REAL ESTATE

How to Supplement Your Income with Real Estate (So You Can Do What You Love)

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Why are rock stars turning to real estate side hustles to pay their bills? During the lockdowns, many musicians, gig workers, and creatives saw their income streams dwindle. There were no shows to play, no tours to attend, festivals were canceled, and human-to-human contact was limited as much as possible. As a result, famous musicians began to become real estate agents, mortgage brokers, investors, house hackers, and everything in between to pay their bills. And guess what—it worked!

Now, touring is back on, but those whose job is pursuing their passions still need extra income to take care of their bills during slow seasons or to build wealth. That’s where Juliet Lalouel from Heavy Realty comes in. Juliet is a Colorado and Hawaii-based investor and real estate agent who helps the music and creative communities find ways to fast-track their financial freedom to keep doing what they love. But her message doesn’t just apply to musicians. Anyone who loves what they do but wants more financial stability can take these lessons to heart.

Today, we’re talking about how anyone from any background can use real estate to supplement their income, pay their bills, and help them build wealth. Juliet shares why you may make a great real estate investor/professional without even knowing it and the beginner investments that ANYONE can try to start building a strong financial fortress, even if you’re a real estate enthusiast by day and a rock star by night.

Dave:
Henry, did you start investing in real estate so you could quit your job or to help supplement something else in your life that you’re passionate about?

Henry:
Oh no. I started investing so I could make enough money to quit my job.

Dave:
Really, I, when I first started, I like, I was too dumb to know that that was even a possibility. I was just like trying to marginally improve my finance position. But obviously most people get into real estate to replace their W2 or 10 99 income. But today we actually have an investor and real estate agent who helps people use real estate specifically to not quit their jobs.

Henry:
Well, it just came out in Rolling Stone that many musicians and other members of the part-time and gig economy are actually turning to real estate as a means to make a living. And our guest today was one of the voices featured in this article where they are discussing why this is happening and how people can make a great income in real estate part-time to support their passions.

Dave:
Hey everyone, my name’s Dave Meyer. Joined today by Henry Washington and we are gonna be bringing on real estate agent Juliet Lalouel, who is working specifically with musicians, artists, other members of the part-time and gig economy to get into real estate to supplement their income.

Henry:
On the show today, you’re gonna learn about the many ways that you yourself can get involved Part-time in the real estate industry. We’ll talk about getting involved in the real estate services industry as a way that you can learn how the best goes. And in the second half of the show we’ll talk a lot about how you can get started investing in real estate part-time.

Dave:
Okay, let’s bring on Juliet. Juliet, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here.

Juliet:
Thank you so much for having me.

Dave:
So you specialize with working with musicians, artists, and other people who are working part-time on something other than real estate. When did you realize that this group of people maybe needed some help getting started in investing?

Juliet:
So probably during the lockdowns in 2020 is when I noticed this the most, when a lot of people that were doing maybe professional touring, A lot of my world is musicians or people in the music industry, people that had jobs that shut down, which was obviously a lot of other people as well. Um, I noticed that a bunch of people didn’t know what they were going to turn to and a lot of people wanted to maybe move into a house that had more space where they could work from home, where they could do a podcast from home where they could be creative in some way from home. And they didn’t have the living space to do that. So they were trying to figure out how would I buy this place? I don’t know if that’s an option for me. And that kind of opened up a small door to where I was just seeing a lot of nos and felt like there was a lot of answers to these problems. One of which was either getting a real estate license and getting into the business at that time, of course, as you all know, is very good then. Um, and then in addition, you know, being able to understand what house hacking could do for people and really what investing could really do in terms of getting you into a property and then getting you into a better financial.

Dave:
So this all started during the pandemic, but I’m curious if this sort of for a lot of gig workers or part-time workers existed even before the pandemic. Like have you noticed that this group is maybe not as comfortable with real estate or investing in general?

Juliet:
Yeah, and I think that’s just a lack of knowledge and education. I think that there’s a large group of people that basically aren’t being spoken to in a way that they will be able to understand and hear when it comes to being able to buy your first house, invest in properties, it seems super far away and far fetched for a lot of people when it really is possible for so many. I mean, I’m one of those people that I had no idea what was out there for me until I started talking to the right people that I could really get a grip on what investing was and what real estate was and what that would open doors to.

Henry:
Yeah, you know what? I think that makes sense. So if you think about, uh, gig worker, typically what they’re doing involves them being on the move or almost transient in some ways. And when you think about real estate, it seems very like, I should be planted somewhere and if I’m not planted somewhere, then maybe this isn’t a thing I should look into. But with technology and the internet, especially during the pandemic, like distance wasn’t a thing anymore. You could go anywhere. You could learn from anyone. And now all these tools are in place where you don’t have to even own your own home in order for you to be a successful investor. And all the tools are out there for you. And so it’s great that people like you who understand what that lifestyle is like, can put that information, that knowledge in front of people to help them realize like, hey, you can invest and continue the lifestyle that you have. Right. So it’s a, I think that that makes a lot of sense.

Juliet:
Exactly. I know a lot of people that basically own multiple investment properties and they still rent out their primary house just because they’re moving around all the time physically, whether that’s because of work or they’re just never home, all of that to good stuff. And then in agreement with the pandemic, a lot of people were able to basically work remotely and that opened up a lot of doors for people that are touring on the road or on the road in various ways. You’re never really in one place. They were able to work really anywhere.

Dave:
So what is it then about real estate Juliet that makes it a good option for this subset of the population? Because if they can invest in anything, what makes real estate attractive?

Juliet:
I think that one of the things that makes real estate attractive for certain people is that it translates really easily from maybe one job that you’re into another, the skillset that comes from, you know, professional musicians or gig workers, there’s a lot of communication with strangers. Often you have to kind of put yourself out there, you kind of have to hustle. That is the exact same thing in real estate. Whether you’re a real estate agent or investor, there’s a lot of similarities that kind of can cross over. And so what I’ve seen is a lot of these people are able to kind of take those skills and transfer them into that. And that’s been really, really nice to see.

Dave:
Tell us more about that and what, what are some of the skills that you see people, you said communication, hustling. What does that translate to in the real estate industry?

Juliet:
Well, speaking from just specifically say the music industry where things are very cyclical, um, you’re gonna be going on tour, you make a lot of money, uh, you come back and you kind of need to figure out what your next thing is. Real estate is a lot like that. Often, you know, you have a deal or something and you really kind of need to be able to adapt really well and problem solve in order to get your next thing. Another thing that I’ve noticed is also maybe just like mental toughness that comes with a lot of this type of work, basically managing your expectations. Because in real estate, there’s, you never know when the house is gonna be yours. A deal can fall through, it can go crazy in haywire. And basically the music industry is very much the same, where you’re gonna maybe be promised an amazing gig that could possibly change your life and it might not happen because this other band didn’t choose you. And so like, managing your expectations, there’s this weird, um, mental toughness that comes from those types of things that you’re able to translate also really well into real estate.

Henry:
Yeah, I mean, makes a lot of sense. And when I think about real estate investing, there is a lot of, uh, especially when you’re looking for something to buy, right? It is a lot of getting on the phone with people, talking to them in the language that benefits them, allowing them to understand who you are, what you do, how you can be of value, why this deal should be yours, maybe what ways you can make an offer or curate an offer that’s gonna make sense in that environment. I would imagine that in your world there’s a lot of the same when you’re trying to book gigs or get people to understand why you should be the person that they should be reaching out to. It’s an entrepreneurial hustle, right? It it, it, it kind of transcends all, uh, genres of types of work.

Juliet:
Exactly. That’s exactly right. I mean if you think about it, these musicians are really kind of marketing themselves. They have to put themselves out there. They really have to show up. A lot of the times you can’t have a bad attitude otherwise you’ll be known for that and people don’t wanna work with you just like you would in other careers. And so some of that kind of coincides for sure.

Dave:
Okay, so real estate can be a powerful way for gig workers to build wealth, but as Juliet said, real estate can feel really out of reach for a lot of folks. So what are some of the ways for part-time workers to break into real estate investing? Juliet has a host of options and tips for you right after the break. Welcome back to the BiggerPockets Real Estate everyone. We’re here with Juliet Lalouel talking about how to break into real estate investing even as a part-time or gig worker. Let’s jump back in.

Henry:
So with that understanding, in what ways do you think or do you encourage musicians or gig workers, part-time workers to get into real estate? Like how do you encourage them to get started?

Juliet:
There’s gonna be a few different avenues. And I mean, it all kind of also depends maybe on your personality or where you kind of see yourself. Because I know a lot of people try to put themselves in a position where they’re not really comfortable and you’re not really gonna last long. Um, if you’re kind of an introvert and you’re just going to be like trying your best to do all these cold callings and all this stuff, you might suffer. If you’re an introvert and you really like backend work and maybe admin, you can do TC stuff, transaction coordination. If you have that type of ability to look at spreadsheets and timelines and you like that stuff, if you’re a tour manager and you know what it’s like to manage a bunch of moving parts, stuff like that might trans translate to you, you know, so that’s kind of where I would recommend is first what, where is your personality?

Juliet:
Where do you wanna be? And you know, where do you see yourself and what skills can you learn in order to get there? And then apply yourself to that position because there’s so many different positions in real estate, whether you wanna be a lender because you’re good with numbers and you like finances or you wanna be a realtor ’cause you’re a people person and you wanna do those types of things and you love houses and you know you wanna be an investor because you love how architecture is and you’re fascinated by design. You know, there’s so many different things. Um, alongside with ISA, you can be an inside sales assistant or doing cold calls, like there’s so many options under the umbrella of real estate,

Henry:
You hit the nail on the head. ’cause oftentimes people want to do something either because A, it’s the only thing they know or b they think it’s gonna be lucrative. But you’re absolutely right. Like I tell people, when you’re thinking about what you’re gonna do in real estate, whether it’s uh, a job or whether it’s how you’re gonna find your deals, your strategy needs to be the cross section of your personality, what you’re passionate about and what’s gonna help you hit your goal. Like that intersection is the thing that you should do if you start doing things because you think it’s gonna be lucrative, but it doesn’t really fit who you are the second you run into a brick wall. ’cause we all know, no matter what you do in real estate, you’re gonna get punched in the face, right? And the second you get punched in the face, you’re just gonna quit because it’s not who you are.

Henry:
It’s not how you’re built. And you kind of have to be honest with yourself about who you are. Like for me, when I got into this, everybody told me you need to beat the streets and you need to door knock and you need to cold call. ’cause that’s what getting, what’s getting people deals. But that ain’t me. Like, it’s just the second I knock on somebody’s door and they curse me out. Like I’m gonna, like I’m, I wear my emotions on myself. I’m a devastated, right? Like, and I won’t stick with it, right? So I had to pick a way to get into it that I knew would fit my personality, but that would also help me hit my goals. And I think too many times people, they just dive in to start doing something. It doesn’t fit who they are. They devastated and they quit. And the only thing that makes people successful in real estate is the sticktoitiveness. There’s no secret sauce. You just gotta keep pushing.

Juliet:
Yeah. And I mean, with that, with that, um, tenacity to just keep going, that’s always extremely important. And I think again, you know, people from the music industry are really good at that. You know, in order to make it, you really have to push and keep going and have, you know, keep your chin up type of a thing. Uh, and with investing in real estate, it’s just the same. But exactly, I mean, I think it’s a matter of combining your personality and maybe like what’s great for part-time and gig workers is you can see how not only with your personality, but what does your time allow for? And how can you either a, make more time to do this real estate thing, whatever that looks like, or how is this gonna kind of fit into what you’re already, what you already have going on. So if that’s gonna be, you know, maybe you’re on the road a lot and you’re not really physically somewhere, then maybe the phones is something for you and maybe you’re, and if you’re introverted, maybe the phones isn’t something for you, but maybe back in an admin paperwork or something like that, you know, and you can be helpful to other people.

Juliet:
I think another thing that a lot of people forget, uh, in real estate, whether it’s investing or being a realtor, it’s really, really smart to remember that you can’t do everything on your own and you shouldn’t. You should have a good team, you should have good mentorships. And by team I mean people that fill in the gaps. So if you are not the outgoing, super good person on the phones, teaming up with people that are in order to help you find those deals is really essential. So there’s ways that you can kind of really scale by being with people that are, have the strengths that you lack and then understanding best where you belong and then just working really well at that. And then kind of growing from there.

Dave:
A lot of the, the tactics that you’ve mentioned so far are what I guess I would describe as like real estate services, like being transaction coordinator or being an agent, a lender, all really important. Uh, but in some ways is that just another gig for people? Like why should they do real estate or should, is that like a stepping stone to an actual, an investment or how do you see that and why they should do this over any other sort of job?

Juliet:
Sure. I think that some of this stuff for some people is a really good beginning avenue where you can kind of start and your, you can get your foot in the door and you can learn the skill sets in order to become that investor. Obviously you can start in as an investor right away, you can really study that and kind of dive in. But if that’s something that you’re not really willing or able to do in the beginning, this is at least getting you into that path and that position. And then learning from people doing the thing that you want to do, which I highly recommend, you know, is, is one of the easier ways to kind of get into something otherwise for most of these people. Being a multi multifamily investor, owning all of these things sounds so far away. For some, it’s easy for some to maybe do overnight, but for others it’s a lot more difficult and then they don’t ever really get into it. Um, this is a good kind of stepping stone to kind of get in the room with other people doing these things.

Dave:
Okay. So the, the stepping stones totally makes sense to me and I think for certain people, maybe even in particular gig workers, this is a really good way for people to start learning the industry. What are some of the common ways or some of the common tactics that you see gig workers and musicians take when they’re ready to actually go buy a property?

Juliet:
I would say the common steps I I often see are people that are going to get into projects, whether it be fix and flips where they can get in and then work with kind of a team to get, get into a property, they get educated on what hard money lending is and all of those things, and kind of get their foot into the door to better understand investing that way. That has been something I’ve commonly seen other people, obviously the BRRRR method where they’re gonna buy a property, they live in it, that works out very well for them and then they rehab it themselves over time, uh, and then refinance later. Um, that method has been, uh, something else that I’ve seen quite often. Another way would be house hacking where they are probably not able to make the entire mortgage payment all on their own, but with the help of, you know, either a co-signer or if they have roommates helping supplement the mortgage payments. That’s another popular way that I’ve been seeing people get into a house, they do a house hack, they live in it for maybe a year or a few years. They move out, they hold that property as a rental and they kind of rent and repeat.

Henry:
Yeah, I think house hacking is always a great way for anybody to get started investing. And I think one of the coolest things about house hacking is the flexibility, right? Because when you, when you think about house hacking, most people think, well, I should, I should buy a multifamily and I should live in one unit and I should rent the other unit. But there are ways to house hack in a single unit home. And I would imagine with gig workers who may not be in the house all the time, there may be opportunity for them to monetize where they live, even if it’s not a multi-family. Have you seen gig workers get creative with how they can monetize where they live?

Juliet:
That is the biggest recommendation I have for them. And how I see them do it successfully with getting their foot in the door to property ownership and investing. They start house hacking because they, they come to me because they say that they are used to having a lot of roommates and they don’t wanna have to buy something on their own. All of those things. And, you know, some people like to live that way and they want to live, you know, with their roommates or, or maybe they have a recording studio at home and they’re able to kind of make payments on that by having people live with them. And I often see that, um, you often see a lot of people that are then on the road that will rent out majority of their house and basically store their stuff in one bedroom and they’re gone most of the time. That works out for a ton of people. And I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t really think of that. Um, in the beginning they’re just like, no, why would I do that? I’d rather just rent, you know, it doesn’t really make sense. I move around so much. If you move around so much, this is a perfect opportunity and way for you to own a house, even if you’re not there all the time.

Henry:
I equate it to like a college student, right? Because if you’re a college student, you’re gonna have roommates, right? Maybe you like having roommates and being able to own a property and then have your friends or other gig workers who are doing similar work be able to come and live with you in a comfortable space around people who understand what they’re doing in their lifestyle, right? And uh, and there’s, there’s a, there is a benefit to people who are doing similar things living together, right? In terms of proximity of resources and things. And so you can have, you can curate this environment of proximity, you can share relationships, you can share tips of the trade tools, right? You’re getting all these ancillary benefits and at the same time you as the property owner are getting to house hack and live and invest and not have to spend a ton of money in order to do that instead of you guys going and living separately. And also wanted to highlight, I think what you were saying was people can create like a studio space in their, within their situation and then you can actually rent that space out to other, uh, people who would want to use that space by the hour. Is that something you see as well?

Juliet:
Exactly. Yeah. There’s a lot of that which is super smart. You know, you can, you can rent that out to other bands or other people that wanna come through and use a home recording studio or obviously you can operate your business out of the house that way and then you have benefits there. But absolutely that’s something that is, uh, quite popular.

Dave:
All right. So there are a ton of routes for gig workers to start investing or even to pick up some part-time work in the real estate industry as a way to get in the door. But if you’re trying to start investing without a full-time, W2 job, how do you get approved for loan? We do have to take one more short break, but when we come back, we have some solutions for you on that topic. So stick around.

Henry:
Welcome back investors. We are here with Juliet talking about how to strategically use real estate to help build a life of passion. Let’s pick up where we left off.

Dave:
So Juliet, I wanna ask you something because when I first got started investing in real estate, I did not have a W2 job. I was working like a couple of different 10 99 jobs. So this resonates with me, but one of the challenges I had was no one wanted to lend to me because it’s very difficult to get loans sometimes as a, as a contractor gig worker. Is that a challenge you see often with this group and how do they get around it?

Juliet:
So that certainly is a challenge and is a thing a lot of people use as a roadblock in order to no longer really go further beyond that. They think that just because they don’t have a W2 job that they can’t get a loan, which is incorrect. There are different loan programs out there that’re not based on your W2 and there’s also options for creative finance, whether that’s seller financing or others. But there are options out there that I think a lot of people don’t understand, uh, is out there for them. Yeah,

Henry:
You’re absolutely right. There are several options for people who don’t have a traditional W2. And I think what really needs to happen is exactly what you’re doing is A, the education and B, the exposure, the more people are surrounded by other investors who are in similar situations, they will be able to see what some of these other non-traditional gig workers or part-time workers are doing to get loans. It’s just a matter of education and exposure because you’re right, there are asset based loans like DSCR loans that are based on how much money the property is actually making or non QM loans, which are non-qualified mortgages, which are made exactly for have a traditional W2. Those are some of the easier things, but there’s even options with, if you’re in and around other investors, you’re going to meet people who maybe do have a traditional W2 and then you can partner with those people that makes you bankable. And yeah, you may only get 50% here, but now you’re getting 50% of something good versus 0% because you don’t think you can go and qualify. So there is a ton of options, but I think the key is, you’re right, it’s the education and the exposure.

Dave:
Yeah, that, that’s a great point, Henry. Totally. And I just wanna clear up what, ’cause this happened to me was 15 years ago now there’s so many more options now to get around this. Like DSER loans 15 years ago was not something, maybe they existed, I had not heard of them, but I don’t think that they were commonplace for investors. And what I had to do, which is still a good strategy by the way, is like I just found a partner who had a good job and who could get a loan . Um, and so like there, that’s still a perfectly viable way to do it, but just wanna call it that, like now this is one of the reasons why it is a good time, uh, for gig workers, 10 99 workers to consider this because the lending industry has really evolved. Mm-Hmm. and gotten more creative as a whole to enable, uh, people to buy these types of uh, properties. So Juliet, do you think that real estate can be a good avenue to support people doing something that they’re really passionate about? Because on this show we talk about the reverse a lot where we say real estate’s a way so that you can quit your job and people want to go full-time into real estate. But it seems like you’re sort of proposing or at least supporting a different theory here that it’s can support you staying in a job that you might really love.

Juliet:
Right? I mean, there’s a lot of people that I interact with in my world that say love what they do. A lot of them are, for example, professional musicians and they absolutely love that. Does that make you a ton of money? Not all the time, but is it something that you love? Yes. You know, and I’m all for basically following your passion, whatever that is, while also getting financial security. And I feel like real estate as an investor or as a realtor, whichever option you go with is going to help get you there and you will have more financial stability in order to do the things that you love. So a lot of people get into investing to quit their job. They hate their job, whatever that is. Maybe if it’s a, it’s an office space or what have you, they wanna leave that behind. A lot of people that I know love what they do, it just doesn’t make them enough money. So this is kind of the perfect thing to kind of support what you love by giving you that financial stability and better, stronger income.

Henry:
Amen. That is how we should view something like this. I think oftentimes people get into real estate and they think, well this isn’t really my passion. And real estate does not have to be your passion. Real estate allows you to do what you’re called to do, not what you have to do for money. If you feel like your passion or your calling is what you’re currently doing, then you can do real estate, which will give you the financial stability to be who you’re called to be. But you don’t have to make real estate your passion. And I love just having that as kind of your, your poster on the wall, your north star, your thing to look at. That’s what keeps you pushing. Don’t make it your passion, just remember that it allows you to fulfill your passion.

Juliet:
Exactly That. And something beautiful that some people might find out is that both can become your passion. I am very passionate about both worlds and you can really get involved. A lot of people in my network love having both, you know, and that has been a really nice thing to see. So yes, you may not love it all the time to get the financial income in order to do the thing that you love. You might end up finding that you absolutely love both and you can kind of live the best of both worlds.

Dave:
Awesome. Well, that’s a beautiful way to end. Juliet, thank you so much for joining us here on the show today. We will of course, put Juliet’s contact information in the show notes below if you want to connect with her. Thank you all so much for listening. We will see you very soon for the next episode of the BiggerPockets podcast.

 

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