SCF 15 | Financial Freedom

Do you want to achieve financial freedom? Investments in multifamily real estate are an incredibly lucrative source of passive income. Dale Corpus interviews Arianne Lemire, the Founder of Wealth Gym. Arianne shares with Dale strategies on how you can master money, have financial freedom and retire in one to three years through Multifamily Investments. There are four ways of making money in investments: cash flow, appreciation, tax benefits, and leverage. These four things all exist in real estate. So if you want to gain financial freedom, this episode’s for you. Tune in!

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Achieving Financial Freedom In Multifamily Real Estate With Arianne Lemire

People who read a blog like this one are typically seeking answers as they want to improve their lives overall. They want to get more time back, and ultimately, maybe achieve financial freedom. It’s a good goal. Financial freedom means that your investments or your passive income pays for your needs, wants, and daily living expenses. You don’t have to work for money and it frees people up to do what they are meant to do.

Sometimes we look for the easy way out but part of making all this happen is not spending all the money that you make during the year. Whether you make $1 million or $100,000 a year, pick up putting some of that money away into an investment that pays you over and over again. That’s the passive income that I’m talking about. It’s more about what you keep and invest versus what you make.

My guest, Arianne Lemire, has achieved financial freedom through real estate investing. I’m excited to bring her on as a guest. Ari, her nickname, she was a former speech-language pathologist turned real estate investor who has rehabbed and wholesaled over 500 single-family properties and has ownership in over 2,000 multifamily rental units in the Southeast with partner investors.

She was also previously $50,000 in debt and went to eight-figure net worth and seven-figure passive income. With this financial freedom, she’s been able to travel 3 to 4 months a year for the last few years to spend time with friends and family and realize that she wants to share that freedom with others. She launched Wealth Gym, a community where they help busy professionals create time, financial freedom and retire in as little as 1 to 7 years.

Ari, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me, Dale. I’m excited to be on your show. I love the name. More people should be here. It’s the foundation of foundation freedom, cashflow.

I’m passionate about financial independence, financial freedom, which is why I named my show this way. I live by it. I know you do, too. You’re living this in your life and you’re even teaching people about it, too. We’re both on that same journey and I love it. Can you tell my audience where are you based out of geographically?

I’m in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Destin, Florida might be something people know more about, or four hours South of Atlanta, Georgia. It’s where we are in the Florida Panhandle.

Tell me your story. How did you get into real estate? You didn’t start off in real estate.

I was like everybody else. I did the good kid thing where your parents tell you to go to school, get a good job, get good grades, get married and that’s it. I was a speech-language pathologist, married a software developer. From the outside looking in, “You guys got it made, you got great professions, you got married.” We realized that there was something wrong with this picture. I was born in the Philippines, moved to New Zealand and then my husband is from Florida.

When we got married, we moved together to Florida and then we were like, “That’s great but we have family in the Philippines and New Zealand. How in the world are we going to see them?” I was in the medical field. I couldn’t take it because I was the only speech therapist in the building at the time. Our world crumbled. This nice life that we built isn’t something we want to live. We don’t want to live a life where we can’t see our family.

That’s where this all started. This whole investing, money and finance journey started from that painful point in life when we realized that the life we thought we wanted wasn’t the dream life. From that, we started looking for a way out, a way of what we should build ourselves. We looked and strived to see how people managed to “retire and have financial freedom.”

If you're trying to get your first deal, nothing beats making offers. Share on X

We look at all the stuff, stocks, trading and all that stuff. We ended up with real estate because Chris’s dad owns a few rentals. Chris is my husband. It was something easy for us to understand, like, “We’re going to save up some money. We’re going to buy some real estate. They pay us monthly in rental income and that’s the plan. That’s what we’re going to do.” That was the beginning of a few year-long journey to financial freedom.

You got out of the rat race. We’re all taught in schools to get that education or maybe even go to grad school, get that high-paying job or whatever it is. Once you have that job, a lot of times people realize that they become a slave to that job. They don’t necessarily have the freedom that they want to be able to do what they want. Your story resonates with all of that stuff, which I love, but how have you jumped into this. Can I ask you then? The fact that you were in a completely different field and getting real estate, how did you even find that first deal? How did you have the confidence to even go forward with that?

The first deal took about six months from when we started learning about real estate to closing on the first deal. It wasn’t like, “Snap. I got my deal. That’s great.” It took reading to a lot of blogs like this and listening. We would go on a bigger pocket is a popular forum and reading all about how you’re supposed to find these deals? We did a lot of education in the beginning. If you’re reading now and you’re trying to get your first deal, nothing beats making offers.

Link up with a great agent like Dale and start submitting offers, because no matter how many times you analyzed the deals and did scenarios on a piece of paper and in our head until we started making those offers, which was probably three months in from education, nothing happened until then because the real learning happens when you start getting yourself out there and taking action to submit the offers.

Everything you read from a book or you listen to podcasts gets you some basic fundamentals, but you don’t know what you’re doing until you jump into it and experience it. Can we go back to that first deal? What was that first deal? What did you do? How did you find that?

The first deal was a townhouse and it was listed in the multiple listing service, the Realtor website, but it was also on an auction. There are some auction websites like Auction.com, Xome.com. There are several different ones. We were looking at those websites and we found a townhome in our area that was in the price range we wanted to buy-in. We submitted an offer. It was probably the twentieth offer we had submitted in three months, then that one finally got accepted, which was great.

It was a fixer-upper. We’re in Florida. I know some of the readers are in California. We bought it for $55,000 back in 2015. Nowadays, that’s worth $225,000. Way back then, properties were still a little cheaper. We bought that. We moved into it first. We were our first tenants. We fixed it up as we were living in it and then as we bought other rental properties, too. That’s the story of that first deal.

I know that in the past, before you got in real state, you had mentioned that you were $50,000 in debt prior and then now you’re financially free. It sounds like your first investment for that first property was in 2015, is that correct?

Yes, end of 2015.

What a difference that has made. I’m curious. That $50,000 in debt, can I ask you where was that from?

Mainly student loans. I was in grad school, I had three years of undergrad, two years of grad school and then most of that, we had student loans. I worked during all those years in undergrad and grad school and paid off a good chunk of it. It would have been $200,000 if I hadn’t been paying it off throughout, but after graduation, I still had $50,000 left.

Did you leverage off that first transaction that you did to be able to do more deals that went up inequity? I’m trying to understand the progression because people think that they need to have a lot of money to do something in real estate. I’m trying to understand how you did it.

A lot of people start out putting the 0% to 3% down on their first owner-occupied loan. We lived in our first investment. You could have done that. We didn’t know we could do that. The beauty of education. We saved up $55,000. We took us six months to buy the first deal. When we started, we only had $20,000 and we were going to put 20% down on something.

SCF 15 | Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom: There are four ways of making money in investments: cash flow, appreciation, tax benefits, and leverage. All these exist in real estate.

 

As we went on throughout the year, we saved up enough to buy this auction property for cash. We bought that for cash and then we used something called the delayed financing exemption, where if you buy something with cash or cash-like funds, you can refinance all of your money back out within 30 to 60 days, assuming the property has to appraise for a little bit more because you can only pull out up to 75% of the appraised value.

We spent $55,000 and got it back in 30 days and then we used that to buy our next rental property. The next one was for $70,000. We had saved up a little bit more to a $70,000 rental property, then we did the exact same thing. We bought it for $70,000 cash. We did the delayed financing exemption, pulled back the $70,000 and then we had two properties and still $70,000 in our bank account.

I love the fact that you jumped in. Your first deal that you use the delayed financing strategy, I’m familiar with that strategy. I’m a San Francisco Bay Area realtor. We use that a lot for folks that aren’t necessarily investors, folks that are able to pay cash and be able to compete with offers in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, for example, where there’s sometimes $20,000, $30,000 plus offers on a home with no contingencies. We need to be able to close fast. I love the fact that you use that strategy and that you were able to get financing, pull it back out to leverage and do other deals. You did the delayed financing and then those required properties. Did you learn anything from those initial deals? What lessons did you learn?

Before we closed on the one that we did close on, we were under contract on a fourplex and we were going to put $40,000 down. We were buying it for $160,000 and then that property did not appraise. We went through the whole process, submitted an offer, did the due diligence and then it was short by $20,000. We had put an extra $20,000 in if we wanted it. In hindsight, it worked out because this is the path we went down on.

Now, if I had that exact same deal, I probably would have put the extra $20,000 in because it still would have been a great deal but hindsight’s 2020. It ended up pushing us down a different path, which led to here. I can’t complain. That’s one of the lessons. The other lesson is putting in that time and effort. It took us probably twenty offers before we closed on one.

In the beginning, we had the idea that this would happen fast. All of us have an optimistic view, but it did help us to see that it’s not going to be three offers, but if I put in 10 to 20 offers, then I know that somewhere in that realm, might be the first one might or the twentieth one, I’ll probably get something. It helped me frame my mindset for the future because I know that it’s this funnel. I look at these many deals. I submit offers on a smaller amount and they’ll buy something that’s a smaller amount than that. It helped me keep on going for the future ones.

The key thing I’m hearing from this is that it is a numbers game. Sometimes, people might even get paralyzed thinking if their first offer didn’t get accepted, they were like, “This is not for me.” They want to stop, but it’s like, “No, it doesn’t work like that.” You got to persevere. Keep going through it. It is the amount of offers you put out.

You’re not going to get everyone accepted, but it’s that right one, because you have your set number as an investor of what makes sense. If it doesn’t make sense, why do the deal? There are other deals to be had. For folks that might be still needed investing thinking that they still need a lot of money to invest, do you have any advice for folks that think they have to have a ton of money already?

We have Wealth Gym. We’re an education program. One of the things we teach is for people to find lazy money. It’s money that maybe they didn’t know they had, or they didn’t know they could access that they can use. One of the things, especially now, is if someone owns a house, whether it’s their personal residence or a rental they bought that they let sit there, most properties have appreciated a lot, especially if you’ve owned it for more than ten years.

A lot of people are afraid of potentially touching that money. They think it’s sacred. That could be a personal belief but if people looked at the numbers, it’s a numbers game. Let’s say, you refinance that property or put a home equity line of credit on it and you had access to an extra $50,000, $100,000, some people have hundreds of thousands of dollars they can access on a line of credit. You can put that into something that gets you a 10%, 15% or more return, then you’re a lot better off than letting that lazy when you sit there.

That’s one idea. Usually, people have something. Another one that we talk about is a 401(k). A lot of times, you can borrow from a 401(k) and when you borrow, you’re paying yourself interest. It’s not that you’re losing any money by doing that but if you’re responsible and you don’t use it to buy some cashflowing real estate or invest in some real estate funds or syndications, then that could get you ahead. It’s money you didn’t even think of using. People need to look into things like that.

I, too, have used myself at home equity line of credit idea that you’re you were talking about because I like the idea of arbitrage in the sense that my home equity line, let’s say the rate is 4%, but I could go out there and invest in something for 12%, 15% in that pays for the debt service on the home equity line invents on. To me, it makes sense but it’s a different way of thinking about it. It’s like a little bit of a paradigm shift. When you first started off getting into real estate, when you bought your initial properties, you were still working as that speech pathologist. Were you still working that W-2 job? What was the progression when you left that job?

I did that for the first year. For the whole of 2015 and 2016, I was still working the speech pathologist job. I quit the job they ended that first year. We ended up starting flipping houses. I said I bought one, then two and then we had $70,000. We bought a third rental after that. That one, we couldn’t use the same model because it needed a lot more renovations. With a delayed financing exemption, you can only pull out your initial investment. Usually, your purchase price plus closing costs. I had needed $40,000 to $50,000 of renovations. One, we didn’t have that. Two, if we put that in there, we couldn’t pull all our money back out and this whole domino thing would stop.

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What we ended up doing was we partnered with one of our coworkers and they funded the renovation. We paid them some profits from when we sold that, it became a flip. Since my job was the most restraining, I couldn’t leave my job because I was in the medical field with lots of red tape in it. Whereas Chris, he could work from home as a software developer. We decided that I would quit my job first and I would then flip houses while he still had the software job as we were building this passive income.

I know you’ve flipped many multiple homes and whatnot. Was that something that you plan on doing or did it happen through that third transaction?

We didn’t plan on it. It just happened. That house we bought had a lot of termites, the third one. We didn’t know that it had termites until we closed on it. That was a complete surprise and it turned into that flip.

Even me, I never thought I’d ever been in real estate or being a realtor. I did mortgages as well and I invest, but it’s something that happens to you. It’s similar to your story where you started flipping homes. It just happened, so is life.

You go down a path and you see another door. Here’s another door and then ended picking the door you prefer.

Are you looking for a way out of not being a slave to the job or whatever and have that flexibility? Were you seeking other vehicles besides real estate or did you know for sure it was real estate, like not anything else?

We did look at other things, but the other things were less straightforward and nothing’s guaranteed by less guaranteed. There’s a lot of different asset classes. We talk about the four ways of making money in investments. There’s cashflow. There’s appreciation where the value goes up. The third is tax benefits and the fourth is leverage. You’re benefiting something from leverage. In real estate, most of the time, that means you can buy more properties with the same amount of money and your tenant pays down your mortgage.

Those four things all exist in real estate. Even in a down market, only one of them disappears, which is the appreciation where the value goes up. There are still three ways to make money. Whereas all the other assets we looked at, like stocks, it’s mainly appreciation. If something did happen to the market, then usually what happens is you’re forced not to sell your stocks and that’s how you survive. You sell your stocks and use that to live. We’re not anti the other stuff. We have some of our portfolios in them, but most of our net worth is in real estate because it gives us those four ways to make that money.

Part of your bio is, I have to pledge you on this, you have over 2,000 doors now. That’s quite an accomplishment knowing that your first property was only in 2015, with that first property that you bought through auction. What was that progression like? I know you are a syndicator now, but let’s backtrack and dissect that a little bit. How did you even transition from going from these smaller deals to being a multifamily syndicator? How did you do that?

Initially, we bought those three rentals that we talked about and then we got distracted with the flipping house business thing. We were like, “Flipping houses.” We flipped houses for two years and didn’t buy another rental. We forgot why we started down the real estate path. After two years of doing that, and we flipped 100 houses a year, it came to a point where we were like, “We still can’t see our family.”

We left the job. We went to another job. It’s a bigger, nicer, more well-paying job, but it’s still another job. We had the soul-searching moment of, especially painful because we were like, “Yes, we’re successful, but hold on, this is not the success we wanted either. We’re good at creating these things we don’t want apparently.”

We went back to the drawing board and said, “That’s great. We made some money with the flips but we got to go back to the whole passive income cashflow equation.” That was what we wanted. We were playing catch-up. We said, “We went down the wrong path for two years. What do we do now?” We started looking at multifamily units.

It happened that we were talking to a guy who had a house and he didn’t want to sell his house, but he wanted to sell six fourplexes altogether. It was a 24-unit little complex. We had used all the money we had saved up from flipping houses, bought that. We bought those for a little over $1 million dollars, like $1.1 million, $1.2 million for 24 units. We didn’t know about multifamily financing yet.

SCF 15 | Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom: Put in the time and effort. It took us twenty offers before we closed on one.

 

We used six conventional fourplex loans that all closed at the same time. That was the start of our multifamily journey. From then, since we started on our own, it was our capital and we bought our own little 24-unit. From that, we started partnering with other people who were buying 100 plus units and said, “How can we help? How can we partner? Here are our skills. We have some capital to contribute. Let’s work together to buy these bigger deals.”

We saw that it was much faster because it took us the same amount of time to buy 24 units as it did to buy one house. If we could go to 100 units or 200 units at a time, we saw that we could scale faster and we could also help our friends and family come into the deals with us, because with the single houses, there wasn’t much to split. Especially in Florida, we had lower house pricing. It was hard to split a $200,000 house between four people, whereas when we buy 100, 200 units, then it’s a lot easier to bring other people along with us. We all grow our net worth and our cashflow together.

From my knowledge and understanding, are you still doing flips now, too? In addition to doing multifamily syndications, you are both in parallel.

We wound down the flipping company in 2021. We’ll end at 30 flips and then we likely won’t be buying any more. We’re focusing mostly on multifamily now.

You probably answered it with that question, but I still wanted to ask. What’s your favorite asset class and way of investing in real estate in general?

Our favorite is multifamily real estate, anything that is a hold model. Buy and hold and cashflow. It just so happens that you can scale faster with multifamily. It also lends more to working with other people because you don’t have to specialize in all the hundred things that go into buying, managing and financing a property. You partner with people who mainly like renovating, managing and doing the financing stuff. It helps you hone in on your zone of genius and work with other people who are geniuses in each of those zones and you can all have a piece of the pie.

Where are most of your multifamily investments at? Are they mainly around Florida or are they all over the United States?

They’re mostly in the Southeast. A lot of them are in Florida and the nearby area. We have about 400 units in Atlanta, Georgia, which is four hours North of us. We have about 500 in Florida. We have some in Texas, Alabama and some other cities in Georgia. Savannah, Georgia is another one. Mostly in the Southeast.

The fact that you have over 2,000 doors now, I know that you must have systems and good processes in place. How are you finding your deals?

Most of them come from our partners. We partner with people who will like finding the deals and then we usually are the financing and operation side, then we also bring capital to the deal, but most of the deal-finding is our partners. They mainly source it from brokers. They have broker relationships in different areas and they try to get off-market deals first. They have a good relationship, so the broker will show them the deal before it hits the market. It lets them prepare the best possible offer. Usually, helps them win the deal.

The key thing I’m hearing from what you said is that real state is a team sport. I can attest to that even on having my own real estate sales group and whatnot. I can’t do everything myself. You’ll go faster when you’re able to collaborate with others that have the complementary skillsets and then you bring something else to the table and it’s the same thing with real estate investing. That’s how you’re doing it now to be able to scale up quickly. How did you find your partners? Was it organic? Did you go out and find people on the internet? Did you get to interview people? How did it work?

It’s a lot of different ways. Some people we’ve met on a podcast, some people we’ve met at a live event. We’re in different masterminds and coaching programs. Some people have come from that. It’s putting ourselves out there and being open to new connections. We formed a new partnership. We were at a mastermind event. We were talking and dinner. We were saying that we were looking for someone to help with the asset management piece of the business. Then they were talking about how they were managing 50 gyms or whatever. The next day, it clicked like, “Why don’t we talk to them about that?” They have the skills to manage 50 gyms. That’s a big management operation. We have a similar skillset. We are in talks about that one.

It’s meeting people, listening and then seeing what their strengths are. It’s interesting because you get attracted to people like that, because people are who they are. You get to know who they are, what their values are, what their character’s like in a different setting, and then it clicks when you realize that, “We have the same values. We have complementary skillsets.” You are great at that and like doing something that maybe I’m not great at and maybe I don’t enjoy and then vice versa. I might be great, good at and enjoy something that they don’t particularly love. It’s a great potential partnership to be made.

A lot of times, this stuff’s organic. In my real estate sales business and whatnot, I partner with one girl. Her name is Elizabeth. We met each other because we both are swimmers. We had the same stager, but we connected to each other in person than when we saw each other at the pool for the first time, because we know each other on social media and we both thought each other was cool. We ended up deciding to work together and that partnership ended up being something that grew both of our businesses. It was funny because I wasn’t even looking for it, but it’s one of those things. It happened and we realized that we did have a complementary skillset. It’s been one of those things that I don’t regret.

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You always be open to meeting people, is what I mean. I’m saying that, too. It’s advice for all my readers because I always feel that you’re one relationship away from exploding your business. You never know who you’re going to need and who they know or what they know. Be open to it. It’s hard. One of the things myself, I’ve always had to work on being open to meet people, too. I’m an introvert myself. I got to put myself out there to be okay with meeting people.

It’s for your readers, too. It’s an encouragement to put yourself out there because you don’t know who needs to meet you either. There have been many people I’ve met that I probably have been a pull and draw with telling them how much they’ve impacted my life but sometimes it’s one phrase that they said that I tell myself over and over again. There’s this one guy that we probably only spent an hour together in the last few years, but he said something that has helped me get out of my shell. He said that there are people who will never take action until they hear your story. I’m an introvert, I’m like, “I don’t want to go on a podcast. I don’t want to go to the event. It’s uncomfortable.” I remember the phrase that person told me.

What was that phrase? Be comfortable with being uncomfortable?

He said that there are going to be people who won’t take action, which means they won’t change their life unless they hear your specific story. For me, that’s what helps me encourage myself to go out there and go to another event and go on another podcast.

The fact that we’re both here, I’m a host, yet I’m an introvert, you’re here too and you’re a guest. My thing is I want to be able to share this knowledge. We’re coming from the same place of being able to give back and show what you could do. There are many ways. It doesn’t need to be real estate, but real estate is what we know, but it’s a great way to build that financial freedom.

I know you’ve done a lot of deals and whatnot. Were there any grand slam deals that you wish you could repeat over and over again? Anything you could say about good deal experiences?

That first 24 unit was probably still my favorite. If I could do 100 of those, I would love it. We still own it. We bought those for $55,000 per unit. At the time, they were rented for $600 per month. It was low. We renovated the insides of the units. We put about $7,000 or $8,000 per unit in, and then now they’re renting for about $1,290 a door.

They cash flow well. They’re also worth somewhere between $150,000 and $180,000 per door. That’s triple or more the value. The cashflow is amazing. They’re local. If we want to check on them, we can. If we can do more of those and bring more people on along the ride and have some nice cashflowing assets in a good location, we’d like that.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but do you like to be in the mix? Are you more active investing versus being a passive investor?

I like real estate. It’s a hobby. Even when I try not to do it, it still happens. I also want to bring other people along the ride. Yes and no. I like the passive lifestyle. It’s great, but I don’t want to keep it to myself, which means I end up doing a deal and then I bring other people along the ride.

We’re talking about financial freedom. Let’s talk about money strategies between different classes like middle-class and wealthy folks. What would you say is the difference between how middle-class and wealthy people handle their money and how do they invest?

I was born in a middle-class family where money was stressful. We never talked about money. If we did, it was stressful. There was a stigma around it. It’s hard to become wealthy when you don’t even talk about money and there’s this bad connotation about it. One of the things we try to do more now, like help our friends with it and help our members in Wealth Gym, do more is talk about money.

SCF 15 | Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom: One of the things we teach is for people to find lazy money – it’s money you didn’t know you had.

 

We teach people three habits that will make them wealthy, whether where you are in the process. Number one is tracking your numbers. Having a sheet or whatever you want to have, we have a calculator in our program, where you put in, like, “This is what I make each month. This is what I spend each month. This is what I’m saving each month and this is where the savings are going.” Ideally, that’s an investment.

Number two is a regular meeting. You track your numbers and then ideally, you have a meeting with your family. It’s you or your spouse. If your kids are old enough, they can join, too. We talk about what money the family’s making, where their savings is, and what we’re doing with that, what our goals are, so that we all can be excited about the goals and we can work together on those. If we want to go on a three-month vacation to New Zealand and the Philippines, we can all plan for that. How can we make that happen?

Number three, we teach people how to invest regularly. People sometimes will try to time when they invest or they try to find this like a magical unicorn that’s going to get you 1,000% percent return. The problem is, if you look for the magical unicorn, it might never come. You might be waiting on the sidelines for ten years and the magical unicorn never came.

You see all of your friends are now cashflowing well and are wealthy, then there you are, you still waiting for this one magical unicorn. I tell people, have a realistic metric, whatever cash and cash return, you want 10%, 15%, whatever it is. You’re not 1,000%. I ask you like a realtor for the advice of what’s reasonable in an area, then look for that.

Singles and doubles win the game and sometimes they turn into the home runs and the magical unicorns. You never know. When we bought the 24-unit, it was a single. We bought it for $50,000 and was renting for $600. That’s like the 1% rule in a lower priced area. It turned into a home run. Now it’s a home run, but we didn’t know years ago that it was going to turn into this. Look for singles and doubles and then invest in those things regularly.

It’s not a get-rich-quick type of play. It’s a long-term play. The longer you’re playing, the wealthier you’d be, so stay the course. You teach people about building passive income and all that stuff. You put things in play where people can set the goal to retire with passive income and within 1 to 7 years. That’s a real thing. Can you elaborate more?

Even if you’re starting from scratch, you can retire in seven years. That’s probably the long path because some people have bought a house, have saved money, or have lazy money to invest. You’d be surprised that if you put that lazy money to work into investments that get you a good return, you might be able to retire in 1 or 3 years. That’s what we do in Wealth Gym. We show people all those different ways that they can tap into money they didn’t even think they could use it. They see that, “This is real. I can live off my passive income and then some.” It starts with looking at your numbers. I know it’s like getting on the weighing scale. Nobody likes to see how much we weigh but that’s the first step of getting into better shape and a better lifestyle.

That’s the same thing with our money and our finances. We got to look at the numbers and that’s how we can adjust. It’s not probably going to be perfect the first time, no one’s perfect, but if we focus on 1% improvements every day and tweak something, maybe not eat out every single day if we want to divert that into investments. Even that little thing can make such a big difference.

I love the fact that you are such a wealth strategist for that matter and being able to talk about this step and teach folks. How did this come about? You’re always like this. Was it all the education that you’ve learned along the way that had you that made you think this way? You think outside the box.

It came from a lot of trial, error and pain growing up. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money. I remember thinking that, “I’m going to get that good job, so I could help my parents pay for the bill, so we don’t have to stress out about money too much.” I always have been like, “I need to figure out this money thing.” At least that was a blessing from my younger years. As I went through life, I was always interested in getting better at it. In the beginning, we weren’t great at it.

I told you guys, I had $200,000 in student loan debt. I had to pay that off. I would have been further along if I didn’t have that probably. It sounds like I’m using my degree now. We all go through whatever we go through and that’s what teaches us what we know now. I wouldn’t be who I am and I wouldn’t have learned all I learned if it wasn’t for those, I’m still thankful. I’m thankful that I can share those tips and tricks with other people now, so maybe they don’t have to go through some of those painful moments themselves.

I love the hustle and drive within you. I see a lot of that stuff in myself. For my audience, both of us, Arianne, happens to be Filipina and Filipino myself. My parents were immigrants and I didn’t realize how poor we were until later on you only know what you know and then I realized we didn’t have any money, but the money is a state of mind though because I was still happy as a kid, but I knew I wanted more for myself.

That’s where that drive and hustle came from myself to build something because it’s up to me. Nobody else was going to give it to me. The fact that you’re talking the talk and you’re paying it forward. I love the fact that you’re talking about this on my show now. Going back to you and your business, what are you excited about in your business now?

Please don't follow someone else’s version of success because many people do that, and they live unfulfilled lives. Share on X

I’m excited as we are helping many people retire in a year. We have a program where we help people retire in 1 to 3 years. It’s rewarding because we started that program in May of 2021. There are people planning their retirement and we’re talking about, “You got to put in your notice now.” Sometimes there’s still a lot of fear around it even though they have the passive income and they know it’s coming in. It’s what they knew for the last many years they’ve been doing it.

They have to figure out if they’re okay with this new identity.

That is rewarding for me because it was one thing for us to do it. Great to see other people now go through that same disbelief of like, “Is this real? What am I going to do now with my life?” That’s what I’m most excited about. Seeing those people live the life they want to live and go onto the next path.

You’re one of the few females that I brought on to my show. You’re an investor and you’re also a minority Filipina. How did you cover the diversity of that? Did you see that as a disadvantage or advantage? How did you deal with it? Real estate investing is mainly all guys.

Mostly White guys. We’re in the South. We’re pretty much in Alabama.

I was curious to understand what was going on in your mind and how did you overcome all of that?

In the beginning, I was in my head a lot because I would go to meet-ups and it was mostly guys. There was no Asian in the crowd. When we were buying our first single-families, I would meet contractors because my husband was the one working. I was the one who quit my job first. I would be the one meeting them at the houses. They’d look at me if I’m new. I realized that I was the only one here. I don’t have a choice. I’m going to either tell them what they need to do, have this conversation or it’s not going to happen. I find it God over myself. Maybe they care, maybe they don’t, but at the end of the day, it’s not going to happen if I don’t do it.

Later on, I did ended up seeing it as a plus because I do look different. If we’re on a stage, I look different, which is great. People are like, “Who’s that person?” Now that I have been on different podcasts, there have been other female Filipinas and Asians and people who have told me that they appreciate hearing my story because they can see that it’s possible for someone else like them did it. I love hearing those little messages.

Any other big goals you’re working on, either personal or business?

You were mentioning how it’s a numbers game, there are many offers. They think it’s like that for anything. If one of you readers is starting out and you see all of the Facebook or social media reels, everybody’s closing 10,000 units and everybody has this million-dollar house they closed on. You see all the highlights, but you don’t see all of the ten other sellers that told they’ll know or the twenty offers I made before we closed this one deal.

We don’t want to complain on social media, but what that shows to the outsiders is maybe it’s someone who has the Midas touch and the golden touch. We don’t. We go through a lot of pain to get through that reward. When people know that that’s the reality, it helps people move forward themselves. It’s not just you that’s not getting the offer accepted. All of us are. We just don’t post it.

We don’t post blood, sweat and tears. We just post the successes, but they don’t know that it took years of failing, but failing forward, to get to where we are now. Even I don’t post that on my social media. People don’t say they don’t necessarily want to hear that. It doesn’t resonate with them, but I love the fact that you’re being real with that. What does success mean to you?

Success is a hard thing to define. My husband and I do something once a year, where we define winning or success for each area of our life. We do it, for example, for our marriage and we’ll write down what success mean for our marriage. For us, we still love each other and we still want to make each other happier. We want to do more for each other.

SCF 15 | Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom: It’s hard to become wealthy when you don’t even talk about money.

 

If at any time in the year we don’t believe that phrase, then we’re not winning and we got to get back on the winning train, the success train. It’s different for everyone. What’s important is you do define success for you. For me, it changes every year, sometimes every quarter and we write down what it is. Maybe this quarter my main focus is my marriage. I want us to have a better relationship. Some months it might be I want to have a better relationship with my family or I want to travel more and give myself what I want.

One of our hobbies is travel and food, so we like going places and eating new food. It changes. I want the readers to know, it’s different for you. Please, don’t follow someone else’s version of success because many people do that and many people live unfulfilled lives. If you don’t want to travel and you want to eat food, that’s okay. I don’t think that’s bad. You do you. You focus on your success and you don’t have to own 2,000 units. You don’t have to flip back on your house. No one cares. You got to do what makes you happy.

What’s your superpower that’s contributed to creating this screen like you have now?

My best superpower is probably self-awareness. I’m sure I can be more self-aware but I always reflect on it like, “What did I do? What went well? What didn’t go well? Can I do better next time? How can I surround myself with people who fill in my weaknesses and I can support with my strength?” I reflect a lot and it helps me grow faster.

I love everything that you’ve accomplished. You’ve done amazing since you started in 2015. How can somebody get ahold of you?

I have a brand new podcast called Wealth Gym. I am on the Wealth Gym Podcast. If you go to WealthGym.com, you should know more about the podcast too and then that’s also my website. You can see how you can get in touch with me on there as well.

Thank you, Ari, for your time. I’m glad that you’re able to join me in this episode. I enjoyed our conversation. You’re humble and real. You offer tremendous value. To my readers, thank you for checking out this episode. Remember to leave a review on iTunes as it helps me attract even more great guests like Ari. Until next time, live life abundantly.

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About Arianne Lemire

Went to school, got good jobs in the tech and medical field, and thought they were set! But they quickly found that working til they were 60 to hopefully retire wasn’t for them.

They mastered their finances, invested in real estate and retired with enough passive income to cover their needs wants and more at the age of 27.

Now their mission is to help as many people have true time and financial freedom asap!