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The WOW (Women of Wealth) event at Rootstock & Vine was a big hit! Goodwin Investment Advisory’s very own “Lady Boss,” Sharon Brewer, shared her insights and wisdom from 20+ years of experience in Real Estate Investing. Tim Goodwin, Kevin Turner and Scott Martineau provided a wealth of knowledge as well. It was such an intentional night of learning paired with delicious desserts and exceptional wines. GIA plans to host a few more WOW events and after how exceptional this evening was, you won’t want to miss the rest of the series.

Sharon is one of GIA’s Independent Registered Advisors and she currently focuses on serving female entrepreneurs, single women and recently divorced. She is compassionate and competent and understands the financial complexities women face and believes everyone, regardless of their current circumstance, can have a bigger better future. Prior to working for GIA, Sharon was a real estate investor and mortgage broker. She steadily built a real estate practice and started her own property management company – Bryan Cherokee Holdings. With her years of understanding both the long-term and short-term rental market, Sharon answered many insightful questions while friends listened intently and enjoyed the beautifully crafted desserts and wine.

Q & A:
Tim Goodwin, “What is your experience with both short-term and long-term rentals and what is the differences between the two?”

Sharon Brewer, “I currently rent 19 properties – 2 are short-term vacation rentals and the rest are long term leases. The income potential is much higher with the vacation short-term market. It is riskier, more time intensive and most of the time properties are far away from you unless you live in a tourist area. It’s harder to find people as well as manage the short-term properties. I use VRBO.com and Airbnb.com to list short-term rentals. Long-term rentals in Atlanta area are currently very easy to rent and they haven’t even required any marketing.”

TG, “Do you self manage all of your properties?”

SB, “Yes, but my advice would be to hire out a management company in the beginning. Once you have gained experience you can begin to self-manage your properties.”

TG, “How do you find rental properties?”

SB, “My circle of influence and from years in the industry, friends of friends will contact me. I work closely with real estate agents and search for foreclosures. I do my research, but its not easy when houses are selling fast these days. You gotta know your parameters and what you are looking for and respond quickly with an offer if you find one that fits your qualifications.”

TB, “Do you buy houses already fixed up, or do you tend to buy fixer-uppers?”

SB, “Every house I buy is a fixer-upper. I do cosmetic upgrades, focus on the kitchen, update flooring, paint, etc… but, I avoid houses with structural damage, or electrical issues.”

TB, “How do you find a good tenant?”

SB, “Background searches and rental history is most important. When renting most people looking to rent, might not have the best credit scores, so I look to see if they have 2 years of traceable rental history. Plus, I call the previous landlords.”

TG, “Do you ever sell your rentals?”

SB, “My goal is to build income and wealth. So I have a rule of when to sell. My rule of thumb for single family residences is when the market value reaches 350,000 it is time to sell the property. The value of the home and rent does not increase at the same level. So, I sell the house and purchase 2 properties for 150,000 each, reinvesting all of the money I made on the sale of the original rental.

TG, “Do you have any other rules of thumb?”

SB, “Yes, you should be able to afford your rental property if it is only rented half of the year.”

TG, “How do you determine the rental amount.”

SB, “Apps like Hotpads and Zillow will give you an indication. Look at what other similar houses are renting for in your area. And, you have to determine what you can realistically rent it for.”

TG, “Have you ever run a rental property as a ministry?”

SB, “No, I don’t recommend running your rental property as a ministry! People have a tendency of justifying late or missed payments. If you are using your rental property as part of your retirement plan, then you can’t allow tenants to be late on payments. If you are wanting to use your rental property to help those in need, instead of letting irresponsibility tug on your heart-strings, use a non-profit that has already vetted potential renters for you such as the Cherokee Family Violence Center.