PLACE Magazine Inaugural Issue, December 2022

“That’s when I realized I was looking at my own opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. I could empower myself through wealth, as opposed to just income.”

Drilling down the numbers can help you determine which new projects are actually worth investing in. For example, a few weeks ago, I put in an offer for land to develop because the development project looked really fascinating. But once I broke down the numbers, I realized I would do better buying more rental properties because, ultimately, they would generate a higher percentage yield. By learning to review deals, you realize not every deal is going to be good for you. I’m an optimist by nature, and I want every deal to happen, but not every deal must happen. Unless you have unlimited capital, each deal you do means another deal you can’t. WOMEN HELPING WOMEN As I’ve solidified my own independence through my investments, I’ve been able to help others do the same. The very first time I started an LLC was after a friend from Colombia whose husband had been having an affair called me and said, “I don’t know what to do because I don’t know how to do anything. I’ve been his wife for all these years, and I have nothing.” I asked her if she had any savings, and together we established an LLC to build spec houses. Three years later, that LLC probably has close to $1 million in reserves. We built eight spec houses last year alone. This success is one example why I’m so passionate about wealth building, especially for women. Growing up in Mexico from a very traditional family, most of the women in my life were almost entirely dependent on their husbands. There’s nothing wrong with being married or having a husband, but I want to help women break the pattern of depending solely on a man for financial survival. I want to help empower women so they don’t have to depend on anyone else. I want to help other women discover the same liberating freedom wealth building has given me.

Then I met PLACE Co-Founder Ben Kinney. In little more than a decade, Ben built something so much more substantial than your everyday real estate business. He built wealth, as well as the mechanisms to keep growing and sustaining that wealth over time. He built something that would endure. I realized I was looking at my own opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. I could empower myself through wealth, as opposed to just income. I could create something lasting. STARTING FROM SCRATCH The first step toward building wealth is having the initial money to build upon. So, I became purposeful about setting aside money from every single paycheck. In “The Richest Man in Babylon , ” it’s suggested to set aside at least 10% of your paycheck for investments; I shoot for 20%. Now, when there’s enough in my investment account and the right opportunity comes along, I take it. With this strategy, I’ve grown my investment portfolio over time to include 20 single-family rental properties and business that builds spec homes, as well as four single-family residences and two cattle ranches in Mexico that comprise roughly 6,000 acres. Here in Midland, Texas, in oil and gas country, the most recent single-family rental property I closed on cost $445,000 and will rent for roughly $5,500 a month as an Airbnb. TREAT WEALTH LIKE A BUSINESS When you go to a lender to take out a loan for an investment, they will ask for your net worth statement. If you ask, “What is that?” it doesn’t look great. I’ve learned through experience to treat my investments as a business, which means keeping a separate profit and loss statement for each property. Because I’m a very visual person, this technique also helps me quickly determine if I’m doing well with that property and if it should stay in my portfolio.


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