Think Realty is highlighting our dynamic lineup of Think Realty Resident Experts: real estate pros who’ve experienced the ups and downs of the REI industry. Whether you’re buying your first property or expanding your established portfolio, you can rely on our Think Realty Resident Experts to give you the insight you need to make the most informed decisions.
Meet Sonia Booker Think Realty Resident Expert, Think Realty Woman to Watch in Real Estate in 2017, Wealth-builder, thought-leader, Entrepreneur, Real Estate Investor, O Magazine trailblazer, founder and CEO at Sonia Booker Enterprises.
Commercial and residential real estate development, signature mentoring for serious beginning investors, radio host, best-selling author, founder of iBuildWealth Workshops and Everything Real Estate Conference and Expo.
Sonia Booker has been an active real estate investor for more than two decades and has the development and management of more than $50 million in real estate assets, among them apartment buildings, condominiums, small hotels, and residential real estate, under her belt. “I did it all,” she laughed about her start in real estate, and that has not changed much since the beginning. These days, she spends her time expanding and maintaining a massive investment portfolio and nurturing a growing community of young real estate investors through her many media outlets, including radio shows, YouTube instructional videos, on-site training, and, most recently, her presence as a Think Realty Resident Expert.
“There are so many facets to real estate investing, and you have to and the one that fits your goals, your budget, and your lifestyle,” she said. “It’s about putting together the perfect plan.” Teaching is nothing new for Booker, who used to host free educational events in the living rooms of her investment properties where she taught others, mainly women, about how to successfully get involved in real estate investing. “I have always felt like investors accomplish more as a team,” she explained, noting that one of her first partnerships, a longstanding relationship with Atlanta real estate pioneer Herman J. Russell of H.J. Russell & Company, was a foundational experience in her own investing career that ultimately lasted more than a decade. “I worked with Mr. Russell until almost 2014, always also doing books and renovations,” she recalled. To her, this experience highlights the importance of working with experienced investors who are skilled in setting good goals for their mentees. “Working with Mr. Russell was such a breakthrough because I got to do all kinds of things that I’d never dreamed of doing,” she said. “I learned then that the key to forging successful partnerships and getting your feet wet in this industry is to really show that you have some skin in the game and that you are willing to give whatever you do have to o er to a partnership.” These days, Booker takes that attitude to the front and center of her own real estate investing, working hard to incorporate new investors and o en female investors into her deals and opportunities. “You have to remember that real estate is a great wealth equalizer,” she explained. “It doesn’t require any degrees, and we all have the same leverage when it comes to real estate. You just have to get the knowledge and you can be successful.”
Sonia Booker on “Your Wealth Building Legacy”:
“What I’ve realized over my years in real estate is that everyone has a path for how they and a property, the secret to finding a deal, etc. Uncovering that secret for yourself is really the key: you have to be willing to build the legacy, to uncover the secret, to and your path to the deal, or you will fail. I have seen so much failure and frustration in this business, and it doesn’t have to be that way if new investors will just take a few minutes on the front end to really map things out!
“My ‘title’ really says it all: to me, real estate investing is a wealth-building movement. It’s not the only wealth-building vehicle out there, but I happen to think that it is certainly one of the better ones. The Think Realty Resident Expert program allows you to really get depth, understanding, and solid information. Part of my agreement with the organization was to make a solid commitment to providing information and really good tools for real estate investors to use to build their personal legacies. Tools that they won’t get hurt using, that will help them build generational wealth through real estate.
“And here’s the thing about the Think Realty Resident Expert program. Just as real estate investing should be a constant wealth-building, legacy-building process, we, as Experts, are constantly building the program out as well. It’s a continuously growing library. For example, my content is based on planning, setting goals, really understanding what you’re doing, whether you’re locating a property or finding a really solid tenant. When most people think about real estate investing, they think of it in terms of goals – putting a kid through college or security in retirement. When you are finding properties that fit your ultimate goals, it’s fun, and real estate investing should be fun. I’m crazy like that!”
You can meet Sonia Booker in person during the Think Realty Conference & Expo – Atlanta on October 14th-15th at The Westin Buckhead Atlanta. Get your tickets here.
This article was originally published in the July/August issue of Think Realty Magazine.