BiggerPockets Podcast 101 with Dawn Brenengen Transcript

Link to show: BP Podcast 101: From Real Estate Agent to Profitable Landlord with Dawn Brenengen

Josh: This is the BiggerPockets podcast Show 101.

You’re listening to BiggerPockets Radio, simplifying real estate for investors, large and small. If you’re here looking to learn about real estate investing without all the hype, you’re in the right place.

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Josh: What's going on everybody? This is Josh Dorkin host of BiggerPockets podcast here with my co-host Mr. Brandon Turner, what's going on Brandon?

Brandon: Not a whole lot Josh Dorkin how are you?

Josh: It’s good to have you as a co-host once again instead of as my inquisitor my inquisitioner what’s the word?

Brandon: I don't even know what you’re talking about?

Josh: Last show.

Brandon: Laughter boss.

Josh: What really?

Brandon: What? Yeah.

Josh: Yeah I wondered how that rumor got started that I worked for you and I think I'm starting to get it now.

Brandon: Nice I don't know but it could be the fact that I've put that on my BiggerPockets profile, my Facebook page, Twitter.

Josh: Awesome.

Brandon: So anyway today we are Show 101 which coincidentally is also the name of the highway by my house so I think that's a sign.

Josh: A sign of what Brandon?

Brandon: A sign that our goal check out this transition to QuickTip.

Josh: Yes let’s see how you parlay the sucker.

Brandon: Our goal for BiggerPockets for the year of 2014 is to hit 1001 ratings, which is kind of like 101.

Josh: What does that have to do with the highway?

Brandon: I don't know I'm grasping at straws here. So our QuickTip for today is trying to reach 1001 ratings and reviews in iTunes we’re at 950 right now. So that is our QuickTip today.

Josh: The QuickTip is jump on the show notes at and we’ll have a link there to a post that’ll show you exactly how to go on iTunes and leave us a rating and review. And you guys that stuff really does help us out if you're a fan of the show and want to give back. A great way of doing that is literally taking the three minutes it takes to go to iTunes to say, “Hey this show is great, or we hate Josh.”

But don’t do that there's enough of those but leave a rating and a review for us and they do really help us as so we definitely appreciate.

Brandon: Yeah we need 51 more.

Josh: For 1000 come on we got there by the end of the year.

Brandon: And you have like not much time like couple weeks so, do it. Alright moving on again yeah there are instructions there on exactly how to leave us a reviewer or rating in iTunes. That’s what we need it so. Alright before you to the actual interviewer let’s do a quick word from today's sponsor.

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Josh: Alright guys, awesome listen; so today's guest is Dawn Brenengen, Dawn is a real estate investor and property manager in the-it’s not Fayetteville, it's the-oh goodness…

Brandon: Raleigh.

Josh: Raleigh, thank you.

Brandon: How do you say it?

Josh: Raleigh

Brandon: Raleigh.

Josh: Yeah Raleigh.

Brandon: Raleigh North Carolina.

Josh: In North Carolina and she's got some really great insight into working with property managers, finding property managers just generalized great tips and information. Dawn got her real estate license and which was kind of her beginning into the industry and worked with new home builders. So she's got kind of a cool story.

She's done a lot of things and we definitely encourage you to stick around and check it out. So why don't we bring Dawn in and get started on the interview? So Dawn, welcome to the show it's good to have you here.

Dawn: Thanks Josh hi Brandon, hi Josh?

Brandon: Hi Dawn.

Josh: Hi.

Brandon: Welcome.

Josh: Oh she said hi to you too.

Brandon: I know it's impressive, that’s good.

Josh: Yeah.

Brandon: Alright so today we’re going to talk to you about a lot of stuff; your journey, a little bit about property management, dealing with tenants stuff like that. But we will begin the way we always do, how did you get started in real estate?

Dawn: Well I was a Psych major in college and after I graduated I worked for a therapeutic foster care agency and I was helping the HR lady go through a lot of the employee records and I was being nosy and I looked to see how much everybody in the company made and people with Masters degree made no more than $36,000.

Only the top person at the company made any more than that. So I was like, “Man I got to get out of here. So I talked to my dad that night and I was telling him what I’d found out and he said, “Well you should get into real estate.” And it’s some he's always been interested in, had his license for about two minutes. And he just kind of said, “Well maybe you should get your license,” And I said, “That’s not a bad idea, I like working at houses why not?”

Josh: Nice.

Dawn: So I spent the next couple of months working on my license and took it from there. So I got my license at the end of 2002 and once I had that I just started applying to different real estate related jobs. That was back in the newspaper so I had classified ads so I’d circle the classifieds every Sunday and apply to everything real estate related.

And I finally got a job working in a New Homes neighborhood so sitting out on site in the office. And they have a model home and you sit out there and as people come out and you sell them new construction. So that’s how I got my start.

Brandon &Josh: Nice.

Brandon: So you started as an agent before you bought any rental properties, is that right?

Dawn: Yes, yeah.

Brandon: Okay cool; so maybe we can touch on that before we get into the investment side of things is talk about I guess do you recommend that strategy for new investors getting started being an agent is that the right way to get started?

Dawn: It definitely lends itself to learning a lot about the legalities of being in real estate. I will say depending on what you’re going to do in real estate having a license does hold you up to higher standards. So if you're trying to be very, very creative I would maybe skip that part or maybe go through the classes and not actually get licensed.

So it can be very helpful if you think you’re going to be doing a lot of buying and selling I would get my license which is going to save so much money by earning your own commissions.

Josh: Nice I want to ask about the New Home construction stuff. We don't really talk a lot about what it's like the whole builder space, the builder industry so while I’ve got a second I thought I'd ask about that. So this would be one of the big national builders or even a local builder who's got plans to build X number of plots. And you basically your job is to sit there, show them the model home and kind of work with them on the different options that are possible.

Dawn: Right yeah.

Josh: Okay so what are your thoughts on that as an investor not the development side obviously that's a great pathway, but buying new development properties as an investor. Do you think that's a good decision, bad decision I mean or based upon your own experience?

Dawn: Well it depends on year you bought it in. I noticed I was selling new construction from 2003 to -I quit doing it in probably 2010. And the people that buy in 2005/2006 I had a lot of out of state investors buying properties here and then turning around and using them for rental property.

Josh: Sure.

Dawn: And in new construction the prices were going up a lot faster than homes that were already sitting built retails. And the people who bought those homes probably today could not sell them for what they paid for them. So they’ve lost some money there but they do have left maintenance costs. I think if you buy right any house can really be a good investment whether or not it’s new or a resale.

Josh: Got you.

Brandon: When you said here, where is here; where do you live for those people …?

Dawn: Raleigh North Carolina.

Brandon: Okay, cool.

Josh: So you’re a big Duke fan?

Dawn: I’m a big UNC fan Josh.

Josh: Oh I’m sorry did I get it wrong; so sorry.

Dawn: Yes a little wrong.

Josh: They’re like mortal enemies they hate each other.

Dawn: Yes, pretty much.

Josh: So I thought it’d be fun to rib Dawn a little bit. Alright Dawn so you’re a real estate agent, you’ve got your license, what would you say what qualities make for a good agent? And I'll add to that sorry; what qualities make for a good agent and what qualities make for a good agent that's going to work on investment properties?

Dawn: Sure well a good agent in general can handle rejection well, who is not afraid to put themselves out there, you’re going to get a lot of no’s in this industry you’re going to get a lot of your very good friend turn around and buy a house with somebody else and you just have to understand that everybody has their own reasons for why they choose to work with you and why they don’t.

So you can’t take any of that kind of stuff personally if you don't have a thick skin in that sense you will not do well. Working with investors particularly investors are typically very all about the numbers not very emotionally involved in the homes. It’s actually a lot like working with builders when I used to sell homes in New Construction people would come in.

I was seeing people buying or doing it on an emotional basis, but the builder is just looking at, “Hey can I sell this and still make a profit and not hurt the values of the neighborhood for the next house I’m going to sell?” so when people get all up in arms about what the response is when they put in an offer and stuff I just let them know it’s a very black and white situation.

And investors are like that too, so investors obviously will probably put out a lot of offers before anything goes to the contract. So you have to be a very patient person with investors. For somebody like me who’s been in business for a long time if I’m going to work with an investor I want to know that they have their financing in order.

They’re not just kicking tires and stuff. So I’m happy to get somebody who is new to the business and education, but only to a certain extent.

Josh: Got you, we actually wrote a guide I don’t know if you’ve seen it; it's the Ultimate Agents Guide for Working with Investors.

Dawn: I have it.

Josh: And if you're listening and you're an agent and you have not seen it or you know an agent or you work with an agent, which is pretty much everybody listening, you got to get this guide and you got to give it to people. We’ll link to in the show notes at It’s the Ultimate Agents Guide for Working with Investors.

And it's great and it talks about what investors are looking for, it teaches them how to evaluate properties gives them, kind of the basics that they need. You said something about taking the emotion out of it and what happens when your friends use some other agent. It’s funny I never thought about that and that is a big thing.

And I know it happens because I’ve got a lot of friends who’re agents and I always go and I’ll say, “Hey let me use somebody else or recommend somebody else for this or this,” and you definitely need some thick skin to be able to deal with it. I do know some people who have gotten insulted when other friends of ours have used other agents. And you're not going to last long if that's the attitude you’ve got.

Dawn: For sure definitely not.

Josh: Yeah interesting, well so I guess my follow-up would be what else should a new investor have prepped or what do they need to know when contacting an agent and let's take it from, you I’m brand-new I want to get into real estate investing. I get in touch with you; do I need to do any diligence, do I need to know anything?

Or can I just come out to you with nothing and say, “Hey agent I am one of your real estate investor hold my hand,” or should I go and do the work and find out a little bit?

Dawn: Well an agent can be definitely a good resource for taking that first step improving on what it is you need to do next. Any agent that is used to working with investors can give you an idea of what your market is like, what you can expect out of an investment. When people come to Raleigh and they’re like looking for 2% rule it just doesn’t exist here in Raleigh.

So I think providing somebody who’s new that education so they can figure out if this is the market for them is really the first step. But that being said, after you figure that out you want to get financing in order any agent worth their salt is going to want to know that if they find your property that you're willing and ready to move on the property and you can close on it without too much problems.

Josh: Yeah sounds good.

Brandon: Hey you mentioned 2% rule first of all for those people who don't know can you kind of explain a little bit what that is. And then you say you can't get that in your area does that mean you don’t invest there or is it okay to invest without hitting that rule?

Dawn: Well it’s not a rule so much as a guideline. So the 2% rule just kind of means that if you find a house that rents for 2% of the sales price per month then it is likely to be a good investment. But it’s not the reverse that says it’s a bad investment if it doesn't hit the rule.

Brandon: Right so do you do invest in properties that hit the 2% rule that don’t that…?

Dawn: Oh no.

Brandon: So it’s very good. So this is something that I think we should talk on because and I'm sure we’ll get to that with your individual properties. But a lot investors they say that, they come on the forums and they say, “I can't find a deal that meets the 2% rule in my area should I just stop investing? And I say that…

Dawn: Absolutely not.

Brandon: Yeah okay so maybe you can talk about that for a minute.

Dawn: Sure so the properties I have or for most part around 0.8% and I would say a good guideline is trying to hit at 1%. And in other markets, you can go to Ohio and Tennessee and stuff, find places where you can find 2% rule but for me I don’t want to be an out of state investor. Now I look to my local market where I can keep eye on things and do my own management and stuff like that.

So for me…

Josh: You forgot Detroit by the way.

Dawn: Brandon’s favorite place yes. Yeah I think they have like the 10% rule there if the house doesn’t get stolen.

Josh: I wonder if that actually happens I can see that happening in Detroit somebody just puts it on the truck and drives off with it. That’s awesome.

Dawn: Yeah I’ve seen it in New Construction it wasn’t stolen but I’ve seen whole houses being moved on the lack of a trailer so it makes sense a lot.

Josh: Shut up, are you serious?

Dawn: Yeah they just like lift literally right off the foundation, they’ll build a new foundation somewhere else and they drop it right back on.

Josh: No way, wow that's crazy.

Brandon: My parents well actually my in-laws’ house was moved I mean it was built back in like the teens or whatever. And then somewhere in the 40s or 50s it picked up and moved it a mile. I don’t know how I mean it's a fairly good size house it’s not like a modular home. I mean it's a square house like it’s probably 1800 ft².

It blows my mind that in the 40s they could move the house that big like without cutting it in half they just moved it like a mile. It blows my mind that that can be done, I don’t know we should get somebody on the show some time that does that.

Josh: Hey we landed a man on the moon in the 60s and…

Brandon: I guess.

Josh: We can't do it today right so.

Brandon: I heard the other day that the technology that NASA had to land a guy on the moon is less than the technology we have in our like iPhone or Smartphone.

Dawn: I didn’t know.

Brandon: Like this is more powerful than the entire NASA computers back in the 70s.

Josh: Awesome.

Brandon: Yeah crazy. So yeah okay so 2% rule you don't think that necessary you have to, you don't have to hit that and I mean there’s a kind of a different way to look at it right so I have one property that meets the 1% rule. I mean owe like 80-something on it, rent for about $800 a month. I lose money on that property all the time.

And here's why it's because I bought- have a 1% real property in a bad neighborhood which means every single year I've got a lease a month empty, the property was old and kind of crappy so it constantly needs new work, I mean constantly; pipes are freezing and exploding things like that happen all the time.

So like I put so much money in this property and he meets the 1% rule but I lose money all the time. So that’s different from the 1% rule that you're dealing with I'm guessing that yours probably wasn't built in 1907 or whatever.

Dawn: No.

Brandon: So I mean yeah I like that illustration that the 1% rule, the 2% rule I mean like you said, guidelines. There’s so much difference there I mean a 1% rule in your neighborhood is completely different than a 1% in mine so.

Dawn: Oh absolutely I mean if your air conditioning unit gets stolen every year and there goes another $3000 a year I mean you’ve got to take that kind of situation into account when you’re considering markets in different places. So I just prefer to be in a good area and not have to worry about that kind of stuff.

Josh: Yeah that’s right.

Brandon: So maybe we can talk about your area then I mean before we get into your individual properties and first property. But what does the typical purchase price look like there? And then what might something rent for?

Dawn: Sure so I’m invested, kind of near NC State University, but it’s not necessarily a college neighborhood. So I get a lot of young professionals, people who went to NC State who’re now working in the area. They’re just familiar with that area they don't necessarily want to move away. It’s got great access to highways and jobs and stuff so it’s a good area to live in general.

But being so close to NC State really does kind of mean that it will always stay rented so my vacancy rate is maybe three days every other year just enough time for me to get paint and cleaned and stuff for the next person to go in so .

Josh: Sounds rough you’ve got it really hard over there, really hard.

Dawn: I think that for a particular reason.

Josh: And that’s really mean versus Brandon right I mean we’ve talked about word where you're at in Podunk where there's no jobs and…

Brandon: It is a different market.

Josh: A lot of unemployment right and a challenging place to find renters. So what would you say to somebody who's new to real estate when they're looking for market? It’s like hey what kind of advice can you give to somebody to help them find a neighborhood like yours where turnover is less I mean areas like that. So what tips do you have?

Dawn: Yeah well I would definitely say if you were brand new in real estate investing, start with something easier don't pick that Detroit market if you're not a seasoned investor who can deal with those kinds of things and take it all in stride if a broken water heater is going to ruin your day you really need to invest in easier areas.

So for me in a college town obviously was a good pick for me, centers of employment areas that are growing, the great thing about Raleigh is that it’s such a growing area and lots of businesses are moving here. So not only do we experience very low vacancy but should be experiencing some appreciation eventually too so.

Josh: Yes and what’s your theory on that investing for appreciation, do you consider that for your own investments or is it kind of happy bonus if it happens?

Dawn: Well I don’t plan on ever selling the home though I don't think I'll ever get to realize the appreciation, maybe my kids will someday. But for me appreciation kind of means more of having options and exit strategies with a house. If I were to sell any of these houses I could either sell them to another investor, or I could sell them to a retail buyer so there’s a few exit strategies with that the house so or those houses.

Josh: Got you. Alright so let's talk about your own personal investing what was your first deal, how soon did it come after you got your license and what was the impetus for you actually starting to do your own deals versus just being another real estate agent that never actually get started? Because I think most real estate agents I knew when I was an agent they dreamed of being investors and they never did it. And to this day most of them never did and I'd say most agents probably never do.

Dawn; Yeah well I know a lot of real estate agents who rent and that was actually my foray into buying a house was I became a real estate agent and I was still renting at the time. I was young, I was 23 and I thought, “Well I’m a real estate agent but I'm renting, so I should probably buy something that’s what we do right?”

So at the time I had a boyfriend and we bought a house together a townhome over and near NC State and he was still going to school there. And we broke up as boyfriends and girlfriends tend to do. And he didn’t have any money so I kept to the house and I lived there for a little while and ended up basically house hacking accidentally.

I got a couple of roommates and they were paying the lion share of the mortgage for me and eventually I just decided I wanted a yard and a garage and stuff so I moved out of that townhouse and into a single family house and brought my roommates with me. And I turned the first property into a rental property at that point so that was my first rental.

Well that wasn’t my first- that was my first house that I turned into a rental in 2006. But I actually bought two rental properties with my parents in 2004. So we had bought two single-family homes in a very close by neighborhood to where I was currently living.

My parents had sold their property in Fayetteville and they said, “We have a bunch of cash and can you help us find a rental property?” and of course I was still new to being an agent and I was like, “Well, okay,” I had no idea what I was doing I just picked two houses close to NC State and got lucky.

Brandon: That’s cool.

Josh: Nice, nice.

Brandon: So what, I mean you said you got lucky but I mean what attracted you to those houses, did you know anything? They just I mean out of a hat?

Dawn: I literally knew nothing about real estate investing at the time. I just knew that since I was currently living in that area I knew that a lot of my friends, my boyfriend’s friends at the time and stuff were renting. And some of them had rented houses in that area I’d seen the insides of a lot of them and I was like, “Oh this is a great place for students to live.”

And so when they said they wanted to buy two rental properties I said to them, “Well not find two here?” so I did.

Josh: Yeah so do you rent to the students or to professionals?

Dawn: It’s a mix of both but I would say it’s mostly young professionals. I rent to a ton of students but if I do they’re typically older they're not, freshmen right out of their parents’ house. They’re juniors and seniors maybe grad students.

Josh: Okay, okay and you also do property management correct?

Dawn: Yes, yeah.

Josh: Okay so let’s just really quickly talk about the renting to students thing because I think it's something a lot of people are afraid of. There's a lot of risk in renting to a bunch of 18, 20, 22-year-olds.

Dawn: Sure.

Josh: Who are free for the first time.

Dawn: Yeah.

Josh: So why don’t you fill us in on maybe like what’s some of the worst stuff you’ve seen kids do and I'm sure we could all imagine it and then how can you as a landlord to protect yourself against destroyed property and getting screwed basically?

Dawn: Well this is a really good place to take the emotion out of your real estate investing, for me the houses that we own are literally walls, carpet, paint and that’s it. I don’t have any personal attachment to these properties by means. My mom on the other hand there’s two properties that I own with her. We used to get together when there was turnover and she’d come up and clean.

And my dad would do repairs and stuff like and I would help paint. And my mom would just the whole time walk around and going, “Gosh how do people live like this? Look how dirty toilet is!” and I’m just like, “So you clean it no big deal.” So after my dad passed, the next time we had turnover I said, “Mom just let me take care of it don't even bother coming up.”

“I'm really tired of hearing it, so I’ll just deal with it.” So now I just hire my painter, my carpet cleaner, my cleaners to come in and it’s a new property when it’s all said and done. They had never really torn up a property but they're just not the cleanest of people.

Josh: Okay.

Dawn: So really what I do for my students versus professionals is not really that much different. So even high-end homes we still send the cleaners and the carpet cleaners and have some basic repairs and stuff. But there’s no holes in the wall, there's no yeah then you might find a couple of beer bottles out on the yard but that’s about it.

Josh: Yeah and what do you do in terms of like co-signers and that kind of stuff?

Dawn: So generally if they don’t qualify on their own, which is rare for the properties I have like I said most of them at this point are working themselves, it’s a roommate situation so between the three kids they usually make enough money to cover it. But in case they don't I do have a form that their parents can co-sign for them.

Brandon: Yeah.

Josh: Okay. Does each of them sign a lease or are they all on the single lease as one?

Dawn: They’re all on one lease so if one person doesn't pay they’re all still responsible for that.

Josh: Okay yeah.

Brandon: I have a question on this because it’s something I’m dealing with this week and I dealt with this back like six months ago. But so I’ve got a property with two students living in it right now and one of them wants to leave. What do you do in that kind of situation; they’re both on the lease but one of them is moving or whatever he wants to leave?

Dawn: Yeah I’ve had that happen with boyfriend/girlfriend situations and things like that. If the person left cannot qualify on their own I then still make that person who wants to leave responsible, I do give the person who’s staying an opportunity to find another roommate, but if they don’t find another roommate and can’t find for me to help them in that regard then the person who’s leaving is so responsible.

Brandon: Okay, okay yeah that’s kind of how we run it as well. So alright well let’s talk about maybe your next deal I mean like so you got to the primary house you lived in and then you moved into another property that’s the one you live in now?

Dawn: Nope I actually did that one more time I moved again.

Brandon: Okay, cool.

Dawn: And kept that one as a rental property also.

Brandon: Cool so a lot of times we’re kind of making that phrase house hacking a thing like we talk a lot about it. But when most people think about house hacking, they think of the idea of living in a duplex or triplex. But when I originally kind of wrote that article on house hacking back a year and a half ago, there’s several different facets of it.

And that's one of them is the idea of living just single-family house renting it out maybe to roommates or maybe just with the idea that you’re going to rent it to someday. Like the house I live in today it’s my primary residence I live alone, my wife and three cats and dog.

But I will move eventually and this house will become a great rental and I bought it knowing that five, 10 years down the line it would be. So anyway that’s just another way to house hack that people oftentimes don’t think about. And you get the benefits potentially of appreciation with that too because the multifamilies don't always appreciate as well as the single-family.

So it’s just another way that people can look at stuff. I guess do you have any tips for people that are in that same situation that are looking to buy their first house to actually live in?

Dawn: Well I think it’s a fantastic idea to buy it with the intention of potentially renting it someday because one your rates on your mortgage will be better. You may not have to put as much money down to qualify for the loan so there's a lot of financial reasons to do it for sure.

Brandon: Just today or yesterday I think it was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they’re going to be dropping the required down payment down to 3%. But not even FHA but yeah.

Dawn: Yeah I saw that.

Brandon: I guess it's interesting to know you people can already do the FHA which is 3.5% but that should probably make some kind of effect especially for flippers who’re selling to first-time homebuyers that probably should open up quite a bit more.

Dawn: Yeah I’m not sure what the PMI issue is going to be with the new 3% down. The only problem I have with the FHA loan right now is the PMI is high and it’s forever continually financed.

Brandon: Yeah.

Josh: Maybe we should just give houses away to people for free I mean yeah it’s not going to lead to another bubble or anything.

Dawn: We did it once before, why not?

Josh: Yeah I mean we did this it worked out really, really well so I applaud the effort to get everybody to own a home even people who shouldn't own a home. And I think everybody should have the ability to own a home at some point, but when you're not financially ready to do it you’re not financially ready to do it.

And this kind of stuff really stirs me up I mean I think we’re just asking for potential trouble again.

Dawn: Oh for sure the first house I bought that first townhome I mean I bought it no money down, the builder had paid some of the closing costs, I mean I think we literally moved in with $800. And that’s pretty much all I had to my name I just got lucky that we were not in a market that experienced the crash and that I had other plans for this house.

Brandon: Those were the glory days.

Dawn: Yeah I can see how it could not go well.

Josh: Oh yeah alright so…

Brandon: Well that said about the 3% so even though like that does seem shockingly low; I guess the official rule has been 5% for the past while so they only dropped it 2%. Most banks still won't go that low, they’re just Fannie Mae Freddie Mac is giving the option we still will buy your loan if you do three instead of five.

Josh: Yeah well we’ll do 1% soon.

Brandon: Yeah we’ll just go no money so it’s …

Dawn: No money down.

Brandon: There you go yeah it could happen. Alright well cool let’s shift gears a little bit here and go to managing properties a little bit. And maybe we can talk about again it’s kind of you’re a property manager, how many properties do you currently manage?

Dawn: My Company manages about 60 and out of that 50 of them are probably mine.

Brandon: What do you mean by yours?

Josh: So and this is your company being you're the creator, the owner and the founder of this company yes?

Dawn: Yes yeah. Trailwood Realty is the name of the company on it was just me for the longest time but then I hired two other agents to work with me not too long ago.

Brandon: And when you say 50 of them are yours you mean you own them or those are under your managements?

Dawn: No, no yeah those are my clients’ right.

Brandon: Okay.

Dawn: We kind of have our individual portfolios that we work with.

Josh: Okay.

Brandon: Maybe we can talk about that a little bit like how you structure that because I mean the first thing that comes to mind is when we had I think it was with Chris Clothier on the show back long time a year or a year and half ago, he said there was like a breakeven point that he's found with property management it's like 300 houses or something like that under management.

That is hard to cash or it’s hard to profit if you have less than that but you have 60 houses that you’re controlling. So have you found that true in your experience or?

Dawn: No but I guess it depends on how much overhead you have. I work from home that I'm not paying assistants; my agents are paid commission based so I’m not paying a whole lot of money out every month so I can't yeah pretty much everything is profit so.

Brandon: Yeah.

Josh: Yeah so last show which was the episode 100 featuring moi, I ranted and raved a lot about property management, I had some really bad experiences with people who did not do well by me. I guess my first question to you is somebody who's looking for property manager to what's your take what do they need to be asking these property managers in their interview process?

Dawn: Well you really need to understand the process I mean what can you expect out of your property manager? What you expect them to do on a day-to-day basis. The big thing is communication I think most people really have no issue with how you run your company and what you charge as long as they're told ahead of.

Josh: Yeah.

Dawn: And most people don't like to get a big bill after the fact without knowing what's going on. And I think on the property management side I mean I understand how things can get very hectic and busy and things can fall through the cracks and stuff. But, if you really make that communication a priority with your clients, that they will appreciate that for sure.

Josh: Okay so communication is one thing you would want. What’s your take on property managers managing their own properties versus and do you see that as a conflict of interest is that a benefit?

Dawn: They’re never available at the same time as other clients’ properties and they all fill so quickly it's not like there's ever a situation where I go, “Okay I’ve got a choice between putting a tenant into my own house versus my client’s house down the road. They’re just always available at different times; people are looking for different things.

And there are so many people out there looking at least in my area that everything gets filled very quickly. So that has not been an issue but I could see how it could be.

Josh: Yeah so how could somebody avoid that? I mean what would they do if they’re shopping I mean how would they know that this property manager …?

Dawn: Well I guess if that’s important to you, you would want to know from your property manager do you have your own property? I think it’s great if a property manager has their own properties because then they’re going to know where you're coming from when you’re talking about expenses and things like that.

They’re going to be on the investors-as they’re going to understand where they’re coming from. So I think it’s great if they have their own properties if now they have their own properties and it’s taking away from managing properties for others, that might be something you might want to look into is how many properties do they own themselves? Where are these properties, and how much time are they taking out of their property management business to manage their own stuff?

Brandon: Let me ask you this question because this is something that I talked about on the last show and we were only recording this one day after we recorded the last show so I haven’t actually made any progress in this yet but as I mentioned last week…

Josh: Fire, fire, fire!

Brandon: So as I mentioned last week my property manager that I hired, she’s only got two of my properties. I have to like tell her to do everything, like, “Hey I need you to do this next and then this and like I call her, “did you serve a three day notice?” “Oh no I can do that,” “Well okay the tenant’s a week late on rent go ahead,” “Okay great,” and then we’ll do it.

So as I sent an email to them last night haven’t heard back this morning but I mean what do you advise in that I mean is that my job to tell her these things? How much should I direct her on what to do and how much should she do on her own and what …?

Dawn: Well if your tenant hasn’t paid rent she should be on that for sure, so she should be contacting you and keeping those lines of communication open to see what do you want me to do? I mean of my owners don't necessarily want me to- here in Raleigh rent is due on the first it’s late after the fifth. So we start charging late fees on the sixth.

My personal thoughts are if they haven’t paid by the 15th I would go ahead and start that eviction process. Some of my owners are, they don’t want to spend their money on an eviction process they want to see if their tenant’s going to pay. And maybe this tenant usually does pay so not everything is black-and-white.

But your property manager should know that about you is what you want, and I definitely think that it should be on her to contact you and say, “Okay they still haven’t paid what is the next step, how do you want me to proceed?” obviously she needs that direction from you but she should be proactive in getting it.

Brandon: I agree one thing that irks me a lot too or maybe this is just like a personal pride issue, but like I know that I would be her biggest client if I gave her all my properties. I mean hands down I’m probably one of the largest property owners in our area. So like and I told her straight up that I would love to get rid of all my properties over to property management.

So the fact that she doesn't like to communicate whatsoever with me…

Josh: You should fire her.

Brandon: I know so like it’s frustrating like I mean if I was in her shoes I’d be like, “Wow, he would like had 20% to my portfolio if I got his properties. I should probably treat him a little bit more I don't know.”

Josh: But it's the same thing, listen it’s the same thing that most people have the contractors, think about it. I mean how many contractors have you gone through Brandon?

Brandon: Yeah.

Josh: They know that you got X number of properties; they know you're looking to buy more. If you're a contractor, you do good by every investor because they're going to bring you a ton of business. The same goes for agents I mean it's just I think you got to find the good people, people who don't get it. I’m going to just say it they’re stupid.

I mean straight up they’re stupid because they're losing so much possible business, potential future business by doing bad by you. It makes no sense so if you want to be successful in this industry, in any way, just do a good job. It’s not hard; show up right. If you show up you’re going to get referrals, you’re going to get more business. It’s not hard,

Brandon: Preach it Josh, preach it.

Josh: I’m telling it. I mean but do you disagree? I mean Dawn..

Dawn: Well I think it's funny yeah how you say just show up I do have the same issue with some contractors too I’m like, “gosh if you could just get them to show up when they say they're going to, that would be half the battle and you’re right. So for your agent, your property manager, your contractors, if you could just get people to do the job that they say they're going to do and know what that job is ahead of time they’re light-years ahead.

Josh and Brandon: Yeah.

Josh: So what are your thoughts on starting your management company? We’ve got Brandon here who's got X number of units he’s starting to use this bubble head who doesn't do the job for him. And he better fire them stat but there's one other property manager in town and that's it. And they're probably not that good either from what it sounds like.

So what do you do you’re an investor do you go and create your own management company to manage you own properties? How much of a pain is that is there any more entailed than just managing your own?

Dawn: Sure well this varies by state. But in North Carolina you have to broker’s license to manage properties for others. Now you can open up your management company and manage just your properties, you can hire an employee to work just on your own stuff time and still be within the law.

But if you ever wanted to do it for other people you now have to have a broker's license. And that entails getting your license and them working underneath somebody else for a couple years and then you can go out and hang your own shingle.

Brandon: Yeah.

Josh: Yeah.

Brandon: I think that’s pretty much how it is here and we’ve had our own company for the last five, six years now. And my goal was to get out of that because I don't like managing an employee even though like that employee is like mother-in-law she's likely the lady who answers phones. Its fine but I'm still involved.

And I don’t want to be involved that much. So it’s like I need somebody I can trust and I might not just have any other options other than you I will license why should somebody self manage versus hiring somebody I mean I think that's probably a question a lot of people are sitting here asking should I manage my own or hire you for eight, 10, 12% whatever you charge?

Dawn: Well partly I think it depends on personality if you can take that hard line with your tenants and say rent is due this date, or late those charge late fees process the evictions when you need to and send letters out and stuff when you need to. I think some people have a tendency to be a little too nice when it comes to people they’re interacting with face-to-face.

And they need somebody to just kind of be that buffer between them and their tenants and stuff. I mean I think it’s actually pretty easy to self manage. Obviously I’ve been managing my own properties before I ever became a property manager.

Josh: Yeah.

Dawn: And doing it for other people and stuff but I’m kind of that same way, I'm too nice with my own properties but with my clients’ properties I’m now I can say well the owner said this and I can always have that other person. It’s not me the owner of the property needs their rent right now. So I should probably hire a property manager for my own properties and then continue on for my clients.

Brandon: Yeah.

Josh: Well and I was going to ask you had said earlier that you tend to wait till the 15th before you process an eviction even though rent’s due on the fifth and you kind of give some wiggle room. If a client came up to you and said, “Hey I want you to manage my properties and what your policy?” and you said that. And they say, “Well I've been nice before I’ve been burned I want the three, five day notice put out on the fifth.”

“And soon as we get the eviction notice out by law we’re going to put that out.” And that kind of it’s a little different than what you’ve been currently doing, is that something you'd be willing to do or?

Dawn: Oh absolutely and that’s actually something I would recommend to the owners to do. The 15th is somewhat of just a personal preference for myself just to see if people are going to get back on track. In North Carolina it costs a little bit of money to go down and file that eviction but part of it kind of depends like okay if you know the tenant’s pay periods.

Or maybe just offering when their rent is due or if you kind of know that they’re going to come up with a within a few days, then that's one thing but come the 15th that they still haven’t come up with it, that’s kind of where my hard line is, but for my owners I usually actually recommend doing it sooner rather than later for sure.

Josh: Good, good got you. Cool so do you turn down owners; somebody comes in they have a dozen properties and say, “Hey I want you to manage,” would you say no to somebody?

Dawn: Yeah absolutely for sure. So my own properties or class AB properties and I have learned that managing a very inexpensive property is definitely not easier than managing a more expensive property. And I make more on a more expensive property so it just kind of is a business decision I’ve decided to really focus on the higher end rental market in my area.

Stuff that I know is going to be easy for me to handle and do well for the owners versus some of the stuff that is in the less desirable part of town. I’m a small young female I don’t necessarily want to be out in the rougher parts of town managing properties. I would definitely down people for sure.

Brandon: It makes sense. I always thought that was funny about property management how it's based on the month that comes in. So if I’ve got my property that rents for $500 a month over in a shady area and the property manager takes 10% they make $50 a month. Right and then the other guy who rents to a doctor for $2500 a month I mean they're making so much more and it's so much easier.

Dawn: Yes.

Brandon: It seems like a weird system.

Dawn: You figured it out Brandon yeah.

Brandon: Yeah you would think somebody I don’t know it seems like they would figure out I don’t know there’s no better way I guess to do it but yeah.

Josh: So nobody should manage low-income properties?

Brandon: We just don’t want to tell the… we don't want more than to figure out what you figured and what I’m figuring out. It’s just a funny system.

Dawn: Well I think when people complain about having a hard time finding a property management in different areas that they’re out of state investors this is why it’s because people know that the lower- if you’re buying a $15,000 house it’s probably going to be a tough property to manage. So if you’re charging 10% for me yeah if it runs for $500 yeah it’s definitely not worth $50 to manage in those areas.

Brandon: Yeah.

Josh: And it's a good point if you think about what you're getting for your money so you go and let's use Detroit right, you buy a bunch of like $1.50 houses in Detroit that are renting for $100 a month and you’re pulling in $10 a month, you go and get a drink of coffee that costs you $10 I mean how much work are you as a property manager going to put in to take care of that property for your owner.

I mean even though that's your job you’re not going to get the five-star white glove service from somebody who is managing properties that are renting for $100, $200, $500, $300 it's just there's no way to do it because you’re going to be out of business.

Dawn: Right and as an investor you definitely have to understand the product that you are offering to people and how other people are going to view your desirability as a client.

Josh: Right, right so I mean I think in the end those lower income properties tend to be poorly managed I’d say or it ends up a case where the investor needs to really do their own work.

Dawn: Right and I think those lower income properties can definitely be cash cows in a lot of situations, but it really takes I personally think an investor who is hands on doing their management and taking care of the houses themselves because they're the ones that are going to be on the frontline. So it’s going to be hard find somebody in that price range who cares about your property as much as you do.

Josh: So take somebody who's out of state, take a guy in California New York they look and they say, “Hey in St. Louis and Detroit and Rochester I can go and buy properties that are dirt cheap and rent for $350 a month and for half a duplex and I pay 30 grand for it or whatever 20 grand. Is that something- would you recommend that the people? I mean do you think that's a bad idea for newer investors?

Dawn: Usually the first thing I would say is find the property management company first and get that squirreled away and have a good property management and then have a good backup property management company in case that one doesn't work out. Get recommendations from people who invest in that area, because I think what you’ll find is that you’ll have a hard time finding somebody willing to take it on who's going to also do a good job.

Josh: Got you.

Dawn: So do that first before you buy anything and then you can worry about acquisition after that.

Josh: Yeah so if you can find a good quality property manager that comes highly recommended, who focuses on those low-end rentals and then you could find a backup and you know that there is at least a couple options maybe think about it.

Dawn: Oh yeah absolutely.

Josh: Okay perfect.

Brandon: Let’s talk about some specifics with your property management and landlording in general. For example I mean what are some tenant red flags like what worries you when you talk to tenant maybe on the phone or you’re showing them?

Dawn: Sure well I’ll tell you in a showing that I kind of figured out right away being in my area that is so close to NC State is if you’ve got a group of kids or young adults walking through the house and they’re talking about how great the deck is because they can put the keg over here in this corner, you might not want to rent to them. They’re going to be the party animal type and stuff so.

Josh: You’re anti, you’re keggist.

Dawn: Hey I love a good keg just not in my rental property.

Josh: There you go.

Brandon: It’s a twittable topic right there.

Dawn: So you really want to listen to what people say as they go through the house. If you're getting the idea that maybe have a lot more people living with them than you originally thought or just there’s lots of different things that people can say and I definitely recommend either doing your own showings if you don't have a property manager who you really trust to do very good tenant screening.

To be kind of looking out for those little red flags and stuff, people say look in their car to see if their car’s a mess. I don’t know; don’t look in my car because my car is a disaster. I’ve got two toddlers that ride around with me, the car is full of Cheerios and milk spattered everywhere. So I don't know that that’s necessarily a good indicator. I’d like to think I would keep a nice house but there are definitely things that you can watch out for.

Josh: I could attest for you Dawn, I see the bookshelves behind you neatly arranged.

Dawn: I cleaned it, it’s just I’d show you the rest of office because everything is on the floor and pushed against the wall.

Josh: Have you seen that commercial there’s a commercial I think it’s like a paint commercial and they’ve got this kitchen like the moms are out of town and dad is like doing breakfast with the kids and you see this picture. And everything looks clean and nice and the camera zooms out and it's just a disaster. Everything is just destroyed.

Dawn: That is my office.

Josh: That’s pretty funny. Alright so tenant red flags what about screening, what does your process look like, somebody you put out an application you say, “Hey we got this house available,” now what?

Dawn: It all starts with a phone call and I try to ask questions do you have pets, what do you do for a living and stuff like that and just start conversation really just to see more how they interact with me than anything. And then if they kind of pass an initial phone call and do the showings and yeah seeing if they’re pointing out things about the house that maybe would not make them great tenants.

Josh: What might those things be?

Dawn: The pretty calls well one thing and the reason I kind of harp on that a little but in our area we have an ordinance called PROP and I can’t tell you right now what it stands for but it’s basically landlord registration program. And you can get citations if people throw loud parties there’s lots of other nuisance things.

But in our area it’s mostly loud party calls. And if the cops come to your house and knock they can actually keep you from renting your property. Now that happens very, very little but it is a possibility. So if I know that you are still kind of in party mode as a student I’m not going to rent to you just because I don’t want that to ever be an issue in my properties because of that.

Josh: Well I don’t want to rent from you anyway.

Dawn: Well it’s a good thing you’re not in Raleigh. Are you a keg stander?

Josh: I think I've done one or two in my day I don't really remember but I think so.

Dawn: Tends to go that way.

Josh: I’m glad there’s not photographs.

Brandon: That’s funny well okay so getting away from the keg stand section…

Josh: Brandon how about you?

Brandon: I’ve never done a keg stand no, never. Yeah alright so screening I guess so do you look for I mean do you do background check, criminal check, credit check, all that stuff as well right?

Dawn: Absolutely so I've started using a third-party screening company called Resident Research and they’re great because the tenant fills out the application online, they pay the application fee online. The information goes straight to the screening company and they spend the next three days gathering their credit, criminal background, evictions.

They call their current landlords for me, they verify their employment for me and then when it's all done, they send it to me in a nice little PDF package that I can review. And I also have all the application information so if I have follow up questions, let’s say for a previous landlord I can always go back and call them myself and get more information.

Brandon: That’s cool what does that service cost you?

Dawn: And that saves me a ton of time. I think it’s about $40 per person.

Brandon: Yeah interesting.

Dawn: And the tenant pays it so.

Brandon: Yeah so they pay the whole fee? That’s cool I like that I mean I was just thinking that’s a nice way to outsource I mean we obviously hire out our background checks and stuff like that but we still do all our own calling. I thought I mean that would actually save a decent amount of time every month is having somebody else do.

Dawn: A lot of time yeah absolutely.

Brandon: Yeah all that stuff because one of the biggest time sucks of being a landlord is waiting for people to call you back, like I call an employer and they don’t call back right away. Or oh they need this form faxed I can’t release the information then I got to go find a fax machine to send them. And there’s just so many hustles involved with that whole process so.

Dawn: Well it’s funny and one reason I chose this company is because as a previous landlord for some of the people that they were doing checks on, I would get calls from them I’d get a call in the morning, another call two hours later, another three hours. So I finally was just like, “Okay I'll give you the information you want.”

And I knew they did a really good job of following up on the people that they were trying to contact do when I decided to outsource that I called them first.

Brandon: Cool, I like it.

Josh: Nice, nice.

Brandon: And then how do you find tenants? I mean are using Craigslist, newspaper?

Dawn: Well I’m a real estate agent so I list in MLS. once we list something in MLS there is a service called List Hub and it syndicates out to all of the other real estate websites like Zilo and Truly and all that. You do have to separately post on Craigslist which I do some of if I have the time or if I’m having a hard time renting a property I’ll also get it on Craigslist.

But usually between the major real estate websites that’s typically where the inquiries come in. of course there’s a site on the ads sometimes the Facebook post.

Brandon: Okay.

Josh: Nice, nice wind and what makes- I mean we talked about what you're avoiding, what makes the perfect tenant?

Dawn: Somebody who pays the rent on time, who calls me about maintenance issues but not trivial issues.

Josh: What’s a trivial issue versus a nontrivial issue?

Dawn: Light bulbs being out, I had a lady call the other day who was freaked out because she saw a mouse run through the house and which I would want to know about but she’s texting me at almost midnight that night, text after text, “Oh my God there’s a mouse!” I’m just picturing this woman freaked out standing on her kitchen countertops.

So stuff like that can wait.

Brandon: I had people call about a spider some time, like, “I found a spider in my kitchen!” and I’m like…

Dawn: I’ve been called about spiders before.

Brandon: But that’s not an exterminator breed.

Josh: Spiderman!

Brandon: Good job, alright.

Josh: Okay well keep going about the ideal tenant though.

Brandon: Yeah.

Dawn: Somebody who has a steady job I love it when it’s a two-income family and that way somebody loses a job hopefully you have a little bit of cushion there with the other person working. Ideally no pets but I'm completely open to people renting with pets I have no problem with that. And that’s about it really just and nice people. I love nice people.

Brandon: Cool.

Josh: Is there a connection between people who’re nice and people who’re good tenants?

Dawn: No but they just make my life a little bit more pleasant.

Josh: Got you. There are some nice backstabbing SOBs.

Dawn: There are.

Josh: Yeah, alright what about contractors do you have your own contractors that you use for clients or do you have your clients bring their own contractors in?

Dawn: I have my own contractors that I use for clients. If somebody has somebody in particular that they want me to work with, they have a favorite plumber or something I’m happy to go there first, if I remember to call that person.

Josh: Yeah.

Dawn: And I'm always on the lookout for good contractors I have a good handful that I use now but sometimes who are unavailable it’s always nice to have a backup person or two or three. And sometimes you’ll have a great contractor who’s great for months and then they just disappear on you and you're not really sure what happened. So and both of you are looking at me very knowingly right now so.

Josh: It’s like the Bermuda Triangle. I don't understand.

Dawn: It is [Inaudible] [52:11] contractors.

Josh: I don’t understand. It’s so bizarre.

Dawn: It’s like you were so fabulous and then one day they just don’t show.

Brandon & Josh: Yeah.

Dawn: Maybe they get kidnapped.

Brandon: Maybe.

Josh: That’s funny. Well where do you see yourself going in the future yeah what is tomorrow going to bring for you?

Dawn: Yeah so I’m actually well tomorrow I’m closing on a house so…

Josh: Hey house been sold. Congratulations.

Brandon: That’s really nice.

Dawn: Thanks my mom sold her house in Fairville and she is moving into my neighborhood so I bought a house for her so that she can be a little bit closer to me and the little toddlers that she helps with. So that is pretty much sucking up all money for probably the next few years.

Brandon: Nice, nice cool.

Josh: Got you ride on.

Brandon: Well let’s move on we’re slowly starting to wrap this up let’s go on to The Fire Round.

It’s time for The Fire Round!

Brandon: Alright these questions all come from the BiggerPockets forums which listeners can get to and should go check out at and I know Dawn is on there all the time I see you.

Dawn: All the time.

Brandon: Yeah answering questions and stuff so there’s good smart people like Dawn. So alright here we go. So you probably ever seen these questions before but first of all how do you tell if a location is like an A or B type location?

Dawn: Well if you’re not familiar with the market if you're investing from out of state you probably can't, not without talking to people who are local to the area. For me an A location means something that is convenient to places of employment or other places that people are going to want to be like NC State for me. Places that are probably going to appreciate, places where your HVAC won’t get stolen if you have a vacancy, so those are A areas.

Brandon: Okay cool.

Josh: Nice, so I take it you've experienced these stolen HVAC before?

Dawn: It has happened, not often but it has happened.

Josh: And what do you do in that case; do you put cages in; just curious.

Dawn: So it’s actually only happened to me once and that was a property that I was just getting and I went to go check out the property and called the owner said, “I don’t know if you know this or not but you don’t have an air-conditioner,” and he did not.

So we just put a new one in. it was a pretty A/B location so we weren’t really worried about it happening over and over again but I think somebody just realized that house was vacant and did that. So I’ve looked at plenty of properties for investors where the copper has been ripped out and the HVAC’s gone and the appliances are missing.

Josh: Yeah it’s never fun. The cages do help I’ve had to buy quite a few of them oh yeah yes.

Dawn: Well see that’s how you know you’re not in an A area it’s that they…

Josh: Yes that’s a great sign. Bars on Windows, good sign.

Dawn: Not an good area.

Josh: Yes alright cool so what about the pros and cons of a short sale and I don't quite know who asked that question because we don't have it today but next time we’ll do that.

Dawn: Yeah well actually the house that I’m closing on tomorrow for my mom is a short sale. The pros are typically you can get a decent deal where you’re buying this house for $215,000 and there was a retail sale that closed just a couple of weeks ago for $250 very similar floor plans, square footage and stuff. So that’s a good comp for it, it probably needs about $5000 worth of work. So there is a decent spread when you’re buying that for your own personal residence.

Josh: And what are the downsides of the short sale?

Dawn: They can take a long time to happen so in our area we have a couple of law firms that help expedite the process in a short sale. So here the short sales have not typically been too bad but if you don't have an attorney helping expedite this process it can take forever; months even.

Josh: Alright so the expedited short sale how long does that take?

Dawn: It took about three weeks for us to get the approval from the seller’s bank that they were going to eat about $100,000 yeah and let’s see so it took another probably three weeks after that for us to get everything closed. So six weeks total from start to finish.

Josh: That is not bad.

Dawn: Oh it’s stellar [Inaudible] [56:10].

Josh: Yeah wow unbelievable cool.

Brandon: Cool. Alright next question; what have you found be the most difficult in managing multiple properties?

Dawn: Well now that I’ve kind of got everything systematized I think and at the beginning when I'm doing my back checks and I'm doing my own showings and everything it can be a lot of running around and just trying to keep schedules going steady and stuff. And now that I’ve got everything systematized where rent can be paid online lots of stuff can be done online.

I put something in MLS and it syndicates out everywhere I’m not having to do all this manual labor to get information out there and to get information back. That’s been a big help.

Brandon: Cool okay cool.

Josh: Nice, nice have you ever had any issues with tenant subletting? Is that a problem?

Dawn: Not without telling me I've not walked into a house and been like, “hey who’re these people?”

Josh: Yeah.

Dawn: So yeah it’s always been upfront and told to me so I haven’t had issues.

Josh: Is that something that would be welcome, if you had a renter who…?

Dawn: I always have the new people just sign a new lease.

Josh: Okay.

Dawn: So I don’t necessarily offer subletting but I’ll let somebody have their lease if they got somebody new coming in who also passes all the background screening.

Josh: Okay yeah that’s good to know.

Brandon: Cool okay moving on let's get to our;

Famous Four!

Brandon: Alright Famous Four these are the questions that we ask everyone and I know you’ve listened to all

Dawn: Yes.

Brandon: 100 shows or so you probably haven’t listened to Show 100 yet because obviously it hasn’t come out when we were recording this. But that’s alright 99 is good and you’ll listen I’m sure to Josh's show. Number one, what is your favorite real estate book?

Dawn: So I know you guys hate this answer so I decided even though say it Rich Dad is the favorite one I wanted to recommend a real estate website actually. There is a website that I’m on a lot it’s called Active Rain and it’s a good community based website for real estate agents, property managers. It’s basically a lot of amateur bloggers that you learn a lot about different markets. And different ways that people do business on this site so it’s been really helpful for me and it kills a lot of time when I’m bored so.

Brandon: Nice, cool. Josh.

Josh: Right on, what is your favorites business book?

Dawn: Alright so I picked two and again I have the same favorites that everyone else has but two that I’ve read recently that I did really enjoy were Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This by Kate White so these are two good books for women in business they’re very good books for women to I think take a second look on how they raise families and do business as part of an overall picture and kind of empowering women a lot.

Josh: Nice I’m going to violate the famous four and question non-famous four; why are there not more women in real estate investing?

Dawn: I think a lot of women see it as just kind of a man's world or a man’s interest even you’re dealing with contractors and you’re dealing with numbers and finances and stuff. And I think some women are not comfortable with doing all that. For me in my household I’m actively the one handling the finances, I'm actively the one making decisions about how we spend money stuff so it’s just something I enjoy.

Josh: Right on, no it’s interesting in the early days we used to get a lot of grief from people like, “Hey you don't have enough women investors on the show,” and we’re like, “We’re trying but they're not coming, they’re not answering our call to come on they're not responding and when we do get them there's a lot of I don't know, we try we do it, it's great but…

Dawn: Yeah I think women sometimes can be passive and I think it does take kind of takes sometimes a strong personality when you’re dealing with lots of different personalities with tenants and for me dealing with owners and then contractors and stuff like that. You have to deal with a lot of incoming information.

Brandon: Yeah.

Josh: Hey listen some of the best people I've met in the businesses have been female I recommend to all… Yeah.

Dawn: Yeah women are great at it.

Brandon & Josh: Yeah, yeah.

Dawn: I don’t why a lot of women I think shy away from it but it tends to play women strings of being good people, people and good multitaskers.

Brandon: Just to add to that a couple weeks ago I think it was on our QuickTip at the beginning we talked about if you want to be on the BiggerPockets podcast you can go to a and you can actually sign up to apply to be on the show. And we had over 100 people I think at this point apply to be on the show which is great.

Out of them though I think three were women, so again when people ask why don’t we have more women on the show with had three people apply that were women I think you might have even been one of them.

Dawn: I was one yes.

Brandon: Yeah. So I mean again that’s just because if you're a lady who does real estate you don’t have to be have done this for 20 years but I want to see more women because I don’t know I love that so anyway do it done, did so.

Josh: Awesome alright so Dawn hobbies besides cleaning up milk off the backseat of the minivan which is something that I do every weekend.

Dawn: I know well gosh, pre-kids I did lots of stuff for fun. I played tennis in high school, I used to go downtown with my friends and try out new restaurants and stuff. Post-kids it’s a lot of play dates and going to the park and trying to find a restaurant that is kid friendly.

Josh: Yeah. Nice.

Dawn: I try to exercise regularly I just hired a personal trainer which is interesting.

Brandon: I’ve been meaning to do that lately I’m going to Hawaii in the next six weeks ago I got to be in shape.

Dawn: Oh nice yeah trying to get beach body ready huh?

Brandon: Exactly yeah there you go. Alright my final question is what do you believe sets apart the successful real estate investors out there from those who give up, fail or never get started?

Dawn: Sure you definitely have to be ready to take some action if you just sit on the sidelines all the time I think a lot of people are great at information gathering and I’m probably like this too where I can spend days and days researching something and never ever take that step to move forward. So I think if you spend a little bit less time researching I mean obviously you want to make good decisions and not do something blindly.

But if you spend too much time researching and just analysis paralysis and just never ever take that step forward you’re just never going to do anything.

Brandon: Yeah.

Josh: Yeah.

Brandon: Agreed.

Josh: Yeah for sure. Alright Dawn well listen, it's definitely been a pleasure where can people find out more about you I know they can find you on BiggerPockets yes?

Dawn: Absolutely on BiggerPockets so I'm all over the internet. I’m a real estate agent so I advertise a lot. So I’m on Facebook you can find my personal page its but instead of an ‘o’ it’s a zero or /Trailwood Realty which is my business page which I do not keep as updated as I should. I’m on Active Rain, I’m also on LinkedIn, LinkedIn/DawnBrenengen D-A-W-N B-R-E-N-E-N-G-E-N.

Josh: Got you. Awesome well Dawn thanks again and then we’ll see you around the site

Dawn: Yes you will thanks Josh, thanks Brandon.

Josh: Pleasure.

Brandon: Thank you this was fun.

Dawn: Yeah same here.

Brandon: Alright bye.

Dawn: Bye.

Josh: Alright guys that was Dawn Brenengen for Show 101 of the BiggerPockets podcast you can check out the show notes at a big thanks again to Dawn for coming on board talking to us and then for being active in the community, we definitely appreciate it. Otherwise thanks again to all of our listeners 101 episodes fantastic.

Brandon: Fantastic.

Josh: And we definitely appreciate it and I'll put out a follow-up pledge to you guys from our QuickTip, we are trying to reach 1000 ratings/reviews in iTunes we’re at 950 or so right now, or were when we recorded this. And we definitely want to get there so if you’re a listener please help us out, take three minutes jump on iTunes and leave us a rating review.

And if you don't how to do that jump on our show notes at and we've got a link to a little tutorial that will show you how to do that.

Brandon: There you go.

Josh: So thank you, thank you. Otherwise thanks for listening, thanks for being a part of our world like I said in my interview last week on Show 100 if you're not active if you just have a profile on our site you're missing out big time. Jump on, jump in, get active, connect, communicate go on those unanswered posts and help people out who have questions that haven’t been answered.

Spread the word about BiggerPockets and about what we’re doing try to help people out. So that's all I got for you. I'm Josh Dorkin sign off.

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