Elisa Zhang controls a $100M multifamily portfolio in Texas, Arizona, and Washignton. She’s a former product manager in the tech world, and after quitting her day job to invest in real estate full-time, she is passionate about teaching others to do the same. She now focuses her time and expertise on helping typical nine-to-fivers to quit their job in 10 years or less.

Today, Elisa and Mark discuss the power of a side hustle, how to add value from a distance, and building momentum in top markets.

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • Elisa is a fan of the side hustle approach to real estate investing. Her tech income funder her first deals and helped build her portfolio. She advocates multiple streams of income, it’s easier to build momentum, it gives you options and the added financial security that multiple income streams offer.

  • Starting out, Elisa focused on equity buildup. Her strategy involved value-add properties and 15 year loans. The value-add work forced appreciation, while the 15 year loan accelerated the paydown of her debt. This combination, though it doesn’t create high cash flow, it creates rapid equity growth, and after a few years Elisa would refi or 1031 exchange to scale up into larger assets. This practice, done consistently even as a side hustle, allows her to build the portfolio momentum. She describes it as creating multiple “piggy-banks” with equity she could tap every few years.

  • On her first syndication, Elisa made the terms very favorable for her investors. You could argue that she sold herself short, but Elisa saw it as a learning experience. She was humble and willing to play the long game, and it paid off. Those investors saw great returns, and have stuck with her ever since. She prioritized building her experience over building her wealth, and ended up building both. She also built something else, a reputation as someone who is committed to putting her investors first.

Key Phrase:

“Try to fail fast and early. You want to make a mistake on your dinky little single family, so you’re not tipping the Titanic. You don’t want to get into 100 units or more and make these mistakes.” – Elisa Zhang

Resources In Today’s Episode:

Books Mentioned In Today’s Podcast

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