Real estate can easily become a stressful place to be since things can change very quickly. How can you stay focused and positive despite all the challenges, relieve yourself of stress and truly enjoy a successful life? Learn a great deal about this as Moneeka Sawyer talks to real estate investor Helen Krause. Aside from real estate investing, Helen has also been in the title business for over thirteen years as Marketing Director at New World Title & Escrow. Also on this episode, learn about Helen’s recent projects, her strategy in structuring hard money deals, the intricacies of the title business and her must-get weekly motivational quotes freebie.
I am excited to welcome to our show our guest Helen Krause. Helen earned her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from James Madison University. After graduation, she worked for a local home builder. She has been in the title business for over thirteen years focused primarily on the sales and marketing side. She has her Title Insurance license and has conducted hundreds of settlements. Her background is in marketing and her passion is to help others achieve their goals. She likes to partner with her clients to provide value to their businesses. She loves speaking to agents who are starting and growing their careers and teaches educational and motivational classes and events. Helen, how are you? Welcome to the show.
Thank you much, Moneeka. I’m excited and happy to be here.
I’m excited to have you too. Thank you for coming on. Let’s start by you telling us a little bit about your history and your story.
I have an interesting background in school. I studied biotechnology and then some marketing where I got my MBA. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do and I ended up working for a local home builder. I did some sales and marketing for them and sold some homes and that is how I got into real estate. From there, I switched over to title and settlement services. It ended up being a great shift for me. Instead of working directly with clients all the time, I got to start building business partners. Other real estate professionals, mortgage loan officers, investors, other builders. I enjoyed that because I got to see my clients more often than just selling them a house here or there. I’m grateful that I’ve gotten into this business. I do mostly the sales and marketing business development. I also conduct the closings as well as some of our clients want me because I’m the face of the company or to help out because fortunately, we’re busy, which is great.
Are you also an investor yourself?
Many people get into investing accidentally and then they’re like, “This is amazing.”
I bought my first house. I was young. Since I worked for a builder, I was like, “I’m selling homes. I have to put my money where my mouth is.” I think I was 23 when I bought my first house and it was great. It was in an area that I enjoyed but then I got engaged and my husband said, “I don’t want to live there. I’d rather live somewhere else.” We bought our first house together and fortunately, we were able to retain the house that I had owned myself. That’s how it all began. We rented that property out. I still do. We’re landlords. We own that property and have dealt with tenants.
When we moved up into our next house, we kept the second house. I do have two rental properties and that’s how I fell into it, which I think is great for anyone that’s able to do that. I’m fortunate that we do have those two rental properties. There have been some hiccups here and there with tenants, but in general, we’ve been fortunate. It’s been great. We’re making money from that and it’s wonderful. I do some investment and some hard money lending opportunities too. That’s a little bit different.
I want to backtrack on this a little bit. How long did it take you to move from house to house? How long did it take you to get to house number three?
I was in my first house for three years or and then the second house for five years. There are reasons why you have to move like everyone out there. We needed a bigger house for a bigger family.
How did you get the down payment for each of the new houses that you bought?
I am a saver. I’m cautious about finances and money. I keep close track of all of that. Sometimes my husband says that I’m driving him crazy because I’ll look at all of our accounts and be like, “What is this?” I’ve caught mistakes before, like a company charges you twice or something like that. I am a little bit crazy about that in a good way. We try to save money. Fortunately, we were able to save up a decent down payment for all the homes and we’re able to move up in that way comfortably.
That’s great advice. I usually use equity and my primary residence to buy the next one. I was curious about what your strategy was.
I did not use equity. I saved up and was fortunate enough to be able to put money down for the next one.
For your properties, you’re cashflowing. Is that true?
The first one’s breaking even. I will say about that in the height of the market in 2005. I’m in the Washington, DC, Metro area on the Virginia side. That, unfortunately, was not probably the best time to purchase a home, which is part of the reason why I didn’t sell it and held onto it. Now it’s come back but I break even on that one. I probably could raise the rent but I’ve had a great tenant in there and I’m not going to ruin that. We keep him at the same payment. Essentially the second house we do, we make a good amount of money on that house, which made it a lot easier to move into the third house. At that time, I was also about to have my second child, getting a new daycare. I was nervous about all the expenses. We were making about $1,000 off of that second house a month. That helped offset some of the other costs.
On the first one though, it’s appreciated. Even though you’re cutting even, but it’s appreciated so that one’s doing fine.
It’s appreciating and then we can take depreciation on our taxes. There are benefits to some tax write-off and things like that.
Easy, simple, blissful, intuitive strategy. It doesn’t take a lot.Nothing is ever completely perfect in real estate. It's important to get back into a positive mindset and move forward. Click To Tweet
Some people are savvy investors. I hope that I can be out there to say, “You can do it too.” I didn’t go out there and try to figure some complicated strategy out. It ended up working. I wouldn’t consider myself a super-savvy investor, but I am doing it. Those of you out there that aren’t sure, you can do it too. You have to be smart about it and do your research.
I love that you’re saying, “I’m not a super savvy investor,” but at least you’re investing. Many people are like, “I need to learn all this stuff.” No, you just have to buy a house. Do your research on your areas. If you’re going to live there, you’re going to want to live there. It’s the easiest thing to do and we overthink this stuff. We think before I can get started, I have to have this cool strategy for making a bunch of money. The thing is, if you never get started, the money will never happen. Buy something. Do that thing. Like you, I bought it at the top of the market. I bought it in 2008. I bought even higher than you did. I also bought at the top of the market in 2001, but I cut even on those properties on rents for a long time but they both appreciated beautifully. They’re an important part of my portfolio financially, as far as my net worth. As long as you give yourself the time, you don’t have to do fancy-dancy stuff. You can build your wealth through real estate doing simple things like buying a house to live in to start.
That’s one of my biggest pet peeves. I do think you want to be educated and do some research, but you’ve got to take action. Action is the most important thing. I completely believe what you’re saying and I think that’s good advice for everybody.
I was a mortgage broker for a long time. I know what it was like. I was hoping that I was nice to deal with. I will say that my title officer was like, “You are my favorite client,” which is awesome but I know how much stress you guys are under. How do you stay focused and positive through all of that? This is a show about bliss, so that’s relevant.
It can be stressful. Anyone in real estate says it’s stressful because things change every minute. It is a difficult industry at times, but it’s also fun because you’re helping people buy homes. I feel like there are not many things that are better than that. I try to always think about the big picture. We’re making people happy and almost always people are super happy. Some situations are not, but in general, this is a good thing and we’re helping people. I do try to stay focused. There are people all around who are negative. They’re not doing well in their business. They hear something in the news that is putting them down.
I don’t allow that to enter my mind. Maybe I listen so I know what’s happening, but I focus and I keep working. I keep working hard, I put my head down, and do what’s working. Maybe I’ll still market share from these people that are being negative. Continue to do what you know works and don’t get distracted by the negativity. Some other things like being organized so that you’re on top of your business and you’re not letting things slip through the cracks, and having a good team. I’m lucky because I work with amazing people. All of our processors, our attorneys, every one of my company, I feel like I trust them and I feel comfortable with them.
I’m able to delegate a lot of things. I jump in and help as much as I can if they’re overwhelmed. Having a good team is valuable and important. Also, being proactive. There are going to be problems, things are going to go wrong. I try to get ahead of it. If there is a problem for us with title work, we see a lot of title problems. The earlier I can find out a problem, the better. I don’t like being the one to give bad news, but if I give bad news and we still have a month to resolve it, we are likely going to be able to resolve it and we’re going to settle on time. I think being proactive, being ahead of it, having difficult conversations so that we can all problem solve and make the best move for everyone.
Sometimes people do need to walk away from homes. Hopefully, they’re making a good decision. I think being proactive and delivering that news is important in a good way. I try to be a problem solver and help people move forward. Also, on negative days, if something’s going wrong, I do have a folder in my email. I have a testimonial folder. When I get a good testimonial from a client, I’ll put it in there or other positive things. If I’m like, “Today was frustrating.” I can go in and look at that. I’m like, “These people loved us and we did a great job.” I think it’s important to do that and remember because we all have those bad days and you’re like, “This closing didn’t go perfectly right.” Nothing is ever completely perfect. I think that’s important to shift your mindset, get back into a positive mindset, and move forward.
There are two things that I want to highlight there. First of all, you call it proactive. Many people will procrastinate on that. When things are rough, they’ll procrastinate on making a phone call or they run their business where they’ve got a schedule, but the schedule is about doing the next thing that has to be done. They’re not proactively looking three weeks ahead of time. I know this is what I loved about my title officer is I could call her with a problem and she already knew that I was going to call with that. I was proactive. She was even more proactive than me. The reason I worked with her is that other officers heard the news from me, I got to hear the news from her. She made my life easier.
When we would have difficult conversations, yes, my clients were upset but as you say, they were more likely to be able to close on that house because it was being handled. They saw me as a pro as a mortgage broker, they saw my title company and my title officer as a pro. There was no question about whether we knew what we were doing. They didn’t do their hand waving thing that often happens with mortgage brokers, which is, “One more piece of paper. Are you kidding? Why didn’t you tell me this two weeks ago?” All of those questions didn’t come up. They would get frustrated, but it was never like, “Do you need this?” They know that I’m a pro enough that if I’m asking for it, I need it. So much of that had to do with my title officer.
You are important for our businesses on the front end because we’re bringing the clients in. You bring in the clients too but it’s a different way that we work with our clients. I often wondered why don’t other people do it and the truth is, it is its own level of stress, but it’s a level of stress that it’s much more manageable than if you have to deal with it on the back end like closer to the closing or whatever. I love this propensity may be to procrastinate can cause more stress, to have the harder conversations.
I talk about in this show all the time that this is a people business and those hard conversations are part of that. Developing skills and doing that and understanding that they’re necessary and it doesn’t make you bad or anybody else bad. It’s important and if you come at it from this problem-solving approach, which is what you talk about, it’s a completely different thing than if you’re frustrated or negative. I used to hear title companies and mortgage brokers all the time talking about, “I can’t believe that bank changed the programs again.” They would commiserate with their clients, “You’re right. This is horrible. I hate this company too.” You’re like, “Really?”
I’m like, “If you want to vent for a second, no problem but then we’ve got to figure out how we’re going to solve this.”
You’re not going to close. You don’t get your dream unless we close. I completely commiserate and make this an hour-long vent between the two of us, it’s probably not going to be helpful.
I find people seem to, for the most part, appreciate it. We’re not trying to find problems, but our job is to find problems. If there’s a title issue, we’re supposed to find it. It’s how you handle it and how you deliver it. When you are working on these difficult situations, that’s when you shine. If you’re a good title person or real estate investor, any of us, if we’re solving problems and we’re doing a great job when it’s difficult, that’s when you prove your worth.
You show who you are when you’re dealing with challenges. That is the truth. Thank you for that. That was inspirational. In addition to owning a title company, what else do you do? What other ventures are you involved in?
As far as going into the real estate investing world, we talked a little about the rental properties. I briefly mentioned the hard money lending. I’m lucky because being in the title business, I work with investors. I work with lenders who know of creative opportunities and things like that. My financial planner has also been helpful because they know that we’re looking for creative ways to invest. The hard money lending, I’ve also done given some money for some restaurants, which I know can be a little risky. We are part owner of a Potbelly, a franchise in Richmond. That’s exciting and fun as well. It’s not completely real estate related, but investment-related. We have a few different things going on. Also, we lent money out for other real estate projects.
We have a lot of contacts in Richmond. Randomly a few different things going on in that area as well. It’s been good real estate investing. The hard money lending is I feel fortunate. A loan officer I worked with introduced me to a gentleman who flips homes and he is always looking for funds. It’s been a great situation. We were the first non-family members that contributed to his projects and things like that. It’s been a great return on investment. It can be risky, but it’s been a great partnership. It’s been great for us.
Do you mind if I ask how you structure those hard money deals? I had hard money lenders on the show, but I know that we’ve had private money. They are asking other people for private money. I’d love to find out your structuring.
It’s similar. Most of them are six months’ notes because they’re purchasing the property, renovating it, and then selling it. Typically, it’s a six-month note. The people who are facilitating it, they receive the points. The borrower is paying maybe a few points upfront because it’s riskier and then we receive the interest. We get 10% interest on the money that we are contributing. That’s how it’s structured and then after the six months it’s paid off and we determine if we’re going to put it into another project or take the money back and that sort of thing.
Who is it that gets the points?
The person that we’re contributing to the hard money loans, the gentleman who’s structuring and facilitating the process. He gets the points and then his investors receive the interest on their portion of the funds.
What is the interest range that you guys charge?
I believe that he charges the clients 10% and we get 10% of our portion. I could be wrong, but I’m sure that’s how it’s been structured unless it’s changed since we began. He’s charging 2 or 3 points. He receives that portion.
Do you ever have a note where they ask to extend?
We haven’t. They’ve been able to do the projects in the amount of time. Sometimes it’s shorter than they thought so they’ll pay it off early, but I think they usually are conservative with the timeframe. It’s up to six months and then they finish it earlier.
When they finish early, do they pay you for the entire six-month term or they just pay for the time that they used?
They pay for the time they use. It’s close to the timeframe. We’ve been in this rhythm with them for a few years, it’s been going well, but you’re right. If it pays off early, then we would be done, but usually there’s a new project coming, so we roll the money into the next one.
Do you ever look at the projects or you give the money to the facilitator or whatever you call it?
No, I have never seen one of the projects at all. That’s why the first time we’re a little bit nervous and then now we’ve built a good relationship. We trust them and we feel lucky. I have been approached by other hard money lenders or private money companies and lenders but I haven’t switched. Someone’s like, “I’ll give 11%.” I’m like, “No. I’m going to stick with what I know.” One more percent is not going to sway me necessarily. Unless he gets too many partners and we want to have more avenues to share that. I feel comfortable and good with what we have going on.
The facilitator that you’re dealing with, does he have a minimum or a maximum investment amount? What’s the range?
He does. Initially, it was like $25,000 minimum and now, for anybody new coming in, it’s $50,000. Usually, people are giving $50,000 to $100,000 and I believe partly because I share his name a lot. He usually has plenty of investors now. Now, when I’ve given him a few contacts, he’s like, “I don’t have enough projects for everybody.” It seems to be working out.
How did you find him?
Through a loan officer, I work with. I’m lucky to know loan officers and some are conservative by the book. They do conventional or typical loans. This particular loan officer, he’s into investing as well and does all sorts of different types of mortgage loans and contacts. We were maybe talking about the Potbelly or something else and he’s like, “You guys are into doing some different types of investments. Let me introduce you to this gentleman, Robert.” That’s how it all came about.
Did you do due diligence on Robert? How did you do that?
Of course, recommendations, I always feel a little more comfortable. I’m not an attorney, but I have the attorney, the other owner of our title company. He helped us create the notes that we have. Before that, they were only working with family members. We were the first non-family member and I was like, “We’ve got to make sure that we are doing it in a wise way.” We had an attorney prepare and review the note and move forward. I probably could have done more due diligence, but I felt comfortable with the few things that we did and we went for it. As you said, take action and see where it goes.
Thank you for sharing that. What specifically are your investment goals? Why are you doing all of this cool stuff?
One is because if we want to be smart with the money, as I mentioned, I’m a saver and you don’t want your money sitting under your bed or in the banks that aren’t making much money. I used to be conservative and risk-averse and I still am. We can’t be making no interest on our money. That’s how we started looking at different investment opportunities. I was at an investment seminar and this resonated with me is eventually to make enough passive income that it pays them the major bills that we have. The mortgage, childcare, that sort of thing. If we could have enough passive income to pay that then our salaries and all the hard work we’re doing at other things would be extra. I’m not there, or not close, but that is my goal and hopefully, we will get there.
Do you have a timeframe?
I don’t and I should. You’ve got to do those SMART goals and I don’t have a timeframe. If we could be there in ten years, I would be happy with that.Be smart with money. You can’t be making no interest on it. Click To Tweet
The other thing is that you’ve invested in high appreciation markets. Do you have a vision on what you want to do with appreciation, for instance, on that first house?
Not really. It will be interesting to see. Being a real estate title company, my hope would be that when we sell that home, do a 1031 exchange potentially. We handle a lot of settlements on 1031 exchanges. I think long-term in an ideal world, which I could probably make happen. If I could sell both those investment properties and roll those gains into a new investment property, I think that would be an ideal situation. Maybe a beach house down in North Carolina or something that eventually we could retire to or something. Thinking about what’s the smart way to do that. I talked about researching a little bit before, but I need to work with good partners to make sure that I’m doing the right things for tax purposes, that the business attorney we’ve talked to, and all of that. I think that would be ideal if we could do a 1031 exchange.
Regarding your timeframe thing, I want to make a comment personally, when I started investing too, I had no real timeframe goal. I thought I wanted to retire by the time I was 40. I’ll say to my audience that if you retire at the age of 40, you get bored because then what are you doing with your mind and your time? I ended up starting to coach because I was retired and bored out of my mind. I think what’s also true is that I couldn’t have retired with the lifestyle that I wanted. We continued our path in real estate and I started to work again. I didn’t have to, but I started to work again because I was bored.
The point that I’m trying to make is that even if we miss our timeframe goal does not mean that you’re a failure. I know that you don’t think this, Helen, and this is more for my audience, but I think that what happens is people are like, “I should set this SMART goal.” The SMART goals are all about making the goal specific. When we’re talking about retirement, part of that specificity is a timeframe. For you and me, it wasn’t but for a lot of people it is. I want to help people to understand. Hal Elrod was on my show and he said the same thing that even if you don’t hit it in your timeframe, it doesn’t mean that it’s over and it doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. It means that you’ve got to give it more time.
You may need to pivot to do something a little bit differently Tweak it a little bit, focus a little bit more. For me, I wasn’t even focusing. I was doing whatever I wanted in the world. For me, it took a long time, but there are a lot of people that could do exactly what I did and retire earlier if that’s what they wanted, if they focus. I wanted to speak to that a little bit about you not having a timeframe and I never did either. I had wishy-washy whatever one but had I reached that, where would I be? I don’t know that I would be as excited about life if I didn’t have a mission beyond retiring.
It’s like what you did. You pivoted into a new role of coaching. I guess you would find something because you’re a motivated person who wants to have a bigger purpose. That’s how I feel too. I feel fortunate in what I’m doing now. I wouldn’t want to give that up. Even if I wasn’t, maybe I’d work a little bit less and travel a little bit more, but I’d still want to do it because I enjoy it and it’s something that gives me energy and purpose.
It’s a good reason to wake up in the morning. Some cool things to do and some cool people to meet. You don’t get lonely. The other thing I wanted to ask you, this is going to put you on the spot a little bit, but this is a personal question. I’ve heard about the reverse 1031. Do you guys do those over there in Virginia too?
We do. As far as the title portion goes, we’re at the mercy of the qualified intermediary. They are a little more expensive, but they are something that you can do and we have done them before. I personally haven’t had a whole lot of interaction. We do 1031 CE, Continuing Education classes. We have some partners in that business. I know they talk a lot about them. I’m not an expert on that though.
Why don’t you explain how that works?
On a 1031 exchange, you would be selling your property within a certain timeframe. You have to identify the replacement property, I think is the term, and then within another set timeframe, you have to settle on that. When you’re doing a reverse 1031 exchange, you’re purchasing the replacement property before you sell the initial property. That’s how it works. It’s a little bit different. I know that they do charge a lot of extra fees because it’s a little more complicated. I believe that’s how it works. You probably know better than I do.
Let’s say, for instance, I purchase a piece of property and then I want to sell another piece of property, is there a timeframe restriction?
I believe that is correct.
Who do you go through to do the reverse? I know that you can’t just go through the title company. There are some other people that are involved in that.
For both either way of 1031 exchange, the client cannot touch the money on a regular. I guess in reverse, it’s a little bit different but the money is going through what’s called a QI or a Qualified Intermediary. When we’re doing a 1031 exchange, someone’s selling their home, the proceeds do not go to the seller, they go to the qualified intermediary. When they purchase the home, the qualified intermediary sends the funds back to us to do the closing.
For us as a title company, it’s not that different, except there’s one other party that’s involved with some of the funds. There’re maybe a few extra forms to fill out. When it’s the reverse, I believe that then they’re borrowing the funds from the qualified intermediary, because they haven’t yet sold their property. They’re then giving them the funds after they close on these properties that they’re selling. There is always someone that’s involved in holding the fund’s purposes.
Does the title company recommend the intermediary or do we as an investor need to find it ourselves?
We can recommend one. There’s one primary one in our area, but there’s a handful out there. Anytime you make a recommendation, you want to be a little cautious because heaven forbid, they don’t have a good experience. I have recommended people before, but sometimes the investors will already have a relationship or they’ll find one on their own. The title committee does not have to approve them necessarily.
If we’re not going to go with someone that the title company recommended, how would we find that person? What would we look for?
You would probably find a recommendation from someone, but you could go on Google and nowadays, everyone’s finding things online. You’d want to find a 1031 exchange company or a qualified intermediary. That’s what you’d be looking for. They can do them throughout the nation. It doesn’t necessarily have to be local, but sometimes I do think it’s nice if it’s local especially if both of your properties are in one area. There are a lot out there. Even some of our title insurance underwriting companies do 1031 exchanges. They could even help you out. A recommendation I think is always best from the title company or if you’re working with a realtor who does a lot of investments, probably they have had other clients do it. I think asking the resources, your mortgage company, your real estate agent, or your title company is probably the best way to find someone.
It’s interesting because here in Silicon Valley, it’s hard to buy something. You get outbid constantly. For me, it makes intuitive sense to purchase first and then sell because you’re doing the hard part first, and then selling is relatively easy. The market’s strained a little bit right now. Things are changing but when it’s a seller’s market, that’s what it looks like. I’m surprised at how few people know about this. My realtor didn’t know about it. I have not yet found a title company that’s used to doing them. None of my loan officers know about it. I read about it somewhere. I thought, “This makes sense in these hot markets to do it this way.” I also know that the fees are fairly significant. Like I was quoted at about a $6,000 Delta on the title fees. That’s probably about what it’s going to cost to do a reverse. Are you finding the fees to be similar to that?
As a title company, we do not charge different fees for a 1031 exchange, but the qualified intermediary does. In California, maybe different. Every state is a little bit different in how they handle things. Maybe the title company is more of a qualified intermediary. I don’t know. Here on the East Coast DC area, we work with a qualified intermediary and they have the fees. The reverse 1031 is quite a lot. There’s a big difference in cost. That is the main reason why people don’t do it. We are an expensive area as well. I can see what you’re saying as far as that desire to do that. It doesn’t have to be in the same area. We’ll see people sell here and buy in a different state. That may make sense for certain people when it’s not quite as crazy of a market.
The other thing is that, do you need an intermediary for regular 1031 exchange or does that get handled through the title company?
You need one also for a regular 1031 exchange. You cannot touch the money as the person that’s selling and buying. That’s one of the roles of the qualified intermediary.
We’re going to have to pay an intermediary, whether we do a straight 1031, or we do a reverse and the change in price is going to be what their charges are based on what we’re doing.
I can’t quote their fees, but I do know it is riskier and therefore, more expensive for them to do the reverse.
If we don’t do the reverse, what happens? Do they release the money and then we pay capital gains on that? Do you have any thoughts?
In the normal 1031 exchange, you would be selling your property, the money goes to 1031 exchange. Say it’s $300,000 that you’re using towards the next property, you can use all of that. You shouldn’t have to pay the capital gains. I’m not an accountant. Say you only use $200,000 on the new property, the Delta is $100,000, you pay capital gains on that portion, I believe.
That’s all stuff to talk to our CPAs about. I understand. There are many questions about 1031s and when I’ve got a CPA on the line, most of them don’t seem to understand all. The CPAs are good at their jobs and detailed. A 1031 conversation can take hours. To do the high level seems a little bit harder sometimes and it’s nice to have a conversation with the title company because you guys know the high level. You don’t know all the details. You can be a little bit more approachable for us as audiences.
You would want to talk to an accountant to go into more detail. I don’t know all the nitty-gritty, but the general information.
Audiences, this is a high level. We’re not telling you the rules. Your CPA will tell you exactly what kinds of properties you can buy, how you need to use that equity. They’ll tell you your timeframes. They’ll tell you all of those pieces. Talk to a CPA. This conversation is to give us a high level because I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the 1031.
The qualified intermediary should be able to give you timeframes and a lot of information too. They’re a great resource as well.
What are your passion and your big why?
I’m sure like many of you out there, my big passion is my family. I’m married. I have two young kids. They’re two little girls who are five and three. They’re in growth mode and an important phase. My passion and my why is trying to figure out supporting them and being a good role model for them. Trying to figure out how to raise them in this crazy world that we live in to be good people. I want them to be good, kind people. I’m trying to make sure that I’m always that way as well. The other thing would be then giving back. Even before I had kids, work-wise, I did a lot with Habitat and some local home-based organizations trying to give back. That makes sense for real estate.
In my area, I was active with this organization called AFAC, which is helping people in Arlington County with food and that sort of thing. I’m looking for ways I can give back with the kids so that they can see we’re fortunate. Let’s make sure that we’re helping others and give perspective. That’s one of the things I’m looking for. If anyone has good ideas, I’m also open to hearing some great suggestions of things you can do with children to help them be exposed to everything and that they understand and give back and are grateful and thankful for what they have. That’s my big why.
You and I are aligned in that way because since I was a young girl, I’ve been donating to a school in India for the education of girls. That’s a big deal for me. I was horrified when I lived in India to see the way that women were treated. For me, it was like, this cannot keep going. It starts with education. I became involved in that. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to give more money, but then also, because I’m not working as hard, I’m able to give more of my time. It started small and this is something for us to remember is that as we’re giving back in the world, we can give in many different ways. We can give time. We can give a little bit of money. We can give a lot of money. We can start an organization.
There’s a whole gamut of what we can do to give back. We can also help somebody with a cart that’s blind. We can also smile at somebody. We can also work in a soup kitchen. There are lots of different ways to give back. One of the tenets of bliss in my book, Choose Bliss is that it gives life more meaning. It fills you up. There’s this thing called the givers high. In a way, it’s selfish to do this but what a great way to be selfish is to help people in the world. It does give life more meaning. Those days that I feel like, “I worked hard.”
There are a couple of big reasons why I keep going. First of all, I know I’m helping my audiences. I hear about it all the time and that’s fulfilling to me. That’s my way of giving back. When I’m doing my properties, all of my real estates are in redevelopment areas. I’m always trying to improve a neighborhood and a community. That’s fulfilling. My school in India, I’m involved with that. We filmed a documentary there. That piece of giving back to communities and teaching our children to do the same thing, it’s such an important piece of bliss and an important piece of finding meaning in life. Thank you for bringing that up. That’s important. What would your advice be for people to have a more successful life?
Some of this we’ve touched on already, but I think we all need to be thankful for the things that we have and live your life in a full way, instead of always thinking like a scarcity mentality kind of thing. Be thankful for the things you have and try not to dwell on the things you don’t. We all wish we had more of this or that. Everyone has things that they need to be thankful for. Investment wise, save when you can, and then be smart with it. Save the money and then be smart with what you do with it. The quote that I live by is from Zig Ziglar and it’s, “You can have everything in life, as long as you help enough other people get what they want in life.” Trying to give back to others, make connections, how we can all live and enjoy our lives together. I feel great when I’m able to help someone else out. It’s a win-win situation because they’re thrilled and you’re thrilled because you were able to do something great for someone else.
Thank you for that. The other quote that I love by Zig is he says, “Sometimes they’ll ask somebody how are you doing?” They’ll say something like, “I’m doing fine under the circumstances.” He’ll say, “What the heck are you doing under there anyway?”
He’s got a lot of great quotes.Be thankful for the things you have and try not to dwell on the things you don't. Click To Tweet
Could you tell us how people can get in touch with you?
I would love to hear from you guys. If there are questions you have or suggestions, the best way would be to email me. My email is [email protected].
I know that you’ve got a free gift for my audiences. Tell them about that.
We talked a little about quotes and staying motivated. My big thing in quotes. When I meet with a client, I try to bring a little quote book with me. I got the suggestion, which is to create my own. I might put together a quote book, but in the meantime, I send out a motivational quote every Friday. If you are interested, I would love to add you to that list. It’s a little Friday morning motivation to get you through the end of the week. If you are local, a list of a few events that we have coming up, you’re welcome to attend those as well. A little extra motivation on your Friday morning. If you’d like to be added to that list, I’d be delighted to add you.
That’s at [email protected].
Send me an email there and I’ll add you to the list.
This is something I want to highlight. We are fed negativity all the time. We have TV, we have the news, we have advertising that tells us we’re not good enough and we need these products to be good enough. We’re getting a lot of negativity fed to us all the time. We’re doing that by choice. We watch the television, we watch the news. We read the news where we are allowing ourselves to be in that position. It’s important that we also prioritize taking the time to give ourselves positive stuff, to reinforce that positive side, to balance the other side that we can’t avoid. A lot of people think, “Whatever I don’t need positive quotes.” You do because you have to feed yourself the same way as we feed ourselves knowledge.
As we feed ourselves the news of the world so that we can be part of the world community and the world village. We also need to feed ourselves the positive things that will keep us uplifted. A bliss practice is that if you’re not feeding yourself that then you’re not getting it because that doesn’t come to us naturally. That’s something we have to seek out. Unfortunately, I would love it if more news stories were happy, but there aren’t enough to compensate for what’s coming out on the more negative side. I love that you’re offering that. Ladies, I would encourage you to get on that list so that you can get good quotes and cute videos and all that stuff that you can get to uplift you to balance out all the other stuff that we are fed in the world.
If anyone out there has a great quote that they love, send it to me. I would love it. I’m picky. I only put quotes in there that do motivate me. Sometimes I’m like, “What am I going to do this week?” If you have a good one, send it my way. I would love to hear it.
Thank you for that. Helen, are you ready for our three rapid-fire questions?
Let’s do it.
The first one is, give us a super tip on how to get started in real estate investing.
It’s not that difficult. You’ve got to take action. Find something you’re comfortable with. There’re many different ways to invest. It doesn’t have to be something huge, start small. I would try to find a mentor or someone that’s done it before. They could ask some questions to someone you trust and then start small and then grow it from there.
What would you say is one strategy on being successful in real estate investing?
I know you said don’t research too much, but I do think researching is important. I think finding a good CPA, we’ve talked a lot about how important accountants can be. Finding a business attorney potentially because maybe you’re going to put that investment property into an LLC and you want to know the pros and cons of that. Also, for liability purposes, you may want to talk to an insurance person. Collaborating with a few people who are going to protect yourself, is also important and will help make you more successful.
What would you say is one daily practice that contributes to your success?
The mentality of being grateful and thankful. I don’t know if anyone’s read The Secret that book back in the day. Every night before going to bed, I say a little prayer or think about my day and the things I’m grateful for and I think always looking back. Celebrating those little successes you have. Also, one other thing outside of that is finding an accountability partner. Stay on track with them and make sure you’re both achieving and moving forward in the right direction. Be patient, it doesn’t always happen overnight. Sometimes I think I’m like, “I started doing this. I should see results right away.” Some things take a little bit of time. Take action, but be patient and be grateful for those things that you have.
Thank you for all the amazing information. This has been a great conversation, Helen.
Thank you, Moneeka. I’m excited. I am honored and feel grateful that I’ve been on the show with you.
Ladies, thank you for joining Helen and I on this show. We’ve been delighted to share our information with you. I look forward to seeing you at the next show. 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.
Thank you again for joining me on the Real Estate Investing for Women Show. If you love this show, please subscribe, rate and review it on iTunes. As women, we need to support and empower each other to build wealth and live joyful lives. Your support of this show by subscribing, rating, and reviewing it will help other women as you learn about building blissful wealth through investing. Remember to download your free report so you can get started on your investing journey at BlissfulInvestor.com. See you next time. Here’s something you individually can do to create a peace that’s as simple as pressing play. Get the download from PeaceAndHarmonyDownload.com and be a peace hero. Create your own pocket of peace around you so there are fewer family squabbles and more harmony in your life.
Helen Krause earned her undergraduate and masters degree from James Madison University. After graduation, she worked for a local homebuilder. She has been in title business for over thirteen years, focused primarily on the sales and marketing side. She also has her title insurance license and has conducted hundreds of settlements. Her background is in marketing and her passion is to help others achieve their goals. She likes to partner with her clients to provide value for their business. She loves speaking to agents who are starting and growing their careers and teaches educational and motivational classes and events.
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.