As a mom, balancing work life with personal life can be really stressful. What more if your work is in real estate. Learn how to find balance in your life with real estate investor and supermom, Christy Duckett-Harris. Aside from being a mom, Christy is also a speaker and the Co-Owner of Revive Homes LLC. Join your host, Monick Halm, and Christy to learn how to get support in different aspects of your life. Find out how to be a mom while handling your real estate investments. Contrary to what many think, you can be just as super as you are in your professional life to your personal life.
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Supermom: Finding A Balance In Real Estate And Life With Christy Duckett-Harris
On this show, I interview badass women real estate investors, women that are crushing it in the real estate investing space. My guest, Christy Duckett–Harris, is no exception. I’m super excited to have her. I particularly love what she‘s going to talk about, which is being a mom and how you handle all of the things. We were talking about having kids that are on the spectrum and how you deal with that. I know a lot of you are busy women and mamas. You’re trying to say, “How do I do this well?” This is going to be the show for you.
Christy is a real estate investor from South Carolina. She is heavily sought–after for her knowledge of renovating houses, creating passive income and investing in mobile homes. She’s an award-winning coach with a gift for helping others. While married, she’s a mother of two. She has done anything but slow down. This supermom has mastered what it takes to balance the chaotic life of family and business. Welcome, Christy.
Thanks, Monick. I’m so excited to be here. I know there are so many moms struggling to find the balance. I’m here to help.
Before we get into that, how did you get started in real estate investing?Look at the things that are important to you and put the time into it. Click To Tweet
Everybody wants to learn about real estate. It’s, “Where do you start?” Back when I was in my late twenties, I picked up a book and started reading about real estate. Interestingly, my parents always own property, but they were the people that did everything themselves and did it wrong. In my mind, they have rental properties. People wouldn’t pay. My thoughts of real estate weren’t always glamorous, but I knew they made money. After I read a couple of books, I attended a seminar to learn. I figured like, “Let me take the next level.” I was taught to go to college and learn. I thought, “This is how I’m going to learn my real estate path.“
You grew up in a real estate family. It’s nice to have that model, even if they could have done it differently or better. What was your actual first deal?
A lot of people do this because it makes sense. You watch TV shows. You understand an ugly house and turning it into a beautiful home. We always grew up in renovation projects. My parents always were fixing a mobile home. I gravitated towards that because I love seeing the finished product. My first deal was a rehab. We went to rehab the home. I rehabbed because I didn’t understand all the pieces of wholesaling and what to do and it seemed easy. That was what I got into first.
Tell us about that deal. What kind of house was it?
Now, I live in Columbia, South Carolina. At that time, I was living in Orlando, Florida. It was a basic, little 1,200-square foot, 3-bed, 2-bath home. This was many years ago. I started investing in 2007. With the market right before 2007 or around that time, this was a standard stucco little home that appealed to everyone. It was mostly cosmetic, which is probably always my favorite rehab. We do a lot of major ones. Now, I’m trying to go back to, “Where’s the paint and carpet ones? Because I don’t want to deal with permitting and all that.” It was a simple successful rehab, which was awesome and made me realize, “I love real estate.“ It also made me realize, “Why am I still working in Corporate America? I know I can do this full time.” That was what we ended up doing is shifting out of that.
What are you doing now?
Anything and everything. As everyone knows that is investing in real estate and for those of you just getting into it, you find that when you understand real estate, the opportunity is out there everywhere. The hard part is staying in the same lane because what ends up happening is you could have a rental property here, a rehab here or a wholesale here and you find yourself all over the place. That’s not always good. We are rehabbing. We finished one house that’s on the market. We have three other rehabs going on. Our primary real focus is passive income. We have some short-term rentals going and two were about ready to launch as well.
You were talking about this. I call it the Shiny Object Syndrome of real estate because there’s so much you could do. It’s like, “Shiny, I want to do that one.“ How do you focus?
On top of real estate and focusing, we were talking a little. I want to show this to everyone. We’re also virtual schooling our kindergarteners. Also, I have another one that was diagnosed with autism. How do you find the balance of anything being the good mom, the wife, the child to my parents who are aging and my real estate business? You hear the word systems all the time. What does that mean to put a system in place? Mine is more like successful team members and successful time blocking. I’m allocating the time that needs to go to the important places. This is a hard part for women. Stop being a control freak and being a Type A. Children have allowed me to relinquish some of that because you might be able to do it all, but either you’re going to have a nervous breakdown or it’s not going to get done. You have to learn to rely on others. That has been some of the success with balancing everything. It’s realizing, “It’s not going to be perfect. I need to find someone that’s great at this piece of it and passing that off.” That’s big and hard.
That’s huge, but you’re right. That’s the trick because we can’t do this all alone. Life is not a solo sport.
Parenting and everything, I find that and it’s funny because I coach. I do coach a lot of women and hear the same theme. It’s either beating yourself up for not being the best parent because you’re not spending every moment of the day with your children, which is insane. My kids are home with me full-time, but I’m doing other things and they’re perfectly fine because they’re loved. It‘s letting yourself go. I’m a good person and I’m doing what I need to do. You have to not focus on every piece of everything all the time. It’s not beating yourself up. It’s not productive and important. Have fun. With age, I’ve learned that.
Another thing, honestly, I’ll tell you is looking at the things that are important to you and putting the time into that because there are lots of times I would do things. You see this growing up. I saw my mom do this overcommitting because you want to help someone, but you’re doing it to the detriment of yourself, which is awful, pouring into the bucket or the cup. It‘s too full. You have to take time. Some of that I’ve learned through the process. I encourage people to do what they want to do. If you haven’t learned where you want to be in 2020 with the pandemic, I don’t know what’s ever going to put you in the right direction. 2021 was a learning year for a lot of people in many different directions.
That was one of the beautiful things about 2021. We all got to cocoon and get clear hopefully on, “This is what’s important and what’s not.“
That’s what business with friends and family made everything come full circle. You look back on life growing up as a kid. I grew up on a farm. You had nothing around you all the time but the outdoors and doing. We have maybe four TV channels, which makes me laugh now because now you can’t find enough stuff to watch. 2020 made me go back to being a kid and being outdoors with the kids because if not, we were trapped inside all day. You had to learn to embrace that, which was a good thing.
I’m going to ask you my favorite question because we learn so much more from what doesn’t work than what does work. What would you say was your biggest mistake? What did you learn from it?
I would say not outsourcing enough and finding a super solid team in the beginning. Here’s the truth. You can be the finder of the deal. You can be the funder of the deal. You can get all the pieces lined up, but realistically, I need someone to do the work, especially in a renovation or even with my rental properties, that requires having somebody good that can get the work done in a timely manner and does what they say. It was almost like me becoming a better manager and learning the skillset to work with people and the direction to get people motivated. Now fast forward all these years later in real estate, the guys I have working for me are amazing. I know without them, I don’t have a business. I rely heavily upon them and they rely upon me as well. It was building that good team and knowing that you could pass the baton and they could get it done.
What was the mistake before you were trying to do everything by yourself?
It was easy when I was me and I wasn’t married with kids because I did have more time. I didn’t think I had time, but I had so much time. Now, looking back, I wasted so much time. I guess I didn’t waste it. I just learned. The mistake is we’re trying to do it all ourselves. I know you probably hear this a lot. You can’t do it perfectly all the time anyway, but you’re spread too thin. Things get pushed to the side. Things that weren’t important you were focusing on and letting other things fall. What I found out years later is I could have been building a probably more passive income. I could have been doing a lot of things younger future-forward and now having to build and do. I was hung up on the rehabbing and the active, “Do this every day,” when I should have been buying more houses and apartment complexes to have all that stuff lined up. Now, it’s not that I’m backtracking. I’m doing things differently.
You were more focused on getting chunks of cash from a project in cash as opposed to setting yourself up for passive income.
It’s funny because I look at a couple of rental properties I’ve bought in my twenties and they were in different states. I ended up selling them in 2020 because the market was so up. I looked at that and said, “What if I bought fifteen properties then? I’m compounding that looking forward.” What’s great about real estate is it’s cyclical. It might not be the same thing happening, but it’s something always happening. The reality is, “Ten years later, if I buy now, in 30 years, it will be paid off and worth more.” It’s knowing and trusting that everything will make you money if you buy right. That is the key where a lot of people go on.
What are you most proud of?
Honestly, being a great wife and mom and being able to be with my family are probably my proudest moments. There was a time when I would look and say, “I‘m so accomplished because I made X amount of dollars. I’m so accomplished because I did this.” Now, it’s being a good human. One thing I am proud about, there are several. I would say, it is all related to my personal family and raising my boys to be good people. I mentor a lot of young women, especially in their twenties, in real estate and at least find 1 or 2 homes or learning the business. I’ve been able to successfully do that with several young women. That’s such an accomplishment for me to teach, give back and show someone, “You can do this. You can rely on yourself. You can do whatever you want. Let real estate be a side business or let it be your full–time, but at least get these properties in place.” That in itself boosts confidence, which I love because I’m all about women’s empowerment.
To what do you attribute your success?
My husband. I waited a very long time to get married. I was one of those that waited forever. In the past, I met a lot of great people, but they just weren’t my person. What I realized with my husband, he is an encourager and he supports me in everything. I’m a strong personality. I‘m very stubborn. I do like to be bright. I’m like my oldest son and I laugh. My husband makes me a better person and encourages me to be that. He has never tried to change me one iota, which is amazing because I didn’t think that existed. For me, he’s my biggest support system and push.
Do you work together?
We do, which is amazing because thinking of this in 2020 of COVID and working the business together, I laugh because I said, “We must love each other. We made it through in 2020 together successfully.” We homeschooled like, “This is amazing. We can do anything.” We do work together. We do stay in our lanes, though. He is more of the acquisitions, dealing with the attorneys and raising private money. I’m on the side of more handling our renovation projects. We stay where we’re at and it seems to work. I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for us.
That’s how I work with my husband, too. It’s the same thing. It has been good.
That’s awesome. Maybe he wouldn’t say the same, but I don’t know.
What advice do you have for a woman who’s just starting out in this field?
Educate yourself, number one. I believe that no matter what you do, you have to know and get with the right people because there’s a lot of people out there that seem to be the real estate expert or guru. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. You can always learn something from someone but learn with a great education program because that will give you the confidence to know what you’re doing. I truly always believe in go with your gut no matter what it is. Intuition in general and women’s intuition are so strong. A lot of times, we second–guess that because we start to get very logical or we feel bad about something. Whatever you’re feeling if you go with that, I’m going to tell you, 10 times out of 10, there’s a reason.
That’s why we focus on that in our Wealthy Goddess Program because women’s intuition is a thing. Other men are intuitive, but because of the way women‘s brains are wired, we are more intuitive. It’s our superpower and we disregard it at our peril.
We 100% do. We get too busy. We take the emotion sometimes into it and we don’t go. Anytime I haven’t gone with my gut and I knew it, whether it was a personal decision or business after, I was so mad at myself like, “I knew it from the beginning. Why didn’t I?“ I even look at my children. I look at them and they have that no-fear attitude. Under seven, they ask for everything and do. As you get older, if that’s not embraced, you start to push that to the side, working the job and listening to what everyone says. I’m like, “If we could channel our inner child, we would do phenomenal.” Ask for it. What are they going to say? No. We’ve all been rejected. It’s not a big deal. They’ll take it personally.
You don’t get 100% of the things you don’t ask for.
My kids at this point are getting everything after a little while. Just go, “Okay, it’s fine. Yes. Go do it.“
What do you wish you had known at the beginning that you now know?
It goes back to education and putting things in place. I had educated myself, I thought, but there were a lot of life lessons I learned along the way. Future–forward, I found out, “I could have prevented those by educating myself and surrounding myself with the right people.” One big thing is learning how to manage your time. It‘s not that I am a bad time manager, but I am a lover of people and helping. I will do anything for anyone. That is sometimes a blessing and a curse. I’ve had to learn how to reel it in. Having children has done that for me because I realized they are my priority.Real estate is just knowing and trusting that everything will make you money if you buy right. Click To Tweet
Things I might have done for someone that wasn’t appreciative in the past, I will not do now. By learning that, it’s okay to say no. It‘s okay not to have to commit and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. That’s one big thing. That’s not even just in business but in life. A lot of people spend their whole life trying to people–please and do. My motto now is like, “If you don’t like me for who I am and we’re not lifelong friends or we’re probably not going to be friends, I’m okay with that.” That’s fine. I’ve found peace in that. That’s not easy for everyone to have.
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?
For our trinity, which is a brag, gratitude and desire, what’s one thing you’re celebrating right now? What’s your brag?
I’m going to celebrate that I have been in the process of and this has been a long time coming. In the beginning, you spoke about me highly investing in mobile homes and teaching. I’m in the process of finalizing my course on mobile homes. There’s not a lot out there teaching and I feel like it’s such a great avenue of investing no one knows about. I am working and committing to finalizing that up to get that launched.
What’s one thing you’re grateful for?
My health and family, number one. Without that, I feel like you can‘t do anything. I have so many friends being diagnosed with cancer or having major life things happening. We just have our health. With that, you can do anything. I’m super grateful for that.
Last but not least, what’s one thing you desire?
I desire to leave this Earth making an impact on people. Being a good person, paying it forward and changing people’s minds and perspectives. In 2020, it had been difficult to see. The media thing makes you think we’ve stepped backward in time 100 years. It’s so discouraging. Sometimes you don’t even want to turn on the news. I don’t believe that. I believe there are still good people out there. I still believe there are amazing people that will help anytime you need anything. I know that for a fact. I want to be one of those amazing people that teaches, empowers, continues the right path and does good. That’s it.
Thank you. You’re already meeting that desire. So may you continue as you desire or so much better than you can imagine.
I appreciate that. Thank you so much for having me. This is such a great platform for speaking to women and doing.
Thanks for being on. You all can connect with Christy at ChristyDuckett.com. Connect with me at REIGoddesses.com. You can find out about our education program and events there. We have an event coming up in our Investor Club. Connect with us and definitely subscribe to the show so you can read our amazing interviews with other women like Christy.
Thank you, Monick.
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About Christy Duckett-Harris
Christy Duckett-Harris is a real estate investor from South Carolina. Christy is heavily sought after for her knowledge of renovating houses, creating passive income, and investing in mobile homes.
She’s an award-winning coach with a gift for helping others. While married and now a mother of two, she’s done anything but slow down.
This supermom has mastered what it takes to balance the chaotic life of family and business.
– 14 Years Investing in Real Estate
– Award-Winning Real Estate Coach
– Big Believer In Education, Helping Others and Keeping it Real.
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