Women entrepreneurs are slowly filling the business world, and thriving in it means empowering each other to succeed. In this episode, Monick Halm talks with real estate investing goddess and businesswoman, Desiree Doubrox. As an entrepreneur since the age of 12, Desiree has always been the owner of her own businesses. After a successful career in real estate as a broker and investor, she launched An Empowered Woman, a global, membership-based networking community for women professionals and entrepreneurs. She is also the CEO of a co-working/living space for women in business called HomWork. Today, she shares how she has been able to take her real estate investing and scale it to create a business.
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How To Turn Your Investing Into A Business – Interview With Desiree Doubrox
I’m here with Desiree Doubrox, who is with us to talk about how to turn your investing into a business. Welcome, Desiree.
How are you doing?
I am great. It’s a pleasure.
It is. It’s exciting. Thank you for the invitation. We have a lot to share.
I’m glad to have you. Desiree is a real estate investing goddess and a businesswoman extraordinaire. She’s been an entrepreneur since the age of twelve and has always been the owner of her businesses. After a successful career in real estate as a broker and investors, she launched An Empowered Woman. This is a global community for women who are starting, fixing, or building their businesses of web, TV, radio shows, mastermind meetings, teleclasses seminars, coaching, and live events. That’s how I met her. I was going to her Empowered Woman events, which are incredible.
She’s also the producer and publisher of Let’s Talk Success, which is a digital magazine distributed in eleven countries with access to over a million viewers. She’s launching HomWork, which is customized luxury homes for women to live where they work or work where they live anywhere in the world. It is amazing. I want to find out a little bit more about your story, share your incredible story with the readers, and find out more about HomWork. Also, how you can take investing and make it into a real business, not something where you’re self-employed, but create the way that you’ve been able to scale. It’s fascinating and wonderful. I invited you to talk more about that. How did you get started in real estate investing?
The end of my marriage was the beginning of my real estate career. When I was married and preparing for divorce, I was a mom of two boys and I wanted to be active in their lives. I wanted to be able to attend their school events, participate. I want to be home for them when they came home. A typical 9 to 5 was not appealing to me and I enjoyed sales. I said, “What is it that I can sell that’s the highest ticket item that everybody needs and it will leave me with the most return on the investment?” It could have been pencils, coffee machines or it could be real estate. Besides the fact that I loved home and decorating homes, I have a vision. I can walk into a room or a house and see it in a different form.High return of investments can come from diversification of products. Click To Tweet
I’ve always said that homes are my canvas. For every person, they have an artist’s side to them and home is my canvas. I got involved in real estate. I wanted to stay at home. I didn’t want to be selling real estate client after client. How can I capture some good clients and be able to transact multiple transactions? I select clients who are not only interested in buying a house but who also want to build a portfolio. I say to them, “I’m not going to sell you a house. I’m going to sell your real estate portfolio.” I did it myself, so it’s easy for people. I could demonstrate and they can mirror me with what was doing so. I bought one property and we leveraged it.
We bought another property and different types of properties. Some are single-family, condo hotels, or duplexes, quadplexes, even to the point that we’ve gotten triple that large 8,000 square foot buildings that were in Texas that they use for offices like an Office Depot and things of that type. I am working with different mediums and ways of doing it. There was diversification. If one segment died or wasn’t doing well, we had some savior in the other areas. When you are pairing something, it’s important to think not of that one again. “How can you take that one person, product, or program and parlay into more so it will minimize the start and stop process all over again?” At least, you don’t have to start over and get a new clientele, products, or programs to be able to take what you have, which you captured and be able to work that through. That’s what I was doing.
I love it. I love how you took that and you’re able to scale and instead of saying, “This could be one opportunity, how can I make it many?” Tell us a little bit about HomWork, your new venture?
For years, I was doing real estate. When the market changed, it wasn’t appealing to do investment real estate. I want to get more women involved. I started inviting them to my home and sharing my story about how I built my real estate portfolio and how they could too. Since then, I have been in problems for the last couple of years. I haven’t done another escrow besides my personal properties since. I’m at that point in my life, as well as at age when I’m thinking, “What is my exit plan? What do I want to do for the rest of my life? What’s going to take me there? What’s going to afford that luxury of retirement, travel, and all the wonderful things?” I feel that An Empowered Woman could accomplish it, but it was very labor-intensive.
You’re looking at your price point. It varied to the lowest of $470 to the highest membership program or package that we were offering, which was $4,700. For example, I’ll take my goal of $1 million and I divide it by $4,700. It’s going to take me that many transactions to achieve that goal. It will take a lot more if I work from the low end. How can I achieve that with less transaction? I refer to it sometimes as unique as less brain damage. The more transactions you have, the more it works for you, whether it’s you, your staff, your team, or your process, it requires a lot. I thought, “I love real estate. I believe in real estate.” I know for the long term that it is still and always will be far as I’m concerned, the number one asset that you have in your portfolio. I love the women’s group. I wanted to be able to incorporate them.
I lived at a home with my sons and became an empty nester, who got a Palm Desert for years and a condominium by myself. I moved back into Orange County and rented a house with some friends for the purpose of me finding something locally. As I look for something locally, I’m disheartened about the idea of another condominium, townhouse, or even a home by myself. I enjoy the interaction, energy, life, learning, and the fun that comes with being around people. I’m used to them. I’m used to having my children, their friends, parents, or have my staff. I thought, “What if I was able to rent a big beautiful home, the type of home that I and other women would want, but share it?”
All I needed to live in this situation is the ability to be able to convert the living room into meeting rooms and convert the dining room into conference rooms. Also, have a business center where there’s fax machines, copier machines, and have other amenities like housekeeping consistently, car washing, and other things that will allow me to concentrate on working and playing. As opposed to doing anything in between. I thought, “I’ll start exploring that. I want that. Maybe others want it.” I found that there are a lot of women that want an escape place. Whether they’re empty nesters, single, in multiple locations, or traveling, they’re living with a boyfriend or partner. That was something that other people wanted. With the advent of Airbnb and we work in the sharing economy, including Uber, Lyft, and all those other things, it’s acceptable and desirable.
Originally, when this was launched, companies came in and they started around the time of the recession of 2007 and 2008. It was more economics for them to be able to rent it out, they were losing their home. To be able to stay at home, they rented out 1, 2, or all rooms. To be able to afford office spaces, because they were given up this fancy suite, they had to go for shared space like WeWork or some of the other companies. It was born out of need. Nowadays, it’s desire because, at that time, they’ve been doing a lot of searches in isolation. Isolation creates loneliness. I found out and I never experienced loneliness before in my life, but when I moved away from Palm Desert and back into Orange County, I realized I had been lonely. Loneliness is one of the major causes of obesity or death. I didn’t realize that it was that serious but when you think about it, when someone is being punished, they put them in isolation. When you’re in the prison system and they punish you. Isolation is not where we want to be. The convenience of working from home, yes, but doing it in an isolated environment is not necessary. That’s how we live. It’s a great way to live at home and work at home.
HomWork is a luxury home for women that live where they work. This is something that you’re you created because you wanted to do it for yourself. What I find fascinating is how you’re creating this as a business that will be all over the states potentially all over the world. What are a couple of ways in which you’re able to scale that idea?
Buying homes is expensive as capital expenses. We want to scale it fast because part of the success of anything is getting out there and being able to be prominent in your market. We’re going to look at some other options. We’re going to purchase some or to least purchase them. “How do we choose?” We find out the problem in the properties in California. Our CFO helped us discover that purchasing in California utilizes a lot of our cash. We’re going to least purchase in California. We’re going to purchase in areas like Vegas, Colorado, Seattle, Arizona, and other states, including Florida. They’re less expensive for that same utilization of cash.
As these companies and homes create more income, we can purchase them. For the income, we can also then bring in memberships with a membership base because that brings additional income. You said, “How can we expand that or scale it even further?” There are a lot of women and many people out there, but we found women that have large homes don’t want to stay in them but they don’t want to be alone. They have rooms they’d like to rent. They decide, “We can purchase a home that we can vet.” We’re making sure that the owners are vetted.
They go through our background checks as well as our members as we go in and brand them. We know that there is a consistency in our brand, as far as the luxury that we’re providing to them. Also, making sure they have access to the best internet and business services. We are going to partner with properties to do that so we can scale even faster and further, especially countries outside the United States. We’re not yet interested or even available to have homes, manage, and monitor them out in different countries like Asia, France, Europe, and places like that.
It’s easy enough for us to be able to go for a home, get a room, have it embedded, and have it designed out so they’ll be consistent with our brand. Women will know that when they go to those places, they can stand the sound with comfort, knowing that they’re in good neighborhoods, landlords, space, and they have amenities that they have grown accustomed to. That’s how we differentiate. That’s how we’re scaling out. Eventually, we may bring them all back or follow whatever one goes the fastest is the best. For our better income-generating ones as the new ones that we will have the home ourselves because we’re approaching the corporate market.
They have people coming into areas for projects like short-term projects. They rent individual apartments many times with individual utility bills and leases. It’s much more economical as well as easy to have to rent a house. They have one bill, one responsibility, and five people can live under one roof. It’s more economical, but also, it’s more productive. It minimizes the time to travel, getting dressed, and commuting. It’s more economical. That’s also the market that we are going to approach as well to be able to solve that housing dilemma for them.Part of the success of anything is getting it out there and being able to be prominent in your market. Click To Tweet
That’s great. I love it. Tell our readers, how they can find out more about HomWork and you?
I want to hear your trinity, which is your brag, gratitude, and desire. What’s your brag? What are you celebrating?
I’m celebrating the success of HomWork. We’re moving slower than I want but faster than other companies. Other companies take 2 or 3 years to launch. I’m proud of that. I’m celebrating that. We’ll be opening our first home. I’m excited.
What are you grateful for?
I’m grateful for the love of my family and friends and also the support. That’s my why. We’ve been blessed with a beautiful, loving family. We have no drama, disasters, or disappointments. We’re all loving, beautiful people. That’s a blessing. I know that.
Lastly, what are your desires?
I desire to go and travel all over the world looking for a home. It gives me a way to write it off. I can go to Bali and Japan. I can always offer businesses looking for a home. I would love to see the architecture and the design of different homes. I’m excited about that.
That’s beautiful. So shall your desire be or so much better than you can ever imagine. Thank you for being on. This was amazing and inspiring.
I’m excited to see what HomWork becomes and how you’ve been able to take this idea, which I remember at the beginning, and make it into this huge multi-million or billion enterprises. Thank you again. We’ll have you on when it’s a little further along to see how it’s going. Thank you for being on the show. When it comes to real estate investing a goddess, remember to always keep it pleasurable and juicy. We’ll talk to you soon. Bye.
About Desiree Doubrox
An Empowered Woman is a global, membership-based networking community and resource center for women professionals and entrepreneurs. Our current offerings include Web TV & Radio shows, Tele-calls, MasterMind Meetings, Coaching, Seminars and Second Sunday Series. Join us in our mission to Educate, Motivate and Empower women by sharing your stories, challenges and victories! Coaching for women entrepreneurs and professionals.
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