TM I N FORM . I NS P I R E . E DUCAT E . EMPOWE R .
MEET SIX PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE SHAKING UP THE REI INDUSTRY Women toWatch
Back to Business Which Markets Will Recover First? MARKETS & TRENDS
Using Theme to Transform Rental Properties DESIGN POINT
How Life Insurance Plays a Role in REI STRATEGY
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2 | think realty magazine :: march 2021
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PUBLISHER & CEO Eddie Wilson
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kelli White
SALES MANAGER Rodney Halford RHalford@ThinkRealty.com
FULFILLMENT COORDINATOR Blair Pierce
DESIGNER David Allen Rodriguez
CONTRIBUTORS Lorraine Beato Clint Coons Chad Esslinger Richard Hart Fred Heigold III Bruce McNeilage Tori Martin Michael Mikhail Aaron Norris Steve Streetman Nancy Wallace-Laabs
HEY! LET’S BE FRIENDS! GET SOCIAL. STAY CONNECTED.
Don Wenner Ingo Winzer
Like, Follow & Share for the Latest Real Estate News, Trends and Insights from Think Realty
Are you following Think Realty on social media? Things move pretty fast in real estate. Don’t miss out on the latest trends, tips, insights and news from your trusted resource for all things real estate investing! Follow. Like. Love. Share. Comment. You can do it all with Think Realty’s social media channels. Join the conversations in Think Realty social communities and connect with like-minded members who range from first-time to seasoned investors. Check out all of our social media channels and connect with us - and other investors - today!
4 | think realty magazine :: march 2021
FROM THE EDI TOR- IN-CHI EF
Great (Real Estate) Minds
Not only does our cover story feature women doing great things in their respective REI fields,
n an ever-changing industry like real
estate, there is always something—or some- one—to learn from.That’s why we feature so many investor stories in the pages of Think Realty Magazine .
but many articles in this issue are written by our
beloved female Think Realty contributors. Like Nancy Wal - lace-Laabs who on page 68 shares
Welcome to Think Realty’s annual Women to Watch issue! These pages shine a light on six female entrepreneurs and executives, and their empowering stories might very well propel you to a new level in your real estate invest - ing journey! From behind-the-scenes leading lenders to an on-the-screen designer, these women are all different, yet prove the same thing—women CAN achieve success in the vast world of real estate investing. And they want to help others do the same.
how—and why—you can modify your marketing efforts. And on page 64, Atlan- ta-based investor Lorraine Beato breaks down the fix-and-flip process. We are grateful to all our contributors who send wonderful content each month with the mission to empower and educate readers all over the country. I hope you enjoy this issue of Think Realty Magazine as much as I do. The stories inside these pages illustrate how far ANYONE can come—when they are in a real estate of mind. •
KELLI WHITE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Meet six professionals who are shaking up the REI industry by Kelli White
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THINK REALTY 8 News & Events
60 The Women to Watch Are . . . Everywhere! Progressive change in the REI industry is proof positive by Steve Streetman 62 Permanent Life Insurance and Your Financial Plan How life insurance can play a role in real estate investing by Chad Esslinger
INVESTOR STORIES 12 Presidents’ Circle Featured Members: Bruce and Stephanie Petersen
13 Success Story
Winning at the numbers game
64 The Flipping Process
15 Contributor Corner
Breaking down the fix and flip strategy one step at a time by Lorraine Beato
Meet Lorraine Beato
FUNDAMENTALS 28 Corporate Transparency and Real Estate
68 Compassionate Marketing for Real Estate Investors How to change your messaging in unprecedented times by Nancy Wallace-Laabs
New Federal LLC and Corporation Reporting Requirement for 2021 and Beyond by Clint Coons
30 Building a More Diverse Industry Women in powerful seats in real estate by Don Wenner
DESIGN POINT 72 Design by Theme
How to use thematic charm to transform a shabby property by Tori Martin
35 Sponsored Content: Investor Review
54 Tax Return Mistakes
MARKETS & TRENDS 75 Back to Business Where will recovery take place first? by Ingo Winzer
What you need to know to fix a mistake on your tax return by Richard Hart
56 Hard Money Loans Demystified Why the industry is confusing this type of loan by Michael Mikhail
78 On the Radar: Top Flip States A year in review of biggest gains and busiest markets by Aaron Norris
STRATEGY 58 Building Relationships with Banks, Credit Unions Key to Short- and Long-term Success by Bruce McNeilage
81 Market Spotlight: Houston
Housing market momentum in 2021 by Fred Heigold III
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NEWS & EVENTS
Think Realty Honors Nominations Open! E ach year, Think Realty honors leaders in the industry who exemplify the best in real estate investing. Not only have the winners achieved great success in their own right, but they also demonstrate Think Realty’s mission of being trusted resources within the real estate investing industry. Know someone who fits this description? Nominate them today! Winners will be featured in Think Realty Magazine, on social media, and celebrated at a special awards ceremony with Think Realty CEO Eddie Wilson (pictured left.)
Nominations are open for the 2021 Think Realty Honors through June. Go to thinkrealty.com/honors now and enter your picks!
New for Premium Members! Think Realty is excited to announce a new benefit exclusively for our premium members. Each month, CEO Eddie Wilson will host RE-Focus, a video call in which he will share insights and captivating content followed by a Q&A session. It’s your chance to have a one-on-one experience with Think Realty’s CEO where you will be inspired and empowered on your REI journey!
Think Realty’s Commercial Real Estate Magazine is Coming Soon!
Discover investing tips, must-know strategies and data- driven content in our all-new digital quarterly magazine, arriving online March 2021.
• Multifamily • Storage
• Industrial • Retail and More!
Think Realty FREE members can access the magazine at thinkrealty.com/CRE.
Not a member? Subscribe today at thinkrealty.com/join.
8 | think realty magazine :: march 2021
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Think sponsorship with Think Realty! Find out more at thinkrealty.com/sponsorship.
thinkrealty . com | 9
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10 | think realty magazine :: march 2021
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FeaturedMembers: Bruce and Stephanie Petersen
usband-wife real estate investing team Bruce and Stephanie Petersen decided to join the Think Realty
Presidents’ Circle to surround themselves with other driven professionals to collaborate with and lean on for support and for answers when they “get stuck.” “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” Bruce said. “So, this decision was part of leveling up our circle of influence.” Bruce grew up rather poor in government housing in Corpus Christi, TX, raised by two high school dropout parents. Although he graduated high school and attend - ed college, he ended up dropping out of higher education and fell into what he calls a ‘miserable’ stockbroker gig followed by a retail job. “I worked for big box retailers for roughly 18 years and climbed that ladder to become store manager. Eventu - ally, the drag of 60-100 hours a week drove me into the ground, and I had to move on. I had saved some mon - ey listening to Dave Ramsey and using my training as a stockbroker to amass enough to afford to walk away to ‘find’ myself,’” he said. In 2008, Bruce paid cash for a house in an Austin sub - urb. Then he decided to pursue real estate further. “I found a mentor who taught me how to invest in real estate and why I should not only start in multifamily but lead my own deal as a syndication sponsor,” he recalled. “The first deal was a huge success. I returned a 300 percent profit to my investors within 2.5 years! I used my proceeds from that sale to fund my next two investments in subsequent syndications that I sponsored,” he said. Bruce and Stephanie have since syndicated six proj - ects consisting of 1108 units. They have earned the Austin Apartment Association’s MF Rental Owners of the Year and the National Apartment Association’s Rental Owners of the Year. In 2019, they were awarded the Think Realty Multifamily Investors of the Year. “In addition to the syndications, we now teach others how to do what we have done,” Bruce said. “We have created online courses on how to invest passively as well as do your own syndications for more experienced and advanced investors, and we offer small business/real estate investor accounting because Stephanie is a CPA.”
Meet Think Realty’s Newest Resident Expert!
Known as “The Apartment Guy,” Bruce Petersen is bringing his
wealth of real estate experience to Think Realty members in his role as Resident Expert. In this role, he plans to focus on multifamily investing both from the passive and the active (or syndicator) side. “I’ve taught others how to do this for years and would love to give back to a group that has been so supportive and good to me and Stephanie. Real estate is an incredible vehicle to add some extra income, cover your mortgage, or provide a lega- cy for your family. I love sharing what real estate investing has to offer,” he said.
Their evolution as investors has led to opening their own construction company, asset management company, and property management companies—one in Austin for their personal syndicated portfolio and one in Nashville that manages all forms of commercial real estate. They describe their main roles now as “job creators and com - pany builders.” Stephanie said, “Starting our own management compa - ny and hiring and empowering smarter people than us in their specific disciplines [has been invaluable.]” •
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Winning at the Numbers Game HOW CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES LED TO ACCOUNTING, CONSULTING, AND SYNDICATION
I have real estate in my heart and numbers in my blood.”
ome of Stephanie Petersen’s fondest memories involve
agement company, Blue Bonnet Com - mercial Manage - ment, and our own
spending time with her mother working on the first flip her mom bought. It turns out an after-school “job” helping her mom led Stephanie to a successful career in real estate and accounting. “I can still see my mother clear - ly, steaming layers of wallpaper while I followed her around, watch - ing her scrape off layer after layer of wallpaper. It was a long process, followed by prepping the walls and then applying new wallpaper. We had to pay close attention to match the seams and carefully measure the lengths of paper to ensure the strip fit the wall and matched the pattern. Eventually, I realized much of the art of real estate relies on math and attention to details.” As the years passed, Stephanie began working as a bookkeeper and ultimately earned her CPA license. These were challenging years because, like every mother, she was striving to balance being present for her children as well as succeeding professionally. “I was blessed to work for a great company but decided, like most of us with entrepreneurship or real estate in our blood, to open my own firm so I could be with my daughters even more. It took off immediately, and I also began investing in apartment complexes with my husband Bruce. We eventually opened our own man -
construction company. Of course, I handled the books for these enterprises,
and that was when my love for num - bers began to really call me once again,” she said. Stephanie has always kept the books not only for her businesses but for the ones she has shared with Bruce. “It only makes sense. After all, I balanced his books on our first date!” she said. “Having spent so many years working with real estate investors, I know that most of them can rattle off the numbers on their potential deals without batting an eyelid, but these same savvy peo - ple dump an entire box of receipts on their accountant’s table and look at the pile proudly, saying, ‘I saved every one!’” “Now, I am proud of them for saving receipts, but the fact that they just dump a trash can on my table is going to cost them. Real estate investors spend thousands of dollars needlessly on high-end accounting services when really, if they took a little time to harmonize their accounting practices with their business practices and personalities, they would have more peace of mind, far better budgets, and, in many cas - es, lower taxes,” Stephanie said.
Stephanie continued to expand the businesses she was running in the real estate space and realized that the time had come to start not just consulting on an individual basis but to start teaching real estate inves - tors directly so they could do this themselves. “My father always wrote his num- bers in invisible ink in the air. I want to make that invisible ink light up for you in your real estate business. I am proud so many real estate investors and professionals have chosen me to guide them on this ultimately simple (I promise!) but incredibly important journey,” she said.
thinkrealty . com | 13
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The Contributor Corner
T he Think Realty team is forever grateful to our awesome contributors who selflessly share their expertise and devote time to writing fresh, insightful content. Our recurring contributors are gracious and willing to write for us often with little notice. And they always pull through. Why do they do it? We asked Lorraine Beato, real estate investor and businesswoman extraordinaire in the Atlanta area, what she likes about contributing to Think Realty. Here’s what she had to say: Meet Lorraine Beato
Lorraine Beato (center) with her daughters Cassandra (left) and Alexandra (right).
“Oftentimes I find myself to be the only woman in the room when it comes to investing in real estate. Women are finally starting to realize that they too can do
real estate game! I began my journey with Think Realty at their Atlanta event back in 2016 where I was on one of their panels with two other women in the real estate investment arena. Think Realty embraces and recognizes that women have a place in the real estate investing world. I am honored to be a past and current contributor to an orga - nization that helps empower women and investors at all levels to learn more and be successful by staying on top of current real estate and economic trends that impact all of us.”
it and they can be at the front of the room! One of the reasons I love being a contributor for Think Realty is because they recognize that there are some real movers and shakers in the real estate investing world. Take a look at their past magazines and you will see some amazing women killing it in the
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WOMEN TO WATCH
Tamara Day Owner of Growing Days and Host of Bargain Mansions
FOR 20 YEARS, Tamara Day has been buying, flipping, and renting out real estate. Her company Growing Days does full renovations on everything from residential to commercial properties and owns some rental properties as well. She didn’t realize it at the time, but it was shortly after walking down the aisle, that she said “I do” to a career in real estate investing. When Day and her husband got married, their first house was a short sale that they bought then renovated while living in it. Growing up on a farm, Day has always loved the construction process and working with her hands, but that first home was where her love and knack for design became apparent. Fast forward years later, and viewers nationwide now watch as she perfects her style on HGTV’s Bargain Mansions. Many real estate investors might not view television shows as a valid representation of the REI industry. But from a business stand - point, the basics are the same — money is still spent to fix a house and profit is still made (hopefully!) on the sale. She did acknowledge one obvious difference though. “I spend a lot more on design for television and photography purposes than I would in a typical flip,” she said. Day also designs for clients nationwide and said that is one of her favorite things to do. She also enjoys flipping. “Figuring out how to take a house that’s been neglected and turn it into something that is appreciated is the most fun part of what I do,” Day said.
16 | think realty magazine :: march 2021
What aspect of real estate investing do you prefer and why? “I prefer big old houses because they are built well and there’s always a way for them to work for a modern family. Space planning for these houses in a modern way, but preserving the historic character is my favorite part of it.”
What personal characteristic has made you successful? “I’m not afraid of very many things.”
How have you evolved as an investor and as a businesswoman?
“Being a woman in this industry has been a drawback over the years, but I’ve learned to hold my ground and be firm and not let contractors think I’m a pushover.”
Why is the real estate industry good for women? “I think the real estate industry is good for everyone, but women in general are becoming braver in the real estate world. I think that having TV shows like mine with female hosts have inspired people to believe that they can do it. If I can do it, you can do it and I think women in general have a love for the home and have a great eye to make them better.” What can more women do better/differently to achieve greater success in real estate? “Take the emotion out of the decision and make it about what is going to be the best investment.” What three strategies/tools within the real estate investing industry have helped you the most? “Building relationships with bankers, having a good platform for organization in your business, and working with contractors that are reputable.” What is your favorite quote? “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you — always.” —Oprah
GET IN TOUCH WITH TAMARA DAY WEBSITE: www.Tamaraday.com LINKEDIN: Growing Days INSTAGRAM: @ Tamaraday and @ Growingdayshome FACEBOOK: Tamara Day
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Melissa Hamaker Chief Operations Officer at Stromberg Investment Group
MELISSAHAMAKER spent many years in com - mercial insurance before shifting to a career in real estate five years ago. As a busy mom she realized she needed a change from insurance and was eager to learn something new. She started part time at Strom- berg Investment Group and quickly moved up the ranks. Now she manages employees, operations, and clos - ings and determines the company’s markets. As COO, Hamaker keeps “the train on its tracks” at SIG. Here is more of her story: What is your real estate investing start-up story? “I took a part time position with Stromberg Invest - ment Group working in the leasing department answer - ing the phone and assisting potential tenants. My work caught the attention of SIG’s CEO Glenn Stromberg as I began noticing ways to improve processes and issues within the company. I remember clearly sitting in my first quarterly meeting when he asked a question no one wanted to answer, one that required an answer that showed a weakness and problem within a pro- cess. I raised my hand and answered his question with honesty and without reservation and from that point on nothing was the same. I began assisting and training under him and operating in all areas of the company and the rest is history. With hard work and a fabulous team, we have taken Stromberg Investments from a small operation of four employees in one state with a couple purchases a month to a multimillion-dollar company in four states with over 11 employees and countless sub-contractors. We deploy well over five million dollars of investment capital per year, manage 400+ properties, and close on average 12 properties a month.”
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“IT’S OKAYTOADMITWHAT YOU DON’T KNOW. IT’S OKAYTO ASK FOR HELP. AND IT’S MORE THAN OKAYTO LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE YOU LEAD – IN FACT, IT’S ESSENTIAL." - MARY BARRA (CEO, GENERAL MOTORS) FAVORITE QUOTE
What niche of REI do you prefer and why? “It’s no secret what our company niche is—manufac - tured homes! What people don’t know is how lucrative they are. People dismiss them picturing the 1970s tin siding home that nobody wants to touch, and that is sim - ply NOT what we deal with. We purchase manufactured homes on land that are titled and insured as real prop- erty just like a single-family home. The beauty of what we do is our price points are half that of a single-family home and they cash low better for the investor. While we dabble in fix and flips, land buying and other areas of real estate, our bread and butter is mobile homes, and they are a cash monster!” What characteristics do you exhibit that have made you successful? “I am a no-nonsense person. I expect a tremendous amount out of the people that work with me, but I expect the same from myself. I am a meticulous, analytical, and logical thinker. Most would say I am a bold person who overthinks most things before I make a move on them. By the time I open my mouth with an idea or process I have already run through every scenario that could go wrong or right with it and have a contingency plan for all of them. I have no problem speaking up and making my opinions known. As a woman, oftentimes it is hard to allow yourself to be bold and heard, but I have found speaking up is a requirement to be successful.” What is a trait you exhibit that has held you back, and did you change from recognizing it? “My biggest weakness that I have to make a conscious effort to overcome is my ability to seem unapproach - able. I spend a lot of time in my own head, thinking and processing and what that translates to on the outside is someone not easy to approach. I have had to work on bringing out my extroverted self and it’s something I practice daily. Recognizing this as a weakness allowed me to harness it and manage it. Recognizing your weak - ness, whether business or personal, does not make you vulnerable—it makes you stronger. You cannot work on what you do not acknowledge.” When things get tough, how do you get going? “I find peace in the fast-paced world of real estate. It’s when things get quiet that I start to panic. Learning how to balance the stress of your workplace is something that will propel your career forward. The ability to remain calm when everyone else’s pants are on fire allows lead - ers to make decisions that are well planned as opposed to throwing answers out and seeing what sticks. Howev - er, on the days I want to escape and realign my thoughts,
I jump on my Peloton and block everything out long enough to sweat it out.”
Best advice for new investors? “Knowledge is your greatest guard against being taken advantage of in real estate. You cannot defend yourself against things you do not understand. Find yourself a group of like-minded investors and learn from them. One of the best things we do in our company is participate in masterminds to surround ourselves with people that have been where we want to go and to learn from them. Find someone who has been where you want to be and learn from them.” Best advice for seasoned investors? “Diversify! Do not put all your eggs in one basket. You would not buy a box of crayons that only had blue cray - ons in the box and your portfolio should be no different. Purchase in different markets, own different types of real estate, work with different providers or companies to purchase those properties and make sure you know, like and trust anyone you do business with.” Why is the real estate industry good for women? “Real estate allows women to be successful and have a wonderful professional life while also having a person - al life. While it is true ‘real estate never sleeps,’ I think women in general have a wonderful ability to multitask and prioritize, and the flexibility of real estate makes it the perfect opportunity for women who want it all. I do not think women should ever have to choose between family and career and as a wife and a mother of three daughters, real estate has allowed me to find my passion professionally and still pack school lunches and be at most pick-ups.”
You can learn more at www.stromberginvestmentgroup.com or connect with Melissa on LinkedIn.
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BORN IN THE PHILIPPINES, Arianne Lemire used to dream of making $5.00 an hour. Now, after amass - ing wealth from investing in real estate, she is educating others on how to be not only financially secure, but able to “retire” on their terms earning passive income from real estate. That’s a far cry from five dollars. Lemire earned a master’s degree and became a speech pathologist, but after only two years she realized that was not the right career for her because it didn’t allow her the time she desired. She couldn’t see her family, travel, and do what she wanted to do. She and her husband began researching other career options that would afford them time and financial freedom. “We started buying rentals, then flipping houses, then bought multifamily rentals, and now passive income pays for all our needs, wants, and more. It’s been a crazy and rewarding journey!” she said. In just six short years in the REI industry, Lemire has invested in over 1,600 units, has rehabbed and/or whole - saled over 400 houses, and is educating other real estate investors on how to best manage their finances. Here is a glimpse further into the life of Arianne Lemire: What niche of REI do you prefer and why? “My favorite way to invest now is with passive multi - family investing. After years of building an active business with flipping and wholesaling, I now enjoy working on my passion projects - helping educate others about financial freedom. Investing passively in multifamily lets me only spend my time on what I truly want to spend time on.” What characteristics do you exhibit that have made you successful? “Life-long learning and reaching for excellence. There is so much to learn from others.” What is a trait you exhibit that has held you back, and did you change from recognizing it? “I used to be a “know it all.” I didn’t realize until I start - ed in real estate. I had to learn how to relate to sellers and help them come to a decision THEY wanted, not what I thought was best for them. I struggled talking to sell - ers initially was because I would almost force my specific “perfect solution” on them because I thought I knew best, instead of letting them come up with a solution them - selves. Once I realized that, it was a game changer. And that realization helped me in so many other areas too — it helped me become a better leader, better spouse, and better friend.”
Arianne Lemire Founder of Wealth Gym
20 | think realty magazine :: march 2021
is what I wanted to do. But after a while, I realized that I had a different purpose. Take time to find YOUR goal, YOUR dream, YOUR purpose.”
When things get tough, how do you get going? “I think about my loved ones and how blessed I am to have them. And I think about how I GET to live this amaz - ing life. Yes, there are challenges, but that’s because I’ve grown so much as a person, and with greater responsi - bilities come greater challenges. I have big goals, and big dreams of helping others, and I can’t expect the road to those big goals and dreams to come with small problems. They’re going to come with big problems! But that’s only going to make me a stronger person and I hope that the way I live my life will inspire others as well.” What is one of your professional goals for 2021 and how do you plan to achieve it? “One of my goals is to help 100+ people master their finances, keep more of their money, and fast track their way to “retiring” early like we’ve been able to do in our 20s. I plan to do that by continuing to build our company, Wealth Gym, creating systems and processes and bring - ing on more team members, and expanding our YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram presence.” What’s your greatest real estate investment success story? “My favorite one is our first multifamily property — a 24-unit 10 minutes from our home. The seller respond- ed to one of our mailers and we built a relationship and followed up for almost a year, and were able to negotiate and buy it. It took a year to renovate and stabilize, but that was our “proof of concept.” Now, it gets us five figures in passive income each month and because that one proved the concept, it opened doors to buying more multifamily units with partner investors.” Best advice for new investors? “Don’t go at it alone. It can be daunting and frustrating especially in the beginning if you don’t know anyone else who understands you. Make sure you find your tribe. It’s a whole lot better when you have others cheering you on.“ Best advice for seasoned investors? “Make sure you set your OWN goals and dreams for YOU and YOUR family. I think sometimes we follow some - one ELSE’s goals and dreams. We keep working and pushing and going in a direction and something is miss - ing. I have experienced this. I’ve looked at all the other successful people and thought that what they were doing
What can more women do better/differently to achieve greater success in real estate? “Know that you are amazing! I know how it can feel when you walk into a room and 80 percent of the attend - ees are men. You feel out of place. But I have learned that can be to our advantage. We get to stand out more! If you are confident and respect yourself, others can sense that and will show you the respect you deserve.” What strategies/tools within the real estate investing industry have helped you the most? “Empathy and sales skills. I know the world “sales” might sound weird to some. But I describe it as the high - est form of service. When we sell, we give everything we have to listening and understanding our customers, and we respond in a way that helps them get to their desired result. This applies not just to customers but to almost every relationship and interaction. If we can do what is best for our counterpart, that helps us get what we want as well. Defining our purpose and core values. In the begin - ning, we all start off doing deals, but at some point we create an organization, and until we defined our purpose and core values, it was always hard to make decisions on how to lead, manage, and hire team members. Defin - ing those really helped us realize what we were building and what for.”
Tell readers something surprising about yourself. “I met my husband on an online video game! Can’t get more nerdy than that!”
GET IN TOUCH WITH ARIANNE LEMIRE WEBSITE: www.WealthGym.com E-MAIL: ari @ wealthgym.com YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/AskArianne INSTAGRAM: @ theariannelemire FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/theariannelemire
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CEO OF BULL FUNDING, Kemra Norsworthy, has been in the real estate lending industry since 2003. For the most part, she has remained on the lending side of REI but plans to buy a multifamily building soon and has had a couple rental proper - ties in the past. But no matter the niche, Norswor - thy said she enjoys it all when it comes to lending to real estate investors because she finds gratifica - tion in being part of their strategy toward financial freedom. Bull Funding lends money on commercial, non-owner-occupied homes, and construction from rehab to full ground-up construction. “We strive to create solutions even in challenging situations,” she said. “To me the lending side is so important; without the money there are no deals. It is best to use a bank or lender and keep your cash liquid since the future is full of unknowns, and we give our clients this advice. It is always exciting to talk to experienced investors as they look at the world differently. I always learn something new.” Here are her answers to some of our questions and her experience is proof positive that Kemra Norswor - thy is quite newsworthy in the REI lending space. What characteristics do you exhibit that have made you successful? “My direct communication and pragmatic thinking. I do not like the answer NO, therefore I have a lot of tenacity to get the yes.” What is a trait you exhibit that has held you back, and did you change from recognizing it? “I’m very self-aware when I have either a way of thinking or being that may hinder my success. When I catch new barriers—then I do something different. When I first started, I would get excited that I got the yes from the client. That is where I would stop. Then I noticed and felt the effects of the bank account that did not reflect the yes. So, my view is that the yes is the beginning, not the end.” Best advice for new investors? “Research. Start in your area that you live and work outward. Have a team. You are only good at parts of the plan, no one is great at the whole thing. Know all aspects and know to delegate. Surround yourself with like-minded people and you will soar.”
Kemra Norsworthy CEO of Bull Funding
22 | think realty magazine :: march 2021
“WHATEVER THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE AND BELIEVE, IT CANACHIEVE.”
Why is the real estate industry good for women? “The question to me is why wouldn’t it be good for wom- en? Within a team, men and women can accomplish a lot. I think that perhaps the real estate industry has been viewed as a man’s industry in the past because of the negotiation skill that is required to get a ‘good deal’. However, there are a lot of women who have this same skill, and some are really great at negotiating. Skills can be taught, learned, and transferred.” What can more women do better/differently to achieve greater success in real estate? “Believe in themselves. Do the research. Know what is out there and know your competition. They should read books that inspire them to be successful. We need to be confident in our presence and communication. And we need to surround ourselves with like-minded people. I can - not stress that enough. Never be the smartest in the group. One can’t grow if they are the one that knows it all.”
What three strategies/tools within the industry have helped you the most? “Peers — Being able to reach out to my peers is extremely invaluable. If I do not have the information that I need I can look for it on LinkedIn and create relationships. Follow up — Seems like an obvious one; however, it does not always happen. Clients are only so tolerant if follow up and through is lacking. The client is on a mission and does not want to be slowed down by someone who ‘seems’ like they do not want his business. Real estate associations — AAPL has been one of the best investments I have made. I am on the board of ethics and have been accepted in the Presidents’ Circle.”
GET IN TOUCH WITH KEMRA NORSWORTHY WEBSITE: www.bullfunding.com LINKEDIN: linkedin.com/in/kemranorsworthy FC BUSINESS PAGE: @ funding100m
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Chantelle Owens Founder & CEO of GA Tax Lien Bootcamp
CHANTELLE OWENS is a buy and hold investor who acquires property solely through tax lien investing. The real estate seed was planted early in Owens’ life, when at 17 years old, she helped collect rent for her cousin’s rental properties. “I was fascinated with the concept even at such an early age. My cousin was only 25 years old, which intrigued me even more. I knew I wanted a way to be able to collect money every month and own property that other people lived in. It felt so boss-ish!” she said. Fast-forward seven years, after getting out of the mil - itary and working in corporate America, Owens quickly realized she needed to create an exit plan. Around this time, she was approached by a co-worker who offered $8,000 in exchange for allowing him to use her credit to invest in real estate. “It seems crazy now, but I jumped on that offer and I haven’t looked back. At the time, I my annual salary was only $30K. As you can imagine after doing three of those deals, I was both ready to leave my position as an administrative assistant and go full steam ahead into real estate investing with my own credit. The only problem was that I didn’t know what I was doing, until one late night, I ordered the Carleton Sheets, No Money Down program from an infomercial,” Owens said. She took that course and studied until she felt comfort - able making no-money-down offers “or what many call ‘subject to’ offers.” From there, Owens became a whole - saler, then moved on to fix and flip and eventually ended up being a housing provider for the sole purpose of having an exit strategy. Now, she is the Tax Lien Queen. Here is more about Chantelle Owens and her profes- sional climb in REI: What niche of REI do you prefer and why? “I am partial to investing in tax liens. It is an amazing way for the average, hard-working person to get their foot in the real estate door. Being able to purchase properties for pennies on the dollar can help many people create financial freedom. Plus owning property free and clear is very liberating.” What characteristics do you exhibit that have made you successful? “I have been told that I have high expectations, both of others and more particularly of myself. I am willing to go the proverbial extra mile, beyond what is usually deemed necessary.
24 | think realty magazine :: march 2021
I am a visionary that keeps my eyes on the horizon, despite the turmoil that may be in front of me. I’ve learned to listen and trust my gut, recognize pat - terns, and interpret data.”is so much to learn from others.” What is one of your professional goals for 2021 and how do you plan to achieve it? “I will launch the Digital Tax Lien Bootcamp by Q3 2021. I plan to achieve this through milestones we’ve mapped out. And, just because I’ve announced it here, the pres - sure is on.” What’s your greatest real estate investment success story? “My whole story is my greatest story. Everybody loves a rags to riches story and that is my story. The only dif - ference is that I lost those riches in the market crash of 2001. I got back in the game and did it again then lost everything again in the 2008 market crash. Once again, I got back in and started dominating in the tax lien niche, which ultimately led to financial stability and then finan - cial freedom. My greatest deal story is a tax lien I purchased for $4,000 in a drug infested, “D” neighborhood that nobody wanted, and many people said I was crazy to invest in. It ended up being gentrified and increased in value to $200,000 (as-is) and $450,000 after repair value.” Best advice for new investors? • Invest in your education. It is easier, faster and less expensive to have someone teach you how to do something than DIY and learn as you go. DIY mistakes can cost a pretty penny. • Surround yourself with a community of like-minded investors via educational platforms such as Think Realty, Real Estate Investor Associations (REIAs), and Mastermind groups. • Start your business off right with proper systems like accounting, administration, marketing, sales, and operations, or you will become a slave to your business. Best advice for seasoned investors? “Be of service and help others. Plan for family, self, and leisure time. Otherwise, all the wealth we create is useless.”
Why is the real estate industry good for women? “The real estate industry is great for women because it creates an environment for our special and unique talents: attention to detail, project management, col - laboration, networking, being of service. The industry is extremely vast and can allow many women to create financial freedom not only for themselves and their fami - lies, but for others in their communities as well.” What strategies/tools within the real estate investing industry have helped you the most? “Reading has been my most valuable tool, not only in real estate, but in life. Reading opens the imagination to endless possibilities and makes our thoughts tangible. Networking has, by far, opened more doors than I deserved; collaboration has helped me to grow like wild - fire; and being of service keeps me going, keeps me ful - filled, and has returned the favor when I needed it most.” What are three things readers might not know about you? 1 I want to become a DJ! Not a professional for hire, but as a hobby. 2 I want to go to law school—not to be a lawyer—but to prove to myself I can do it. 3 I am single. LOL!
CHANTELLE OWENS by the REI Numbers
23 YEARS 21 YEARS
of experience as a real estate investor
full-time real estate investor
as a tax lien investor
as a real estate instructor and coach
as a real estate agent
GET IN TOUCH WITH CHANTELLE OWENS WEBSITE: intro.gataxliebootcamp.com
LINKEDIN: linkedin.com/company/gataxlienbootcamp OTHER: @ gataxlienbootcamp (IG, FB, YT, TW, TikTok)
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IN 2020, ANNE MARIE ROGERS, a Certified IRA Services Professional (CISP), was awarded the Think Realty Honors Award for Real Estate Investing Services. For the past eight years, Rogers has worked at Quest Trust Compa- ny, one of the nation’s leading Self-Directed IRA companies, where she currently serves as Sales Officer. As one of the lead female public speakers at Quest, Rogers travels around the country edu - cating investors on the benefits of self-direction. Rogers teaches Americans how to take control of their retirement through her experience at Quest and from personal experience doing her own note investments, starting in her early 20s. “I oversee our IRA Specialists who educate new and existing clients on the benefits of self-direc - tion, then aid in account establishment and facili - tation of moving existing retirement accounts. For those who may not be familiar with Self-Directed IRAs, they’re a means of taking control of your own retirement. Self-Directed IRAs allow inves - tors to utilize retirement accounts to invest in pri - vate or alternative assets like real estate, private companies, promissory notes and so many other opportunities, all while making tax-deferred profits. In my time at Quest, I’ve worn many dif - ferent hats from working in our New Accounts Department, to managing our Marketing or Sales Departments, it’s all been a joy and a great learn - ing opportunity,” she said. Here is a Q&A with Anne Marie Rogers: What characteristics do you exhibit that have made you successful? “I think it takes a strong blend of many different characteristics to make someone successful; and truthfully, success is defined so differently from person to person. However, I think the biggest strength I exhibit that has propelled me to success is something I learned at a very early age. In order to achieve the best and continue pushing yourself to succeed, it’s important to set goals and run for them as hard as you can. If you have something to visualize and work towards, you have direction for not only where you’re headed, but also how to get there. The secret with goals is to set small, realistic goals that will lead you to a greater pur - pose or achievement. Once I’ve achieved a goal, I’m immediately looking to the future for how I can push myself to the next challenge.”
Anne Marie Rogers Sales Officer and Certified IRA Services Professional with Quest Trust Company
26 | think realty magazine :: march 2021
No matter your goal, it’s going to take focus and sacrifice.”
Best advice for new investors? “I started my journey at Quest and in the real estate industry as a senior in college, looking for an internship and a possible job opportunity post-graduation. What I found was so much more than just a career. In my time at Quest, I’ve been exposed to so many highly educated, skilled individuals across the real estate industry. With my knowledge about IRAs and investing, coupled with the guidance from more seasoned investors, I’m proud to say I’ve been able to complete several of my own investments in my Self-Directed IRA. It is vital to prepare for retirement and it’s never too early to start. I continue to be a sponge with every opportunity I get to learn from the many great people in this community. My best advice for the new or young investor is to tap into your network, take every opportunity to learn and don’t be afraid to take the plunge!”
Favorite quote? “One of my favorite quotes is from Dave Ramsey:
‘If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.’
In one of his books, he references this quote in relation to money management; however, I think it’s really appli - cable to so many facets of life. No matter your goal, it’s going to take focus and sacrifice. Whether you’re looking to improve your financial standing, get fit, build a mil - lion-dollar investment portfolio, or excel in your career – having strong goals and working hard pays off. You might watch others spend their time, money, or otherwise differently than you, but in the end you will be living like no one else.”
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Corporate Transparency and Real Estate
NEW FEDERAL LLC AND CORPORATION REPORTING REQUIREMENT FOR 2021 AND BEYOND
by Clint Coons, a Think Realty Resident Expert
WHAT IS REQUIRED You must disclose the identity of any beneficial owner who directly or indirectly, through any contract, arrange - ment, understanding, relationship, or otherwise holds a 25 percent or greater ownership interest in the reporting company; or the identity of any person who exercises substantial control over the reporting company Disclosure is met by providing FINCEN acceptable iden - tification which is either a passport, driver’s license or other state issued identification.
ou might be wondering what the National Defense Authorization Act has to do with real estate investing
in 2021 and beyond. The answer is more than you might know if you have not been paying attention to inclusion of the “Corporate Transparency Act” (the ACT) in the Defense Act. The ACT’s aim is to prevent illegal activi - ties from being conducted through anonymous business entities by requiring the reporting of the identity of the “beneficial owners” of companies. Any LLC, Corporation or any other entity that is created by filing a document with a secretary of state e.g., article of organization etc.., is considered a “reporting company” under the ACT. A reporting company is now required to disclose the beneficial owners of the company to Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). In other words, if you have set up an LLC to hold your investment real estate the federal government is requiring you to disclose your ownership via annual filing.
FAILURE TO DISCLOSE If you fail to meet the disclosure requirements the trea - sury can fine you up to $10,0000 and or imprisonment of up to two years.
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