Women are the real estate investors of the future. Moneeka Sawyer welcomes Michelle Taylor, the City General Manager at Sundae. Women are the future because they bring a new aspect to the business. Whereas men tend to be rigid in following standards, we are more creative. When female investors see a property, they can consider three different options to add value. We also tend to play the longer real estate game by passing on the legacy. Teaching others how we succeeded means more to us than quick selling. If you want to know more about a woman’s edge in the real estate business, tune in!
It is so interesting that March 8th is Woman’s Day because it is also the birthday of the most powerful woman that I know, which is my mom. I feel like it is not ironic. It is not a mistake that my mom happened to be born on that day. It is such a special day for me on so many levels and all of you ladies because it is Woman’s Day. It is a day where we celebrate the power of the woman, and that is you. Sometimes, we do not feel very powerful. We feel like the world is so male-dominated, especially in this industry. We do not feel as powerful as we are.
This episode is a special honor to you ladies. I am talking to a company focused on helping women be successful in the real estate market and investing. One of the things I hear a lot from you, ladies, is, “How do I find my first deal? How do I get started? How do I know if I know enough? How do I get money? How do I get my first deal?”
We have covered the other topics quite a lot. The deal thing seems overwhelming, “Where can I get my deals? Where can I go to invest? How can we make this system a little bit simpler?” I got a phone call from a woman named Betty Sheu at a company called Sundae. She is like, “We would like to be on your show. We are doing a Woman’s Day campaign. This is what we do.”
What they do is they help to vet properties that are good for investors. I nearly jumped out of my chair. I was like, “This is what my ladies need. We have not had this on the show yet.” Here you go, a present. We are talking about how to get properties and make it simple. We are talking to a company called Sundae, but we are not talking to a company. We are talking to a person from Sundae. Her name is Michelle Taylor.
Let me introduce Michelle a little. This is what she says about herself. I love her little story. She says, “I grew up with parents owning rental property, and as they told me, it is how they paid for college tuition on their humble salaries. It is also one of the reasons I am passionate about exponential opportunities in real estate, particularly for women and people of color looking to bridge the economic gaps. Professionally speaking, I am a licensed agent and City General Manager at Sundae, where I get to marry my fascination with startups and my love for solving problems all while getting to do good work.”
The platform that we are talking about is called Sundae.com. Go check it out. “I am also a wife, mother of five, and budding buy and hold investor of a few short-term rentals in Sacramento.” This was so sweet. Michelle was like, “Welcome to Sacramento.” You ladies know I am moving. I am so excited to be making a connection up there so we can talk real estate.
Michelle, welcome to the show.
I am glad to be here. I am super excited about being one of the first people you might be meeting in Sacramento and around this topic. I feel very lucky. I have a lot of reasons to be excited about this episode, and this topic has me ecstatic.
You are a powerful woman, a mother of five, and a real estate investor. That is exactly the person that we want to be talking about or talking to on Woman’s Day. Michelle, why don’t you jump in and tell us about your story? The two-minute high-level version.
Women bring a new aspect to the business.
I did grow up with parents who own real estate. I did not quite understand why they wanted to own another house that we would not live in and how come we never lived in the house? I am about to go to college, and I remember thinking, “How are my parents going to pay for this?” My mom said, “You know that house over there that you always complain about when we have to go and clean up or do the things that require having a buy and hold?” She would say, “That is my workhorse. I am going to get some money out of that and I am going to pay for your college tuition so you are not worrying about those things as a student.” I know that my parents’ dream was to send their kids to school and they were able to do that through real estate.
How did you get started?
I worked in a lot of startups. I have a fascination with startups because you are always solving problems. I work for one of the budding major public companies now. When they were a startup, I was there, and I thought, “I am working with all these real estate agents. I understand what they are trying to solve. I want to get into real estate.” From there, I worked retail for a number of years. I realized that although there are plenty of shows on HGTV around that, there is so much more to the work and there are so many other layers of real estate.
There are even so many more opportunities than just living in the home that you are enjoying. I start to get exposed to more of that work as you start to meet clients, and they carry you along their journey, and then you want to take your own. That is how real estate got me between my parents and the creative problem-solving.
Were you an agent first and then you became an investor?
I had a chance to see other investors buy homes that I thought, “No one is going to want to take on this major project.” You realize there is this whole other sector of folks who can’t get enough of those properties because they see an opportunity to improve the home, bring more value to the neighborhood, and run their business from the work that they have done. It has been fun to watch. I finally took the leap myself and had a buy-and-hold property.
All of you agents out there, I know that you are reading this because you want to become investors. I love when I see another agent that has done that. You guys have access to properties in a way that the rest of us do not. Another point I wanted to make here quickly is that you do not need to be an agent or an investor.
I do not carry my license because I found that in California, it caused a lot of disclosure problems when I carried my license and wanted to invest, so I gave up my license. There are lots of different ways to do this. I know a lot of investors, and the very first thing they say is, “I am going to go get my license.” That is not necessary. Would you agree with me on that?
I would agree. The majority of investors that I work with have the same philosophy. It allows them to focus on their business and not have to worry about the licensing component of traditional real estate with the license.
It is because you have got to renew that license and hang that license somewhere. Usually, you have to pay that broker. There are other obligations around licensing. I did not want to deal with that either. Sundae is focusing now on getting women investors and you have got 9,000 investors. Is it subscribed to the platform?
It is not a subscription, but they are able to come to the platform and vet properties online. They are able to see properties and access home inspections, which saves them a lot of time. They are able to see reports so they can do virtual walkthroughs. Our value add is for them to be able to compete on a property because we know how hard it is to come by inventory these days.
You will see a lot of property without necessarily having to step foot in it, which will save you some time and also provide discovery documents so that you are able to see, “How did it inspect? What is the condition of the title? What are some things that we may have to navigate to be able to resell this property?” It is a great time saver and also the insight, lots of content for investors who consume on our website. They are able to also learn about the business as they are growing.
You have got 9,000 people that are on the platform as investors, but only 20% are women. Is that true?
That is correct. We want to see that number grow. I personally think that women are able to bring a new aspect to the business. We want to let all people know that we are out here, especially women who may feel like it is a challenging industry to step foot in. It is an avenue to help bridge some of those gaps. If you want to feel secure about the opportunity that you are going to consider to flip or hold, the more information you know and the quicker you can review that information, the better you are going to be able to compete and win one of your biddings and to also feel confident that you did not necessarily buy completely blind. If you can’t walk through a home, that can be daunting. At least if you have some materials to review, it can make you feel much better about your decision-making.
You bought a property in Sacramento off of the platform. Is that true?
I have not bought it through our platform as an employee. I purchased the home prior to working for Sundae. I have worked with investors who do. I have a female investor who buys lots of buys and holds. She does short-term Airbnbs around the Sacramento region. She has a very particular buy box that she is trying to find. She wants to be near hospitals or colleges.
She has the particular square footage and age that she is looking for. You will see her win bids quite frequently because she is very familiar with our platform. She is able to engage with our content, make a good decision quickly, and then bid aggressively where she feels like there is going to be lots of competition. She enjoys our platform and talks very highly about how much it saved her money and time over 2021.
I believe women have a huge advantage in real estate investing. There are disadvantages, too, but could you talk about your perspective? As female investors, what are the advantages and disadvantages that we bring to the table?
Women tend to be more willing to play the longer real estate game.
What I see among female investors is that they are very creative in their approach where they will see a property and might see three different options, “We could do an ADU or accessory dwelling in this space. We could update part of the kitchen and most of the bathroom or all of it.” They are very creative in adding extra space to get more value-add of the property.
Whereas sometimes our counterparts, when men are approaching a flip, it can be very standardized in their approach, “We are going to flip every component of it. We are going to stick exactly to the previous footprint.” These are some generalizations but I do find that women tend to be much more creative with the use and their approach when remarketing the property. Creativity is our advantage.
I am out in Sacramento every weekend because we are remodeling our new home and I am there with my business partner. We have started to look at other properties. He is a guy and I am a woman, so we balance each other beautifully in the business. It is funny because I drive him crazy with what you are calling creativity. We look at a piece of property, and he is like, “We could build four condos here. I do not know if it is going to pencil out. Lumber is expensive.” I am like, “What if we did this? We could have one facing that way.”
He is like, “We do not know if it is zoned for that.” I am like, “We can find out about that.” I am talking to my contractors about remodeling my house. I am like, “We could do this. What do you think? What is the best option?” He is like, “We normally do this.” I am like, “Yes, but we could.” It is interesting. I come into the conversation, and I drive these guys crazy.
Once they settle down, they are like, “That is a great idea. Yes, we can do this.” This is one of the things, ladies, and I do not know if you have found this too. You come into the conversation, and you have to give them a few minutes to reground and rethink because they do not move. We can move in so many different directions so fast, and the guys are like, “Slow down.” They need a day to digest.
I also think that women tend to be more willing to play the long game in real estate. More often, when you are talking to male investors, it is about, “How quickly can we sell this?” The profit margin for each one of those deals within the investment community is majority flips. Most of the women I work with all have a decent size of portfolio of buy and hold. In fact, they will say, “I am never selling these.” That is where they see themselves.
I see a lot more of that too. My business partner says it is more like a savings bond. It is for the future, pay for education or retirement, and we want to hold them to pay for those things. I wonder how much of that is because we do not want to have our hands in the mud on this. You do not want to be getting our hands dirty. We do not want to be doing all the flipping and that stuff because we have to hire contractors for the most part. That is not always true. Again, we are generalizing. Women are like, “I am happy to make this the long game because we do not want our fingers in the mud.” Would you say that that is true?
I would say that is also things I have observed in the businesses. It is also, “I want to hold on to this as long as I can. I am thinking more of the legacy or what to pass on to my other family.” Whereas I see men are, “Let’s take this down, demo this, and get this back on the market and move on to the next one.” It is a much more hands-on, hands-off approach.
If you could look back to where you started, what would you advise yourself based on what you know now?
I would have started sooner and where I could. In my mind, I had to have a certain amount of income in the bank already to do certain things, or I had to be a certain age. If I had started in real estate younger, that would be great, even if it would have been just a condo. Now that I look back and see that those prices have changed so much within a ten-year span, you think, “I could have bought twice as many units if I would have been willing to take the leap. I could have been less fearful and more creative in my approach.”
That is one of those things that I see with women all the time. We want to be ready. It is like having a baby. Maybe you wanted a baby your entire life, but you are never quite ready. There is never a good time. You know this better than anybody. When you want something, you got to do it. That is the same thing with real estate. We need to birth that business because if we don’t, it does not have an opportunity to grow as fast for us in our lives. I always want women to start sooner than they think they can.
It will teach you something. Sometimes, we imagine that maybe we will have a property for a long time. You realize, “It is time for me to let this one go because a better opportunity is coming.” I feel that real estate, like children, will teach you something about yourself, too, like, “Why am I so attached to this property? Why did I think that this was a great deal?” There are all sorts of things and you learn something both about the business and yourself with each property as well.
This is not real estate or any business. You do find out what you are made of when you are investing.
Even your threshold for pain.
As you learn those things, you are able to do the business better later. It improves your life too because you realize how powerful you are. You will find with that threshold for pain is it is significantly higher than you thought it was. I would say, “There are tears in real estate.” You find where those tears start and how much you can take. This is not supposed to be scary. You grow, and you realize your power and your capacity. The reality is almost anything that comes up is not going to take you down. You take it down.
There are tears of joy, for sure. It does something to you when you are able to visualize getting a property for particular use in terms of an investment and then manifesting that where it is like, “This is an Airbnb and rental property. This did sell.” I thought it, I imagined it, and I executed it. I can do it again. When you get good, you can teach other people how to do it too. That is a powerful thing anytime you can pass it off on.
We do have an EXTRA coming. We are going to be talking about what the biggest red flags are that Michelle looks for when considering a deal. She is going to talk about not just what she looks for but what she is seeing a lot of her ladies on the platform and what they are looking for. She is going to be showing that with us in EXTRA.
Also, as our free gift to you, Michelle and I are going to be holding a webinar. She is bringing in someone else. Her name is Jennifer Welborn. We three ladies are going to come together for a Woman’s Day Special to talk about overcoming roadblocks as women property investors. We are going to be doing a webinar on Thursday, March 17, 2022, from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Pacific Time. Go to BlissfulInvestor.com/WomansDay. Did you want to talk about what you guys are going to be covering in that webinar?
Starting in real estate when you’re younger would be great.
We are interviewing you and finding out more about what it is that women should be looking out for in a real estate deal.
This is going to be a different webinar. That is why Michelle is like, “I don’t know.”
I know that we have a lot that we are covering. When you are speaking for your company, sometimes those things are also developing.
What we have set up is we wanted to have three powerful women that are in real estate. Two of them are coming from Sundae. We are going to talk about what the roadblocks are that we have experienced, what we are seeing other women investors experience, and how we can overcome those things. It is going to be an open conversation. I am going to be interviewing them and they want to interview me. It is going to be a fun open conversation. The lovely thing about it being a webinar is it is live.
Those of you ladies, you can ask questions because you have experienced roadblocks. You are going to have three powerful women that you can personally ask questions of. It is going to be a fun open discussion. It focuses on the power of us, women as investors, and how to amplify that powerfulness rather than getting stuck in this isn’t working or the things that make us feel we can’t do it. Does that sound right?
Absolutely. The roadblocks that we all have to encounter and then either have solutions for or decide that we have to go in a different route.
Go check out Sundae at Sundae.com. Are you ready for our three rapid-fire questions?
Tell us one super tip on getting started investing in real estate.
Get a mentor, learn from someone who you like, their work, they are able to prove success, and you can learn from them if they are willing to share their experiences.
What is one strategy for being successful as a real estate investor?
Consistency. Looking at your market at all times of the year because there is some seasonality to it and consistently taking a look at deals, not always looking to purchase, but to know your market. The only way to know your market is to consistently review the deals that are successful.
One of the things that I appreciate about that is that even if you are not looking to purchase if you are looking around, you get to know areas, zoning, and parameters so that when you find something that you want to make an offer on, you are ready to go. You have got all of this wealth of information on that market. You can confidently make offers. Nobody has said it that way. Thank you for that, Michelle. I love that. What would you say is one daily practice that contributes to your personal success?
I get up pretty early every morning and I make at least an hour of that morning to be about centering myself, usually through some form of fitness. We spend a lot of time in different mental buckets of thought. As an investor, you have to jump through. Sometimes, you are thinking financially, marketing, and also the economics of what is the next year going to look like.
You are able to do that fluidly. You also have to be physically disciplined so that you can do the work when it is not always your wheelhouse, but it is part of the business. You can flow freely in the areas that are your passionate parts of it and tap into your creativity. Having that morning hour helps those days be a little more inflow than out of flow.
I also believe that exercise gets my mind more stabilized. It gets me more into my body, so I am able to utilize all my resources. I do feel like exercising makes me significantly more creative.
That is exactly why I do it because there are some mornings where I am like, “I am so tired. I can’t believe that I chose to get on this treadmill.” As soon as it is over, I am like, “That is why.” I feel like my mind is snapping into clarity.
Michelle, thank you so much for all you have offered on this portion of the show. This has been super fun.
I wish everyone reading this and considering going into investing to come and check out properties first on Sundae. There is a great place to get started. From there, you would be able to have some documents to feel much more confident about the deals you would be stepping into.
The only way to know your market is to review the successful deals.
Remember, we do have a webinar. You are going to get more of Michelle and more on this topic about how to overcome roadblocks and become a successful investor. It is an open panel. We will be chatting with each other. We will love your questions. Remember to join us on Thursday, March 17th, 2022, from 1:00 PM – 2:30 Pacific Time. Go to BlissfulInvestor.com/WomansDay. I hope to see you there.
Ladies, stay tuned for EXTRA. We are going to be talking about what are the biggest red flags Michelle and her clients look for when considering a deal. If you are subscribed to EXTRA, please stay tuned. If you are not but would like to be, go to real RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com and you can sign up for free for the first seven days.
After that, it is a subscription, but it is a very low cost. It is a huge value for what you pay. For those of you that are leaving Michelle and I now, thank you so much for joining us. Be the most amazing, beautiful, wonderful self that you are. I am so delighted to have you on this journey with me. I do look forward to seeing you next time. Remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires.
Real estate is artistic capital. I help people enjoy it.
______________________________________To listen to the EXTRA portion of this show go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com
To see this program in video:
Search on Roku for Real Estate Investing 4 Women or go to this link: https://blissfulinvestor.com/biroku
On YouTube go to Real Estate Investing for Women
Moneeka Sawyer is often described as one of the most blissful people you will ever meet. She has been investing in Real Estate for over 20 years, so has been through all the different cycles of the market. Still, she has turned $10,000 into over $5,000,000, working only 5-10 hours per MONTH with very little stress.
While building her multi-million dollar business, she has traveled to over 55 countries, dances every single day, supports causes that are important to her, and spends lots of time with her husband of over 20 years.
She is the international best-selling author of the multiple award-winning books “Choose Bliss: The Power and Practice of Joy and Contentment” and “Real Estate Investing for Women: Expert Conversations to Increase Wealth and Happiness the Blissful Way.”
Moneeka has been featured on stages including Carnegie Hall and Nasdaq, radio, podcasts such as Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod, and TV stations including ABC, CBS, FOX, and the CW, impacting over 150 million people.