Brittany Arnason and Kara Beckmann on the Power of Instagram

Published: Apr 19, 2021

Alex Osenenko and Steve Rozenberg wrap up season 1 of The Myndful Investor Podcast Show on location at The Bigger Pockets Convention in Nashville with Brittany and Kara. The roundtable discussion is about social media, the power of Instagram and overcoming gender stereotypes.

Full Transcript

Alex Osenenko: Boys and girls, welcome to another episode of The Mindful Investor show. So good to have you here. Steve, don’t we have a show for-

Steve Rozenberg: Man, we’ve got to good one. So, on this show we have Kara and Brittany. These girls are Instagram wonders. Kara is out of Phoenix, she’s got over 40,000 followers on Instagram. Brittany is in Saskatoon, Canada, and she has 85,000 followers on Instagram.

Alex Osenenko: But they’re both real estate investors.

Steve Rozenberg: They’re flippers. They’re in the heat of battle.

Alex Osenenko: They’re serious. They’re out there. They’re actual investors.

Steve Rozenberg: And so in this episode, what you’re going to learn is basically number one, how they use social media to basically get all of their deals. All of their business comes because of social media, number one. Number two, you’re also going to learn how they get sponsored by suppliers to give them supplies because of their dominance in the social media arena.

Alex Osenenko: When you’re flipping your house, your tile could be free because you just mentioned who the tile is by.

Steve Rozenberg: Exactly. And these girls do an amazing job. You’re going to learn basically not only how they do it now, but kind of how they got started. And you know, Kara gets other business, not just flipping but design project business because of her reputation. So it just goes to show how powerful social media is and how strongly they feel that social media has been a major player in their success story.

Alex Osenenko: This show is unique and their passion is fantastic. Let’s get into the show.

Steve Rozenberg: [inaudible]

All right guys, so we are here at BiggerPockets and you know one of the reasons you come to these conferences and these events is you get to meet like-minded people. You get to hang out with them, you get to talk to them. And so we couldn’t have two better people to talk to now on that are just known out there in the industry is our good friends, Brittany and Kara.

Alex Osenenko: And the theme, if I may add, the theme of the conversation is going to be like one of the things I’ve heard from Kara, she said, “all my clients came from social media,” and antenna goes up like, “what’s [inaudible 00:02:15], how does that possible?” And so we’re going to explore that. We’re going to dig in and unpack some of the stuff. But by the way, Kara, to my left, 43,000 Instagram followers, I don’t know how to even possible. 10 homes she renovated herself. She does a lot of work for the clients as well. And every client came from social, which is amazing. Britt is right in front of me to the right of Steve, those of you watching on video, but smart and very articulate. But 83,000 followers on Instagram and 13 rental properties. Britt that’s amazing. So today we’re going to talk about how to use social media, how to leverage social in rental properties business. So you guys, maybe give us a little bit of how’d you get into it? What was the moment where you said, okay social works. How do you even come to that?

Steve Rozenberg: And I think just also maybe where they’re working, operating out of, cause they’re completely different markets and that’s important to know as well. Different countries. Tell me a little bit about you and where you’re from, where you operate, and how you got into this.

Kara Beckmann: I’m from Scottsdale, Arizona, which is a great market right now, and I started real estate investing in 2016, I was 28 years old, and when I went into real estate investing, I knew nothing about real estate. So everything has been self-taught. And that was also before I found BiggerPockets, that would’ve been helpful back then. And that’s when I started my Instagram, Beckmann House, and I started it just to have a place where I can keep my memories. So when I started early on, it was my way to, okay, I bought my first investment property, and so it’s really fun to see that progression. And then I started featuring more of the before and afters. And it started off slow, the growth was very slow. And on my third investment property, I hired subcontractors to teach me how to do a lot of the work because I thought this is what I want to do full time and I don’t want to jump into this full time not knowing construction.

And so by hiring those subcontractors, they taught me how to wire can lights, properly demo walls, rip up baseboards, rip up tile. And so I was starting to feature more of that on my Instagram and that’s when it really started to grow. I think people like seeing, wow, if she can do it, I can do it. And that really is the message that I want to relay that anyone can do this. And I think it’s fantastic and there’s a lot of different ways to invest in real estate. And then I would feature more before and afters and more extreme before and afters and then it would grow and people would feature my posts, which would in turn grow both accounts. And that is really how it started to grow immensely when people were sharing mine. And more interaction too. I noticed the more I interact with my followers, the better it is for everybody.

Alex Osenenko: How long did it take, Kara? Sorry to interrupt, but how long did it take? I’m just super curious. How long did it take when you felt it crested? It was a point where somebody actually started sharing.

Steve Rozenberg: A tipping point. You got to a tipping point where it started going.

Kara Beckmann: I was probably on my fifth property.

Alex Osenenko: It took awhile.

Kara Beckmann: It did. It was a very slow growth.

Steve Rozenberg: Look, 2016 that’s only three years though. So it’s-

Alex Osenenko: Only three years? That’s like a lifetime. These girls are in their [inaudible 00:05:35] So that was pretty awesome. Do you mind if we just shift to Britt and get what is your, how’d you get started and where?

BrittanyArnason: I’m in the middle of nowhere in Canada, right in the middle on the prairies. I’m not actually from that city originally, but there’s cheap properties there. And I bought my first property in Saskatchewan when I was 18 years old. So that was how I got my start. But my mom owned rental properties, so I would help her do DIY renovation stuff as well. That’s where I get this mentality from. So I’m like DIY everything. So it actually took me a while after I bought that first property to really get all-in on real estate. I didn’t even realize like people were doing it full time as a job. So I found BiggerPockets and I’m like, wow, this is a whole new world. So then once I started investing full time, that’s when I started posting a lot on Instagram. But I would tag, cause I look up to Brandon and whoever, so I tagged them in posts and get attention that way.

Alex Osenenko: Are you guys listening? That’s a tip, that’s a pro-tip.

BrittanyArnason: And I try my best to add value to people. I don’t want to just be constantly taking, I want to be able to give back. So it’d be like, “Hey, like I read Brandon’s book, it’s so awesome” and I’ll do that for Steve and my friends as well, just to give some value back to them by promotions or whatever. So instead of just tagging them being annoying, asking questions, I’m tagging him like, “Hey everyone, you should read Brandon’s book, you should listen to this podcast episode” and I’m able to talk to people I never thought I’d have conversations with and look at where we are now. It’s so insane who you could meet over social.

Alex Osenenko: So what is your crest, where did you feel that moments, like five properties for you Kara? Like how would you picture it?

BrittanyArnason: I guess with mine, it would have actually been around five as well. But it was weird because it was the same thing because it was really slow and once I started really getting big on Instagram–

Steve Rozenberg: And did you intentionally start to post stuff with that plan or no?

BrittanyArnason: No, not at all.

Steve Rozenberg: So you were, just like Kara, you’re just posting to post.

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, exactly. But one of my really good friends actually started making money through Instagram and I was like, “Oh, this could be another stream of income, right?” So, that was in the back of my head too. I had a few different ideas, but I never would have imagined what it is now. But back in the day, I was thinking about, cause I love to travel as well, so I always wanted something that I could do online as a business or I could make money like wherever I am in the world. So that was another thought I had, but then it went like really just to investing.

Steve Rozenberg: So is it happening now? The people who are listening, is it happening now? Are you making money while traveling?

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, and lots of product sponsors too. So a lot of companies will sponsor, just give me free product.

Steve Rozenberg: Is that common? Do you get that as well?

Kara Beckmann: We’ll partner with companies; I do a lot of tile partnerships, which is amazing. And you’re having fun. You’re doing what you love to do.

Steve Rozenberg: Now, I noticed you guys do different types of videos though. So you do the, I don’t know if you’d call it a time lapse type video and you do more of like showing the product. Is there one versus the other?

Kara Beckmann: I don’t think so. A time lapse is nice cause you can show a lot more of the process much quicker. So if Brittany’s demoing, or laying a whole floor of tile, she can show that whole process where I have to “this is what I’m doing now, this is the before, these are a few steps, this is after.” So it’s just different. And I think it’s fun to do a few of those different, to do some maybe slow-mo. I like slow modes when I’m punching walls or something. And then time-lapse is great for longer videos and then it’s nice just to have, “here’s it before, here’s an after.” So constantly changing.

Alex Osenenko: So Kara, you’ve learned construction management you’ve said, which is very interesting. That perked my ears, because not a lot of people want to get into it.

Steve Rozenberg: And so does she [Brittany]. She does the demos and everything too.

Alex Osenenko: You do that too?

BrittanyArnason: Yeah.

Alex Osenenko: So I guess that’s one takeaway for the listeners; you have to not only learn it but love it, right? [crosstalk 00:09:40] Like I see your passion-

Steve Rozenberg: You have to live it.

Alex Osenenko: [inaudible 00:09:42] have this amazing tile sponsorships, to me, I’m like, [inaudible] Who’s got tile sponsorships, come on, but hey, that’s a passion. I guess take away number one, learn it and then be passionate about it. What are some of the other takeaways? What have you seen being successful in that social media real estate play, which, by the way, I’ll just set it up, like Property Brother — there’s some shows on TV, people do it, but to me that looks like not real. It’s very hard to connect with real. You guys are real.

Steve Rozenberg: They’re doing the work. The other ones, it’s virtual TV, but you know, there’s some staging.

Alex Osenenko: Reality TV.

Steve Rozenberg: Reality, I’m sorry, but you know there’s probably some staging going on sometimes.

Alex Osenenko: That’s what I’m thinking. It’s very hard to believe what’s on TV is real.

Steve Rozenberg: But when they’re doing it, I mean, it’s videos of them actually doing the work. Let me ask you this, have you seen, and I know it’s an ever-changing industry, how have you seen it change as far as what you did before, I’m guessing wouldn’t work — what you did in 2016 probably would not work today, is that a safe statement?

BrittanyArnason: Yeah.

Kara Beckmann: As far as investing?

Steve Rozenberg: No, no, I’m sorry, as far as on social media, gaining traction and doing what you’re doing. How do you stay up on that? Cause if not you become irrelevant and you get kind of pushed aside, right?

Kara Beckmann: Well, I really think it’s just being consistent. You know what I did back in 2016 I’m still doing that same stuff. I’m just doing more of it and more consistent.

BrittanyArnason: And getting them to know you and let them into your life. People like to see that; they want to get to know you. So I think that’s important too.

Alex Osenenko: Here’s a question I have, a percentage split between female and male followers, what would you say yours is?

Kara Beckmann: I know mine. Mine are 75% female, 25% male.

BrittanyArnason: Really? Mine’s opposite. Completely opposite.

Alex Osenenko: That is so interesting.

Steve Rozenberg: Well Canada, I mean, what’s there, right?

Alex Osenenko: These are just interesting stats. Those listening out there, it really varies within your content. Okay, so next question, we have Dan, our director here. He’s talented, he’s setting up this whole routine, pictures; we don’t have to learn about it and do it. How did you like this photography and video? Like did you learn that stuff?

Steve Rozenberg: She was showing me her phone of all the things the phone did last night and I was thinking like, “wow, how would you even learn this?”

Alex Osenenko: So let’s talk through that. What are some of the apps are you using?

Kara Beckmann: I don’t use photo apps, so I use my iPhone, all of my pictures, before I hired professional photographers to capture my homes, they’re all done on my iPhone. You have iPhone editing, so you can enhance the brightness maybe, play with the contrast a little bit, but that’s it. And it’s funny because sometimes I’ll notice that pictures that look like they were homemade or on my iPhone versus a professional get more likes, and I think it relates back to, “I can do that.”

Steve Rozenberg: It’s within their grasp. They’re like, “I can do what she’s doing. It’s not impossible. She doesn’t have this huge budget and a film crew following her around. It’s just her.” Got it.

Alex Osenenko: So when you thought about, and, Britt, before we come back to your strategy on this, have you thought about elevating the game? Now that you’re gaining momentum, what are your thoughts on next stage?

Kara Beckmann: I’m always thinking about my next stage. So through Instagram I’ve also met another investor who’s in the Phoenix-Scottsdale market, and he does a lot in the commercial side. And that is really where I want to end up going. And so we’ve been talking a lot through Instagram and also talking about partnering on a deal, whether that be commercial or whether we partner and he funds a flip, and that would give me more just more capital.

Alex Osenenko: But that’s venturing into a different avenue of the business, not necessarily changing, sort of upgrading your presentation or your content. Have you thought about actually upgrading? You said iPhone things work, but have you thought about getting more professional stuff done?

Kara Beckmann: Not yet.

Steve Rozenberg: Because it’s working.

Kara Beckmann: It’s working, right. And a lot of people, once they start to grow, they have someone manage their social media accounts. And right now, I love managing my social media accounts and I think it’s important for me to do that because I see what my followers are wanting. They’re messaging me, “oh, I want to see this, can you talk about this, what are your exterior paint color go-to’s, or what is this?” And that gives me more content. This is what people want to learn. The other day, I was walking through a house and I walked through the reasons I didn’t end up investing, and the amount of messages I got, “thank you so much for saying the reasons you didn’t invest.”

Steve Rozenberg: Sure. I’ve always learned that when you’re on social media, everyone always hears the successes. They want to hear the reasons you don’t do something or the mistakes or the top landlord failures or what could get you sued because nobody ever talks about that stuff. They always talk about the fame and “I made this much money on a flip and I did this,” as opposed to “this was a horrible situation, I can’t believe this happened to me and I X dollars” or whatever the case may be. And I think a lot of people like that. They like the fact that you’re able to go in and say, “hey this is good or bad and this is why I didn’t move forward in it.” I have a question-

Alex Osenenko: Hold on a second, I want to give Britt a bit of a stage to discuss it because this is kind of interesting. We are in content production, it’s very professionally interesting to me. How do you think about quality? Cause Dan is obsessed with quality. He won’t let Steve and I be too creative without him overseeing and that’s not a bad thing, it’s a great thing. Thank you. We need some, we need discipline. Britt, how do you do it?

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, well I was going to go back to the apps thing because I do have a few video editing apps and stuff like that. So for photos I use Snapseed. So like Kara was saying-

Steve Rozenberg: Kara-

BrittanyArnason: Shoot. It’s the Canadian accent, you guys, I know her name, we’ve been friends forever. I’m sorry. So I use Snapseed-

Steve Rozenberg: Snapshoot? Seed?

BrittanyArnason: Yes, Snapseed. So I really like that one. And like you said with the brightness, it’s really important to increase your brightness because when people are walking around, maybe they’re outside or something, you really want your photo to stand out, so I think that’s important. With video, there’s a few, if you have an iPhone, like iMovie, Clips, and then my favorite is called Splice. But I had it for free and someone told me recently they started charging. So, shoot, cause it’s so good. It’s a really awesome app.

Alex Osenenko: What’s with people not paying? Sorry, just, it’s a little bit of a intersection here. But, $8 for an app? $8 for an app? Like somehow we have a problem with that. We’ll dump, we’ll get a venti in Starbucks for 14 and that’s okay. Anyway, go ahead.

BrittanyArnason: So true. So those are really good and time-lapse on my iPhone and that’s all I’ve used, just on the actual camera.

Steve Rozenberg: On what you guys have done, how do you think it’s, I mean, we know it’s helped you, right? You guys have said it’s opened up a lot of doors, but could you specifically say, this is because I’ve met these people or I’m afforded this ability or deals, because how would you guys relate that to actually going, “this is why I’m doing so much on social media?” Because at some point, you may go [crosstalk 00:17:05].

BrittanyArnason: It’s a full time job.

Steve Rozenberg: Some people go like, “man, I don’t have the time to do it.” But you’re saying you don’t have time not to do it, because this is actually what’s getting you business.

Kara Beckmann: Right. You have to make time to do it every day.

Steve Rozenberg: So how much time would you say you guys allocate for social media?

Kara Beckmann: I do about two and a half hours a day.

Steve Rozenberg: Two and half hours a day?

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, I would say, for my videos and stuff, to edit, it takes a lot of time. But I would probably say even maybe three hours a day.

Steve Rozenberg: Okay. So now you guys are on one channel, on Instagram more than Facebook or anything else. Is there a reason you guys picked that channel?

BrittanyArnason: I think Instagram is like the popular app.

Kara Beckmann: I just get so many more comments and interactions through Instagram.

Steve Rozenberg: I believe you get like access and you get things like “swipe-up for this,” that we don’t have access to those things.

Kara Beckmann: Right. So you have to have 10,000 followers for the swipe-up.

Steve Rozenberg: 10,000 okay, So you’re [crosstalk 00:17:57] you’re not, cause I was talking to her about, I’m interested, I’m trying to learn.

Alex Osenenko: Oh I get it. I get it. So can we do a little bit of a coaching here? So you use two and a half hours a day, Kara, you use three hours a day. But I think it’s a lot of it is video editing as well. What is your unique ability? Both of you, I want to hear from each of you, please. What is your unique ability and what’s the next thing you’re going to outsource? [crosstalk 00:18:22] What are you going to hire for, what are you going to keep?

BrittanyArnason: So for me, I’m really passionate about renovations. I’ll do that all day and forever until I’m dead. [crosstalk 00:18:31] But I just love being creative and hands on. I’ve always just thought I would love to retire and do woodworking or metalworking or stuff like that. That’s what I love to do. Because it’s my creative outlet. It’s fun for me, it’s relaxing. So that’s what I’m passionate about it, and that’s, I think, how I grew my account because I love this stuff and people can see that.

Steve Rozenberg: The passion.

BrittanyArnason: [Inaudible] so like that. But when it comes to paperwork and property management and things like that-

Alex Osenenko: Oh we know a property manager.

BrittanyArnason: Do you? In Canada?

Alex Osenenko: Not in Saskatchewan.

Steve Rozenberg: Saskatoon.

Alex Osenenko: Whatever. I’m bad at it, but yes. Over there we don’t have it.

Steve Rozenberg: You can let Kara answer and then I’ve got a couple. I’ve got some investing questions for them.

Alex Osenenko: Well that’s actually very, very good cause we want to sort of tie it in and give our listeners the whole idea. These girls have amazing portfolios as well as Instagram stuff. So Kara, what are you going to outsource next?

Kara Beckmann: So, hi, I’ve been working a lot with Steve on this because I do so much of it. I do a lot, I’m managing my, well, not managing but managing the construction aspect of a lot of my jobs, the design work as well and I enjoy being at my job sites. I like what’s going on. I like the interactions with the contractors, making sure we’re on budget. That’s very important to me and they know how tight I am on that. And so I would probably outsource accounting. I actually enjoy doing spreadsheets and that’s why I take it on myself because I like it, but it’s not the best use of my time. Designing is a better use of my time than working on my spreadsheets and I need to outsource that and possibly bring in someone who’s more full time for the client aspect as well.

Steve Rozenberg: The client experience.

Alex Osenenko: Can you hold your questions for another follow-up question?

Steve Rozenberg: Sure.

Alex Osenenko: I have to have this one. [inaudible 00:20:34] I don’t think there’s enough women doing this. We all know that. Right?

Steve Rozenberg: Believe it or not though, on Instagram, there are a lot of women-

Alex Osenenko: It’s amazing and it’s happening, but you guys leading the way, right, so you’re spearheading this. Tell the women that are listening, how do you manage like highly male-dominated trades contractors? You said that’s one of the favorite things to do. Like I imagine, you come in, you’re blonde, I mean, how did they take you seriously? And if they don’t, how you make them take you seriously.

Kara Beckmann: You don’t take any BS. And you have to set that precedence right away, because as soon as they start to pull one on you, I told my contractor, “don’t pull that on me,” cause I caught him in something and he said, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” Didn’t happen again. But you have to set the precedence. You are the boss. Things will go accordingly or you’ll call them out on it. You have to set your expectations right off the bat. And that does come with some experience. When I wasn’t experienced, you don’t know what you don’t know, and that is exactly why on my third property I hired subcontractors to teach me how to do things because now I can say that’s wrong or right, or you’re charging me too much, or if you’re taking too long, because I know now. And also the more you work with that contractor, my contractor tells me a lot, “you know, I really respect you. I have a lot of respect for you” and-

Steve Rozenberg: Because you’re out there doing it and you know it, is that-

Kara Beckmann: Yeah.

Steve Rozenberg: Yeah that makes sense.

Alex Osenenko: Because you don’t set unrealistic expectations probably, but you also push them to be their best. Right?

Kara Beckmann: Right, right.

Alex Osenenko: Britt, do you have another view on this?

BrittanyArnason: Well, I think it is extremely intimidating for women in the industry, but I’ve always kind of grew up in trades and whatever, so I never really felt that. But I think, even through Instagram too is a really cool way to green the credibility because like people see, and they want their company, like if you’re hiring a plumber or whoever contractor, they want you to give them some shout outs or whatever on your Instagram. So you have this level of credibility now.

Steve Rozenberg: [crosstalk 00:22:38] you’re helping them, yeah.

BrittanyArnason: So I find that to be really helpful.

Alex Osenenko: That is a good tip.

Steve Rozenberg: Okay. So let’s go into the investing job that you guys do, right. Getting into this-

Alex Osenenko: By the way, I do appreciate your patience.

Steve Rozenberg: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

Alex Osenenko: As soon as you got the word in.

Steve Rozenberg: All right, so Kara, you had a job and you quit your job, right?

Kara Beckmann: Right.

Steve Rozenberg: And so it wasn’t in real estate at all, right?

Kara Beckmann: No.

Steve Rozenberg: So how do you think differently today than you did? So there’s other women out there that are going, “”man, I would love to do what she does, but I just can’t. And they have all the reasons why, but you did it, you took that step, you cut the rope and you jumped to this new thing. And there was, I’m sure a lot of fears.

Kara Beckmann: There were. It took months before I finally said, “okay, I’m taking a huge leap of faith.” And that is what it was. It was really trusting God and saying, “okay, I’m going to do this and here we go.”

Steve Rozenberg: So what advice, and for you too Britt, what advice would you give for, let’s say women that are out there working that say, “man, I would love to do what these girls are doing, but I just can’t do it.” They have all the reasons in the world, which a lot of times those are just made up in our heads, but what would you tell them that they need to do and how would they execute that plan talking to you three years ago?

Kara Beckmann: Well, I’m actually really thankful that I started investing while I was working a full time job for multiple reasons. Having that full time income, I was able to qualify for loans, which helped me purchase the home. My backstory, my degree is in patisserie and baking. And so I wanted to have a bakery, and for years I’d been saving money to eventually open up a bakery.

Steve Rozenberg: Vegetarian bakery — a vegan bakery. Very important.

Kara Beckmann: Yeah, I wanted to do wedding cakes and that was when the economy started to go down. And then long story short, I ended up in retail. So I’m working in retail. I needed a creative outlet and I thought I’m going to take this money that I’d been saving for years and years, put 20% down, because it was an investor loan, so you have to have your 20% and then I got a mortgage on the rental property and then I funded the rehab with the money I was making from my full time job.

So I did this a few times, so I got the hang of it while I’m still working. So it’s a lot less fearful when you have a steady paycheck coming in and you know you can pay your contractors, and you know you can purchase supplies and everything. And so I think that helps to build the confidence rather than quitting your job jumping into it; now you’re going to have to fund it fully cash, get hard money. It’s a lot; it’s a higher risk.

Steve Rozenberg: It’s a high risk. I would say it’s a higher risk when you don’t know what you’re doing. When you know what you’re doing, it’s low risk. But what’s interesting is it’s the same risk. You’re doing the same thing. It’s just your knowledge is actually what’s taking it from high risk to low risk, right? Because now you may look at this and go, I would do this. Like when you look at a deal, same as you, you look in a deal and you go, yep, I would do this, this, this, and this. Where if you’re someone new, you’d be like, wow, I don’t even know where to begin. Maybe I’ll just keep my nine to five, you know? And that kind of thing. Now for you, Britt, you came from the industry with, like you said, with your mom and everything, but for you, what were some mental blocks that you had to get over and to do what you do? Cause now you’re, you go and live at the property sometimes, right?

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, all the time.

Steve Rozenberg: All the time. Well now you’ve got the bus, right? You follow on Instagram, she has a school bus now she’s living in, yeah.

Alex Osenenko: I’m not even on Instagram.

Steve Rozenberg: You seen her in the school bus? [crosstalk 00:26:09] Yeah, but it’s a converted short bus, is that what you said?

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, short school bus.

Steve Rozenberg: But yeah, so she goes and actually lives at the properties that she’s doing the rehabs on. So I mean talk about being into this, right?

Alex Osenenko: That struck me. We should have a better pre-show briefing. I had no idea.

Steve Rozenberg: So what would you tell women that want to get it? Especially, they want to get into this, maybe not even go into a career and they want to start doing this. What would you guys give them advice-wise?

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, I mean, I guess obviously you want to be educated enough so you don’t make a bad choice. You want to make sure the property is going to make you money in the end, that’s so important. But I also always thought what’s the worst case scenario? Because in my market, I’ve been buying really cheap properties, so under like $25,000 around-

Steve Rozenberg: Canadian? Canadian dollars?

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, Yeah. So like nothing for you guys, so come on over.

Steve Rozenberg: So it’s like three bucks?

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, pretty much. Yeah, so for me, the risk didn’t really feel like anything cause I was like, “all right, I know this property is going to make money,” cause after renovation it runs for around $900.

Steve Rozenberg: So the numbers make sense. [crosstalk 00:27:22] And you’re totally redoing the house, so you’re giving someone a brand new house.

BrittanyArnason: Exactly. Yeah, so I don’t know, I felt like-

Steve Rozenberg: The risk factor was low.

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, and for me it’s like worst case scenario, I have to go get another job if this doesn’t work out. Like it felt fine to me.

Steve Rozenberg: Now the price points where you are, are different. [crosstalk 00:27:41] So you’re taking off a bigger, you’re getting a hard money loan or something that’s a bigger, you’re taking a bigger bite there.

Kara Beckmann: Oh yeah, a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

Steve Rozenberg: So there’s a limit, I mean, at some point, especially when you’re new, there’s a limit. You’re getting trust with the hard money lenders and stuff. But initially, till you get that track record with them, there’s a limit on the amount of funds that you can borrow.

Kara Beckmann: Right.

Steve Rozenberg: So that’s a factor.

Kara Beckmann: That’s true. And maybe, as a first timer, it’s not a bad idea to partner with someone.

Steve Rozenberg: Absolutely.

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, I agree.

Kara Beckmann: Take a lower percentage of the deal, just to get the knowledge. That lower percentage is going to be worth so much more.

Steve Rozenberg: Oh yeah, totally. Now let me ask you this, so you guys doing what you’re doing right now, this is a strategy, right? This isn’t a goal, you guys are going to a destination, right? What do you guys think is your end destination in real estate? You guys are in real estate, you’re not going anywhere. You guys are going to ride this wave. Is it rehabbing and flipping? Is this it? Or is this leading to something else?

BrittanyArnason: Well, I think we’re kind of on the same path with this, but I have all single families and duplexes right now, but like I want to go bigger because it just makes more sense. Right now I have properties spread out all over, and I just want to get one building and take control of that.

Steve Rozenberg: And you’re looking at a commercial deal right now.

BrittanyArnason: Yeah. So I have one pretty much under contract, we’re just working on some seller financing details, but it has 22 units and seven commercial spots on the bottom. It’s a cool, it used to be an old bank. I love it. It’s such a cool place. But it’s the brass handles going up and the marble staircase and all the vaults, like all the old things.

Kara Beckmann: That’s amazing.

Steve Rozenberg: Oh nice.

BrittanyArnason: It’s super cool. It’s a cool place.

Steve Rozenberg: But now, that’s a strategy.

BrittanyArnason: Yeah.

Steve Rozenberg: What’s the end goal?

BrittanyArnason: The end goal…

Steve Rozenberg: So you guys are doing this and is it to say I want to have assets that are producing revenue for me, right? Is it, I want to have a company that’s doing rehabbing and I’m just running the company, like what is the end goal? Cause the end goal is money coming to you without you having to do it, right?

BrittanyArnason: Exactly. Yeah, I think that’s definitely it. The point where I can step away is really important because I love to be involved, but I also want to be able to have my systems down and under control so I can be able to step away if I want to. Canadian winters are really cold, so, I want to get out.

Steve Rozenberg: Go to Phoenix, go to Phoenix, snowbirds.

BrittanyArnason: I’ll come visit you.

Steve Rozenberg: So what about you, Kara? What’s yours?

Kara Beckmann: I mean, I have a number, for sure. That I want to make per month. So that’s my goal. I love the fix and flip strategy. I love it. But I am doing more BRRRR investing. So rather than, actually the-

Alex Osenenko: Can you explain BRRRR?

Kara Beckmann: Sure, so you’re going to buy it, you’ll rehab it, rent it, refinance it, pull cash out, and then repeat the process. So I just successfully did my first BRRRR deal. I’m so excited because, and this is a good thing. I thought, “oh I bought a property specifically to BRRRR it. I didn’t know, I don’t have two years of tax returns.” Because I was still so new, and so I didn’t realize without two years of tax returns you can’t do a refi. So I went to four different lenders, finally someone was going to lend on the refinance, so-

BrittanyArnason: That’s great.

Kara Beckmann: I just got the check in the mail before I came, so it’s very, very good. It’s been a long process.

Steve Rozenberg: Oh, nice.

BrittanyArnason: Congrats.

Steve Rozenberg: That’s great.

Kara Beckmann: Thank you. And so now I’m taking that money to finish the rehab on the one I currently purchased and I purchased that in a wholesale deal.

Steve Rozenberg: Was that your first one? Cause I saw online that you posted something about your first deal you did or-

Kara Beckmann: No, the one, no, this is recent. This is the one that I just purchased. I purchased that to flip and now we’re halfway through the renovation and I think I’m going to hold it.

Alex Osenenko: Look at that, we’ve got a holder. That’s awesome. So you flipped 10 but you have to make that little cash, stack of cash, so you can ride deployed into the rentals. Right. You’ve been renting them. Have you flipped any?

BrittanyArnason: No. Haven’t sold one yet.

Alex Osenenko: So you keep them.

Steve Rozenberg: She gets them and fixes them.

BrittanyArnason: All BRRRRs.

Steve Rozenberg: Yeah. Now. Okay, so one final, I know you have a question that you wanted to ask, but let me ask you this. So what would you say in all of this, is your weaknesses that you guys have been able to identify on your own that you could give advice for other people out there watching and just say, “Hey this is my weakness and this is how I’m going to fix it.”

BrittanyArnason: Yeah.

Steve Rozenberg: So what would you say?

BrittanyArnason: Oh man, I have a lot of weakness, especially talking to you, I’m like [inaudible]. No, I definitely think I’m the big picture thinker and I didn’t realize how important Instagram was going to be to my business. So I’m really good at connecting with people and the big picture stuff. But when it comes down to like the details and it’s like, all right, how are we actually going to do this?

Steve Rozenberg: Make this happen?

BrittanyArnason: Yeah. It overwhelms me; it’s a lot.

Steve Rozenberg: But you do that with your houses though. I mean, you do that.

BrittanyArnason: With the rehab stuff that’s fine, but the paperwork and the finances and figuring that out and being like, all right.

Steve Rozenberg: How are you doing that now?

BrittanyArnason: Well, we did hire an office manager, so that’s been very helpful. And that was recent, because I had such a hard time hiring. You know how it is. But we’re looking more into like the BA’s and stuff as well, which I have a part time on helping with social a little bit. So looking to get more into that. But yeah, I guess just like-

Steve Rozenberg: So detailed work and the details.

BrittanyArnason: Yeah.

Steve Rozenberg: Okay, and what about you Kara?

Kara Beckmann: I would say there’s two main ones that come to mind. I like to control. I like to have a lot of control over the whole process because you’re building this business and your name is on it and so it is important that all the details are not being missed and I do need to step back a little bit and bring some more people on and just have that faith that it will be okay to bring people on. And then I also, there’s so many things that I want to do. And I have to hone in on, and get really good in this field and then stay.

Steve Rozenberg: Stay in your vertical.

Kara Beckmann: Right, right.

Steve Rozenberg: Got it.

Speaker 1: Yeah, they call this, I think Gary Keller, his book, the unique ability-

Steve Rozenberg: The ONE Thing?

Alex Osenenko: The ONE Thing, yeah.

Kara Beckmann: Oh, I’m reading that now. It’s really good.

Alex Osenenko: [crosstalk 00:33:45] that unique ability is really important to discover and just focus on that. That’s why my first question was what would you outsource? But I think Steve took it full circle. You guys weren’t ready to answer that question, and now I’m hearing you admitting to Steve like, “Oh yeah, I’m going to do this. I promise you.”

Steve Rozenberg: I kind of know a little bit about what they’re doing.

Alex Osenenko: Unfair advantage, yes.

Steve Rozenberg: Doesn’t have to be fair. Just had to be an advantage.

Alex Osenenko: So one last question. This has been a great interview, but let’s give our listeners like this final nugget of wisdom and actionable advice — finding deals. Top one, two ways you find deals.

BrittanyArnason: So I’ve found deals mostly through MLS or, whatever, I don’t know about guys, that’s what I use. So I actually just look out of my city so I’m not like stuck in one spot. I’m going to look all over the place to find the best numbers where the numbers work. So I think that’s really important. You can travel to your deals. I’ve driven–

Alex Osenenko: Hence the bus.

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, hence the bus. Exactly. But I think a lot of people get stuck in their specific city or their market and they’re like, “Oh well I can’t buy a house here. It’s $400,000, whatever.” They have to start looking outside and find, even if it’s even further out of state or something like that, find where it works, because people just get overwhelmed and they don’t do anything.

Alex Osenenko: So go where the deals are.

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, go where the deals are.

Alex Osenenko: Kara?

Kara Beckmann: It’s so funny cause mine is the exact opposite.

Speaker 1: [inaudible]

Kara Beckmann: I hone in on my areas because I can run the numbers faster. I know the zip code. I know what a good price per square foot is to enter in. I know what I can sell. I know what the ARB should be. I know what I can exit at price per square foot. And I’m constantly getting the highest price per square foot when I’m selling. My last five flips were in a two mile radius of each other.

Steve Rozenberg: Really?

Kara Beckmann: Yeah. So I love these neighborhoods and now my mom’s my real estate agent and I get 90% of my deals on MLS.

Steve Rozenberg: Nice.

Kara Beckmann: I always say put in an offer, you never know.

Steve Rozenberg: You never know. You don’t know their situation. It’s so true. Absolutely.

Kara Beckmann: You just never know. And I’ve never lost money on a deal. And a lot of them have been on MLS. And the second way is wholesalers. So I get wholesalers that know I’m targeting these zip codes.

Steve Rozenberg: You’re just hyper focused in that area that they know this girl knows her stuff, she knows her numbers. Let’s give it to her what she wants.

Kara Beckmann: Yeah. He’ll text me, he’ll say, “I have a deal. It’s yours. You are the first investor to see this deal. Other investors are coming in an hour.” And so I walked in, I said, “yeah, I’ll take it.”

Alex Osenenko: Fantastic.

BrittanyArnason: I love it.

Kara Beckmann: And I had my lenders say, “Kara, there’s this great deal in Mesa,” which is out of my zone.

Steve Rozenberg: It’s out of your area.

Kara Beckmann: And I said, “those numbers might be fantastic, but the deal is not for me. I don’t know that neighborhood. I don’t know the buyer.” I would rather wait to get a good deal, a solid deal where I know those numbers really well.

Alex Osenenko: Really, really good advice.

Steve Rozenberg: Absolutely.

Alex Osenenko: Really good advice. So I guess to sum this up is, “Hey social works, be passionate, learn the biz {business}, get in the construction, ask your carpenter how the nails go in, whatever the case is. I, you know, I’m trying to be- [crosstalk 00:37:07].

Steve Rozenberg: I don’t think that’s what you do, but anyways.

Alex Osenenko: That’s a really good tip too. And going back to women who want to get started, but don’t know how, if you can’t be involved in your renovations as much as you’d like, every time you go to the job sites, I’ll do this with my client projects too, every time I’m at their job site, I’ll ask the contractor or the tradesman something that I didn’t know before.

Steve Rozenberg: Oh, so you use it as a learning lesson.

Kara Beckmann: Yeah, it should all be a learning lesson. So every time you’re walking away from that job site, you learn something.

Steve Rozenberg: Oh yeah.

BrittanyArnason: And then that’s less of a chance to get taken advantage of because people truly don’t — we know what we’re doing.

Steve Rozenberg: Yeah. And eventually you’re going to learn all the things and they’re going to be like, okay, they know what they’re talking about.

BrittanyArnason: Yeah, exactly.

Alex Osenenko: So, if I list the takeaways here, just to sum this up, it’s going to take another episode, so maybe we’ll do a comeback episode.

Steve Rozenberg: A recap.

Alex Osenenko: And we wish you success with your commercial beginnings and with your buying hold beginnings, and we’ll come back maybe in a few months and check you guys out and see how you’re doing.

Steve Rozenberg: Yeah, and obviously, how do they, I’m sure everybody knows how to find you, but how do they find you?

Alex Osenenko: Yeah, good point.

BrittanyArnason: I’m at investor girl brit on Instagram, my main.

Alex Osenenko: Investor girl brit.

BrittanyArnason: That’s right.

Alex Osenenko: All right. Kara?

Kara Beckmann: And I’m at Beckmann house.

Alex Osenenko: B. E. C. ?

Kara Beckmann: B. E. C. K. M. A. N. N.

Alex Osenenko: Beckmann house.

Kara Beckmann: Yes.

Alex Osenenko: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for taking the time. Let’s get back to the conference.

Steve Rozenberg: Thank you ladies.

BrittanyArnason: Thank you.

Kara Beckmann: Thank you so much.

Steve Rozenberg: We’ll see you guys. Bye.

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