A business venture can be profitable in the future with proper planning and excellent management. As real estate investors, we find self-storage as an asset class that could have great income returns and low costs. Monick Halm’s guest for this episode is Stacy Rossetti. Together, they talk about the processes of real estate investing. Stacy Rossetti is a self-storage investor and a business coach. She’s been renovating homes since 2012. From there, she has since discovered the passion of coaching and empowering others. Along the way, she experienced different kinds of struggles, but she continued to pursue her career. She shares her greatest mistake in life and what she learned from it. Find out how to start in this field and get the most awesome deals! Listen to this episode to unlock the secret to success.
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Creating Life By Design In The World Of Self-Storage Investing With Stacy Rossetti
I’m super excited to have Stacy Rossetti, who has the most fascinating life. We were talking and I’m excited to share her story with you all. This is a story of creating a life by design, how you can use real estate and do what you want. She is a self-storage investor and coach. She’s been renovating homes since 2012. She loves taking older homes, restoring them, and taking great pride in the work she does. She always had a great interest in the community and wanted to help spread real estate industry knowledge amongst other hardworking people. She had South Atlanta REIA and she now created a non-competitive, awesome community for people all over the US called REI USA. She also owns and operates StorageNerds, which is an online education platform that teaches people how to find, fund, and run their storage facilities.
Together with her, she also has a husband, Pete. They own and operate eight storage facilities in addition to investing in real estate themselves. She has since discovered another passion which is coaching and empowering others. Between many things, she loves to travel and spend time with her family. She just sold her house and they bought an RV. They’re going to be traveling all around from Canada to Mexico and everywhere in between. I’m so excited to have her.
Thank you for letting me come hang out with you.
Thanks for being here. Before we started rolling, you were saying, “I’m about to go off on vacation to Italy and Prague.” You’re saying you’ve spent a lot of time there because you studied in Germany. You ended up working for a long time for the German company making wind turbines all over the US. How did you get from doing that to doing what you do now in real estate investing? How did you get started?
I worked for a German company and we built wind turbines. What happened was a Chinese company came to me and said, “We need somebody to do exactly what you did for this company, but for our company.” Essentially, for the German company, I was the middle person between Germany and America. This Chinese company also wanted to break into the US. They were like, “Since you know what you’re doing, why don’t you come and be the middle person between a huge Chinese manufacturer of wind turbines and wanted to break into the United States.” I was like, “Sure.” They happen to have their facilities in Peachtree City, Georgia. I was living in New York at the time.
We moved all the way down to Peachtree City, Georgia and my husband was in New York. He was an operations manager for a manufacturing company. When he moved to Georgia, there were no manufacturing companies there. It was like a whole different world. When he came down, essentially, I was like, “I’m making the big bucks now. Why don’t you take your time to figure out what you want to do?” He took his time and it took a year. He started his own home inspection company. That’s what kicked off the whole real estate investing world for us because that was the summer of 2009 and that was in the bubble.
He started seeing all these houses that are dilapidated and doing all these home inspections for him. He was like, “There’s a lot of crappy houses out there. We should buy a couple and flip them.” I was like, “I don’t know about that.” He’s the one that pushed me into it. What happened is that the Chinese company I worked for them for several years, we could not sell any Chinese wind turbines. I could not sell any of them. My job is to help sell them and do all the pre-development. Nobody wanted to buy Chinese wind turbines. They all wanted the German ones.
Every country got their thing. China does the same thing with wind turbines. Basically, what they said was like, “We’re going to close down the shop and we’re giving you six months’ notice.” After the six months, we’re going to give you six months’ severance. The last six months that we were there, we’re like, “What are you doing when you’re closing down the company?” We’re just like, “What do I do?” I took those six months and I started educating myself about real estate investing, watching videos, and trying to figure out how I’m going to do my business plan, marketing plan, and I do the foundations of the business. When we closed down the company, that’s when I started doing mailers and send out all my stuff. I started out wholesaling and rehabbing. The transition was my husband having the home inspection company, my company closing down and giving me that time to educate myself.
How did you get into self-storage?
I was one of those crazy people that did a ridiculous amount of rehabs at a time. I was doing 10 to 15 rehabs at a time, and what happened was I got pregnant in 2015. That time, I was doing fifteen rehabs and I had fifteen rehabs in the pipeline. Can you imagine? I was already like, “Pull my hair out, anyways.” I started freaking out, of course. I was like, “Now I’m pregnant. I have all these rehabs. I barely even manage myself. That’s it. I’m out. I’m not buying any more rehabs. I’m done. That’s it.” I have a realtor that has been working with me since day one. He’s my realtor that helps me out. I told him like, “Richard, that’s it. No more houses.” He was like, “What?” “You’re tired of bringing in truck and stuff because of me, right?” He’s like, “Now, what am I going to do?” I was like, “We’re going to have to roll this money into something else because I was 100% privately funded too. We’ve had to figure out to roll this money.”
We started looking at multifamily and portfolios of houses. I think I just found twenty houses at the time. This was back when there was no multifamily. This is the very beginning stages of multifamily coming back and everything. I didn’t want to do all those rehabs on those multifamilies either because it all needed work, I was not in the mood for that, and I was so tired of houses. The houses were making me sick to my stomach. I was out of that. He was like, “What about storage?” I was like, “Storage? What about storage?” He was like, “I found a storage facility right around the corner from your house. It’s literally twenty minutes away.” I was like, “That’s a perfect location because I can stay home with the baby and take care of the storage facility.”
I went over to the storage facility and I was like, “Let me go take a look at it and see.” I drove up to the storage facility and it was the dumpiest storage facility you’ve ever seen in your entire life. For me, I was like, “I love this place. It’s so nice.” Maybe I can fix up dumpy storage facilities. Fixing up a dumpy storage facility essentially means getting all the real bad tenants out and getting the good tenants in. That’s what it is. That’s how it got started. I got pregnant, started freaking out, and looking for other things to do passive-wise. I want a passive income.
It’s a lot more passive than flipping.Everything could change in a blink of an eye, so you must learn how to pivot immediately. Click To Tweet
Now we have eight facilities, just bought an RV, and we’re going to travel around. In fact, we have four more storage facilities under contract right now. Once you figure it out, it’s not that difficult to manage and run these things. You can be anywhere in the world. I told my students. I was like, “I’m going to prove it to you. I’m going to go travel the country and show you could be anywhere in the world and run these facilities.”
Tell us a little bit about REI USA.
In 2017, I started the South Atlanta REIA. The reason I started it was not only to bring me closer to all the people in the community but to build up my portfolio, find houses, and do deals together. We met every single month and we had a great community, and then COVID hit, and of course, everything changed. We pivoted immediately and we became 100% virtual. What happened was I started noticing that all these people from outside of Georgia were joining the South Atlanta REIA. I talked to a couple of people and I talked to one guy in California, and he was like, “There isn’t a virtual REIA that I can join in Georgia. I want to invest in Georgia but I don’t know anybody. I need to get to know these people.” I started talking to all these people about those and I was like, “That’s a good idea. There are so many people from outside of Georgia that want to invest here. How can I bring them into this thing?”
I was like, “I might as well go nationwide. That way, anybody that wants to join can join and learn how to invest in real estate.” What we do is we not only have one expert per state, they lead this monthly virtual meeting essentially. It’s like a virtual REIA. We’ll have experts from each state and they lead these meetings. On top of that, we have expert niche-related people that come in and teach their topic. We have every single topic that you can imagine. People come on and join. They’ll just come and they’re able to put themselves in front of people like us and ask them questions. They tell them what to do instead of it being a question all the time. It’s a community college for real estate investors. That’s what I’m calling it.
I was very honored to be at the Women’s Summit.
That was so cool. People love that thing. Everybody and all the ladies in the group are still talking about it.
It’s a great way to connect with people, especially if you’re trying to invest outside of where you live and like, “How do I connect with people in Des Moines, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, or wherever you want to go.” It’s a great resource. I want to ask you my favorite question because we learn so much more from things that don’t go well than when they do. What would you say was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
My biggest mistake, honestly was taking on the way of too many rehabs. It was too stressful. My life now is night and day. I have somebody that’s joining StorageNerds. He joined and he’s a rehabber. He’s telling me all the things that he’s doing, how stressed out he is, and he’s doing all these rehabs at the same time. I was telling him, “I’m so glad I’m out of that.” I started getting heart palpitations because it’s stressful. People don’t realize doing one rehab is a lot of work when you have all these multiple things. Having all that stress with the huge big company that I have and now, we’re big but we’re also small at the same time.
It’s great to know how you want to spend your days or how do you want to play? There are so many different ways to play in real estate and understand that certain things are very active. It’s a lot of management if you’re trying to do things like flipping, so it’s great to have learned that. What are you most proud of?
I love when my students are successful. Outside of Lilian, my daughter, and my husband, it’s the success of the students when they buy their first storage facility or get their first deal. I had one of my students, who’s an older student and been there for a while and she still doesn’t want to let go. She just did her first owner finance deals and she’s so ecstatic about that. Those little tiny things I love. I’m like, “It’s working. People listen to me. It does work.”
That’s how I feel, too when my Goddesses get a deal. I’m like, “That’s what I live for.” It’s nice getting your own stuff, but when your students do it, it’s the best. To what do you attribute your success? You’ve got a lot of success. You’ve been able to do so much.
I would get stuff done. Also, another thing is I’m very coachable. I’m the type of person that no matter what I do, I have a coach for it. For instance, I hired a membership coach because I’m trying to build REI USA. I’m like, “I’m just sitting here struggling and trying to figure it out. I’m going to hire a coach and have them tell me what to do.” I’m super coachable, so I think that’s one of the main reasons why I’m so successful. The second thing is when they tell me to do something or when I think of an idea, that idea gets done. It gets implemented. It’s not just, “Here we go again.” I don’t put it on my list. It’s like, “Let’s get that done.” I’m also very good at delegating, which a lot of people can’t do. They want to do it themselves but they think they can do it better than everybody else. I delegate that off. I always tell my students like, “Think about your company and think about what your company would look like if you are only working on what you truly love to do and you delegate everything else off. Your company would be amazing.”You can get wealth if you just pick one thing and do it over and over and over again. Click To Tweet
Take action, delegate, and get coaching. What advice do you have for a woman who’s starting out in this field?
Take action instead of internal fear. I talked to a lender and she also wants to get into investing. What I heard from her is she’s getting sucked into everything. That’s the thing with real estate investing. There are so many different ways to invest in real estate. There are so many different things that you can do, but the one thing that my coach told me a long time ago in the very beginning, and thank God. He told me this, “The way that the wealthy get wealthy is they pick one thing and do it over and over again.” That’s what I do. I’m just in storage now. Beforehand, I was rehabbing. The longer that you do it, the better you get good at it. Don’t get all the shiny objects syndrome, but also take action. Don’t get scared, take action.
I have a lot of students, they’ll get a deal and they’ll talk themselves out of it. I had a lady and she’s had so many awesome deals, and I’m like, “Put it under contract,” and then she just talks herself out of it. I’m like, “You’ve got to go down and throw it.” I have an acquisitions person. He’s a guy and his name is Chris. He started in October of 2020. It took him a good two months or so to get our first storage facility under contract and we closed on it in January 2021. From January until now, we’ve closed on a storage facility a month. The reason why is because he leaves the contract there. I talked to him and I was like, “Leave it off. Leave him a contract. We have the contracts already.” He makes an offer and he leaves the contract there. Over Memorial weekend, he left five contracts and out of the five, he got two under contract. That’s also good too.
What do you wish you’d known at the beginning that you now know?
It’s the money. I used to be all about making the money. That’s before Lillian. I got to have Lilian because she changed my life. It was all about like, “I want to get that deal. I want to go onto the next.” That’s why I did so many rehabs. I need to make some money. Now with Lilian, it’s all about spending time with her. That’s it. As you said, lifestyle by design. Everything that my husband and I do is all for Lillian. In fact, our storage facilities are called Ms. Lillian’s Self-Storage. We are going to do everything for her. Of course, we take her to the storage facilities and she was like, “I’m bored.”
My daughter said the same thing about the apartment buildings. I’m like, “We’ve got to go look at the apartments.” “Aw.” She’s like, “We get to look at another C-class apartment.” Before we get to our famed end of show trinity, which is the brag of gratitude and desire, what is the best way for people to connect with you and find out more about what you do?
Go to StacyRossetti.com. That’s the perfect thing. You’ll see REI USA there, StorageNerds, everything about me and all this stuff that I do. There are links to all my social media and stuff there. It’s the best place to go.
Now, it’s time for our trinity, which is the brag, gratitude, and desire. What is one thing you are celebrating right now? What is your brag?
We just bought an RV. That’s the brag. We’re hitting the road. I don’t know where we’re going to go. I do not know when we’re going to come back but we’re hitting the road.
What’s one thing you’re grateful for?
Definitely, Lillian and Pete. I always say marrying him was the night of my life and Lillian is the best day of my life because I had her at noon and I got married to him at 6:00 in the evening.
Last but not least, what is one thing you desire?No matter how successful you are, you always desire to have time for your family. Click To Tweet
More time with Lillian and Pete. More time with the family.
Sounds like you’re getting your desire very soon. So shall it be or so much better than you can imagine.
You’re welcome. This was so fun. It was very inspiring. Thank you so much for coming on. You all can connect with Stacy at StacyRossetti.com. There you can get connected to all the various things she does and connect with me at ReiGoddesses.com. There you can find out about our trainings, mentoring, events, and investor club. Check that out and please subscribe, like, and join us next time for another amazing interview. Bye-bye.
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About Stacy Rossetti
Stacy is a self-storage investor and coach. She has been renovating homes since 2012. She loves taking older homes and restoring them and takes great pride in the work she does. She has always had a great interest in the community and wanted to help spread Real Estate industry knowledge amongst other hard-working people. She was inspired to create a non-competitive, awesome community for those individuals – now known as REI USA.
Stacy also owns and operates StorageNerds which is an online education platform that teaches people how to Find, Fund and Run their storage facilities.
Together with her husband Pete, they currently own and operate eight storage facilities. In addition to investing in real estate herself, she has since discovered another passion in her life – coaching and empowering others. Between many other things, she loves to travel and spend time with her family.
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