each other in the community.

That supports us in staying in this feminine conversation. We need our girlfriends. We can express emotions to them and that’s a way of accessing this deeper wisdom as well.

We’re going to head into my three rapid-fire questions. Before that, can you tell us a little bit about the free gift you’re offering my ladies?

It’s developing your unclaimed secret. You can get that at TarnieFulloon.com/ReGift.

Tell us about what it is.

It will be a meditation around developing your inner wisdom. It’ll be a meditation around being more body-centered. There’s also an offer for $100 off on either one of my workshops or a session with me. You get a gift certificate as well as you get this meditation instruction on how to develop this unclaimed secret.

Is there a way for them to connect with you or contact you?

You can either email me at Support@TarnieFulloon.com. On the website TarnieFulloon.com, there’s a little thing up on the right-hand corner on my banner that says Contact Me. You can either contact me through the website or send me a direct email.

If anything is not there, missing, or whatever, you can connect with Tarnie directly.

Call me up and I’m happy to get on the call with you for 10 or 15 minutes. Have a chat, see what you need, and how I might be able to support you. If there are some questions you have around this, I’ll be happy to talk to anyone.

Ladies, let Tarnie know that you came from me. It helps her marketing and everybody so we all stay in the community. Are you ready for three rapid-fire questions?

Yes.

Tell us one super tip on how to get started in real estate investing.

Do your homework. Make sure you find out the cost whether you can afford it. What are your parameters? What’s the maximum amount that you’re willing to spend? If you’re going to buy, rent, or flip, you’ve got to do the homework, the math, and make it financially viable. To me, that is step number one. You might like the area, do this, have all feelings, and ideas but if you don’t do the math and financial, that’s one.

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

Allow yourself to do the logical stuff and then move into the feeling state like, “Is this something that I want to do? Do I want to invest in this area? Is this going to be a flip or a rental?” It’s listening to the mind but then dropping deeply in and checking in with the feeling body.

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

Meditate. Do that daily breath connection. I do a movement practice, but something that brings me back into the grounded sense of my being into my body and it allows me to connect to that. I connect to that in and knowing every day.

This conversation has been so lovely. Thank you so much.

Thank you. I always feel privileged to talk to you and be with you. I love our conversations, whether on or off the screen.

Ladies, thank you for joining Tarnie and me for this portion of the show. Stay tuned for EXTRA. We’re going to be talking about the elements of feminine wisdom and how to utilize those in your real estate investing. That’s going to be an exciting conversation. Stay tuned for that if you’re subscribed. If you’re not subscribed but would like to be, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com. It’s free for the first seven days. Check it out. You’ll get this EXTRA as many as you can download in seven days, and then you can either stay subscribed or not. For those of you that are leaving us now, thank you so much for joining me for this portion of the show. I hope you enjoyed it. I super appreciate you. 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 next time. Bye.

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About Tarnie Fulloon

REW 52 | Inner WisdomTarnie Fulloon, transformational mentor, workshop facilitator, writer, and author, partners with professional women so they can make intimate relationships thrive.

For more than 25 years, Tarnie has mentored women and men to heal their intimate partnerships. She guides those who are ready to reignite their relationships by accessing the wisdom and intelligence of their bodies. Her work unleashes the magnificence of full embodiment so intimacy can flourish.

For those with physical pain, often caused by blocks in relational intimacy, Tarnie’s gentle guidance shifts them to deep relief, calm, confident vitality, and joyous aliveness. She shows women the secret of showing up for themselves first so they rekindle the sparks in their intimate partnerships.

Tarnie’s BodyFreedom™ Method helps nurture intimate relationships using her proven embodiment approach. It integrates her training as an Olympic level Sports Medicine Physiotherapist (Australia), her Master’s in Spiritual Psychology (USA), and her certificate in Movement Expression.

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