On this episode of House Flip Masters Holly is joined by guest Lauren Hardy. Lauren is a full-time real estate investor that flips houses and also does wholesaling, she is a mother to two and says that she loves juggling being a full-time mom and a full-time real estate investor and wouldn’t have it any other way because real estate investing allows her to spend more time with them than she would have if she worked in the corporate world.
Lauren was drawn to real estate investing after having her oldest daughter, she realized it was too difficult to maintain a full-time job in the corporate world and also taking care of her child; it was really tough for her to juggle both. She wasn’t set on real estate investing but she knew that she wanted to work from home. At the time her brother was flipping houses and one day they were at a family BBQ and she was telling him how she was frustrated with her schedule and trying to juggle motherhood. Her brother suggested that Lauren try real estate investing and she agreed to give it a try; her brother became her mentor. The first thing that Lauren learned about real estate was how to get deals - she worked full-time while she learned the business of real estate investing. After a couple of deals she gained the confidence to quit her job. Lauren has been real estate investing for about 3 years and enjoys it everyday.
Lauren says that in her first year she had 2 deals, and in her 2nd year of business she says that it was like the school of hard knocks because she spent too much money on marketing and says that this year was her year of learning. In her 3rd year she did 15 deals and her goal for this year is 20-25 deals; to date she has 5 homes. Lauren likes to keep her deals in Southern California - Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino and she recently picked up Nashville, Tennessee as a new venture to try out. Lauren always wanted a secondary market because of California’s competitive market.
Holly asks Lauren to share how she finances the flips that she does. Lauren says that she has private money lenders through family and friends that are interested in making some good solid money. She also utilizes hard-money to cover the gap when she doesn’t have enough private money. Lauren is also a licensed realtor and the homes that she flips she also sells them for a greater profit.
Holly inquires with Lauren if she is using entities for the deals that she does. Lauren recalls that she did not have an entity on her first 5 deals or so, she says that she didn’t create an entity until she felt that she was going to continue to stay with real estate investing so that she could save the $800 LLC tax that you are charged every year.
Holly asks Lauren to share what the most frustrating part of being an investor is and Lauren says that it is not knowing what your salary is going to be because there is a lot of uncertainty in the real estate business. Holly reminds listeners that real estate might not be the right business for people who want to avoid risks because the market can change and there can be unforeseen problems with the homes or even the contractors. On the flip side Lauren says that the best part of being a real estate investor is that she that she can have the lifestyle that she wants. Real estate investing has allowed Lauren to spend time with her family and friends. She also finds that when she’s allowed to work when she wants to work she really enjoys it.
When Lauren had a bad year she says that she went to two consultants to look at what she was doing so she could better understand what she was doing wrong because she knew that she didn’t want to give up on real estate but also did not want to make the same mistakes the next year. The consultants were able to advise her on what her mistakes were and Lauren took that information and used it to make her next year of investing even better.
Holly asks Lauren how she feels about being woman in a male dominant real estate world. Lauren says that women can sometimes not be as good at negotiation because of the way that they are raised as far as being polite and not asking for what they want. She feels that men are more assertive and negotiation can often be easier for them. When it comes to talking to sellers she feels that being a woman is helpful because women are more sensitive and empathetic to situations. Being a woman in this business she feels is often used to her advantage.
Holly asks Lauren how she gets her deals and Lauren says that she does a lot of marketing about $8,000 worth per month - she does a lot of direct mailers. Lauren uses a company called Postcard Mania for her mailers, they handle all of her mailings.
Holly asks Lauren to share some words of encouragement for new investors and Lauren says that she remembers being a new investor very well and says that there is 1% of people who make a bunch of money very quickly and never seem to go through a trial period where they are trying to figure out the business. Lauren says she was not part of that 1% and she had a really hard time figuring out how to turn a profit in this business. She advises that just because you don’t turn a huge profit immediately doesn’t mean that this market is not meant for you, you need to give it time; Lauren says that sometimes it’s a matter of luck and timing - things that have nothing to do with you. She advises to work hard and to not give up on what your goals are. Don’t be discouraged if you are not part of that 1% because you will come out on top if you keep pushing.
If you are interested in getting in touch with Lauren you can reach her by email at LHardy@HardyREI.com