There is so much to learn about the world of real estate investing. Education, knowledge and taking massive action are all key to build long-term wealth for you and the people and causes you care about through real estate investing. In this episode, real estate investor and syndicator Lisa Hylton welcomes you to the Level Up REI Podcast and shares about who she is and why she has decided to launch a podcast on real estate investing. In this introductory episode, LaQuita Cleare, the CEO of the Clear Communication Academy, takes on the microphone as guest host to discuss these topics with Lisa. Learn about Lisa’s real estate investing story and her goals in starting a podcast in this engaging conversation.
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Who is Lisa Hylton and Why This Podcast?
Host And Show Introduction
I have a special show. I’m doing an episode to talk about myself and why I decided to start this podcast. In doing that, I asked a friend of mine to come on to have these conversations with me to ask some of the questions and for it to be more of a conversational type of episode to talk on that. I would like to introduce her. Her name is LaQuita Cleare. She is the CEO of the Clear Communication Academy. She’s a keynote speaker and workshop leader around the world. You can find her on Facebook. I met her through dancing tango. Thank you so much, LaQuita, for coming on and being a guest host on my show.
Thank you. I’m excited when you ask me because I particularly am very interested in the topic of real estate. I will go on and maybe I can be doing something as well by listening to your podcast. It’s great all around.
To get started here, I am originally from the Cayman Islands. That’s where I grew up. I went to college at the University of Georgia. I came to the US several years ago. I was in public accounting for almost ten years, so four years in Cayman, four in Boston and two in LA. A few years ago, I left to work at an investment manager taking care of funds that invest in real estate. I live in LA. I love living here. That’s a little bit about my background.
I don’t know if you can answer this, but which do you like best, the Cayman Islands or LA?
I love Cayman, but I also love LA. They’re both different. They’re apples and oranges. It’s hard but Cayman is beautiful. For me, where I’m at in my life right now, I like living in LA because of the people that I’ve met, the opportunities and the mindset. I’ve enjoyed living here.People always think they have to be multimillionaires to get involved in real estate when it’s not the case. Click To Tweet
Why real estate? What do you like about real estate?
I’m going back to my story a bit. I grew up around real estate. My dad was a contractor. When I was fairly young, he built about fourteen apartment units. Shortly after he built them, I was now probably in middle school, he got sick. He got diagnosed with a brain tumor, which took his life almost ten years later when I was a sophomore or junior in college at that time. I never totally appreciated the value of real estate. I knew that it was a good thing to do. I bought my first property in Cayman when I was in my early twenties and I was working. I bought it because I loved it. I didn’t think about was it going to cashflow and all that stuff. I didn’t think about any of that stuff. It broke even the first year and I lost money for the next 5 to 6 years. On top of that, I was living out of the country. I was only in Cayman the first year I own the property, but every year after that, I was either living in Boston and in LA.
About a year after I moved to LA, I got this crazy AC bill because it’s Cayman and everyone has AC. They came out to fix the AC and I was like, “I’ve got to get rid of this place because I’m draining money.” I finally sold it and I was like, “No more real estate.” I took this job and I started to see that people can invest in real estate and make money. It brought me back to my parents and the way my father made that decision, which after he was diagnosed, my mom was a stay-at-home mom. Neither of them was able to work to bring in any income, but yet they had three kids. They had to go to good schools and ultimately college. I saw firsthand the benefit of having real estate and creating another stream or multiple streams of income through investing and not relying on one stream because the reality is you don’t know. For me, that’s what I love about real estate. It’s one of those things that when you’re educated about it and you do it right, it can build long-term wealth for you, your family and for the people that you care about or even the causes that are personal to you. That’s why I love real estate.
I love hearing stories, especially about how people started because it sounds like you definitely learned a lot of lessons early on about real estate. You sold your initial first property, but are you involved in real estate investments now?
The way I like to invest is in two ways. I like to invest passively via syndications into large multifamilies. Those are generally 100-plus units and they’re usually in states that are business-friendly, cashflow-friendly. That’s pretty much the partnerships that I look for. At the moment, I invest primarily in the State of Georgia. Most of those properties are in the City of Atlanta. That’s from a passive perspective. From an active perspective, I’m continuing to hone my skills, get more education and work closely with other people who are more further along in the path than I am to continue to grow and acquire, be a part of the active team members that are running those kinds of deals as well. That’s where I’m at this time.
For people, not everybody may know what syndication is. What would it be like?
Syndication pretty much is a process at which you pool together. You’ll have active individuals. There might be a team of maybe 2 or 3 people or so. They go out and they find a deal. They put the deal together. They’ll put their down payment, do the due diligence and make sure that the numbers work. They’ll bring that deal to investors and say, “This is the deal. These are the returns that you can anticipate to get. This is our business plan, etc.” Those investors have a choice to say, “I like the business plan. I like what this person is offering. I want to invest.” They’re able to invest in that.
As a part of the Obamacare Act, they expanded some of the SEC rules, 506(b) and 506(c) and those particular rules govern syndication. For a long time, you had to be an accredited investor. Someone who either had $1 million in net worth outside of your home or was making $200,000 and something a year consecutively for the last three years or so. Through the introduction of that, the change in that law with the 506(b), you can have a personal relationship with someone and through that personal relationship, you can then introduce the deal. That’s how other people have been able to gain access. Those people obviously need to be educated. A part of that is getting educated and learning about what it is that you’re investing before you do the investment.
That’s great though because more people can get involved. People always think they have to be multimillionaires to get involved in real estate.
For a long time, on a professional level, institutional investors, definitely people who are accredited and have lots of money, those are the people that I’ve generally seen invest in real estate at that large scale. Being able to invest in it now, while I’m working my job, I might see my bank account and cash has come in. I’m like, “That’s awesome.” It reinforces the relationship that I have with the GP sponsor that is taking care of my money and doing what they say that they’re going to do.With real estate, you need to have one of two things. You either need to have money or you need to have time. Click To Tweet
Why a show now? Why this podcast? What are you covering?
Podcasts have been such an instrumental part of my life and my growth when it comes to real estate. BiggerPockets, as well as Afford Anything and the Real Wealth Show, were some of the three early shows that I discovered when I got started to dive into real estate education. Those shows brought a combination of real estate education as well as mindset. They have this saying, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Social media, as well as technology, gets a bad rap by a lot of people because of wasting time. I have found that these podcasts and following people, influencers that impact my mind and forces me to think bigger than the way I’ve been thinking, that’s what has brought me to the place that I am at now.
When I meet people these days and I talk about real estate all the time, I realize that not everyone thinks the same way that I do. A lot of people aren’t meeting people because they might not be going to the types of events that I’m going to. Creating this podcast is a way in which I can share with people that there are other ways to invest other than buying a house, as well as there are other ways to invest. They always say with real estate, you need to have one of two things. You either need to have money or you need to have time. If you realize that you don’t have a lot of money, maybe considering how much time you can spend in the industry to get the things on how you want to contribute and create the life that you want for yourself. It’s been a journey. I didn’t start out thinking that I wanted to do a podcast. It evolved. I’m grateful for it.
I am excited to be able to tune in. I’m also curious, can you give us a sneak peek of the types of topics and things that you are going to cover?
My first series is going to be exploring all the different ways in which you can invest in real estate. For that series, I am bringing on people who invest in real estate very differently from the way I do but are equally successful in what they do. This is to showcase that there isn’t one way to skin the cat. There are so many different ways to get involved. I want to showcase that and show that. After that, I want to have other series that dive deeper into different asset classes. For instance, diving into multifamily or diving into retail or diving into industrial or storage units or mobile home parks as well as different strategies, different ways you can finance it. Talking to people who help people to tap into their 401(k) money and what that would look like. That way, people can understand the different ways in which you can invest in real estate from a strategy, as well as assets, as well as financing. Those are some of the things that I intend to cover. There are a lot of amazing speakers lined up to chat with. I’m looking forward to it.
That’s great that you’re going to be bringing in speakers and industry experts. People, you do not want to miss this because you are going to hear from a lot of people. When does the show kick off?
It will be on Tuesdays. Tuesday mornings you’ll see it pop up on iTunes. I’ll also have the video version on YouTube. In addition to iTunes, all the different podcasts companies as well. I’m working with a company called Podetize. They’re helping me in terms of getting the podcast set up and on all the other distributors as well.
Can you give us your biggest real estate tip? Something that maybe you’ve learned something for the audience and are excited?
My biggest real estate tip would be two. One is you make money on the buy. In other words, make sure you buy right. Don’t buy and know that you’re losing money and still buy. That’s not a good idea. Getting educated to know what it is that you want is super important because real estate is personal.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, LaQuita. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Enjoy your travels.
About LaQuita Cleare
She is the CEO of the Clear Communication Academy. She is a Keynote Speaker/Workshop Leader around the world – in 50 countries and counting.
As a world renowned professional in the public speaking and communication space, she also helps speakers to raise the bar on their speaking skills and create a stronger brand image and messaging. 2020 is a busy year for LaQuita as she has upcoming speaking tours in Europe and the Middle East.
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