Getting started in real estate investing is not always easy, but there are many opportunities if you know where to look and have the necessary skills. Joining Monick Halm on the show today is Andresa Guidelli, the Cofounder of The Real Estate InvestHER Show, a community whose mission is to empower women to live a financially free and balanced life. Andresa shares how she got started in real estate investing and the skills she had to learn to successfully navigate the space, highlighting the importance of these skills for her and real estate investing. Stay tuned until the end of the show for an announcement about The Real Estate InvestHER Summit in June!
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The Real Estate Investing Skills You Need With Andresa Guidelli
I am excited to have with me Andresa Guidelli, who is a soul sister. We both share a passion and a mission to help women be successful in real estate investing. I’m excited to have her here. She was born and raised in Brazil. After finishing up her MBA, she made the bold move to the United States to start her second Master’s degree in Professional Business Communications at La Salle University. After graduating, she worked as a door-to-door salesperson where she gained the value of learning the importance of providing customer solutions for clients and the thick skin you need.
That is one of the things we started talking about, how important that skill was for her and is for real estate investing. With regards to real estate, she has experience in full gut renovation projects, building new construction projects. She’s done some in Philadelphia and New Jersey. She’s the Director of Real Estate Development for Campenella Development. She owns and manages a small rental portfolio in Philly comprised of both long and short-term rentals. She is the Cofounder of the Real Estate InvestHER Show. It’s a podcast to empower women to live financially free and balanced lives. I had her cohost, Liz, on the show and I was so honored to be on their show. I’m super excited to now have Andresa. Andresa, welcome. I’m happy to have you.
I’m excited. Thanks so much for the opportunity to speak with all your community.
It’s my pleasure. I love to start at the beginning. How did you get started in real estate investing?
As you mentioned, I did door-to-door sales. One day, I came to my manager and I said, “I want to know more about sales so I can grow my team and can make more money.” He was like, “No, you’re not going to be a salesperson. Instead, read this book here.” He pushed across the table a small, tiny, purple book saying Rich Dad Poor Dad. I was like, “What is this?” I had no idea who Robert Kiyosaki was at that time, the concept about real estate or anything. My goal throughout my life was I’m going to go to the US, gain my Master’s degree, get knowledge, go back to Brazil and find a good job in a multinational company. That was the plan.
When he pushed that book to me, he said, “You’re going to read it and then we’re going to talk about it.” When I was reading, I was like, “There is a world across here hiding? I didn’t know about this.” One thing led to another starting in 2012. I did a lot of courses and training with Rich Dad Company. I bought my first house in 2012. I renovated and paid a ton more for the construction that shouldn’t have happened but learned throughout the process. I was able to pull a HELOC out, it was a primary house, and that propelled us to invest in other properties. I started doing partnerships, scaling, and moving across new construction. I’m dealing with larger developments in the commercial space. That’s how everything started.
Many people have been influenced by that book. It shifts your paradigm because growing up, you’re probably like me. You’re taught to trade your time for money. You’re taught to go to school, get to college with an advanced degrees, and then get the best job you can get, trade your time for money, put a little bit in the stock market, and then work until you’re 65.
Imagine how shocked I was when I read about A-student and C-student because I was, throughout my entire life, an A-student. He was like, “The C-students are hiring the A-students.” I was like, “I don’t want to be an A-student anymore.”
“I want to be an A-student that can hire other A-students.”
It was a reframing and then start to surround yourselves with other people that are already doing what you’re doing so you’re like, “I’m not nuts. I can see here, I’m doing my work and due diligence before I pull the trigger.” I’m very cautious about my criteria. I’m all about processes and criteria and making sure I’m confident about the decision that I’m making, not emotional as much as possible. It was a shift on how my brain was rewired into that time.
It’s awesome that you saw it and you took action.
I remember this was very vivid in my head. We pay for our education. We have the concept of like, “I’d rather pay for my education than for my mistakes.” You ended up paying for everything. That doesn’t mean that you’re not going to make mistakes. You’re going to make different mistakes. I remember going through courses and then this guy raised his hands like, “I’ve been taking courses for two years. I’m almost ready. I need to do a little bit of more research, but I’m almost ready to pull the trigger.” That freaked me out. I was like, “I will not be that guy spending two years getting ready to get ready.” He probably never did it. In six months, I pulled the trigger because we were getting slammed on our faces. We knew that the deals were good, but we didn’t get a chance to get there first or we didn’t have our lending in place or whatever, but those were lessons. Even if I was not 100% confident because the first one is the most difficult in my opinion.
You’ll never be 100% confident.
You’ve got to embrace all the bumps that are going to come. Some are fun, some are not but you’ve got to embrace them because there is no other way around.
You were saying that you’re working on some developments. What are the types of projects you’re working on now?
Besides regular residential rehab, we have a project two hours away from Philadelphia. It’s a healthcare facility called Step Down Facility that’s 25,000 square feet, 52 beds that are going to be having patients that are transitioning from rehabs to living a life but they need that transition period. We’re going to have our CO, so fingers crossed.
What does CO mean for our audience?
It’s the Certificate of Occupancy. After the entire construction is done, I walk through with the inspector to make sure everything is good to go. They’re going to have a punch list for me. It’s like, “What are we going to pick and choose here?” If it is not code, then we need to be on point of that. There are so many gray areas but long story short, it’s the final certificate they stamp that everything is good to go and the building can be occupied.
What got you from residential flipping to this transitional housing facility?
In real estate, I always had that impression, “I would like to understand how commercial buildings work.” The projects that we’re involved in are very different from one another. The portfolio of the company I’m working in is very diverse. There are a lot of opportunities to gain experience in different areas. My desire to learn how larger projects with budgets that have more zeros, how is that managed, the contracts, and process? I’m very curious about that. When I decided that I wanted to learn how did that work because the goal is to own the apartment complex, that’s another chapter, but it’s on a large scale. I wanted to gain the experience of large scale. I couldn’t find any course or anybody knocking on my door and say, “I have experience in commercial. Come and join me. I’ll teach you how it works.” I have a good friend of mine that has been a developer his entire life, third generation, and we have a great relationship. We had a conversation.The bumps that are going to come. Some are fun, some are not, but you got to embrace them because there is no other way around. Click To Tweet
He needed somebody to come to implement processes and devote to the development of some projects. I was looking to gain experience in that area. I was like, “This is a good match for the both of us.” It’s been a good experience for me in terms of real estate and gaining the knowledge behind the scenes and observing how things are done. We have property managers but the people that I’m dealing with were sub-contractors and all their people. I don’t wake up and say, “I am a woman. What am I going to do here?” It’s not that. Sometimes, you need to convey or enroll the subcontractors. I’m 5’4”, can barely speak English properly and sometimes there are assumptions. Don’t get me wrong. I know exactly what I’m doing here. That’s not my first rodeo and we’re going to move this project along. It’s been a great project. It had a couple of bumps on the road, but nothing major. It’s been a great ride.
It’s great that you’re getting paid to learn.
He came to me at the beginning. He was like, “You’re getting paid to learn.” “You’ve got me.” I’m making sure that I am giving my all.
You’re adding value obviously.
I’m so into it that I was like, “That project is not mine, but how are you guys doing here? How about if we do that?” I want to make sure that the company itself is cohesive. We’re always having those conversations and having the guts to share. That’s what I do best. I will be doing a disservice if I didn’t share like, “This is what I’m seeing. This is what we can do better to communicate with the subcontractors and make the process easier to everybody. Can we implement this and test it out and see if it works? If it doesn’t, cool, but the way that it is right now is a little off. How can we make this better for everybody?”
I want to ask you a question that I ask all the guests. What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
The biggest mistake was to allow the general contractors to be ahead of the money. That’s one of those struggles that many of us, and it doesn’t matter if it’s women or men, the face is when the contractor is ahead of the game. Let me explain what do I mean by that? If you have a project and have payment plans and you hear, “I need another chunk of money so I can start the next phase,” it means you are paying for something that is not done, implemented, and completed. It means that he will be ahead of the game. I only pay for items that are done, installed and completed, then I am good because if I always ask that question, if I have to fire the general contractor, do I have money to pay to hire another one, pay and continue to be on budget? Do I need to get more money somewhere else? If the answer is yes, you’re in good shape. If the answer is no because you gave an advance payment to that person, then it’s a red flag big time. Guess how I learned that? It was $17,500 that was taken from me. I gave the guy a chance. He was a military guy and I was like, “He’s a military guy. He’s not going to screw me over this.” He disappeared. It took 1.5 years to recover the funds. I got them because I was also smart. I keep track of everything. I put a lien on his property and when he showed, I got it.
What are you most proud of?
The resilience and the courage to continue going besides so many things in real estate. The first time that I had to use an attorney for an issue, I was like, “This is bad. I need to use an attorney. Somebody’s swinging me or I’m swinging them.” I learned that it’s part of the game. I have an attorney for eviction, for filing PPPs or the loans, and for different matters. When we join this journey, we think it’s going to be smooth sailing and when we start facing difficulties or challenges, I interpret that at that time that I’m failing. I shouldn’t have been having those problems or difficulties. I’m like, “My basement got flooded, how can I look at this?” One-third of my profit is down the drain because I need to redo the whole thing. If I haven’t continued growing and looking at those as strict lessons and part of the business, I wouldn’t understand that that’s how things are. You continue moving. I feel that we are being trained. This is part of the training. Either you get the lesson or you’re going to continue getting the lesson all over again. Every time that something happens, I was like, “What’s the lesson here that I need to gather? Otherwise, it’s going to come back.”
You get the lesson and the feedback, then you grow.
I always ask the universe, “What are you trying to tell me?” You move forward. Don’t make it mean anything that nothing is wrong. One thing is that I am responsible for everything that happened on the project. If it goes well, kudos to me. If it doesn’t go well, on me as well. Blaming the contractor or other people about why it didn’t go right, it comes down to you, how you communicated, how you manage the money, the construction, the asset as a whole. It’s my responsibility.
That’s leadership, owning this completely. To what do you attribute your success?
Many things but I believe that who I surround myself with is one of the reasons that I am able to continue succeeding in life despite X, Y and Z. Throughout my entire life, I surrounded myself with smarter people, with people that have different abilities and diversity. That is the key. I never had friends that agree with me in everything. It was not cool because sometimes you get into discussions, but that’s the beauty of it. My friends now, they’re not yes man people. I love that because it’s like, “How about this angle? How about that angle?” In my business partnerships, we are so different but similar in terms of values and where we want to be. When things are falling apart, they are the ones holding your back or showing what your blind spots are. I can’t see them but they can. If we trust each other, that’s how it goes.
That’s such good advice because a lot of people, even now more than ever, want to be around people that think exactly like them. If somebody thinks differently, then they’re evil. If both of you guys are the same, then one of you is redundant.
I’ve never heard that before but that’s good.
You want somebody that has different skillsets, but what’s important is what you said, that you have the same values and vision.
My business partner Liz and I, our styles are completely different. Number one, we’re aware of that. Number two, we use that in our advantage because if we weren’t aware of that, that will be like, “This is a recipe for a bomb to explode. How is this even possible?” We know we have each other’s back no matter what and we know where we’re going. We truly use each other’s strengths and personality traits in our advantage. I don’t need to be the one doing everything on this area or that area. We strategically pick which areas we are going to be working on because of that. If there’s no awareness, it’s challenging because then people take it personally and it’s unnecessary conflict.
Speaking of Liz, you two are putting together a summit that’s coming up. Tell us a little bit about your summit.
The Real Estate InvestHER Summit is going to be on June 12th, 2020. It’s going to be an entire day from 8:30 to 5:30 where we’re going to have three pillars: real estate, business, and self-care. We’re going to be talking to top-notch women that we like, respect, and trust about creative financing. With what’s going on with the market, we will need to be creative. The goal is we, as women in this era of 2020, need to understand what’s going on. How can we get prepared for what’s going on? How can we learn the skillset? We talk a lot about exit strategies in real estate but we don’t go deeper about the skillset that is needed in order to execute those exit strategies. Self-care which we put aside on our to-do list because sometimes it’s not even there. We want to talk about the impact of that and how self-care can benefit the growth of our business. It’s going to be exciting.
It is crucial to think about how you can participate in this economy with the changes that are happening and still be successful. Before we go into our famed end of show trinity which is brag, gratitude, and desire, I have one more question for you. What do you wish you’d known at the beginning that you now know?
What’s coming to my head is don’t assume that I am not capable of doing something because I’m totally capable. Sometimes I’m doing it already so good and more efficient than what I think others might be doing so don’t underestimate.
Are you underestimating yourself at the beginning or you wish you’d known that you were so capable?
Everything worked out the way that it should. Sometimes we compare ourselves unnecessarily and we’re like, “I’m not ready yet to take that leap.” I’m speaking more about commercial space. “I need a little bit of more experience in residential in order to jump into commercial.” I don’t think so. The same core is the same parameters. It’s not a completely different animal as I thought it will be. The core process is the same.
The foundational principles are the same. For the trinity, how can people reach you, find out more about you and the InvestHER community?
You can find us on Instagram, @TheRealEstateInvestHER. Our website is TheRealEstateInvestHER.com. We have a Facebook community group where we have a lot of women there to support one another. We love to have you there.
It’s time for our trinity: our brag, gratitude, and desire. What’s one thing you’re celebrating right now? What’s your brag?
I’m going to brag that the last construction budget was above $1 million and I saved almost $100,000 for negotiating with people.Sometimes, we compare ourselves unnecessarily, and we tell ourselves we’re not ready to take the leap. Click To Tweet
What’s one thing that you are grateful for?
At this moment, I’m grateful for my health. There’s nothing more important than that.
Last but certainly not least, what’s one desire?
We are one race. I desire that my son will see that in the future. I don’t want him to see what we’re seeing now. I can’t stand that and I’m not tolerating it. It’s my problem. It’s his problem. It’s everybody’s problem. We had enough. That’s it.
So shall your desire be or so much better than you can imagine. I stand with you in that desire. Andresa, thank you so much. You can find her at TheRealEstateInvestHER.com and connect with us at REIGoddesses.com. These are two communities of support for you as women and join both. Somebody was asking me like, “Who are your competitors in this space?” I’m like, “I don’t think of it as competitors. We both have the same mission.” I want to support you guys because we’re all for the same thing. I love that they had me on their show and shared about my summit and I want to do the same. We’re here for each other because we all want it.
It’s about time that we all get united and then we move forward to the same goal.
We all rise together. Thank you again.
Thank you so much for having me.
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- Real Estate InvestHER Show
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- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- The Real Estate InvestHER Summit
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About Andresa Guidelli
Vanessa Peters, MD, is the founder of VMD Investing and has been investing in real estate for 12 years in single family homes, commercial retail, apartment communities, short-term rentals, self-storage and manufactured home parks. She has invested in over 2500 units across 11 properties and 4 funds.
Vanessa Peters earned her medical degree at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and moved to the US from Canada in 2002. Dr. Peters is a Family Physician and Chief Physician Officer for Graybill Medical Group, a primary care owned medical group in North San Diego County with 12 locations and 80+ providers.
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