Looking for a lender to finance your real estate investment can be such a nuisance. Many real estate investors spend a lot of time cold-calling lenders who aren’t a good fit with them. This is now made easier and less time-consuming with Fundnatics, an online platform that enables real estate investors and hard money lenders to find each other, share information and close deals. At its helm is Dorothy Pang, an expert on financing real estate investments, who joins Monick Halm in this episode. Dorothy shares her journey as a mortgage loan officer that led her to the realization that a lot of the inefficiencies in closing deals between lenders and investors can be solved with a little help from digital technology. Her solution is Fundnatics, which aims to make real estate investing easier, more transparent and more profitable.
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Financing Your Real Estate Investments & Technology – Interview With Dorothy Pang
I am here with another incredible interview with a real estate investing goddess. This interview is with an investor but she’s also a lot more. One of the biggest concerns for would-be real estate investors is, “How will I find the money to purchase these properties?” It’s always about, “How do I get the money I need?” Our guest, Dorothy Pang is an expert on financing your real estate investment deals. She has many years of experience in client relations and business development. She’s an expert connector and business strategist. In 2014, she joined ACG Funding Inc. as a Senior Mortgage Loan Officer after positions in client relations and business development while residing in Hong Kong. She specializes in conventional loan and non-traditional mortgage.
In 2017, she realized that real estate investing process was time-consuming and complicated for both investors and lenders. There had to be another way for them to find one another and get deals done faster. Her solution is Fundnatics. It’s a mobile app to make the real estate investing experience easier, more efficient, and profitable. I’m super excited to have her here to share her story and to tell us more about this interesting new technology. Welcome, Dorothy.
Thank you, Monick, for having me on the show and great introduction.
It’s my pleasure. We’re going to spend a lot of time talking about Fundnatics, this new technology that you’re creating, but before we get to that, I’d love to know a little bit more about your personal story. How did you get involved in real estate investing personally?
It’s because of my family. My mother has been in real estate when I was at a very young age. She started out in Asia way before the Asian financial crisis in 1997. We moved here to LA and that’s how she got into the mortgage business and later started her own broker firm. Naturally, I followed her footsteps and got into the business.
Your mom is a real estate investor goddess herself. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Tell us about some of the things that you invest in now. What’s your current focus?
All of my current investments are long-term hold properties like rentals. I started a few years ago with a few partners. We sold a few of them and made a little bit of profit. I personally am looking into researching about fixing and flipping. That’s a new thing for me. That’s why I want to do a little bit of homework, or maybe purchasing out of state.
You’re in California. Let’s talk about Fundnatics. Tell us a little bit about what it is and what inspired you to start it.Fundnatics makes real estate investing easier, more transparent and more profitable. Click To Tweet
I’m a mortgage loan officer and throughout my experience in the mortgage business, I realized that real estate investors spend a lot of time cold calling lenders because I was one of those people who got those calls. Lenders on the other hand, I get many inquiries from investors and most of them don’t fit into their perimeter. Imagine the time being wasted and opportunities missed during this transaction, so I started researching the problem and here I am. Everything we do at Fundnatics is to help make real estate investing easier, more transparent, and profitable. We want to solve the mismatch between real estate investors and non-traditional lenders and take the guesswork out between them. That way they can close faster, make more money, and increase the profits. We do that by providing automation to our users. We connect them with each other quicker and more deal-specific through our system. We also want to increase mobility. As an investor yourself, you go out a lot. You’re always on the road and things like that. That’s why we want to design the system as a mobile application, so users can use it wherever they are.
Some of our readers are very sophisticated and some are new to real estate investing. Define what is a non-traditional lender.
Non-traditional lender would be like how there are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that help provide guidelines and stuff like that for conventional loans. Non-traditional ones would be what I’m focusing on like hard money lenders and bridge loan lenders. They don’t follow the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional guidelines, which means their terms can be more flexible in terms of that. Non-traditional wouldn’t be the retail Bank of America, Wells Fargo or stuff like that.
For those of you reading, we’ve had a couple of non-traditional lenders that we’ve interviewed on this show. From my understanding, one of the things that’s attractive about a non-traditional lender for a real estate investor is that if you can’t fit into the requirements for a conventional loan, they can help you. Usually, you’ll pay more for a non-traditional lender, but they’re much quicker and their guidelines tend to be a lot easier. A lot less hoops to jump through. For a real estate investor, especially if that’s your main thing, if you’re not a W-2 employee or if you can’t tick off all the boxes for a conventional loan. Also, if you’re trying to flip and you don’t need to have the money for a long time. It’s not important for you to have a 30-year loan, you just need it quick and dirty. That’s where a non-traditional lender is useful. I remember when I first started in business, I thought hard money lenders sound nefarious like the mafia or something. It’s not what it is.
They’re not. The difference is they’re asset-based lenders, which means they’re focused on the property itself. Unlike conventional loans, they look at W-2, check returns, your ability to pay. For hard money lenders, they’re more looking on like, is this something that they want to invest in? That’s why they’re more on the property. You made a good point that they’re a lot faster. That’s very important in real estate investing because of how competitive the market is with multiple offers and things like that. You need to be quick on this. Most hard money lenders can close within a week versus conventional lenders that might need 25 to 30 days to close. That’s the difference.
For a seller, that’s attractive if you want to get out quickly and you can have an escrow. That’s 10 or 14 days versus 30, 45 days. What are the problems that Fundnatics is designed to solve?
We are here to solve the mismatch between real estate investors and non-traditional lenders to help them connect with each other faster. Everything is about speed in this industry. If you spent too much time looking for the right capital or people to fund this, you may lose the opportunity that you’ve been researching a lot on. That’s essentially what we’re looking to do. Also, we want to create that transparency. We want to provide you more information about the investor themselves. From the lender standpoint, they want to know a little bit more about their investor. On the other side, as an investor, you also want to know more about the lender. Instead of having to spend so much time finding the lender or each other and talking to each other, then decide that you don’t want to work with each other. We want to speed that process up. It’s like a dating app.
I was thinking it sounds like Match.com for real estate investors and hard money lenders. Tell us a bit more about what stage you’re in with the creation of Fundnatics. Maybe there’s an opportunity for people who want to get involved now.
We are in beta testing mode. It’s private beta testing, which means that you won’t be able to find us on the App Store yet. We’re looking for real estate investors to participate and we would love to know how users love it. We want to get some comments from them and see if it actually works. That’s the most important thing. If as an investor, you want to check the app out or if you have a potential deal that you want to look for a lender, we would love you to run it through our app as well. Let us do the search for you and try it out. Tell us how you feel about it. On the other side, we would like lenders to have you on our platform too to help you increase your deal flow. That’s something that I’m looking for at this point. If you have a deal, please contact me for testing.
What’s the best way for them to do that?
If anyone of you is interested to look it up and try it out, you can contact me through email. My email address is [email protected], or you can simply give me a call. My number is (626) 765-5519.
I’m always excited by women doing amazing things in tech and real estate. Going back to your story, being a real estate investor and how you’ve grown up with real estate. Now you’re involved in some passive investing opportunities and different things. In your real estate investing career so far, what was your biggest mistake, and what did you learn from it?
I’ve been lucky throughout my experience in real estate investing. We had some bad tenants for our property here and there, but we learned something every time. The good thing about it is we have a great property management company who helps us a lot and also have great partners and mentors. Every time when things come out, it gets resolved.
You said a couple of things that are important. You had a great team, a great property management company and you have great partners and mentors. I’ve found that the people you have with you, and that includes your partners, your property managers, maintenance people. Everybody can make or break your clearance. Real estate investing is not a solo thing. It’s a team sport. You need great people around you. You’ve been lucky.
I guess it’s because I started not very long ago that’s why. We’re still in a good period right now in terms of real estate investing.
Did you start in the last downfall?Fundnatics is like a dating app for hard money lenders and real estate investors. It sets you up with the perfect partner. Click To Tweet
No, after the last downfall.
Probably something will come at some point. Those things happen. For example, your bad tenants. There are issues but when you have good people around you that know what they’re doing, it’s fairly easy to deal with them. I’m glad you haven’t had any big mistakes or big catastrophes to deal with. What are you most proud of?
It would be Fundnatics because we built it from the ground up. Now that we’re in beta testing, I can’t wait to get it out there and see what people think about it.
Who are you doing it with?
I started out doing it myself and I have different developers working with me on this. It’s a teamwork and also along the way, I met some marketing people. They gave in some effort. I am very lucky when it comes to that. One of the things that I did that helped is I went out and networked for both my investment business, Fundnatics, or even a mortgage loan officer. Networking is a huge thing that I’m pretty good at too.
Where are the places that you’ve found has been helpful for your networking?
I have a bunch for startup companies, but specifically for real estate investing, there are a few investment clubs that I go to. One of them that I find very useful, especially when an investor is out there. It’s a club called WREN, Women’s Real Estate Network. They’re great. Ladies in this network are supportive. I learned so much from them. They gave me so much input on the app. I still go to them often and they meet once every month.
They are great. We met through a WREN connection. A woman that I’ve interviewed on this show Jennifer Maldonado connected me to Dorothy. I’ve also interviewed Deborah Razo on this show, and she is the Founder of WREN. For you guys reading, if you want to go back and read more about how that incredible organization started, you can check out those interviews. I’m a big fan of the Women’s Real Estate Network. Any other groups that you find valuable for you?
I also go to a club named FIBI, For Investors By Investors. They also have different chapters. There’s one in Los Angeles and one in Pasadena. Those are the two that I go to. There might be some other ones but I’m not very familiar with those.
FIBI is a Southern California based real estate investment club and it’s a good one. It’s exclusively for Southern California. It’s possible there are some outside of the area but if you’re in Southern California, definitely check out FIBI and check out WREN.
WREN also has a chapter in Seattle, so you might want to check those out too.
Los Angeles, Orange County, California, Seattle and they might have another one in Phoenix but you can check them out online and find out more about where they’re at. It’s great for you ladies out there who want to invest in real estate and get some support. You’re fairly young. You’ve started this company and you’ve been successful. To what do you attribute your success?
I would say people around me because I get a lot of support from my family, my relationship, and my friends too. When you do many things at a time, you need that support very much because you need somebody to tell you, “You can do this.” You need great mentors as well. I’m very happy that I have great mentors that can guide me whenever I have questions and somebody can give me an answer. Thank you to those people who helped me.
What advice do you have for a woman who’s just starting out in real estate investing?
Definitely do a lot of homework and research about what you’re getting into or about to get into. Make sure that you don’t do too much research and that’s the only thing that you do. You have to get your hands dirty and try to do something on your own. Get out there and be hands-on. Also, one thing is be very alert of what’s happening around you like what’s happening to on the news and on the industry reports and stuff like that. Interest rates and the market on how it’s doing and where it’s shifting. You have to be alert on these kinds of stuff. Talking to people and meeting can help you gather that knowledge and try to make a more educated decision. Most importantly, networking helps a lot. You get a lot out from that.
That’s great advice. Education and generally learning what’s going on, what’s happening now, and also about what you’re investing in and networking. Real Estate Investor Goddesses is offering the next Wealth Builders Program, which is a program designed to get you all the education you need to invest in your first property. It’s filled with a group of incredible women so the networking and the sisterhood are built-in. Women who are in this group have done or are doing deals together, investing together, and supporting one another. I’m very proud of it and if you want to find out more, check it out on RealEstateInvestorGoddesses.com.Do a lot of research about what you’re getting into. Then, get your hands dirty and try to do something on your own. Click To Tweet
Thank you. What do you wish you’d known at the beginning that you now know?
I wish that I knew earlier on where to get the right information because I got lost at the beginning because you’re near, you don’t know what to do and stuff like that. I couldn’t stress more that networking is more on day one because you meet many people and you never know how important those people are. If you don’t go out there, you will never get information. You don’t know if you can gain anything from that. Get out there. That’s what I missed initially when I first started. Even if I built a mobile application and it’s virtual, I still think real estate is a people business. That’s very important and something that I wish I knew earlier.
It is crucial. Thank you for that and let people know again what is the best way to connect with you and find out more about Fundnatics?
My phone number is (626) 765-5519 and my email is [email protected].
It’s time for our famed end of show Trinity, which is a brag, a gratitude and a desire. What’s one thing you’re celebrating right now?
Definitely, it’s our beta testing release. We’re very excited about it. I can’t wait.
Has it already begun?
We’ve started. We already have 12, 13 lenders on there and we’re trying to have more investors to try to run some of the deals and see how it goes. As we’re speaking, this is growing too.
What’s one thing you’re grateful for?
I’m very grateful that somebody is always around me and there for me, my family and loved ones. That’s the thing that I’m most grateful for.
Last but not least, what’s one thing you desire?
To get better and excel in what I’m doing. I’m also making it my goal to get my broker license. That’s my current desire.
So shall your desires be or so much better than you can imagine.
Thank you so much. That was great. Thanks for sharing your awesome story and Fundnatics. It’s absolutely incredible and I’m excited for you. Ladies, if you’re asking, “How can I find the money?” Because traditionally it hasn’t been easy to find those funding sources and now it’s easier. Go ahead and check out Fundnatics. Thanks again, Dorothy. This was awesome.
Thanks for having me, Monick. This is such a great show.
It’s my pleasure and join us next time for another Real Estate Investor Goddesses interview. In the meantime, if you want to connect with me, you can go to www.RealEstateInvestorGoddesses.com. You can find out about our Wealth Builders Program and also join our dynamic community of real estate investing women from all over the world.
- Dorothy Pang
- ACG Funding Inc.
- [email protected]
- Jennifer Maldonado – Previous episode
- Deborah Razo – Previous episode
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