Choose a peer group with a high standard, utilize a coach, and immerse yourself in an environment that reinforces you for your wins and challenges you to reach greater heights.
Think Realty shines a light on some of the many women who are making waves in the real estate investing industry.
Just over 10 years ago, real estate investor Deborah Razo had an opportunity to start over. She was in a car accident that left her literally crushed; her head was cracked open and her neck was broken. It took multiple surgeries and over a year before the doctors released her in good health.
“During that time, I had a lot of time to think about life and how I wanted to live,” she said. “I had a great life; I was surrounded by people I loved, and I was a small business owner, but I felt like my primary relationship was looking at a computer screen. I wasn’t spending my time the way I wanted to. After the accident, I decided I wanted to have more time with the people I love. I wanted to be able to travel the world. I wanted to enjoy life more and have more freedom. I needed a way to fund that. I needed passive income,” Razo said.
She researched and educated herself and started flipping houses in L.A. and then reinvesting in buy & holds for cashflow and long-term wealth. She owns single-family homes in Memphis,TN; multifamily in Tucson, AZ; and has also been a private lender. And she’s still going.
“Now, I’m a first-time developer! Currently, my team and I are finishing our first development in Los Angeles, a fourplex, and have a couple more finishing this year. We are also building accessory dwelling units,” she said.
For many years Razo was a solopreneur. She liked making all the decisions and doing things herself, but she realized she was even better at networking, which has proven to be more beneficial to her business.
“I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to grow and make my financial goals by doing it alone. I needed to partner and grow a team to excel faster. It was uncomfortable at first and making sure you are picking the right partners/team is a learning process,” she said.
Razo, founder of the Women’s Real Estate Network (WREN), is a newfound natural at networking; yet, although she was getting great information from male mentors in the industry, she felt isolated among people who couldn’t relate to many things she was going through as a woman.
“I was looking for some other women, people like me, who had figured out this real estate thing. I scheduled a brunch and invited some kick butt real estate women just to see how they juggled it all. And… the magic began.”
Those twelve women having brunch in downtown L.A. sparked the first WREN meeting. The network has grown to six WREN Chapters nationwide: Los Angeles, Seattle, Orange County, San Diego, Phoenix, and Atlanta.
“We’ve done deals together and have become financial friends. And those relationships have affected my bottom line! Somehow fears went away as we leaned on each other for courage and support,” Razo said.
“Choose a peer group with a high standard, utilize a coach, and immerse yourself in an environment that reinforces you for your wins and challenges you to reach greater heights. Most people’s lives are a direct reflection of the expectation of their peer group. So… I created what I needed and what I wanted — a community of women I can identify with.”
In 2020, Razo wants to build more WREN chapters and see more women leaders emerge.
“We feed their dream, arm them with education and give them resources to get into action. We would like to reach more women with that intent,” she said.
Razo’s number one tip to new investors? Get a mentor. Put yourself in the same space as those who have experienced success in the field.
“Proximity is indeed power. By learning from mentors, you are becoming more powerful in your intentions and moving closer to your goals. That’s been true for me. WREN has provided an opportunity to surround myself with like-minded women who challenged me and helped me develop my skills,” she said.
Although Razo believes real estate is an incredible wealth-building vehicle that is great for everyone, she feels the current generation of women has “become the most autonomous, free, independent, educated, and powerful in history.” But, according to Razo, women can continue to evolve their mindset to achieve greater success in real estate. Here’s how:
Embrace what comes naturally.
“We are nurturing and collaborative and therefore great at forming and directing teams. And let’s face it — most of us have had to run a household on a shoestring budget so making a little money go a long way is also something you should embrace.”
Don’t do everything alone.
“Women tend to take on so much and think we have to do it all ourselves. We don’t. Do you wonder why any time women come together it’s a powerful thing? Whether they’re in a kitchen preparing a meal or running numbers on a real estate project, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens!”
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