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Doing Deals In High Heels with Nancy Wallace-Laabs
I am jacked up to have a friend as a guest who is doing some amazing stuff out there. Just absolutely rocking it. Literally killing it not only in her own real estate side, but she’s also got a book called Winning Deals In Heels. Nancy Wallace-Laabs is joining us from Dallas, Texas.
Scott, thank you so much and thanks for having me on your podcast. I’m super excited about my book. It was a good feeling to get the book out. It’s going to help a lot of people that want to get into real estate investing.
I love how the book is written. I love how you got some great stories in there. Some from very strong women in heels doing some great stuff out there. For those that don’t know because you’re at Note Nation. We’ve known each other for a couple of years from different real estate events. We got a chance to reconnect on the Financial Friends Network Cruise and then meeting at a meetup again. Take a second to share a little about what you and your husband are doing with your real estate investment stuff.
We started investing several years ago. We were originally from Phoenix, Arizona. When the market well went like that, we had been looking to move from our house that we lived in for eight years. We were amazed at what people were paying for houses there. It was insane. We quit our jobs, sold our house and moved to Texas. Texas hadn’t actually rebounded quite. That gave me the freedom to start investing and I always had a passion for real estate investing and wanting to get into it. I was very fortunate to meet a woman who mentored me and helped me buy rental properties and tell me everything. I got into property management. Fast forward, when you’re in real estate investing, there are so many avenues to go. You can do flips. You can do buy and holds and I fell into owner financing. I found a house for $10,000. I paid cash for it. I sold it three days later for $50,000. I got the terms work. I get $10,000 back, 20% down and I’m carrying the note for $40,000.
That made a true believer out of me on owner financing because you can still get that monthly check and you don’t have all the repairs. I’ve found myself so many opportunities if you go out, network and meet great people like you. It gives you ideas about, “I could take my business this way.” I’ve found myself I didn’t know everything about buying houses. Through the book, I started meeting different women that were doing different things and had a different story. One of the things we all had in common was, one, we had a passion for real estate. Two, we were pretty strong women in terms of we knew we were willing to take chances, calculated risks and we were consistent with what we did. That paid off and each of us has our own story of how we got started, but those are the three elements that we all had in common.
That’s definitely an underlying thread throughout each chapter. I honestly think we need more women out there sharing their stories and speaking up. I’m a guy, it’s a very male-dominated industry for the most part.
I wanted the book to highlight. There are a lot of successful women real estate investors, but I found as I went to a three-day conference, there might be one or two women speakers. It’s not that they’re not out there, it’s that they haven’t had an avenue to showcase their results or sometimes women are too busy taking care of the family and the kids. Maybe they’re holding down a job. Time becomes not an ally for them. Sometimes they lack the confidence and/or knowledge and there are plenty of women out there that will mentor you. You do not have to pay them tens of thousands of dollars. There’s a lot of information. I felt it was important to highlight women in real estate investing, that’s why I wrote the book.
Talk about your background. What were you doing before you got into real estate though?
I have a degree in social work. For a long time, I was a programs manager over Section 8 and this was like, “I don’t want to date myself.” This was before they had vouchers. I was instrumental in setting up in Johnson County, Kansas, the first Section 8 program. Back in the day, Johnson County, Kansas was the second richest nation in the country. The city council members and the population didn’t think they had needy people. I devised the waiting list and got very familiar. I got into housing way back when. Fast forward a few years, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona and I answered a blind ad in the newspaper and I got hired at United Blood Services, which at the time was the second largest blood bank in the country. I was a field rep. I went out to the companies and set up the blood drives.
Long story short, I inherited the call center. There are probably readers that don’t even know what a rotary phone is, but this is the day when they had computer printouts and they had a rotary phone and they would call people. I worked with another company and we computerized the call center and I merged. That led to different opportunities where I traveled all over the US, Canada and even did a stint in England where I worked with blood banks to consolidate their call centers to become more cost-effective. It’s less expensive to get a donor into a center than taking a mobile vehicle out to a company. That was my claim to fame. After 9/11, dating myself, my first published article is in transfusion medicine if you can believe that.
It has to do with a first-time donor study after 9/11. A lot of people came out and donated. If you’re a blood donor, you’re going to understand this. In our market in Phoenix and the market in San Francisco, we had over 3,000 first-time donors. A team of doctors contacts us and asks us if we would run a study for a year. We broke the people up into four categories and basically called them and marketed to them to see what made them come back a second time because a lot of blood wasn’t used after 9/11. If you’re a blood banker, you know what I’m talking about here. After that was done, that was actually published and I’m one of the authors of that article. I have a copy of the Transfusion Medicine magazine.
I wanted to highlight that a little bit because it’s a different background for people and that’s okay. That’s the good thing about real estate, note investing and owner financing. It doesn’t matter what your background is as long as you’re diving in and getting knowledgeable and as I like to say, pulling the trigger when it comes to doing good.
It’s funny because even though that’s blood banking, there are some similarities to calling distressed sellers because number one, we always used to say getting blood out of a turnip and getting a seller to take your offer. Similar skills to get them to do what you need them to do to get the quota, the deal or whatnot. Even though it’s nonprofit, they sought to make a dollar to stay open.
Let’s transition back a little bit into the book. You talked about wanted to highlight more women out there. It’s a great thing out there. Let’s talk about the book. Let’s talk about that you’ve gone through it, you’ve interviewed some great women throughout the chapters. What was probably the most surprising nugget that you took away from your interviews with these women?
The most surprising nugget is none of them had a real estate background. They all come from different kinds of fields. Some of them were college educated, some college wasn’t for them. Some had families early, some waited a bit. They all admitted to not knowing. They didn’t know what they were doing. They started in. What I learned the most was that it was real. Everybody made mistakes and they all said, “You learn from your mistakes.” They all said to find a mentor. The most surprising thing for me, even though I’ve been investing, I learned every single one of those gals in the book. I learned something from them that can help me in my business. We ended up having a group book signing where eleven of us were able to come and some of them don’t know each other. I didn’t know every single person in the book. I would talk to one person and they’d say, “Why don’t you talk to so and so.” I probably could have written a book that had 100 women in it. I’m thinking about doing book two. I learned that they all had a passion. They found mentors and they networked and they made it work. They would go down one road and it wasn’t working, but they didn’t stop. They didn’t quit.
That’s a good point that they find a way to make it work their own little angle on their focus. You need to set eyes to situations. A lot of us as real estate investors, male or female, we get used to being in a groove, in a rut of doing the things. It’s sometimes hard to see a deal with a fresh set of eyes.
When I first started the book, I was going to write it from the angle of the differences between men and women in real estate investing. You’ve been in the workplace. It’s the same whether it’s real estate or what they think or whatever. One thing that is underlying is that if women felt confident enough in what they knew, they were assured as far as what their skills were and they were open and honest about that, it didn’t matter if it was male or female. One of the things that happened with the book, I was like, “Don’t do that.” A good friend of mine is fairly new into real estate investing. She was doing her first flip. She called me up and she was in tears because she didn’t know how to manage. It’s about skills, people skills. You don’t have to have time management, organization. She was like, “I didn’t know what to do and I started crying in front of him.”
I’m old school. I was taught and brought up that women always have to be a little tougher. I was like, “That’s probably not the best way to handle that particular situation because if you’re a manager of a company, whether you’re male or female and you go in and people aren’t doing what you need them to do, you’re not going to start correctly.” I felt bad for her, but I was able to give her some tools. What she was lacking were process, checks and balances. She didn’t have the knowledge to put those things together. In real estate investing, there are a lot of skills. Everybody talks about, “I’d love to find the deal.” When you find the deal, you still have to manage it. Whether you’re going to wholesale it and you have to track your performance because you’ve got to know where your marketing dollars are going to. Sometimes we watch HGTV, which I love it, but it’s not real.
You’ll meet people and you’ll ask them, “Why did you get into this business?” “I love watching HGTV.” One of the things that kills the real estate broker, when they do all of those how we sold and how much money, they never tell you how much they paid that realtor because they always hire one. It’s so unreal. There’s a couple, I love the lady in the windy city. She’s pretty dramatic. When I go to a flip, I will not be dressed up to go to that house because it’s a mess. I might be slinging a hammer, but my hair’s going to be up. I’m going to have my grody jeans on and all of that.
You’re not going to be wearing your heels. You’re going to wear your tennis shoes or boots.
I do have. When I do the final walkthrough, I’ll wear my heels. We had our first meetup, which I know you’re going to talk about. One of the gals said, “I lacked focus.” You’ll meet real estate investors and they’re trying to get into flips. They’re trying to get into rentals and they’re trying to get into owner financing. The other nugget that I learned from the women and they learned this pretty early on is you’ve got to master one thing then move on to the next. Don’t try to do it all because you’ll fail. I always say to people, “You cannot be all things to all people.” You can’t do it. It’s unrealistic expectations. I’m a good project manager. I have other people that follow up with the sellers or do my data entry. I manage my process so that things get done and that’s how you can scale your business.
That’s a big handicap for a lot of people is they get sold of the idea, “Let’s add this strategy to our tool belt so if it pops up, we can jump into it.” They’re trying to sometimes squeeze blood out of rocks on deals versus being focused. Everybody struggles with that. I struggled with that. I’m going to be a wholesaler. I’m going to be a landlord. I’m going to raise some capital. I’m going to do subject to. I’m going to do owner financing. Everybody struggles with that and you said it best there. That’s a big nugget for everybody is find something that fits you, stick to it, master it before you add something else and take away your focus.
I still do it too. When I was writing the book, I took some time and I had to be careful because I was super excited about the book like I saw I can’t get rich from the book. I still have to make money over here. You do have to balance your time. I look at tasks I have to do on a day-to-day basis and I figure out how much is that going to cost if I have to do it? I have a funny story. My husband, he does help me. I told him, “We need to hire somebody to be our assistant in the office.” He goes, “No, I can help you with that.” Once you start getting busy, you have the paperwork and you have to handle the rehab budget. He’s like, “No, I can handle that.” I was like, “Great.” I took him up to the office and said, “I have these eight things that are all pretty much data entry.” He looked at it and he was like, “We need to hire somebody.”
At some point, you have to go, “Don’t say I can’t afford it.” Ask yourself, how can you afford it? That’s what I say all the time if I want to go on a vacation or I want to hire more staff, do more deals, spend more money on marketing. I always say not that I can’t afford it because if you say I can’t afford it, you’re not going to be able to scale and grow. You have to find a way to ask yourself, “How can you afford it?” Maybe you have a $300 gym membership or whatever it is. Each person has to make those choices because what you do and the choices you make are going to benefit your future down the road.
It does not only benefit but they can also unbenefit down the road too. I love that you said that how can I find something versus why I can’t do it. You get many I can’t versus I can out there.
That’s the other thing from the book that they all figured out a way to do what they wanted to do. Some of the gals had full-time jobs and they didn’t like their full-time jobs but they knew they couldn’t quit so they started doing this. Some of them talk about the money they spent on gurus and didn’t get anything. Sometimes you have to make those mistakes, but hopefully, you’re not making $25,000, $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 mistakes like that before you start going to podcasts. There’s so much information on the internet. You do have to take the time to learn things. You can’t just jump in and networking is always great. You can meet quality people that can help you. There are a lot of people out there that will help you.
That’s the truth. Your network is your net worth. You’re going to learn a lot from networking. You are going to learn a lot from YouTube videos, especially podcast. There’s such a wealth of information out there for great things. You’re going to learn more from pulling the trigger and doing your first deal, but you always want to make sure you’re educated first.
Don’t do that. Don’t go out and take a second mortgage on your homestead so that you can go buy a house. I’ll give everybody a little nugget that helped me. I found a way in the early days to go to conferences that had to do with real estate investing that were outside of the Dallas, Fort Worth area. You’ve got to get outside your area because most investors are close to the vest about their secrets and what’s working. If you go to another market and a conference, your eyes will be open. You’ll be able to bring that back for your business. I have found that’s one of the keys to new ideas. Not that you don’t get them when you’re networking, but you get so many more because you can ask somebody, “I have this issue.” They are completely open with whatever it was that they resolved their issue where sometimes you go ask that question and you might have to talk to four people before you get some answers you can put it all together. That’s my experience.
It’s also how people realize, “You’re not my next competitor.”
That’s what it is. If you’re going to be in this business, you do have to be driven. You do have to be competitive and that is the thing. You have to go to other markets.
In case sometimes if there are events taking place on the high seas, which you’re getting ready to jump on the Financial Friends Network Cruise. It’s going to Cuba and some other things. You’re going to be speaking on there as well. Walters’ got you speaking on a couple of things.
I’m very honored to be one of the guest speakers. It’s a great list of people. When he asked me, I was like, “Sure.” I’m going to be talking about using virtual assistants to do cold-calling. I’m excited about it. It’s interesting how life circles back because who would have guessed when I left the blood banking industry that I would be learning what I knew about call centers to apply it to my real estate business. We’ve been able to apply KPIs, Key Performance Indicators. I’m very familiar with calling times. Any of you out there that have people that are cold-calling, this is no lie what would work. We used to have mirrors sitting at the table where they were calling and we would always say, “Smile before you dial.” When you smile, your muscles in your face go up and makes your voice lighter. We would put little mirrors and remind the staff to look at yourself and make sure you’re smiling when you’re dialing. That’s a tip for everybody to use with their cold-callers.
I totally recommend it when people are dialing for banks and asset managers because if you call and you’re in a bad mood, it comes across.
Cold-calling is the worst. I do have to say, if you’re going to add that to your business, you need to do it first. Whether it’s for the banks, asset managers or sellers because it’s a brutal job. If you want to cut your teeth, go to Craigslist and call some fizbos. Remember to smile while you dial because of a lot of negativity, a lot of noes. You’ve got to realize the next call could be that $40,000 profit deal you’re looking for. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the princess.
The thing I usually say is, “You were one no closer to yes.” I still call banks from time to time. That’s how I cut my teeth on the first year was dialing, making 50 to 100 phone calls, calling banks, getting their nonperforming notes. You have to make it a game because you’ll get a lot of noes. If you’re in a negative mood and they’ll only make you dive deeper down. What I used to do is I would also say, “Each note was worth something.” If I knew that if I got a yes, it was probably going to be somewhere between $35,000 and $50,000 profit on that yes. Whether it was a list of assets or a deal that we’re flipping or something. That means every no was worth at least probably $500 to me and that’s what I would do. “I got another $500 closer to that $35,000 paycheck.”
You can’t give up. If you are going to add cold-calling of any kind, that doesn’t necessarily have to be virtual assistance, you need to do it yourself. Number one, you’re going to know what it feels like so you can be a better manager. Number two, you’re going to get an idea of the times you should call and you’re going to come up with some measurements. If you spend money to buy a list and you’re going to spend time and money on hiring and training people, that’s all a cost that you’re going to incur before you see a result. You have to have ways to measure it. You have to be able to follow up. We do follow-ups with our gals every day. I have a report, it tells me exactly.
Another little tip, if they’re not performing to where they need to be, I don’t automatically assume that they’re not doing their job. I look at the list that I gave them. Maybe it wasn’t very good. Maybe there was a computer malfunction. Usually, the two things are the list and maybe I didn’t match the right script to the right list. There is some list management. If someone calls me and asked me about all of this and I said, “You have to have a plan. What’s your plan? Who do you want to call? When do you want to call them?” which I can help them with. I said, “What are you going to do when the phone starts ringing? Who’s going to answer the calls? Are you seasoned enough to talk to these sellers? What kind of sellers are you talking to?” There’s a whole lot more than just, “I’m going to call some people.”
You’re using VAs to do this.
We are using virtual assistants.
Where are they located? Are they from the US or the Philippines?
They come from the Philippines. I hired them through Upwork, but we did a little vetting system. I love the book, Fire Yourself. If you don’t know the book, go get it because I’m all about firing myself. It’s about hiring acquisition managers. I took that same format and I used it to basically qualify my virtual assistants and also my assistants that I have that do my day-to-day. I have a couple of assistants that work in our office. I also use that same kind of process to weed out because number one, I’m a busy gal. I do not have time to do ten interviews to find one person. That book gives you some ideas about how you can screen qualified applicants so that you can get the one and you’re spending less time interviewing, but more likely getting a more qualified person.
That’s important. Time is money. That’s one of the hardest things is in the labor and the training.
I’ll tell you how I started with it. I said, “I know how to do this.” I have personally called and got on the Mojo Dialer and gotten deals. I personally know and from my blood banking days. Another little tip, when I am wanting to do this, I started asking, “Scott, how do you do this? Joe, how do you do this?” Everybody would give me this much info. What I ended up doing was interviewing 20, 25 people saying, “Can I buy you lunch? Can I get you a cup of coffee?” I’m networking. After I talked to all those people, I was like, “I put it all together.” I will say that we had some learning curves. We started in a different market that wouldn’t affect the Dallas market. I had a chance to market in the Atlanta market. It’s competitive here in Dallas, but we tested our virtual calling in Atlanta first and worked out all the bugs before I started doing it here in Dallas. We got through the holidays. We lost one VA because you do have to realize that in the call center business, you have to constantly monitor your folks and probably replace them because they don’t hang around. We saw their numbers go like this and when you call people around the holidays, you can use a little bit softer script. When it’s right after the first of the year and all property taxes are due, people were grouchy about that here in Texas.
It’s not difficult as it used to be. It’s easier. Out of the book because there’s a story that stands out the most to you. It’s not your favorite one. We don’t want to be impartial to the rest of the amazing female authors on there. Is there a story that overcame, probably the biggest hurdles to find the success that you can think about?
I’m going to give a shout out to Kristin Gerst. I met her at this random meet up that she was doing and she only did this one time and it was about owner financing. I went home. I did everything she said about how to find them and get them and all that. I got my first deal within three or four weeks at that meetup. That was my connection with Kristin. She knows a ton of people. She’s following your show and she’s helpful. She was the first person I called up. I was like, “I’m thinking about writing this book. What do you think?” She said, “I think it’s a great idea.” She was the first person that I interviewed and from her, I got Amy Sayre from August REI. I’m going to have to give a shout out to Belkis in Houston. She’s got two little kids. All the women there are amazing, but my special heart for Belkis is that she’s in the Houston market and I’m in the Dallas market. I was struggling a few years ago. She and her husband ended up mentoring me via phone calls. They gave me some focus. They gave me some nuggets that I could use in my business. It wasn’t like they were giving anything that everybody else doesn’t say because they were in Houston and I was in Dallas. I was like, “How do you do this?”
They were the ones that told me about the Fire Yourself book. I had a couple more follow up calls. Belkis and her husband had done an awesome job. They’ve paid off their house. They’re raising their children. They’re living the life that everybody wants to live in this industry. They’re wonderful people. They’re very sharing people. Her story is more real as far as she’s just a regular gal. She’s a mom. She’s a wife. She said, “Let’s do this,” because they haven’t been investing that long. They were so gracious. I appreciated that as someone that’s been in the industry, not that I knew everything. I knew some things, but how was this not working? I’ve been investing in real estate for many years and I wanted to go do flips. I’d never been in a competitive Dallas market with all these 100,000 investors. They helped me get focused. They gave me nuggets that helped me. She took the time to do that while she continued to grow her business. They’re an awesome couple.
It’s so powerful and impactful, the fact that sometimes when you’re dealing with an issue, pick up the phone and call somebody. Many times we get so bogged down, “I’m doing something wrong,” hateful self-talk that if we’d said that to other people, the cops would show up to ourselves. You have to realize that sometimes you’ve got to pick up the phone and talk to somebody, get an outside opinion or outside counsel is probably a better way to look at it. They can give you some great advice and tell you, “I went through this or try this,” and go that route.
Every woman in that book, they all have amazing stories. I will tell you that Jamie Wooley, I did not know her. She ended up being the last person that I interviewed and our good friends at Propelio, Ryan Harper. I was on a show there. We were friends on Facebook, but I had never met Jamie. I called her up, texted her. She responded right away said she would love to be in it. At the time, I knew that she was a big time, but I didn’t realize how big time she was. I was like, “Thank you so much.” I got a magazine where she’s on the cover of Think Realty Magazine talking about her business. She’s not been doing it for years and years. She’s been doing it for some time and she’s got an amazing story as well where she didn’t like the job that she was in. She’s blown it out of the water. We are at the book signing and got to meet in person for the first time. One of the things about the book is it was a good way to connect, not only with me with the other women, but some of the women in the book who didn’t know each other. Sandra Nesbitt, she has a great story too. She started in real estate. She’s from New York. She was like, “I wanted to find out about real estate.”
Her story is that she did pay to go to someplace or whatnot and didn’t help her. She’s built a great wholesaling business. She has rentals and all of that. Amy Sayre, she’ll tell you that she’s grown up in the business. Now that we have this relationship, it’s an awesome feeling when you go to different events and you see them. It’s like we have this special sisterhood connection. I feel very comfortable picking up the phone and calling any one of those gals. I know that they’re going to help. Sue Abrams is a good friend of mine. She’s low key, but she does a good wholesale business and has built her business up. You have to remember most of these women, probably about half of them, they’re doing it on their own. Kristin and Amy, they own companies and they have people. Most of the women in the book started out on their own and they’re still working on their own. They might have some help, but they’re doing it may be out of their home. We’re talking about women that could be CEOs, but they’re running their business the way it fits their lifestyle and it’s making them happy.
Some of them go to hustle around their life, their job and they’re making it happen. You mentioned about networking stuff. You were at an event with the InvestHER Meetup. Do you want to talk a little bit about that too?
I was fortunate to meet Matt Faircloth. He does private lending. I went to one of his seminars. After he heard about what I do, I help people with small dollar IRAs as well, fund alone and become private money lenders. His book was about private money lending, but he had never heard of that before. He said, “You need to meet my wife.” He introduced us and we had calls. She’s out of Philadelphia. She started the InvestHER community. There are 25 chapters. They did not have anybody to organize it here in Dallas. She asked me if I’ll do it. I said, “I’d love to do it.” We had our first inaugural meeting. No food, no booze, we were there to network. It is geared towards women but we did have two guys, which we were happy to have them. We told them, “This is from a woman’s perspective, but it’s more of a mastermind.” Everyone got a chance to talk to themselves. We identify ten areas of obstacles that can stop you from growing your business and what are those obstacles?
We broke up into small groups and each group set tackled one of those. We came back to the table and said, “This is what we came up with.” Everybody walks away with an action item. The group was challenged to say how they’re going to implement that into their business. One of the topics was how do you use social media to do your marketing? One of our cohosts, we have Haley Gant from Quest, Kristin Gerst and Kelsey Wallace who’s also my daughter are all organizers at the group. Kelsey has a social media background. She’s going to give a presentation about how to use Instagram to grow your business. We said, “How many of you even have Instagram?” and about half of the hands went up. Social media is powerful and it’s a great way to get your name out there. If you don’t know how to use it, which some of the people they don’t have Instagram. I personally myself got an Instagram account. I’m posting and hashtagging and it works.
It definitely does. It’s a great thing about having an InvestHER. You bring like-minded people together. You solve issues and that’s the beautiful thing about it.
They also have a Facebook group. Wednesdays are posting thing, but it is focused on overcoming obstacles to grow your business. That’s what we’re all about and it was good. One of the guys that came, he was one of the last people who spoke and he gave us the biggest compliment. He said it was the most honest group that he has ever been to. The stories were real. The problems were real. That was a good compliment to the group. We will be posting some testimonials from the people that came and I got a lot of good feedback. I don’t think there are many networking events at the meetups that follow that format. We know which ones are the ones that you go and you network. This one is all about problem-solving, about what can we do and what can you walk away with to help you grow your business?
Steph and I go with a couple where we’ll usually go to dinner or drinks. We walk away and the guys have a simple conversation and the girls know everything that’s going on, “They’re dealing with this. They’re dealing with that.” They’re like, “Why didn’t you ask him?” “I don’t know. It didn’t go that way.” It’s a different conversation because you have a lot of issues. I don’t mean anything but issues everybody’s commonly overcoming like how are you dealing with this? Women seem to share a lot more of that than guys do. A lot of us are, “I’m indestructible. I can deal with it.” It’s a very macho attitude and women are like, “Why are you doing that?”
One of the topics that came up was partners and how to vet them. Not how to find them because I think that’s pretty easy. A couple of gals shared real stories about, just because you and I like real estate investing necessarily mean we should be partners. We talked about ethics and you have to be able to talk to people about money. That’s what real estate investing is all about. Depending on how you feel about money, it might be uncomfortable if you’re in a 50/50 partnership. It was some good stories about vetting partners. Some people talked about, you should run a background check, but it depends on what you’re partnering about, but that was another good one. For us women, we like to have everything. We’re the control freaks, but we are taking care of family, the household and maybe holding down a job. How do you scale your business? You have to put processes in place in order to be able to let somebody step in your shoe. You also have to have the ability to let go. I know I suffered from that. It’s hard sometimes for me to let go, but you have to let go if you want to grow.
Real estate investors were all control freaks. Everybody is, men or women. In the note space especially, it’s male-dominated space for the most part. Women don’t realize that it’s easier for women to be cold-calling or calling asset managers. When a guy calls, a wall immediately goes up, “What are they going to sell us?” It’s a dramatical wall when a woman’s calling an asset manager. I like to make a joke. If we have 50 voice messages, who are we going to call first? We often called the ladies first to help with stuff like that. I’ve seen proof especially in those space of women who are dealing with things. They’re calling out, they have a better time. They have a better callback ratio. They have a better completion ratio. They have a better deal flow because it just works out that way, which is great. A lot of women are scared to take those steps because they’re scared of failure. Having a mastermind group or a meetup group that you can get together helps people take those initial first steps because they’ve got a support group.
It was important for me to have a wide range of folks. I’ve been in the work industry for a few years. There are Millennials out there that want to start too, my daughter being one of them. I felt it was important to be able to present. If we’re going to talk about community, we want everybody. If you’re new, you’re seasoned. There was a lady there, she’s getting ready to start. She’s in an older age bracket but she’s worked all her life. One of the reasons I wanted to write the book is to give people a sense of, it doesn’t matter if you’re retired, you raise your kids, you got divorced, you’re looking for a second income or you just watch too much HGTV. We all started somewhere. There’s a group of women out there that will help you and will point you. One thing I will say is you’ve got to be open to new ideas and trying things. Sometimes getting a little out of your comfort zone. One lady said, “I know I can speak well, but I’m not sure I could talk to a seller.” You probably need to get a partner so the partner can talk to the seller. You’ve got to know your strengths and weaknesses. If you can’t overcome them, get people on your team that can help you with that.
That’s a big thing out there. You’ve got to have a team. You can’t do it all. There are people out there willing to help out. It’s definitely important. How difficult was it for you to write the book? It’s gotten easier and easier to get a book published here. I know a lot of people think, “I got a book in me.” We’re in the process of writing a book where we’re using Zoom to record 20 to 30-minute interviews on stories, get it transcribed and thrown it to a writer to put all the chapters together.
Let me tell you, I thought, “I want to self-publish.” If I didn’t do anything else, I could self-publish. I did interviews. I transcribe them with an app. I download it into a Word document. About two pages in, I was like, “No, this is not for me.” I was going to have my assistant do it and no that wasn’t going to be for her. We ended up hiring somebody to transcribe it. I’m so glad I did. You can do it and you can spend time by knowing how to do it, but I did pay to have my book published. The guy that published the book, he asks me why. He didn’t want to take me on as a client once he knew why. He goes, “You know you’re not going to get rich.” I joked with him and I said, “If I’m not going to be on the Oprah Show from a book and the book club. No, I want to do it and it’s a childhood dream of mine to write a book.” I just never knew what I was going to be about. The other cool thing about this book is I chose to donate the proceeds to Hope’s Door, which is an organization here in Plano, Texas that helps the family heal from violence. I feel that the book, not only is it a good tool for people to start their real estate investing but when you buy the book, part of the proceeds goes to Hope’s Door, so you’re giving back. That was important to me is to give back, get the message out, highlight some of these successful women, and it was fun.
What’s the best way for people to get the book? It’s on Amazon, correct?
It’s on Amazon. They can also go to my website KBNHomes.com, or they can even google Winning Deals In Heels and they’ll take them right to it. Have everybody pick up a book. Let’s support all the women that are in the book. Why don’t you read it and you can see a perspective that you might not have noticed in other women?
I like it because it’s a great book. If you’ve got a spouse, maybe he’s not on board. Spouses with different viewpoints of that. It’s a great way to say, “See?”
Not only that, I wanted to make it accessible. I wanted to say, “We’re out here, we’re real people.” At the back of the chapter, you’ve got the social media, you’ve got the contact info for everybody. One of the gals, I’m going to give a shout out to Shenoah Grove because she’s one of the successful gals. She runs a big REIA here in Dallas. I reached out to her assistant because that’s how far up she is. She was so gracious with her time. We scheduled it and she has an amazing story too. She’s fourth generation real estate investor. Susan Tierney, I didn’t know her either. She is an owner finance person. She’s partnered with Scott Horne for years and years. I had not met her. She and I sat down. I call her a good friend. That’s the thing too. I became friends with these gals that I did not know. I took the risk to reach out and say, “Could you be in my book?” The reception I got for their participation was awesome. A big shout out to every single one of them.
I’ve known Shenoah. She was a title rep. She’s definitely been gone a long way. Hope’s Door is great. I love that you got a charity involved with. You’re giving back to the community helping out. That’s a needed thing there in Plano. What’s one thing that you would love for the readers of the book? When they’re thinking about this and they finished the book when they walk away, what’s that underlying message that you want them to walk away with?
No matter where you’re at in life that you can do this. If you have a passion, if you’re open to a little bit of risk and have confidence in yourself that if I can do it. If any of the gals are in it, then you can too. You have sisters out there, brothers that will support you, but you have to be able to reach out and make yourself available and let people know that you’re interested in it. The main message is that you can do this. You can do it. We did it. We’re just normal gals. None of us were born with a silver spoon in our mouth. Whatever we have is what we created. You can do the same for yourself. You can make the life that you want. You have to ask yourself, “How can you do this?” Buy the book so that you can start your journey.
You deal in high heels, your journey one step at a time. There are many great stories in there. People getting started for nothing and amazing women. I know most of them in the book. It’s great stories. I learned some interesting things about some of them I didn’t know beforehand, which is great. Everybody comes from a different background. Everybody’s got different obstacles they deal with and it’s all about not saying no. Maybe say not right now. We all have a dream and sometimes life gets in the way of dreams. We’ve got to set that dream down a little bit and then pick it back up and run with it. There’s nothing wrong with that. What I love about you, Nancy, you’re always smiling. You’ve always got energy. You’re always willing to lend a hand to anybody out there. I noticed that in the FFN Cruise. You’re always sitting there visiting with people, always learning, always taking notes. That’s the beauty about it.
A funny story, remember I went to the meeting with Kristin, that’s how I met her. Amy Sayre was also there and Amy told me, “You were sitting in the second row, third from the end.” The reason she remembers me is that I was taking notes and asking all kinds of questions. I want to be respectful to. If I’m in the company of yourself, Kristin, Jamie, Missi Wilson or whoever it is, I want to be respectful of what they know and my way of showing that is to be attentive and ask questions. Sometimes I’ve been dinged by haters that I asked too many questions. I was just born curious. I took a trip to California. I had never been to California and I went to Disneyland when I was a kid. We were up by Sacramento. In the car, there was a person driving and there was another person that has lived there. I was like, “What’s that?” She turned around and said, “If you ask one more question, I’m putting you out of the car.” I never stopped asking questions.
I’m a big believer that there are no dumb questions. The only dumb question is the one that doesn’t get asked. Don’t be afraid to ask especially if you’re in a crowd. If you’re thinking, I bet somebody else in the crowd is thinking of it as well.
For me, that’s how I learn. I can be a pretty direct person, but if I don’t know the answer, I’ll go find it. We have a great problem. When you start scaling, you grow it’s a great thing, but then that creates other problems. It’s always going back, revisiting your goals and your measurements, what are you spending your time on and how can you improve so that you can go to the next level? I love that we’re growing. I know when I meet people, that’s what I say. You have to have a plan. When you achieve the goals in that plan and you’re growing, you’ve got to have a new plan. You can’t stick with the same old plan. You’ve got to keep revisiting it.
We’ve got to keep evolving. It’s a webinar I did on how your end game changes constantly. For those who want to get ahold of you what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you?
They can email me at Nancy@KBNHomes.com. They can visit my website at KBNHomes.com or they can reach me at 430-9885 or even better, they can pick up a book and all my contacts are in the back of the book.
Nancy, thank you so much for being such an awesome guest out here. Winning Deals In Heels, you can pick up a copy. A portion is going to a great cause there in the Plano area. It has great stories. It’s a great gift to somebody who’s important in your life and you want to help give them some great inspirational stories to help them to overcome obstacles. Nancy, I look forward to your continued success.
Thank you so much, Scott. I appreciate it.
Go out, take some action and make your own winning story. Don’t be afraid. Pick up the phone. Reach out to somebody. There are always people around to help you out there. Whether they’re wearing boots or heels, they’ve got something positive to contribute to help you get to that end game a little bit faster for us and make that journey to the top faster. We’ll see you all at the top.
- Winning Deals In Heels
- Fire Yourself
- Mojo Dialer
- Facebook – The Real Estate InvestHER
- Hope’s Door
- Amazon – Winning Deals In Heels
- InvestHER – Meetup Group
About Nancy Wallace-Laabs
Nancy Wallace-Laabs is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Texas. She has more than 15 years of real estate investing experience, owns several rental properties, and manages properties in the North DFW area. Her new book, “Winning Deals in Heels,” hit Number One on Amazon’s Best Seller List for Real Estate Sales & Selling.
Nancy and her husband own KBN Homes, LLC, a real estate investment company that’s making neighborhoods great again, one home at a time. By actively seeking homes that are difficult to sell, and compassionately representing owners in distress, KBN Homes offers hope, relief, and options to sellers while also creating opportunities for investors.