By Victor Ochieng
Egypt Sherrod has made some good money in real estate. She’s been in the real estate business, flipping properties from her early 20s, and she’s made admirable progress.
“I grew up knowing that real estate was the foundation of wealth,” says Sherrod, who hosts HGTV’s Property Virgins and authored ‘Keep Calm…It’s Just Real Estate.’ “I came from a family of real estate brokers, so I don’t need to tell you what holidays were like, [and] what the conversation was.”
Having been in real estate for two decades, she knows a thing or two that may benefit someone already in the business or contemplating entry into the lucrative yet often tricky business. She shared a few of her secrets to success:
Be in the Business for Nothing but Win – Positive Attitude
Sherrod says one’s attitude going into the business really matters a lot. She knows a good number of people, more so Blacks, who’re scared of home ownership despite longing to realize the American dream.
“‘The American Dream,’ I think, for a lot of people has started to disappear. They [have] lost faith. But, what we have to know is that everything that goes up will come down—but it’ll also go back up again.”
But even as people are scared, she says real estate is still one of the best ways to build long-term wealth. “What we were taught early on was that real estate is the foundation of wealth. Real estate is what built middle-class America—that’s what built our 401(k)s, and that’s what set us up for retirement. It was: you go to school, you get a good job, you get married, you buy a house,” she says.
Always Put Your Extra Money in Property
If you have some extra money, the best place to channel it is in property ownership, said Sherrod, who pointed out that by so doing, she was able to hold on to her extra income without wasting it.
“I got my real estate license when I was 24 or 25. I flipped my first property when I got my first big paycheck in radio, when I moved to New York City from Baltimore. You know, when I first started making money and realized, ‘I have to do something with my money, and make my money work for me’—my first default was real estate.”
She purchased property in Newark, New Jersey and “flipped those babies.” It became great fun for her doing the business. “It’s a rush. That’s what flipping properties was like for me,” she says.
Think and Invest Long-Term
Sherrod understands that not everyone is into flipping property. As such, she points out that at times it’s important to hold on to some property. For those who prefer the traditional approach, there is no harm to becoming a landlord and benefit from rents.
“Every property you buy, don’t sell it. If you hold on to your property, rent it out, and keep raising the rent. As long as you’re paying your bills, you could go and find something else [to invest in] now—and, that’s the way to do it. Hold on to it. Use it as your retirement plan. Let someone else pay off your mortgage.”