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Real Estate Investing and the Financial Independence Movement

Talk Bravely

Release Date: 08/03/2020

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On this episode of Talk Bravely, I chat with lawyer turned real estate investor Diya Liu. Diya started out as a Big Law attorney but  turned to real estate investing and went from $0 to $100k net rental income with vacation rentals in 13 months.

We talk about how she approached the decision to leave the 9-9 world of patent litigation law, why she decided to pursue location independence through investing in short term rentals, how she teaches others her process, and what she thinks Covid-19 will do to the real estate market.

So if you’re a young entrepreneur, aspiring location independent dreamer, or just fascinated by real estate and making big career jumps, this episode is totally for you.



What we’re talking about:

  • Real estate during Covid-19. Diya still thinks the market will feel the economic downturn within 12-18 months. Comps are still supporting an elevated level. Luxury markets are still pretty hot and purchasers are still shopping at the same price point.
  • If you’re a future real estate investor, Diya encourages you to look at the last recession, locales that were hardest hit, and consider trends that may stay true for this next potential real estate downturn.
  • Diya’s childhood was shaped by her experience of moving to the US from China at age 8, growing up without a lot of money compared to her peers, and her parents’ focus on her educational success.
  • Graduating from law school and securing a job with an international law firm in NYC opened up a completely different world of finances and spending than she had ever experienced.
  • After a few years, Diya realized the 9-9 (and longer!) lifestyle of big city law may not be her passion. It was at that point that she discovered the FIRE lifestyle and philosophy (financial independence / retire early).
  • Financial Independence teachings mainly revolve around building wealth through real estate or stock market investments to get to a point where the passive income earned from these two platforms equates to enough money annually to sustain a person/family instead of a salary from a job.
  • Diya made a plan to move from NYC back to Austin where she did her undergrad, secured a job quickly, decided to start investing in real estate, and made it all happen within a few short months.
  • 23:30 We talk a bit about the FIRE Movement. Diya is captivated by the FI part of FIRE. Her premise is that if she enjoys what she’s doing, because it’s interwoven into her lifestyle and beliefs, she won’t mind working some each day. But Financial Independence allows her the flexibility to pursue the projects she’s passionate about. And that passion has always been travel for Diya.
  • Diya’s real estate journey wasn’t smooth. She learned a lot along the way about how to analyze a property for cash flow, buying at the right price point, estimating remodeling costs appropriately, and managing properties. She got into short term rentals (vacation rentals) because she travels a lot and stayed at them so much, she realized she could do short term rentals well using her own design sense.
  • Part of being successful in short term rentals is also being savvy about the algorithms the variety of rental platforms use. Knowing all sides of the real estate market and equation is critical for success.
  • We talk a bit about the side of the FIRE movement that teaches Earn More, Spend Less.
  • The future for Diya includes both more real estate investments for herself as well as helping aspiring investors learn from her mistakes. She’s already closed on two new properties since Covid erupted in March and has her eye on a few more.



Connect with Diya:

Instagram @diyaesq

Website for short term rental seminars and mentorship programs - str.tips

 

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