The Only Woman in The Room


The Only Woman in The Room

Today I want to introduce you to a book called, “The Only Women in the Room.”  I have felt like that many times over the last 25 years myself, and finally, someone has written a book about this.

If you have ever felt lost, alone, or lacking inspiration as a female real estate investor this book is for you.  This book is also for all the men out there that have helped women succeed in this business, and I know there are many that have done that.

Real estate investing has always been a male-dominated field since I first started more than two decades ago.  It was just the way it was much like tradespeople were traditionally male.

This book was compiled by a strong female investor by the name of Ashley L. Wilson.  It features 20 female real estate investors and their stories. To say it is a powerful book would be an understatement.


Ashley L. Wilson

There is a paragraph that Ashley wrote that I would like to share with you because it sums up my beliefs perfectly on this subject.

Ashley says,” Why were women not investing in real estate? In my quest to find the answers to each question, I kept landing on one direct link – the gender divide.  The gender divide is both intentional and unintentional and is witnessed on multiple fronts with the most common one people think of as being the wage gap. Unfortunately, it starts way before you ever enter the workforce; you are born into the divide”.

This is a profound statement. You are born into it!

Ashley’s chapter in this book will open your eyes to how women came to be “in the divide” and she’ll show you a way out.


Here is What You Will Find in the Chapters

This book, “The Only Woman in the Room,” is packed with knowledge from 20 successful female investors from around the country.  It doesn’t matter whether your focus is on residential or commercial real estate investing, you will find stories that will inspire you and also help you move forward when things get tough.  There is someone in this book that has been where you are today who has overcome the same struggles. You will definitely find a role model who is where you want to be that will lead the way as you go down this path they have already traveled.  After all, as female investors, this business has always been about empowering other women.


The Chapters – The Only Woman in the Room

There is so much wisdom in these chapters.  Feel free to pick and choose or skip around but be sure to read each and every one of them. You will learn something from each one of these successful female real estate investors. You will notice one common thread in the book and that is each of these women give back to other women and to their communities in some way.


1. The Key to Financial Freedom by Ashley L. Wilson

I love this chapter because it’s about living life on your terms. Ashley describes the actual moment when she realized the stunningly small number of female investors in this business which led her to write this book. She also has some powerful statistics on the gender divide when it comes to wages, reluctance to invest, education and so much more.  This is a chapter that will open your eyes to the challenges women have always faced but are discussed front and center in this book.


2. Overcoming Adversity and Setbacks to Build a Multi-Million Dollar Portfolio by Anna Kelley

Anna Kelley’s story really drives home that it doesn’t matter where you start from. It’s where you end up that matters. She understands both traditional and non-traditional investments and has purchased, renovated, and rented millions of dollars in real estate all while working a full-time job and raising four children.  If you struggle with venturing into the unknown, her advice is to muster up the determination and grit to relentlessly pursue your dreams, come hell or high water.


3. Life by Design by Grace Yarber

If you’ve ever wondered how someone creates their perfect life; one where you are free to travel while building a business, you’ll find out in this chapter. Grace did it by spending an entire weekend to map out her ideal life.  Once she had her plan it was a matter of implementing it one step at a time. Grace eventually left her full-time job and joined her husband in his business which was flipping single-family homes while keeping some as rentals. Grace realized that passive income through rentals was her ticket to her perfect life.


4. Wasting Youth on Real Estate Brittany Arnason

After high school, Brittany Arnason spent a few years backpacking solo around the world. She bought her first house when she was 18 years old and is a believer in DIY renovations. She has always lived her life by this philosophy, “You’re only young once” and has built her business around this core philosophy of living her life to the fullest. Her focus is long-term buy-and-hold rental properties. Her portfolio consists of single-family homes, duplexes, apartments, and self-storage facilities.


5. Reinventing Yourself by Patricia Red Hawk, MD

Patricia Red Hawk has such an interesting background, to sum it up in a paragraph would just not be possible.  She put herself through college eventually going to medical school where she got that coveted “MD” after her name. After a few years, she decided medicine wasn’t where she wanted to focus her time, so she moved on.  Along the way Patricia served in the California Army National Guard which included a tour of the Middle East, she was a general contractor and is now a kick-ass, innovative real estate investor. Patricia utilizes many investing strategies including BRRRR, fix-and-flip, value add/forced appreciation, and wholesaling.


6. Getting Started by Deborah Nye

People come to real estate investing through many different paths.  Deborah points out some things that as investors we know are truths. Certain things don’t matter: your education your age, your background, your financial situation, or your current circumstances. They have no effect on your ability to build a successful real estate investing business. What does matter is your ability to build a team, educate yourself, have a goal, and act.  Deborah has purchased both single-family homes as well as large multi-unit buildings.


7. Allow Your Why to Guide Strategy by Gertrude Mageza

I love that Gertrude Mageza starts right out of the gate with, “Begin with your why.”  When things get tough (and they will) your why is the thing that will carry you through those times and propel you toward success.  As she points out, real estate is not a get-rich-quick business. It is a build wealth slowly business. Grace lays out the first steps, doing your first deal, and the many steps in the middle on the way to building and scaling a successful business. Grace grew her business from two units to seventy units in just twelve months and now has a multi-million-dollar investment business.


8. Transitioning to an Entrepreneur by Palak Shah

Palak beautifully lays out the struggles of having a baby in her 30s while working a demanding corporate job as an engineer.  Taking the leap of faith to leave your corporate job behind and dive headfirst into entrepreneurship is not an easy decision.  She lays out the formula for becoming a single-income family. Palak also dives deep into the bottlenecks she encountered along the way and how she solved them.  These are very much the same bottlenecks most investors encounter along the way, so these are valuable lessons. Palak has invested in real estate for many years. It is her passion to empower other investors to pursue entrepreneurship through real estate investing to live an empowered and financially free life.


9. Channeling to Profits by Rebecca Shea.

We are two marketing nerds (Beka and me) and I love her for that. Beka Shea is a former mechanical engineer. Prior to real estate investing she also served as an officer in the US Navy. We all know that marketing is how you get leads in the door, but how do you actually do that?  What you’ll learn from my friend Beka is that you’d better know your numbers if you’re going to be successful. It’s up to you to dig into the data and cut the fat out as she would say. In her chapter, Beka gives you a crash course on marketing channels, which numbers are important in your business, and on exactly how to begin to understand the power of data when it comes to growing your business.  Beka has rehabbed over 60 houses and wholesaled over 120 deals.


10. Construction Management Tools by Andresa Guidelli

If you want to know about construction management, Andresa Guidelli is your person. She is not only smart, but she is brave and bold as you will learn in her story. She left home at 14 to attend tech school in Brazil while learning English at night. Over the years she got her college degree as well as her master’s degree.  You are going to get some tips in this chapter on choosing GOOD contractors, managing your projects, procedures to follow, a detailed list of what you need to give your contractor, negotiation tips, and so much more.  This chapter is pure gold.  Andresa is a developer who specializes in full gut renovation projects, new construction and is focusing on building medium to larger commercial development projects. She owns a rental portfolio of both short and long-term rentals. Andresa is the co-founder of InvestHER.


11. Strategic Moments to Build an Empire by Liz Faircloth

Like so many people, Liz Faircloth thought she knew exactly what she wanted to do in life when everything changed.  One of those pivotal moments was when she read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad.  Like so many people, this book changed the way she thought.  The secure career path she had carved out with her college education no longer worked for her.  Liz goes over six strategic moments in this chapter that forever changed her life below:

  1. Observe the masses and do the opposite
  2. Get your first deal done fast by finding tired landlords
  3. Live below your means
  4. Focus, focus, focus
  5. Know when to expand beyond your comfort zone
  6. Launching the Real Estate InvestHer Movement

Liz co-founded her company with her husband, and they now control close to 700 units of commercial and residential assets. Liz is also the co-founder of InvestHER.


12. The Fruit of Consistent Hard Work by Rebecca Rynkiewicz

Like so many women, Rebecca found herself starting over in her hometown after her divorce. She had been living a life by default, not by design and she was determined to change that. Rebecca had her real estate license, so she made a game plan and followed 3 simple steps every day. She had some tough times before turning the corner, but she did turn things around.  Along the way she met 3 friends that started a house flipping business which allowed her to learn and eventually buy her first flip which she sold for a six-figure payday.  Rebecca is a Realtor who is in the top 1% of agents in the Philadelphia area, as well as a rehabber and a wholesaler.


13. Storing Profits by Corinn Altomare

Corinn Altomare is a classically trained musician turned real estate investor. How is that for a career pivot? Corinn started in real estate investing by purchasing a triplex occupied by inherited tenants in 2 units. A few months later she bought her second property and began laying down a solid foundation of smaller multi-family properties. She and her husband continued acquiring properties through syndication and eventually moved into recession-resistant self-storage.  Corinn will take you through why she loves this type of investment, how to underwrite a self-storage deal, operations, using technology in this business, and more.


14. Acting on Conviction by Kathy Fettke

Kathy Fettke has a story to tell that will put tears in your eyes. After her husband got a devastating diagnosis, she needed to make money fast. Kathy had been a stay-at-home mom for years, and now she needed to earn money while her husband focused on getting better. She learned that she could make $600 per month providing room and board to college students, per bed and that’s how she got her start in real estate. Kathy also learned how to monetize her weekly radio show which led to doors opening for her that she could have never imagined at the time.   Today, Kathy is the co-CEO of Real Wealth, she is a licensed real estate agent, a bestselling author, and an active real estate investor to name just a few things. Her chapter will show you that anyone can turn lemons into lemonade if you are committed.


15. Network Your Way to Millions by April Crossley

I love the way April Crossley compares borrowing and lending money to dating. She says, “I don’t care how much money you have, if I do not like you, I am not dating…umm…I mean borrowing money from you.” Private money partnerships are all about trust, connection, and mutual respect for each other.  And I can tell you that April has mastered this. She learned early on to rely on other people’s money for her deals. Why? Because like many people she didn’t have any of her own. She was a teenage mom on food stamps, turned healthcare worker, turned real estate investor with college debt.  You’re going to learn from April how to find private money partners and how to do deals without ever using any of your own money.  April flips and wholesales between 20-30 houses per year, owns a portfolio of small multifamily rental properties and is also a private lender.


16. Going Alone by Maria Fristrom

What did I learn about Maria Fristrom in this book?  That she is funny as hell.  Maria left her Silicon Valley job in 2016 in search of balance and financial freedom. She was born in Finland but raised in Sweden. Maria took her husband and toddler and moved to back to Finland where she build a multi-million portfolio of properties in just a couple of years as an income-less stay-at-home-mom of two toddlers.  She decided to be different and stage her homes since no one in Finland was staging their properties. Maria has built her business by doing things her way while focusing on buy-and-hold rental apartments using the BRRRR method.


17. Strength in Numbers by Serena Norris

Serena Norris’ start in real estate could not have been more untraditional. After attending college in Los Angeles then working for a few years as an in-house graphic designer for a high-end men’s fashion company, she returned to her family’s roots.  Both her father and her stepfather were general contractors, so she grew up in and out of remodels at an early age much like I did. I know that’s where my love of real estate comes from.  Serena began her real estate career as an assistant to a house flipper. Today she is the operations/project manager, interior designer, and in-house broker for the same company that specializes in fix and flip and BRRRR single-family properties where she focuses on building scalable, duplicatable systems. Her team has flipped over $40,000,000 in single-family homes.


18. Working with Your Spouse by Melanie Dupuis

Melanie Dupuis and her husband have acquired over 100 apartments/24 properties in just a few short years using creative finance strategies. She was able to quit her full-time job and pursue real estate before turning 40 while raising 3 children. Working with your spouse can be challenging for a lot of people, but she says the best part of working with your spouse is working on your shared goals ad common inspiration together.  She has 5 tips in her chapter that will help you succeed as a couple in this business.  This is a must-read for couples who work together.


19. Riding the Silver Tsunami by Leka V. Devatha

Leka Devatha moved to the US from India more than a decade ago. She had a successful career in fashion merchandising, but it just didn’t feel right.  Leka left her corporate job in 2014 to pursue what she felt was her true calling. Leka’s father was an entrepreneur, and his favorite investment was real estate so it’s no surprise that she shared this same passion. Like most new investors, she got off to a bumpy start. But she hung in there and in six years she knocked out sixty-plus real estate transactions and renovated 40 single-family homes. One project she did was an ADF (an adult family home). You may not be familiar with this strategy, but it is a highly profitable niche with tremendous cash flow for property owners. You are supplying the rental property, and someone else has the hassle of running the ADF.


20. Building a Business Through Social Responsibility by Rachel Street

Today, Rachel Street is a Realtor, contractor, and television host. She is also the owner of a women-owned construction company offering full construction services and design-driven custom homes. However, that isn’t how she started. After the death of her father and the loss of her job at his company, she found herself living on the floor in the bedroom of a shell of a house she intended to rehab. She bought the property without a working kitchen, heat, or air conditioning.  She took showers at the gym and was just surviving. Today, Rachel and her company have been widely recognized for their social entrepreneurship and community service, which includes starting a program to provide free renovations and home repair for those in need. This is how she organically grew her business and her brand.


Get the Book

You can pick up a copy of The Only Woman in the Room on Amazon by Clicking Here.



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