EP 6: This Single Mom Built $1M Portfolio + $100k Flips in ATL! Legacy! Legacy! Legacy!
Updated: Feb 21, 2021
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In this episode, "Episode #6: Building a $1M+ Portfolio," we talk to Tia Lance, a full-time attorney and single mom in Atlanta, about her real estate journey. You'll find out how to build a winning portfolio from someone who's done it the hard way.
H2: How Did Tia Lance First Become Involved in Real Estate?
When Tia first started out, she had no plans on becoming a real estate investor. After law school, though, she couldn't help but think there has to be a faster way to generate income and become wealthy.
She got started slowly, by buying a property and renting it out after she moved. From there, she became more interested in local property values along the Atlanta BeltLine, and she asked friends and family if they'd be interested in investing in one of those properties together.
Unfortunately, they said no.
A little while later, though, a family friend recommended a certain area where she should buy a property, and since the homes were so run-down, she ended up buying it sight unseen, in cash, for $50k. She razed the previous house and built a new one in its place.
From there, she was hooked.
Today, she has 6 rental properties that are generating steady income for her and her daughter.
H2: What Are Some of the Most Important Keys to Being a Good Real Estate Investor?
This podcast is packed with helpful tips about real estate investing. If you want to become the best and most educated investor you can be, you're going to have to watch the full thing.
However, as a summary, here are some of the key takeaways:
H3: Find Good Contractors
Tia says that "finding a good general contractor is probably the #1 thing that can make or break you" as a real estate investor.
How do you find good mechanics, plumbers, and painters? Focus on personal relationships. You need to network within the industry. Take people out to lunch and coffee, and always be on the lookout for another contractor as a Plan B.
H3: Remember: Profit is the Bottom Line
Tia recommends focusing on single-family homes and duplexes in order to generate as much income as possible. HOA fees from condo investing will cut in on your profits, and profit is always the bottom line.
H3: Keep Your Goal in Mind
Somewhat related to the previous point, this bit of advice will remind you not to spend too much on frivolous things.
Tia's goal from real estate investing was to develop enough monthly income to cover her expenses in case she has to leave her job, and this has guided her decisions ever since.
After closing a deal, she doesn't go out to buy a new car or anything unnecessary, she aims to reinvest that money.
H3: Don't Take Losses -- Learn Lessons
A loss is only a loss if you don't learn anything from it. As long as you see losses as a necessary step in your development (and they are), you really can't lose.
H3: Don't Be Afraid to DIY, From Property Management to Demo
There hasn't been a single project that TIa hasn't worked on herself in some way, whether it's managing tenants and their complaints, staining the backsplash, or doing demo, remember that you can save a lot of money (and learn a lot) by taking on a lot of different roles.
H3: Come Up With a System to Track Your Repairs
For tax purposes, it's important to keep a list of your exact repairs. You don't want to lose any money to the tax man just because you didn't note every little cost.
If you keep all of your expenses on an LLC, then that won't show up on your personal credit.
That's an often overlooked aspect of investing.
H3: Aim for the Low End
If you set your sights on the low end, you'll always be pleasantly surprised when the appraisal comes in higher than you expected, or when the deal closes higher than you expected.
H3: There Are a Lot of Ways to Fail
A lot of people take on more than they can handle at one time. Tia still isn't comfortable taking on more than one project at a time, and she's been doing this successfully for years. When your own money is on the line, it's natural (and good) to be hesitant. It's important to stay focused on your priorities because whatever can go wrong with the process probably will -- and you need to be able to solve those issues.
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