- Profit Strategy: Rehab & hold
- Number of Units: 9
- Personal Money Invested: $0
- Amount Earned: Doubled the value of the building since purchasing
- Prior Experience: Hoku and her husband had prior experience flipping single family homes, but no multifamily experience
Hoku’s story is not conventional. When she was in her twenties, she and her husband lived in a tent on some land they owned in Hawaii. She was an entrepreneur, and he was a retired contractor. Life was exciting and pleasurable, but they had a bigger vision.
Hoku’s Call to Adventure
She was young and in a rough financial situation. She had savings, but it was dwindling quickly. She needed something that would generate funds right away.
She and her husband realized that flipping houses would capitalize on their combined skills. However, they had “zero experience.” She had “never even bought or sold a single-family home before.”
They began investing in real estate. Hoku wanted to work for herself and be lucrative. She had owned other businesses but learned that working for herself and being lucrative were separate things. She explains, “I got tired of not making money. I worked hard but only broke even or made a small profit at best.” She realized she needed a solution. And she needed a retirement package because “working for yourself doesn’t provide an automatic retirement plan.”
In the early days, Hoku and her husband flipped more single-family homes than she could count. But the tiny knock-down properties in Hawaii were expensive — often up to a million dollars. Finding financing for those deals was their first obstacle. They branched beyond Hawaii for this reason, investing in Colorado, Indiana, and other parts of the country.
They learned financing was more accessible for small apartments because “there are more doors, existing rentals, and the property already has income.” She could have stumbled through small apartment investing, but she was wise and knew having a mentor would help her grow faster than she could on her own. She explains, “Lance allowed me to get the upswing. At some point, you realize you can’t do it all yourself — you need to have a mentor in the industry. You need to have someone who saves you from some of the stumbling blocks. I saw a lot of people making mistakes. They didn’t know how to analyze deals, made poor investments, and lost their retirement savings. It was dreadful to watch.”
She and her husband sought education and met Lance.
Lance often says, “if you can have one roof and more doors, why wouldn’t you?” Hoku heard this message and thought, “that is absolutely brilliant. I hopped on a plane and went to the next available boot camp in San Francisco. I knew how to do marketing, so I came there with deals already in hand. I brought these deals to boot camp and asked how to respond to these replies from the letters I sent. I didn’t know what I was doing. I followed Lance’s instructions from the initial kickoff. Within that first year, we picked up a triplex, a fourplex, and a nine-unit building. We’ve been building from there.”
Hoku’s first financial goal was to earn $100K in one year. She achieved that goal and is now shooting to repeat a consistent $200,000 yearly in her real estate investments. She’s working towards having property managers do most of the work to provide her with passive cash flow.
Beyond finding financing for deals, her biggest obstacle was a lack of confidence. She describes herself back then, “I was living in a tent. I had no real estate experience and very few funds to my name. I didn’t feel like anyone would take me seriously. I was terrified to call brokers because I thought they’d see right through me. But I actually pulled it off. I don’t know how because I was terrified the entire time. I relied on my mentors and other investors for encouragement because I didn’t feel like I would be successful at it. I had a mounting fear that was huge the first year of investing.”
She combatted her fear by “just digging in.” She didn’t have a job to fall back on, so her “back was against the wall.” She had to make it work no matter what it took.
She loves real estate investing, but perhaps she loves coaching even more. Before coaching, she never felt she was doing enough to give back to others. She felt empty. But now, she’s helping people achieve financial freedom and independence.
Real estate investing has changed her life. Traveling and having financial independence are well worth the time and energy required to make wise investments. She explains, “when you have a bank account that works for you, your confidence builds. You get to a point where things don’t bother you, and what people say doesn’t bother you.”
She adds, “Now I’m in a position that many people envy. It’s all because I was willing to go get it.”
For the last seven years, Hoku has been a small apartment investment coach on Lance’s team. She loves being a coach. “I found my calling. I love being able to learn firsthand how to run a real estate business and coach others on how to do it. My mission is to help people level up to the next level they are capable of. For me, that is as good as doubling the value in a house.” She declares, “I am living my dream right now.”
Hoku certainly sees her investments continuing to expand, but she’s most excited about her continued contributions to others. She says, “the more I work with people one-on-one and in groups, the more opportunity I have to influence additional people. The idea of influencing greater numbers of people to step up and be more effective in drilling through their barriers is exciting.” She shares, “I like myself more when I’m focused on my well-being and the well-being of my community instead of just one or the other.”
Another way she adds value to others is by improving C Class properties for veterans and others who need clean and safe places to live. She provides residents with a higher quality home, positively impacts the community, trains others to do it, and creates a nationwide shift in investing and running apartments. And she’s making passive income and generational wealth in the process. As she said, she’s living her dream.
When she began, everything was scary. Everything was a challenge. Now she views obstacles as opportunities for growth. She says, “I lean into it. I look forward to embracing it. I determine how it will make me grow and grow with it. I no longer feel like I have challenges.”
Hoku insists, “don’t give up. The challenges you encounter are not what they seem to be. The barriers we throw up often come from our traumas, experiences, and fears that are inside us, making it seem like an insurmountable obstacle. When it feels that way, take a minute to address those internal emotions. With the feelings out of the way, you can face the challenge. The challenge has probably shrunk to a 10th of what it seemed because 90% of our stuff is from the past.”
Fears. Leave. When. You. Act.