Becoming a real estate investor can come naturally, especially when you are born into a family of realtors. Today, Monick Halm interviews Erica Stahura, who is one of the new Real Estate Investor Goddess Coaches. Growing up surrounded by real estate talks, flipping houses, client meetings, Erica has absorbed everything she needed to teach others what she has learned. Join her as she shares everything that you can expect from the Real Estate Investor Goddess coaching program.
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Interview With Real Estate Investor Goddess Coach: Erica Stahura
I am super-duper excited to have with us, Erica Stahura, who is one of our new Real Estate Investor Goddess Coach. Growing up, Erica was tagging along with her parents as they purchased, remodeled, and managed numerous investment properties. It’s not a stretch to say that she was born to invest in real estate. Since coming of age, she’s been involved in deals locally and in several other states including working on various rehab projects, rentals, multifamily, tax sales, wholesaling and creative finance deals. Her focus has been on solving problems for others and getting creative to create a win-win scenario for everyone involved. As a real estate mentor and coach, she offers a unique mixture of real-world investing experience and a passion for helping others to achieve their goals. For the past several years, she has coached countless students on various strategies including fix and flips, rentals, multifamily, wholesaling, creative financing and tax sales. She has expanded to the commercial repurposing side of the business as well and she is helping Real Estate Investor Goddesses with this coaching. I’m excited to introduce her to you and have her share her incredible story. Welcome, Erica.
Thanks, Monick. I’m excited to be here.
You were born into real estate investing and you grew up in a family of real estate investors. When was the first time that you did your own deal for yourself?
They’ve always surrounded me and helped me with that. It was a flip in my younger twenties that I took on under my own name, but I have their support in that thing. That was my first real where I could sink my teeth into it and talking with the owner. Making more of the decisions, making it my own, learning that process of how to work with subs and all those things, and feel the pain.
It’s smart. There’s no reason for you to have done it without their support. When they’re there, why not use it?
Real estate is a team sport. You do need guidance and mentorship. Being born into it is awesome.
Tell us a little bit more about this particular property. What was that like? How did it go?Trusting others who are qualified to help you in your real estate endeavors is necessary for successful investments. Click To Tweet
This was a situation where we had talked a lot with other people. Someone that we knew from church came up to us and said, “We’ve got this ugly beast in our neighborhood.” We checked it out and it was an inheritance property. These owners were a couple of people that are not in a great situation. They didn’t know what to do with it and they were busy. They painted the walls white, put in some brown carpeting and lipstick on a pig. They were going to try to rent it out, but it was a mess. There were a lot of bigger issues that they weren’t addressing and things like that, so we were able to talk with them. It took numerous conversations, of course, but we were able to work out a creative solution where we got them to use it spring clear. We’ve got them to carry it where we didn’t have to come in with the big loan that way.
We had done different projects. I grew up with things like that, but this was where I was a lot more involved, so it was awesome to see. They were in a tough spot and we were able to come up with a good solution that helped them and helped us to have a little break in the financing there as well. We had someone that wanted to put their retirement funds in with us on this one to help with the rehab and things like that. We did a flip on it and it was interesting because the person that mentioned it to us, their kids wanted to move into the property. The son-in-law was in the military and they were a young couple. They wanted her close by and since it was right there in the neighborhood, it was a perfect scenario. We did customize things somewhat to them knowing that, “If something happens, we’ll have to sell this. We’ve got to balance it.” It was neat because we were able to help this young couple get started and help her to be near her parents while he was away. It was cool.
That was your first flip and you’ve done quite a few other things since then. What are you working on now? What are your favorite things to do?
We always have quite a few things going on, but we always tell people to focus on one until you master that. From there, we’ve found that we love to diversify what we do. Overall, our goal as a business and our vision is to help people. We find these situations where people have issues and problems and we help them solve those problems. Most of the time, we make some good money doing it. Sometimes, we do it as more of a ministry to help them. We found that it comes back to us tenfold. That’s our overall vision. Sometimes it works out as a flip. We’d love that because that’s our background. My dad was a contractor growing up as well, so we love to make things pretty. We’d love, of course, the rental side and understanding what that does for you. Sometimes, it works best that way, things of that nature. That’s what we do and using a lot of creativity. How can we get into this?
Growing up, we never bought a house in the normal way, so everything was always, “How do we look at this from a creative perspective?” That’s what we do now. One time, my dad even used a bird as a down payment on a house. It was this exotic, crazy bird that my uncle had and they were trying to work out this deal for my uncle and his family to be in. This older lady loved the bird, so he used that as his down payment. We saw that. That’s when I was younger, so the conventional side was weird to me. To me, it’s like, “Find any possible angle you can to make it work.” That’s what we do, help people and find ways that work for both of us.
Let’s switch gears a little bit to the coaching program. I’m super excited that you’re working with Real Estate Investor Goddesses and helping us in the coaches. Let’s share with the readers how the coaching program works.
What we do is combine one-on-one weekly accountability sessions where they’re speaking with a coach one-on-one who has been out there in the trenches, who has been and is doing this actively. We can look at what are your goals, where are you coming from, what you want to accomplish and help you get there. We combine that with pushing to support as well, so that way, you’re taking action. It’s not just a theory of real estate investing, it’s real-world steps, advice and things. Also, “Let’s get out there and push you to do this.” Usually, when people are starting something new, there’s a level of fear and you need that community around you to push you to say, “Let’s hold you accountable to your goals. Let’s get out there and you’ll have us to lean on as you go.” That’s our whole mentality.
We’re big into not just the nuts and bolts, but also the mental part of real estate investing, the mindset piece. Here at Real Estate Investor Goddesses, they teach WEALTHY formula, which is the W is how you do it in a Womanly way. E is Education. A is Assets. L is Location or markets. T is your Team. H is How you pay and How you can get creative. I hadn’t thought of using birds before, but I’ll add that to the list. Y is You. How do you do it in a way that works for you since it’s not one size fits all? Under the W is the goddess secret sauce and that includes pleasure, intuition, mindset, sisterhood, and community. What I love about what Erica and the rest of the coaching team are bringing is not just the nuts and bolts, but also the mindset and the community and helping clients be able to take action and have real results. I am excited. Share what they can expect from working with us.
As far as digging into what those steps we go through are, everything from determining, looking at their goals, where they’re coming from, their finances and helping to guide them on what should my focus be on digging into the target market. Whether that’s their own home market or branching out. Also, the neat thing about our experiences that we’ve been able to work with students all over the country. Even though we may have personal investments in a few states, we’ve been able to see investments all over the place. It’s helpful in looking at different markets from that perspective. Even if they’re far away from us in location, we can certainly dig in and help them create a system locating potential deals, helping them to evaluate and know what a deal should look like. Also, run those numbers, all of those pieces and to guide them A to Z through the process.
I love that you are able to help. I do that coaching, but it’s just one-a-man. I only work with 4 or 5 clients per year and there are many other people that want that support. I’m super excited that they’re able to provide it with amazing experience and backgrounds. That’s awesome. I feel that we learn more from what doesn’t work out from our mistakes and our stumbles than we do from the smooth sailing and the deals that are slow and with ease. What would you say was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
There have been a few. Looking at that, there are different things that we’ve learned the hard way. One of the biggest things that I wanted to talk about that I didn’t use was working with qualified team members. That was something that was a huge lesson for us because he was a contractor, so he knew some of those things, but we found that to scale and make it a business. It didn’t work to do it on his back. Some of us, that’s not our gift and we shouldn’t do it because we think we can. Learning some of those things of getting the right people in place and trusting other people that are qualified to help you there. We had a situation where we had a gap lender that jumped in on a deal with us and they had a real estate license. In their mind, it was, “I’ll be the agent on this one to sell it,” but they just put it on the MLS and did nothing, so no marketing and anything else. We learned the hard way. We sat there a lot longer than we needed to. The second we got along with an agent that had that marketing background, it’s sold quickly. Things like that, we learned along the way that you have to have a good solid team in place. Don’t try to do it yourself and not because they are, “I’m an agent or I’m a contractor.” You’ve got to check into your due diligence and know who you’re working with.
I’ve seen them oftentimes and I’ve been guilty of it thinking that if you DIY, do it yourself, you can save money. I can’t tell you how many people I speak to and they’re like, “I want to invest in real estate, so I’m going to get an agent.” I go, “Why?” The few percentage points you’re going to save are not worth it compared to working with somebody who’s good at what they do, who’s connected, who can get you deals, who can market everything and doing all of that stuff. There’s a reason they get it because they’re going to provide value. It’s not bad necessarily but there are a lot of people have that, “I’m going to save a little bit.” It takes them way more time and doesn’t look as good, doesn’t work as well. Work with the best, they won’t cost you money and they’ll make you money. That’s good. On the flip side, what are you most proud of?
One of the big things is being able to be a part of helping other people reach those goals. That’s something that’s huge for me and my whole mantra of helping other people. It’s been neat to see people come from, “I want to reach these goals, but I’ve never had any experience. I’m scared of it,” to, “I’m doing deals. Thank you. This is awesome.” That’s our big achievement that way.
To what do you attribute your success?There is always a level of fear when starting something new. Click To Tweet
I’ve been blessed to be involved in a family that got out of that box. Honestly, some of the financial struggles we had early on, that twitched all of us to think differently and to learn to be creative. Since we couldn’t do it the conventional way, we found another way. Learning that mindset at a young age has been a huge blessing for me.
Tell us a little bit more about that because that’s valuable. You have a traditional well-paying W2 job and you can generally go ahead and get a conventional mortgage. A lot of people think that’s the only way to go about it or that’s the best way. When you’re not that conventional borrower, you have to get creative. Tell us a little bit about how that worked for you.
That’s one big key that we’re constantly preaching to everyone including my younger siblings. They’re probably tired of hearing it by now. The biggest thing that we found is you’re not in a box. Even with the students, I’m coaching and things that I’ll always put that out there that a big fear is money, especially if they come from a place where maybe they don’t have and they don’t fit into that box. How am I going to do this? Even agents, a lot of times, are more conventional minded, so they’ll push back. It’s helping people understand that there’s a lot of ways to do this that are totally legal and totally fine. You can do a seller finance situation where they’re the bank, essentially. There are a lot of good ways to do that and that helps them to maybe get some residual income as well.
There are a lot of different ways that we can package it. Maybe even a lease option and a rent to own scenario. We use those a lot but we’ve also helped people in situations where their credit wasn’t up to par, but they have a good job. They’re working towards homeownership, but stuck in that rental place. Not that we don’t love tenants, but we love to help people break out of that as well and learn that, “You absolutely can buy a home and you can’t even get into the conventional loan at some point. In the meantime, here’s a way to step into that and learn the process.” It’s keeping that open mind that conventional is awesome and it has its place if you can use that a lot. There are a lot of different ways to do it and to leverage every possible opportunity.
What advice do you have for a woman just starting out in real estate investing?
One of the biggest things is surrounding yourself with the right community of support. It can be a challenging business at times. I’ve found that it has been vital to me to have that support in those people that I could go to ask those questions when I am stuck, help me find a solution and get through it. That would probably be the biggest thing, surround yourself with the right people.
Before we get to our famed trinity, what is the best way for people to connect with you?
Our coaching side, I know you’ll give that information, so that would be huge, joining that community and being a part of that. I do a lot of the support aspects and manage the team as well. I’m here in the trenches helping with deals. I do have Facebook as well. Either way, definitely connect.
You can go to REIGoddesses.com and under coaching, you’ll be able to find a link to find out more about Erica and our team that is supporting us on that coaching side. It’s time for the trinity, which is a brag, a gratitude and a desire. What is your brag? What’s one thing you’re celebrating?
One big thing that we’re doing is stepping a little bit more into the commercial side. We’ve done some bigger multifamily before, but we are looking at smaller commercial spaces and repurposing them and updating different things like that to increase the cap to hold a flip. It’s getting a little bit more creative on the commercial side. I’m excited about that.
What’s one thing you’re grateful for?
My family. It’s been awesome to be a team working together, to all utilize our own strengths, help each other and of course, helping others with that.
Last but not least, what is your one desire?
Our big goal has been to find these more and better ways to continue to share this amazing business with as many people as possible. That’s another reason why we’re excited to work with you, your goal to reach one million women and find that financial freedom that we have.
So shall your desire be or so much better than you can imagine. Thank you, Erica, for coming on, sharing your inspiring story and giving such great advice. You all can connect with her through the coaching program at Real Estate Investor Goddesses or on Facebook and you can connect with me. The same place, go to REIGoddesses.com and you can get into our free community. You can join our investor club and find out about all the other offerings we have to support you in your real estate growth.