Air Date: 12.18.2020
Most investors transition into real estate from other industries and today’s guest is no different. In this episode, we speak with “The Networth Nurse,” Savannah Arroyo, who has taken her skills as a nurse and leader in healthcare operations into managing multi-family syndications. We open our conversation with Savannah by exploring her background and how she discovered real estate. Having seen many similarities between medical work and investing, she discusses her unique journey into real estate. We touch on her motivation to secure wealth for her family before diving into why she made the leap from single to multi-family investing. After talking about how she manages her relationship with her husband and business partner, Savannah unpacks which areas of the business she most enjoys. While reflecting on her path, she highlights the importance of living intentionally and shattering your limiting beliefs by embracing a growth mindset. Later in the episode, we look at how taking action and networking have contributed to Savannah’s success. From nurse to multi-family investor, tune in to hear Savannah’s inspiring story.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Introducing today’s guest, the Networth Nurse Savannah Arroyo.
- Savannah shares details about her background and how she found real estate.
- How investing now can earn you financial freedom later in life.
- Why Savannah made the jump from single to multi-family investing.
- How Savannah manages her life with her business-partner-husband.
- Exploring the parts of the business that Savannah focuses on.
- Separating your personal and your business life.
- Insights into how your mindset can profoundly impact your business.
- Overcoming the common first-deal challenges.
- The most important thing that deal sponsors should know about working with Savannah.
- Savannah discusses what she’s most proud of.
- Hear about the book you should be reading.
- Why networking has been Savannah’s number one key to success.
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—Full Transcript Below—
“SA: When I first started investing in real estate and I would attend webinars and different events and there would always be people talking about mindset and limiting beliefs. And it can be so hard to take that first step. I know for me it was kind of like who am I to invest in real estate. I’m a nurse. Like I went to school to be a nurse and now I’m trying to get into real estate.”
[00:00:20] KR: Welcome to Ritter on Real Estate, the show about how to passively invest like a pro. On each episode I interview real estate experts who give their top investing advice, strategies and tools, and I break down their insights into practical steps to avoid the pitfalls and make better investments. I want to help you passively invest like a pro. This is Ritter on Real Estate, and I’m your host, Kent Ritter.
[00:00:43] KR: Hello fellow investors. Welcome to Ritter on Real Estate where we teach you how to invest like a pro. Today I’ve got a special guest. Her name is Savannah Arroyo, and she’s The Net Worth nurse. She’s a full-time registered nurse in Los Angeles, California and she uses her skills as a leader in healthcare operations to manage multi-family syndications. She also helps busy medical professionals create passive income through real estate investing. So, Savannah, thanks so much for joining us today. Welcome to the show.
[00:01:11] SA: Yeah. Thanks. I’m super stoked to be here.
[00:01:14] KR: Yeah. I think it’s a really interesting point of view. Coming from the nursing background and working in health systems where, obviously, there’s a lot of complex things going on. A lot of processes to manage, and taking what you’ve learned there and applying that to real estate. So excited to dig into that a little bit more, but let’s start at the top. Tell us a little bit more about yourselves and help the listeners get to know you.
[00:01:39] SA: I am from Sacramento, California. I grew up there. I went to Sacramento State University and got my nursing degree. And then I worked at a couple different hospitals in the area and a couple different specialties. And then shortly after I moved down to Los Aangeles and enrolled in my master’s in nursing leadership and administration program. So then I graduated with that. Right now I’m working at a hospital down here. I oversee multiple departments down here in Los Angeles. And used that and got into real estate and saw a lot of similarities between what I was doing in healthcare and just at my work and what I can do within real estate.
[00:02:22] KR: Yeah, interesting. Obviously, you’ve got a passion for nursing. You’ve invested a lot of time into your education around nursing. And so what was it that drove you to seek out real estate? What attracted you?
[00:02:38] SA: Real estate was something that my husband and I were looking into when I was on maternity leave after having my second daughter. I was at home watching some YouTube videos. Stumbled upon Bigger Pockets and investing in real estate and I just got hooked. I learned about the BRRRR method and how to create wealth with a fixed amount of capital. Wasn’t initially going to dive down that road, but then realized the flipping part really wasn’t for me at that level.
We were investing in Atlanta, Georgia. So doing a renovation across the country wasn’t something I necessarily really wanted to do at the time. Right now we’re doing it with multifamily, but it’s a lot different. It’s a lot less risk, higher reward type thing. So got into single family homes and then moved into multi-family primarily because my husband and I just sat down and got really specific on our why and our goals with real estate investing. Right now we both work full-time jobs. We have a one-year-old and a three-year-old at home. So we just wanted to put ourselves in a position where we could be around with them more, more time freedom down the road when they get busy with extracurricular activities and just different milestones in their life that we didn’t want to miss out on that sometimes you do when you’re working full-time jobs. So we realized that if we could go full force into real estate investing now, we would put ourselves in a position five, ten years down the road where we’d have a lot more time freedom.
[00:04:03] KR: I mean, that resonates so much with me, because that’s really the exact same reason that that I started. It was all about understanding the why. And for me, same thing, the why was my family. Similarly, I have three small children, four, three and one, and looked around in my old career where I was traveling all the time, wasn’t home much and really said, “What kind of dad am I going to be for these kids?” Last thing I wanted to be was an absentee father because of work, right? And that really set me down the same path. So I totally get it, and I think that’s – I applaud you for taking that initiative, because you will be in that position where you can have that time and that freedom and you’re setting the groundwork right now, and I think that’s fantastic. So, very cool. Yeah, I get the path.
[00:04:52] SA: Yeah.
[00:04:52] KR: Yeah. So you mentioned that you started out with flipping and, yeah, I can’t imagine. I mean, doing a flip in my own town is difficult enough, let along trying to do that across the country. And that’s just not scalable to kind of learn that lesson. And then you went on a single family rentals, right? But ultimately you realized that multifamily was the place you wanted to be. So what was it about multifamily that differentiated itself and made that your target?
[00:05:23] SA: The biggest thing that got us interested in multi-family was the scalability. When we were looking into real estate investing, and I’m a podcast junkie listening to people who’ve been doing it for years and years and kind of their advice and feedback on what they’ve been doing and what they’ve learned over the years. Some of the biggest things that people were saying was they wish they would have scaled it faster through multifamily. It just creates different avenues to kind of scale a business and build a business around it.
And after doing more research and kind of what a syndication business entails and the work that goes into it, it was more aligned with what we were familiar with and what we do. In the hospital I oversee operations for multiple departments. So there’s a lot of people management, process improvement, workflow, following up, putting out fires, problem solving. I do that all day at work and I’m good at it. I love doing it. I’ve created a knack for it and I love working with other people who have a knack for it as well.
And there was just a lot of similarities in owning a syndication build business. There’s a lot of moving pieces that you have to oversee. And it really just appealed to us in that aspect. It felt like something that we could take over and really thrive in in the real estate realm. And also just the fact that you’re doing deals with more investors, it was really cool. Like in syndications, you’re pulling together investor money. So investors who want to invest in real estate, but don’t necessarily want to do all the work. They don’t want to find the property, run the numbers, put in place the business plan, raise rents, do the value add renovations. Some people want to invest in real estate and still receive all the benefits without doing all the work. And syndications are a huge opportunity for people who are busy in the medical professional or any other profession, really, where they want to get into real estate but don’t want to do the work. And syndications we’re able to give that opportunity to people. So it’s been really awesome. We’ve gotten to invest in deals with other investors and get them into real estate, and it’s been really great.
[00:07:40] KR: Yeah. I think that’s so cool, and it’s such a good service you’re providing to your colleagues and other professionals that just wouldn’t have access to these type of investments without you doing that, right? So you’re providing a ton of value and a good service. And I think it’s really interesting to talk about how the things that you’ve learned in managing multiple departments and working in a complex system, how that does assist with your real estate investing. And I see a lot of the same similarities as I’ve transitioned as well and it really is true. Being able to manage multiple balls in the air, juggling different things and being able to kind of work with people, standardize and manage a process, I think is critical to any real estate investment especially syndication when you have so much going on and so much that you’re trying to manage.
[00:08:32] SA: Yeah, it’s crazy. I’m going to be starting a blog series specifically outlining different similarities between healthcare and real estate and different topics. And when I was just brainstorming different topics of similarity that I could touch on between both fields, there were so many. I was surprised. Immediately I was able to write down 15 different topics for blog posts just on different similarities between healthcare administration and then owning a real estate business.
[00:08:58] KR: Oh, very cool. So something else you mentioned is your partner is your husband, right? I mean, that’s not something you see too often. I think for kind of separation of church and state and things like that. Talk to me about that dynamic. I’m interested just to hear some more about how you guys partner and how you manage from the home life and the business life.
[00:09:20] SA: Yeah. I could not do it without him, honestly. And in terms of our why of why we’re getting started on this, it was really for our goals for our family. So it’d be hard to imagine doing this without him. Obviously, as we’ve moved and grown our business, we’ve kind of separated what we do on a day-to-day and we’ve been able to split up the roles and take over different parts of the business. So we’re not always working on the same stuff. I mean, hardly ever. But we do bounce ideas off each other and collaborate, I mean, on a daily basis regarding different things that we have in the pipeline and what we’re working on.
So it’s not without its challenges, especially as we were going through our first couple deals and learning about the syndication process. We really wanted to kind of understand the whole puzzle. So we were involved in every aspect. We were both on the phone with the lawyers they were developing the PPM for our first syndication. We were on the phone together with the investors when we were raising capital and doing our Zoom calls together, seeking out different property managers. That first deal, we were really very side by side going through everything together. And I think that was a little bit more challenging just in terms of time constraint, because now we’re both spending the same amount of time working through the same things.
Now that we’ve made it through that first deal and we’re moving on, we kind of split things up and we’re able to tackle things a lot better. And honestly, I mean, if you can do day-to-day life and raise kids with someone and tag team that, a business is pretty similar.
[00:10:54] KR: Yeah. Yeah. No. I agree. I think that that’s awesome that you guys are working together in that way. So how do you guys divide and conquer now that you’ve split up the roles?
[00:11:04] SA: Naturally we just kind of fell in different parts of the business. I love talking to people. I love networking. So I started steering more towards the capital race side and building relationship with investors, answering all different sorts of questions. Kind of explaining different avenues and real estate, different niches. Kind of getting aligned with investing goals with investors. So I have a lot of those conversations. I’m pretty heavy on the social media. I’m kind of the face of the business as The Net Worth Nurse. So you’ll see me on the social media accounts kind of pushing out different content, different things that we’re doing, sending out the newsletter. So I’m kind of focusing more on that.
He is our deal finder. So he has great relationships with the brokers. It’s kind of similar to what he does with business. He does benefits consulting. So he’s good at account managing and that sort of thing. He’s implementing business plans on our syndications and working through the numbers. He sits on Excel all day with his W2. So he is really good at the underwriting process. Making sure all the numbers align. So it was naturally pretty easy to split up when it came down to kind of what we liked doing, which was helpful.
[00:12:15] KR: Yeah, very cool. Very cool. And how do you guys manage the transition back into family life at the end of the day? Are we not talking about business at the table or how does that work?
[00:12:27] SA: So especially with owning your own business and real estate, it can be a 24-hour thing. When I first started learning about social media and kind of marketing in that aspect, I was like so overwhelmed with the respect of like you can be on this all day and all night pushing out content, be interacting with people from, really, across the world through the social media platform. So me, personally, I do have to turn it off.
So one thing I learned that I just did a few weeks ago was I turned off all the notifications on my phone for social media. So now I’m not getting Instagram and LinkedIn and Facebook notification splashing to my phone, because it was so distracting. I’d be with my kids or we’d be out at the park on the weekend and my phone would just be going off and naturally it would just divert my attention. And it was something that I had to intentionally separate. And now when I do go on my social media apps, I’m very intentional about what I’m doing because I’m going on there and then interacting with people or posting things and that sort of stuff.
But when we’re home, when we pick up the girls from daycare, we’re very much at home with them. We do dinner time, bath time, bedtime. We make it a habit to put our phones away and really just do family time. I mean, yeah, certain things come up in conversation where we’ll talk about certain things, but we’re not working on things. Our attention is to our daughters. And then usually after we put the girls to bed, workout, shower, that sort of thing, and then we’ll work on real estate a few hours in the evening just doing different things. I mean, last night we were working on a few hours for a presentation that we’re presenting this coming up Friday. So we were working through that together. And it’s a work in progress, but it’s just kind of taking things as they go.
[00:14:09] KR: Yeah. Well, I think, a couple big takeaways from there that I know are critical is just talking about the intentionality of everything, right? I think that’s something that has really hit home with me this year as well, is you get so busy that you can just fly from one thing to the other and are you ever really taking advantage of that moment in that situation? Are you getting the most out of that meeting or that time, right? And unless you approach everything in a very intentional way and you’re prepared and you’re dedicated that time, then you really don’t, right? So I think having that intentionality I think is so important as you get busier. And so really like to hear that. I’m sure that’ll bring you a lot of success.
So you’ve accomplished a lot, right? You’ve launched this. You’ve launched your brand, The Net Worth Nurse, which I think is a great brand. I’m sure that’s going to catch on really well. You’ve completed multiple investments your first syndication, but I’m sure there’s a lot that you had to overcome as you’re going through this process. Everybody struggles with things like limiting beliefs and overcoming challenges and just having the ability to maintain and continue on. So talk to us a little bit about the mindset that this takes to manage your W2, the syndication world, your family, right? Working alongside your husband. I mean, I’m sure there’s been a lot of growth.
[00:15:33] SA: Yeah, definitely, definitely. But I just have a growth mindset. I always have been in every part of my life. I’m a huge goal setter. I’ve been doing that my whole life. That’s something my dad instilled in me from when I was in high school. So even upon graduating high school, it was always goal setting and working towards something and accomplishing things. I mean, overall, it just makes you feel good, and I love it. That’s a big part of my life.
In terms of overcoming limiting beliefs, this was huge when I first started investing in real estate and I would attend webinars and different events and listen to people talk on podcasts. And there would always be people talking about mindset and limiting beliefs. And at first I was kind of like, “What?” Like, “Where are these people coming from with this? How does it really relate to real estate?” And it was a huge topic almost – Even now, on every webinar or live event or virtual event now, but there’s always one person on there talking specifically about mindset. And it is so powerful because a lot of people in this field, especially people who are coming from different careers, which is the majority of people especially that I’ve connected with. They’re in a different career. Want to get into real estate. It can be so hard to take that first step. I know for me it was kind of like who am I to invest in real estate. I’m a nurse. Like I went to school to be a nurse and now I’m trying to get into real estate. And even doing that first syndication and we were putting out feelers with our friends and family, and although they knew we were investing in real estate, it was kind of like, “Wait? What are you doing? You’re investing in real estate? You’re operating syndications? You’re a nurse. Where is this coming from?”
It’s kind of like, “Well, who am I to be in this space?” And it’s a lot of like – Especially as you start networking and listening to other people, it’s so fun. We love it so much. And people are really just out there. There are so many different why’s and a lot of it is time freedom. A lot of people are doing it to spend more time with their family, and I love that. And I love people that are out there just really trying to do good things. And it just feels good being in real estate and connecting with great people.
So it was a lot of overcoming like where am I to kind of come into this space. And even now as I’m capital raising and working with physicians to kind of explain and show them the different benefits of real estate. That initial conversation that I have with them, it’s always kind of like, “Wait, you’re a real estate investor?” When I’m approaching a physician or a doctor, just mention that I’m investing in syndications. It always takes them by surprise a little bit. Like they’re kind of thrown off.
So overcoming that hurdle and then just reiterating yourself like, “I can be in this space, and this is my why and why I am in the space and what I’m doing.” So that was a big hurdle in that respect. And then even working with my husband, just being so supportive of each other is huge. We’re our own little cheerleaders. And if I’m not feeling like ready to go in a certain thing or a certain presentation, like we’re very supportive of each other. And if you don’t have that and you’re not working with your spouse in the business, which I mean a lot of people aren’t, there’s so many people in the community that will be your cheerleader or will be there to encourage you and support you and it’s an awesome place to be in. I love it.
[00:18:46] KR: I found the same thing in that. The real estate investing community is an amazingly positive place with a lot of entrepreneurial-minded people who are setting goals and achieving them, right? And like we talked about before, being intentional about what they’re doing and not just letting life pass you by, right? And approaching things, kind of shaping your destiny and creating that that freedom that you want. So I think that’s awesome. I think that as you were speaking about those limiting beliefs, there’s like two pieces of capital raising where, I mean, you have to convince others, right? But in order to convince others, you really have to convince yourself first that you can do it, right? And I struggled with the same thing at the beginning of just kind of that impostor syndrome or like who am I to go out and raise money from people, right? Who am I to take people’s money and put it into an investment? Am I going to be successful? And how can you do that?
And I think that the mindset is huge at first because you just really have to believe in yourself. You have to create a support system around yourself. Kind of that back stop for when things don’t go right. And sounds like you’ve done that. And so I think it’s amazing how just you start doing this by focusing. You say, “Okay, I want to invest in real estate,” and ultimately it’s because you want to make money and you want to create, I think, more importantly passive money, right? Because you want time freedom. But it sounds like you’ve had a similar experience as I did where you really go through this process of immense personal growth as you’re continuing to set goals and push yourself. And I think it’s really about spending so much time outside of your comfort zone, right? Like you’ve had a ton of firsts this year.
[00:20:34] SA: Yeah.
[00:20:36] KR: And firsts are hard, right? They’re always difficult. They always take longer than you expect. It’s always more difficult than you expect. But as you overcome those things, I think you also build confidence and you start to shatter those limiting beliefs. No. That’s awesome. I think it’s a great message for our listeners out there that are maybe on the sidelines or having those same thoughts, because I think almost everybody does. And just understand that you can power through it and you can do it with a W2. I did it. You’re doing it. And there is freedom on the other side of it. So it’s worth it, right? And whether you do it in doing your own deals or you invest passively. I mean, you can absolutely invest passively because maybe you love your W2 job and you want to commit yourself to that, but you want to have the stability of a second income stream, right? I mean, you can never have too many income streams because you never know when one’s going to dry up even if it is a W2.
[00:21:34] SA: Exactly.
[00:21:37] KR: Yeah. Well, awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. As we wrap things up, I want to move into our keys to success round. A few questions that I want to ask you and so you can share your thoughts with our listeners. The first one is what’s the one question that every investor should be asking their deal sponsor? So if they’re looking to invest in a deal with you, what’s the most important thing for them to know?
[00:22:04] SA: I think the best question that I get from investors is why this deal. Like why does this one stand out? Because there are different markets that we’re looking at. There’s different business plans with different deals, whether it is a buy and hold to generate long-term cash flow. If it’s a value-add deal where you’re flipping it to increase the NOI and then selling after three to five years. If it’s a specific market that is growing or that big companies are moving to, population growth, that sort of sort of thing. I think the why a deal is the best question.
And being able to take your – You don’t even have to really have a big foundation in real estate to understand a business plan of raising rents and then selling. And why Atlanta, Georgia over Los Angeles, California? What are the differences in the market and what do you see there? Basically, I think the why of like why this deal. And then it gives the sponsor a huge opportunity to list all the reasons why they love a deal. And if you’re working with a great sponsor, they should have a huge list of reasons why they love a deal. When we find a deal in a specific market with a specific value add component, we get super excited off it and we love to share the returns. I mean, whether it’s high cash flow, low cash flow, great return of investment, that sort of thing. What we love about the market? It’s big to understand that even as a passive investor, just the why. And then it gives you more confidence to invest that money with that sponsor, because then you have a basic understanding of what you’re investing in and why.
[00:23:39] KR: Gotcha. And then what are you most proud of in your career?
[00:23:43] SA: I think taking the first step. There’s a lot of reasons of why we didn’t have to. My husband and I both work at great jobs. We can kind of grind through the nine to five and live this way forever and be content. And I think there was always like that nagging entrepreneurial spirit in me that just like wanted to do more. Just to do more kind of back to the goal setting type thing. I love reaching my goals and accomplishing things that are challenging and out of my comfort zone. And I think it would have been just such a disadvantage if I would have just stayed working the nine to five without starting this business. And taking that first step was so hard, but it’s already proven to be so worth it.
[00:24:27] KR: Absolutely. And what is the book that everybody should be reading?
[00:24:32] SA: So I’m a huge reader. I love, love books. I have a whole list of books on my website that I love and that got me started in real estate investing. In terms of specifically syndications, I’m going to bounce back on Financial Freedom Through Real Estate Investing with Michael Blanc. It’s a little yellow book. And that was really what crossed my husband and I over from single family homes over into the multifamily syndication realm. It’s a super short read. He’s very straight to the point. There’s not a lot of side guru type stuff in it. It’s the clear cut. This is how you do it. And it’s also very encouraging and motivating. It’s one of my favorites.
[00:25:09] KR: Oh, great. And lastly, what’s your number one key to success?
[00:25:15] SA: Right now I would say network with people. If you’re thinking about real estate investing and looking for a different niche, talk to people who are doing it. If you’re thinking about flipping, find a flipper on Instagram and hit them up and see kind of why he got into it. What he loves about it. What are his struggles? Networking with different people even through Facebook and multi-family, mobile home parks, land. All aspects of real estate and different niches have different people who are in it and doing it because they love it. And there’s different niches for different people. So if you’re thinking about one, I would connect with someone who’s doing it and it would give you a way better understanding of what you’re getting yourself into.
[00:25:53] KR: Yeah, you can never have a large enough network, right? You can never know enough people. And that is what this business, really, any business is all about, right? People want to work with people that they know and like and they trust, and networking is how you do that. And I think being proactive about that is extremely important. So that’s a great tip. And I think whether you’re an active investor or, again, you want to invest passively. I mean, you’ve got to get out you’ve got to know the sponsors you’re investing with. You got to get to know them. You can’t just sit back passively, because that’s the most important part of any deal is, “Who’s the sponsor? Who’s running it at the end of the day?”
[00:26:27] SA: Exactly.
[00:26:29] KR: Great advice. Well, as we wrap things up, I mean, how can folks get a hold of you?
[00:26:34] SA: The Net Worth Nurse under all social media handles. So LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, you can find me under The Net Worth Nurse. And my website is thenetworthnurse.com. There’s options on there to kind of see, what I’m doing what I’m working on for my latest projects. You can sign up for my newsletter on there. And it’s really just the easiest way to get in contact with me. I love talking to investors. So if you have any questions for me or want to get into real estate, hit me up. I would love to connect.
[00:27:03] KR: Awesome. Well, Savannah, thank you so much for your time today. I think you brought a ton of value and, I think, motivation to the listeners. I’m feeling motivated to get back to work right now. So thank you so much for joining us and have a great rest of the day.
[00:27:18] SA: Thank you. You too. It’s been my pleasure.
[00:27:19] KR: Thanks for listening to another great episode of Ritter on Real Estate. Hit the subscribe button to make sure you don’t miss out on the content that will make you a better investor. Also, visitkentritter.com for articles, videos and tools curated just for passive investors. Until next time, this is Kent Ritter with Ritter on Real Estate. Now go out and invest like a pro.