In this week’s episode, Mark is joined by Tamar Hermes. a real estate investor and educator with 20 years experience, who built successful businesses in retail and entertainment, but now focuses her attention on her mission to bring more women into real estate investing

What are some limiting beliefs that have been holding you back?

 

What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:

  • Identify the limiting beliefs you have and take steps to change them.

  • Going slow is not the worst thing

  • If investing passively, be sure to vet your sponsor!

  • Cheaper isn’t always better.

  • Surround yourself with mentors, a great network, and trust yourself.

  • All aspects of your life require nurturing, not just the financial.

 

Ideas Worth Sharing:

“I wanted to stand for something, I wanted my life to mean more.” – Tamar Hermes

“My mission is guiding women to be financially free through real estate investing.” – Tamar Hermes

It’s important to nurture your whole being when you want to step into something like wealth building” – Tamar Hermes

Resources In Today’s Episode:

 

Enjoy the show? Use the Links Below to Subscribe:

 

Transcript

Mark: 

Today my guest is a real estate investor and educator with 20 years’ experience who built successful businesses in retail and entertainment, but now focuses her attention on her mission to bring more women into real estate investing. Her focus is on appreciation with buy and hold single family homes and duplexes in LA as well as passive multifamily investments, private lending, and Airbnb. I’d like to welcome Tamar Hermes.

Tamar:          

Thank you so much for having me, Mark.

Mark: 

Thanks for being on. Let’s just jump in. And you’ve been doing this for 20 years, I think we might’ve started in this around the same time, but how did your real estate journey begin? What got you into it?

Tamar:          

Well, what happened for me was I was working in the entertainment industry and it was long hours and a while I was making good money and I was managing to save some money. I realized that it wasn’t my calling or my purpose. And I knew I wanted to have kids. I knew I had other ambitions that were not going to really work well with those sorts of hours and demands. And so I was looking at what it was that was taking up all of my income or the bulk of it. And of course it was rent. And so I started to look at where I could buy a place. And luckily similar to your first place, I bought a duplex in Silver Lake. I was working at ABC at the time that was really close to this area, Silver Lake, which is really a hip area if anyone’s ever been to Los Angeles.

And so I ended up buying the duplex and that’s when it all started. We’ll say though that even though I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I feel like I moved in slow motion for a good part of it. And that has to do with the fact that I had a lot of fears and a lot of worry about losing my money in real estate based on experts that were telling me that real estate investing was risky. Of course I didn’t know you then Mark. And I think this is part of the mission I have right now to bring more women into real estate is because I feel like I’m not the only one that experienced that feeling.

Mark: 

Yes. You and I have the same story. I was in the entertainment business and didn’t know anything about real estate and was a bit terrified of it when I jumped in. But if you started in Silver Lake 20 years ago, that’s a phenomenal time to invest in Silver Lake.

Tamar:          

Definitely. And it was interesting. The choice that I made, and this is another thing that I think for anyone that’s listening that’s either just getting into real estate or starting out and is worried about losing money. I would say that if you plan to buy and hold in an appreciating market and you can manage the payments and all the expenses with the tenants paying for everything you’re going to have a good amount of equity in that property. Back then when I was nervous, I just held onto the property and I still actually have that property today. That’s one of the properties that I plan to leave to my kids and it’s worth well over a million dollars and I paid $390,000 for it.

Mark: 

That’s great. So similar to my story as well, I bought a duplex, bought it in 2000 and it was in Larchmont, a similarly up and coming area back then. And yes, just had a similar return. I’m hesitant to even say this, but I think investing for appreciation is a very legitimate way to go. A lot of advisors say don’t do that. But if you invest in prime markets in good areas, there are cycles and you understand the real estate cycles. If you get in at the appropriate phase of the real estate cycle, I think it’s a great way to go. I think you’re going to make more money than pure cash flow.

Tamar:          

Yes. It’s interesting because it goes to the whole notion of the stock market and people that make money in the stock market ultimately aren’t the day traders. When you hold onto an asset and you let it ride the course of time, it’s generally a very secure way to invest. But whereas if you’re moving assets around, if you’re selling properties all the time and you’re buying and selling, you may end up somewhere along the line buying something that actually doesn’t turn out to be as good of an investment as you calculate it and then you could end up in the negative.

Mark: 

Yes. I don’t entirely agree with any real estate advisors that would say, can’t go wrong because you see it, you see people lose money in real estate. But if you can hold it for the long term, you’re typically going to do well, especially if you can add value.

Tamar:          

Yes. Definitely. And the other thing is that in real estate, if you do the calculations right, if you buy at the right time and you buy in an appreciating market where there are lots of jobs, you’re generally going to have a good solid investment. However, look at what can happen in real estate. What we’re seeing now, I don’t know when this is airing, but with this whole global pandemic, a lot of people that did calculations based on even conservative calculations may end up losing their property. The thing is someone like for me, that bought a house, bought a duplex 20 years ago, there’s no way, no matter what the market does that I’m going to lose that property.

Mark: 

Right. I think prices are bound to adjust. They’re going to adjust and yes, it’ll be a dip and it’ll take some investors down. It always does at this phase of going into a recession.

Tamar:          

It just brings us to an exciting opportunity for a lot of people that are waiting for deals and hopefully we all have our eyes open.

Mark: 

Absolutely. Hey, so what year did you buy your Silver Lake property?

Tamar:          

I believe it was 1999.

Mark: 

I think I entered escrow in 1999. And you still have it?

Tamar:          

I still have it. Yes. And it’s interesting if we looked, if you and I looked at our portfolios right now, you can see how you’ve have made more based on your strategy. Whereas I did a more conservative strategy and still did very well, but not anywhere near if I had actually been more of an active investor within those 20 years. So I have always been investing but not as actively as I feel like I could have been. And I think part of that has to do with just that I have a lot of fears about it.

Mark: 

A lot of fears. And I, I don’t think that’s the worst way to go. I was very slow in those first seven years and I never would conceive of investing other people’s money. I was doing it with my own money. I wasn’t trying to go big and scale immediately, but I was learning every property I got. It’s a chance to incubate your investment approach and really hone in on what it is and, and then I don’t think it was the worst thing in the world to go slow out of the gates.

Tamar:          

Yes. Definitely. The main thing is to make sure that you get started. Like I said, for me now, I’m a lot more aggressive and in the market and I have been for the past several years and that’s what brought me really to how much I had hesitated over that time and how much I felt like I myself had held myself back. And how much I think when I look at there being only 25% of women in real estate investing, that there is a need for more female investors.

Mark: 

I agree. What do you think the reason is that the ratio is so low?

Tamar:          

I think it’s a combination of real and perceived barriers. Actually I would say most of them are perceived. It goes back to your mind and the messages that you’re telling yourself. But part of is just historically owning land was a man’s game. We couldn’t even vote let alone think about owning a property. Now women have made great strides in terms of equality, in terms of demanding our rights and still even today we see these horrific stories about how women are being shoved to the side-lines and being mistreated. And so I think that part of it is that we’re kind of taught to play safe and kind of the society has put us in a position where we have been told to sit on the side-lines.

I heard this story once when a little boy goes and says, mom, I’m going to go do a lemonade stand. The mom says, Oh, that’s great. Go out and have fun. That’s wow. So adventurous of you. Wonderful. And then the little girl says I’m going to do a lemonade stand. And the parents say, be careful. Don’t, don’t talk to strangers. There’s all these rules that women are taught like don’t be too loud, don’t be seen and don’t make too much noise ’cause it’s scary out there.

Mark: 

Don’t be too assertive as well.

Tamar:          

I feel like women also we haven’t had the wealth; we haven’t had either that experience of being the bread winners for that long. And I just think that real estate isn’t something, you don’t learn it in school. You don’t learn finances in school. And so for me, I don’t even know anything about real estate. I thought real estate was for people that were born wealthy. That’s what I thought. My parents didn’t own property. I didn’t know that I could be a person that could even own real estate.

Mark: 

Right. And historically women weren’t always the breadwinners. And then the second half of wealth creation is not only do you earn it, what do you do after you earn it? And you have to educate yourself in how to manage your finances and your investments. So there were two parts to overcoming that sort of thing. When did you decide to you make this your mission? I love how you got into real estate investing, you had success with that and you’ve turned that into a bigger purpose and a higher calling. I think it’s amazing.

Tamar:          

That really came to me, Mark as a journey that really was burning inside me my whole life. In terms of just a little bit about my background, which is my father was a Holocaust survivor and my mom was a pioneer in Israel. And so with the way that we grew up was really just about survival. Most people know the stories, especially of the Holocaust. My father was held as a work prisoner in Auschwitz, he had a lot of real trauma over that experience. And so for him just to breathe the air was enough. I was born in a different generation where I really felt like, well, what’s my purpose for being here? I was going through life and I just thought, well, you’re going to get married and have kids and have friends and go to dinner.

And that was kind of it. But I really in my soul felt like, no, I wanted to stand for something. I wanted it to be. I wanted my life to mean more than just kind of going through the conventional steps. And so it really went on this sole mission of what that would be and what that would look like. What really my life story had been what I had done to be able to connect the dots to see where I could be of purpose. And I realized that I had made money, I had invested in real estate and I was keeping it to myself. It was like, hey, it was working for me. I figured it out. Great. Bravo. But something, where I wasn’t helping other people, where I wasn’t in purpose, where I wasn’t standing for, hey, all the other women that I think could also be in a financially secure position. I felt drawn to stand up for what I believed and to really work diligently to help more women.

Mark: 

And that seems powerful. It gives you more drive, more motivation, more juice when you know you’re doing it, not just for yourself, you’re doing it for this greater purpose. How did that start?

Tamar:          

So the organization is called Wealth Warrior Woman. And my mission is guiding women to be financially free through real estate investing. And inside of that, I believe that women need to really understand about the world of finances and understand money and not be afraid of money. And the way that we view money, like it’s a finite thing. Like if we make a bad choice that will be destitute and on the street. And so that has really been the purpose and the mission. And then I created a course to teach women called the real deal formula where I either take women through one-on-one or in groups where I teach about all the aspects of finances and all the options available in those dating and how to do the numbers and how to do a strategy and also to be coached through it.

So women have support, they have someone to hold their hand through it and they have time to figure out what investment works for them. Because I think that’s the other thing. Like people think investing, oh, that’s flipping. Oh that’s buy and hold. They just think there’s one way to do it where there are so many. And that’s why even in the introduction you talked about I’m involved in Airbnb, I’m a lender, a hard money lender. I am involved in syndication projects. So there are a lot of different ways to be an investor.

Mark: 

Right now real estate is one of the most hype filled markets that have ever been. It seems like there’s so much hype around real estate. What would you advise a new investor to be aware of?

Tamar:          

Well, I think they need to look out first and foremost that it’s some kind of get rich quick option. Because the truth is that even if you’re doing a flip, which may take three to six months and you can make a good profit, there are a lot of variables inside of it and it goes back to if it sounds too good to be true it’s probably not a good idea. And so the thing to watch out for is to go back to the foundational principles of what it is to invest an asset and to really look at the numbers and to really listen. If somebody comes to you and says, Hey, I got this deal. Do you want to go in on it? You can make this much money. Find out who that person is. See if they’ve invested with other people, see what kind of history, see what kind of deals they’ve done. Don’t just trust one person. Don’t just think there’s one person and know that it’s going to take some effort on your part to be responsible for making those decisions.

Mark: 

Yes. That’s great. And I like pointing out that it’s going to take work. It’s going to require due diligence if you buy a property and even if you invest passively, you really need to do due diligence on whoever your sponsor is and make sure you vet them as well.

Tamar:          

Yes. Absolutely. There are a lot of people; especially right now we’re going to be seeing it more and more. A lot of multi-families been so popular, commercial properties, all of all of these investments on senior housing, storage units, we’ve seen a lot of people get a group together to raise funds and go into these deals. But some of those numbers may not make it through this time of COVID-19. And we’re going to see the way that these sponsors, the people that you gave money to, how did they calculate their numbers? How careful were they? Were they planning for something that for a time where there could be a lot of vacancy and those are the kinds of things that you really want to find out about a sponsor is how do they look at deals and how conservative are they? ‘Cause there were a lot of people that were getting into the game that didn’t have a lot of experience. I’m not saying don’t invest with people that are rookies but you just need to be super, super, super careful if you do.

Mark: 

Sure. And in today’s situation that we’re all in and we’re going to find out who stress tested their deals in advance because obviously the market is experiencing extreme stress at the moment. I like your point that you made about that even if you make mistakes and you stumble to keep moving forward. Is there any situation where you had a failure or disaster that you look back on now and you’re so grateful that you went through that experience because you’ve benefited in the long-term by going through that?

Tamar:

Yes. I can think of several, but one I can talk about is just over the years of this one buy and hold property. The original one that I purchased at one point I decided to change plumber. So I had had the same plumber for about 15 years. Old buildings notoriously have a lot of work that needs to be done. And especially when there’s beautiful trees, those trees are glorious and they also eat up all the pipes and will destroy all the pipes, which is one of the issues that I dealt with at this property. And so I remember I wanted to switch plumbers and I wanted to save money. I just felt like God, this guy’s been charging me so much. When he does the work, it’s fixed, but it just seems like it was thousands of dollars.

And so I ended up hiring another plumber and the sewage started having problems. And when people say they don’t want to fix toilets part of it is that you don’t want to get that call with your tenant telling you that they’re having a sewage issue at the property. And so this other guy kept coming over this plumber and he kept saying, oh, there’s nothing wrong. I staked it, everything should be fine. And then the tenants were getting more and more upset. And so finally I called back the original plumber and he cut a pipe that had a tree branch in it that basically was clogging up the entire pipe.

Mark: 

Oh no.

Tamar:          

Needless to say, it ended up costing me thousands of dollars, but in the end, the tenants have not called since and it’s been a couple of years.

So I guess the point is if you have the people and it costs a little more, sometimes the properties will cost some money and it’s best to pay it. It’s best to get a good person in and it’s the same thing with a rehab. You can get somebody where somebody gives you a great deal. I’ve had a couple stories like that where I try to save money and it always came down to me trying to cut corners and think that I could save money as a landlord and I didn’t really want to spend as much as I thought I needed to, but it just came back to bite me in the butt.

Mark: 

Right. Especially if you’re planning to own long-term, make that a long-term hold. I find that it’s best to go in and get those systems done sooner than later because then you just have a smooth running property instead of dealing with all the nickel and diming of making all these repairs, especially in the older buildings that we probably both look at in Los Angeles. In your investing journey, if you had to go back in time or you could go back in time and talk to yourself when you got started, what advice would you give? Would you have done anything differently?

Tamar:          

Yes, I would have done things differently. I would have, once I bought that first property and saw how it was working for me, I would have not stopped there. I would have immediately, it took me, like I said, I bought several properties over the years, but I think that I went in slow motion. I missed a lot of valuable opportunities. I would have explored it. I would have said, okay, what else is there? How can I make this work? What’s there for me? And I think part of it is that’s part of the reason why I’m an advocate for all this. If there was a woman like me that had been at the time when I bought that property saying, hey, pay attention. Like, look how good this is. Like what else can you do? What other options are there? It would have been really helpful.

So the one thing I would have done is I would have been trusting myself more. I would’ve definitely gone through times where investing in the stock market a lot more. And had these advisors where they were making really good money and I didn’t really see my returns as much and I just never feeling like I can do this. So I think I would have really sought out mentors, sought out support and educated myself to see what was possible for me. And I also would have wished that I would have let go of all my old baggage a lot earlier because I feel like I have suffered for a long time feeling like I didn’t deserve to have wealth. And I was really in a struggle mentality because I had grown up around surviving being the theme of life. You know, life was about survival period.

Mark: 

Get past the guilt that you might have. I think I had a little bit of that, nothing that compares, but I came out from Ohio and it’s just a different mentality, a different work ethic. Maybe it’s the Midwestern thing that you don’t ask too much of life. You just do your job and don’t try to go outside the box too much. So it sounds like you were able to overcome the guilt in these obstacles that you face to move forward and get into real estate and educate yourself on finances. What is one trait that you’d say has served you the best and serves other people as they try to go down this road?

Tamar:          

I think for me the things that really helped me are that I have a very open mind and I’m always wanting to learn. I’m interested, I engage, I figure out. If something interests me, I don’t just walk away from it. I lean into it and I think it’s really helped me because I’ve learned so much about mind-set and all of those tools that you need to actually get through the way that you’re thinking of yourself in a limited way and feeling like you don’t deserve certain things because you need to get to that place before you’re able to step into a role of leadership, having wealth and feeling like it is for you. It’s not just for certain people and that you’re less than or that you’re not capable of figuring it out.

Mark: 

Yes. That’s great. Clearly have like a growth oriented mind-set and I think that’s critical.

Tamar:          

And it definitely, and also, the other thing that helped me a lot too is really committing to who I want to be in the world and waking up every morning and I had a routine and I exercise and I meditate and I journal and I drink water and I do all the things I can to stay healthy and to keep my mind sharp. And I think those things are really important because I think a lot of times people try to just focus only on real estate or only on making money and they don’t think of the whole person. And as a result maybe their health isn’t good or their relationships and friendships and partnerships aren’t good. And so I think it’s important to really nurture your whole being when you want to step into something that is something like wealth building.

Mark: 

You have to do your personal work before you could expect anybody else to follow you.

Tamar:          

Absolutely.

Mark: 

When did you launch Wealth Warrior Woman and what are some of your goals with that?

Tamar:          

Well, I’ve re-branded it recently. In the middle of last year was when I re-branded. I was just Wealth Warrior, which is part of it is figuring out who you’re going to be, how you’re going to brand. All of those things are those messages take a bit of work and my goals are really to help thousands of women to learn how to invest and actually start investing and start seeing how they can have their money work for them because there’s just so much limitation that I want to see go away and are in the women’s psyche. So that is really the main objective of Wealth Warrior Woman. And then at the same time I’m pushing myself to constantly expand my portfolio and be involved in more real estate deals so that I can continue to walk my talk.

Mark: 

Absolutely. Well this is great. So glad that we got to sit down and do this. How can people get a hold of you?

Tamar:          

They can email me at hello@wealthwarriorwoman W-O-M-A-N.com. And they can also; actually that’s the best way. I think if you just email me then we can connect and see what you’re looking for, what kind of support you need, where you’re at. And I’m thrilled for any woman that wants to step up and get into the real estate investing world because it’s just amazing the opportunities that are available to us.

Mark: 

I love that. I love that you’ve taken this thing that you took the risk on 20 years ago and started down this road and a lot of people just continue doing real estate investing for their own benefit, but you’ve broadened yours into this bigger purpose this bigger why behind it all. And I think that’s amazing.

Tamar:          

Absolutely. I think there’s that old saying like at a certain point once you have enough to eat and you have a nice house and you can afford all your basic needs, it’s just like there’s this certain level where you need to fall into purpose to want to make some more money because otherwise it just feels very self-serving. And that’s part of the reason also I’m involved with various non-profits and in this work and sharing my knowledge with others.

Mark: 

Well, thank you so much Tamar. It was great having you on and I always like talking to you. I think you’re very smart and philosophical and have almost a spiritual framework behind your mission.

Tamar:          

Thanks so much Mark.

Mark: 

My great thanks to Tamar. She’s got an interesting story and she’s on a mission. Here are some key takeaways. Identify limiting beliefs you have that are holding you back about what you’re capable of, what you deserve, and take steps to change them. There’s an old Henry Ford quote that goes, “whether you believe you can’t or believe you can, you’re right.” You’ve got to empower yourself by choosing your beliefs carefully. Beliefs create thoughts, thoughts create actions, actions create habits and habits create your destiny. Look at me, I’m Mr inspirational today, but these things are true.

Number two, going slow is not the worst thing in our social media driven world. There’s competition and a ton of pressure to compete with everybody and scale as fast as you can, and I know it’s a little convenient for me to be giving this advice now where we are, but it’s okay to move slowly. You get to refine your investment strategy and there will be a lot of investors who have regrets scaling quickly over the next six months as the market changes, and some unfortunately will lose their properties.

Number three, if you’re a passive investor vet your sponsor very closely, I know we’ve said this in previous episodes as well, but you’ve got to look at their experience, their track record, go over the deals that they’ve done in the past and look at how they’re underwriting the deal that you’re investing in and make sure they’re being conservative. It’s essential that you do all of this work upfront so that you can invest with confidence. You have to do your homework.

Number four, cheaper isn’t always better, especially when it comes to your team and your handymen and tradesmen that you’ll be working with. Price isn’t the only factor. Dependability, reliability, those are key. Cutting corners can have a nasty way of coming back to haunt you.

Number five, surround yourself with mentors, a great network and trust yourself to take the next step.

And finally, number six, real estate isn’t the only part of your life you need to nurture, not just your financial life, but your health, your relationships, your spiritual life. When you have balance, every individual aspect of it is better because of it.

Anyway, that’s about all. Thanks again to Tamar. It was a great episode and we’ll catch up with you later.

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