Arleen Garza
Welcome to The Underdog Show, where we shine a spotlight on remarkable individuals defying the odds. In this episode, we feature Arleen Garza, Co-Founder of REEP Equity.

Since 2012, Arleen has been at the helm of this innovative company, driving its acquisitions and growth strategy. With her sharp decision-making skills, she maximizes investor returns by sourcing acquisitions in target markets and implementing value-add and management improvements that propel profitability and generate appreciation for the properties under REEP’s ownership umbrella. Join us as we uncover Arleen’s inspiring journey and her unwavering pursuit of success in the real estate industry.

In this episode, Pam uncovered the layers of Arlene’s journey. They talked about:

  • What inspired Arlene on her journey to where she is today?
  • How did she get into real estate? With her expertise, what’s her advice for women in the real estate industry?
  • Why is delegation in business? And how is divide and conquer significantly?
  • How do you add value to the property? What are the five ways according to Arlene?
  • Is it possible to make more money passively?
  • What would Arlene tell her younger self based on what you know now?
  • Coming up in the next few months for Arlene and the team?

Listen to this exciting episode. Join us for the conversation! Listen to the full episode here:

If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Catch up with Arlene Garza here:

The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

Ready to elevate your life and take ownership of your power? Join Pamela for a 15-minute call to set clear goals and build your game plan today! Visit to schedule your session now.

Want to elevate and protect your hard-earned assets and your family? Tune into our free masterclass on how to protect your assets:

Click To Read The Transcript

Arleen Garza’s Journey to REEP Equity’s Entrepreneurial Triumph

Pamela Bardhi
Hello, everyone and welcome to the underdog Podcast. Today I have an incredible guest here with me, Arlene. How are you, my friend?

Arleen Garza
I am doing great. And it’s Friday getting ready for the weekend. So all is good.

Pamela Bardhi
I love when the sun is shining on a beautiful Friday. I will take all of it. Everybody agree? It’s such a pleasure to have you on this podcast. Arlene. I’m so excited to get your backdrop. I mean, like, I always love meeting women in real estate. there’s just something about them that are just total badasses. and are total, incredible human beings. And I always love starting with this question, because it’s almost like the first bookmark. So to get us into your story. So my question for you, Arlene, is what inspired you on your journey to where you are today?

Arleen Garza
Well, it started pretty early. I actually just shared this story with a group of high school students that I spoke to yesterday. But one of the main things is I grew up in a family of 10 kids. And so you can imagine how tough it might have been for my mom. and dad to kind of manage all the finances and my mom was a Super Saver. I don’t know how she did it. My dad worked construction, so not a big salary. But somehow we were all clothed and fed and lots of love.

And the one thing that both parents instilled in us was your way up is education. that was I mean, literally report card day. we stood in front of my dad. and we my age and showed him report cards. and you didn’t want to be the one that dad said, Do you think you can do better. So we worked really, hard. at a pretty young age in high school. I realised that my path to college involved scholarships. I have three older brothers who also were planning or were already in college. And so I needed to find a way to help my parents pay for that. So I did. But really when I chose my career, my initial career, it was banking.

And it was because of watching my mom save, save, save. And then there would be that emergency or construction jobs became scarce during winter. so she would dip into the savings account. then I would watch her save even harder to get that savings account back up. in my mind, I kept thinking there’s got to be a better way. so by a degree in Finance was really to figure out. how do I learn more about money?

And then how can I help others learn more about money. so I spent 20 years in banking started out as a lender. I managed an international private banking portfolio at the age of 23. Which was given to me primarily because I could speak Read and Write Spanish. And a lot of the clients were South American, and central South America.

So that was helpful. And then the bank failed. You know, I’m hearing the stories of the banks that have failed recently. And it just kind of brought back all those memories. Because the bank I worked for failed. so I quickly looked at the bank that was coming in, out of Ohio. I thought they’re probably not too International. So I gotta figure out what they do and how I can be a bigger part of that.

So I figured out that that’s when branch banking was first kicking off. and they were one of the pioneers. So I went to the president of the bank, and I said, I want to be in that programme. I want to learn how to run branch banks. And all of my trips out of the country had to be approved by him. I knew him very well. he said, sure. Let’s make it happen.

So I ran banking centres. And then one of the beautiful things is the first branch that I was given to manage was in Dallas. And it was kind of a mix of affluent folks from Highland Park. which is a very wealthy part of Dallas. then it was on a street that also kind of was region or gentrifying. so I had a tonne of Spanish speaking customers.

So, I started a radio programme and also appeared nationally on some Spanish language TV shows, too. educate people, because that’s been my goal all along. how do I help other people do better with their money, grow their money. And so that was a big part of what I did. And then another bank heard about me. So they hired me to launch their first Hispanic marketing programme.

So, didn’t have a marketing degree. let me tell you, I pulled out those old college marketing books. And I was reading through them trying to figure how to hire an ad agency and all those fun things. And needless to say, it was very, very rewarding. to be able to take the education on a bigger, larger scale nationally.

And then, you know, had a job in HR nationally. because I wanted to work from home. at a time when working from home was really not the thing. So I came up with it. And then I developed a programme. to help others job share and work from home, at the bank. And so I was I was very happy there. then my husband had a software company, property management software, actually.

And he said, came home one day and said. Hey, I had an offer to sell the business. And I thought, Okay, why don’t we do. we looked at the numbers, and he decided to sell. So sell the business. then he said, we moved to San Antonio, where we live today. he said, I really want to buy multifamily properties. I saw from the clients that were using my software. how well they were doing, how well these properties were doing.

So he said, I really want to buy one and I like put up put on the brakes here. That’s I don’t know anything about it. And I’m very conservative by nature. so we educated ourselves, really join real estate groups. and became certified through the National Apartment Association. just took a tonne of courses joined a bunch of groups. then we bought our first one little 24 unit here in one of the San Antonio suburbs.

And I’m telling you, we did everything I leased I collected the rent. I did the accounting, my husband managed the rehab, and the maintenance. And so added and added and added properties and brought in investors. probably on our fourth deal, and then opened the management company. For a couple of reasons.

One, we knew all the work that is involved in running these properties. But the other reason the primary reason was. we wanted to be in control of what happened on our properties every single day. So fast forward to today, we’ve purchased 29 properties in San Antonio, Houston, and Austin. And we have a team of 130 on the management company side. So that’s how I got picked up today.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh my goodness, that is absolutely amazing. Arlene, I love the vast majority of experience that you’ve had throughout your career. and really how it led you up until that point, that’s amazing. That’s amazing. And I love your culture has a lot to do with that too. I love that you intertwine your identity and who you are and to what you do. You know, most times when you find someone especially a woman, that’s a high finance position.

So almost like you almost have to conform, if you will. And like, I love that you went out there. and you added your own flavour to what you do. then the banks kind of came to you, you didn’t necessarily go to them. which I think is so powerful.

Arleen Garza
Yeah, it is. And you know, banking is very male dominated. It’s changing. It has changed over the years. But so is real estate, to your earlier point of. when I find another woman in real estate, I gravitate. because I’m like, she’s just like me. There’s a lot we share and a lot we can do together. And so I’m really big on that.

Pamela Bardhi
Me too. I absolutely love that birds of the feather stick together.

Arleen Garza
That’s exactly right.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that. So question for you earlier, when you were a kid growing up, like what was your dream? What did you want to be?

Arleen Garza
You know, I actually went to a student government conference. when I was a student body, President at one point, and they asked us to name our dream job. Well, I don’t know that, in high school what a dream job is. So you kind of search out there and I said I wanted to be the governor of Texas. So that’s what I originally dreamed. and now I don’t know that I would do that. But, it was a nice, fun dream to have.

Pamela Bardhi
Yeah, I mean, you were a leader pretty much. And they kind of led you into where you are now in Student Council. and all your main positions. then now to your own equity company. which is so so so, so amazing. And I love that you followed from corporate into entrepreneurship.

So that is something that I think that a lot of people struggle with. or are maybe facing at this point in time right now. what would be some advice that kind of got you guys to buy that first deal? Because we all know, especially in real estate. there’s so many people that are stuck in analysis, paralysis mode. and like they, it’s almost like they know what to do? They’re just afraid to do it. So how did you get past that hump?

Arleen Garza
Yeah, I think for me, I’m a numbers person. So getting very comfortable with the numbers was important. I needed to know that at the end of the day, there was going to be money leftover that we could live on. And so I think that was the biggest thing. but I will tell people coming from the corporate world. there’s two ways to do it. jump in and swim, or partner with somebody who already has done it.

We do partnerships with folks from time to time. And so we’re able to kind of share and kind of take the band aid off. a little bit slower from the corporate world into entrepreneurship. And I can use my husband and I as examples. he started his first company at the age of 26. So All he knew was being an entrepreneur. I spent 20 years in banking in the corporate world.

And so decision-making happens very differently in those two environments. For him, he made a decision, he ran with it down the track. For me, I, you know, grow up in an environment where everything was by committee. You know, you had to present your idea in front of 510 people even loan committee to get an approval, and then you could move forward.

So it’s been an adjustment for me. Now, 11 years into it, I look back on it, but in the beginning. it was because I wanted it to your point. take all of that data and really study it. Well, you don’t have that luxury. because there’s a deadline for an offer on a property. And you’ve got to be able to meet that deadline and move forward.

So I always tell people look at the cons. Because the pros are they’re really they’re there. But what are the cons? If you don’t do it? If you don’t take that step? If you don’t join that group that’s going to educate you or partner with somebody? What’s going to happen if you don’t do that?

Pamela Bardhi
Right, that’s so true. And it almost takes the risk off of you a little bit as well. Yes. You know, so if you’re that scared find a partner. at least for the beginning, and then shift into your own all,

Arleen Garza
I agree, and look for a partner who has skills different than yours. Because then you each bring something different to the table. My husband and I, in the beginning did everything. we were making all the decisions together. And so the process was slow. And lots of dialogue and discussion.

So at some point I went to a coaching programme, that talked about your unique ability. and you wrote down all the things that you could remember that you did in a week. then you rank them by the things that you were really good at. And you love to do, the things that you were good at, and not so thrilled about it. then the things that you really wasn’t your strong suit.

And from that experience, I came back and talk to my husband. if you look at everything on my sheet, I really should be doing the buying. I need to be doing the acquisitions for our company. I know the lending side of it, which is the biggest part of the capital stack.

I know, all of this, the pieces I’ve interacted with brokers. and I said you’ve rent you ran a team of 100 people before at your company. What do you think about you taking the operation side of the house. I take the bind side of the house and he said I’d love that.

So now we divide and conquer, which is what you should do with any partner. Figure out what you’re each good at on what you love to do, and then divide and conquer.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely, I love that divide and conquer is also delegation as well. And also seeing who’s strong at what. because as much as we like to think we’re good at everything. a company requires an integrator and an operator, those are the two elements.

like somebody who’s gonna go super hard and be the face. and develop those relationships and be the strategic and the visionary. oftentimes, that person cannot be the one behind the scenes. making sure all the operations and everything is in line and all of that stuff. because it’s just different strengths and different weaknesses.

So anyone who’s familiar with the disc assessments. like it’s super, super sure, like get yourself a DISC assessment. see where you live, because the best teams are an integrated version of that. like a D, for example, is usually the visionary.

And the person who’s leading building relationships. from somebody like a C is the one on the back end. that’s making sure all the deals don’t fall apart. and all the numbers are working. he’s working on analytical. So it’s so cool. Have you incorporated any of that into the building of your company are,

Arleen Garza
we actually have our all of our top talent goes through kind of that process of the DISC profile. we’ve done the Kobe, which is a little bit different. And then through contact in the industry. he has a different one that’s really more about leadership and decision making. So it tells you how that person wants to be led. even if you know they are in a leadership role. and how to give them feedback, and how they lead others.

So that one’s a very interesting one that we do with just with kind of our top level folks. And then we encourage them to use it with regional managers or other folks below them. But it and I will tell you, it’s uncanny how accurate it has been. from the standpoint of those people that worked out.

And those people that did not work out, the writing was on the wall. But you know, I got an email from somebody the other day that said. Do you want to know how to hire somebody that doesn’t just look good on paper? because sometimes we do we look at that resume, and we get enamoured. And we think, wow, they could do so much for us.
But the personality type might not work. And so going through the disc and the Cobian. This other one allows us to kind of separate out those that fit into our culture. Because culture is huge, huge, huge part of our company.

Pamela Bardhi
Totally, totally. And I love that you’ve incorporated that into the systems and building in the scaling. because that was going to be my next question for you is. like the building and the scaling of an organisation going from 120 for a unit in San Antonio. it’s a now expanding the way that you have which is incredible.

that I know that these tools are definitely some skill sets on how you guys have gotten there. But definitely walk me through some of the biggest challenges. and how you kind of overcame them. It can be life or business to whichever one. Okay,

Arleen Garza
well when we first worked together,we were in such a learning mode. that you almost don’t stop what you’re doing long enough to analyse what you’re doing. And then we got to property number three. we thought there’s no way that two of us can do all of this. So the first person we hired was an accountant, because my degrees in finance, not accounting.

And if you don’t have your books straight, it can create a world of misery for you. So we hired an accountant. And then next we hired a regional manager. Because that allowed us to debt delegate to pieces of our worlds. for me, it was the numbers and for my husband, it was the management. you know, maintenance guys and the rehab programmes and all of that.

So those were our first two hires. And then what we did was we projected out and said, This year, we’re gonna buy three properties. So once we buy them, who do we need on staff to take pieces of that? HR came next. Because when you were we’re going to have to hire and staff all of these properties.

So we hired a human resources manager. And then as we got bigger and bigger, we added to those teams. We hired Investor Relations Manager, we hired a director drip marketing. because putting your name out there is a big key. to encouraging folks to want to look at investing with you. And so over time, we would take an org chart.

And then we would say, what would the dream look like? What would be the pieces that we would want to put on that org chart? Before we got to this size? And then we will revise that when we got to that size and looked at what is our next goal? What do we need to add to that? Well, who are the people we need to add or the positions we need to add? that’s how we got to 130 employees.

Pamela Bardhi
Amazing. It’s amazing. Because I’m, you know, most entrepreneurs, like

Arleen Garza
operations, scaling, and all of that.

Pamela Bardhi
And it seems like you’ve had like a very organic approach as well. which is super, super amazing. been able to expand the way that you have absolutely remarkable.

Arleen Garza
Yeah, it’s been, it’s been very strategic, we call it strategic growth. because we do manage in house, we don’t want to go and buy 15 assets. And then we don’t have the team to deliver the results. Because as you know, you can buy them very well.

But the real magic happens in the management of those assets. and increasing the income and increasing the value of that property. And it’s done by people. It’s a people business.

Pamela Bardhi
Totally. And I always say that as well. I’m like real estate is literally a local business. wherever it is the same whatever sandbox that you’re playing. it’s all relationships at the end of the day. it’s all about influence and adding value. And you just mentioned like, you know, you add that value.

Now, what would be your biggest piece of advice for any real estate investor. who’s listening or anyone who’s looking to invest? Or any of that, like, what would be the best piece of advice that you would give them. on how to add value to a property?

Arleen Garza
Well, I think for us in terms of why we add value to a property, we call it supercharging. We have five ways that we supercharge a property. One, you buy the right property in the right market. to be able to maximise what you know, is happening in that market, job growth, population growth, etc.

And then there’s amenities and the fees that come with those amenities. So when we look at a property, we say what amenities are there. and then what can we add, not just because we’ll be able to charge more fees. but because it’ll keep that resident longer there. if they have what they need, if they can go to the dog park. or they have a package locker so they can get their Amazon package anytime of the day. instead of just when the leasing office is open.

And so they’re there, the management of it. that’s a huge, huge part of it. making sure that income is coming in that door. And really the expense side too, when we buy a property. Day one, we will decrease the expenses anywhere from 15 to 17%. Just doing one simple thing. renegotiating the contracts, for landscaping, for pest control for whatever it is.

And so I think those are the key things to operate a property. and make sure that the value is created for that property along with your rehab budget. Everybody comes up with a rehab budget in the beginning. it’s designed to drive more rent, higher rent. I hear so many times when people will spend it. They didn’t spend it on the things that were going to drive the rent.

So making sure that you’ve got money for those things that are not going to drive rent. that you raise that money, but then really make sure that you spend those dollars. to renovate the property in the areas that are going to give you the biggest bang for your buck. So that’s what’s really key to me is really it’s on the management side of running the business.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. And I love that you’ve pinpointed those five and those are absolutely key. So what are some ways that we can drive that up. add a quality of life to the tenants or those who are residing in the properties to make it better? and from an obviously from an operational perspective too.

So I love all the different integrated methods that you guys use. I love that I’m now backing up a little bit for you Arlene. who are what has motivated your inspired you most In your life.

Arleen Garza
I’ve gotta say, my mom. My dad died when he was 48. And she still had three kids at home, and had never really worked outside of the house. She had volunteered at our church for 25 years. so she asked the priest if he knew where she could get a job. And she worked as a church secretary. because she had given so much to the community that he said, you know, everybody, you know what we do.

And when we would have people call us to ask us what time mass was going to be for a special. because they knew my mom would know. so just watching her after the speech last night that I gave to the high school students, she was with me in the car. she said, I really wished I could have gone to college. She said, I wanted to really do that. But she said, One, there was no money, and there was no way for me to get there.

So instead, she sent all 10 of her kids to college, and figured out a way to do that. But she also gave us a strong faith. I mean, money is one thing, but if you have a strong faith. you can get through anything that there is. And she really made sure that we not only knew our faith. but I say the first book that impacted me was the Bible.

And that’s because I really feel there’s a lot of guidance in there. whatever your higher power is, I think there’s a lot of guidance there. so I think that was a big one. then course, Rich Dad, Poor Dad was a book that I think a lot of people read. and I would recommend, it really does give me the perspective of where do you want to be?
Which one of those quadrants Do you want to be in. it really teaches you how being an entrepreneur can really be rewarding. Yeah,

Pamela Bardhi
I absolutely love that. Thank you so much for sharing that early. And I love that your work has been such a motivating factor in your life. then I also love how you tied in the faith side of things as well, I think I say this all the time. As I heard Tony Robbins say it and it changed my life when I heard it. which is business is a spiritual game.Wow. Barrier. Yeah.

Like, they when I heard that, I was like, the most successful made sense. And most successful people I’ve ever met in my life. believed in something outside of themselves. I don’t care if it was a purple hat. as long as it was something that was outside of you something greater. they always have a very specific energy.

And they always have a very specific. like, they just seem to attract whatever it is that they want in life. They seem to have these incredible companies. not without struggle, of course, because we have all these lessons in our lives. But it’s just incredible.

So when I heard you say Bible. as your booklet that tells me that in the spiritual realms. you’re very connected there to and it shows through your business. I’ve the most successful entrepreneurs, easily, easily are the most spiritual. I agree that

Arleen Garza
I think that the moral values that you learn through the process of deepening your faith. you carry naturally into anything you do, including business. honesty, integrity, respect, all of those things are so important in our day to day lives. and especially in business.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. I’m totally with you on that. So throughout your life experience, Arlene. what has been some of the biggest lessons and the biggest obstacles that you’ve faced. and how have you overcome them?

Arleen Garza
But you know, I think it’s, I say it’s those prayers that you were answered. but maybe in the wrong way or not the way you wanted them. I recall when I was in business, I’d already been in banking for a bit. and I thought, I really want to go to law school. And I mean, deep into my career and everything was going great. but it was one of those things that just felt that to explore.

So took the LSAT and you know, applied to law schools. and I got in and the first semester I was in, I had two young children. So I had somebody helping me at home while I was at school. But about two months into the not three months into the first semester. our son developed pneumonia, and they said he was going to heal. but it was going to take Got a while to do that.

And I just kept thinking about we had several professors who said, the trick to this school is you have to be here. So if you miss more than three times. you automatically get a 70 Doesn’t matter how well you score. And so at that point, I had to make a decision. Did I want to be there for my son? Or did I want to be in this law school? So I picked my son. it was the best decision I could have made.

But I went through a process, almost of mourning. almost of what could have been had I made a different decision. not that it was the decision I wanted, but what could it have been like? And then finally, I just had to say, it wasn’t for you. I mean, things wasn’t for you. as Tony says, life happens for you, not to you. so I just had to reflect on it. And then I picked up the phone and called the HR manager for the bank in Texas. I said, Guess what it was, it didn’t work out for me. that was a tough thing for me to do.

Because I had never failed at anything. part of me deep inside said, Is this a failure? And I just had to take myself out of it and said, No, it was a life learning lesson. she hired me right away and said, I’d love to have you here you can work from home. so you can be with your son. And you’ll get to learn a new skill and human resources. So a big blessing coming out of something that was pretty heartbreaking for me.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh, my goodness, thank you so much for sharing that. I mean, wow. That is a blessing in disguise. If I’ve ever heard of one, right like you think that your world was over. because this didn’t work out for you. And then doors open. It’s such a gorgeous way for you to be able to be offered a job. that was remote to be with yourself like that is alignment at its finest.

I love that. Well, that oh my goodness. Oh my goodness, I adore that. And I love your your business journey and your career journey as well like. and how this all intertwines with each others. Absolutely. Absolutely beautiful. I’m sure you deal with investors and all of that for your company.

And I’m sure that people come to you all the time and ask you questions. like, hey, Arlene, like, what’s the best way for me to make money passively? You mentioned? So what are some major tips that you would offer those individuals. who are listening that are kind of like I want to get into real estate. but I don’t want to put myself at risk? And how do I make money passively? You know, all the big questions?

Arleen Garza
Sure. I think one of the key things is I go back to education. it doesn’t matter if you’re doing it via podcast, or blogs, or books, or listening to somebody IQ who has experience. you really need to understand the fundamentals of what makes real estate work. and how you make money in real estate. or how whoever’s running that property is going. to make money at that property.

So I start with education, because then at least you know what to ask. Without it, you don’t know what questions to ask that person. that’s offering you this investment opportunity. And I also will say, ask that person, about their background. ask them about their track record. How many properties have they bought, managed, and sold? And what were the results of that?

Because that will tell you a little bit about how well they have learned this business? So to me, that’s a big, big one. And I mean, I’ve even had people ask me, can I pull a background check on you? And I tell them, I have nothing to hide. But just know that 29 lenders have done that before you. if they were going to find something they would have found it.

But you’re very welcome to ask me any question you want. I joke about that, but you really should make sure you know who you’re giving your money to get an investment. and what they’re going to do with it because you don’t get it back. And if it’s gone, it’s gone. so ask a tonne of questions but it starts with understanding the fundamentals of real estate.

What Would Arleen Older Self Tell Her Younger Self

Pamela Bardhi
I absolutely love that. And you know this next question is one of my faves like faves and it could be business personal. whatever comes to your heart. what would your older self tell your younger self based on what you know now?

Arleen Garza
Not to worry about what others think. I think so many times we take actions or don’t take action. because we’re concerned what somebody else is going to think about us. in reality that’s external to you. It’s how you see yourself. And it’s the confidence you build within yourself that matters. And the day you stop worrying about what somebody else thinks. you will have ultimate freedom and confidence.

Pamela Bardhi
And I love that. I always say one of the most freeing things and the like. then one of the number one keys to success, is you just stop giving a crap. about what anyone and everyone thinks. It’s like, everyone’s so tied up. And they’re like, Pam, how are you just so like, nonchalant. that you literally just don’t care at all whatsoever?

what others think, like I learned early on that. oftentimes, when you’re insecure about something. if you’re worried about what somebody else is thinking. oftentimes, they’ve got so many insecurities around thinking about you. First off, so there’s that. So no one I agree. conscious of that anyway.

Arleen Garza
Yeah. No, you’re so right. Yeah. Well, we’re all right.

Pamela Bardhi
It’s like, what? And then number two is like, what do you have to lose? You have one life and you have a limited time?

Arleen Garza
non refundable minutes, is what we have. And I like, I enjoy when people ask me. Well, what’s it like to be a woman in real estate? You know, is it harder? or what have you experienced? And I tell people, it’s only hard if you think about it that way. I said, the way I like to look at it. what are the things about being female that I can use to my advantage? As females, we have incredible gut instincts.

And if you listen to them, they’re awesome. And I think the other one is, in talking to brokers. our kids both work with us. Now our young adult kids worked with us in the business. our daughter works on the acquisition side with me. one day, she said, Mom, I would not like to be on the other side of the negotiating table from you.

And I said, why I’m so nice. She said, that’s the problem. You’re so nice. They don’t know that you’re really negotiating. I’m down. I really think I said everybody’s personality is different. mine is one of being direct. But there’s a reason to be direct and unkind. I think you can be direct and say what you want to say.

And they’re either going to like it. or they’re not going to like it. But you’re not going to change what their thought is going to be. because you were rude or forceful, or what have you. I said, your personalities, your personality, and how to really reflect yourself in front of others.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. I love that. Well, it’s like these things like as women. we’re like jet eyes, we have this like insane intuition. And our way of building relationships is so much different. No offence to men, but it’s just different. So like how she was your daughter was saying. Oh, I don’t even realise that you’re talking them down. because you’re, like, so nice about it. That I superpower. utilise that to your advantage.

Arleen Garza
Exactly. And that’s what I like to tell women is use your superpowers. as a woman as a man or whoever, everybody has superpowers. But don’t think yours are any less because you were born female.

Pamela Bardhi
They’re not. They’re just super powers that you’re willing to unveil. I love that. Arlene. Oh my goodness. I’m so excited to hear like what’s next in your world? Like what are you guys working on at this point? Like 130 employees, I’m sure you’ve got tonnes of assets under management is markets been wild? Like what’s what’s happening in your world. and like the next like two to three months?

Arleen Garza
Well, we actually just got a two property portfolio under contract. So that’s keeping us busy. We just closed the deal two weeks ago. our first Austin property and so for us it’s again figuring out how to utilise the factors. that are available in the market. Yes, the lending side maybe is a little tighter. but we’ve done 29 loans means we’re an experienced borrower.

And so we don’t worry about that, although we do get our loan sized. and we get a really concrete idea of what the loans gonna look like, before we even make an offer. We want to put that risk aside with rising rates and have you. But I think the other thing is everybody’s saying, Oh, well. there’s less deals, there’s less trading in the market. There are less deals, but they’re still good deals.
And the brokers know our reputation, so that we’re getting to see a lot of opportunities. we’re buying that much better pricing than we saw last year. so we really have set our goal to buy, you know, eight to 10 properties this year. we’ve set our goals on our hiring needs to add that many we just. for example, added a director of finance and accounting. because with more properties means more accounts payable, everything financial statements, you name it.

And so that’s, that’s important for us. we’re sitting at total that we bought about 644 million. we want to hit a billion. And our goal is to try to hit that billion in the next year to two years. then the next goal is 5 billion, which sometimes just fathoms me. I’m just like, I never people say what did you ever think you were going to be this big? I tell them? No. I mean it because we were so steadily growing.

you get to a point where you go, Oh, wow, we’re here. You know, we’re here. But we’re here because of people, not because my husband and I have a magic potion or whatever. Because all the people that work with us, that help take care of the residents. And because of residents, we have the ability to do good in the community.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s amazing. So the billion dollar goal, oh my gosh, that’s so exciting to hear. We’re gonna keep tabs on you when you get there. Because you’re almost there, you’re almost there. Almost. Oh, my gosh, that’s amazing, really. And I’m so excited to see that growth and where you guys go in the future. and just like, the elevation of all that you’re doing. It’s incredible.

Arleen Garza
It’s in Thank you. Yeah, and one of the new things we’ve also started is ground up development. which sounds like you know something about that. But our son is actually building adding 48 units to an existing property that had some vacant land. And so it’s been so fun to watch him learn. And me along with him, because I had never built anything from the ground up. But his degrees in real estate finance and development.

And so he’s always had that engineering mind always. even when he was little. In fact, he got the best builder award in preschool. So ground up development is new. we’re working on a single family built around community development that’s in the initial stages. And so we’re going to learn what that looks like.

And keep learning you know, there’s other asset classes we kind of toy with. we bought a commercial building almost two years ago. that markets kind of crazy, but I keep hearing you can buy a class office buildings for really not a lot. So again, it comes back to just be open. but educate yourself about what it is you’re getting into.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. I absolutely love that. And I mean, it seems like you guys are on this amazing journey, which is incredible, incredible. And I definitely want to let all the listeners know where to find you and your awesomeness. so that they can follow along with you.

Arleen Garza
Oh, thank you for doing that. Yes, you can reach me at reep In fact, the best way is email us at invest at reep And I’ll also share that on our website. There’s some great blogs, there’s some podcasts there’s for newer investors. as a really great way to learn about what it takes to invest in real estate and how you make money.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that. Arlene, thank you so much for your time here today. You are incredibly inspiring. I love the journey that you’re on not just you but as a family unit. It’s incredible to see and I can’t wait to see you hit a billion for sure it’s coming.

Arleen Garza
Thank you so much for all those good wishes and good words. I do want to stay in touch. I love your vibe. I love Your approach to life and we all need that in our lives so let’s stay in touch

Pamela Bardhi
thank you so much Arlene I’m so grateful to you

Arleen Garza
same here thank you



Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Arleen Garza. If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review. The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

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