Wed, 12 October 2022
Debbie Wilcox is from Honolulu, HI, where she and her husband previously owned and operated a swimming pool business. After 30 years of running their business together, they decided to act on their shared dream of becoming multifamily real estate investors. They uprooted their lives, sold their dream home, and headed for the mainland to attend conferences, network, and soak up as much knowledge as they possibly could.
Today, Debbie is the managing partner of Blue Rock Capital Group, which helps investors build and generate passive income through multifamily real estate. She is a co-GP of 33 units in Idaho and an LP of 2,400 units across seven states. In this episode, Debbie tells us what inspired her to leave Hawaii in pursuit of a career in multifamily, why she is adamant about getting out of her comfort zone, and how her background in business has driven her to explore asset management.
1. Uprooting Everything to Pursue Multifamily
Debbie and her husband owned their own swimming pool business in Honolulu for 30 years before moving to California to pursue multifamily. Debbie says that thoughts of changing careers began to crop up as early as 10 years ago, but limiting beliefs prevented them from making a change. Then, one day, they stumbled upon some real estate podcasts, and they began listening.
“What inspired me was listening to the stories of people that I felt were just like me — kind of feeling stuck,” Debbie says. “And maybe they were older just like myself, but they didn’t let that stop them.”
She and her husband spent the next few years learning as much as they could, and when they were ready, they did the unthinkable — they sold their home and left Hawaii to set down roots on the mainland, where they could more easily attend conferences, find partners, and oversee properties.
2. Escaping Her Comfort Zone
Debbie is a big believer that success lies just outside of her comfort zone. She admits that networking can be a challenge for her, and even scary sometimes, but she doesn’t let that stop her. “If I’m initially scared to do something, I get a little tingly, but I think, ‘Ah, this must be right. This must be good. I’m supposed to do this.’” By applying this mindset at her first conference, she met the people who would eventually bring her in on her first deal.
3. A Knack for Asset Management
Debbie assumed that she and her husband would take on the role of raising capital for their deals, but much to their surprise, they developed a strong interest in asset management. “That 30 years in business looking at spreadsheets and budgets and income expenses — we find ourselves diving into that quite a bit,” she says.
For the time being, they are enjoying pitching in on the asset management side of things, I think it’s good, in the beginning, to have your toes in a little bit of everything,” she says. “We really just want to learn as much as possible.”
Debbie Wilcox | Real Estate Background
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