By Ruth Bayang
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
When my good friend Thach Nguyen asked if I would speak on a panel of real estate experts, I was floored and humbled. How could I say no?
This was Thach Nguyen of Thach Real Estate Group and co-founder of Spring Board to Wealth — a high-energy, highly successful real estate agent, investor, and developer — a big player in the Seattle real estate arena with a massive social media following. More importantly for me, Nguyen is also a mindset teacher.
I found out several days later that it would be a panel made up entirely of women! Even better! I have been a real estate investor for four years and in all the seminars and workshops I’ve attended, the people speaking have been mostly middle-aged white men. If there were women, they were likely to be white as well.
“Given that real estate investing and developing is dominated primarily by white men, it was fun to shine a light on just some of the talented, driven women who are achieving great success through focus, resilient mindset, and high standards,” said Stephanie Owens, co-founder of Spring Board to Wealth.
So on Nov. 3, I, along with four other women, spoke to an audience of 250 people at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle’s Southport.
For Camie Ng, investor, developer, and co-founder of Thach Real Estate Group, and Nguyen’s wife, it was the first time ever speaking in public. She shared that a mistake most new investors make is getting too emotionally attached. “I don’t get attached to deals,” Ng said. “I can take it or leave it. There will always be more.”
Robyn Kimura Hsu, a top producing realtor, and Carlene Pride, a broker development specialist, shared the importance of top-notch service. They don’t just list a property for clients. They will consult with a client on designing layouts, picking out finishes, etc. so that when a property hits the market, it is an excellent product that they can move.
Like me, Sheila Mariani, a house flipper from California, was a single mom in her 40s when she started investing. To date, she has flipped over 200 houses and she sets high expectations for her crews. “We can do a full rehab — a down to the studs gut and remodel — in two and a half weeks,” Mariani said.
An interesting and amusing (to me) note, when a photo of this panel was posted on Facebook, one man commented that we were a bunch of angry women because in that one shot, no one was smiling. Because if it was a panel of men, they would be expected to smile, too (sarcasm).
Make money while you sleep
The three-day Spring Board to Wealth seminar, “Master the New Psychology of Wealth,” aimed to educate participants on acquiring real estate in creative ways and building passive income. Nguyen said it was not uncommon for real estate brokers to be in the business for 10 years or more, and not own a single investment property.
Quoting Warren Buffett, Nguyen said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
“How many of you want to sit at open houses or drive buyers around town 10, 20 years from now?” Nguyen asked the room. The question was met with nervous laughter and shaking heads.
Nguyen shared a seven-step process on building wealth through passive income. While geared specifically for real estate agents, it is a process anybody in any industry or career can take on.
Why real estate?
Yes, there will always be ebb and flow. But historically and over decades, real estate always goes up. Property will never be cheaper than it is today. How often have you heard, “I wish I had bought 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago.” Or “I wish I had bought more.”
Despite the region’s sky-high prices, real estate deals still exist. It just takes a little more time and creativity to find the right one.
I wish I had started investing in my 20s. I didn’t know any better then. The only way I knew how to generate an income was to get a job. I have been advising my own children, 18 and 25, that they can pursue whatever career they want. And they must also invest in real estate on the side because it is a simple way to build wealth and secure your financial future.
Henry Ford said it best. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” If you think it’s impossible to find a good deal in the Seattle area, you’re right. However, I know plenty of people, myself included, who are finding good deals every day.
For more information, head to facebook.com/groups/springboardtowealth.
Ruth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.