Marina Shiferman: “If you’re trying to make a profit, don’t buy a home that is on the market”

If you’re trying to make a profit, don’t buy a home that is on the market. Homes that are on the market means the seller is prepared for everyone to know about the house, they are prepared for sale, they have an idea of sales price, and they might have other offers. Get a home […]

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If you’re trying to make a profit, don’t buy a home that is on the market. Homes that are on the market means the seller is prepared for everyone to know about the house, they are prepared for sale, they have an idea of sales price, and they might have other offers. Get a home that is off the market, preferably make a deal with the seller directly.


Shows like Flip or Flop and Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines have really glamorized the creativity and enjoyment that comes with buying a rundown home, fixing it, and then selling it for a profit. Some amateurs have ventured into this industry and have made a lucrative career out of it. But others, particularly when a market is stagnant, have lost their shirts. As a part of my series about the ‘5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Successful Career Buying, Rehabbing, and Selling Properties’, I had the pleasure of interviewing Marina Shiferman.

Marina Shiferman is a realtor who has been in the industry for nearly a decade and takes pride in empowering women to take control of their finances through investing in real estate. She believes investing in oneself is the key to financial freedom and wants to teach women how they can become financially independent through real estate investment. She offers 1:1 coaching sessions through her program, The Real Estate Academy, which is designed to help women understand the buying and selling process.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Real Estate industry?

I got into real estate after college. After I moved to San Francisco I spent one year doing a random job teaching ballet barre. It wasn’t long after until the craving and urge came to find a career that would allow me to be the elegant woman I always wanted to be.

I tried an office job for 2 weeks and hated it. I shadowed a real estate agent I knew and liked. So I got my license and began on the road.

I liked it first off because of the flexibility of schedule, and the being outside and on the go, and I liked that it is essentially your business. You run it how you want, you work with clients the way you want, and I could learn about something that actually interested me, which was real estate.

The more I did it, the better I became, and the more I loved it.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far?

People love the stories I tell about how hot and competitive the San Francisco housing market is. I recently had a transaction where I was representing the buyer. They found a house they loved priced at 1,800,000 dollars. There was an offer date. I knew that there were 70 showings and 44 potentially interested buyers. Based on my knowledge and experience of past sales and the market we offered 2,250,000 dollars.

To summarize, the house received 8 offers. The top 4 were countered at 2,300,000 dollars and we got it at 2,310,000 dollars.

That’s a pretty amusing story.

Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

Big takeaway: feel the market. Competition is what drives price.

For me as a realtor, honesty and communication is essential.

For a buyer, having the best real estate agent in your market is key.

Do you have a favorite “life lesson quote”? Can you share a story or example of how that was relevant to you in your life?

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I recently launched the real estate academy for women. This is a total game changer. It is an in depth program taught by me on how to buy/own/invest in real estate correctly.

There is a huge hole in education around real estate, especially for women. Nobody is teaching the concepts and ideas behind buying and owning, let alone the steps and strategies. Women either are scared or turned off by the idea of buying or are just led blindly by their partner or realtor. That is sooo wrong.

I am here to teach women so they can take control of their future and education and understand buying and owning real estate and what it means.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I am the only person out there dedicated to educating women about buying and owning real estate. I am empowering, inspiring and educating women on something that is traditionally thought of as a man’s thing. I am creating more empowered women, more women role models.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Doing whatever the eff I want and following my heart, as well as not stopping until it feels right.

Ex. I have been a realtor for 10 years. I was great at it but I knew something was missing. I figured out the piece of the pie was women empowerment, a community of sisters, women who can motivate and inspire. There were a few people who tried to tell me to do other things that start the academy but I stayed strong in my journey. I only did what felt absolutely right to me.

Empowerment/confidence.

I have so much self confidence. I know that if i want to do something i’m going to do it and do it great.

I was an amazing ballerina. I am a great realtor (I know my clients are lucky to work with me) and I know that the students in the real estate academy are forever grateful to have gone through the program.

Sass/authenticity

This is something new. I used to act very professional and put together when I was “working” but now I am doing something that is my life. There is no separation from me and work. I show up totally myself. My sassy, vibey, self in all my videos and in life with clients.

Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Real Estate industry? If you can please share a story or example.

  1. The investment piece. I love the idea of buying something that grows in value. The idea of appreciation. The idea of not paying rent but paying yourself. It is so exciting!
  2. Being a homeowner is the best.
  3. Working with clients is great, either buyers or sellers or students. I am helping them make a huge decision in their lives and giving them so much.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest? Please share stories or examples if possible.

Education for women.

Women either don’t buy real estate at all, are waiting for a big life event like marriage, or are not involved in the financial decision making when they do it. There needs to be a revolution where women own their education and control this process and their future. Way too many men dominating the space.

What advice would you give to other real estate leaders to help their teams to thrive and to create a really fantastic work culture?

  1. Education. Always provide quality education to your team
  2. Mentoring. Personalized training. Being there for their transactions, them being there for yours.

Ok, wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. Can you please share with our readers your “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Successful Career Buying, Rehabbing, and Selling Properties”? If you can, please give a story or an example for each?

  1. Get a good realtor that knows the market.
  2. Educate yourself on the market (what are prices for fixers, done up homes, who is the competition, when is the best time to put on the market…)
  3. Find a killer contractor. Meet with tons, get bids on work, learn costs.
  4. Get a project manager. Don’t think your contractor is the project manager because they are not
  5. Don’t over spend. Know that it will cost 20% more than what you thought. Think of all expenses (selling costs, loan costs, property taxes)

What are the most common mistakes you have seen other people make when they try their own hand at house flipping? Can you share any stories?

If you’re trying to make a profit, don’t buy a home that is on the market. Homes that are on the market means the seller is prepared for everyone to know about the house, they are prepared for sale, they have an idea of sales price, and they might have other offers. Get a home that is off the market, preferably make a deal with the seller directly.

A common mistake is buying a home at market value. You want to buy a home under market value.

Another common mistake is thinking that flipping a house is easy and you will make tons of money. -Finding the right property is hard -negotiating a sales price -negotiating the work to be done. It takes lots of careful market research to know what you should spend. So get a good realtor to educate you.

From your experience, what can be done to avoid those errors?

Depends on what your goals are. If you are looking to strictly do a fix and flip you want to find a seller that would like to sell but hasn’t put their house on the market and convince them to sell with you. Don’t search for houses online.

It’s also a good idea to talk to or get advice from someone who has done what you want to do or get a partner. Flipping houses is no joke, it’s easy to lose money.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to tithe greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The real estate academy!!! I am teaching women how to think about, buy, invest, and own real estate correctly and actually understand it! This is a movement!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Insta- marina_shiferman

website-marinashiferman.com

Thank you for your time, and your excellent insights! We wish you continued success.

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