Are you looking for a way to make more profits and free uptime for your family? Then real estate syndications may be the right investment for you. Learn more about this investment strategy as Lisa Hylton interviews the Net Worth Nurse herself, Savannah Arroyo. Savannah talks about her motivations for getting into the real estate game, and why they built the Networth Nurse brand. She also tackles the role of the community and why she thinks multifamily syndications work.
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Building The Networth Nurse Brand & Raising $1M For Real Estate Syndications With Savannah Arroyo
I’m excited to have on the show, Savannah Arroyo. She is The Networth Nurse, a full-time registered nurse in Los Angeles, California. She uses her skills as a leader in healthcare operations to manage multifamily syndications. She also helps busy medical professionals create passive income through real estate investing. She uses mindset tools and goal setting to elevate herself within the healthcare system, as well as to create a real estate business. Welcome to the show, Savannah. I’m happy to have you.
Thanks. I’m stoked to be here. Another Los Angeles resident.If you're looking to get started in real estate, you need to get specific on where you want to be and what it takes to get there. Click To Tweet
It was funny. When I was doing some research on you, I saw that you lived here in California as well. I was like, “That’s cool.” I’m excited to have you on. You’re the first nurse that I’ve had on my show, and I do have a lot of nurses in my family. Mindset is so important because I’m sure you had to do some kind of mindset in order to see that it was possible for yourself to build a real estate business in addition to being a nurse.
That came when I was on maternity leave with my second daughter and at home with her. My husband and I were thinking and talking about our growing family and two daughters. We both work full-time jobs, Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 5:00. We were thinking about our ability to be involved in our daughter’s lives in terms of taking them to soccer practice, going to swimming lessons and doing school and field trips. Our current work schedules weren’t accustomed to that. We couldn’t do that. It wasn’t going to be feasible. We started looking for different ways to create multiple streams of income to allow ourselves the flexibility to be more involved in our daughter’s lives. That’s when we discovered real estate and all the opportunities within real estate to make that happen.
My show is typically broken into three parts. The first gives our readers a background about you, jumping into the meat of the show and then closing down with my level-up questions. We’ve kicked off nicely here. You said you have your husband and children. How many children do you guys have together?
You said before the show that they’re both girls.
Two little girls.
What do you guys like to do for fun?
We love going to the beach. I have two little water babies that live in the ocean. They’ll be freezing, shivering, and turning blue on the Pacific Coast. We go to the beach every weekend and let them play.
For a lot of people, family is a big part of the reason why they get started in real estate investing. Listening to what you said earlier, it would sound like having that time to spend with your daughters was a big why for you. Can you talk about the way in which you guys decided to get started in real estate investing?
Since we both started working, my husband and I have been putting 15% to 20% of our paychecks towards retirement. That was suggested by people in our lives. That was recommended by our custodians, Fidelity and American Funds, and we were doing that. It was a big chunk of money that was coming out of our paycheck every month. We started realizing it was discouraging and defeating to think that we couldn’t touch that money, especially with the growing family and knowing that we have increased expenses coming up. We weren’t going to be able to use that money to buy our daughters a car when they turned sixteen.
We were thinking of different ways that we could use this money to have more access and hands-on with it. We felt like educating ourselves was the first step of researching different ways that we could grow this income and do it in a smart, safe, and risk-tolerant way. We started learning about real estate. There are so many different strategies within real estate work. Originally, we were going to be doing the BRRRR strategy where it’s a fixed amount of capital, and we were going to buy a property. The BRRRR strategy involves buying a property that’s below market value and needs a complete renovation. Buying something like that, rehabbing it, putting all this money into it to push equity into the property, renting it out, placing a tenant in there to start collecting monthly rent, refinancing it to pull all that capital back out so that you can repeat it and keep doing more deals.
We were like, “Perfect. This is the best way that we’re going to grow our rental portfolio with a fixed amount of capital.” Because we’re here in Los Angeles, we were looking at different markets in the country. We were looking to do this in Atlanta, Georgia. When it came to doing the BRRRR strategy across the country while we’re working full-time jobs and having two young children, we were like, “This is going to be too stressful. That was too risky for us.” Not risky in the sense of like people don’t make it work. People make it work for sure, but we knew it was going to involve a lot of work to get this done.
We ended up doing a new build townhome. Switching to that was an easy way to get our feet wet and start getting into real estate and some monthly income from that. After that, we loved it. We were ready to do our next deal, but we thought we had outsourced all our capital. We started researching multifamily syndications and educating ourselves in the ability to create a team sport within real estate investing, use other people’s money, have people invest passively in your deals and you put in all the sweat equity. Because we had created a lot of interests with our friends, family, and different colleagues, we were thinking this is the ideal strategy moving forward.
You have a brand called The Networth Nurse. Can you talk about how that brand has helped you with that syndication business, helping people to get into real estate alongside you?
That was something I launched. We had done our first syndication deal of a twelve-unit with friends and family. After we were having all these investor calls and talking to people about real estate syndications, a lot of people didn’t know what syndication was. We were constantly having to educate people on that and referring people to other people’s material and content educational pieces. I started realizing, “We needed to have our own foundation of this content. We needed to create some brand or platform to this educational material for our investors.” That was the motivation behind launching The Networth Nurse.
Originally, we were thinking we would partner with capital raisers. We didn’t want to be the salesy type people, pushing through the marketing and being the face of the business. We were trying to find a way around that and here we are as The Networth Nurse. I feel like my face is everywhere. It’s a little cringey sometimes. I’m not going to lie. We had to create a brand for ourselves in terms of having a platform for our investors in our business. I launched The Networth Nurse, too. Now, I have blogs on my website, videos, getting on podcast episodes and educational material. That’s my foundation for our investors now.
Through that, what is the key thing that you have found with potential investors in the medical space, given that you’re in the medical space, in terms of misconceptions that they have about investing in multifamily real estate?
I love that you brought this up because it’s so huge. If you don’t know about real estate, it can seem risky. A lot of people have dealt with sleazy marketing and get-rich-quick schemes that when people start hearing about real estate and what we do, they have their alerts up of being like, “This seems like a little sketchy.” Even when I was talking to my family about it at the beginning, they were like, “Is this like a pyramid scheme?” As I start educating them a little bit more about it, it’s definitely not, but educating people on the returns and the business strategy of how we’re making the money.
We explained to them that we’re buying an apartment deal with other people. Now, we have less risk involved because we have multiple tenants. It has become a team sport. We have higher rewards because we have more tenants paying rent, additional streams of income. What we’re doing is we’re going out and finding a property that has a very strong value-add component. It’s something that was mismanaged by a previous owner that they weren’t putting a lot of work and effort into it. It was so below market rent and some outstanding expenses. Our last building had out-of-control water expenses. When we went to do the due diligence on the building, every unit we walked into the faucets were leaking.
We’re going in there implementing a huge water efficiency business strategy to decrease those water expenses, putting a lot of capital expenditure projects, taking care of the roof and then allowing us to raise rent. We’re flipping an apartment building over a five-year period, which allows us to give amazing returns to our investors. It’s educating people on what a syndication is. I did a five-minute doodle video that draws out what a syndication looks like because it’s a good visual reminder for people to see what it looks like and how it’s processed. Even with medical professionals, a lot of them are talking about cryptocurrency and reframing doctor’s investments in terms of that.
I had a nurse who I was explaining what we’re doing. She was like, “My husband and I have been saving our whole lives,” which is $1,000 sitting in a savings account. That seems something ideal. When I started explaining it to her, she was like, “That’s too risky. I can’t do it.” I was like, “It’s risky having your money sitting in a savings account and you’re collecting zero interest on it. Your money is not making any money for you. With the way inflation is going, you’re losing money by having your money sit in a savings account.” It’s so mind-blowing and people don’t realize that. You start saying, “You can take that money, put it in a real estate syndication investment and you’re making 15% to 20% on your money, getting cashback in your pocket every month.” When you explain it like that on paper, just the numbers, it’s a no-brainer.
Going on from there, you talked about how you bought your first one, which was a twelve-unit. Can you talk about the location of some of your properties and the type of asset class that you like to play with?
We’ve done three syndications that have been up in Oregon. They’re a smaller size of 12-unit, 18-unit, and 24-unit. They’re all strong value-adds. They were mismanaged by previous owners below market rents. We’re going there. One of them is a light value-add. We’re not doing a whole lot. We’re just going in, doing some minor things and allowing us to raise rents. We’re doing all new CapEx, so new roof, windows, doors, and paint. We have $180,000 budgeted for that project, but that will allow us to raise rent and make it a completely new building in five years. We look for value-add. We’re looking in a smaller multifamily realm because we’ve been raising capital from friends and family for these deals. It’s a sweet spot.
We created a great relationship with a broker up in Oregon. He was a young, hungry broker from Marcus & Millichap who never asked us our years of experience when we started doing it, which was crucial. As a newbie coming into multifamily, it’s hard to have brokers take you seriously. We had lots of conversations with brokers before we met this one. We got specific on what we were asking for. It gave the impression that we do what we were doing and we’ve done this before. After we closed on that first deal, he was impressed by our communication skills. We’ve done all three deals with that same broker.
Going on from that, can you talk about advice you would give to people who are thinking about breaking into the multifamily space on an active level?Consistency is huge. Just continue taking that next step. It's not always easy. There's a lot of hard times. Click To Tweet
It’s getting specific on what you’re looking for and communicating that to the broker. When we first had our initial conversation with this broker, we were like, “We’re looking for 12 to 30 units. It’s $1 million to $2 million, strong value-add in these three submarkets.” It gave our broker a specific idea of what we were looking for. Because we were specific, he thought we knew what we were doing. He didn’t ask our years of experience, but sometimes they do. You can either play up what your business strategy is. Give them specific information on your goals and vision with your business. When you do that, it communicates to the broker that you’re serious because they deal with tons of investors on a daily basis who either don’t give them feedback, have zero follow through, are kicking tires, and never take that first step.
For us, my husband and I, it was important for us to give some feedback to our broker every time they sent us the deal within 48 hours. Within 48 hours, we were either communicating to our broker like, “We’re not going to hit the returns. That’s yours on this deal. This one doesn’t look good. This price point is a little bit too high for us to make this work.” If you do that, you’re light years ahead of some of the other investors who don’t even respond to their emails. Giving some feedback to him was helpful like, “This one is not going to work, but keep us in mind for your next deal.” He continued to send us the deals. We would look at them and eventually, they would hit.
My parents live in Oregon. I grew up in Sacramento, but they moved up there after my sister and I graduated college. They were done with California. They live in Oregon now. When my husband and I first started underwriting, we were looking at different markets and practicing that underwriting. Underwriting for multifamily is a beast. These spreadsheets are insane. It takes a lot of practice to underwrite these deals over and over to like, “If I win, you’ll see a good deal.” We were looking at markets all over the country that we were familiar with to give us a basis of like, “This is what these numbers look like here. This is how they differ when you look over in this market.” It’s a good practice. We were doing that for practice more than anything, looking up in Oregon because we knew the market. We started finding some good deals and we were like, “These numbers look good. Maybe we should reach out to the broker.” It stuck.
Can you talk about building a team? You mentioned throughout this interview the importance of having a team in real estate syndications. I’m curious about how you’ve built your team in terms of acquiring an asset and managing your three multifamilies.
In multifamily syndications, you have to have a good broker. We’ve used the same insurance broker for all three properties. We’re using a local credit union up in Oregon. We’re using the same lender. Even after you do that first communication, it’s important to give the impression of timely feedback if they’re asking for certain documents to get it back to them quickly and overly communicate on what’s going on in your end, especially if you’re raising money. For instance, I’m raising money and our lawyer wants all the contracts, but I had one investor who is starting an entity, so he’s not going to get it to me until a week. I sent my lender an email, “I have all these. Do you want it? Do you want her to sign them? Do you want her to wait for that?”
We constantly overcommunicate with our team, so they’re always in the know of what’s going on. Especially when you’re doing a big deal like this, it’s easy when you’re working with a lot of people for someone to drop the ball and then everyone else doesn’t know who dropped the ball because there are so many hands in the pot. Communication efforts are huge for us. Also, property management is important because they’re the ones that are running out your business strategy. This is a huge interview, vetting out process. For my husband and I, initially, we’ll look on BiggerPockets or even Google or Yelp and find property management companies. We’ll start calling them, looking at reviews and asking them hard questions how they’ve dealt with difficult tenants and evictions.
You want to ask them how they’re dealing with their hardships or biggest pain point, even if you’re looking to invest with an operator. I love when my investors asked me that because if you have an operator or a property manager who is like, “We never have any issues,” they’re lying because there are always problems and hurdles in this business. It’s good to understand how people are overcoming those problems. For us, that’s a big question. We do a lot of relationships on a referral basis. We’ll ask the property manager, “What contractors do you work with? Are there certain maintenance people or landscapers that you work with?” Usually, we’ll trust our property management team to use their contracting services, but if we feel like the prices are out of control or we can get something better or have a different relationship with someone else, then we suggest those referrals as well.
All three of your properties are in Oregon, right?
I feel like that helps as well in terms of building the economies of scale because you can then use the same team over and over. If you introduce a new market, you’ll need to then build new relationships, everything from finding brokers for that market and everything else that comes along with that.
It’s a snowball. You have your little team and then if you continue to do it in that same market. Even after we did our second deal in Oregon, we were like, “Let’s look in Atlanta,” because we love the Atlanta market. “Let’s try and find something over there.” Our broker in Oregon sent us another amazing deal in Oregon. We were like, “Let’s do it.” The numbers were super good. We already have our team, insurance, and lenders there. We move forward with doing it there. When you create those teams, it becomes easier to do subsequent deals.
I have not been to Oregon myself, but I’ve heard good things. It’s a California haven. In other words, people from California likes to relocate there for all of the great tax benefits amongst other things. Can we then talk about balancing family while building a business? We spoke about in the beginning, both you and your husband are active in the business. How do you guys manage the different roles so that way you’re not crossing over each other?
First off, getting on the same page in terms of our why and motivation behind the business is that first foundational step. My husband and I, after we realized we wanted to do real estate, we sat down together with a pen and paper and got super specific about where we wanted to be in five years. It became a fun time for us to become creative about what we were envisioning our lives in five years. It was like the moment you wake up, “Where are you waking up? What city or state? What are you doing? What conversations are you having with people every day? What are you working on? What are we doing with our kids? What are we doing for fun?” Looking at that vision in five years was huge. How much money we needed to be bringing in every month to make that happen? How many deals was that? How many units?
Working backwards of like, “In three years, this is where we need to be at.” We got a blueprint of what steps we needed to be taking on a very regular basis to get to the goals. That was the first step. After we decided that we were going to do multifamily syndications, we did that twelve-unit deal. We were in a coaching mentorship program and we went through that deal every step of the way together. We were on the phone with brokers with our legal team together. Insurance people were CCed on all the emails together. We were having conversations with our lenders together. Even investor presentations, we were doing side by side. We went through every step of that first deal together so that after we did that deal, when we went to do the next one, we split it up into things that we thought we wanted to do a little bit more or things that appealed to us. Based on our different skillsets, personalities, and interests, we were able to split up the business from there.
I feel like that first deal by both of you getting that exposure, you then both get the foundation and the basics, which everyone needs. You can start then specializing going forward from there.
My husband now does all the acquisitions and asset management. I do all the investor relations and marketing. We’ve gone through that together, I know how hard it is to deal with contractors. When my husband is dealing with that, I know he’s working his butt off to have those conversations. I respect his efforts that he’s putting into that. I don’t ever try and micromanage it. The amount of time and effort that goes into investor calls when you’re raising for a deal and how time-consuming those calls are. He understands that. I’m working on that side of the business and we respect each other’s roles.
Thank you so much for coming on and sharing all of this. Before we get into my Level Up questions, is there anything that I didn’t ask you but you think would be great to share with my guests?
If you’re looking to get started in real estate or not knowing how to take that first step, I would get specific on where you want to be and what it takes to get there. If you see someone out there doing what you want to be doing, whether it’s flipping houses, doing Airbnbs, buying lands or tax deed, find someone on social media who’s doing it and who’s out there pushing out content every day and blasting all their tips and tricks. Reach out to them. Ask them how they got started and if they have any tips. I’m constantly doing that. When I have calls with investors, I’m like, “What are some of the biggest things you’re doing on Facebook right now? What’s making it work for you?” People in this community are so uplifting, encouraging, and have an entrepreneurial mindset. People love collaborating. If there’s someone who is somewhere you want to be doing, reach out to them.
Before I get into my Level Up questions, one thing that came to mind as you were saying that is talking about the mindset of building a business. It’s a marathon. It’s quick to start. The ideas are many. Once you’re in, continuing to stay through and through, deal after deal, third deal and now working on your fourth deal, can you talk about the mindset once you’re in it continuing to go forward?
Consistency is huge, continuing to take that next step. It’s not always easy. There’s a lot of hard times and I struggle with things. On a weekly basis, I’ll hit a wall and be like, “How am I going to keep going from here with everything, like preparing presentations, I’m in a meet up or having calls with investors?” There’s a lot of discouraging things that happen in the business, especially as being your own. If you have that strong why as a foundation to bounce back on, it becomes the motivation. For me, I know that I do not want to be working until I’m 65 and not have the time freedom to be in Hawaii for a month with my family. That’s a huge goal of my husband and I, being able to be in Hawaii with our daughters for a month working on real estate and not to worry about our jobs. I know that by continuing to push efforts through in our real estate business, we will get there, but if I stop, we’re not going to get there. It comes with that burning why of why I’m continuing to take these next steps.You do not want to be working until you're 65 and not have the time and freedom to be in Hawaii for a month with the family. Click To Tweet
That is key because in a profession as yours, nursing, it’s in high demand. There is so much that is coming at you from a professional perspective in terms of a demanding job. There are also a lot of opportunities to make money in very quick ways, everything from travel nursing and all this other stuff. These kinds of things can lure you away from what you’re trying to build, especially when you’re trying to build something in real estate because this does take time. It’s so much easier and quicker to get another buck here and there. When you build this, this is way more long-term, even though it’s going to require more of your work concentration. I feel like what you said about having that why is important because that is truly what keeps you showing up, even long after the butterflies of the new feeling ends.
I love how you mentioned focus. It’s easy to become deterred by other luring opportunities. For instance, my husband and I went to Joshua Tree and stayed in an Airbnb. They had six different Airstreams on it and creating all this income. I was like, “This is an interest strategy. Maybe we should look into this Airbnb thing.” I was like, “No, we got to focus on multiple syndications. That’s what we’re doing. Stay the course. We’re already building such a foundation here.” It can be enticing to look at different opportunities. Focus is huge.
That brings me nicely into my Level Up questions that I ask all my guests. The first one is, what are you grateful for in your life right now?
My kids. They’re everything. They’re sweet. Everything is new for them because they’re young. It seems like everything we do is such a beautiful experience. They’re always excited to do stuff. I love their energy. If I’m feeling super overwhelmed, I sit down with my daughter, color with her, and listen to her what’s going on about all her stuff. I’m in love.
What has attributed to your success and continuous growth?
The mindset piece. Even now, I was always a self-help junkie of reading like Tony Robbins, Think and Grow Rich, The Secret. I was always binging that stuff and I still don’t stop. I love learning about the mind, what we’re capable of, and the abundance in the world where we can set ourselves up to achieve it. Continuing to grow and that piece is huge.
What do you now know that you wish you knew at the beginning of your journey?
It’s the ability or willingness of other people to help you out. It can be daunting to try, do this on your own, and go through these struggles on your own. When you submerge yourself in a community of some other like-minded people, then you can share those struggles with each other. It feels like, “I’m going to get through this. Everyone is dealing with this.” Surrounding yourselves with a community of people is big. We didn’t do that early on. My husband and I were doing it ourselves, but after our six-month mark, we started doing masterminds and meetup groups. Once I started doing podcasts and meeting a bunch of other people, I’m like, “This is cool.” Talking to all these other people and creating relationships with people grinding through it, I love it.
If my readers want to learn more about you, where’s the best place they can go to learn more?
You can find me under The Networth Nurse on all social media handles, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. My website is The Networth Nurse. I love connecting with other people. I’m constantly posting stuff about my real estate business and some inside looks on my personal life. If anything I’ve said is remotely interesting, please reach out to me. I would love to connect.
Thank you for coming to the show, Savannah. I appreciate it.
Thank you. It’s my pleasure.
- The Networth Nurse
- Think and Grow Rich
- The Secret
- Facebook – The Networth Nurse
- LinkedIn – Savannah Arroyo
- YouTube – The Networth Nurse
- Instagram – Savannah Arroyo, RN, MSN
About Savannah Arroyo
Savannah “The Networth Nurse” is a full-time Registered Nurse in Los Angeles, California. She uses her skills as a leader in healthcare operations to manage multifamily syndications.
She also helps busy medical professionals create passive income through real estate investing.
Savannah uses mindset tools and goal setting to elevate herself within the healthcare system, as well as create a real estate business.
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