How She Transitioned from Single Family Investing to Apartment Buildings

by Anna Myers | The Real Estate InvestHer

Announcer:  Welcome, ladies, to The Real Estate InvestHer Show, providing inspiration, strategies, and insight to empower women investors to live balanced and financially-free lives. Now, here are your co-hosts, Liz and Andresa.

Liz:  Transitioning from single family to apartment building investing is a goal of many investors. On today’s episode with Anna Myers, we jump into how to navigate this transition.

Anna currently serves as Vice President of Grocapitus, a commercial real estate company that has close to 800 units under management. On today’s episode, we discuss so much with Anna, from how to successfully analyze a market for apartment building investing, to how to assess if a neighborhood is ideal to actually invest, a bunch of tips on how to really build your underwriting your skills, and how self-awareness is the key to balance.

Welcome back, ladies! This is Liz.

Andresa:  And this is Andresa.

Liz:  Welcome back to The Real Estate “Invest-her” Show. We like to just slowly say “her” right? [Laughs] Welcome back to the show. What we’re up to is supporting women in this business of investing. Not just so you can delve into the realms of investing, but also take care of yourself. Right?

Andresa:  Yeah.

Liz:  All the different areas of our lives. That’s what we’re up to. We’re excited that you ladies are back on with us for another week, where we interview some amazing, amazing women. Anna, welcome to the show!

Anna:  Thank you. So happy to be here.

Liz:  Yeah, we’re excited to jump into Anna’s story. She’s got a fascinating story on so many levels, so we’ll get to that in a moment.

But as we like to connect with all of you and again, thank you for listening to our show and getting the nuggets and taking on your investing business.

Andresa, what is up with you? What is coming up for you this week?

Andresa:  You know, I’m all about like self-development, right? You know that, Liz.

Liz:  Oh my gosh, every time you text me or email me over the weekend, “Did you read this book? Did you watch this documentary?” I’m like, doesn’t this girl ever just relax?

Andresa:  I share. I tell it to everybody, hey, I’m watching this on Netflix, check it out. I can’t keep it with me when I feel that it’s so good. But this one, I didn’t watch on Netflix. It was on YouTube, I guess, or Instagram, one of the channels, Gabrielle Bernstein, the lady who wrote The Universe Has Your Back. She was talking about something very, very interesting. She said it doesn’t matter if you have your goals, your vision board, your gratitude journal, if you meditate, and you’re still anxious. I was like, what are you talking about?

She’s like, some people do all of that and they come to me and say, “Why am I not getting it? Why is it taking so long? I am doing everything. I have the pictures of the things that I want to have. Why am I not attracting it?” Then she said, “You got to pay attention to your energy and your frequency, that even though you have all those things out there, your frequency is the attraction itself.”

You’re anxious in like the mending mode or just not like really, truly grateful and just like surrender mode, that will affect it. I thought that was very, very cool to put it out there because we all talk about strategies to execute things, but sometimes we don’t pay attention to the feelings that we feel, so I thought it was very cool. That’s why I want to share with all of you.

Liz:  I love that, because that makes me think of like the whole gratitude list. When people say, “Make a gratitude list,” and I’ve done that and at the end of it, I’m like, “I don’t feel anymore grateful. I don’t feel any better.” But it’s really about putting the feeling in. Like really feeling—

Andresa:  What am I grateful for, not what I should be grateful for.

Liz:  Yeah! But what you’re saying I love because it’s about the feeling. It’s about feeling like I want more abundance, but do I feel deserving of that, right? That’s a feeling. That’s a great point. We need to be mindful of that.

Anna:  I think also being open to it. One of the things I practice is martial arts in my life and it’s always having the mindset of the white belt. No matter how far you’ve come, having the mindset to feel open to all learning and that you don’t feel like you know everything. A mindset that is very open, as well as grateful, can be very powerful.

Andresa:  Oh, I’m going to be using this forever! To have the mindset of a white belt, forever.

Anna:  Yes, yes.

Liz:  I like that. Awesome. Thank you for that, Andresa, and thank you, Anna, for being on our show. As we like to ask our guests and the wonderful women that join us on this show is what propels you? What really got you into this game of real estate investing? I know you’ve had a really neat path and all different types of things you’ve been involved in, but what propelled you initially to get involved in real estate investing?

Anna:  Well, I’m going to take you back to the beginning. I grew up in Southern California. My grandfather was a commercial real estate maverick in Southern California. He started out flipping houses in the ‘40s and was basically a self-made millionaire. He went into commercial real estate. He had a commercial real estate office. He started building shopping malls. He was buying orange groves, walnut groves, building shopping malls and he was a pretty big thing in Southern California. Had a big billboard, “Ask Bob Simons.” Everybody knew his name.

He was quite a self-made man, very strong entrepreneur and so that was kind of the fabric of my upbringing. My father is an architect, so I was surrounded by commercial real estate.

However, I’m the youngest grandchild and I have a cousins, a lot of them were already in the business with him. I actually have a very strong art side, so my passion growing up was acting. I started as—I was in LA and I did a lot of work on the stage. I thought acting was wonderful and I wanted the pureness of being on stage. That was my passion and everything I did was about acting.

Then long story short, I went to college. I was at Berkley at a very young age, 17, and I got pregnant at 18. I decided to have that child and what that meant is I had to get serious pretty darn quick and I realized being a stage actress was not going to be a sufficient way to care for my child. I had to dig into the science side of me and at the time, computer science was really strong and that was a career I could make good money at. I had help from my family, but I had no help from the child’s father. I was really on my own in terms of figuring out how to support my child.

I became a programmer, because I could work two days a week while my daughter was in childcare and I could make $45 an hour, which that’s pretty good for a very young adult at that time, and then the other three days a week go to school.

That was kind of the path that I chose. I gave up the art to go towards the science, to be a responsible parent. Then I kind of took up some art stuff on the side. I was always doing photography and stuff like that.

I developed into a strong entrepreneur in the IT space. I started out as a programmer, then became a systems architect. Put myself through a Master’s degree because as a woman, I needed a Master’s degree in that space. I was not going to be taken seriously as a programmer at that time without having a Master’s degree.

So, I went through all of that and then the IT industry crashed in 2000. By this time, I was married and had a second child. My kids are 12 years apart, so I was a single parent for a very long time. Then the IT industry crashed, my husband was also in IT, and it hit our household very hard. So, what I did is, I decided I was going to follow my art side again and I started a photography studio in the Bay Area. A digital photography studio because at that time, digital had become viable for photography and because of my strong background in computers, I went all in and I had a photography studio then for 18 years in the Bay Area.

Now, one thing I’ve learned since then, a couple things about the business that I’ve really learned, is that one thing if you work really hard, you’re going to do a great job at it, so I was very successful, but I also ended up paying so much in taxes that I just felt like I was working for the government. I was just like, this is ridiculous, I am making so much money, I am doing so well, and everything I do goes to pay taxes. I had to refigure out, do I just not work as much?

That’s when I realized I had to go back to my real estate roots and invest in real estate as a way to manage my taxes. Given that I had a family background in that, I didn’t feel as intimidated by it and I had such strong entrepreneurial examples, so that’s what I started doing, is investing in single family, condos, that type of thing, and it did take care of my taxes.

At the same time, I also realized that photography is a terrible business model, even though I was very successful at it, and there’s many business models like this, where there is no out. It is, you are the person, there’s no scalability to it. The only way to scale is to hire other people to be the photographer and then basically I’m managing photographers, I’m no longer the artist. That doesn’t work in photography very well and if you can imagine, there’s many other careers that people can choose that have that same trap.

As a person looking for an out, I realized I needed something that was going to scale and so I said, okay, real estate is my next thing. That is what I’m going to head into. I set a plan to finish out my studio in five years and educate myself at a really high level and transition into becoming a full-time real estate investor, and that’s what I did.

Andresa:  Those single families and condos, what did you do with them? Was it a flip? You already had them and sold or you kept them as rentals?

Anna:  Well, two of them I still have, they’re condos, and I’m actually selling them now. I’m doing 1031 now, both of them, they’re in Portland, Oregon.

I also was investing in the 2007 timeframe, is when I ended up buying—I ended up having to buy at that time because of a—it was a actually a 1033 for my grandfather’s estate, not a 1031. There was a timeline on that, December 31, 2007 is when I had to complete the transactions.

That meant I was buying top of market. If you remember what was going on at that time and what happened in 2008, so one of those single families that I bought did very well for a couple of years and then the market for that just fell apart. The metro that it was in just got hit so hard for multiple reasons, and that ended up being a short sale. Then there was also land deals that I was dealing with in Reno, Nevada, that also, just time of market, it all fell apart and I lost money on that. I’ve definitely gone through some negative sides.

Then I started buying. I bought a duplex. Again, I’m like the 1031 queen. I did a 1031 into a duplex in Charleston, South Carolina, and that has been very successful. I’m realizing that I needed to scale, and things weren’t going as fast, partly because of that short sale, which slowed me down. I said, “Well, let me look at apartment buildings,” and I took a class on multifamily and that’s where everything just totally fell into place for me.

Now I’m completely committed to multifamily. Since taking this multifamily class in, let’s see, I think it was the beginning of 2018, so January of 2018, I took the class. I found a mentor through that process, unwittingly, not intentionally, but found an amazing mentor who became my business partner. I have since closed—I’m a partner on 793 units since that time. Apartment buildings in five different metros, and working on lots of exciting stuff.

Liz:  There’s a lot that you transitioned into. You were doing single families, you were doing condos. Then you made the switch into multifamily and I think that’s a very common interest, especially for women, men, really everybody. They have investing experience, they have some rentals and they’re like, “Hold on. This seems like I want to scale this a little more. I want to get into something larger.” That’s a desire that a lot of people have. It’s a path that we took as well. We started with singles, we started with duplexes, and then we kind of slowly grew.

I’m curious, you took some courses. What for you, with what you knew, because you know things. You’re investing in property already, so you know stuff. There’s like the know column.

Then there’s the column of the unknowns, right? Larger buildings.

Anna:  Right.

Liz:  And you’re an underwriter by nature.

Anna:  Yes.

Liz:  And we’re going to dive into that, too, because that’s a whole other really important skill that women have, how to analyze deals properly, but we’ll get into that.

The question I have right now is, the transition you made, what do you think, what qualities did you take from investing in smaller stuff and now I’m going to apply that knowledge to this larger portfolio?

The second question, if you want to answer both of them, is what knowledge did you have to learn? What were the gaps?

Anna:  What did I have to overcome?

Liz:  Yeah, what did you have to overcome?

Anna:  The knowledge and then the personal things I needed to overcome.

Liz:  Yeah. Talk about that journey for you, because I think it’s a common journey a lot of women are listening to, have.

Anna:  I think that what I brought to it was my financial programming background. Because of my almost 20 years in IT, I am a technologist to the core, and so I’m always trying to be very efficient and I’m always trying to look at the numbers. I think, I was always the one with the most amazing spreadsheets about any real estate thing. I was looking at markets and trying to figure everything out. I think the data science, the numbers make so much more sense in multifamily. When you are investing in single family or when condos in less than five units, residential values are based on comps mostly. It’s the value of, you know, your single family is based on the single family next to you or the single family down the street.

Once I realized in commercial real estate that the value of my property was pretty much in my hands, because it’s based on net operating income divided by the market cap rate. Now, I don’t control the market cap rate, but I do control where I invest and the ability to control the net operating income to be able to push the income on the property by raising rents or adding other income and to reduce expenses, which is how you’re going to fenagle your net operating income, is so powerful that that was—once I got that, there was no looking back. I’m like, why would I invest in anything less than a property that is evaluated based on numbers? Because that I can control. I can’t control my neighbor’s house down the street and what it sold for, but I can control my net operating income in a commercial building.

That was a big game changer and for me, in my mindset. One of the things I needed to overcome was I’ve always been a person who’s very self-reliant and maybe that’s just because I was a single parent and I had to just dig in. I was very young, and I had to dig in and do things. I got it done. I always looked to myself to do it, but when you’re in multifamily, you need to get used to the idea of partnering because it happens much better as a team.

There’s so much power to partnering and that’s one of the big things I had to overcome. The second thing I had to overcome is the concept of using other people’s money. I was caught up on trying to use my own money, use my own credit score, which again, held me back because I had a short sale. I’ve overcome that now, but I could’ve been investing all along. Who knew that your credit score doesn’t really matter when you’re part of a team and you’re investing in commercial real estate.

When you’re using other people’s money, you need to have a lot of knowledge. You have to take it to a whole nother level of credibility and due diligence and responsibility to be a shepherd of their money. But I already have that mindset, so now that I’m partnering with the right people so I can gain more knowledge, it was a good fit.

But those are the two things about multifamily that seemed insurmountable to me at first, even though the numbers I could figure out.

Andresa:  I think that’s so great and I want to dig even more about partnerships. We all know that if you want to get somewhere and scale, you got to leverage.

For the partnerships that you made, that’s one of the biggest questions that we get all the time:  How do I know he or she is the right partner for me? What are the red flags and what should I be looking for? What are the nonnegotiables? Is this a good partner or not?

For you, what are your criteria when you are looking for partners, that there are no negotiables, or what exactly you look to find on those people, on those partners, that will fit your needs?

Anna:  I think the number one thing for me is that the person is very ethical. It’s really critical to me that the person is just going to be truthful and honest and transparent and always try their best and it’s just very critical to have an ethical person that you’re partnered with.

That takes time to determine. You can’t determine that in one conversation, so there’s certainly  some vetting that needs to happen on that and I think a relationship with a partner is like a relationship with an investor. It’s something that happens over time. You don’t just meet an investor and on the first time, you’re like, “Give me $100,000.” It’s a relationship that needs to occur in an organic fashion so that there’s a trust that develops over time, and an understanding of what the person needs.

Looking back again at the partner, so that the partner—you need to understand what that person can bring and what you can bring to them. The ideal partner is somebody that doesn’t, for me at least, and I think for many people, is somebody that doesn’t have my exact same skill set. It should be somebody that has a complimentary skill set. That way we can go much further. That is something I’m looking for, is someone that’s not just like me. Somebody that’s ethical like me and ethical, of course, in their own ways as well, but somebody that has lots of skills that may not be my favorite things to do or may not be things I’m very good at.

Liz:  Yeah, that’s an awesome idea and that’s a great point. The other thing, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this, Anna, but with partnerships, just to go off on the partnership part, people will bring deals to you. There’s a deal on the table, and especially in this market, things are moving quickly. People are like, “Good deals aren’t going to stay around,” or what have you, and it depends on what the deal is. If it’s a flip project or new construction project or a multifamily project, all various types of asset classes and ways you can get involved in this business.

If someone brings a deal to the table and you’re vetting them, but in some ways, you don’t have the luxury of time because there’s an expiration date on that deal. Right?

Anna:  Yeah.

Liz:  I think it’s an interesting situation and the opportunist side of me looks at it and says, “Okay, this is a great opportunity, but we really need to…” I think above all else, I think you get to a point in this business that the partners actually become more important than the deal, in my opinion.

Anna:  Absolutely agree.

Liz:  Because we’ve been burned. We have been burned a lot and I am so careful because we’re so quick to partner. We’re quick to like, “Hey!” We trust people really quickly. That’s not a fault, but something we got to keep an eye on. In my own personality, same with my husband—Andresa is tougher, so we keep her around for that—no! But it is.


Andresa:  I was like, “Hello? Hell, no, we’re not doing that.” [Laughs]

Liz:  But it’s an interesting situation. I’m curious to get your thoughts because I think you’re going to have a different perspective than even me, on this. The deal comes to the table, it looks like a great deal. The deal even looks better than anything else in the sphere, however, you just don’t have that time. That true, how do I vet the partner time?

How do you quickly do that? How do you guys do that? I’m sure people bring stuff to you guys all the time.

Anna:  They do. People do bring us deals all the time. I think in that case, if we had a very—if we knew nothing about this person and they bring us a deal, of course, we’re going to vet the deal first. But let’s assume, like you say, it’s an amazing deal, we would reach out to our network to find out more about this person. We have a pretty broad network at this point and we would look for this person speaking and other people that know that person to refer to them.

At the same time, we do see a lot of deals and we’re proud that we say no more than we say yes. For us, with a multifamily deal, we’re not doing flips. We’re stabilizing and in the shortest projects, maybe getting out in three years. But more of our projects are five to seven years. That’s a long partnership. It’s not like you’re going to be stuck with this person for a year and if it’s not a great thing, we’re not going to do it.

In a case where the timeline was very short and we could not get enough information about this partner, knowing my business partner and I the way I know us, we would say no to the deal and say, “We’d like to get to know you more over time.” But there’s always more deals coming. We’re in a fortunate situation that we get amazing deals brought to us on a regular basis.

Liz:  Sure.

Anna:  But I always have to think about my investors. It is not a good situation for my investors if I’m too quick to partner with somebody who is not a good partner. That’s a problem for a very long time. There’s going to be more deals that will come along, but I need to be very careful about our partnerships.

Liz:  Yeah, good point. Good insight. Because yeah, it is something that comes up a lot.

Anna:  It might be easier if it’s a three-month flip, for somebody to take that on, and if they’re using their own money, those are two very different—

Liz:  Different situations.

Anna:  Yes.

Andresa:  We were talking about exactly what you are saying yesterday and we are like, we are in a position that it’s kind of like a fiduciary to the investors and that’s the main, make them whole, and create that relationship. You can put at risk that part.

One thing that I want to—since you have this scientific background—

Liz:  Data scientist, I love that! Data scientist! Love it!

Andresa:  We don’t know what’s going to happen to the real estate market; however, we cannot—let me rephrase that—we cannot predict for sure what’s going to happen; however, how can we get prepared for it? Can we look at the past data? We all now that there are different cycles, but what exactly and where can we get that data that does not have emotion attached to it, so we can make the right decisions right now that will affect our growth in the next one to two years, let’s say.

Anna:  Sure. I’m always looking at the market and you can be talking about from economics, but that’s going to be hard to track.

Andresa:  Sure.

Anna:  What I’m looking at is the actual data of markets and so there’s market fundamentals. Markets are going to be at different phases of their developments.

Andresa:  Yes.

Anna:  Some markets are already 10 years into recovery, other markets are only midway into the recovery. Finding the right market and things that we look at in a very specific and tangible way, have to do with very common concepts of jobs, population, but we have actual numbers that we put behind them and so we say, we want to see this much job growth over the national average. We want to see this much population growth between the years of 2000 and 2017. We look at home price increases. We look at median household. We look at unemployment. We look at poverty level.

There’s the market level and then once we’ve identified a market that we’re interested in, we look at the neighborhood level for the asset. Or if you don’t have an asset yet, there’s ways that you can evaluate a market and find the best neighborhoods to invest in, in that market where there is still—they’re just about to pop.

You can tell that and we actually have a great course on it and a whole bunch of information I can refer people to, on exactly how to find the best neighborhood within the city, where you can see the path of progress actually going through it, using, and a very specific map that’s on, in a very specific way that only Neal Bawa would come up with.

It’s a very unique strategy that’s completely free to anyone using it, because it’s using free tools. Then you can go to the broker and say, “These blocks, this is what I’m interested in.” You’re interested in it because of very specific reasons, because you’ve evaluated that the job income has increased in the past few years, however, the housing has not increased yet.

There’s very specific things that you’re looking for and then of course, you’re also doubling up on that and saying the poverty level is not above this, the unemployment level is not above that. There’s these very specific keys that you’re looking for and you find those pockets and that’s what you’re looking for.

Liz:  I’ve never heard it phrased that way. I think that’s great insight, Anna, around—that’s a really good point. I’ve always said it’s like those areas that are on the cusp. They’re not in the A class, they’re on the cusp.

Anna:  Right.

Liz:  But to actually identify those neighborhoods on the cusp. I love what you’re saying. That’s like a great little tool around—the job income has already gone there, the housing has not.

Anna:  Yes.

Liz:  That’s a great strategy.

Anna:  You can actually see it in the data, and it looks like a river flowing through. The path of progress literally looks like a river flowing through the city. It’s eye-opening, it really is. These are the types of things, we’re always coming up with innovative ways to use data and we teach this stuff in our Multifamily University. I teach the underwriting, Neal teaches—it’s all about buying apartment buildings and we’re expanding into other commercial classes as well, but it’s very innovative ways that we use tools and come up with just out-of-the-box thinking.

Liz:  When it comes to underwriting, we probably could have like a two-hour session on that.

Anna:  Yes. Do you join us, please. 

Liz:  I think it’s such an important skill. It’s a critical skill, let’s be honest. Either you or someone on your team is really masterful at it and as you grow in your experience, you go from the small multis to the larger multis, it’s a whole different ballgame. That becomes very evident in being able to be effective as an underwriter.

Ladies listening to this and they want to get better, it’s like a muscle, right? It’s like going to the gym, it’s everything in our life, it’s about developing muscles. If they want to become better at underwriting, in general, especially multifamily, small or large, what would you tell them, do these things. What would those things be? Like if they want to get better, they want to get that muscle stronger?

Anna:  Well, clearly they need to practice, right? Because if you want to get your muscle stronger, you have to go out there and do it. The thing that can be the stopping point for someone is like, “But I don’t know how. How do I do this and how do I do it for free? I don’t have a bunch of money to spend on this.”

What I would recommend is I actually teach a free webinar on I teach it monthly. It’s going to be available much more often, soon. It can get you going, or you can find other free resources, where you can learn about what is a T12? What’s a trailing 12-month? What’s a rent-roll? What’s a deal analyzer? How do I do rent comps? How do I figure out renovation?

There’s key things you need to figure out and you have to have those basics. Then once you’ve got those basics and then you start practicing, you can go to LoopNet and get the T12, basically the financial package, on some sample properties and start underwriting and maybe form a group with some other people that want to practice underwriting as well and say, “Hey, here’s a property, let’s all underwrite it together and see what we come up with. Let’s see what our results are.”

We have groups being formed like that all the time in our Multifamily University.

Liz:  Great suggestion, yeah.

Anna:  They co-underwrite properties together and then just organically, they just get together and say, “Hey, let’s figure out what we all got.”

Andresa:  That’s great. For the ladies that are listening to use, we had 137, last time that I checked, countries. There are people from all over and not necessarily going to invest in your own backyard.

Anna:  No.

Andresa:  Right? [Laughs] I was listening, I don’t know which podcast, and they were like, if your backyard does not make sense, don’t invest just because it’s your backyard. Go to the opposite, expand your mindset, and get the tools that you need so you can invest on out of state.

For the ladies that are looking to invest and out of state, what are their top three or top five items that they should be looking at besides the market analysis that you just mentioned before?

Anna:  Well, you can’t ignore population and jobs. That’s always got to be your number one. Even though I mentioned it before, it’s worth mentioning again. You say the top five, you cannot keep those out of the top five.

Then you want to look at rent growth in the area. Rent growth is really critical. What’s been the historic rent growth? What is the forecasted rent growth? That has a lot to do with the forecast of real estate in the area and again, the migration trends, who is coming in and that type of stuff.

We do look at the types of jobs in the area. We want an area that has more than one specific industry. We don’t want to be too heavy on one thing. If you’re looking at a pie of the different types of jobs or industries that are in that market, you want to see a lot of different slices. As the market changes, which it always does, it will change. You want to have a lot of diversification of types of jobs so that people can move into different industries or you don’t just lose all your tenants because that particular company shut down or is not doing well. That is extremely important.

We also like to look at the diversity or the ethnicity to make sure that there’s a large diversity within the ethnic groups that are represented. We’re filling apartment buildings, not just a single-family house. When you have an apartment building, you want all kinds of people to feel like they could live there. If you have an area that is primarily one thing or primarily the other, whatever that thing is, you have limited your tenant base. We like to see a lot of diversity.

Again, if you think of that pie, you want to see a lot of different slices in that pie of different things.

Liz:  Yeah, great suggestion. The other thing we want to explore with you that we always like to chat with the ladies, I feel like I could’ve asked you like 17 other questions around what you’re saying, but I’m trying to be mindful of your time and the ladies’ time, but we’ll have to have part two.

But before we go there, before you share where ladies can learn more about you, I know in chatting with you prior, we talked a lot about balance and family and you have six kids, ten grandkids, and I think there’s something to be said about us women, right? Because that’s what we’re all about, is supporting women in this business. Men want balance, but women want it in a different way.

I’m curious to hear from you, you’ve been through so many careers. You’ve started so many businesses and you have thriving businesses and you’re doing it right. How have you been able to just balance it all? I don’t want to say do it all because that might be overwhelming to some of us.

Anna:  Yes.

Liz:  But really balancing it all. Whatever those things are, and you’re teaching courses and building this syndication business, which sounds like super amazing. For you, how have you been able to kind of balance it all?

Anna:  Well, I’ve always been a big proponent of exercise. I think it’s a great stress reliever. I’ve been a runner for many, many years of my life. I’m actually switching now to spin, since my dog can’t run anymore. Big issues in my life, [laughs] that’s a huge transition for me. I find exercise is one of the main ways that I can—it’s also a time that I use, it’s kind of like my church, so that I have time—sometimes I don’t have time to meditate, even though it can only be a few minutes, it just seems like, ah, I don’t have time. But I get into a meditative state when I’m running or now I’m integrating more yoga. Obviously, there’s a meditative state there. Exercise has just always been very critical to me.

I think being a parent is part of balance because I always had to put my child first or my children first. It was always my emphasis to be the best mother I could and sometimes that meant that I had to stop, I had to put aside other things. I had to carve out different timeframes to be dedicated to the work that I was doing that wouldn’t interfere with me giving my whole self to my children.

Maybe it’s allocating different times. Now, at this point in my life, I feel like I don’t have as much balance, but all of my kids are out of the house and it’s all about working as hard as I can so that I can go visit my grandkids and my children. I don’t feel as bad now about working like a Tasmanian devil the way I do these days, because it’s just me and my husband and he understands what we’re doing together is producing a legacy for our children and our grandchildren.

There’s less balance in my life now, I’ll admit that.

Liz:  You’re raising a really good point and you’re really getting me thinking. I feel like all the ladies always get me thinking. Obviously, we want to impact all the women listening, but it always gets me thinking a lot about different things and what you’re saying is interesting in that sometimes we are going to be off balance, and that’s okay. But it’s that kind of awareness of like what are we doing, why are we doing it, is it meaningful to us, and kind of just knowing where you’re at with it, whatever it is. I think there’s a lot of value to that, versus trying to get it perfect, right? 25% here, 25% here, because the idea of balance can get very stressful, quite honestly.

Anna:  Yes.

Liz:  Especially if you’re doing it just to do it or feel like you have to do it. If you know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, I think that’s really important and really the key. I don’t know if that makes sense.

Anna:  I think also if you don’t feel good about the things that are the most important in your life, which for most people, it’s family and children, then you’re not going to feel good about anything else. To me, that’s always been my first barometer, is like how am I doing with my family and with my kids and then I can take it from there.

Liz:  The ladies listening, sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. Look back at the last few months of the year and look how you’re spending your time. That will tell you how you’re prioritizing. Whatever you’re spending your time doing, you will very clearly, like, wow, I’m spending this much time watching TV, yet I want this.

Well, we got to look at that. How are we spending our time and if you are not sure, just do a little diary for a week. How are you spending your time? Instead of maybe playing with your kid, are you on your computer? Not a bad thing. But it’s just to be mindful. It’s something you want to be conscious to. It’s all about, I feel, like consciously living.

That’s awesome. I feel like we definitely could talk to you for like another few hours.

Anna:  And definitely combining activities. I know like when I was a single parent and I wanted to get exercise and spend time with my kid, we spent—trying to balance those activities out, she would ride her bike and I would run. There’s ways that we can multitask and get the best of both worlds and set good examples. Because that also is setting a good example for your child.

Whatever that task is, that you’re able to multitask and take two things off your list for the day and set good examples for your children in their life, that’s an amazing win.

Liz:  Yeah, that’s a great suggestion. The ladies listening, there’s so much knowledge that you have and you’re just up to so many wonderful things, how can the ladies learn more about you and all the neat things you’re up to?

Anna:  Well,—that’s Multifamily and then the letter U dot com, is where I teach regularly. Besides teaching underwriting on a regular basis, we do a bootcamp quarterly, where I teach the underwriting for several hours of that.

Then I co-host lots of webinars on there. We have tons of content that comes up about lenders and CPAs and cost segregation and all kinds of stuff that I love about multifamily. We just had some people on there about how to use LinkedIn in your business, so lots of great content that we’re always producing.

The other thing we’re all about is opportunity zones, so there’s lots of information on that.

Liz:  That’s awesome. All this information you guys are going to find on our show notes and now we’re going to transition to our fabulous three questions.

The first one, Anna, is what’s the most transformational book you have ever read?

Anna:  That one is such a tough one for me because I read all the time and I’m just going to go for three that I’ve read recently.

Liz:  Okay, cool.

Anna:  For what I do in my life, The Best Ever Syndication Book, by Joe Fairless and Theo Hicks. Excellent book. If you’re interested in multifamily, it’s very, very well written. I live and breathe this trade and I can tell you it’s an excellent book.

I also am a big fan, on raising private capital. I think it’s extremely well put together. What I love about it, is it can help people that are just starting out in raising private capital and it dedicates so much of the content to that and being creative in lots of different situations. I think it was really, really helpful to me to get me thinking about lots of things.

Liz:  I’ll pay you later for that, 

Anna:  Then the last one I want to bring up because I think it’s a remarkable story about a woman and how she found balance and value in what she was doing in her life, is Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming. Is that the name?

Andresa:  Becoming, yes.

Anna:  Becoming. Amazing story of a woman’s life. Very, very well told and how she balanced being a mother and really striving to find value in her own life. She has such an interesting story, way before she became the first lady.

Andresa:  She’s just amazing.

Anna:  She is amazing. I think that also is a very transformative book and very helpful for women trying to find their footing and be as much as they can be. She’s a great example for us to look to.

Andresa:  Absolutely. The second question is:  What is the most powerful routine you do to create a financially free and balanced life?

Anna:  For my personal life, it’s exercise. For my financial life, just dedicating myself. You threw me a ringer. You said it different than on the phone. [Laughs]

Andresa:  No, no. It’s the same! What’s the most powerful routine you do to create a financially free and balanced life, whatever that is.

Anna:  Okay. I’ll say exercise. Running, yoga, I think it’s just critical, and for some people, it might be meditation.

Andresa:  But I love what you said about getting the meditation vibe while running.

Anna:  Yeah. It’s all about multitasking. I’m an amazing multitasker.

Andresa:  Great. The last one is:  Which woman, famous or not, has inspired you the most?

Anna:  Yeah, this one also is a tough one for me. I guess I need to go back to my family. My mom was a very strong person. She was a single parent of five children and she always encouraged me. I feel very fortunate to have been raised both by my mother and my father, even though they were divorced while I was very young, as somebody that could do anything I wanted to do and gave me the confidence to be an entrepreneur and not just go to a regular job and just really be an artist, if I wanted to be an artist, or scientist, if I wanted to be a scientist, and just to be the most I could be.

I go back to my mother, but I’m blown away by all women that are just bad ass out there, getting it done. I’m so impressed by how much we are able to do and to parent and be amazing partners in our families and it just blows me away, what women can do, and so much more that we can do in the future. I really am grateful for the show that you two have put together and the potential value that it’s going to have on women’s life and recognizing that they can do real estate and listening to each other and partnering with each other and helping each other. There needs to be more women, especially in commercial real estate. It’s an amazing field. The scalability works tremendously for wealth building and I want to see more women in the space and thank you both for helping women get there.

Andresa:  You’re quite welcome.

Liz:  Thank you. I appreciate that. That’s what we’re up to with this podcast and community and we’re kind of up to, so thank you for your support in saying that, but also, thanks for being on our show. I love how bad ass you are with underwriting and data and just in a field that’s so male dominated, so thank you for all that you’re doing in your work. We appreciate you being on and definitely have to have you back on very soon.

Anna:  Yeah, I’d love to come back and talk about opportunity zones, which are amazing and a whole nother world of amazingness.

Liz:  Great!

Andresa:  Thank you so much, Anna!

Anna:  Okay, thank you.

Andresa:  Bye.