Single. Woman. Investor. Newbie

46 Replies

Hello, I am going into Real Estate Investing as a single. I plan on staying single, but sure need a few female voices to help me 'get a plan'/ check list. I live in CA, but hope to invest where I can, out of state is probable. I have HAD my Real Estate Licence, but let it drop. 

I am organized, have integrity, am friendly and do not put up with drama in my life. I have raised five children alone, so when you see the bumper sticker, "You can't scare me, I have had children" ... that's me. 

I hope to learn to teach... women especially. Single moms especially, and Veterans for sure. 

My question: just looking for a voice, 'crying in the wilderness' speaking Truth. 

Welcome! I am also a single mother/investor. You might want to consider getting your real estate license again. We need more strong women out there in the field!

I’m a single mom, wanting to get into REI as well. I’m working on my RE license and have two more courses. I’m wanting some buy and hold rental properties. I wish I had a checklist for you but will be interested to see what others reply. Rock on single moms!!

Welcome.   I'm married with twin 20 month old boys and as of Friday will own 8 properties.  

Real estate is definitely a boys club and I enjoy the surprise when people realize I'm the property owner.  I call my husband my silent partner.  I manage the properties and he signs the mortgages as he is a teacher and banks love government employees with w-2's.

I've really been surprised that there are not more women investors. There also seems to be a debate about the pros and cons of a real estate license as an investor. My initial plan was to obtain the license but now I am putting that on hold to concentrate primarily on investing. In Colorado, I would have to work under a broker after obtaining a license and I don't want to do that at this juncture. Best of luck to @Julie N. , @Tracey Pera @Rebecca Robinson and @Anna Buffkin !

I'm also new in REI and looking to purchase my 1st investment next year, 2018, out of state since Cali is too expensive. I'm all about #womenpower too. feel free to connect with me, if you want

@Tracey Pera

@Julie N.

@Rebecca Robinson

@Anna Buffkin

@Lisa V.

@Account Closed

Just thought that I would chime in from my experience as a successful RE Investor and someone who created and taught his own Investor program from 2006 to about 2014.

I did not advertise the classes except for a group. Other than that, you had to find my classes through word of mouth.

There were probably 500 students that came in and out of the program.

I would say 70% were Male, 30% Female.

Because the Math was very intense and became more and more sophisticated, eventually learning how to put together a 10 year pro-forma business plan with an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) calculation, of the 500 students, approximately 470 dropped out before the end of a full program cycle.

Of the remaining students, approximately 30 that made it all the way to the end of the program, the best student, a 44 year old Female, not Married and no Children, whom I will just call Student M, made a killing.

Student M partnered with her brother, who never attended class. However, because of Student M's education and ability to put together the 10 year pro-forma business plan on one of the properties we analyzed, her brother was convinced and joined her in the Investment.

They bought their property, a 3 Family House in an up and coming area of Brooklyn for $1.2 Million in 2009.

Her property is now worth around $3 Million, conservatively.

Together, Student M and her brother made close to $2 Million in appreciation and also significant cash flow.

There were 2 other female students, one late 20s the other mid-30s, neither married or have children but had boy friends, both buying their own Condos for their live in Investments, and both had conservately made over $200k each.

Another female student, mid-30s and married, was buying Manhattan coops, 3 of them as I last remembered. She also had 3 children approximately 2 years after her last Investment purchase.

I did not keep in touch with her, but if she held onto the coops to date, she made at least 1/2 Million in appreciation.

There was also a subgroup of a mix of 13 students in the class, same ratio of about 9 males and around 4 females, most decided to form Investment Groups and trade stocks. They did well, but not nearly as well as ANY of the Real Estate Investing Students.

However, 9 other students from a different sub-group, all male, partnered with me, starting investing in 2014. 

I want to point out that I didn't purposely recruit only males with this subgroup. All the students population was asked to analyze their own properties. They then were asked to give me their analysis and if it the investment looked exceptionally good, I would be happy to Partner with them. It just turned out that only the Male Partners wanted to Invest.

There was at least 1 female Partner that was interested, but she back out somewhere after a group discussion on putting together the partnership. I'm not sure why, however.

Of the 2014 investments, we probably made over $3 Million in appreciation and cash flow. (I myself have several more multi-family investments from 1997 so I did significantly better than all the students).

One other male student did buy his own place, around 2012, but not in an area that was taught in my class as a place to achieve the maximum appreciation and cashflow. This student did do well for himself and sold the investment this year for a realized profit of about $200k.

The odd thing here is that the women Investors struck out on their own, doing phenomenally well, especially Student M and her brother.

The male students, did well, but not nearly as well as the female students.

There was some timing issues, however. The male students that Partnered with me came into those partnerships at a much later time than the female investors.

Part of the difference here is that the female students who invested earlier, around 2009 to 2012, fully believed in the education and reacted accordingly.

The Male Students who partnered with me would not partner with themselves alone. They wanted to partner with someone more experienced despite the promise from me that I would oversee their investments.

What was also interesting was that in 2010, one of the male drop outs of the program met me by accident in a coffee shop.

I asked him why did he leave the program. Basically, he said it was against what was being taught from the Guru's and he didn't believe in my program. I wished him good luck and never seen him again.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out the results which included a mixture of Male and Female Student Investors and their results and interactions.

There definitely is a difference between how the different Genders Invest, when they decide to Invest. Again, I have to point out the huge drop out rate of a otherwise very successful program.

I'll be curious what the women in this thread thinks about the information in this posting. I know I haven't given a LOT of details, but I was trying to give some relevant details in consideration that some of the previous posters mentioned they were Moms or Single, etc.

Updated over 3 years ago

Forgot one more student, a Married Male, 1 child from a previous marriage. He purchased a 2 Unit Building around 2015 for approximately $1 Million. Renovated for approx. $300k. Worth around $2 Million today for an increase of $700k in appreciation. He did GREAT. However, he was already an Investor in a previous building but learned a lot from my classes.

Updated about 1 year ago

Forgot one more student, a Married Male, 1 child from a previous marriage. He purchased a 2 Unit Building around 2015 for approximately $1 Million. Renovated for approx. $300k. Worth around $2 Million today for an increase of $700k in appreciation. He did GREAT. However, he was already an Investor in a previous building but learned a lot from my classes.

Love your attitude and obvious confidence.

You actually have a advantage in not having to answer to any other person. Emotional relationships are often a albatross that hold people back and kills ambition.

Being able to make decisions as a individual without the emotional baggage of a personal relationship is a distinct advantage.

I think that women are excellent at multitasking and have a good sense of intuition when it comes to making decisions. We have had to overcome discrimination; remember that up until 1974 a woman could not obtain a bank loan without a male signature. Women have often and sometimes still are defined by their marital status in society, The truth is that women have much to offer in the financial sector and slowly women are gaining the confidence and power to break the glass ceiling. Great post @Llewelyn A. ! It is very interesting how so many dropped out at the beginning because of the math. I'm curious as to how long the program was.

@Tracey Pera ,

Welcome!  I'm a married woman investor.  Being a female,  my best advice is to make sure you have really thick skin (nothing is ever personal in business),  some people can be very supportive, but some people can be real a$$holes and just be ready for it.   It's intimidating to be a woman in this field,  as there really aren't a lot!  @Ruth Bayang would also be a great resource and I think she's in CA too!    

I guess you could call me a veteran, with the amount of stuff I've seen in done with BRRRR, so feel free to reach out if you ever wanna bounce ideas or get a second opinion.. especially if you're doing low income rentals, that's my focus!

I too am a single mom of 2 in Massachusetts. Not easy.  I am looking to connect with like minded women. I haven't done my first deal YET. I don't have much success in locating owners of properties that are vacant. 2 have already been bought now and I don't know how they were able to get t he information to buy the properties. Any help is appreciated.


I have a partner whose my fiancé but when it comes to BP forums,doing any sort of paper work, call, email or searching for properties, I do it all. My husband is my silent partner and all he does is sign the checks. 

We in invest in various east coast cities doing BRRR and flips.

Female investor here!! 

@Lisa V.

Hi Lisa,

I absolutely believe women are disadvantaged in business in general. There are some very good women role models, however, including Barbara Corcoran, Melissa Meyers and Lori Greiner. Given that there are many female role models, it should not be inferred that women are playing on the same level field as a man. Too many statistics show this is not the case. I do personally believe than women can do a lot to increase their representation, especially in Government. If women were to just become politically active as a group, America can be a much better place!

With regards to my previous program, I tailored the program to the set of students in each class who were meeting once a week. So students who met every Tuesdays were customized different than students who met every Friday, etc. It was a go at your own pace program because I don't believe that it's possible to learn and absorb Yuge amounts of information in a 3 day seminar. Certainly things like Rates of Return including IRR, Economics, new and pending legislation such as the Tax Reform coming out, etc. all of which impacts your ability to be successful, cannot be learned and absorbed in a short period of time.

I told each class that there is a difference between reading words and understanding the words you read. In my class, you are not allowed to just read words, you MUST understand it for me to progress the class.

Apparently this kind of attitude is attributed to the large drop out rates.

As far as the curriculum, it started with the basic calculations such as GRM, Cash on Cash Return, etc.

Then it progressed into Cap Rate and some Tax Analysis.

The first challenging topics included how to Amortize a Mortgage, understand the difference between a Simple Interest Calculation (such as GRM and Cash on Cash Return) and Compounded Rates of Return (such as Certificate of Deposit Accounts, Appreciation Rates, Annual Rental Increases).

When we started economic theory, such as difference between real and nominal prices, inflation, seasonal adjusted prices, case-shiller home price indexes, etc., the concepts really became very difficult to understand. But these are really very necessary to investing, especially in places Detroit which was heavily dependent on one industry, in this case the Automotive Industry. All one had to do was follow the economic history of GM, Ford and Chrysler and you would have had a lot of warning before Detroit went bankrupt.

The other parts of of the program focused on putting together all of this into an Excel Spreadsheet with assumptions on the future 10 years such as why use 3% versus 6% appreciation Rate, what will be the cash flows if rents increased 3% while expenses increased 5% annually for the remaining 10 years, what will be the Mortgage Balance at the end of 10 years, etc.

The beginning of each class started out with me asking questions to assess the absorption of the previous classes information. Most of the time, the students were just sitting in class, hoping they can move forward.

If the class as whole answered the questions satisfactory, I would move on to the next lesson. HOWEVER, this RARELY occurred.

I tried to analyze it on a psychological basis. It seemed to me that most people take classes on Investing not to actually do the Investing, but to either live in the dream of doing investing or to feel good about being in a class, while not necessarily doing the work to actually equate that good feeling to results.

I didn't charge for the class other than for the classroom itself. It was only $20 per student per week.

That being said, the 470 dropped out students could have had certain false attitudes including "What you get is what you pay for" equating the cheap fees for cheap education, therefore, they didn't need to put in their own time to learn the material.

I suspect that in life, we not only have to overcome our disadvantages (I was a very poor immigrant minority from South America coming to NYC at the worst time in the early 70s) but have to overcome our attitude that you cannot expect to be successful just reading or watching a video if it goes in one ear and out the other. You have to prove to yourself that the material has been absorbed by testing yourself.

As a result, while there was a Yuge drop out rate, of the ones that did make it to the end, the rewards were dramatic, ranging from profits of $50k to $2 Million for each "graduate."

I also never was formally taught Real Estate Investing. I'm a programmer/Business Analyst by profession (quit in 2004 when my REI made me financially independent). I just did was I expected all my students to do..... stop just looking at the words, understand what you are reading. A great method to do that is to constantly test your knowledge by doing something like creating a spreadsheet.

Just to answer your question.......... I held back all the classes because they did not absorb enough from the previous class. If the class had absorbed more than 75% of the material, I would have progressed to the next lesson. As a result, what should have been a 3 month course meeting once a week, stretched out to a year, and in some classes, multi-years.

Sorry abut the very long answer!

No apology required regarding the long answer, @Llewelyn A. ! Very interesting information and I don't think many of your students realized how lucky they were to be exposed to all the great concepts at a nominal fee. Short cuts in learning don't work in this field so I have my work cut out for me. Also, I agree that it is not a level playing field and companies get away with it via a "culture fit" and proving discrimination can be impossible. Pay equity is still a major issue; women now make 80.5 cents for every dollar a man makes. 

I was single, but remarried a few months ago.  I own 31 properties / 90 units and bought my ex husband out of them because he had no involvement with the business.  

There are plenty of successful investors, men, women, single, married.  The one thing we have in common is passion and determination.  


I love this thread. I'm "single" with a boyfriend. He does not support my investing financially or has any say on the properties I choose. He does support what I'm trying to do though! But I'm more open to finding and connecting with female RE investors. I'm just starting out but acquiring my second property either the end of this month or early next month- as soon as the title company clears the deed! It's definitely not easy but it can be done! I would love to see a whole blog forum dedicated to female REI's!

@Tracey Pera , I'm pretty new here myself--about a month and a half old.  I've had properties for several years now and am closing on my 4th next week, but only since BP have I started to really consider it INVESTING.  I didn't do a terrible job-everything I have cash flows, but I was just buying cash flowing properties, not actually investing like I'm trying to do now.  Fyi, I'm an Army veteran.  ;-)  Welcome to BP!

@Carol Zeroual , when you find a property you like, go to the county tax assessor's website.  They should have a place where you can plug in the property address and find the name and address of the owners (as well as more information about the house and its taxes).  If you are considering doing a direct mail campaign, it usually takes a LOT of letters as in to lots of people and quite a few times, before you get a deal that way.  Unfortunately, it's not as easy as they old days when you could just look up their name in the phone book.  lol  Though you can probably pay places on the internet to get their number, but I don't do that.

Thanks everyone for this great post! One thing I've learned over the years is to try to deflect all the no's that come your way. I recall so many people telling me in the early 2000s, don't buy a place in Boston, you are too young, you want to travel etc. There were multi families in South Boston selling for $100-150k that are now well into 7 figures. I listened to the no's stupidly.  

Then right after the crisis many people told me not to buy a condo, condo's are all bad, etc, not understanding that for an expensive city like Boston condo's are necessary and that bad associations can be improved and not all associations are bad. 

So, do tons of research but then have the confidence to handle the no's. Another no I got when I was quite young was around mathematics. I actually had a teacher tell me not to bother with math or science if I found it slightly hard, those aren't for girls anyway. Then I just put a bit more focus and elbow grease into it and turned out I loved economics and it has become a lifelong passion. If you find your passion go for it and that might help to overcome the obstacles of a male dominated space. I know it's not easy, just saying listen to the voice inside of you which is so many times right!

@Llewelyn A. many thanks for the post! Your class sounds amazing. Have you considered a webinar type version of it for people outside NYC? I'd be interested.