Working in real estate is hard enough but working in real estate outside of America, that’s twice as hard. Apparently not too hard for Alicia Jarrett, who is working in Australia. Alicia is the co-founder of a number of companies such as Supercharged Offers, Global Citizens, and WILDA. She offers various services for real estate investors that focus on wholesaling land. Join your host, Monick Halm, and Alicia as they talk about land real estate outside of America. Learn why Alicia pursued real estate and why in Australia instead of America. Find out her biggest mistakes and greatest achievements. Also, take note of some advice for women in the real estate industry.
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Navigating Real Estate Investing Outside Of The Home Country With Alicia Jarrett
On this show, I interview amazing, badass real estate investing women like our guest, Alicia Jarrett who’s here with me. She’s a passionate and driven grillable real estate investor based out of Australia and conducts deals in the US. For all of those who are thinking it’s hard to invest outside of where I live and they’re thinking of investing in a different state, imagine investing thousands of miles away. It is possible. She’s a great example of that. She has multiple businesses with her partner, Matthew, including Global Citizens Holding, an Investor’s Business. Land Scouts is a land wholesaling and investing business. Supercharged Offers is an acquisition marketing service for all real estate investors. She’s focused on investing in land, providing business-efficient real estate marketing solutions and world-class data solutions for people. She’s also an experienced leadership and executive coach and business management specialist. She’s worked with all sorts of people. She’s amazing. I’m so happy to have her with us.
Thank you, Monick. Thank you so much for having me on. It’s an absolute pleasure to be speaking with you and for all of those reading
It’s a pleasure to have you. I don’t know how many people know but my husband is from Australia. He’s from Sydney. I love Australia. I love having Aussies on. You’re only my third Aussie on the show. How did you get started in real estate investing?If you're interested in something and you have an idea about it, don't put it off, just explore it. Click To Tweet
I love that that’s your first question. When you have your introduction and talking about people that might be thinking it might be hard to invest in a different state to where they live in. From the other side of the world, we know it sounds crazy. Where we got started with it, Matt and I had done quite a bit of real estate here in Australia. It wasn’t our background. I have a background in leadership, consulting and training. He has a background in technology and IT. We’d already had a couple of properties over here. We’d done some fix and flips and some investing. We were thinking about what’s next. We are nomadic by nature. Matt and I love to travel. We wanted to make sure that we could have a business that we could do from anywhere in the world and make sure that one of them was a cashflow engine. Real estate was one of those. How we got started is we were looking at what are the different strategies that we can do here in Australia and that led us to explore what else could we do around the world.
You said you didn’t have a real estate background. You were in consulting. He was in technology. How do you even start in Australia? What made you start real estate investing at all?
With real estate investing in Australia, we have some pretty interesting strategies over here. One of them is to own rental properties that you can do what’s called negative gearing. For those reading, with what I’m about to explain, they’re going to probably scratch their head and go, “That sounds like a crazy strategy.” Over here in Australia, if you have rental properties and most of the time because of the cost of real estate over here, you end up in the negative. The cost of a property and what it costs to pay the mortgage on that property versus the rent that you will get for that property, you end up behind. That strategy means that you can offset that loss as well as offset all of the costs against your taxes. When Matt and I were employed by other people, as opposed to having our own business, we were both high owners. We were both in that six-figure earner category, which meant we were in the highest tax bracket.
We looked at rental properties as a way to offset taxes but equally start to build up a portfolio of assets. There’s only so much you can do with that before it starts to not make sense. It’s almost done. It’s too negative. The shift in the market over here and a few things that were happening in our government started to talk about removing negative gearing altogether. Negative gearing in its essence is if I can be so blunt as to say this, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The rich people end up paying less in their taxes. We’re trying to use that as a tax reduction strategy and we’re building up assets. Therefore we’re not putting money back into the system so to speak. The government has been talking for a while about abolishing negative gearing altogether. If they do that, it’s going to throw the entire market into a tailspin. We need rental properties. We need people that can supply rental properties and we still need a competitive market for renters. It’s going to be interesting to see where that goes.
How we got into it is we were thinking that that’s not a long-term strategy for us so what else could we do. Hence, we started to look at different markets. I’ve talked about this on a few other shows as well. Being that I speak for a living and I train for a living, I love going and seeing other people speak, seeing what they do with their keynotes and all of that. I went to a two-day speak feast, for lack of a better word, where all these people from around the world were coming and doing keynote talks about their businesses, how they started, what direction they’re taking and all of these things. One of them whose name I cannot remember but he was from the states. This is going back years ago. He was talking about since the crash in the market, what he’s doing to buy houses that nobody wants, fix them up and put families back into homes.
That pulled at my heartstrings a little bit. We’re all about helping out our community. We then went and signed up for a course on how to do fix and flipping from another country. Where we started was in houses. We bought and ended up quite a few houses in Florida. I remember one area in particular that we had a house. Our contracting team and our realtor that was helping us out were armed. They said to me, “Don’t go out of our sight. This is not the world’s greatest area.” We ended up putting a family in there. It’s affordable housing. We ended up fixing it, putting a family in there and giving them a safe place to live. We did some pretty crazy things but we loved it. We got the bug. We caught the bug in doing business in the states. That evolved from there. That’s the long version. We had a great time learning all about it. We adore doing business in the states because of the opportunity that that presents.
This is a good lesson. It’s something that I had to learn. I had assumed and a lot of people do, that you have to invest where you live, where you can drive to your property, touch it, fix it and self-manage it. One of my mentors had said, “Live where you want to live. Invest for the numbers that make sense.” I didn’t thought about it until I heard that. That opened up the world to me. What you were talking about in Australia is something. I live in LA. I was investing here. If we broke even, we were thrilled. It’s not that it only happens in Australia. In certain expensive markets in the US, it’s a similar thing. People were like, “If it pays for itself or if it loses a tiny bit then they think that’s winning.” Know that there are other markets where there are positive cashflow and tax benefits too. You can get all of that. It sounds like you’re a little more focused on land. How did you get into the land side?Live where you want to live. Invest in the numbers. Click To Tweet
We did a couple of houses. We loved it. We had fun with it but doing a fix and flip on a house from another state, let alone another country, can be pretty stressful when it goes wrong. Our first couple of houses went brilliantly. We had a great team in place. We had an awesome realtor that was helping us out. He’s still on our team. Everything went smoothly until our last house. That didn’t go so smoothly. Our learning there was only a couple of years ago that we shifted into land. It was at that stage when almost every person we spoke to in real estate was doing some kind of fix and flipping. What we saw is the market had tightened a lot on a couple of things. It tightened on the ability to get a great deal that still made sense in the numbers by the time you did your ARV, fixed it up and put it back onto the market.
It had also meant that getting a good contract team was pretty tough and keeping them. Our last house broke us. We were like, “If this couldn’t get any more stressful then I don’t know what is.” We then paused at that point. It’s important in business to do that regularly to go timeout. “Is this still aligned with our strategy? Is it giving us the results that we want and the lifestyle as to how we want to work?” The answer to all three of those questions was a resounding no. We thought, “What’s next? What other asset classes can we look at?” My partner, Matt, was doing some research. He came across Jack and Michelle Bosch, who we know well and I know you do too. Matt went over and did Jack’s training. We ended up being a part of their mastermind group which we made some great connections. From that point on, land makes sense. This is what we learned from Jack. No termites, no toilets, no tenants and no trash. All of those things made sense. We started to get into the land. We learned from them. We’ve taken our business leaps and bounds from there.
The land is a fascinating asset class. It’s one that I hadn’t thought of until I met Michelle. I was like, “Why would you do land? How can you make any money with the land?”
There’s nothing on it. That’s the point.
They’re flipping or wholesaling land and seller financing land. There’s a lot of money you can make on it. You can cashflow land, which is so cool. I’m going to switch gears a little bit. I’m going to ask my favorite question. I find that we learn much more when things don’t go right than when they do. What would you say was your biggest mistake? What did you learn from it?
Our first biggest mistake when we had that final house was we veered away from our strategy. We were always looking at affordable housing. We were getting houses in areas where affordable housing was needed. A lot of houses were pretty trashed. People had walked away from them. We were doing those up and putting them back into the market to provide affordable housing. With that final house that we did, I don’t know what it was. Our glass has got a little bit fogged at that point. We went after a property that was a higher-end property. We veered away from our strategy. It was the worst decision ever. We were at a higher price point to enter that property but it also meant that our costs of fixing up that property were higher. By the time we got the property completed, which was double the time, it ended up being about ten months for the property to be rehabbed. Our other properties were 6 to 8 weeks.
By the time we finished it and put it back onto the market, the market had already shifted in terms of buyer and seller behavior. That was one of our massive learning. When you have a strategy, stick to it. We certainly do that in our land business a lot. We have a very defined strategy. We’re checking regularly. Is that strategy working? Are we on track with that strategy? What things do we need to alter with that strategy? The second learning is a funny story to share. This goes to show that we’re all human. It’s our very first mailing that we ever did with the land. We were super excited. We got all of our data and mailings ready. We sent out quite a few thousand mailers to a specific area that we were targeting. We sit there and we were doing this.
One of the calls is going to come in and there was nothing. When I say nothing, I’m talking weeks later, it’s like crickets. What’s going on? Until finally we got a phone call from this gorgeous woman who said to us, “I didn’t know who you are but you’ve stolen my identity.” We were like, “What?” She said, “I’m getting all of these calls on my phone for people that want to sell land. It was from this company called Land Scouts. I couldn’t work out who you were. I thought you’d stolen my identity. I did some research into you and finally found out who you were. Anyway, here’s my name. Here’s what I’m about. What are you about?” What had happened was in our letters, we had one typo in the phone number. It’s just one digit and it went the wrong way. She was getting all our calls and she said, “Get these people to stop calling me.”
Did you, by any chance, take note of who she was?
Here is the brilliant thing. I don’t know who was reading this at this point in time but this wonderful woman, I won’t say her name because I want to keep her privacy where it should be. She worked in sales. It was only a week or two into her starting to get calls that she was like, “Something is going on here.” She kept note of all the people that were calling until she got hold of us. When she did get hold of us, the first thing we did was apologize profusely. We said, “We are so sorry.” When we open up our letter and we’re looking at our number, we can see that we got two numbers round the wrong way. It was a typo. We said, “How can we rectify these with you?” We ended up doing business with her. We turned it around in a situation where we said, “If you can take our calls, we’ll stop sending letters with the wrong number. All of our future mailers will make sure we double-check the number.”
What we did is we ended up getting her to take all of our messages. She would email us daily and say, “These people have called. Here’s their number. Call them back.” She was almost our sales receptionist there for a short period of time. We rewarded her and her husband with getting them in on some deals, which is great. I found out what their favorite restaurant was and I sent them a big voucher so they could go and eat there a few times. I’ve struck up a relationship with her. That was a massive mistake. The learning from us there is how do you turn those around? We all make mistakes. We’re all human. We’re learning as we grow. Our learning there was to be kind to the people that are on the brunt end of your mistakes. Look at ways to turn it around. Look at ways to make sure everything you do in your business. Now, we’ve got checklists for everything. We’re always triple-checking what’s going on with our data and our offers. You name it, there’s a checklist there for it. That was a good one.
It sounds like it turned into a win in the end so that was good.
It certainly did.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the risks that Matt and I have taken. I’m sure that there are a lot of people, not any in the states but certainly our friends and family here that are often looking at what we’re doing. They’re like, “You are a little bit crazy.” We look at that and go, “That’s crazy good because we do take risks.” I’m proud that we’ve backed ourselves with a lot of the things that we’ve decided to do. We’ve got four businesses in the state. The land is one of them. We’re always taking those calculated risks to do better, get bigger and try things differently. I don’t want to use the word disrupt money because that’s a little bit overused but we’re often looking for ways to challenge the real estate industry in the states and look at how do we do things more efficiently and effectively. We do that through the lens of the fact that we’re in another country. We need to look at how we run our business with a lot of efficiency and effectiveness. Even down to some of the things that people get taught in this business are quite manual and archaic in their practices. Real estate is one of these oldest industries. I’m proud of the fact that we always challenged the status quo and look for what’s a better way to do that, even though I’m sure a lot of people think we’re crazy.
Share an example of what you’ve done there.
I can lean into our marketing business, for example. When everybody goes and gets taught how to do real estate investing be that single-family homes, multifamily, mobile home or land, you name it. A lot of educators will say, “Go get your list. Go to a list provider. Go to the county. Do these things. Go and do some marketing.” That’s all great. We needed to look at how we do that from an automated perspective. How do we make sure that we never miss the mailings? How do we make sure that we’re increasing the customer experience around marketing? Let me pause and tell you what I mean by that mailing. If we’re sending out mailers then the customer experience is that they’re going to get mail from us. Depending upon their demographic, that might not be the way that they want to do business with us.
We look at customer experiences. What are all the different ways through active marketing, mechanisms, processes and systems? What are all the different ways that any type of seller or buyer for that fact can get in touch with us to do business? When we started this land business going on years ago, most of the people that we were dealing with were probably that older generation in their 60s to 80s who had been sitting on land for quite some time and needed to get rid of it. Some of those people have passed on. We’ve got that intergenerational land. One of our sellers at the moment that we’re dealing with is nineteen. They don’t deal in paperwork. They deal online, virtually. They want SMS back. They want to do all these different things.When you have a strategy, stick to it. Click To Tweet
We put in place a system called Supercharged Offers where all of our data is cleansed and done in a specific way. We don’t go to a data house or a county and download a list. We’ve invested heavily in building our own database, which a lot of people are going to look at us and go, “That’s a bit crazy.” If you’ve got control over your data and you’re building your data to give you outcomes as opposed to the list then that makes more business sense. What we’ve done is we’ve automated the way that our mailings and marketing are done and when a lead comes through to our team, how that’s also done in a way that’s quite seamless. We’re always looking for the most efficient way to do things. A lot of our business happens while we’re asleep. We need an engine that keeps running for us no matter what day of the week or time of the day it is. That’s a high-level example for you of how we’ve automated a lot of our acquisitions processes that are very different to how what most people are taught.
What do you attribute to your success?
I attribute our success to the fact that we have some pretty big goals in our life that Matt and I want to achieve. With full respect to our family who we all love daily, we want to live a very different life from the one that we both experienced growing up. We don’t come from any wealthy backgrounds where we had fabulous holidays and we lived this life of luxury. We came from what we would call the school of hard knocks. All of our parents worked hard. We were living in average houses and families. We had a good life but it wasn’t a life of abundance. When I talk abundance, I’m not necessarily meaning monetary wealth. I’m meaning that we attribute our success to the fact that we’re driven by abundance where we want to give back to our family, community, friends and those that we work with. We want to be able to pay things forward. We’re driven.
I know this sounds like the old adage of what’s your why. Our why is pretty big. It goes a lot more than what I’ve said there. We attribute our success to the fact that when it gets hard, it gets hard a lot. Doing business the way we do is not easy. When we go through those hard times, we don’t give up. We look at those hard times as a positive challenge. “How can we do that better? How can we fix that problem and come up with a new way of doing business? How can we overcome that obstacle but do it in a way that we put something in place that it doesn’t happen again?” A lot of people in this business who aren’t successful, bless them and we want to help them. For those that aren’t successful, when stuff gets hard, it’s easy to go, “That doesn’t work.” Whereas when stuff gets hard for us, we go, “It can work. We’ve got to do it differently.”
What advice do you have for a woman who’s just starting out in this field?
My first piece of advice is don’t let other people tell you what you can and can’t do. It’s very common. This is whether you’re a woman or a man. If you’re doing something that is going against the grain of what your friends and family are doing, they’re quickly going to go, “Maybe that’s not possible. Why would you do that?” They start to question you. As a woman, this happens more in our female brain than it does in the male brain. We have this little voice that goes, “Maybe they’re right. I’m a bit crazy. Should I be doing this?” Don’t listen to that voice. Don’t listen and surround yourself with people that tell you that you can’t. Listen and surround yourself with people that tell you that you can and it’s possible. A mutual friend that we have in common before, we surround ourselves with people of that caliber. We’re all pushing each other to do better, be better and think bigger. That’s great. My advice to any woman who’s starting out is be your own boss, owning those outcomes and decisions. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Find the people and surround yourself with those that go you can.
What do you wish you’d known at the beginning that you now know?
I wish we had known everything five years earlier than what we did. We’d be further along in the game. I’m not talking about the market crash. That happened and everyone made their way through that in some way, shape or form but I wish we had got started sooner. We love what we’re doing. We’re creating some pretty amazing processes, systems and ways of working. If we hadn’t started sooner, some of those goals that we’ve got in mind, we would have reached them by now. We’re on the way to reaching them that maybe we would have got them sooner. Matt and I were both in our mid-40s. Imagine what we would be doing with our lives maybe if COVID had never happened. If we hadn’t started this thing in our mid-30s, what would be different? That’s what I wish I had known then is all the things that we’re doing but knowing them earlier. My piece of advice to anybody around that is if you’re interested in something and you have an idea about it, don’t put it off. Explore it and get there. I’ve got another business outside of this around consulting and training. When I was leaving my full-time job to go and do that, it took me a couple of years to make that decision. The fear of leaving that great paycheck, backing myself and doing something on my own was a big risk and a big leap. In hindsight, I should have taken that leap at the time and done it.Be kind to the people that are on the brunt end of your mistakes. Click To Tweet
Those are people’s biggest regrets. It’s not what they did do but what they didn’t or didn’t do sooner.
Coming back to some of the secrets of our success money, Matt and I both have the mindset that we don’t want to be turning around in 5, 10, 15, even 20 years’ time going, “I wish I had tried that.” We’d rather try it, fail, learn from that and grow as opposed to not trying it at all.
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 what you’re doing?
They can email me directly. I’m more than happy for people to contact me directly. That is [email protected]. They can give me or my team a call on (888) 538-5478. They can also go to our website at SuperChargedOffers.com and book some time with us. We’re more than happy to do a consulting call about people’s businesses. That’s mainly our marketing business. Our land business is [email protected]. They can get in touch with me there as well.
It’s time for our famed end of show trinity. What is one thing you’re celebrating? What’s your brag?
With pre-COVID, we would spend a couple of months in the states, a couple of months here. We’d go back and forth. Since we took the emergency flight home from the States to come back to Australia, we haven’t been able to travel. My brag about that is that our business is doing better than ever. It sounds like a cliché way but we’ve pivoted some of the ways that we’re doing business, embracing more than ever doing business virtually from the other side of the world and looking at all of the things that we can put in place that would make that better. The brag about that is we’re sharing a lot with people that are in the states. It doesn’t matter where you are. All of the things that we’re learning, you can implement wherever. As a result of that, I’ve started a networking group. I’ve got people in it from Spain, Germany, UK, Ireland, Asia, Israel, Bosnia, Canada and South America, just to name a few. All of those people have found me as a result of what we’re doing. We meet once a month to talk about all the different ways that we’re doing business from all of those countries into the states. I’m proud of the network that we’re building and how it’s helping people to be able to help their businesses.
What’s one thing you’re grateful for?
I am grateful for many things. I’m grateful for my awesome parents who support me no matter what. They might read this and think that we’re a little crazy. They’re starting to understand some of what we do. When you’re in your late 70s and we’re talking about some of the things that we’re doing in business, they glaze over every now and then. They have unwavering love and support for what we’re trying to do. Second to that is the love and support of my partner, Matt. Working together in a relationship is extremely challenging at times. We’ve had our ups and downs as a result of that but more than anything, it made us stronger. We’re an awesome partnership. I’m extremely grateful for him pushing me when I need to but for him being open to me pushing him when he needs it as well.
Last but not the least, what’s one thing you desire?
More than anything at the moment, I desire to get back on a plane and start traveling again. We are missing it so much. That’d be one thing I desire. The other thing that I desire is for our business to keep growing and getting bigger and better. It is on our trajectory. We’re loving the path that it’s doing. My desire is to be able to help more people make their businesses better. By us doing that, we get better.
Shall your desire be or so much better than you can imagine.
You’re so welcome. Thank you. That was awesome. I’d love to know your story. You can connect with Alicia at SuperChargedOffers.com and also LandScouts.com. Connect with me at REIGoddesses.com. There you can find out about our investor club, our upcoming events and our training. Get connected with our sisterhood. Make sure to subscribe to the show. You can get more amazing interviews with badass women like Alicia. We’ll see you next time. Bye-bye.
- Alicia Jarrett – LinkedIn
- Global Citizens Holding
- Land Scouts
- Supercharged Offers
- Jack and Michelle Bosch – Land Profit Generator
- [email protected]
- [email protected]
About Alicia Jarrett
Alicia is a passionate and driven global real estate investor based out of Australia, conducting deals in the USA. She co-owns multiple businesses including Global Citizens Holdings Inc., Landscouts, Supercharged Offers and WILDA for Women in Business.
Focused on leadership in business and investing in land, her business ventures provide efficient real estate marketing and world-class data solutions, which assists other real estate investors to digitally transform their business for increased results.
Alicia is also an experienced Leadership, Executive Coach & Business management specialist. She has coached many leaders including Entrepreneurs, Business owners, C-Level Executives.
Alicia has a passion for seeing others lead well and succeed in their businesses and teams.
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