Welcome to the first issue of “Successful Women in Real Estate Investing”.
If you bring up real estate investing in a group of women who are not in the business, they will almost always view this business as being “a man’s business”. They consider it to be a male dominated field which is certainly true. There are a lot more men than women out there in the field of real estate investing. What this means to me is that there is a huge opportunity just waiting for women in this field.
Women in Real Estate
There are a whole lot of successful female investors out there and that is what this series is going to be about. Somewhere along the line a lot of women have come to the conclusion that they have to sit on the sidelines, and I am on a mission to change that.
I had to stop and ask myself the question, “Why is that? Why is it that so many women feel this way, and why are they so under served in this niche of real estate investing”? By asking myself these questions, it forced me to take a look at all the reasons why this is the perfect business for women of all ages.
Real Estate Investing is a Perfect Fit for Women of All Ages
I really mean it when I say this business is perfect for women of all ages. Whether you are a mom with kids at home, an “empty nester” that is ready to start that “next chapter”, or someone who is looking at retirement and saying, “What now?” real estate is a perfect vehicle for moving forward to create a business and a life that they love.
Here are Some Advantages of this Business
- You can work as much (or as little) as you want.
- By setting up systems, you can step outside the daily grind and delegate some of those routine tasks.
- If you have a Self Directed Roth IRA, you can use some of those retirement funds to grow your nest egg tax free through real estate.
- If virtual investing sounds like something that would be a fit for you, this strategy is one that you can literally do from anywhere with just a computer and internet access
Just for Moms
If you are a mom here are just a few of the advantages of starting a real estate investing business:
- You have the flexibility to set your own hours; you can work around your children’s schedule.
- You don’t have to choose whether to work or attend that special school function.
- If you need to get some marketing done, you can take care of that after they kids are in bed.
- Is someone is sick today? No problem; you can work from home.
The Advantages of Starting Sooner Rather than Later
Here is the thing you need to remember; this is a business you can start at any stage of your life. There are no limitations! You make the rules. You design the lifestyle business that is right for YOU.
If you happen to be one of those women with small children now, this business can change and evolve as you move through each stage of life. Here are a few things to think about …
- You can take your time while the kids are small.
- The income from this business will help you fund their education.
- Once the kids are grown, you can have the extra money to “fund your dreams”.
- Finally, the income from real estate investing will fund your retirement.
And … you can do all of this on YOUR terms.
Traits for Success (You Already Have Them)
There are really too many of these to list, but here are just a few traits that make this the perfect business for women:
- They are already used to juggling multiple projects.
- They tend to be very organized.
- They are used to working with schedules and “making things happen” in spite of those schedules and deadlines.
- Working within the confines of budgets is something they do every day.
- Women typically have a great deal of experience when it comes to groups and committees. This makes them awesome networkers, and it tends to make them successful at project management.
Successful Women in Real Estate Investing; Role Models
I’m really excited to bring you this series over the next few months that will highlight successful women in real estate investing. I have asked each one of these successful investors the same 4 questions.
These questions were designed to address some of those initial roadblocks that keep folks from getting started such as –
Not knowing where to start (which investing strategy to choose). It’s important to understand that most investors try a couple of different strategies before finally settling on “the one”. I like to say that I believe that “your strategy will choose you”. One of them will just feel right, and it will also be the one that you can’t wait to get up and work on each day.
I also wanted to know what advice their “much wiser selves” would give women starting out in this business, and also what they would do differently if anything.
The 4 Questions
What made you choose the niche you invest in today?
- Did you try other investing strategies before settling on the main strategy you focus on today?
- What is the best advice you could give someone “brand spanking new”; someone just getting started?
- If you had to start over today, what would you do differently?
As much as I hope you enjoy this series, what I am really hoping is that if you haven’t yet gotten started or if you are still struggling, these awesome women in real estate will give you the courage to move forward.
Wherever you are, just take the next step…..
Successful Women in Real Estate Investing – Barbara Grassey
Our first person to spotlight in “Successful Women in Real Estate Investing” is Barbara Grassey. Barbara is a seasoned investor in south Florida, whose main investing strategy is wholesaling. Here are her answers to the questions.
What made you choose the niche you invest in today?
I prefer to wholesale properties. Many people put it down as “having a job” but quite frankly, I’d rather wholesale than have to deal with something long-term. That’s just my nature. I like to start things, get them running, but I hate to hang around for the long term. I have done rehabs and was a buy and hold investor. But wholesaling is like going shopping. I like hunting for bargains and seeing the potential in distressed properties. Much more fun.
I used to work “servicing lists” – people who were behind in their payments but hadn’t had the lis pendens filed yet. The Florida version of the SAFE Act basically says that if someone is behind in their payments, even if the LP hasn’t been filed yet, they are in foreclosure and there is a slew of regulations and requirements to do deals with these people. It’s not worth it to me. I don’t even talk to people in foreclosure now. And, in Florida, people in foreclosure know enough to sit in their properties. They know they can live payment-free for months if not years and may eventually be able to do a “cash for keys” deal. That’s a much better deal for them.
Did you try other investing strategies before settling on the main strategy you focus on today?
Yes. I held rental properties at one point and realized that I just don’t like dealing with tenants, even though most of my tenants were really great. (I had one that baked me cookies!) But I don’t like being tied to an area and having to be available for tenants. Property managers would seem to solve that problem but finding competent property managers in my area is… difficult. ?
I burned out on rehabs. At this point, I don’t have to prove myself. I let someone else do the sweaty work. I’m happy to take a smaller cut and be on my way.
I am transitioning to discounted paper. I like working the numbers and I like the ROI. Discounted paper has a payment track record. You can create the yield you want with the discount and it’s a no fuss, no muss business. I can be anywhere in the world and the payments keep hitting my bank account.
What is the best advice you could give someone “brand spanking new”; someone just getting started?
Take the time to learn your marketplace. Target bread and butter neighborhoods. Figure out what the most popular price point is and learn your values inside and out. The old rule of thumb is to look at 100 properties before you ever think about making an offer. I think it’s valid. Spending time looking at properties, seeing what people are asking, what amenities are offered, gives you the background you need to start figuring out After Repaired Values in your marketplace. I also would include checking out rental properties. You need to know what properties rent for in your area otherwise you won’t know if a deal will cash flow for a buy and hold investor.
If you had to start over today, what would you do differently?
I would concentrate on marketing, marketing, marketing. The key to my business is getting my pipeline filled and having a continuous flow of leads. I love direct mail and it really doesn’t take a lot of effort to start the pipeline. If you’re on a budget, you can send out 100 letters or postcards a week and within a month, you will see leads coming in. But if I was starting over, I would start with 300-500 direct mail pieces a week. Many new investors have no budget for marketing and they end up hampering their efforts. But a small list (1,000 – 2,500 names) in your target areas and mail consistently.
Barbara Grassey is the author of several books and courses on real estate, including Fast Money in Real Estate: Secrets of a Bird Dog. She is President of West Florida REIA, based in Sarasota, Florida. You can check out her blog and get a real estate tip every week at http://therealestatebirddog.com/
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