Dave Debeau [00:00:09] Well, hey there, everyone, this is Dave Debeau with another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast today. It is my pleasure to interview a new friend, Lisa Phillips. Lisa, how are you doing today?
Lisa Phillips [00:00:21] I am so good and very honored that you allowed me on the show. So thank you so much.
Dave Debeau [00:00:25] Well, thank you very much. And Lisa is based out of the state. She lives in Virginia. She focuses on rental properties, cash flowing rental properties. What's really interesting about what Lisa does is she doesn't necessarily focus on her own backyard. She's got a lot of rental properties in lower income areas, which is definitely not where she lives. So these are really looking forward to our conversation today. We'll start the timer now. So why don't we get things started with you telling us a little bit about your background and how you got into real estate investing in the first place.
Lisa Phillips [00:00:58] OK, all right. I'll just say, first off, some of us just make better business owners than we do employees. And I think that a lot of us out there, just either you or me, there's a lot of us out there and we just grew up going that typical route. But we when you stay true to who you are and you're in that corporate environment, it doesn't work. Right. So it was just constantly like, I don't like this or they're like, I don't like you. It's like I don't like you. It's like just leaving these jobs. And it got to a point was unemployed. I had a foreclosure and I was like, oh, we got to do something because there's also an idea of an unwillingness to fit in. And some of us have that gene and some of us just we have it. But trying to act like it's almost physically impossible for me to exercise, to fit in. Just go with the flow. Don't rock the boat. Jean, are you with me? Like I'm just a natural born? I don't think this is right. Why are we doing this this way? Let's do it this way. And so that doesn't always work when you're an employee
Dave Debeau [00:02:02] usually doesn't actually
Lisa Phillips [00:02:04] make it. So for some of us, usually when I talk to people in the online space, I think we're definitely we tend to all be typically in that mode where we just want the power to direct and create something in a vision that we just know intrinsically is Ray. So when I was unemployed and foreclosed on, I had just purchased a thirty five thousand dollar condo out in Ohio. So it's from the Vegas. I bought the severely overpriced house in the Las Vegas market, which was that in Miami were the hardest hit during the 2006 crash. Because what I did know was like, yeah, this is just going to go to the moon like it did in excess of 50 percent of its value. Yeah. So so I was stuck with that and I just got laid off. So I had to let the house go. But about like three weeks before I had purchased the condo where I live, which was in Ohio at the time, because that's where I could find a job. So I let it go. And it was just very freeing about this thirty five thousand dollar condo, because in the Midwest, I've learned when I got out of the West Coast, I learned that there are all neighborhoods with modestly priced homes that's just normal for that region. And and I was like, hey, you know, I'm unemployed. And I just left my house, but I'm actually comfortable. This is during 2009 where people were like living in tents. They're like seven hundred thousand jobs lost a month. Now, that's significant. OK, and it was a scary time. I just got my degree in electrical engineering, which meant nothing. Four hundred, four hundred applications sit down. And it's not even like I want to be an employee, but I want to eat. Right. So it's not even like I wanted it. I needed these jobs. Not that I want, but you need. And it was filled up. It was coming up. But find that low priced property and it was actually a very nice, stable neighborhood. And it just opened my eyes to, hey, you know, let's take these blinders off. There are some really good neighborhoods to invest in. So even though I was unemployed and foreclosed on, it was I had I was very comfortable. My roommate brought in some money. I was like doing little things like mystery shopping on the side, like little things. But because it was so modestly priced, so affordable and I just have that fear. Whereas about one hundred and fifty or two hundred thousand dollar house, that's very, very much different. You know, a three hundred dollar mortgage versus thirteen hundred. Right. Yeah. And so I finally about six months later got a new job and I went out to the D.C. region and I rented out that property. But I said, let's do this again, because I grew up in a working class neighborhood and they do say working class. My dad was union. My mom was a union, you know what I mean? So it's definitely that culture. It's modestly priced, modest income. It's a different demographic. But I can go back and invest in those type of neighborhoods because I know that I know the people in them understand the culture. And I just realized when I went looking for advice on it, everyone was like, no, don't stay away. And I just found that when I went out there to look for information on investing, there wasn't any new ones about this. It was like, no, it's all bad. And I think everyone should know at this point, there's no blanket statement in real estate, right? Nothing's all good or all bad. It's location, location, location. Right, right. Excellent. And so, yeah, and so I was just like, let me do this again. I did it again in Baltimore. And I was like, oh, this works. I did it again in Virginia. I was like, oh, this works. And then I was like, I got to tell people about this because they're Ekwall is addictive. But you're seeing so many people out of the real estate investing game not talking about this, but this is affordable for regular people. Like I'm a regular person who got a degree. I have student loans, I have card debt and I have this, but I have a little money socked away. Ten, fifteen, twenty thousand will let me buy something. And with the typical advice that completely just overlooked this entire demographic and this entire subset of middle class, lower middle class or middle class properties, there's just no information in Boyd's about it. So I just I have to do this because people like me who are working and we're not fit for corporate America because we want to leave the ship. It's not our ship to leave. We just we need something that we can do that's affordable. So that sort of started me going
Dave Debeau [00:06:12] on condos or is it detached? Single family homes are pretty much I.
Lisa Phillips [00:06:19] I do not prefer condos, although I'll take it if it's close by and it's low price to cash flow rate, but preferably single family. But I'll take attached or detached. It just really depends on what your location is in. Do you travel a little further away to get something that's a condo versus not? And if it's like 30 minute drive from you and it's a condo and it's still cash flows, like take it. I don't like it because of each wave and what they can do to your investment, but in a pinch, it's better than driving an hour and a half away. Right.
Dave Debeau [00:06:51] So but that brings up another point. And I'm going to go offer our normal questions here, because I'm very curious. So you've got different properties? I don't know. I have no idea what your portfolio looks like now, but it sounds like it's spread out all over the place. Would you go in each market? Do you have multiple properties or you have kind of ones?
Lisa Phillips [00:07:11] He chooses one of these. I'm just a normal middle class girl. I just wanted to do it.
Dave Debeau [00:07:19] Yeah, you're talking about being within driving distance to it, to manager. I don't think you're within driving distance of very many of your properties anymore.
Lisa Phillips [00:07:27] Just one and away. It was two hours when I was in DC, but I moved to central Virginia and so one hour and a big ass part, which is very interesting because I never really lived where I could afford when I started moving, like I was in the D.C. region and invested in Virginia and Baltimore is never I never lived where it was. And so because of that, I actually got extremely comfortable about, OK, I want to invest. I'm forty five minutes away or two hours away. You just get very comfortable going, well, how do I do this? I feel comfortable. There wasn't really information out there about investing long distance. So you just sort of sit back and go, well, what about this business? And you look up all the different ideas, you put them all together. And what makes sense as an investment and what happened was I just developed sort of just the ways and systems of how do you invest long distance and make sure it works. And I've been helping people do this for six years. So what I started out with, the system is a lot more robust after doing this and helping so many people. You just get better and better at going, OK, this is what you need to do if you want to invest long distance of six years of this actively, I like to say flexing that muscle, I don't think a lot of people were flexing and just doing and doing and see the experience. You just learn how to invest long distance where I tell people you can have one zero two these a lot of the people I work with, I like to say that the other ninety nine percent of investors, they might have ten thousand, maybe twenty, maybe thirty, which you can start with that. Right. Whereas of the typical advice they want you to buy in a class neighborhoods that are very that can be very expensive if you're like most people I work with for Texas and DC and New York, and that's just not attainable. So they appreciate it. Learning something of, oh, OK, let me put fifteen thousand dollars down and make X amount of month rate.
Dave Debeau [00:09:10] It's normal for that degree in engineering. Probably come in kind of handy like a very organized system systematize kind of person. So how to manage properties long distance. That probably came in very. I had a hundred percent. Yeah definitely. Lisa, you've been working with people for six years now. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see newbie investors making when the first game start?
Lisa Phillips [00:09:33] That is a good question. Well, first of all, everyone likes the idea. Buy low priced houses and decent middle class neighborhoods right when they hear it. But they get so excited looking at the numbers. They don't look at the other things surrounding them, building a portfolio. Right. So I could buy a deal or build a portfolio. And sometimes there's two different things. Right. And one thing that they do wrong is they start with property first, not the market. So like I found a market in a random city, Greensboro, North Carolina, and they're like in Florida. And I'm like, why? There are things that you could have done that was. Culture to you? They're like, oh, I just down and look for a cheap property and so they're just so into this cheap property, they'll just scour for anything, but they don't take the time to first go. Well, how much money do you have? How much of a renovation do you have a budget for? Because there are some markets where for 30, 40, 50 house, there's not much needed to do. And there's other markets where for that price, you have to put twenty thousand into it. Right. So what's your budget? OK, let's start with first only looking at markets where for that price you don't have to put much work into it. So there's little nuances like that that they skip over to get straight to the deal. But I like to say, if you build an investment portfolio you actually like and you're proud of, you need to think of the whole story and what you actually want and what do you want it to look like and what you have the budget for. Right. Those are the two biggest concerns. There's a lot of other things you have to keep going.
Dave Debeau [00:11:03] Well, we kind of come around to that some of the questions here. So you've been working with people for for quite some time. What do you think is kind of like your what you talked about it? You know, your focus is on moderately priced homes that other people kind of overlook. What is the biggest problem that you help people overcome?
Lisa Phillips [00:11:23] Bagus, is the investing long distance or out of state without knowing what to do? It's a scary prospect. We're going to have to get to spend five hundred dollars plane tickets and fly out there because, you know, this goes wrong and that does. And so that's the biggest hurdle that people have. And so that's the biggest thing I sort of try to lay out for them what you do to mitigate that. And before I even work with them, I'm like, so this is sort of what we do. Are you comfortable with that? And usually once you sort of break down the different levels of what they do to protect themselves in all of them seem really doable. That's when they go, oh, OK, OK. And then some people are like, I'm still scared. And that's then I personally, because the kind of person I am, I will have a deeper discussion on those years just because I think it's just so important to like and be excited about this. Not scared just way your money, because I really feel the energy you put into it is what you get back. And if it's chaotic, fearful energy, that's not what you want to build. I personally didn't want to build my portfolio for that. But if it's an assertive, competent energy and I do understand and I understand, we can take all obstacle as they come, that's where I want to get them to before we start working. So I do talk to everybody just to see if I can, because some people, you can't get them to do that. And I can't like all your energy, you know, because you have to go into it with excitement. Right. And I think sometimes I get lost with all these dudes. Did that to that. You can't do it. And there's just so much disappointment. But real estate investing can be so amazing for people. I mean, you've probably you've experienced it. It just give you so much freedom and control that we never really had before. So I like to make sure people keep that excitement and sort of lay down what we do.
Dave Debeau [00:13:08] All right. So we're kind of wrapping tough time wise. We got a few more minutes. But knowing what you know now, I know it's always 20, 20 hindsight, but is there anything that you you would do differently if you were starting all over again?
Lisa Phillips [00:13:21] I would actually say no. But this is why no one was really talking about this when I was doing it and no one that I trusted or could take time to work with. And so because of that, I had to sort of just set a pace measure, be methodical, try something error, try again, error, try again, succeed. Right. So there's really nothing I can't. But what it forced me to do is really underscore and get smart, flex those muscles out of state muscles, the low priced market muscles, and really just go, go, go and try to think of new ideas, to be creative, to think of something that actually worked, to become a system. I would say now if I did anything. So now if I did anything, I would actually like if I go into syndication or apartment. I know now because the Internet, there's so many people out there, I can find a trusted person that I follow. I like what they have to say. I don't mind investing with them to teach me to do it and shortchange the process. I didn't have it then. But now if I do something different than what I'm doing, I would definitely go that route. So it was all learning. It was all enforce the issue.
Dave Debeau [00:14:26] Good. But if somebody is watching, this is kind of on the fence about getting involved in real estate investing, I'm not sure what they should do. What would you suggest would be like a way for them to dip their toe in the water and kind of get started without biting off more than they can chew?
Lisa Phillips [00:14:43] Two things. First, trust your instincts. I find that when I work with people, they follow all this advice, but they don't like the advice. They don't want the advice. But they're following because someone told them to and they would have followed their instincts. They wouldn't have gotten in trouble. Right. And this is something no one wants to talk about. But follow your gut when you're listening to me or Dave and your and you're taking it, does he sound right to you? Do you trust this guy? Does what he says resonates at a gut level before you look at these other factors, like read that energy and start doing that in your investing business? OK, do it. When you go to a house like I tell my I feel like I was feel how that neighborhood. Bill, did you get an awesome sensation. Don't ignore your gut, your guts. Beautiful. You get in trouble when you do ignore it now, not when you follow what it's telling you. And yeah, that that would be the biggest thing. Trust your instincts and we have so much information now. People will do what I do for a living. We put tons of information out, right. We put it like so take the time to listen to the words. Listen to his podcast. Right. Do you like what they have to say? And again, trusting your instincts, if it works out, go for it. Right. And if this guy does it but he looks like and I find this this guy said no, that that was like, no, don't go in this price range. Well, you don't always have to follow what people say. Find the one that resonates with you and follow them. That's the biggest thing, because I think sometimes you listen to people, but it's like, well, he works with people who have half a billion dollars in the stock market. Of course, you're scared to follow his advice. It's telling you to buy a middle class neighborhood and make a fifty dollars a month. You know, that doesn't make sense. But because they were told they're doing it. So I really tell them to break the chains of just following and really trust your gut with who you're listening to and. All of that more so than what's out there, because usually you might come up with a better way that works for you of doing something if you follow that, not get in trouble.
Dave Debeau [00:16:32] Wise words. And I call that your spidey senses. Right. Listen to this biting sense. All right. As we wrap up here. So, Lisa, if people want to find out more about you and what you're up to, what should they do?
Lisa Phillips [00:16:45] Oh, great. OK, you can go to affordable real estate investments dot com if you want to Google it. Just put Lisa Phillips real estate and my website will come right up. You can also follow me on YouTube at YouTube dot com slash affordable r.i where I do weekly YouTube lives and questions and answers at the end, which is really fun because I have an amazing audience and ask tons of questions in all over the place, but it's fun answering and rising to the challenge, so I love it. So bring me your good stuff and that's how you can find me. And I also have a book investing in rental properties for Beginners, where I specifically go into this asset class and investing long distance. It's a three times bestseller with Amazon. I'm very happy to see since I launched in August twenty eighteen and you can get a free copy if you go to my website, you just pay shipping and handling for the paperback. So that's all. If you'd like to learn more, I'd love to work with you or at least have you part of the audience and just learn from each other as well as me
Dave Debeau [00:17:43] that this has been a lot of fun. Thank you very much for being on the show.
Lisa Phillips [00:17:47] Need to thank you so much.
Dave Debeau [00:17:49] Take everybody by. Well, thanks very much for checking out the property profits podcast. We like what we're doing here. Please head on over to iTunes, subscribe read us and leave us to review it. Very, very much appreciated. And if you're looking to create a regular flow of inbound investor inquiries about your real estate deals, then I invite you to attend one of my upcoming live online demonstrations. And you can check that out at Investor Attraction Demo Dotcom Ticker.