Hey everyone, welcome back to the podcast today. I'm excited. We're joined with Dr. Richelle Delia, she is the co founder of Housing Joint Venture and she has her PhD in chemical engineering. She is a wealth builder, focusing on women's money, well women with their money, real estate investing um and so much more which we're about to get into. So hi, how are you, Dr Richelle, thank you so much for being here today. Oh it is my pleasure to Mishia, thank you so much for allowing me on the show I'm just happy to chat. Aw, I'm excited. So um can you just tell us a little bit more about yourself where you're from and how you got started with co-founding? Well how you got started with co founding housing venture? Absolutely, absolutely. Uh well, hello everyone again, my name is dr Richelle Delia. And really what I do is I help very aspirational professionals who work a 9 to 5 job but they're looking to really accelerate their wealth building and they're looking to do so with real estate.
So basically if you have a 41 K or you know, some other retirement funds and it's just not really moving the needle for you and you're like, I make good money, but how come I don't feel rich yet? That's when people come to me, so I help making wealth building easy and where it doesn't take over your life. So that's what I do. Uh I got started, as you mentioned, my background is in chemical engineering. Um And I actually started investing when I was in graduate school So nobody wants a PhD in engineering. Okay it's it's miserable and so so much so that they actually pay you to get one. Not a lot but they do pay you. So I had like a $30,000 salary so not much like literally. Um but I just had the idea hey I'm going to be in a place for five years or longer. How about instead of spending that money in rent I'm actually starting to build equity. And so I bought a little bitty tiny little condo just over 1000 square feet, two bedrooms, one bathroom. And I rented out the spare bedroom to my department mates. Um And I wish I could tell you I did great things with it.
I didn't It was shoe money. I'll tell you the truth it was shoe money and happy hour money and all the things you do when you're 22. I'm sure it was still nice to get started. Oh absolutely it was phenomenal. The idea to do that in grad school. You know I'm not exactly sure where the idea came from. But I do know so again engineering is very intensive at least it took me quite a lot of time to study. Um And so I didn't have a tv in undergrad until my senior year and I went bonkers. So I watched tv like nonstop and there was a show on H. G. T. V. The Home and Garden Channel and there was this gentleman from Canada and um he had a show I think it was called income property. And basically he would help people buy a house that had an income suite. Either a basement or duplex or something like that. And I said that's it I never want to live in an apartment. I want to go straight from the dorm to my own house. Seriously It didn't quite work out that way but you know I still bought a house at 21 you know don't cry for me. So um what was your after you made all your shoe money yep what was your next um your next thought process of what am I going to do next?
Like did you go out and buy another property or what were your next steps? Yeah. Yeah okay I'll tell you all the things. So so after shoe money um I ended up graduating thankfully um and I had a I'll call it and eat pray love like Elizabeth Gilbert I'm gonna go find myself moment. So then basically I used more of the money to go traveling. So literally solo travel for like a month. Spain Portugal Morocco Dubai I did all the things but while I was on that trip I had a property manager on that little condo. The property manager sent me an email now. The property manager sent me this email every month but this time it hit different as they say I'm sitting in Lisbon. Portugal checking my email and they said hello you've gotten paid rent money. I was like excuse me I think I have won in life, I must do more of this. That was when I was like okay this needs to not be like this kind of side hobby thing, I should probably take this seriously.
And so when I got my first call it big girl job in columbus Ohio um I was hell bent on getting more properties, I definitely was um and so and I did, my original goal was you know I'm going to be a professional engineer and you know I was um and if I by the time I retire, if I have 10 single family houses That would be excellent. You know each one if they rent for $1,000 per month that will be $10,000 of income you know you can't see me but I'm blowing my fingers and wiping it on my shoulder like let me tell you, I was like that would be awesome. Well let me tell you columbus Ohio at the time this is about 2014, so I moved there in 2014 Prices still had not fully recovered from the 2008 recession. So what that meant was I ended up getting about 14 units within 2, 2.5 years of graduating, So my little 10 houses goal what do you do when you're like you know, 26, 27, 28 and you know, you've already reached your retirement goal time for bigger goals.
Yes. You know, real estate, it's been good to me. Um, I was fortunate enough and I am fortunate enough to have married a real estate developer and um, yes, so, so basically we, uh, we started just really recognizing a need for housing and being a very quality housing provider. And so, you know, we just realized that there are a lot of homes, particularly in the urban neighborhoods, they can be eyesores in the community and its lack a systemic lack of investment. And so if someone who, I'm gonna say if someone has a heart actually invests, then you can be a movement for change and for good, still making a profit, don't get me wrong, 100% for profit, you know, an all around when, exactly, it's all around when, and so today I would say that real estate investing while yes, absolutely profitable. That has to be number one, but it's so much more than just numbers on a balance sheet. It's really a way for, you know, to impact how people's lives happen, what's more precious to you than your home seriously. And even if it's not that person's home, um you said like a lot of the, um, like even on the street that I live on, there are maybe three or four houses on the block that are like lived in everything else is pretty much boarded up and they are eye sores and no one has a heart to you know, put that in there.
But even though people aren't living in those houses, like even for myself to walk out and see that it's a little depressing. So it weighs on your mental psyche, you know what I mean? It's it I like to call it the multiplicity of the effect, right? So it weighs on the psyche of the whole community because no one sees anyone caring, no one cares right? And so it just kind of this self perpetuating cycle of again under investment and chicken or the egg problem of is it the people not invest because property values are low or property values low because nobody invests, right? And so how do you really decouple the two you can't really, someone just has to decide. So anyway, that's what I'm up to these days and helping other people, you know, really crack the code on how you can, I'm going to say make money, you feel good about and really build wealth that moves the needle. I love that. Are you still practicing as a chemical engineer? Well, you know I am a nerdy scientist. So I work I work part time um as a scientist still because it took me a long time to get a PhD it took me a long time, you know what I'm saying?
Yeah. Since I feel you I have to get my nerd and somehow but yeah so I started my professional career, you know outside of real estate, even in building materials. So I'm an expert. Yes, so I'm an expert in insulation, building products, roofing, um Energy code, the sustainability, that whole thing. So my whole life revolves around real estate. Yes, I'm gonna say yes and it all goes hand in hand um could you tell us about how you were able to flip $300,000 portfolio Into two million. Yes, exactly what we just talked about okay by going into those urban neighborhoods. So basically um you know as I mentioned when I started my career, I sat behind a microscope because I'm a nerdy scientist and hopefully you can tell I have a little bit of a personality, so have a lot of personality. Yes, I got a little time to think about the scope. I was like a um and so I started working for a lobbyist um and really looking at national homebuilding trends and energy code.
And one of things that I realized was that you know, housing affordability was a much bigger problem than I realized. Um Like even from a building standpoint Land prices are becoming so expensive that homebuilders really can't afford to supply that first time home buyer $100,000 home anymore. Just the financial, the finances just don't work out. And so when you think about the whole market and the supply and demand, it's like there needs to be, we need to unlock some, I call it shadow inventory basically these houses that aren't able, you know they're in disrepair they're eyesores in the community but at the same time they can be a housing stock that we can use just at more supply i. E. You know making it more available for more people. So anyway, um we decided to take our ideas to scale and that was really the point where it went from just being a mom and pop landlords to um housing joint venture was born at that point because you know you just obviously can't do it on your own. And so um we started and continued to invest in urban neighborhoods. Um So columbus Ohio Dayton Ohio Toledo and Detroit michigan and really focusing on how we can get a critical mass in those neighborhoods and then allow that to scale.
And so that's how when, when you do something, what is it, what does it say when you do things that other people won't, then you get rewarded in ways that you can live like no one else or I totally butchered that. I get what you're saying. Yes it was giving. Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. So that's really what that's really what that was about like hey go ahead. How do you, how does one go about building a portfolio? Do you build a portfolio on like an app like Robin Hood where a lot of people are frequent and they're buying their stocks or their cryptocurrencies or how does building a portfolio work and what kind of real estate would you recommend for people to start if they don't have a portfolio at all? Yeah, absolutely. So I love the way that you kind of segue without necessarily, maybe not even meaning it. So real estate is just another financial asset class. So just how you would invest in stocks, bonds, crypto options, whatever on Robin Hood, you know, whatever broker dealer you choose, real estate is just another aspect of that portfolio.
And so it all goes holistically and so in an ideal sense, you want to determine how much of your portfolio overall investable assets, you would like to allocate to real estate as an asset class. Now, real estate is what I have to call the top of the financial pyramid. So what that means is if you don't have life insurance, real estate is not for you, Okay. If you don't have your emergency fund, real estate is not for you, right? Because you are a housing provider regardless of what aspect you were playing in. And so it would not be, in my opinion and integrity, to talking about your providing housing to other people and your financial situation is not as stable as it needs to be, right. That's, that's putting their home at risk, which kind of defeats the point, just that, just that little really caveat there, that being said. Um you know, if you have, if you're paying too much in taxes, you might want to consider real estate. Um if you like things that are tangible that you can touch and feel, you know, as opposed to just numbers on the, on the little screen, you might like real estate. So those are some of the people that I think um you know, high earners um that like tangible property and really like being, I would say integrated in the community, whatever community you're in even if you have a property manager, you are housing provider, so you want to be a contributing factor in that local city ecosystem.
So if those things, you know, if that that sounds cool and interesting to you, real estate is something you should consider. I I think so, um Yeah, and how do you begin? Well, you begin with strategy. So as I mentioned, you know, when I started, I was like, you know, 10 little houses and that's a great goal. It's an excellent goal at the same time for my, for me it was too small of a goal. And I think that most people think that real estate is very simple. It is it's very simple to understand by a house, quote unquote stick people in it. So it's very simple, you know, cognitively to get, but the mechanics and the implementation, you know, I like to say it's simple, but not so easy to do and so I think having a very strong plan is of utmost importance and you know really understanding what your end goal is from the beginning. And so one of the things that we advocate and you know and teach our students is to create a real estate investing business plan, I don't get it, you know, people who want to open a barbershop or a local sandwich store, the first thing they do is make a business plan, but real estate, they're like, oh no, I'm just gonna go down and you know, pick it up and we're gonna we're gonna be all right, like no you do not pick up a house like you do the local Piggly wiggly like no, that is so funny, I had just muted myself because there were trucks driving by on the street, but no that's so funny and it is important to have a plan to know, you know, we're gonna, we have to look at this first plan, this next, execute this third, otherwise you know, you don't want to do it the wrong way because I'm pretty sure acquiring real estate property is like you said, it's intricate it seems simple exactly, exactly and it is very simple to understand, but you know, ultimate has to be done correctly.
Exactly and you want to, you want to respect the almighty dollar, you know, our almighty Euro wherever you're listening to this room, you know, I think that you know its value for value, you really want to respect the money that even if you're not putting that much out because obviously one of the beautiful part about real estate is leverage and the ability to use quote unquote other people's money, you still wanna respect that money, whether it's yours or other people's. So for single women um like I have a friend who is trying to become more financially stable on her own Um that way she can purchase a home and she is also a mother. So what advice would you give for? Um like single mothers who are working and their regular 9-5 and they're looking for ways to get into real estate, but they don't necessarily have the money at this time. Like how can they save or how can they just start now even without the capital.
Yeah, absolutely. Um a couple of things. So one, you know, I started investing when I was still single, um very very young. So is it possible? Absolutely. You know, if you don't have a very high salary, most cities are going to have what they call first time home buyer down payment assistance programs. So I actually qualified for one of those when I was in grad school again I made 30 grand, I think it was like 24 then some, you know, extra bonus money, but long story short, 30 grand, you know, I'm not making it rain. So depending on where you live um the local municipality will have these first time Homebuyer programs and so if you qualify for those absolutely take advantage of it. There is no shame in that whatsoever, no shame in it whatsoever because the whole point of it is you want to get in the game and start building equity, right? The there's a saying that I absolutely resonate with and it says don't wait to buy real estate buy real estate and wait right because the compounding interest of equity over time, it will take care of itself, right?
And so that that is what I would encourage anyone to do now if I was looking to get into income property specifically. Um So I I'm a buy and hold landlord and that's absolutely where the lane that we stay in, there's not enough pepto bismol in the world for me to flip houses. I'm just saying I don't have it in me, but you know, start simple and start small, you don't have to do too much. There's there's nothing wrong with that. Um One thing that I if I lived in a market that would have allowed this one thing that you might want to consider is buying a duplex um or a three family or for a family. Again, it depends on that local market and if those properties are available to you. Um But duplex is a pretty much nationwide and that allows you to do is again, used that first time home buyer money um that mortgage and then you can buy up to four units with that same quote single family mortgage. And so that one, that would be a really great way, particularly as a mother, you probably would not want roommates, you know, I was a young, very young lady at the time, so having roommates was fun and interesting.
Now, you know, in my mid thirties, roommates don't sound so great. So having a duplex will be a great, you know, entry level an entryway to, to get started in that. Um So that would be my, my first piece of advice. Uh my second piece of advice is, you know, if real estate is something that they're interested in and they don't have the funds, don't be afraid to, as they call it side hustle or basically find a way to make the money. Okay. The reality is that no one's gonna come save you. There is no money that falls from the sky, you know, at the time of recording, we're just after in question mark, the pandemic. I don't really know where on the spectrum. So like at the end slash middle, Not really sure they did send out free checks. So just so you know, that's, that's the time of time of life when you're, so the money fall from the sky for some people. Yes. Right. And generally speaking, so, you know, right. Generally speaking, right? Generally speaking, that does not happen. Um and so don't be afraid to side hustles sell things on Ebay, like literally sell things on Ebay that's all funded, have more than half of the things that I did graduation trip, I sell things on Ebay, right?
So you don't have to kind of sit with your hands forward and say I can't there, right, there are things you can do and making money is fun, you know, like it's, it's enjoyable, it's like a sport. So it's ok, but you know, instead of buying shoes, you just buy houses instead. Yes, So would you recommend um just in general, I guess it all depends, but for yourself personally, are you buying properties that need rehab or that are basically ready to go? So at this stage in my career I buy ugly by very, very ugly, they do a lot of like, um I know it all depends on what a person is going for and how much money they have, but what just makes more sense um all around, it just all depends. It honestly all depends. Right, So obviously, you know, as a single lady, I didn't want anything that needed more than paint and carpet and maybe replace the windows, Right?
When I didn't have that much time and so it just didn't make a lot of sense at that point. Um and again, it depends on what your goals were. So my original goal was just to get in the real estate game. So if your goal is just to get in the game then do what you're capable of. There's something called a swat analysis which is your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. So the strengths and weaknesses that looks at you personally and what you have capabilities of opportunities and threats are more of that external third party. So what's going on the overall environment economy, things like that, that you are not part of your control, but still affect your decision making. So essentially do a swat analysis and say, hey, realistically if I'm a single mom, I probably don't have the bandwidth to do full on renovations. I don't know, but I'm just kind of going out on a limb here. Um, but if you don't have that many things going on and you know, you're home office in any way, you know, it might not be so bad to learn how to tile or paint the walls or something like that. So it all right. It all depends on what, you know what one, how much capital you have available and how much time and energy and, and all those things.
So at this point, once again, I'm fortunate enough one to be married to, to be married to a real estate developer. Um, and our business has grown to the point where we now have obviously people that they do that, you know, and so we hire people that can help us with that. And so for us today, yes, we do buy, I would call it the fringe of society, the ones that are the scariest ugliest. Um so you're, you're staring away from um what do they call them? Turnkey ready? Right, so we would be almost quote unquote a turnkey providers, so we take them from ugly to turnkey a bowl. So we take scary and make it aw make we take literally a building and make it a home. And then at that point if someone wants to flip and go from there, uh what is your dream project? Oh excellent question. I love this question. So my family is from Barbados which is a very tiny little island in the Caribbean little speck rock in the middle of the ocean, I would love to purchase, there's a, there's a property that I love and it is a number of acres and basically I would love to make our own eco resort in Barbados, that would just be amazing.
We could have our conferences there, it would just, it would be awesome, you know, girls trip, but like all the time, like girls trip, couple's retreats, every business conferences, all of the things, any other things like home, like. Exactly, exactly. So anyone listening, not really dreaming and that you already know, like, I don't know if anyone listening has a hotel in Barbados, so they want to sell, give me a call just saying a is there a way for people to invest in your housing joint venture? Yes, absolutely. So, and I should have mentioned this earlier. So housing joint venture is a, I'll call it a two sided business. So we are at both a real estate development firm as well as an education or basically boutique advisory firm. So what that means is we do the thing, so we do the deals as you, as you were talking about before. So we invest in urban neighborhoods at scale and if someone is like, hey, I want to put my money with someone that can one take care of it and help it grow.
And I also can invest again to make money that I feel good about, then they can invest with us. And so we do have were are raising two funds um, at the time of recording raising two funds and would have to be happy to talk with anyone about that if they are an accredited investor. So an accredited investor means that you have a net worth of over $1 million if you're in California, that's super easy to do. Um, but you know, so it just depends on where you are or you have a annual income of $200,000 and above. So if that's you and what I've talked about, sounds good, feel free to give me a shout for everyone else who may not be at that level. We also offer coaching and consulting services. So basically, um, we teach, you know, you can even give a man a fish or teach him to fish. So the people that don't have the time, you know, we give them the fish and they can invest with us, but other folks that want to learn how to do it themselves, we teach them how to fish essentially. So we show our proprietary process for identifying neighborhoods, profitable properties and how to build a profitable real estate investing portfolio.
And so that is what the link is about because we really cracked the code on what separates. I call them mom and pop landlords. Most landlords only have one rental property and really struggled to scale and systematize and have it where it doesn't take over their lives. And so there really is a secret sauce if you will to really building a portfolio, um, quote unquote the right way with that business plan like we talked about. And so if anyone is interested in that, then they can go to the investing bootcamp dot com, the investing bootcamp dot com. So just how you go to a boot camp to lose weight. You can go to a boot camp to learn how to invest profitably and stress free. So that's that, that's awesome. And I'm also going to be leaving that link down below and you have your linkedin as well. Yes. Feel free to give me a shout on linkedin of all of the social media is that is the one I'm the most prolific on. I would say I will leave your linkedin below and um the website below for everyone looking to either learn how to fish or looking for you to pass them a fish.
Exactly, exactly, yeah. So much for taking the time to share your expertise. Oh, no, Mishia! This has been my pleasure. I love chatting about these things. I think that more people need to know that real estate is available to them, especially for ladies. You know, I certainly have a passion for women and money and I think that a lot of the conversation around women and money is very dumbed down as if we can't or don't know and we are more than capable. You are more than capable of doing it and you know, whatever dreams you have, women are absolutely capable of doing so and so I it is my pleasure to be here. Yes, that's so true. Thank you so much