8 questions with The Real Estate InvestHER’s Andresa Guidelli
Andresa Guidelli didn’t plan to go into real estate when she moved to the U.S. from Brazil to pursue her second master’s degree in Business Communication at La Salle University. While studying and working in door-to-door B2B sales, her manager introduced her to the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and encouraged her to consider investing in real estate.
Six months later, she purchased her first property, a Philadelphia home that required a full gut renovation. She increased the value of the property and was able to pull the equity through a HELOC, which propelled her to invest on a second property. Now, she invests in single-family and multifamily properties in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and North Carolina.
Guidelli’s journey hasn’t been easy. After a toxic marriage accentuated the importance of financial independence for women, Guidelli launched The Real Estate InvestHER with her business partner Liz Faircloth. The platform supports women real estate investors to strive in a field traditionally dominated by men, Guidelli says.
Today, they have 17,000 members attending more than 50 Meetup groups across the U.S. and Canada, along with a podcast, virtual and in-person events and an 11,000-member Facebook group that Guidelli says acts as a safe place to raise their hands and get the support they need.
“When someone has a question, a challenge, or an idea, they can tap into the experience and resource of women who have already walked the walk. There is no need for women to continue figuring things out by themselves anymore,” she says.
Guidelli spoke with Story about her approach to investing and why it’s important to create networks for women investors.
Story: Why was it important to you to create a community for women in real estate?
AG: Liz and I believe financial freedom is much more than supporting women to acquire properties and create cash flow. I was in a toxic relationship, and believe I wouldn’t have stayed in that relationship as long as I did if I’d had financial freedom. I’m very passionate about providing women a tool to become financially free and make choices for themselves and their families.
Story: What kinds of properties do you invest in, and how has your investing strategy evolved over your career?
AG: At the beginning, I was investing in single-family homes and doing rehab projects, usually with multiple properties at a time. I also started doing short-term rentals in 2012. A couple years down the road, I realized I wanted more than that.
So I decided to get into new construction, still doing multiple projects at the same time. Then I learned about commercial real estate and multifamily properties. I recently closed on a 670-unit project with five buildings across two states where Liz Faircloth and I are part of the GP (General Partner) side.
In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter how many doors an investor has. One can achieve financial freedom with five doors or less. It is all about what “success” looks like for each person. My main currency is “time” and this is how I measure my success, based on the amount of time I have free to do whatever I want, whenever I want, with whomever I want, as often as I want.
Story: You hear about a new real estate investment opportunity. What’s your first question for the broker or seller?
AG: Where is it? I want it to be in one of the states I’ve preselected, because I have done my homework on the market. When I do a market analysis, the spreadsheet looks like a scientist’s. We look at several metrics such as demographics, job growth and crime rates.
Then if a deal comes up, if it’s in one of those markets and the asset class matches, I’d continue the conversation by asking if there is an opportunity to add value. If the property is not located in the markets I am looking to invest in, I don’t waste my (or anybody’s) time evaluating it.
Story: Tell me about a mistake you learned from.
AG: You often hear about general contractors walking away and not finishing project, so the money is gone. I learned this the hard way. I paid $21,000 for the contractor to build a roof deck, and I paid in advance. The person vanished.
I managed to find them and sue and get money back about one year later, but I had to pay a lawyer, and it was a lot of unnecessary stress. I learned you only pay for things that are installed.
So here is how I know if someone is in trouble. If you were to fire the general contractor today, can you hire someone else to complete the job with the money left to complete the job? If the answer is “No,” the general contractor is ahead of the money.
So before you write your first check, sit down with the general contractor and make sure you have a detailed scope of work, finishes list, scheduling and payment plane defined. All those documents you must add to the contract, which needs to be prepared by your attorney.
Story: What’s your favorite thing about running Real Estate InvestHER?
AG: I like when women in our community talk about the actions they’ve taken and the results they’ve seen. My job isn’t just to inspire women — my job is to help them take action. It doesn’t need to be an overwhelming action step; it can be a micro-step. That creates momentum that propels you to take other micro-steps. Women feel confident taking steps when they know there’s a community behind them.
Story: What’s your approach to finding mentors in real estate?
AG: I started with The Rich Dad company, and it’s full circle because co-founder and CEO Kim Kiyosaki is now working with us at InvestHER CON, an event we’re hosting for women in real estate.
I’ve had different types of mentors. Some mentors I paid for knowledge and others I didn’t, but I brought something to the table. One time I wanted to rehab a house that was completely burned out, so I partnered with a very experienced rehabber. I brought the deal, he brought the financing, and together we made the deal work. I learned a ton from that.
The tricky part is women don’t always know what they bring to the table. Problem-solving skills, project management skills and other skill sets are super valuable when talking to sellers, managing construction sites or managing numbers. Those are valuable skills that many times are not valued.
Story: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
AG: Usually I scan my schedule through the day and I listen to Audible. One book I’m listening to is “The Surrender Experiment” by Michael Singer. High-performance investors have a hard time surrendering and getting out of their own way, so that’s something I’m interested in learning more about.
Story: If you could give a younger version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
AG: I’d say just, “Go for it, girl. Keep going for what you believe is the right thing to do.”
By Lauren Zumbach from Story by J.P. Morgan