Women Entrepreneurs On The Rise: Inspiring Stories Of Successful Women In Real Estate With Ashley Wilson

Episode 436: Women Entrepreneurs On The Rise: Inspiring Stories Of Successful Women In Real Estate With Ashley Wilson

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REIS 436 | Women In Real Estate


There are not that few women in real estate, but the fact that their successes are seldom written down or celebrated makes it seem as if there were less of them in the industry than there really are. In a world where the gender wealth gap remains a tangible reality, women need to have more successful war stories of their own to inspire them to achieve even more. That’s what Ashley Wilson is going for with her book, The Only Woman in the Room, where she compiles the stories of some of the most successful and inspiring women who are crushing it in real estate. A successful investor herself, Ashley is a co-founder & co-owner of Bar Down Investments and HouseItLook. She joins Mitch Stephen on this episode to talk about the book, why it is necessary and what both women and men can learn from its pages.

I’m here with Ashley Wilson. She’s the author of the book, The Only Woman in the Room. She got the story of nineteen women and put it in a book. It’s an interesting book. It says a lot about women in real estate and the smaller numbers that they are compared to men. How are you doing Ashley?

I am great. How are you doing?

I’m doing good. I’m happy that you’re here. How did you come up with that title?

I was sitting at a conference that Dave Van Horn put on. It’s called the MidAtlantic Summit. The Cofounders of the Real Estate InvestHER Organization, Liz Faircloth and Andresa Guidelli invited all the women in attendance to have lunch together. It took two tables to put together sixteen women which were the only women in that room to have lunch together. As everyone was networking, I was dumbfounded at the fact that over 450 attendees were primarily men.

That was in 2018 and then spent 2019 identifying women that I thought could tell their story and their journey in real estate. It’s all different asset classes, experiences, and backgrounds. Not only is it inspirational, but it’s also packed with knowledge. It has things from single-family flipping, self-storage, residential assisted living, and multifamily. You name it, it’s in the book. It’s a pretty powerful book filled with incredible women who are crushing it in real estate.

It’s not easy to get nineteen people to tell their stories. It’s even harder to get nineteen people that you admire because it narrows the field. How did you get these women to do this for you?

I sought it out. I was intentional in finding women that had a great story to tell, someone that I wanted to associate with, learn more from, and be inspired by. I figured if I can be inspired by someone then that person would have a lot of knowledge to give other people as well. What I realized is a lot of women’s careers aren’t being highlighted in real estate. It makes it seem that even fewer women are doing real estate than there are. Not to say that it’s 50/50 between men and women, but it’s a better ratio than what I think people naturally perceive this asset class to have.

I think there’s a lot of women in real estate. I don’t think they’re outnumbered. If they are, not by much, especially in traditional real estate agents. Did you do any formal study? Do you know more or less what the numbers are?

A lot of women's careers aren't being highlighted in real estate. It makes it seem that even fewer women are doing it than there really are. Click To Tweet

I didn’t do numbers in terms of real estate in that asset class because I couldn’t find that data but what I could find was data in careers in general and the disparity between wages and some more poignant information is what’s going on with COVID. COVID has negatively impacted women more than men and created a greater financial divide. One staggering statistic was in September 2020 where 1.1 million people left the workforce and 865,000 of them were women. This could be because women default to the caregiver in the family household. It could also be because women typically make less than men, $0.79 to a dollar if you’re comparing a white woman to a white man. If you look at other races, it gets more staggering.

Women would also have to go and take care of the kids who aren’t in school anymore which would be a huge factor.

As I was saying, women default to the caregiver. They are doing education and homeschooling. That has created such a divide and pushed all of the progress back. Some economists are speculating 10 to 15 years. For women to have an opportunity to pursue financial freedom through real estate, it’s one of the greatest opportunities that has ever presented itself, at least in my lifetime, because most women are at home. They change in divide of unemployment. Pre-COVID, men made up 51% of the unemployment and women made up 49%. Now, women are making 55% plus and men are only making up 45%. There’s been a huge shift.

In my imagination, women are much better multitaskers than men because they have to juggle many things all the time. I could see them going home, having to take care of the kids, and still buying a house that day.

There are a lot of women doing that.

I think women have an advantage out in the field. Sellers are not as threatened. What’s your opinion on that?

It varies by asset class. I have a few different real estate businesses. One in residential and one in commercial. In residential, to your point, it is less threatening and less intimidating that someone is trying to pull one over on you in terms of if you’re trying to source an off-market deal. On commercial, it’s the opposite, for sure. It is a man’s world in commercial real estate. In fact, I’ve had many brokers tell me that the reason I stand out is because they don’t have a single other women who is in charge of acquisitions.

I spoke as in commercial on the construction management piece as well. I don’t know a single other women in construction management and I almost have to over assert myself when I first meet a majority of contractors because they do not think that I have the construction knowledge. They don’t know my background, and because of it, they try to take advantage of the situation early on and we have to pause and reset the tone of the conversation very early.

REIS 436 | Women In Real Estate

The Only Woman in the Room: Knowledge and Inspiration from 20 Women Real Estate Investors

I would like to be around for one of those conversations one time like a fly on the wall.

They can get quite interesting.

What was the common thread with all these women that you interviewed? You interviewed nineteen women, right?

The common thread with the women besides the fact that they’re all women who took action were present in the book, you can tell that they’re all extremely giving of their information. I find when I go to local meetups even listening to podcasts, men tend to lead with statistics, how many doors they own, and how many deals they’ve done. It’s all a posturing game where women lead with actionable information that you can use to take the next steps on your journey. They’re willing to give you the secret recipe on how they are able to find success. Men are more reserved at sharing that information. They’re guarded but you find a more abundance mentality with women. In the book, the women who co-author this book were willing to give up their secret sauce.

What readers should expect from this book?

It’s a mix of inspiration and knowledge. That’s why I put that in the title. If you’re looking for motivations, there are some incredible stories. Women coming out of poverty, out of abuse, and changing careers so early. Someone purchased their first investment property at eighteen, did it all on their own, fully renovated the house on their own, and continues to renovate, now, apartment buildings on their own. It’s impressive. Some stories have information but then they’re also inspirational. There’s also too so much information packed in there. If you want to learn how to BRRR a property or you want to learn how to lead construction management, there are very concrete tips on how to do that and how to find success.

What you’re telling me is even a guy could learn something from reading this book.

I have more feedback from men than I do from women in this book. Men are giving this book as gifts, and then also keeping it for themselves. I have had multiple men reach out to me to tell me that they’ve never read a book that has more actual information to take across many different asset classes. It’s been helpful to direct them in the path that they want to pursue in real estate. I never intended for the book to only be for women. It was to highlight women but the book was supposed to be able to be picked up by any person, no matter your race, gender, or age, it doesn’t matter.

Whatever background you come from, I believe that you can at least relate to one person if not many more. What’s also interesting about the book is at the end of each chapter is the contact information for all of the authors. If you want to reach out and connect with them, I know that all of the women have been very giving with their time, helping anyone who’s picked up the book, and want to follow up with them. They’ve all been working with different people who’ve outreached to them. That’s interesting and bold. Hats off to you for getting done. That’s a big one. I want everyone to go to 1000Houses.com/onlywoman and you can find out where to buy this book.

Always lead with your strengths, not your shortfalls. Click To Tweet

I told Ashley that this was the evergreen, it’s the show notes. If she ever has anything to offer, as far as courses, boot camps, or another book or whatever, she can always add it there. She’s trying to help women and investors in general, get where they’re going. This book has nineteen stories from nineteen successful women. I understand some of them are new and crushing it, and some of them have been in the business for a long time and crushing it. Check it out, The Only Woman in the Room by Ashley Wilson. Ashley, do you have anything you would like to say to the young investors out there?

To any young investors, you’re never too young to experience and to get started. Always lead with whatever your strength is as opposed to what your shortfall is. You don’t necessarily have to know construction or real estate to get into real estate. You could be incredible at social media and find a real estate group or individual who has a terrible social media presence but is crushing it at real estate. You partner with them and you leverage your genius with their genius so you can learn along with them and be able to create a win-win situation.

That’s exactly what this guy does. I find people that are good at what I’m not good at and I partner up with them. I have eight businesses. Everyone on my business partners has been with me for almost a decade or more. We fit together very well but I do a certain thing for that business that comes naturally to me. I couldn’t stop doing it if I wanted to because it’s what I do. They have this other talent in what they do and when we put them together, it makes a nice business and smooth because when you’re doing the part that you love, there’s no stress. Where you get stressed out is when you’re trying to do something you’re not any good at or that you don’t like to do.

I worked hard at not doing what I don’t want to do or what I don’t like, and that’s a great tip. I would like to thank LiveComm.com, lead generation plus mass texting equals success. Learn why I have only nine days on the market on the last 300 properties I’ve sold to seller financing. Also, learn why I average over 12% down. It is because I’m using LiveComm mass texting on the social media platform. That’s free to generate interest and build a community.

Now, I have 20,000 people in my town that want to know the next time I have a seller-financed house come up for sale. I can text them all in one stroke of a finger on my phone for $0.02 a piece. It’s a great deal. Check it out and watch the video on the homepage. Thank you, Ashley Wilson. I appreciate you being on. You’ve got me interested in your book. I’m going to go out and get a copy. If I go to the show notes, is there going to be a place where I can get an autographed copy?

Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.

We’re out of here. Thank you for stopping by to get you some Ashley Wilson and learn about her book, The Only Woman in the Room.


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About Ashley Wilson

REIS 436 | Women In Real EstateCo-Founder & Co-Owner of Bar Down Investments, and HouseItLook. Bar Down Investments owns and operates large apartment buildings, and offers opportunities for investors who are looking to passively own real estate.

HouseItLook flips primarily higher-end homes in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to real estate, Ashley worked in Clinical R&D for GSK, Wyeth, and Sanofi-Aventis.



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