Is Your Real Estate Network Your Net Worth?

Melissa M. is a San Diego based real estate investor. She’s combined her personal experience, networking prowess, and Sundae’s Marketplace to build a real estate empire.

With over 20 years of real estate experience, Melissa continues to make tremendous strides with her top-level thinking and work ethic. It wasn’t long before she found Sundae’s Marketplace and utilized the platform as a key resource. Melissa dove into the mortgage industry after graduating from SDSU by managing warehouse lines and selling loans. She held an array of real estate positions finding her expertise in loan processing, real estate litigation, and investing. By 2011, Melissa joined Aslan Residential where she took an acquisition company of four employees with $17 million to 350 employees and $500 million in just a year and a half.

Believing in strong ethics and hard work, Melissa worked 15 hours a day for countless years. She finally decided to launch her own real estate business to find more of a work-life balance. This San Diego native also emphasized the importance of networking, team building, and other key insights for aspiring women investors. Here’s what Melissa had to say.

Accelerate your growth with mentors

There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes and learning from them, however, a mentor is one way to expedite the process. A mentor is an invaluable resource because they’ve done what you want to do.

Melissa stressed the importance of finding a mentor early on in your real estate career. She noted that “it will cut years off of anybody’s journey. Just be humble and be ready to work. If it means grabbing coffee everyday and dropping it off at their office to show that you want to learn and be part of their team, do it.”

There’s nothing that you can’t do to further your career, especially with a mentor by your side. Melissa went on to say that “there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, lean on those who have done it.” Her approach to being a good person and mentorship go hand-in-hand with each other. By demonstrating your dedication to your craft and serving others, it’s easier to find a mentor who will be willing to help. You have to do the things that show you’re willing to be their student. Once you find your mentor, be humble and be persistent.

Cultivate long-lasting relationships

A key to success in real estate investing is building a strong team that you can rely on. This is easier said than done. One of the most common pain points among investors is working and maintaining a relationship with good contractors.

Since the word “good” is rather subjective, Melissa recommends doing your best to vet contractors yourself. She explained that “I don’t leave anything unknown or up to chance, I really dig in and do my due diligence.” She took a construction course early on in her career to help understand this side of the business. This plus checking references, seeing past work, and conversations with contractors allowed her to find her current contractor. They’ve been working together for over eight years.

So what’s the secret sauce?

Real estate is a people business where relationships mean everything. It’s important to foster strong business relationships which start with your ethics. Melissa contributes a portion of her success due to the fact that she strives to be a great person to work with. She emphasized that “staying in touch, being on top of your work, and being a good human cultivates relationships.”

Whether it’s showing a kind gesture by getting people Christmas presents, or telling others to stay home if they are sick, it goes a long way. As investors work with contractors, providing them with constant work and caring for them builds trust and predictable outcomes in the long run.

The Sundae difference

Along with strong relationships and mentorship, using the right tools can be greatly beneficial. Sundae’s Marketplace made Melissa’s workload easier to manage.

It’s a place where Melissa easily keeps track of her new property listings and inventory. “The overall access to properties, the inventory that you have, and the integration between the two. It’s been wonderful because Sundae is a turnkey option,” Melissa said. A simple, yet effective feature, is the daily notification tool. Melissa and her colleagues receive daily updates with new listings. This allows her team to get the jump on an appealing property before her competition.

As soon as Melissa’s team finds a property they are interested in, Sundae streamlines the process and makes it efficient. The information is readily available about the property. From 3D floor plans and virtual tours, to title reports and history. Sundae provides crucial information up front, which saves Melissa time.

Every time a lead comes in, her team runs comps, looks at reports, develops a budget, and puts the numbers in the system. It’s an easy system to integrate into her own successful process that she also continues to improve. Melissa has a goal of shifting more towards remote work and has enjoyed adapting after the pandemic. Instead of driving to each property in-person to execute her due diligence, she receives everything she needs to know right from Sundae’s Marketplace.

What’s next for Melissa in 2022 and beyond?

Now that remote work is more possible than ever, Melissa enjoys the work-life balance and flexibility. She finds herself more productive and looks to build upon that in 2022.

She’s also focused on providing other women with more opportunities in the real estate industry and wants to help them realize the importance of networking. At her workplace, most of the engineers, contractors, and other staff are female. This has enabled her to empower others on the way to forging a “community of like-minded individuals.”

Besides improving her own business and building a community of real estate professionals, Melissa has big plans for her non-profit. Riseup Renovations focuses on green renovations. Using the lesson’s Melissa learned on her journey, she hopes that you can reach your financial goals and make a social impact as well.

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Rob Marini

Rob Marini is a content writer for Sundae who also produces content for real estate agents, investors, and prop tech companies across the country. He works as a digital marketing specialist in Connecticut, where he resides. When he’s not designing content or learning about real estate, you can find him podcasting, playing the guitar, or watching the Philadelphia Eagles.