It is time for women to explore all sides of who they are and unapologetically step into their power without asking for external validation. And they can do that through creating impact, legacy, and wealth freedom. Jennifer Ludington found real estate to be a great vehicle for her to find those. In this episode, she joins Monick Halm to talk about her journey into real estate, where she is not only lifting herself up but also other women as a High-Performance Mindset Coach and the founder of SHE Ascends Club. She shares some great and inspiring wisdom on creating the life you want and embracing the femininity that is uniquely ours to take action in the market and succeed.
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Finding Freedom In Real Estate With Jennifer Ludington
On this show, we interview amazing, badass women real estate investors like the beautiful Jennifer Ludington who’s here with us. She is a high-performance mindset coach. She supports her clients in becoming the generators of their best life. She’s the Founder of She Ascends Club, a best-selling author, coach, motivational speaker and a badass real estate investor. I met Jennifer because she was gracious. She invited me to participate in The Duality of the Modern Woman Summit. We were also on a different summit together as guests and connected through that.
As we were talking, she’s like, “I’m a real estate investor. I have some real estate.” She wasn’t even necessarily thinking of herself as an investor. As we talked, she has seven doors and is developing a 60-unit building. She wasn’t sure she was like, “Real estate investor,” which is hilarious. Sometimes you have the identity you have. She definitely has the identity of a coach with years of experience coaching thousands of clients, including high performers, high achieving professionals, CEOs and athletes.
She’s committed to supporting her clients and staying on their business and leadership edge by utilizing the tools in her vault that include a powerful mindset combined with high-level performance coaching. Strategies to create lifelong sustainable energy, abundance and financial success. What I love about you, Jennifer, is you’re a model of that. It’s not just what you’re preaching, you’re living it. Welcome. I’m happy to have you here.
I’m honored to be here. It’s interesting because I’ve never identified as a real estate investor until you opened that door for me. I thought, “I do have a real estate investment company and I do own buildings. I qualify.” Thank you. I was like, “Yes, I am.”
You are. It’s not just a few residential doors, you have a commercial property. You have an unusual background. Tell us how you got started in real estate investing.If we can envision it, we believe we can create it. Click To Tweet
Hopefully, this story can be powerful for your readers. When I started my brick-and-mortar business, I was a single mom to a baby. She was nine months old on my hip. My ex-husband had left. I had gone through a lot of trauma and abuse in that relationship. I started my own business and it was beautiful. I want to share this because this will inspire people. I owned that business on my own for close to twelve years. The woman who owned the building, she’s a goddess, an incredible human. She gave me a chance because I had no experience renting and with business. She said, “I believe in you. I want to help you. If you pay on time, every month, at the end of this, whenever you’re feeling like you want to end this, I will allow you to purchase this building for me for what I bought it for so that you and your daughter can have a future.”
I did. I fought, Monick. There were months where I was scraping change. I was living in my friend’s basement at the time, sleeping at our gym. The building I own was a gym. I was a fitness trainer at the time. I was sleeping there with my daughter to make sure I was there at 4:30 AM for clients. It was tough but I did it. It was about 11.5 years in that I decided to take her up on that. She allowed me to carry the note. She carried the loan for me. In our area, in Idaho, it’s called an owner carry. She only allowed me to put $5,000 down, which I scraped together. She carried the note for me, which allowed me to step into that building and own it.
I stepped into it for a lot of equity right off the bat. I used that equity to be able to drive my future dream and vision for that building, which is growing it into a lower-income housing facility, which is special to me. As a single mom, I didn’t have anywhere to live. I’m being honest. There was a point where I did not have the money for daycare and for everything to run my business. Had I had a lower income, safe and clean place, it would have changed a lot for me. My intention with that building where it started for me is to continue and perpetuate that for people that are working moms that have a lower income in their career and need a place to live. It’s important. We’re investigating and we got our approval from the city to be able to put 60 units above that building and have a lot of it be lower-income housing.
That is incredible. I love that story. I’m proud of you. This is why I focus on women. It’s not that guys wouldn’t do that but as women, we’re not doing this for the money. Once our needs are met and we got the family taken care of, we give back. How can we give back where we’ve been given?
This woman, this beautiful angel in my life, she got to be an angel for me and my daughter for a legacy that I get to create. Hopefully, I can continue to pay that forward for other women and people that need a little support. I needed it. I still need it but I needed it then. I hope that this project and others that we create will do that.
What was your biggest mistake in real estate investing and what have you learned from it?
There are so many. In the beginning, my husband and I are extremely powerful together. We’re both good manifesters. If we can envision it, we believe we can create it. I don’t know that one of the two is bigger than the other but I know that on the broad, it’s not acting fast enough. There have been opportunities that slipped. There’s one that I’m thinking of right now that if we had made the choice when we should have made it, when it came in, when we asked the universe, God, the divine to bring us something and we didn’t act on it. That property is across the street from one of our other properties and it’s tripled in value over the years. We didn’t say yes right away. We hesitated. What I would share with people is, in the market that we’re in, it’s important to take action and to be decisive. Due diligence is extremely important. Please, do your due diligence. Go to the city and find out if there’s anything crazy and weird but if an opportunity presents itself, jumping and trusting that instinct is something that I wish I would have done on several occasions.
I have found that the most successful investors, by far, are those who do that. Opportunities come and they take them. You’ve asked and then the thing shows up and it’s being able to say yes. The ones that ho, hum, hesitate and have to over–analyze, by the time they’ve figured it out, “Maybe, I should.” It’s like, “I want that opportunity.”
My local market is crazy. It’s insane. We’ve branched out. We went to a few different other markets, which was a little scary. You get comfortable with the market you’re in and you understand the dynamics, the city, what you can and can’t do in renovations and such. Going to a different location is a little frightening but if you can lay the foundation and do some due diligence with the city of what’s required and what’s allowed first, that’s important. If I was to give advice about going out into different markets, I would research markets. What you can and can’t do with Airbnb and if there are any grandfather laws that you can skip around. Do things like that before you start asking the universe and manifesting something to come into your lap because then you’re ready to jump. That is a mistake that we’ve made but we’re not making it anymore.
That is such a good point. As women, especially, we’re intuitive. Things can come in and we can create anything. It’s important to get educated and understand the situation before you do get into the action mode. If you don’t fully understand and you’re not fully educated, you might misread the opportunity. If something comes in, you might take a guess but do it in a way that doesn’t work and you’re trying or you think that’ll work. Without that education, it’s easy to make mistakes.
I want to say one thing. This has been something that we’ve done that is informative. We go into the communities that we’re looking at possibly expanding and getting property in. We go into the Facebook groups and we start asking questions, “Is anyone here? What are the rents like in this area? What’s the community like? What’s the turnaround when you put something up for rent?” Getting that real life, real human feedback in real time has been supportive. You can also ask for other handymen in the area that do good renovation work. You get everything set up before you start looking for a property. It’s a good tool to use before going into a new market.
Thank you for sharing that tip. I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about The Duality of The Modern Woman Summit that you’re doing. I had an interview there, which is available. It was fun to do. You brought together an incredible group to talk about this. Tell us a little bit about what the summit is and why you put it together.
Your interview was incredible. I learned so much. The selfish reason is that I get to learn a lot from all these women. There are 42 women who came in to speak on The Duality of the Modern Woman. In my life, I felt like I was always forced into this way of being. I’m externally told how I should show up and grow my business. I felt like it was a lot of pressure to perform in these ways. The most success I’ve ever had is when I stepped back into that intuition, into my divine femininity, into that goddess energy that we all have as women and that creative power.
I wanted to allow women and permit them to explore all sides of who they are as women, intrinsically, and not what we’re told we should be. It’s who we are and bring that forward unapologetically fully with our power and standing in our mission without asking for external approval. I fully believe that this is the way that we get turned back on. We stop being numbed. We stop being quieted. We stop silencing ourselves. We can fully show up for what we were called to do on this earth and that’s to create movement and legacy. It’s creating impact and wealth. I believe, women, it’s our time.
I’m 100% with you. How would you say that this duality has come to play for you and your real estate investing?
I haven’t identified as a real estate investor. I don’t identify that way and that may be part of my duality where I do what I do because it makes sense. I don’t attach myself to that identity. I do what I know is right, what I feel is right, what I intuitively know is the path that I want for not only me but for my family. I knew that freedom, not being confined and suffocated like I was in my first marriage and not being controlled by money. I knew that if I wanted that, real estate was the way for me. It made the most sense. Real estate is freedom for me. We can set ourselves up for our future. We can set ourselves up for our family and our kids’ future with real estate and it was fun.
That’s what I love about it. Real estate equals freedom. You can have it and it’s there and it’s running in the background. It’s funding and financing your life or adding to the finances without you having to think about it and do it all the time. You have a successful business as a coach and that’s probably more how you identify and you think of what you do. You’re a mom and a wife. You have all of these other things and real estate is there providing that freedom. It gives you roots and wings.
What started for us is creating the life we wanted also. We purchase a property in a way that we could live in the property when we wanted to but have a secondary property on that property to rent and pay our mortgage. We started cultivating this idea of how we want to live on a beach house. We want a house in the mountains. We want to ranch. How can we create that and also fund it? It was changing our lifestyle and being able to live the life that we wanted now and in the future. That started this, “If I have this other place to rent on the property, it now pays for my mortgage.” That’s how our brain started in this and then it developed over time as full–time making us passive income. Just as a jumping–off point, it can start like that. What do you want to create for your future? How do you want to live your life?
What are you most proud of?
I don’t know how else to answer other than my child. I’m proud of the example I set for her. I’m proud that she saw adversity as not a victim story. I’m proud that she saw adversity as a way to gain empathy so that you can use that adversity for a purpose. I’m proud that she’s seen that from me and she’s seen me go from scraping pennies and not being able to afford milk to be able to create something for her that will be a legacy.
That’s a powerful testimony of what’s possible for people. Regardless of where you come from or what you’ve done, there’s so much hope and now you live a life that’s incredibly abundant. Anyone who is reading and going, “I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t have the money.” You didn’t have the money when you started and you made it happen.
We’re women and we’re creative. The traditional way of financing things doesn’t have to be that way. There are many different ways as long as you ask. What I learned is that even though the house that we wanted wasn’t owner carry and maybe our credit couldn’t carry more than 2 or 3 properties, if we went to those people, person to person and said, “We can’t finance this traditionally right now but we can in two years. Would you be willing to owner carry this for us?” There are plenty of markets and plenty of people that will. There’s always a different way and a solution if you truly want it bad enough. I invite people to get creative and don’t stop at that first no. If I had stopped at that first no, I would not be here at all. Creativity is that feminine aspect that we get to have and that’s how I’ve had a lot of success is being creative with funding.In the market that we're in, it's important to take action and be decisive. Click To Tweet
Tony Robbins in TED Talk was like, “There’s never lack of resources. That’s never the problem. The problem is lack of resourcefulness, but we can always be more resourceful.” We can tap into our creativity. Anything is possible. There are no limits to what we can do. What do you attribute to your success?
One of the things is I’m extremely resourceful but I have a lot of tenacity. The one thing about me that brought me to a lot of success is I am tenacious. If there is something that I desire, I will do whatever I need to do and be to create a different solution. For example, I had this gym that I was trying to run but I didn’t have the time, resources or money to have somebody clean it or somebody do the laundry and all these different things that I needed to be done. I said, “What can I do? What’s the solution?” The solution was I’ll go to BSU and maybe apply to have interns work in my gym. The creative solution to that is I might not have money but I have resources to come in and trade for me. They got to get my expertise and they helped me with the gym. Another example is I have a building, how can I make this building work for me? On the weekends, I would rent it to photographers to make money when it wasn’t being used to pay for my life.
The point is that you have to be creative in what you have and make it work for you. I had to learn that. There are also other areas where I had a gym and I could train people but at one point, I didn’t have a place to live. I said to one of my clients, “What if they train you five days a week? Why don’t you let me live in one of your rentals?” My daughter and I had a condo, finally. There are things like this that you can do. You have to use what you have to create the life you want. It’s up to you as long as you’re tenacious enough and that’s what I say a lot.
What advice do you have for a woman who’s starting in real estate investing?
It goes back to looking at your resources. Had I had a little more guidance in the beginning, I think I could have even multiplied where I am. If you want to change any area of your life, you might not have all the knowledge, I will pay for wisdom all day long. That is probably the best advice I would give. If there’s an area of your life you want to change or step into, go and get support. Find someone that can support you and give you the steps to success. Only hire those around you that have a track record of the success you want to have.
Sometimes people hire people but they’re hiring people that don’t have the life they want. For me, I look at your life. You’re free. You have this beautiful and amazing marriage. You have everything I want to have. I want to have all that freedom and what you’re creating so you would be someone I would look to. I invite people to say, “Is this person walking the walk? Are they doing what I want to do?” Hire them for their knowledge and shortcut it. Get on the fast track.
That is the best way to collapse timeframes. You will save yourself years. They say that a smart person learns from their mistakes, a wise person, the genius learns from other people’s mistakes. What do you wish you’d known at the beginning that you now know?
A little bit about what I shared. Education in the market before jumping is important. Sometimes different cities have different regulations and there are things that you think you want to do with the property that you can do with the property and you realize you can’t do. That’s the one mistake that I had made a few times. I would do more research and due diligence in the areas I’m looking to expand into before opening the door for opportunity.
Before we get into our famed end-of-show trinity, which is a brag, gratitude and desire, how can people connect with you to find out more about you and what you do?
First of all, I appreciate that. I love supporting women. I love helping women blow up the beliefs that are not serving them so they can stop blowing up their life. It’s my thing. They can find me on Instagram. It’s a fun place. I like to engage on Instagram a lot and that’s @JenniferLudington. They can email me at [email protected].
It’s time for our trinity. First, we start with a brag, a celebration. What’s your brag?
I’d like to brag about the summit. I don’t know if anyone reading has ever put on an online series, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
I’ve done a couple and they’re not easy.
I’ve never done them with 42 women. I’ve done one with twenty but never 42. For me, to show up and use my resources and time for women to empower them, give to them and bring other women into collaborating without competition, just with collaboration and love, is a big give. I’m proud of it. I’m proud of what it’s doing for women. I’m proud of the breakthroughs they’re having. I’m proud to be a part of the movement.
What’s one thing you’re grateful for?
I’m grateful for the community that I have. I’m grateful for a lot of things. I was even reflecting in my journal about how I feel connected. Even though with COVID, I feel blessed to be brought into communities like yours and all these other women, and supported and loved. I feel so tuned up and I’m grateful for that because during this pandemic, it’s been a struggle. I’m feeling like the struggle is gone and I feel connected to other humans. I’m happy about that.
Last but certainly not least, what’s one desire?
We bought a property in Florida. My desire with that property is to be able to move out the top renter and live in the entire property that we didn’t rely on the other rental income.
So shall it be or so much better than you can imagine under grace and in a perfect place.
I love that. Thank you for that.
You’re welcome. Thank you. This was phenomenal. This was fun. It’s always inspiring to spend time with you. You can connect with Jennifer on Instagram or email her at [email protected]. Connect with me at REIGoddesses.com. We’re @REIGoddesses on the socials. If you are looking for a mentor for your real estate investing, somebody who’s doing it and who can walk you through and share with you how you do this from the feminine, then I do invite you to come and check us out at REI Goddesses. I would love to support you in your journey. Go to the website and find it. Also, subscribe to the podcast, like it, share it with your friends and come back for another amazing episode.
- She Ascends Club
- The Duality of the Modern Woman Summit on Facebook
- @JenniferLudington – Instagram
- [email protected]
- @REIGoddesses – Instagram
About Jennifer Ludington
Jennifer Ludington is a High Performance Mindset Coach that supports her clients in becoming the JENerator’s of their best life. She is the Founder of the SHE Ascends Club, a BEST SELLING author, and Coach & Motivational speaker
With 15 years of experience coaching thousands of clients including high performers, high achieving professionals, CEO’s and athletes she is committed to supporting her clients in staying on their business and leadership edge by utilizing the tools in her “vault” that include a powerful mindset combined with high-level performance coaching strategies to create lifelong sustainable energy, abundance, and financial success. Jennifer believes that your values are the vehicle to your vision and that living your life in alignment is the number one wellness, business, leadership, and personal relationship key to success in life.
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