Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Time And Financial Freedom Through Real Estate Investing With Kim Wilkin
We invite incredible badass real estate investing women in sharing their stories, their triumphs, their mistakes, their best advice with us and I’m super excited to have with us Kim Wilkin. She is known as The Abundant Traveler who is near and dear to my heart because I do love to travel. She’s a Platinum Top 50 Realtor in Austin, Texas and she is the top 3% of realtors in Austin. She’s built an incredible business and lifestyle with her real estate career as well as her passive income investment. She invests in long-term rentals and syndicated real estate funds. With the time and financial freedom that her real estate provides, she travels the world sharing her laid back luxury travel experiences on her YouTube channel, The Abundant Traveler. The Abundant Traveler inspires other women to buy that plane ticket, pack their bags and see the world. I’m excited to have her. Welcome, Kim.
Thank you on, Monick. I am excited to be here. I love your show. I binge read your blog. I take notes every time. I’m thrilled to be here and thank you for inviting me.
Thank you for being here. I love how you are about real estate investing for freedom and travel which is something that is near and dear to my heart. You are a realtor as well as an investor. How did you get started in real estate investing?
My grandparents were investors back in the day when you can do assumable loans and they lived in a military town. They would assume the loans in the houses for the military guys that were being stationed somewhere else. As a result, I remember my grandmother told me one time, “Kim, I’m a school teacher. I’ve never made more than $18,000 a year. We have created our life, our nest egg, everything through real estate.” It put that in the back of my mind all those years ago when I was little helping paint the walls that real estate is a real way to creating wealth. When I was old enough, I started investing as a smalltime investor with long-term rentals. Primarily, as my investments, I have chosen the more passive long-term rentals because being a realtor now is my active income. That’s what I’ve chosen instead of fix and flip as my active income or wholesaling, I’ve chosen to be a residential realtor and then the paths of this having my long-term rentals.
A lot of people ask me and I’m not a realtor. I’m not an agent or broker but a lot of people ask me, “Do you need to have your license in order to invest in real estate?” I’m like, “No, you don’t.” Do you see benefits to having a license and being an investor?
For me, I was an investor first and chose to become a realtor second. I find that it’s a little bit of insider trading when you have all of the data and all of the information and all of your colleagues are in real estate. On the flip side, there are fiduciary responsibilities as a realtor that you don’t have as an investor. An investor can go into any one’s house, say anything they need to say to make the transaction happen. I’m more on the retail level now, but I feel like the benefit is the inside information that I do have. I still talk to the messengers. I’m still involved in investor groups. It’s just that I’m looking at it from a different perspective. We work together well because I have the license and they don’t. Sometimes, I have friends that are working together. I sell the house. They find it. We work together from that perspective as well.
There are some benefits and some limitations to it in terms of the fiduciary duties. For everyone who’s wondering, “Do I need to get that license before I start investing in real estate?” The answer is, “No, you don’t.” In some ways it’s helpful, in some ways it’s not.
It’s a personal choice.The best way to get somewhere is to learn from a mistake and keep on trucking. Click To Tweet
It’s like a different business.
It’s a completely different animal. It was a choice for my perspective to go there as a realtor.
To be clear, real estate investor license is for real estate investing, it’s not for real estate selling. In terms of your current investments, you said now you have a long-term rental. Tell us a little bit more about where you are now with your real estate.
My goal is to recreate my active income passively. I want financial freedom. It’s that simple. That is the end goal to take care of myself with financial freedom. That is passive income, not active income. I have seven rentals and my goal is in the next several months to add another three to the portfolio. It becomes my retirement, it becomes my passive income. They’re all cashflow positive. They’re pretty plug and play. I choose A-plus or A-quality long-term rentals and I’m very strict on vetting the tenants. As a result, I have wonderful tenants and fantastic properties that need regular maintenance that any home would need.
Are you self-managing?
I manage half of them. The other half I have a property manager because the numbers work with the property manager and I’m in another city. I’m in Fort Worth with a couple of my rentals and my property manager there takes care of everything. I get the check in the mail.
That’s truly passive income and what I’m about. You said you have some in Fort Worth. Where are your other properties?
The rest are in Austin, Texas. The market has been strong. I’m grateful to be based here. Someone told me a long time ago, “With your real estate investments, put them within arm’s reach. That way when you’re around your working environment, you’re taking care of them. When you’re gone to some foreign country, you’re not thinking about what’s back at home.” Everything’s close at hand and I can drive there if I need to.
When you’re not in an expensive market like LA, that’s a little harder. I don’t invest in my backyard. I don’t invest where I can reach my properties but that is the personal choice. Tell me a little bit about The Abundant Traveler. That’s definitely your passion and your baby. My passion is about traveling too. Tell us more about that.
I’ve used real estate to create my best life, both active and passive income. My best life is traveling. I have been a traveler as long as I can remember. I lived overseas. I lived in Europe for a few years after I graduated from college. I got back from my 62nd country and travel is what I absolutely love to do. People started asking me, “Where should I go? What should I do? I’m too afraid to go. I can’t afford to go. I don’t have the time to go.” One day, I decided that I was going to share as much as I know about travel with anyone who is willing to listen on my YouTube channel. My goal is to provide as much value as I possibly can and I want to inspire other women who don’t think that they can go. For whatever reason, for safety reasons, for financial reasons, for time reasons that they don’t think they can do. I want to inspire them that it is possible. Any price range, any location in the world. The world is gorgeous and amazing with different cultures, different people, different lands and different food. That’s my rocket. I was grateful enough creating with real estate. I was in Europe a couple of months in summer, which has been a long-time goal to get there, to be able to spend a couple of months overseas again.
That’s the beauty of real estate and financial freedom. I’m going to be spending a year abroad in 2020 with my husband and our youngest daughter, traveling around the world and we can do that because of real estate investing.
I’m excited for you and a little envious. I’d be gone for a year, but I’m not there yet.
I want to ask you a question that I ask all my guests because we learn so much more from what doesn’t work out well and the times when it’s smooth sailing. What was your biggest mistake in real estate and what did you learn from it?
A couple of mistakes that I’ve thought about is one, I didn’t start early enough. I should have started earlier and the fear factor came in, “Can I do this?” As a result, I have about halfway to my goal and I will be 50 in February 2020. I wished that I had started earlier. Secondly, since I’m involved in the long-term rentals primarily at this point, I wish I would have chosen more homes in the central part of the cities where I’m invested in. My couple of properties, I looked at the bright, shiny objects of the new houses out in the suburbs further out. The appreciation in both the value of the house and the appreciation in the rental income has not come to fruition like I had hoped. Whereas if I stayed centrally located, maybe I would have gotten a little less of a duplex or fourplex or a house, but the value would have been better over the long haul.
With real estate, it’s location and not just market it, but sub-market it. It is being where people most want to be generally pays off. Those are good. The starting earlier, I hear that so much. It’s the same as me. I went to a real estate event and there are women in there that were in their early twenties. I was like, “You go.” I wish that was me. I got my first investment at 31. I wish I started earlier.
Find your mentors and start early. If you don’t have the knowledge or the money to do it, find the person who does and do the grunt work for them. What can I do for you? How can I provide you value and learn from you? It would have been great at twenty to do that.Sometimes you need to get out of your own way so you can be successful. Click To Tweet
Real estate investing is like planting a tree. The best time to do it was many years ago and the next best time is now. If you haven’t, when would now be a good time to start? What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of creating this amazing life that I have created. I did a hard stop in my previous life and chose real estate to build the life I want to live and it’s working well. I’m happy with my active income. I’m thrilled with my passive income and I’m thrilled that I can now travel and go and spend time with my friends. I have created this amazing life in Austin and it wasn’t that way a few years ago. I was a real estate investor in a position that I didn’t want to be in. I’ve put a hard stop and created this instead. I’m grateful and proud of that. Thank you for all the avenues in real estate.
Me too, sometimes I pinch myself for this life that I get to live and I do thank real estate for that. Getting into it and discovering this. To what do you attribute your success?
Keep going. Put on those boots every morning and keep on trucking. Don’t take no for an answer. Learn from a mistake and keep on tracking. That’s the best way to get somewhere in my opinion and it gets easier. Remember that you can hit the easy button. It doesn’t have to be a struggle, but you have to keep going. It doesn’t have to be the middle of winter in your park and 100-mile-hour winds, you can hit that easy button.
You’d say you attribute your success to your persistence.
You’ve got to keep learning. You’ve got to find mentors wherever you are. You’ve got to adjust. You have to type the different paths. Go around the obstacle and find the right people to help you wherever you are. As we grow and we change and we learn more about real estate, we need different mentors along the way.
What advice do you have for a woman who’s starting out?
Go do it. Don’t be afraid. It’s honestly okay to ready, fire, aim. Jump in lightly, jump into the kiddy end of the pool, but jump in and do it. Don’t be afraid to do it. You’re going to make mistakes, but that’s okay. We all make mistakes and we all keep on going and we learn from those mistakes and don’t bet the farm either. It’s baby steps.
One of my mentors told me, “Fail small.” Fail often but fail small. Don’t do everything. You also make it a huge failure. He’s like, “Test small and fail small.” In the beginning, you had said that one of your mistakes was not starting earlier because you had feared. What helped you get over that fear to get in the game finally?
I’ve done a lot of personal development and getting out of my own way through personal development, through things like The Secret, the book, through Tony Robbins, through business coaches. Getting out of my own way has allowed me to do this. I didn’t know I could be here, “That’s a possibility? I can go to where? I can be where?” All of that coaching and all of that work both external and internal work has gotten me here and it keeps getting better.
I’m a huge proponent of the personal development side. I too have invested so much in that and that’s made all the difference. That’s also why the wealthy college programs, much of it is on the personal development side because as Tony Robbins says, “Success is 20% strategy, only 80% psychology.”
You get out of your own way so you can be successful. With personal development, you also realize that you are successful at every step of the way and you’re great where you are and you want to strive to be better. You have to recognize the accomplishments that you’ve made so far, which is sometimes hard to do.
We’re going to do that a little bit when you get to brag, that’s what we do. Two more questions for you. One is what do you wish you’d known at the beginning that you now know?
I wish that I knew that it was okay to jump, to go ahead and leap, to go ahead and start. I was afraid. I didn’t know it was okay. I didn’t know I was following the rules of somebody else. I wish that I had known that it’s okay. Somebody had given me permission to take my own path and tell me that it was okay.
Do you wish you’d given yourself permission?
Give him a slope. I didn’t know I could to begin with.You don’t need to ask permission to take your own path and know that it’s okay. Click To Tweet
Last but not least, before we get into our famed end of show trinity or brag and gratitude and desire, what’s the best way for people to connect with you?
There are a couple of ways. Through real estate is at KimWilkin.com and through The AbundantTraveler.com or The Abundant Traveler on YouTube. I would love subscribers. I love hearing who the new people are and learning a little bit about you and hearing your travel stories. Please subscribe so I can get to know you.
It’s time for your trinity. What’s your brag? What are you celebrating?
The brag, I chatted with a girlfriend of mine and we walked together and we were discussing this. Honestly, the brag is creating the life that I’ve created where I could spend a couple of months of summer in Europe. It’s been a goal for a few years to be able to spend part of my year back in Europe. In 2019, it was a couple of months without missing the lake.
What are you grateful for?
I’m grateful for the people that are around me at my real estate business. They are amazing colleagues. The company is about building the best life that you can live in. I’m grateful to have those types of high-performing, both professionally and personally high-performing people in my life. I’m grateful for them. I can’t even tell you. I’m grateful to be a part of them.
Last but not least, what’s your one desire?
I desire to have my man and travel with my man.
The Abundant Traveler is looking for you or so shall your desire be or so much better than you can imagine.
Thank you. I would love that.
Thank you so much. That was such fun to have you, Kim. That was Kim Wilkins. You can find her at The Abundant Traveler and KimWilkin.com and you can find me at RealEstateInvestorGoddesses.com. If you don’t want to type so much, go to REIGoddesses.com. That’s your best bet. You can join our community of Real Estate Investor Goddesses from all over the world. You can join our investor club and get access to our passive investing opportunities and get more resources and information to start creating your dream life through real estate. Find all that at in our website and subscribe to the show and give us reviews, especially if they’re five stars. They are better. Join us next episode for another amazing Real Estate Investor Goddess interview.
Thank you so much for having me.
- The Abundant Traveler
- The Abundant Traveler on YouTube
- The Secret
About Kim Wilkin
Kim Wilkin is a Platinum Top 50 Realtor in Austin, Texas, and she is in the top 3% of Realtors in Austin. Kim has built an incredible business and lifestyle with her real estate career as well as her passive income investments. She currently invests in long-term rentals and syndicated real estate funds. With the time and financial freedom that her real estate provides, Kim travels the world, sharing her laid-back luxury travel experiences on her YouTube channel, The Abundant Traveler. With The Abundant Traveler, Kim wants to inspire other women to buy that plane ticket, pack their bags, and see the world.
Real Estate www.KimWilkinAustinRealtor.com
Travel Website www.TheAbundantTraveler.com YouTube Channel The Abundant Traveler