Baltimore Spotlight: A Complex Market MARKET & TRENDS

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THINK REALTY 8  News & Events

Updates from around the industry.

10  Think Realty Supplier: Sherwin-Williams Paint More 2020 paint trends from the Sherwin-Williams Colormix Forecast. by Sue Wadden

INVESTOR STORIES 12  Presidents' Circle Featured Member: Nancy Wallace-Laabs

14  Heroes Among Us Honoring individuals who show strength and teach us what real wealth is. by Tammy Phelps

BUSINESS FUNDAMENTALS 33 Sponsored Content: Investor Review

Deborah Razo

52  Tips to Tackle Your Day


Organization is key to managing a successful business. by Erica Parker


59 Sharper Tips: Protecting Your Invaluable Assets What you might not be doing to give your employees the recognition they deserve. by Gary and Susan Harper 60  Part-time Real Estate Investing Is it possible to build wealth by working half time? by Michael Jordan




STRATEGY 68  The Future of Airbnb Investing



How regulations are restricting this profitable investment strategy. by Daniela Andreevska 76 Talking Loudly: The History of Hard Money A look at hard money and why it’s the lending industry’s black sheep. by Nathan Trunfio



Tips from an attorney to protect yourself — and your investments.

Property management, time management, and real estate investing success.

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Elizabeth Maora-Sickels

Bettina Hernandez

Jamie Wooley

Susan Naftulin

Sonia Booker

Susan Harper

Heather Self

Carrie Cook

Think Realty honors some fabulous females who are making waves in the real estate investing industry.

DESIGN POINT 80 Design Guide: French Country Kitchen Featured Designer: Michele Van Der Veen

MARKET & TRENDS 88  Low Risk Options There is still room for growth in some markets. by Ingo Winzer 90  Baltimore: A Complex Market Market reports for the Baltimore area show a stable market for long-term single-family rentals. by Fred Heigold III







Designing outdoor spaces that you can really live in.

Why holding on to your investments could be the path to higher profits.

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PUBLISHER & CEO Eddie Wilson


SALES MANAGER Rodney Halford 816-398-4111 x86122




CONTRIBUTERS Sue Wadden Tammy Phelps Clint Coons Gary & Susan Harper Michael Jordan Erica Parker Tom & Becky Olson Daniela Andreevska


Nathan Trunfio Lorraine Beato Ingo Winzer Fred Heigold III Lou Gimbutis

Like, Follow & Share for the Latest Real Estate News, Trends and Insights from Think Realty

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Liz Barlak Photography

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!

SUBSCRIPTIONS :: The annual subscription for Think Realty Magazine is $36.00 in the U.S. Order online at or call 816-398-4085. Provide your full name, address and telephone number. DISCLAIMER :: Think Realty Magazine , its owners, contractors, distributors and their respective representatives do not provide tax, accounting, investment or legal advice and make no guarantee as to the effectiveness or success of any investment or tax strategies discussed herein. Please consult your own independent adviser as to any questions you have or decision you are contemplating. ABOUT THIS MAGAZINE :: ThinkRealtyMagazine isapublication ofAffinityRealEstateMediaLLC.Reproductionoruseofanyeditorial orgraphic,withoutpermission, isprohibited.Wearenotresponsible for thecontentofanypaidadvertisements.Forreprintrights; toob- tainadetailedstatementofourprivacypolicy;and forallsingle-copy requests,addresschangesandothersubscription inquiries:



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Real Voices in Real Estate


torytelling. This new-ish buzzword in business

and overcoming adversity with class, inspiring others in their wake. Read about our Women to Watch beginning on page 16. And, throughout this issue, you’ll see more women featured for their ideas and contributions to real estate investing. Later this month, members of Think

is one of my favorites — probably because I used to be an English teacher! But more so because narratives have the power to speak to the human condition, affecting the audience on an emotional level and evoking

relatability and connection. When we relate to and learn from the experiences of others, we automatically connect with them and with what they are professing. Business storytelling, applying a narrative to business, helps build brands and helps share valuable insights with others. This issue spotlights women who are making waves in the real estate investing industry by sharing their stories — the good, the bad, the highs and lows, the successes and the failures. The rippling result of these narratives is better businesses, stronger connections, and brighter futures in real estate — and beyond. We’ve spotlighted nine amazing females who are building their businesses

Realty are headed to Capitol Hill to continue the much-needed discussion on how certain legislation could drastically affect investors. This Day on the Hill initiative began last year, and I am happy to report it was well- received and that the conversation will continue. Stay tuned to learn how this story unfolds and how real estate investors can use their voices to influence legislation that could change the industry. I hope you enjoy this issue of Think Realty Magazine and be inspired to share your real estate investment story with a mentee. You never know how you can impact someone who has been in your shoes. We all have similar, yet unique stories — feel empowered to tell yours. •

Keep Going!


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Think Realty's Core Focus is to be the trusted source in the Real Estate Investment Industry by providing products and services focused on serving the Real Estate Investor.



O n March 19, 2020, members of Think Realty and the American Association of Private Lenders (AAPL) will return to Washington, D.C. to meet with legislators on key issues affecting the real estate investing industry. This initiative started in 2019 when the two organizations each launched a meaningful dialogue with legislators, informing them on the real estate investment industry, how it functions, and how investors can help solve issues in affordable housing and more. The conversation was well received, and members are excited to continue the conversation. Top issues to discuss will be affordable housing and taxation and mortgage licensing. Conversations like these can lead to reform, which could benefit not only real estate investors and private lenders, but also communities nationwide. The Day on the Hill initiative is a positive step to improving inhabitability and home values across the U.S. •

Visit for updates on Day on the Hill progress and next steps.

Titan Talk Video Series

- Personal Endorsement by Eddie Wilson - 20 min interview by Eddie on location: 1 on 1 with CEO - B roll footage shot of client’s office to be used in video - Feature article in both Think Realty Magazine and Private Lender Magazine -Article in Think Realty Newsletter -Titan Talk Web page section dedicated to client for 12 months- Includes video, client profile, feature article and any other articles by client

- Posted on Eddie Wilson’s personal social media pages and website -Posted on Think Realty Podcast -Presidents’ Circle Membership for 1 year -Social media post- Min 1x per month for 12 months on TR and AAPL pages -Line previewing article on cover of both magazines.

INVESTMENT: $15,000 current Presidents’ Club member $20,000 non-member


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Think Realty Conference and Expo Returns to Baltimore EXPERIENCE FIRSTHAND WHAT THINK REALTY HAS TO OFFER.

M ore than 40 exhibitors will showcase various tools and services focused on helping you achieve your goals as a real estate entrepreneur. Attendees will also learn from keynote presenters, a local market panel, and Think Realty Resident Experts. Think Realty events are the best opportunity to invest in yourself and your business!


Brent Kesler The Money Multiplier Keynote Speaker

Demetrios Barnes SmartRent

Charles Sells PIP Group

Gary Beasley Roofstock

Tom Olson Good Success

Clint Coons Anderson Business Advisors Featured Speaker

Charlie Einsmann Clear Sky Financial

Jeff Tesch RCN Capital

Jason Engelman Freaky Fast Homebuyers Featured Speaker

Sam Jacknin Clear Sky Financial

Daniel Huertas Washington Capital Partners

To learn more about upcoming Think Realty events and to buy tickets, visit

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Color Trends


by Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams

The use of color in home design is evolving as we enter a new decade. 2020 promises to be an empowering year of change, focused on colors that bring joy, serenity and clarity. Homeowners continue to move beyond how spaces look and toward how they make them feel. Sherwin-Williams 2020 Colormix Forecast identifies five inspirational palettes — Alive, Mantra, Heart, Play, and Haven —that can help homeowners pave the way for wellness and self-nurturing in today’s new interiors. We have shown three palettes in previous months and now here is a look at the last two, Play and Haven:


This energetic and clever palette exudes charm through buoyant, playful color. Anchored by a fresh Pure White (SW 7005), it’s accompanied with surprising pops of bright pink, aqua and gold balanced with monochromatic neutrals. Its mission is to add joy and warmth to every space it touches. Homeowners can pair Play with unique lighting, fun patterns, and varied textures.

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This nature-inspired palette beckons to those who seek to transform a space into an oasis. Drawing upon Earth’s seasonal cycles, it features rich tones like Kingdom Gold (SW 6698) but also subtle shades of sea, sand, forest and sky to organically bring the outdoors in. Homeowners can extend Haven’s impact in homes through sustainably sourced materials. HAVEN

The unique tones and stories in the 2020 Colormix Forecast are meant to inspire future projects and help designers and homeowners alike bring exciting aesthetics into their spaces. •

Through the Think Realty Supplier Program, Think Realty partners with companies like Sherwin-Williams to bring discounts to Think Realty members. Learn more about savings available to Think Realty members at For more about Sherwin-Williams Colormix Forecast, visit

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by Kelli White


n 2005, Think Realty Presidents’ Circle member,

freedom brought with it a life- changing journey. “That was the first time in my life I didn’t have to go out and find a job. The freedom was exhilarating, to know we had choices about how and what to do to earn money. I had always had an interest in real estate, but never took the dive. Our realtor introduced me to a real estate investor, an introduction that started

a ten-year mentorship, which helped guide our decision to buy single- family rentals and become landlords.” Over time, she became a property manager and organically grew her company to 125 doors. Now, with nearly 15 years’ real estate experience, Nancy and her husband are full-time real estate investors. “As our investing experience grew, our focus shifted to affordable

Nancy Wallace-Laabs, lived in Phoenix, AZ. When the uptick in home prices went even higher, she and her husband Brian decided to cash in. They sold their home for a substantial profit, packed up, and moved to Frisco, TX. It was a time of exciting change and freedom for Nancy. And, as often happens,

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housing. We are firm believers that a lot of problems can be solved if everyone has a safe, clean, and decent place to live to raise their families. We love the idea of fixing up a distressed property to add value to a neighborhood and to promote home ownership!” As an accomplished real estate investor, Nancy is compelled to put a spotlight on women real estate investors, which prompted her to write her book Winning Deals in Heels that examines the journey of ten female real estate investors, including herself. She tells their stories of start-up and success. Now, the Think Realty team is happy to tell (a bit of) this inspiring investor’s story. TR What advice do you have for beginners in the real estate industry? NW Don’t be emotional about your first deal. So many new investors just want to get in the game, and they fail to do their due diligence, over-improve their flips, and just dive in with their own money OR someone else’s money. I also see a lot of new investors not ever get started

because they are overwhelmed with all the exit strategies involved. I suggest that new investors focus on three areas: • Limit to one or two target marketing campaigns • Stay consistent in your efforts • Follow up Also, all real estate investors should keep abreast of national and local governmental regulations, like rent control measures and legislation affecting tax penalties, which can have a financial impact on their businesses. TR The real estate investing industry is ever evolving. What excites you and what concerns do you have about the field? NW What scares me is a lot of new real estate investors are not knowledgeable about exit strategies and may either lose money or cause financial damage to the seller. Many real estate investors that are inexperienced or just in it to make a buck give other investors a bad reputation. One thing I stress to new investors is to always be transparent, honest, and sincere with their dealings with sellers, lenders, and anyone else that they connect with. What excites me about real estate investing is that I don’t see a time when it will ever end. There will always be people who need to sell a home, so I think there is limitless supply of opportunity for people who want to get into real estate investing. TR What are some lessons you’ve learned in the world of real estate? NW Trust me, I have made my fair share of mistakes along the way! Real estate investing can be a rewarding but humbling career. I am compelled to share as much knowledge that I have gained to help people realize their ambitions and become successful real estate investors. A lesson I have learned is that not everyone is as motivated



I love that real estate investing demonstrates my abilities as a strong, independent woman. I am a problem solver who gives back through mentoring, investing meeting focusing on women who want to grow their real estate businesses. I love showing my daughter Kelcie that if you work steadily and consistently, you’ll find that even when you might hear a “no,” tomorrow it will be a “yes.” I love the challenges real estate investing provides. I love trying to figure out what is the best strategy when talking to sellers, and I love that I can combine helping people out of distressed situations, make money, and give back to a community. as I am, and I have had to watch out for people who want to ride coattails, meaning they have the intention to be successful, but they lack the conviction of follow through and commitment that is a staple in this industry. TR If you have a free day with zero obligations, what would you do? NW Because of what we do, this would be considered a treat for sure, so I would do some self-care along with my daughter. A long massage, a relaxing facial, and a good glass of Pinot Grigio! After that I would binge watch something on Netflix! • 2 3 educating, and hosting a women-only real estate


Places you’ve traveled: Ireland. It is so peaceful! I am Irish and have never felt more at peace than there. It is a beautiful country. TV Show: Law and Order SVU. I love the twist and turns, and Olivia is a strong woman role model! Cuisine: OMG – do Junior Mints count?

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Heroes Among Us


by Tammy Phelps


ost would define this as the perfect, all-American life: A marriage of 30 years, two beautiful children, a 20-year teaching career, and a 4-bedroom home with a water view! At one time, my SHE-RO thought it was truly the perfect life. But then it wasn’t. Only a select few knew this “perfect all-American life” was abruptly coming to an end behind closed doors. In the real world outside, no one knew that this SHE- RO’s morning routine checklist consisted of:

Pull up big girl pants. Put on waterproof mascara. Tuck all pain in back pocket.

Adhere the faux smile. Cover up visible scars.

My sister Laurel Candelario is my SHE-RO! It was tough for her to be the one to ask for


help. Recovering from a devastating divorce and insurmountable debt, my SHE-RO met someone who became her hero. This newfound relationship helped her manage the stress from her not-so-perfect life. And she moved on with strength. I watched a real-life fairytale unfold! They shared six months of bliss at 58 and 69 years of age. Then they experienced some of life’s biggest challenges, together. On December 7, 2017, he made it through surgery for pancreatic cancer. On December 8, 2017, she made it through a double breast mastectomy.

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For the next 18 months, together she and her hero courageously endured the aftermath all while being madly in love! On October 23, 2019, my brother-in-law, Sgt. Maj Rafael Candelario, who had earned a Purple Heart and Silver Star, received his highest honors at Arlington National Cemetery. The brief time my sister experienced a real-life fairytale of pure love with her hero was equivalent to what most experience in a lifetime. I am a real estate entrepreneur busy with amassing wealth through wholesales, fix-n-flips, and getting

another deal done, but it was my sister who courageously showed me what real wealth is: REAL LOVE. Today her morning routine checklist is:

Be Sgt. Maj Strong Love Madly Be Beautiful

This month, as we celebrate the extraordinary awesomeness of all SHE-ROs, let us reflect on what we define wealth to be in our lives. Let us acknowledge and honor the hero in all of us! •

Tammy Phelps is known as "The Lady Boss of Real Estate." She is an educational speaker, coach, mentor, and founder of Capital City REIA, a Real Estate Investment Alliance in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia. The group's focus is on the personal growth and business development of the real estate entrepreneur.

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Think Realty shines a light on some of the many women who are making waves in the real estate investing industry. 9WOMEN TOWATCH

Deborah Razo JUST OVER 10 YEARS AGO, real estate investor Deborah Razo had an opportunity to start over. She was in a car accident that left her literally crushed; her head was cracked open and her neck was broken. It took multiple surgeries and over a year before the doctors released her in good health. “During that time, I had a lot of time to think about life and how I wanted to live,” she said. “I had a great life; I was surrounded by people I loved, and I was a small business owner, but I felt like my primary relationship was looking at a computer screen. I wasn’t spending my time the way I wanted to. After the accident, I decided I wanted to have more time with the people I love. I wanted to be able to travel the world. I wanted to enjoy life more and have more freedom. I needed a way to fund that. I needed passive income,” Razo said. She researched and educated herself and started flipping houses in L.A. and then reinvesting in buy & holds for cashflow and long-term wealth. She owns single-family homes in Memphis,TN; multifamily in Tucson, AZ; and has also been a private lender. And she’s still going. WOMEN'S REAL ESTATE NETWORK

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“Now, I’m a first-time developer! Currently, my team and I are finishing our first development in Los Angeles, a fourplex, and have a couple more finishing this year. We are also building accessory dwelling units,” she said. For many years Razo was a solopreneur. She liked making all the decisions and doing things herself, but she realized she was even better at networking, which has proven to be more beneficial to her business. “I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to grow and make my financial goals by doing it alone. I needed to partner and grow a team to excel faster. It was uncomfortable at first and making sure you are picking the right partners/team is a learning process,” she said. Razo, founder of the Women’s Real Estate Network (WREN), is a newfound natural at networking; yet, although she was getting great information from male mentors in the industry, she felt isolated among people who couldn’t relate to many things she was going through as a woman. “I was looking for some other women, people like me, who had figured out this real estate thing. I scheduled a brunch and invited some kick butt real estate women just to see how they juggled it all. And… the magic began.” Those twelve women having brunch in downtown L.A. sparked the first WREN meeting. The network has grown to six WREN Chapters nationwide: Los Angeles, Seattle, Orange County, San Diego, Phoenix, and Atlanta. “We’ve done deals together and have become financial friends. And those relationships have affected my bottom line! Somehow fears went away as we leaned on each other for courage and support,” Razo said. “YOU CANHAVE EVERYTHING IN LIFEYOUWANT IFYOUWILL JUSTHELP ENOUGH OTHER PEOPLE GETWHATTHEYWANT." - ZIG ZIGLAR FAVORITE QUOTE

“Choose a peer group with a high standard, utilize a coach, and immerse yourself in an environment that reinforces you for your wins and challenges you to reach greater heights. Most people’s lives are a direct reflection of the expectation of their peer group. So… I created what I needed and what I wanted — a community of women I can identify with.” In 2020, Razo wants to build more WREN chapters and see more women leaders emerge. “We feed their dream, arm them with education and give them resources to get into action. We would like to reach more women with that intent,” she said. Razo’s number one tip to new investors? Get a mentor. Put yourself in the same space as those who have experienced success in the field. “Proximity is indeed power. By learning from mentors, you are becoming more powerful in your intentions and moving closer to your goals. That’s been true for me. WREN has provided an opportunity to surround myself with like-minded women who challenged me and helped me develop my skills,” she said. Although Razo believes real estate is an incredible wealth-building vehicle that is great for everyone, she feels the current generation of women has “become the most autonomous, free, independent, educated, and powerful in history.” But, according to Razo, women can continue to evolve their mindset to achieve greater success in real estate. Here’s how: EMBRACEWHATCOMES NATURALLY. “We are nurturing and collaborative and therefore great at forming and directing teams. And let’s face it — most of us have had to run a household on a shoestring budget so making a little money go a long way is also something you should embrace.” DON’TDO EVERYTHINGALONE. “Women tend to take on so much and think we have to do it all ourselves. We don’t. Do you wonder why any time women come together it's a powerful thing? Whether they’re in a kitchen preparing a meal or running numbers on a real estate project, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens!”



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Les Brown, Denzel Washington, Lewis Howes. Also, prayer is an amazing tool.

What is your goal-setting process? Has it ever failed you? If so, how did you alter it? I always set goals and evaluate where I am. Heck yes, I’ve failed! In 2019, I had to change the overall sales goal in the 3rd quarter. It was obvious I was way overzealous in my goal. I have BIG hopes and dreams for the business, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and that’s hard to keep in mind. I had to decrease the goal by 40 percent; that’s a real gut wrencher for someone who always makes a goal. I had to be more in line with the market and with reality. Know that you don’t have anything to prove; you can be yourself. Some women walk in with a big chip on their shoulder, trying to assert they’re in control and won’t be pushed around. That old saying “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar” is very true. I’ve found being calm and collected with a bit of sweetness has worked. If the contractor underestimates my knowledge, they find out quickly. What can women do differently to achieve greater success in real estate? What three strategies within the real estate investing industry have helped you the most? 1. Know your numbers, what’s your cash on cash, ROI and throw off. These three equations have made me more money and saved me more money than anything! 2. Honor your word. When people trust you, they will bring you amazing deals and insights. You’ll be part of a very elite club. 3. Stand up for yourself, know your worth and don’t be afraid to charge for it.

When the politics of corporate America had gotten a little too heavy for Elizabeth Maora-Sickels, a corporate engineer by training, she decided to trade working all over the world for a six-month hiatus to determine her next step. In July 2016, she left the corporate life for the great unknown. She narrowed her next path down to either health care or real estate. “I listed my condo in Michigan on Airbnb, as I’ve always loved hosting, and this was a great way to make some additional money while I was figuring out my next steps,” she said. In November 2016, she decided real estate was the way to go and bought her first two traditional rental properties in Indianapolis. “I moved to Indianapolis and started networking. Word got around I had listed my personal property on Airbnb, so someone asked if I could do it for one of their real estate friends. Elizabeth Maora, LLC was born!” From rehabbing, designing, and furnishing to hosting and property management, Elizabeth Maora-Sickels loves everything involving rentals. She is also a passionate teacher, coach, and consultant. What is a trait you exhibit that has held you back, and did you change from recognizing it? Taking things personally. If a client or guest lashes out, I used to take it personally. Now, I understand that it’s most likely not directed at me or my team, but rather some other situation in their life. I’ve learned to just take a deep breath and give people grace. Elizabeth Maora-Sickels ELIZABETH MAORA LLC



When things get tough, how do you get going? I listen to YouTube every single day: TD Jakes, Ed Mylett,

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It’s all about mindset. If you believe you can do something, you will.

Best advice for new investors? Make sure you have the right mindset, know what your goal is, and don’t stop. Learn from your mistakes. It will be worth it. Also, network and attend meetings that will help you learn more about the industry. I’ve invested over $100,000 in my education, and I am still investing to learn more. Time is advancing, and so should you. What can more women do differently to achieve greater success in real estate? It’s all about mindset. If you believe you can do something, you will. Doubting ourselves and our potential for success stops so many of us from reaching our goals and dreams. Focus on what you really want, do not feel guilty about it, and focus on time management and delegating. I had to acknowledge that I couldn’t do everything and had to ask for help. Think about the MOST important things to you, do those and delegate the rest to maximize time for your business and your family. What do you do to alleviate stress? I use essential oils. I am also a leader in Young Living, which is a health and wellness company. I educate those seeking more natural remedies in their everyday lives. Essential oils have positively impacted my life in so many ways including my real estate business. What three strategies/tools within the real estate investing industry have helped you the most? 1. Hiring a mentor 2. Networking 3.

Bettina Hernandez GETHSEMANE HOMES

A former police officer in San Antonio, TX, Bettina Hernandez was faced with one of the most important decisions of her life. Her newborn unfortunately had some health issues and Bettina needed to find appropriate childcare or stay home to take care of her daughter. The decision to give up her career as a police officer and stay home with her daughter led to her decision to get into real estate investing. "I wanted to build a home-based business so I could be with my daughter. Real estate investing was a good option for that, so I invested in education right away and started to fix and flip houses," she said. Eventually, she was flipping eight houses at a time. It wasn't easy, but she never gave up. When things get tough, how do you get going? The first thing I do is pray for guidance and then I focus on “My Why” to push through hard times. No matter what business you’re in, you will have hard times. It’s what you do about it in that circumstance that makes you the person you want to be. I have been in so many life or death situations as a police officer, so now I have that same will-to-survive mentality in everything I do. What is one of your goals for 2020? I want to use the knowledge that I gained to help those just starting out or that just need some guidance and feel stuck. I know how hard it is to figure out this business, and to help others through this journey is a blessing. I feel that’s my purpose — to help and change lives. My plan for 2020 is to create more relationships and to bring value to other real estate investors on social media or in person by sharing content, resources, and how-to videos.


LINKEDIN: Bettina Hernandez FACEBOOK: Bettina F. Hernandez

thinkrealty . com | 19




What is a trait you exhibit that has held you back, and did you change from recognizing it? I have been a people pleaser my entire life, which I’m still working on. When I grew my team, I wanted everyone to love their jobs and expected them to put the effort in that I have for previous companies. This unfortunately is just not the case. I learned how to set clear expectations from day one, so it is clear on paper what the consequences are. I was able to learn how to take feelings out of it. When things get tough, how do you get going? I believe your “why” must outweigh the toughness knocking at your door. First, get very honest with yourself and determine your “why.” For motivation, go on YouTube, find a video that relates and crank it up. Sometimes I turn off all communication, dive into a movie and just rest my brain for a few hours. I also think about my daughter and what I would say to her in a tough moment then relay that to myself. I think we get stuck in tough times, but if you can mentally pull out and be the person on the other end giving advice, it becomes more manageable. What is something you plan to do differently with your real estate investing business in 2020 that you haven’t done before? I have been so fortunate to learn from some of the best in the business. There are so many ways to achieve your goals in real estate and I chose wholesaling/flipping. I will continue to do that but on a much smaller scale while working towards my end goal of leaving a legacy. I am in the process of developing land to build homes and rent out. I am learning everyday how to work smarter and not harder, which does exist. Best advice for new investors? Don’t give up. But, you must really want it. There is so much opportunity in real estate but don’t just follow the trends; decide what you want, what skills you bring to the table, and create the action plan. You must have a


Real estate investor Jamie Wooley has always been an entrepreneur at heart, having a few businesses when she was in her early twenties. But those businesses didn’t lend to her financial goals, and they also didn’t fuel her passion. So, she took a step back to reassess and reevaluate a plan. “I took a year off to work for my dad as an office assistant. I thought it would give me time to decide my next move. That one year turned into eight and I woke up one day asking myself how did this even happen? The next day I gave notice and earned my real estate license to learn how to flip houses. My husband and I did our first flip in 2005, and I enjoyed every moment of the process. I decided to go all in on being a flipper but at that time, I didn’t think of it as a business. I soon realized it’s not easy to find homes in need of repair to fix up on the market,” she said. Wooley set out to understand the industry and eventually flipped, wholesaled, or rented over 350 properties. Give back when you can. Your successes can give others the fire and mindset to go out and conquer any goal. Your failures can teach so much and allow another lens to look through.

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You must have a “why,” you must have a “goal,” and you must have a “plan.”Without these three things you might as well be roaming around lost in the woods . goal. Your failures can teach so much and allow another lens to look through. If you are a seasoned investor just know someone’s life can change from something as small as a post on social media, a phone call to give encouragement, or even a warning that helps someone from falling hard. Why is the real estate industry good for women? There is nothing more genuine than to truly care, treat people with respect, and help others. We have an innate ability to do this and in turn it helps build genuine relationships that are much needed in the real estate industry. What three strategies or tools have helped you the most? 1. Masterminds have had such a large impact on my life that my partner and I started Next Level Flipping, which is an online mastermind for experienced investors.

Jamie Wooley with author & speaker Rachel Hollis

If something is trending, pay close attention as it may be time to go down a different path.

2. If something is trending, pay close attention as it may be time to go down a different path.

3. The business tool, Asana, helps my team stay organized and I love it!


“why,” you must have a “goal,” and you must have a “plan.” Without these three things you might as well be roaming around lost in the woods.




Best advice for seasoned investors? Give back when you can. Your successes can give others the fire and mindset to go out and conquer any


INSTAGRAM: Jamie.Wooley

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likely die from something else. He let me know that I would have a difficult year, but that I would come out the other side and live a much longer life. My mind immediately flipped — now that I had a plan, I had something positive to focus on. I had eight chemo treatments. I couldn’t wait for each one as I knew each was a step toward my recovery. I got off the internet and did not speak to anyone who had been through chemo because I wanted my experience to be my own. I didn’t want to feel sick until I was actually sick. I was afraid that if I had it in my mind that something bad was going to happen, I would convince myself that it was happening. The truth is, I never got that sick from chemo. Was I tired? Yes. Did I lose my hair? Yes. Did I lie in bed all day? Hell no! I went to work every day (maybe shorter days but I was always there). I went out with my friends; I ate in restaurants; I traveled. I lived my life and did not give in. Some days were very rough, but I controlled my life, my disease did not. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and before I knew it, I was done!” How did this life-threatening challenge affect your perspective, both personally and professionally? I think about this part of my life in the context of how I handle work adversity, and realize it is much in the same way. While no one likes problems, I tend to run toward them as the faster they are dealt with, the faster they are behind you. Once I have a plan for resolution, the end goal is in sight. It is not that I love the process, I love the result of having dealt with something so it is in my rear-view mirror. I have had to learn that I cannot always control what happens, but I can control how I let it affect me. I can wallow in my adversity, or I can move forward. My practicewas mostly devoted to bankruptcy and real estate, both ofwhich gave me a goodunderstanding of how profitable real estate investing can bewhen done right, and how devastating it can bewhen donewrong.


Susan Naftulin has been in the mortgage/real estate investing world since 1998. This former Philadelphia- based attorney left law for the mortgage industry where she managed the foreclosure and bankruptcies of its borrowers. She became senior vice president, handling all legal aspects of default servicing. Then the “mortgage meltdown” came and she assisted with shutdowns and liquidations for multiple lenders. “While working with a rehab lender in 2008, one of the partners approached me about starting a new rehab lending business together as we felt that markets had hit bottom and were beginning to recover. That is how Rehab Financial Group, LP was born. I saw an opportunity to control my destiny and took a leap of faith. I have not regretted that leap once since RFG opened its doors,” Naftulin said. In November 2018, Naftulin was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. With no family history, no risk factors, and no abnormal scans, the discovery came out of the blue. She spent most of 2019 battling it. While she is on the road to recovery and doing well, working through chemo, surgery, and radiation is a big part of her story. She shares: “My doctors were stunned that such a serious illness had been hiding for such a long time even though I got every test I was supposed to get. I was fortunate to get an appointment with a well-regarded oncologist but spent two torturous weeks researching my fate on the internet. Word of advice for anyone in this position — get off the internet! By the morning of my oncology appointment, I had convinced myself that I had about six months to live. The oncologist quickly assured me that despite what I had read, I could be put into long-term remission and

22 | think realty magazine :: march 2020

As one of very few female lending

company owners, I had to deal with the daily toll from some peers in the industry. I simply ignored it and let my credentials and success be my answer.

projects where small amounts of money are at stake, rather than on big projects that can financially ruin you. Don’t take on too much at one time before you have a well-developed track record of success. Best advice for seasoned investors? Keep your eye on your business. Do not assume that things will work on their own without your oversight. Make sure you keep in touch with your employees, show up, and maintain the standards that led to your success. As one of very few female lending company owners, I had to deal with the daily toll from some peers in the industry. I simply ignored it and let my credentials and success be my answer. Stay true to your goals, strive to be best in class, and never allow yourself to feel like a victim. We control our feelings. Just ignore the noise and move forward. Arguing with those who try to bait us with conscious or unconscious expressions only plays into the ignorance. What can more women do differently to achieve greater success in real estate?

My experience with both cancer survivors and business people is that the ones who make it through successfully are those that are able to move forward without dwelling in the past. I have told friends that, other than my husband and my children, my cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me. Some find this shocking. The truth is, I received so much love, support, and kindness from my family, friends, and business associates that I am eternally grateful. Usually, after someone passes away people tell their families how much the person was loved and cared for. I have gotten to experience that while I am alive.

What do you do to alleviate stress? Travel. Anyone who knows me knows that I am either planning a trip or away on a trip!

What is your goal-setting process? I try to set conservative, realistic goals. If I cannot see a clear path for how to get to where I want to be, I do not set that goal. I try to never promise what cannot be achieved. It is much better to surprise everyone with over achievement of goals than to continually disappoint with under achievement. Best advice for new investors? Start small. Don’t start with a huge rehab project when you have little or no experience. You will make mistakes, but better that those mistakes are made on small


WEBSITE: EMAIL: LINKEDIN: Rehab Financial Group

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I amhappy to say that I graduated from the real estate school of hard knocks.

Best advice for seasoned investors? Don’t be afraid to pivot. I think as seasoned investors we can get caught up doing what we have always done. We have to be flexible in our learning.


Why is the real estate industry good for women? Women have an innate ability for the business side of real estate. Our compassion allows us to see problems and solutions in a way unlike men. As long as we can keep our emotions in check, we are naturals. What three strategies within the real estate investing industry have helped you the most? Having a niche: I remember when I first started investing, I would purchase anything, anywhere as long as it was a “good deal.” I quickly found out that doing that is a disaster and once I learned how to niche invest, things became much easier. Setting goals: I am a goal setter and tend to do this property by property as well as to have an overarching goal around investing. Once I was able to put numbers to what I was doing it helped me to move through deals faster. For instance, my goal on a wholesale property would be to make a minimum of $5,000. I don’t waste time if I can’t get at least that. Don’t get me wrong, I’d accept a $500 referral fee for a deal because it doesn’t require much time.

Real estate entrepreneur, speaker, and author Sonia Booker was exposed to real estate investing long before she purchased her first investment property. Originally from Mississippi, she was introduced to land ownership and rental properties through her grandfather. When she later moved to Atlanta, she started investing part-time while running her insurance agency. When the year came that she earned more doing real estate than insurance, she decided to sell her business and do real estate investing full time. It wasn’t easy, but now her portfolio includes single- family and multifamily properties, with buy and hold as her preferred wealth-building strategy. What is a trait you exhibit that has held you back, and did you change from recognizing it? I am pretty trusting sometimes. I operate like everyone is going to do things like me only to realize they are not me. This has held me back because I have to fix things and pick up pieces. I have learned to create a balance when it comes to partners vs. staff, which has helped me to manage my expectations. What is your goal-setting process and one goal for 2020? I have to stop often and take inventory. It’s not about changing the goals as it about being flexible on how to accomplish them. I want to bring people together around a common goal of land ownership. This is important for me because in the black community, many haven’t been taught how important this is to our futures.

Knowing my limits: I have a pretty high-risk tolerance so it’s important for me to set boundaries yet be willing to take calculated risk.



24 | think realty magazine :: march 2020

Everyone you come in contact with can teach you something.

perspective. I then arrange all aspects of personal and business to apply that word to my goals. Some of my past words have been Peace, Intention, Belief, Confidence. This year’s goal for 2020 will involve the word Purpose. I want everything I do in my day, week, month, quarter and year to be Purposeful. What is something you plan to do differently with your real estate investing business in 2020 that you haven’t done before? My husband and I have gotten rid of all our single- family real estate in the past several years to truly focus on coaching other real estate businesses. This year one of our goals is to go into commercial. What’s your greatest investment success story? We had success in SFR but no fulfillment. We have truly found our niche in coaching other businesses and seeing them succeed. We’ve helped companies turn around and be profitable. We’ve helped businesses get the right people around them to succeed. That is our greatest success. Best advice for new investors? Get some help. Realize there are smarter, more experienced investors out there that have been there, done that. There are no new problems just new people that don’t know how to handle them. Join a local group. Ask questions. People in the real estate realm want to help and there are so many of us out there willing to do so. Best advice for seasoned investors? The single worst statement ever made is, “We’ve always done it that way.” If you’re not willing to change, then you are risking failure.


Formerly a teacher, Susan Harper, was looking for something to keep her busy during her summers off. Her brother-in-law owned several properties and a property management company so she worked for him and her kids helped out too. Cleaning out houses kept them all occupied on long summer days! That led Susan to completing a few flips and eventually purchasing rentals. "I thoroughly enjoyed the work and was glad for the opportunity to keep busy during the summers," she said. Now, 16 years later, she has been doing real estate investing and business mentoring for as long as she was in the classroom. What is a characteristic you exhibit that has made you a successful investor? Honestly believing I can do anything. I’ve hung drywall, I’ve demoed rooms (my favorite part). My parents instilled in me that if you have the will there will always be a way. What is a trait you exhibit that has held you back, and did you change from recognizing it? I spent 17 years as a schoolteacher and had the hardest time resigning from that “secure” job to go off on our own. My husband took the leap of faith first after dealing with an illness and I joined him two years later.


What is one of your goals for 2020 and why? Every year for the past 5-6 years I’ve chosen a word to focus on that really helps me to put my priorities into


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