I've been a real estate investor and trainer my entire adult life, and I still find it to be fun and exciting, as well as very profitable. In speaking around the country and in email conversations with active investors and students around the world, I've noticed a growing trend over the past few years. More women are creating and growing successful real estate investing businesses than ever before.
As our society evolves, we're seeing more single parent households and a trend toward delaying marriage until later in life. Unfortunately, we also have a rather high divorce rate in the U.S. Whatever our attitude about this evolution, there's one thing that is clear; there are more unmarried women out there who are the main income source for their households.
It's not just about being unmarried either. It's not news to most of us that many families are financially dependent on more than one income. We have fewer stay-at-home spouses these days as well. Stretching one income doesn't get the job done in many cases. An employed spouse often makes the difference between barely making it and enjoying nicer things.
What I'm seeing is a strong interest from women in doing more than just holding a job. They want to invest in their financial futures, and they're finding real estate is a viable path to a comfortable life, or even a wealthy lifestyle. It's not just casual observation that fuels my enthusiasm for this trend. There are more examples every day of women actively investing in real estate in all of the strategies available.
Gena H. -- If you're struggling with decisions about finances and how to improve your future, you may have experienced what Gena H. from Washington State did a few years ago. Watching late night T.V., Gena was exposed to real estate investing, perhaps one of those infomercial broadcasts. At 1:15 AM she woke up her husband to tell him that she was going to become a real estate investor. She adores her husband, so she really didn't get upset when he groggily patted her on the shoulder and said "that's nice dear" before falling back asleep.
She also didn't let his next morning concerns and warnings about how difficult and risky it could be discourage her. His doubts about the real estate market or how they didn't have much money to get started also faded into the background noise of breakfast preparation. Gena moved forward, and today she is an extremely successful real estate investor with a secure financial future and a doting husband.
Jen G. -- Working in an accounting office, Jen wasn't gazing out of her window dreaming of a better life only because she didn't have an office window. She was a single mother with a young son and a desire for a better life for both of them. Once she committed to real estate investing, she didn't waste any time in getting her feet wet.
Jen experienced what many new real estate investors do when she announced her intentions to family and friends. From well-meaning concern to outright negativity, she was warned that it takes a lot of money and experience to invest in real estate, and that it was very risky. Financial ruin was predicted by some, but she jumped in, learned the strategies and changed her life. In just six months she was able to fire her boss at the accounting office and has never looked back. It wasn't long before she had almost 200 deals closed, and she's still charging hard.
Tammy R. -- Living in a fast-moving real estate market in CA, Tammy was home schooling her four children when she decided to start a real estate investment business. Her husband told her "it won't work for you," but she didn't let fear slow her down. She didn't have much money to start, as is the case with many new investors. Because of this, she adopted wholesaling as her primary strategy.
A real estate wholesaler uses a couple of different strategies to control a good investment property and match it up with an investor with money searching for a deal. This requires very little of her money, as she is the person in the middle between the seller and investor buyer. She locates the right investments and makes a nice chunk of change when she turns the deal to her investor buyer.
Tammy leveraged her profits, and began to see her deals and wholesale profits get larger every year. After dozens of deals, she had a firm footing in the market and the knowledge and experience to grow her business even more. If you ask Tammy today for advice, the first thing you would hear is that you "can't let naysayers spoil your dreams." There's no magic potion for success in real estate investment. If you simply don't let others discourage you, the tools and knowledge are out there to create a successful business with or without a lot of cash.
I'm still a very active investor, and there are some truths that never seem to change. Real estate investment works in any area, in up, down or sideways markets, and for anyone who invests their time, energy and enthusiasm in getting started. It's not about how much money you have, whether you're male or female, married or unmarried or even how old you are. Anyone can do it if they just ignore the naysayers and take the leap.
The fact that the ratio of women to men taking that leap is growing is a great thing for the marketplace. America doesn't play favorites by gender when it comes to energy, enthusiasm and the desire for success.