JF2590: The Key to Adding Partners to your Real Estate Team with Stephanie Betters

With a background in medicine, Stephanie Betters struggled to decide between being a nurse practitioner or a full-time investor. So she decided: Why not both? Her goal of owning three rentals per child turned into a booming real estate career that she never anticipated. Today, she’s sharing her tips for growing a team with an aligned vision, private vs. traditional financing, and her very detailed due diligence process for choosing which syndications to be involved in.

 

Stephanie Betters Real Estate Background:

  • Full-time real estate investor and part-time nurse practitioner
  • First flip in 2007, and formed her investment company in 2015
  • Passively involved as an LP and GP in several large multifamily assets
  • Flipped hundreds of homes, built nearly 100 new construction spec homes, and wholesales 200 homes/year
  • Based in Charlotte, NC
  • Say hi to her at: www.leftmainrei.co
  • Best Ever Book: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t

 

 

 

 

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TRANSCRIPTION

Ash Patel: Hello, Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show. I’m Ash Patel and I’m with today’s guest, Stephanie Betters. Stephanie is joining us from Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a full-time real estate investor and a part-time nurse practitioner. Stephanie’s first flip was in 2007, and she has since flipped hundreds of homes and built nearly 100 spec homes. If that wasn’t enough, Stephanie also wholesales 200 homes per year.

Stephanie, thank you for joining us, and how are you today?

Stephanie Betters: Hi, I’m so good. Thank you so much for having me.

Ash Patel: Well, we’re excited. Before we get started, can you give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on now?

Stephanie Betters: Oh, sure. My background truly is in medicine. I’m a nurse practitioner in cardiac surgery. About two years ago I went part-time. So up until kind of recently I was working full-time in medicine and in real estate. My husband and I started our real estate company back in 2007 with a live-in flip, and have really progressed since then.

Really, what I’ve been up to lately is we’ve been doing wholesaling and new builds on the real estate investment side, and that company has done really well and created other opportunities for us, too. So there’s actually two spin-off companies that came from, say, our mother’s real estate company. One is a marketing company that just does social media marketing for real estate investors looking for motivated sellers, primarily on Facebook. And then the other company is called Left Main REI, that is a CRM that was built on Salesforce.

Ash Patel: Incredible. How big is your team? Is it just your husband and yourself?

Stephanie Betters: No, we have, on our investment side, about 15 employees.

Ash Patel: Okay. So take me through the evolution of how this started. Your first flip was in 2007, and now you have a massive Empire.

Stephanie Betters: Okay, so 2007, we had just graduated my undergrad, my husband and I met in college, and no money, and tons of student debt. At that point, I think we had $150,000 in student debt. We were trying to figure out what we were going to do. The plan was to go to grad school. But we both wanted to work for a couple years before going back to grad school. So we were living in upstate New York, in Binghamton, New York, and we bought our very first house there. It was a foreclosed house with mold, and it was the only thing we could afford. And my husband’s like, “Well, let’s live in it. We’ll flip it. That’s what everyone does on TV, and they make good money.” And I was like, “Oh my God, this is not what I envisioned my newlywed self to be doing.” But we did it, and we lived in it for a year and a half, and we sold it Q1 of 2009, which locally was literally two weeks before the market crashed completely. We were super lucky. Literally, two weeks after we sold it. IBM, which was the local major employer laid a ton of people off. So we got lucky. We sold it, made good money.

And then we went off to grad school on Long Island. We decided not to flip houses on Long Island, because we were really busy in grad school. And like the crash was happening, and it was kind of uncertain. So we’re like, “Perfect timing. We’ll just go to school and get more debt. That sounds great.” So we did that for two years. And then our family was all over the US, tried to figure out where to go next. We picked Charlotte because of the real estate market and because of the opportunities for our medical careers. Now, my husband and I—I’m a nurse practitioner and he’s a physician assistant, and we moved to Charlotte because it had an International Airport. The market was great. Really, we did a lot of analytics and found that it was really just slightly behind the Jacksonville, Florida market and the Raleigh-Durham tri-city area market. So we kind of felt like we had a little bit of a head start on understanding what would happen with this market and make some predictions.

So we moved down here, had a bunch of babies, we have three kids, and we were kind of just trying to figure out when the good point would be to jump back in. So that was about four years after we moved. We moved there, and four years later, we started our business. We bought our first rental, that wasn’t so scary. I felt like then I was really ready to jump back in. To be honest, I was kind of the thick of the mud about it, I was nervous.

At this point in our lives, we had just graduated grad school, we had two young children, I had another one on the way, and we had $200,000 in debt now, and brand new careers. So I was really nervous to go all-in again. When we went all-in the first time, it was just us, and we’re like, “Whatever, we’ll live in a mess, I don’t care.” But now we had kids and debt and all this stuff. So I was a little bit slow to come on board, because I wanted to feel like we were at least a little bit settled before we went crazy again.

So we bought this house in an area that we thought would appreciate. We took a bet on ourselves and we said, “Okay, if we know what’s happening in this market, if what we think is right, then this house will appreciate. And in two years, we’ll be able to take out a home equity line of credit and that will be the money that we use.” Because we didn’t have any other cash, we literally didn’t. So that’s exactly what happened. We had our third baby. About a year after that is when we refinanced the house, took out a home equity line of credit, we were right, we bet on ourselves, “Yay, we’re very excited. We had $20,000. Now what do we do?”

So we went off and we listened to a ton of podcasts, yours included, which was really, really helpful when we were first starting off… And why it’s kind of an honor to be on it now; it’s kind of a full-circle moment for me. We self-educated, made a ton of offers on properties, and got two offers accepted at the same time, because we were making literally 100 offers, and we just got so used to being said no, that we just started putting in a ton of offers, and all of a sudden two got accepted. So one of them was going to be a rental and one of them was going to be a flip. The problem is we only had money for one. So that’s how we learned about private money.

Ash Patel: I have to ask you – at this point, did you anticipate this was just going to be a side hustle, some extra income?

Stephanie Betters: Yeah.

Ash Patel: You never anticipated it was going to grow?

Stephanie Betters: Never. The original plan was we wanted to have three rentals per kid, because we figured, “Okay, that’ll pay for college, for wedding and retirement, essentially for us.”

Ash Patel: Got it.

Stephanie Betters: So when we set out to do this, what really changed our course was when we got those two offers accepted, because that $20,000 – we were using our W-2 income to get a conventional loan for this rental. But guess what? They ate all of our savings. So we’re like, “That’s great, we’re only going to be able to do one house every five years at this rate.” And we needed to acquire nine properties before they graduated high school. So we were like, “Well, this is never going to happen, we’re not going to hit that goal. We’re going to get three, we’re not going to get enough.” So we were like, “Okay, we need to flip again. And we’re going to take all that cash from flipping and just use that to acquire rentals, and then the world will go round.”

So here we are like, “Okay, now we have a rental that ate the $20,000 when you include the downpayment and the little renovations that we needed to do to it, and we have this other house under contract, which will be a flip, but now we don’t have enough money. So what do we do?”

So my husband was at the clinic, he was working in urgent care at that time, and was just pitching up somebody’s head, talking about real estate, and the person he was pitching was like, “Oh, yeah, actually, I love real estate. I’m a private money lender.” And he’s like, “Oh really? You are? Well, we actually have a deal that needs funding, if you are interested.” He’s like, “Yeah, let’s talk about it more later, when you’re stitching up my head.”

So they had a meeting and this guy ends up lending us some money, and he’s still a private money lender to us to this day, which is so amazing… And we did that flip. And then this whole process started. We took all that money we made for the flip and we bought another one, and then we bought another one. And then we learned that in order to keep up this momentum, we needed to advertise, right? So we started sending out mail and things like that. And now we got deals that we weren’t ready to start renovating on, because all of our crews are busy. So then we kind of learned about wholesaling. And that was fun, because we didn’t have to hold the property or deal with the contractor drama, right?

Ash Patel: You both had full-time jobs.

Stephanie Betters: Full-time jobs still. We still had full-time jobs, both of us at this point. So we were kind of running around with our hair on fire. But yeah, we learned how to wholesale, and that seemed to grease the wheels. While our properties were being renovated, if we got new deals that came in or new leads that came in, we could wholesale them and kind of keep some of the cash flow coming in, while we were waiting for the big paycheck with the flip.

But to your question, we were working full-time. So now that you’re marketing and the phone is ringing, how do you answer it? I’m in the hospital, dealing with like real emergencies, where I can’t just interrupt my patient. “I’m so sorry, just stop bleeding for a second. I’ve got to go answer this phone.” I couldn’t do that. So we had to hire people. We hired a lead manager first to answer the incoming calls, and they would set appointments for us. And generally, that was after work or on the weekends. And we just kind of fumbled our way through until we were able to have enough volume with appointments that we could continue to hire out. It’s been quite the evolution.

Ash Patel: Alright, so now we’re wholesaling and we’re flipping.

Stephanie Betters: Yep.

Ash Patel: What’s the next part of the evolution?

Stephanie Betters: The next part of the evolution was flipping margins really decreasing. We had to hire a project manager and we had to hire a second project manager to keep up with it. It required so much oversight to do it well and to deal with contractors. So we actually decided to merge with another local investor, Jeff Johnson. He’s phenomenal. His MO was new builds, and he was really interested in wholesaling. So we both had something interesting for the other party. Zach and I, my husband, we had a little bit more of a team built out, and he had more of a process with new builds and new builds spec home construction. So we felt that we had a lot of synergy. So we merged in 2018, and now we were doing three things; we were flipping, we were wholesaling, we were doing new builds.

Ash Patel: Again, while you have a full-time job.

Stephanie Betters: While we have a full-time job. I haven’t quit yet. My husband ended up leaving in 2018. So he left his full-time job and was working, just what we call per diem. Like, just every once in a while he would work in the clinic, just to keep his license.

Ash Patel: Is that because you made more money than he did? Be honest.

Stephanie Betters: No, it’s not. To be perfectly honest, it’s because I had a little bit of identity crisis. I was like, “Can I leave? I don’t know…” And I still feel that way.

Break: [10:59] to [13:01]

Ash Patel: Were you struggling because you were passionate about being a nurse practitioner or you wanted the stability of an income?

Stephanie Betters: To be honest, a little bit of both, but primarily because I had literally waited my whole life for that job, and I’m so proud of still being in medicine, and I am so passionate about critical care and heart surgery, and taking care of people, that like I said, I’m still working part-time. I have such a hard time separating myself from that, because I feel that there’s a lot of purpose behind it, and I don’t think that leaving it is quite the right answer for me, at least not yet.

Ash Patel: Stephanie, here’s a question that’s ringing in my head.

Stephanie Betters: Yes.

Ash Patel: Knowing what you know now about real estate, you spent a lot of years in education for your medical degree. Would you have done the same thing over again, or would you have gone right into real estate?

Stephanie Betters: That’s a tricky one. I would have done the same thing over again. Doing what I did led me to an absolute passion, it led me to my husband, it’s part of my journey. I would never erase that part of my journey. I definitely think that knowing what I know now about real estate and about business, I would have started growing that sooner and I would have maybe believed in myself a little bit more from the get-go. I was never taught or told to do my own thing; it was always, “Go out, get an education, and find a good job.” I didn’t even realize how much control over my life I had. So really now I feel — even though I have a W-2 job that I work part-time, I do so on my own terms, I do so because I want to, because it fills my impact bucket, it fills my passion bucket, and quite honestly, I feel like that’s how medicine should be practiced. I should only be doing it because I actually want to, not because I have to buy a fridge this week, or whatever. So I still find — now my businesses support the lifestyle that I want, that’s what I do for a living. Real estate is what I do for a living, medicine is what I do for passion, for purpose.

Ash Patel: I cut you off while you were talking about your developing relationship with this home builder.

Stephanie Betters: Yeah.

Ash Patel: So you found some synergies… What was the next step there?

Stephanie Betters: So the next step was really doing all three things; was flipping, wholesaling, new builds.

Ash Patel: No, how did you benefit each other in the new builds? What did you bring to the table?

Stephanie Betters: We brought wholesaling and our team to the table. He was doing some flips, too. So flips were kind of our common ground; but wholesaling and our operation is what we brought to the table, and he brought new builds to the table.

Ash Patel: Did you wholesale land that he then built on?

Stephanie Betters: No. If we’ve got land in general, we build on it. Every once in a while, we wholesale stuff; but we knew him just from the local network. We were friends, we had a lot in common. We would go to meetings all the time. I don’t think we actually ever wholesaled anything to him prior to us merging.

Ash Patel: So when you say merging, did you combine companies, combine forces?

Stephanie Betters: Yeah, so what we decided to do was to keep our existing entities as holding entities for our rentals, because he had rentals, we had rentals, and that was just too messy to combine. So we combined teams and we created a new entity called Better Path Homes. So now all of his team, all of our team went there, every transaction went through Better Path Homes, and whatever rentals we had separately, stayed there. So all marketing channels came through there, all our system, our CRM, our employees, everything merged into Better Path Homes.

Ash Patel: And then he continued just to build new homes, or did he get involved in the wholesaling and the fix-and-flips as well?

Stephanie Betters: He got involved. Absolutely.

Ash Patel: Okay. Are you guys equal partners?

Stephanie Betters: Yep, my husband and I, and him.

Ash Patel: Okay. Keep going. I want to hear the next step.

Stephanie Betters: So long story short, the wheels on the bus started shaking, we were doing a lot of things, right? We were flipping, wholesaling, new builds. And at the end of 2019 we really took a hard look at all of our numbers and felt, “Okay, flipping – margins are very low, timelines are constantly under negotiation, right? We’re constantly over budget, over timeline.” There’s always a surprise; it was very difficult to completely systemize flipping because you’d go through Demo Day and be like, “Oh, there’s asbestos,” or “Oh, there’s water damage.” You could not predict it. We did a good job, but not good enough as far as margins goes.

So we decided, January 2020, we had our annual planning meeting all together, our whole team, and we decided we are not flipping anymore. We are only going to build new spec homes and wholesale. And of course, we would still buy rentals when it made sense. But our primary focus would be wholesaling and new builds. And I am so grateful that we did that, because we know what happened in 2020, right? Everything kind of came to a screeching halt with overall development. We had a lot of trouble with getting contractors and keeping things on timeline for a couple months there. And I really feel like if we still continued to buy flips, we would have been pretty hosed.

But because our projects were brand new construction and we were the owners, we could still show our properties and we could still have our subcontractors go out there and continue to build, even though of course, we did see a slowdown. And wholesaling – we kept going, we kept marketing, we kept buying. And our buyers were super, super happy still, because we had those buy-and-hold investors who were waiting for this moment, for the market to slow down, so they can scoop up some deals. So 2020 was one of our best years, I think, because we had crystal clear focus and everybody was very aligned.

In 2020 is also when I retired from Better Path Homes as the COO. I was the COO that entire time. And what we did in January is we promoted our project management department chair, his name is Matt; he took over as COO. So I was freed up. I actually don’t have an active role in the business anymore, on a day-to-day basis. I’m an owner, and our company’s fully hired out. So my husband is a CEO, and Jeff and I, the other partner, him and I are in the owner’s box, and we’re essentially consultants for this business.

Then I launched the CRM company, Left Main, which is a major reason—that system that I built on Salesforce was a major reason why I was even able to get this data together, to know where my numbers were, what the best ROI was in the company… And I went off and launched that company, because of all that.

Ash Patel: Where does your financing come from?

Stephanie Betters: Right now private money lenders is primarily our financing, and then we also have some commercial lenders that help us build the construction loans, and things like that.

Ash Patel: What are your terms for the private money?

Stephanie Betters: 8% and one, primarily. Sometimes we’ll do eight and two for second position loans.

Ash Patel: So as successful as you’ve been and as large as you are, why can’t you get traditional bank financing lines of credits?

Stephanie Betters: We do. We have several million dollars in lines of credit with the bank. Traditionally, the way we approach especially new builds is we use private money to buy all the land. We stabilize that land, we go through the initial surveying process, etc. And then we get it bank financed, we refinance out our private money lender and have them go out and buy new land. The land we’re buying can vary between $10,000 for a lot to $30,000 for a lot. And if we have, at any time, 40 lots under construction. So that adds up very quickly, and private money is perfect for that.

Ash Patel: Stephanie, what’s been the biggest challenge with a partner?

Stephanie Betters: Vision. Making sure that we all have the same exact vision, and that we are all rowing in that same direction. So what that means is you have to be really intentional about articulating what the vision is, documenting it, and then staying on the same page. Adding a third person is adding quite a significant amount of complexity. I don’t know about you, but I know that me and my husband can get off the same page in like two days. If we don’t talk for two days, he’s on a different Island than I am, and I don’t even know how it happens… But we just go in our direction, right? And we don’t even mean to not go in the same direction as each other, we’re just busy. And I think it all comes from good intention, but it’s very easy to get off the same page.

So making sure that you articulate what the vision is… And that seems kind of corny, what the vision is, but it’s super important. Why are we doing this? Why do you even want to merge? Where do you want to go? What is your long-term plan for this company? What do you want this company to do? And then making sure you have regular meetings to make sure we’re still all in alignment. And if you see something coming off that alignment, you’ve got to call it out and communicate, and you’ve got to over-communicate.

Ash Patel: And how do you deal with disagreements or unaligned visions?

Stephanie Betters: For the most part, we’ve always been able to settle that between the three of us. Just because my husband and I are married does not mean that we’re always on the same page.

Ash Patel: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Listen, I know that.

Stephanie Betters: [Inaudible [21:37] I have a different opinion. So we each have our own vote on an issue. For example, the issue of stopping flipping – that was a huge discussion, there was a lot of opinions surrounding that. What do we do? We have our opinion, we each bring something to the table there as far as strategy and thought process and being profitable and prosperous. So the three of us kind of weigh in on that decision, and if we don’t agree, we have a third party that helps us. But I will say that it’s very rare that we’ve had to go to that third party and say, “Hey, can you help us with this tiebreaker? What should we do?” And that is somebody who we’ve identified as someone that we all trust, and if we are in a good gridlock situation, that person is going to be the tiebreaker.

Ash Patel: Stephanie, do you invest in other people’s deals?

Stephanie Betters: Yeah, all the time. I’m a GP and an LP in some multifamily syndications that people bring to the table, and I’m kind of a passive person there. But absolutely.

Ash Patel: And have you explored the option of doing multifamily yourself within your company?

Stephanie Betters: No, because that is not part of our vision. Our vision for a Better Path Homes is single-family residential, so this company will never do multifamily.

Ash Patel: Alright, so I know that you’re incredibly analytic… How do you discern which syndicator to put your money in?

Stephanie Betters: There’s a lot to do with the deal itself. So number one, does the deal make sense? What are the numbers look like? Where is the value-add? And can I trace where we are to where the profit will be at refi or at sale? And generally, I’m looking for things like, of course, that we’re buying this less than market value, looking at some comps to that multifamily project in the area. What else is there? Are we under value as far as the asset purchase price, and do we have room here with rental increases? And looking at the comps really helps me analyze that. And looking at what this partner has proposed as value-adds. I’m looking for things like rental increase based on renovations, adding laundry, water savings programs, storage… I want to hear what they have in mind for increasing that rent, because I know if we get that rent up, we’re going to get the value up for the property. And then I’m looking for security as far as project management goes, and the property management. Do they have somebody in place for all that?

Generally, I look for a different entity to do that, not the person who found the deal and was putting together the financing. I want somebody who just focuses on property management, and kills it with that, and has multiple projects and properties the same size, and a track record of stability, of rent collection, etc.

We had a really great stress test in 2020 on how property managers dealt with that. So that was really great. I bought into bunch of deals last year, and this year; and this year’s deals, I felt so much more confident because I had like last year 2020… “How did you handle that? What was your rent collection like then?” If you’re in the 98% rent collection through 2020, you’re probably pretty good at what you’re doing. So those are some of the factors I look at, and of course the character of the people putting together the whole deal. Who are you? Do I trust you? Do I know you? I will only do business people I know, like and trust, also in combination with the deal numbers.

Break: [24:44] to [27:24]

Ash Patel: I think it’s safe to say that you do more due diligence on your investment syndication deals than most people do on their own deals. That’s incredible. And how did your investments do through COVID?

Stephanie Betters: Thankfully, we were really safe. I think being diversified has been helpful. I think the thing that took the biggest hit is our overall timelines go for our new builds, because everything inherently slowed down a little bit. But we probably had maybe a margin of a month or so where we were over time. We caught up with that pretty quickly.

Ash Patel: Sorry, my question was your investments in other people’s deals.

Stephanie Betters: Yeah, stable [Inaudible [28:05] return.

Ash Patel: And you must receive a lot of different communication from different operators. What tips do you have for syndicators in communicating with their investors?

Stephanie Betters: Well, that’s a really good question. I guess I can only answer that from how my experience has been. I think that you need to personally know people that you’re syndicating with. And I know that that’s the legal thing too, you have to have a relationship. But for me to give up that kind of money and that kind of control, I want to know you on multiple levels; I want to know you personally and I want to know you professionally. So everybody that I’ve invested in, I’ve known for years, and we have a friendship, so I feel like I know them as human beings and I’ve seen them in the professional sense and how they deal with adversity professionally. And that, first of all, makes it easier. So now communication-wise, when they have a deal, they call me or text me and say, “Hey, I’ve got something I’m going to send you an email with a pro forma. Take a look at it and tell me what you think.” So they sent me an email, with the pro forma, usually we’ll jump on a quick Zoom call and talk about it. Sometimes it’s a group Zoom call, which is totally fine with me; and we go over some of the details there. And then I essentially, at that point, I can decide whether I’m in or not. And I’m generally in if I have the funds to allocate to it, if I’ve made it that far.

Ash Patel: If one of your operators that you’ve invested in previously brings you a new deal, do you just have that trust level or do you still do the due diligence and look at comps and look at their plan?

Stephanie Betters: I definitely still do due diligence, but generally – so the people that I’ve invested in, they have it pre-prepared for me. No one’s asking me to wire $100,000 with nothing, right? But they have a pro forma, they have the comps, they have everything in a little package for me to review, and that’s generally sufficient for me, what they’ve presented for comps. I just do like a quick little search of the area and just have a quick verification of what they’ve sent, and it’s accurate. So I generally feel pretty good. But no, I would never just wire something just based on personal relationship. I still want the whole package.

Ash Patel: I need to write that down. I’m going to stop doing that.

Stephanie Betters: Hey, I’ve got some deals you can invest in. [laughs]

Ash Patel: So do you take on investors right now?

Stephanie Betters: Yeah, always.

Ash Patel: What does an investor invest in? Because you have so many different things going on.

Stephanie Betters: Yeah, it’s only for new builds. It’s always tied to a property. Traditionally, it’s land. And it depends a little bit on how much you have, right? If you have funds that will fund a land acquisition plus a new build, we’ll put you in on that deal completely. If you have money for several land acquisitions, we’ll put you on multiple; if you have just a small amount, you would just buy one lot. It really depends on how much you have and how much you want to allocate.

Ash Patel: How does that split work? So let’s say we go in for just one lot. How do I get paid?

Stephanie Betters: So if your primary, you’ll get one point and 8% APR… And it a little bit depends on your preference. Generally, people take the point at closing and then they get the rest lump sum at the end when we buy you out or we refinance you out. Some people want quarterly payments. We’re generally turning a property in about 90-120 days, depending on the size of the build or if we have to do any lot prep that’s kind of extensive. So most investors just take the lump sum, because they’re like, “You’re going to give me a quarterly payment anyway; don’t give me a quarterly and then a monthly, it’s too much bookkeeping for me.” So it really just depends on your preference. But most people who have been with us at least with one deal just get it at the end.

Ash Patel: Stephanie, you said that you’re sitting in the owners box and you’re winding down… I don’t really believe you. So what’s next for you? What are you working on?

Stephanie Betters: I promise, I’m not starting any more companies. What I’m working on now is getting the software company that built the CRM on Salesforce Left Main. I’m getting that stabilized and fully hired out. I’m now just sitting in the CEO seat for that company, and I plan on continuing to sit in the CEO seat. And that’s probably the thing that I’m the most active on a day-to-day basis. Everything else that I do with our investment company, in the marketing company, is consulting. Those companies are fully hired out, and I’m there for quarterly meetings. I’m there for anytime there’s a question, and of course, I’m checking in on things to see how things are going. But my day-to-day activities are generally surrounding the software company. So that’s going to be my focus, probably for a couple more years. I think that there’s a ton of potential there to continue to grow that and to bring that option to other markets like Canada and the UK. I’ve got some big plans for that, and bringing that to other countries. So I think that’ll keep me busy. With that, and with medicine and my children, I think that my heart and my mind are full.

Ash Patel: Stephanie, what advice would you give some of the Best Ever listeners that have a full-time job and are struggling with managing their business on the side, their real estate business?

Stephanie Betters: Such a good question. I feel so many people just say, “Burn the boats, quit your job.” I think it depends on what your job is and how much you love it. I think if you love your job and you don’t foresee quitting, at least anytime soon, I think you should take that obstacle of time and use it to your advantage. For us, that obstacle of time forced us to hire; it really forced us to make a business, to have employees. So use that as like a slingshot instead of a roadblock to doing anything. There’s always around, and generally, the obstacle is the way.

So if I am not going to leave my W-2 job, but I want to start this business, I’m just going to hire somebody to help me; and it is that straightforward. It sounds really scary to say “I’m just going to hire somebody.” But once you do, a whole new department and your brain opens up, and you’re like, “Whoa, I can delegate something. I don’t have to be the one who physically does everything all the time.” And that, for me, was a big mind shift change. I felt like I had the choice. “Do I leave my job? Or do I do this?” But you can do both if you have a team. And there are people who will be so excited and so blessed to have that opportunity to work for you and to be part of the vision and be part of the plan.

So long story short, I think it depends on what you’re doing, and that’ll help force you to hire.

Ash Patel: Stephanie, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Stephanie Betters: Do it.

Ash Patel: Just do it.

Stephanie Betters: Don’t be scared. Don’t be scared. Think about what you truly want, what stability looks like for you and what freedom looks like for you, and then slowly build towards it. Don’t be afraid to come off the normal beaten path of going and getting a good job and just working that job until you retire. You have so much more control over your life and your freedom than you think. And that, I feel, is what true freedom is, is when you’re not 100% reliant on one single income or your family’s income, or you’re in trouble. You really can build the life that you want, and it’s not greedy, and it’s not as scary as you think.

Ash Patel: Stephanie, are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Stephanie Betters: Okay.

Ash Patel: Stephanie, what’s the best ever book you recently read?

Stephanie Betters: I love Love, love Jim Collins, and Good to Great. Favorite.

Ash Patel: What was your big takeaway from that book?

Stephanie Betters: I think it was defining yourself, and focus. And the most important chapter for me was confronting reality, hard facts. What are the facts? You can be optimistic, that’s fine, but what are the facts? Confront those brutal facts and then make a move.

Ash Patel: Stephanie, what’s the best ever way you like to give back?

Stephanie Betters: Medicine, number one. I love going to the hospital and helping people there. I love going on mission trips. I love donating to charities that are supporting mental health and poverty and getting medical care to those who need it.

Ash Patel: Stephanie, how can the Best Ever listeners reach out to you?

Stephanie Betters: You can find me on Instagram or Facebook or our website. My Instagram handle is @StephBetters. And Stephanie Betters on Facebook. And my website is leftmainrei.com.

Ash Patel: Stephanie, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us. You’ve had an amazing run. A simple goal of having three houses per child turned into this amazing company. So congratulations on all of your success, and thanks for taking the time to join us today.

Stephanie Betters: Thank you so much for having me.

Ash Patel: Best Ever listeners, have a great day. Thank you so much.

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