A recognized “knowledge junkie” like many investors, I have devoured dozens of books, tapes, courses, and seminars on real estate, investing, and tips and techniques for taking your business to the next level. A lot of what’s out there is, to put it delicately, literally WORTHLESS: old, misinformed, irrelevant, unrealistic information, based solely on “theories” that cracks under the pressure of the app, or is even outright illegal.
“My system is very complete,” says Adriana Dodge. For the most part, I completely agreed after reading her book. No fluff, no filler, just a simple real estate investing technique explained from the soup to the nuts. If you’re looking for an encyclopedia of real estate knowledge or a bunch of motivational gibberish, you won’t find it in A Millionaire’s Real Estate Secret.
What you’ll find is the right mindset, organizational system, steps, forms, paperwork and guidelines to easily complete a “subject to” home purchase transaction with no cash or credit, and build a business by making more deals if you choose.
Adriana says she asserts her investment strategies “subject to” after buying numerous properties at courthouse foreclosure auctions and becoming frustrated with the constraint of needing cash for transactions. By putting together her system herself, she has created an aggressive investment model that others can follow.
As an investor, Adriana embodies the importance of mastering a niche before moving on to something else. With so many options and opportunities in the world, not to mention the world of real estate investing, we can sometimes get bogged down and overwhelmed with all the paths we COULD take. To her, the niche was “investment,” a technique of acquiring a property with little or no cash required that involves taking possession subject to any existing financing that remains in the seller’s name until the buyer/investor completes their exit strategy (sale/refinance). While this type of investment may not be the business plan for everyone, if you’re an opportunist at heart, it’s certainly a great vehicle to get you where you want to go.
Adriana came to this country from Colombia with a job that paid for her residency but did little else. It certainly wasn’t a race. Looking for something she wanted to do with her life, she also set a goal to buy a house that would bring in at least $10,000 when it sells in a year or two. In late 1996, after coming to the country and saving money, and praying to God to show her a good investment, she bought her first home in Minneapolis on a one-acre lot for $63,000. In just over a year, in early 1998, she sold the house and land separately, earning more than $41,000. It was then that she knew that she wanted to be an investor. Those are certainly not huge sums to anyone reading this, but she will recognize Adriana as the risk taker in all success stories. I bet you have a similar story to tell, don’t you?
In addition to the many obstacles, risks, and frustrations of any typical new investor, such as financial headaches, dealing with contractors, sourcing deals, and finding the right people to get the job done, Adriana had to deal with being fluent in English, learning a new culture, wrestling with residency issues, and dealing with the unprofessional image of a pretty Latina woman under five feet tall. These experiences uniquely qualify her to speak to that opportunist and believer in all of us, and give her the voice that people hear and respond to even when others are singing the same song or preaching a similar message. She wondered how disarming her appearance must be to a motivated seller facing possible foreclosure, who sees others in her niche as “all business” at best and vultures at worst. She managed to turn what most would see as stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
As an author and professor of real estate investment topics, Adriana is very genuine. A certified trainer and trainer who has been investing in real estate and training others full-time since 2001, she possesses that rare trait of a truly inspirational person in that she achieved her current status with the sweat and entrepreneurial risks of thousands of uncertain yesterdays, and is more than willing to share both the triumphs and struggles with those who ask for help.
To know Adriana Dodge is to know energy and excitement, focus and charisma, all coiled up and ready to explode from her perky 4 ft. 11 inch frame. I had the pleasure of having three separate discussions with her where she shared with me and our readers her thoughts on success, real estate, “subject to” investing, mentoring, building a business, and much more.
Among the words of wisdom shared were these gems:
Always duplicating yourself.
Listen to others but know that you must make the decisions.
In frustrating times, remember: we expand, we grow, and then we deserve more.
No matter what you feel, it all comes down to numbers.
Hire people with a great attitude. You want people who will go the extra mile.
Some people in your life are a liability: distance yourself from negativity.
Treat people fairly.
Build relationships, don’t just trade.
Don’t fall in love with a property or investment.
Communication is key in business: always let people know what’s going on.
You cannot afford to burn bridges.
Surround yourself with a great team.
Have fun with the negotiations.
Finding people who are “X” is easier when you are “X”… example: “honest”
You can maintain your integrity and still make money investing.
When I finished writing this, I thought of something powerful besides encouraging those who now want to read Adriana’s book to do so. Each of us as entrepreneurs often have someone in our lives who we would love to empower to do something more, to take risks, to realize their potential and to go after a better life. It seems that we want more for them than they want for themselves. It can be a wife or girlfriend, a mother or a brother, a teacher or a preacher. Sometimes getting our encouragement is not enough; sometimes it is not the message but the messenger that is key to catalyzing a great achievement. If you too have such a person in your life, and they are interested in real estate, give them this book and let the inspiring Adriana Dodge be the messenger with A Millionaire’s Real Estate Secret.