Interview With a Successful Female Flipper: How I’ve Built a Thriving Business

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It is not every week that you can say “history was made.” However, earlier this week the Arizona Cardinals announced that they hired Jen Welter as an assistant coaching intern for their training camp and the preseason. Her job will be to work with inside linebackers.

She is believed to be the first female coach of any kind in the NFL. Her story is incredibly inspiring, and her credentials are stellar:

  • Won two gold medals
  • The first female coach in men’s professional football league
  • Played professional football for more than 14 years as a linebacker, helping bring her team to 4 championships
  • Oh, and in her spare time, she earned her PhD in psychology

While this groundbreaking news certainly was exciting for me (and tons of others) to hear, I did read some disturbing comments online:

“You can’t allow females to coach NFL players, men can’t stay focused when females are around.”

“Women don’t belong as coaches in the NFL.”

I read these comments, scratched my head and said to myself, “Really???” Unfortunately, women time and time again have to deal with these limiting opinions in male-dominated industries.

Whether you are a seasoned vet or new to real estate investing, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to notice that real estate investing is another male-dominated industry. It can be a bit overwhelming and frustrating at times for women to navigate the real estate investing culture. Therefore, I thought it would be great to interview a successful woman flipper! Andresa a colleague, friend and active BP member!

In 2012, Andresa and her husband (Roberto) founded Corsa Home Solutions. They have a thriving fix and flip business that is primarily focused on the Philadelphia market. In three short years, they have done 15 deals. Their results speak for themselves. Most of their fix and flips only stay on the market for a few days. They even sold one of their properties in only two hours, and a couple others were pre-sold before completion and never made it to the market!

Over the course of chatting together, many of our discussions end up focusing on women and investing. So, here is our interview. I hope you enjoy and learn something from Andresa!

What inspired you to begin investing in real estate?

I was born and raised in Brazil. My good grades and high education did not guarantee a job so I decided to come to the US, leaving my entire family behind to complete a Masters in Business Administration. While working as a trainee in sales, my manager introduced me to a book that changed the course of my life: Rich Dad Poor Dad.

I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My mom and my sister have their own businesses in Brazil; they control their own time and are in control of their compensation. I knew I did not fit the traditional “9 to 5” job, but I was not sure which industry I was passionate about.

Related: I Dropped Everything to Invest in Real Estate With My Significant Other: Here’s My Story

After reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book, I felt inspired to learn more about real estate and financial freedom. I started feeling a burning inside myself that was not allowing me to continue the current path I was on anymore. My mind did not give me another choice, I had to make a decision and take a leap of faith. Since the beginning, my husband Roberto was by my side and supported my decision of quitting my job and focusing on building our real estate business from the ground up. We did not regret that decision, and now we are working on my husband’s transition from working in banking to joining me in growing our business.


What is your real estate investing focus? Why?

We are currently rehabbing properties as fix and flips in Philadelphia. We focus on very specific neighborhoods that are in transition and have very low days on the market, meaning that properties usually sell in less than 30 days. We have established a property analysis system with very specific criteria. This method helps make the evaluation process easier and faster, which can make the difference between getting the property or not.

Moving forward, we are looking to get involved with new construction as well. Our main goal is to hold apartment complexes and put together SEC deals. At this moment, the Philadelphia market does not meet our criteria for buy and hold types of deals, so we are looking to invest out of state.

What do you think are the biggest challenges women face in this business?

I think there are several stereotypes that might affect the presence of more women in real estate investing. Being emotional is one of the biggest ones in my opinion. Above all, if the human being is emotional, he or she is in the wrong industry. Real estate is all about numbers; if the numbers do not support the investment, you need to move forward to the next deal… period.

Most of the women I have meet who work in real estate investing have very similar characteristics. They are confident, independent, daring and have a strong personality. They are the type of woman that, when the feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says, “Oh, crap, she’s up!” But the problem is that these type of women are rare.

One of the challenges women face is the lack of confidence they have in themselves. If they do not believe in their potential and ability to execute everything, other team members will not have confidence either. In my opinion, women should support each other much more through peer to peer meetings where they can share their struggles as professionals who are also moms who have to run households on a daily basis.

If you fix and flip properties, you have to deal with a lot of contractors. Generally speaking, most tend to be male. Have you ever felt “not taken seriously” because you are a woman?

Yes, sometimes there are presumptions that happen when I first meet a general contractor. For example, when it comes to providing me with an estimate for something in my rehab. Once a general contractor had the nerve to say to me: “So after you talk to your husband about the estimate, ask him to give me a call so we can finalize the contract.”

I laughed at his statement and made sure he understood that if we were to do business together now or in the future, I was in charge and what comes out of my mouth – goes!

My overall goal is to make the rehab process as smooth as possible. Our scope of work is detailed and all finishes are pre-selected, which helps decrease miscommunication and wasting time. Overall, I am goal oriented and I make this very clear at the beginning.

When I am talking to a banker or lender, I am the one interviewing them, not the opposite. I want to know from them why I should give them my business and refer them to my other peers. This confidence has opened many doors and has been an essential component to growing our business.

How would you coach a woman to overcome stereotypes in construction?

I would recommend the following ways to overcome stereotypes:

  1. Learn constantly.

Becoming a better professional is one of my main goals. I am always looking to improve my construction knowledge by being a “sponge” when talking to specialized contractors or taking management classes in order to improve my process.

  1. Have systems in place.

Run a business like a business, not a hobby. Having systems in place will ensure the rehab process occurs as smooth as possible. If there are no systems, it is a hobby (not a business) and people will not take you seriously.

  1. Be confident.

Confidence comes first from self-esteem. Understanding who you are, what you are passionate about and what your goals are will help you feel happier and be confident about what you are doing in a daily basis.

  1. Make decisions.

Get used to calling the shots and being comfortable with it. You will either make a good decision or you will make a mistake and learn from it. Making daily decisions is inevitable.

  1. Get out of your comfort zone.

If you do not feel uncomfortable, you are not improving your business or moving forward, and you are stagnated. Be comfortable with changes. Making mistakes will bring you experience, and experience will lead to better decisions and higher profits.

  1. Apply what you learn.

Investing in improving your knowledge is a great strategy; however, it does not matter if you go to gurus’ classes and several workshops to learn new strategies if you do not apply them.

“I am still learning and once I am done I will buy my first house.”

This is a common sentence I usually hear. You will never know everything that happens during a rehab project. Remember that each one will have its own challenges. Once you learn something, apply it immediately, have confidence and put it in practice. Otherwise, you will give yourself many excuses why you should not buy a property, etc.

If you had to pick one business woman role model, who it would be? What inspires you about them?

Kim Kiyosaki. Kim is Robert Kiyosaki’s (author of Rich Dad Poor Dad) wife. Kim is the author of the bestseller It’s Rising Time! I met Kim in 2012 and was surprised with her direct approach. She is a very genuine, sweet woman, who is strong and down to earth. Throughout her book, she empowers women to know more about money by saying: “The smarter you get with your money, the more comfortable you will be in venturing into other asset classes.”

Related: BP Radio Podcast 002: Starting Out with Karen Rittenhouse – Subject To, Direct Mail, and Investing from a Woman’s Perspective

She started from nothing and built an empire (regardless of her husband’s successes). The fact that they are a power couple inspires us as well!


If there was one “secret” to share to all women real estate investors, what would it be?

There’s no secret formula or recipe. I do believe if you decide to work in real estate, commit to do the work. It is not an easy industry, and it requires a thick skin and the will to do what others are not willing to do.

I remember a very important instance earlier in our investing career that changed the course of our business. At the beginning, after looking at more than hundreds of houses, we have found one that just came on the market. The property fit all our criteria so I called our real estate agent asking him if he could show the property to us. He said, “Andresa, this is a holiday weekend and I am going to the shore.”

I then said: “I understand; however, I will see this house with or without you. What time will I see you there?”

The real estate agent showed it to us, we put an offer that day and it was accepted. A week later, the buyer wanted to back out of the deal because she had received a cash offer, $10k higher than ours. Too late, the contract could not be broken. That’s how we got our first property.

My advice would be, know what you want and do not back down. Things will not fall on your lap so make it happen.

Thank you to Andresa for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us today!

All those women investors out there: How do you move through the typical stereotypes and break past them?

Let’s talk in the comments section!

About Author

Elizabeth Faircloth

Liz Faircloth has been managing and investing in real estate since 2004, along with her husband, Matt. We have built our business from scratch and now own over five million dollars in residential and commercial assets. We love to help and educate investors. Our YouTube Channel, The Landlord’s Chronicles, offers short, yet educational videos that covers topics such as flipping houses, rentals, rehabs, property management, and lessons learned along the way.


  1. So awesome to hear this perspective. I only have 3 units now but am itching to sell the rentals for flip opportunities. I’ve rehabbed all three units myself and have learned when to outsource bigger jobs. Thank you for showing that women CAN do this and that it’s not all a guy’s market.

  2. Marzella Zielke

    LOVE this article! There have been several times I have been asked by contractors about speaking with my husband first before I made a decision, it’s made me so mad! I think knowledge is key, I have a brother in law who is a contractor in another city, and I just listen and absorb any knowledge he has and advice he has to give. I feel so much more confident when I know what I am talking about. Like Sandy, I have some rentals with a good amount of equity that I would like to sell for flip opportunities. At some point I need to stop reading some books and take some action. Knowledge is only power once its put to use.

    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      Thanks for sharing Marzella! You are absolutely correct about how powerful knowledge is. And I can’t agree more – knowledge is only powerful when you take action. Not just “action” but lots of massive action. I have been in the game of real estate investing for many years, but never have actually led a rehab project myself. I am in the process of closing on my first flip project where I am leading the project. I am very excited and of course nervous. However, I am not letting fear of the unknown stop me. Set some big goals, take a ton of action, don’t give up and don’t allow fear to stop you. 🙂

    • Andresa Guidelli

      Agree 100%, knowledge does give us confidence but I guarantee that you will learn something new in every single project. I embrace the mistakes… sometimes I learn much more by putting myself out of my comfort zone. One way to gain the knowledge and grow at the same time is to partner up with people that have more experience.
      We are looking to do new construction (5-8 units), so our plan is to do business with those who have done this type of job so we can learn from them.
      You can always take massive action and keep up with the reading…. but without the action… books will not be enough as you said.
      Have a weekly “action plan” with steps you learned from the books.
      Good luck!

  3. kara haney

    From some of the comments I read – I would say that women cooperate with the stereotyping. If women start to look at business jobs etc as gender neutral, it will matter less what the sex ist – basically, discrimination is promoted to help the other side get more with less work – that is, allow the unlevel playing field to continue – I would think as Andresa demonstrates – concentrate on your objective rather than a stereotype. However, when dealing with others, you need to remember how this backward perception remains – women who are assertive in the same way men are in a business meeting are often perceived as unpleasantly aggressive, and women sometimes get things just on the basis of being the “weaker sex” – each stereotype has further consequences – so be aware of them and how you use them.

    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      Kara – thanks for comments and well said! I tend to expect the best from people and situations. However, I have also encountered over the years some of these stereotypes in business. The key is to not focus on them, but certainly deal with them and move through them as they arise. I appreciate your insight and commenting! Good luck to you!

    • Andresa Guidelli


      Thanks for your comment. I agree. When I walk trough a rehab and talk to my general contractor I am not thinking about our gender. I focus on getting things done… period. However, sometimes the discrimination is very clear and I have to “lean in” , stand up for myself and surround myself with teammates who see my strengths as an investor..not my gender.
      Best of luck!

  4. Waverly Rennie

    Thanks for this article. I definitely agree with a lot of what you all have said and then also need to be reminded of some of this issues. My husband is super supportive and has a nice saying about making decisions, which I have a hard time with sometimes because i am afraid of making a mistake. He says “If you are right 51% of the time, you are doing ok.” He really helped me feel confident to just get out there and start learning by doing since it’s true, I have learned 1000 times more by getting started than by spending 9 months reading about it all. Hopefully I won’t lose too much money while getting educated! It’s a really fun ride.

    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      Waverly – thanks for your comment! We all need to be reminded of these things. Just remember whatever happens with your deals (you lose money, make money, etc) just learn and grow from every experience. As long as you are taking action and learning and expanding yourself, you will be in good shape! Good luck to you!

    • Andresa Guidelli

      I completely understand how you feel. As I mentioned in another post, I do embrace mistakes because they are necessary for my development. They give me the experience and knowledge I need to avoid making bigger mistakes in the future.
      When something “wrong” happens I try to take positive action. For example, I have a very detailed scope of work and (believe me) I have been improving and adding new things to each all the time. Same thing with my contracts. They get better with time, so do not worry about making mistakes… worry about not making decisions and getting stuck.
      Be strong!!!

  5. Karen Margrave

    First off, congrats on your business. One thing I have learned over the years, is that women are much harder on other women than men are on women, or men are with other men. I’m not sure why that is.

    Also, if you note, whenever this subject comes up, women usually refer to contractors as men, because that’s the typical gender that is going to be a contractor. My point is, we shouldn’t hold men to a higher acceptance standard than we hold ourselves to. When men assume that there’s a man that is the contractor on a job, it’s understandable, because most of the time we make those same assumptions, and usually it is right. However; perceptions are changing.

    Everyday I see women on construction jobs, driving trucks, out in the street directing traffic and many other jobs. Women in construction etc. is really no longer the novelty it once was. Most of those molds were broken beginning in the 70’s and there’s nothng that holds women back now.

    I do agree that a woman as an NFL coach is ground breaking, but I don’t think in reality there will be any backlash to her being out there, as long as she does a good job. One only has to look at Rhonda Rousey to see how far women have come!

    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      Hi Karen,
      Thanks for your comment! I have seen this from time to time – women being tough on other women. I agree that this makes no sense. Women need to support and uplift one another not tear each other down. And yes, perceptions are changing. I saw a sign marketing a woman GC the other day which made me smile!
      Thanks for commenting!

    • Andresa Guidelli

      Love your comments! I also agree that we are harder on one another…not sure why does it happen.
      I just finished a Construction Management course where I was the only woman in class. I want to gain as much knowledge as possible in order to talk equally. Sometimes this is not possible… just because the contractor are “behind”. They know their trade but are horrible business owners and do not know how to manage a job efficiently.

  6. Sarah Shockley

    I love this article! It’s so timely and encouraging to hear from other women in the business.

    I completely agree that I/we/women also need to make a concious effort to not make sexist assumptions – ie reffering to contractors/yard service people/real estate investors as being male by default, when that is CLEARLY not always the case. How can I hold other people to standards I don’t meet myself?

    Honestly dealing with the constant sexism has really worn me down in the past few years. It’s really been eye-opening to have these experinces over and over again.

    One time a guy delivering the appliances said, “What’s a nice young girl like you doing in this business?”
    “MAKING MONEY,” I said.

  7. Sarah Shockley

    Oh and to answer your question: How to break through stereotypes?
    By being EXCELLENT and successful and BRINGING OUR ‘A’ GAME and using sports analogies. lol.

    Also by being the change we wish to see in the world – seeking out and rewarding quality and excellence -without making assumptions based on gender/age/skin color/etc.

    Also by seeking out our (female) peers – to encourage and build eachother up, and learn from, and teach to do better.

    • Gloria Almendares

      Hi Sarah:

      I agree with you 100%. Being a broker and realtor, I have helped 70% more women investors than male investors. I have found that women are eager to learn and take more risks than their male counterparts. Men are more cautious and analytical (both very good qualities) but women are usually more intuitive, perceptive and trusting, which gives you an edge when negotiating a deal, or dealing with general contractors/engineers, etc.

      I wish I knew about BP years ago, because I have been a real estate investor for over 30 years, and many times I had no one to go to for advice or guidance (I solely relied on my inner voice). What an awesome site! I credit my inspiration for investing in real estate to the book: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, and to my father, who is an architect.

      My goal is to “empower women”, and help them be self-sufficient, and financially independent, via real estate (rentals, flipping, buy and hold, etc).

  8. Ruth Bayang

    My first real estate mentor was a woman. I never saw the industry as a male dominated society. While I’m still learning (and always will be), those who do business with me know I’m a no-nonsense person. My partner sometimes calls me the “alpha female” 🙂

      • Ruth Bayang

        Washington state (Seattle area)
        Andresa, I’m writing a book and I want to feature women exclusively who are successfully doing the biz as investors. Bigger plus for women of color.
        Are you willing to be featured? Or know someone who is?
        Some of the questions I’ll ask:
        What made you jump in and DO, while most people talk, wish and never DO?
        Tell me about your biggest success and failure.
        About me: I do fix/flips and buy/holds. I’ve been investing for about 3 years after leaving a 20+ year career in broadcasting where I won two Emmy awards.
        Please PM me with your contact info.
        I plan to get this PUBLISHED by this summer (the goal is July 2017).

  9. Tomeka Durr-Wiley

    This was a great article! I am new to the world of real estate investing and this information was very timely and encouraging. I totally agree with women supporting one another in sharing their struggles as professionals. If anyone know of a support group for women real estate professionals, please let me know. Knowledge is POWER and the key to SUCCESS!

  10. Cara Palmer

    Great article. I really don’t understand why more women don’t invest in real estate. With all the great books and podcasts it’s easier than ever to get started. Currently I have two units and I’m looking for my third. Flipping isn’t possible in my area but I would love to try it someday.

    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      Cara – completely agreed! It really is easier than ever to get started! Good luck as you look for your third property! If flipping is not possible in your area, you could always consider partnering with someone that is flipping in another area (that works for flipping). There is always a way!
      All the best to you!

  11. Rachel Gill

    Great inspirational post! Would love to see more of these female focused posts. Congrats Andresa on building a great business. I’m finishing up my first rehab currently and have learned so much. Far more than during the months I spent reading books and blog posts here on BP. Love the idea of creating a “weekly action plan”. Best of luck!


  12. Ridvan Hoxha

    Thanks for this interview and congratulations on your success! I was wondering what kind of advice on choosing the right neighborhood would you give to a Philadelphia couple trying to get started on their first flip? Thanks in advance.

  13. Tammy Parsons

    Awesome article!! Thank you for writing it and sharing with all of us. As a woman who has spent the last 16 years in a men’s club (U.S. Marine Corps) I know quite a bit of the struggles we deal with while breaking through the gender barrier. Like Andresa, I got to the point where you don’t see your gender anymore because you are only focusing on your performance and abilities. It shocks the people around you, but sometimes that is the only way you will be able to succeed and have men take you seriously. Elizabeth, best of luck on your project. Andresa, thank you for your insight and my best wishes for both of you ladies.

  14. karen rittenhouse

    Hi Girls – Great article!

    The first advantage I find is that, when going into a home to purchase, we typically come across as less threatening than the men. Sellers seem to open up easier and talk more when I go on buy calls than when my partners do.

    Also, when working with contractors, they’re a bit caught off guard at first that I will actually be the one making the decisions. I find that fun – and humorous 🙂 But it doesn’t take them long to take me very, very seriously. In fact, they’re often much more concerned about me dropping by the job site than when the men do.

    Bottom line, I find being a woman a huge advantage in this industry. Most of the men we work with were raised by mothers and, when mom walks into the room, they pay attention!

    Thanks for your post.

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