Lisa Song Sutton has a long, impressive list of titles that flow simply and smoothly after her name. She was Miss Nevada US 2014 and since then has gone on to build four successful companies in Las Vegas. The World Economic Forum inducted her to its Global Shapers program, and just this year she ran for Congress in Nevada’s 4th district.
Despite the already extensive catalog of achievements, there’s yet another title that fits neatly and succinctly after Sutton’s name, one that she’s worked hard to hone and harvest, one that’s a crucial piece to the puzzle of her multifaceted success.
Real estate investor.
Sutton currently owns a multi-million-dollar real estate portfolio comprising both residential and commercial properties dotting a variety of cities throughout the United States.
She completed her first real estate investment deal at the early age of 18 when she and two other partners invested in a single-family home. By the time she was 26, she was managing real estate investment deals on her own.
In addition to her multi-million-dollar portfolio of real estate investment, Sutton is the founder of four companies—Elite Homes (Christie’s International Real Estate), Ship Las Vegas, Sin City Cupcakes, and Liquid & Lace Swimwear. Notably, Sutton’s entrepreneurial dive into commercial businesses began in 2012 prior to leaving her job at a top corporate law firm in Las Vegas.
From there, her other business ventures were born. Sutton is an in-demand speaker giving lectures on leadership, entrepreneurship, and empowerment on stages that range from local schools to TEDx. She serves on the board of numerous non-profits (like Monday’s Dark and the Asian Development Council). And further, she’s a mentor with StartupNV and is an angel investor for numerous new businesses.
In other words, it’s no secret that Sutton’s life is inexplicably filled with endless entrepreneurial endeavors, philanthropy work, and mentoring.
But for right now, Sutton is here with us, generously sharing her secrets to real estate investor success.
She sat down with us to give us a first-hand, in-depth sneak peek into her views about how women of all ages and real estate experience (from entirely novice to thoroughly professional) can find wealth, fulfillment, and entrepreneurial growth through real estate investment.
Join us as we dive into her extensive, no-holds-barred Q&A with exclusive insight, advice, and tips from one of the most successful, driven, and versatile women in America.
GritDaily: What Advantages Can Real Estate Provide—Specifically When it Comes to Female Entrepreneurs or Professionals?
Lisa Song Sutton: Real estate investing is a great way to create recurring revenue to help you fund your business or other ventures and projects. Not only can you build legacy wealth through real estate investing, but the contract and negotiation skills you learn throughout the deals help in other areas of your business life.
GD: Is It Hard to Break Into the Real Estate World Without Significant Capital?
LSS: It’s never been easier to get into real estate. Decades ago, investors needed 6 figures liquid. Now, with co-ops and micro-investing, I have seen deals materialize with as little as $5K down.
GD: What Are a Few Ways that the Average Female Professional in Their 20s or 30s Can Kickstart Their Career and Begin Passively Investing in Real Estate?
LSS: There are some great entry-level platforms to get your feet wet with passive real estate investing. Sites like Fundrise.com and Instalend.com provide you with first-position real estate investment opportunities with a monthly or quarterly interest payment disbursed to you.
Their buy-in investment is very low. If you want to get a bit more bang for your buck, I recommend working with a local real estate professional who has experience working with investors.
She or he should be well equipped to assist you with what opportunities may be in your area that will also fit your financial needs and short or long-term goals.
GD: Is There a Particular Type of Deal That You Usually Look For?
LSS: If I’m considering a residential investment, some of the main criteria I look at is whether the property is in a desirable area. What are the market rents? How long do rentals generally stay on the market? Is it near family institutions like schools and churches?
If I’m considering a commercial investment, the magic number I have found that works is 16 units. If you’re considering a multi-unit commercial investment, a minimum of 16 units with majority occupancy can help you ride things out, even if a few units are vacant.
GD: Can You Tell Us About Your First Deal?
LSS: My first solo residential investment deal was on a single-family residence in the Summerlin area, essentially west Las Vegas. This is a highly desirable area with excellent schools and amenities for families. I bought back when the market was still recovering in the Las Vegas area and have been able to build great equity in the properties I have obtained since the crash.
Sutton is proof that one can find success in any avenue of their choice if they’re willing to work hard, put in the time, and dedicate themselves to that success. Real estate investment is just one of the ways that Sutton has achieved that success, but she feels that, with the right guidance and determination, it’s one of the most productive, rewarding avenues for women.
From the early days of her solo residential investments in the Summerlin area to a multi-million-dollar investment portfolio, Sutton has crafted her own success—she believes that you can, too.