Presidents' Circle: Nancy Wallace-Laabs | Think Realty | A Real Estate of Mind
Investor Stories

Presidents’ Circle: Nancy Wallace-Laabs

This problem-solving investor continues to win “deals in heels.”

In 2005, Think Realty Presidents’ Circle member, Nancy Wallace-Laabs, lived in Phoenix, AZ. When the uptick in home prices went even higher, she and her husband Brian decided to cash in. They sold their home for a substantial profit, packed up, and moved to Frisco, TX. It was a time of exciting change and freedom for Nancy. And, as often happens, freedom brought with it a life-changing journey.

“That was the first time in my life I didn’t have to go out and find a job. The freedom was exhilarating, to know we had choices about how and what to do to earn money. I had always had an interest in real estate, but never took the dive. Our realtor introduced me to a real estate investor, an introduction that started a ten-year mentorship, which helped guide our decision to buy single-family rentals and become landlords.”

Over time, she became a property manager and organically grew her company to 125 doors. Now, with nearly 15 years’ real estate experience, Nancy and her husband are full-time real estate investors.

“As our investing experience grew, our focus shifted to affordable housing. We are firm believers that a lot of problems can be solved if everyone has a safe, clean, and decent place to live to raise their families. We love the idea of fixing up a distressed property to add value to a neighborhood and to promote home ownership!”

As an accomplished real estate investor, Nancy is compelled to put a spotlight on women real estate investors, which prompted her to write her book Winning Deals in Heels that examines the journey of ten female real estate investors, including herself. She tells their stories of start-up and success.

Now, the Think Realty team is happy to tell (a bit of) this inspiring investor’s story.

TR: What advice do you have for beginners in the real estate industry?

NWL: Don’t be emotional about your first deal. So many new investors just want to get in the game, and they fail to do their due diligence, over-improve their flips, and just dive in with their own money OR someone else’s money. I also see a lot of new investors not ever get started because they are overwhelmed with all the exit strategies involved. I suggest that new investors focus on three areas:

  • Limit to one or two target marketing campaigns
  • Stay consistent in your efforts
  • Follow up

Also, all real estate investors should keep abreast of national and local governmental regulations, like rent control measures and legislation affecting tax penalties, which can have a financial impact on their businesses.

TR: The real estate investing industry is ever evolving. What excites you and what concerns do you have about the field?

NWL: What scares me is a lot of new real estate investors are not knowledgeable about exit strategies and may either lose money or cause financial damage to the seller. Many real estate investors that are inexperienced or just in it to make a buck give other investors a bad reputation. One thing I stress to new investors is to always be transparent, honest, and sincere with their dealings with sellers, lenders, and anyone else that they connect with.

What excites me about real estate investing is that I don’t see a time when it will ever end. There will always be people who need to sell a home, so I think there is limitless supply of opportunity for people who want to get into real estate investing.

TR: What are some lessons you’ve learned in the world of real estate?

NWL: Trust me, I have made my fair share of mistakes along the way! Real estate investing can be a rewarding but humbling career. I am compelled to share as much knowledge that I have gained to help people realize their ambitions and become successful real estate investors. A lesson I have learned is that not everyone is as motivated as I am, and I have had to watch out for people who want to ride coattails, meaning they have the intention to be successful, but they lack the conviction of follow through and commitment that is a staple in this industry.

TR: If you have a free day with zero obligations, what would you do?

NWL: Because of what we do, this would be considered a treat for sure, so I would do some self-care along with my daughter. A long massage, a relaxing facial, and a good glass of Pinot Grigio! After that I would binge watch something on Netflix!

Learn more about Presidents’ Circle.