“The first thing we can do as a society is acknowledge that gender bias is, in fact, a real phenomenon and not just a figment of women’s imagination” With Jason Hartman & Danielle Pierce

The first thing we can do as a society is acknowledge that gender bias is, in fact, a real phenomenon and not just a figment of women’s imagination. It’s exceedingly easy to dismiss and ignore experiences which we have never encountered as individuals. It’s critical that we all listen around ANY discussions or claims of […]

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The first thing we can do as a society is acknowledge that gender bias is, in fact, a real phenomenon and not just a figment of women’s imagination. It’s exceedingly easy to dismiss and ignore experiences which we have never encountered as individuals. It’s critical that we all listen around ANY discussions or claims of bias in any capacity.

Asa part of my series about strong women leaders of the Real Estate industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Danielle Pierce. Danielle is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, by way of the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship. She is the proud recipient of an accounting degree which she has not utilized in over 12 years! She began her entrepreneurial career after a sudden layoff from her corporate audit position. Danielle took this is a sign from the Heavens that she was meant to be a full time entrepreneur. Although she did look back a time or two (or three lol), she has held on to the reigns of entrepreneurship and never plans to let go. Danielle’s online courses and group training programs (Real Estate Profit Lab), teach aspiring business owners how to establish and grow profitable six figure enterprises within the real estate industry, outside of sales. Her current areas of specialization include the following: tax lien investing and managing bank owned properties. Danielle is an author, highly regarded speaker, the founder of a highly specialized real estate consulting firm, and a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council.

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

Absolutely. I attended a real estate workshop in 2006 and was immediately attracted to the industry. The workshop host was a very successful investor in the Chicagoland area and he showed us multiple projects where he was able to profit $30K — $75K per property. Like millions of others, I immediately thought that I would jump in and take advantage of these wonderfully large profit margins all while not using any of my own cash or credit.

I envisioned a life of travel, loads of free time and very little actual working! I quickly realized that real estate investing, particularly flipping, requires access to cash, credit and takes quite a few years to build up to a point where the business doesn’t collapse when the owner takes a vacation. It also didn’t help that the housing recession began shortly after I jumped into the industry, which made it even MORE difficult for me as a newbie.

I am still amazed that I even convinced myself that riches would come my way with minimal effort on my part. In one part of my mind, I certainly knew better. I suppose the allure of fast money with little effort is difficult to overcome without concentrated effort.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occured to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

I like to share the story about my entry into the specialized niche of tax lien investing. I have been a real estate broker for over 10 years and, of course, I’d heard about tax liens sporadically over the years.

Yet, I made a critical mistake that ultimately hindered my growth in this area.

I dismissed the ENTIRE concept as “too difficult” or “unrealistic” simply because I didn’t know enough about it and I was far too ashamed to admit it.

Once people find out that you’re in real estate, many assume that you know everything there is to know about the industry. I adopted that “know it all” attitude far too early in my career. I’m embarrassed to admit that I lacked the humility to just admit what I didn’t know. I failed to take the time to learn more about the industry and align myself with those real estate professionals that had more knowledge.

I learned that the only person I hurt when I close myself to new opportunities is myself. I also learned that it’s perfectly acceptable to admit that I don’t know it all.

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

I am working on a project in Memphis, TN where I plan to turn a single family home into a transitional housing facility. My goal is that it a) provides an option for safe, affordable housing for those that are truly in need and b) inspires other investors to attempt similar projects. The lack of affordable housing is truly affecting all parts of the country. It’s heartbreaking to know that there are millions of people with JOBS that cannot afford a place to live. I’m also working diligently on my mission to inspire 1,000 individuals to invest in tax lien certificates around the country. Tax lien investing has the unmatched ability to provide mortgage-free home ownership to investors and first time buyers alike.

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

My company stands out because I truly care for the success of my clients on a very personal level. Individual success is great and is something to be celebrated for sure. Yet, after that initial celebration is done, what’s the next step?

More individual accomplishments?

Or, should the goal be collective success?

Personally, I think collective success is the ONLY way to move the needle in an impactful, measurable way. Everyone needs help at some point in their life. I want my company to serve as a lifeline to those that want to attain success in the real estate industry in non-traditional ways.

A few weeks ago, I experienced a pretty impressive highlight that I would love to share here. A recent client of mine put in her 2 week notice on her day job since her real estate business is performing so well. Please note that I DON’T encourage anyone to quit a 9 to 5 without a very specific plan in place. But, I’m also a firm believer that confidence plus consistency plus execution is an unbeatable combination. I’m super proud to know that my curriculum and coaching played a role in her decision to pursue full financial freedom.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I know it’s cliche but the first person that comes to mind is my Mother. I could tell her tomorrow that I plan to be an astronaut and visit Mars and she would cheer me on! It’s my belief that instilling confidence into our children should be the goal of every single parent.

My mother is a scholar in every sense of the word. She LOVES reading, talking and just learning for the sake of learning. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to attend college at 18 due to having my sister shortly after high school. But, she did obtain her Criminal Justice degree at the ripe, young age of 53!

Two years after that, she suffered a major stroke that left her with severe aphasia and partial paralysis. She suffered a variety of health issues after the stroke which really reduced her quality of life. But, I promise you there is no one else I know that manages to remain positive and upbeat no matter what cards life deals. She REFUSES to remain beaten. If I could wave a magic wand, the first thing I would do is restore her speech, movement and reading ability…

Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. The Real Estate industry, like the Veterinarian, Nursing and Public Relations fields, is a women dominated industry. Yet despite this, less than 20 percent of senior positions in Real Estate companies are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what do you think is the cause of this imbalance?

This is such a tremendous question and I’m honored to be able to offer my take on it.

The answer to this question hinges on the availability of mentors AND the coaching provided by those mentors. It seems that women still spend a lot of time being coached on how to properly assert themselves and “show up” in the workplace. Unfortunately, this emphasis on simply being assertive, doesn’t leave a lot of room for conversations about proper positioning for executive level roles. On the other hand, men are groomed very early with information on how to pursue revenue generating positions.

What 3 things can be done by a)individuals b)companies and/or c) society to support greater gender balance going forward?

The first thing we can do as a society is acknowledge that gender bias is, in fact, a real phenomenon and not just a figment of women’s imagination. It’s exceedingly easy to dismiss and ignore experiences which we have never encountered as individuals. It’s critical that we all listen around ANY discussions or claims of bias in any capacity.

After acknowledgement of the bias, the next step is to create a safe space for everyone to feel that his or her voice actually matters.

Lastly, I think society can make a concerted effort to call out gender bias once it rears its head in any workplace setting. It seems that we are literally more connected than ever via technology and yet simultaneously more isolated than ever in how we deal with conflicts. We HAVE to start caring about the hardships of others even when it doesn’t appear to directly impact our lives.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women executives that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

I think the 3 largest challenges relate to parenting, personality and politics.

Of course, the year is 2020 and collectively, we like to think that certain gender roles are obsolete or no longer a pressing issue. Yet, I would simultaneously make the argument that a) men are doing more traditional “women’s duties” and b) women STILL take care of the lion’s share of household related and parenting tasks. I was recently in New York at an event and multiple women shared that they were terrified to tell their bosses that they were pregnant. Apparently, this is still a “thing” in the workplace. Oddly enough, these women experienced this fear regardless of whether the boss was male or female.

Personality is still another area that poses multiple issues for women. In terms of personality, certain traits (i.e. confidence, aggressiveness and assertiveness) are still desired in men and abhorred in women.

Lastly, I believe that political discussions in any fashion is still far more accepted amongst men.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Real Estate industry?

The three areas I’m most excited about are as follows: increased affordable housing, the rise in energy efficient properties and the rise in urban, senior living communities.

As you can probably tell by this point, I’m pretty passionate about providing decent affordable housing to those in need around the country. There are some pretty strong trends in this area and I hope that it continues. I also have every intention on doing my part to make sure it continues.

Whenever I think back to my childhood, I remember very clearly the struggle my Mom had with finding decent housing for 5 children that fit her budget. Those memories keep me grounded to this day and remind me to never lose myself in the pursuit of the Almighty dollar.

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?

I am most concerned about the following three areas:

1) Lack of affordable housing for working adults

2) Discrimination in lending practices

3) Increased efforts to make real estate agents optional and/or obsolete

In order to increase affordable housing, I think it would be helpful to incentivize developers for constructing more transitional style housing facilities. Again, it’s great to be able to make a lot of money in the real estate industry year after year. But, I’m certainly a believer that it’s possible to a) make a lot of money and b) provide suitable, affordable housing choices.

Lending discrimination can be tackled by stronger consequences for those that repeatedly commit these types of violations.

Lastly, the rising trend in real estate transactions without real estate agents is concerning for a variety of reasons. We have to be careful to not reduce the role of a real estate agent to a mere transactional status. Great real estate agents advocate for clients in multiple ways that provide immense value from both a monetary and non-monetary standpoint. Great agents are able to analyze deals, provide recommendations and solid support through a process that can actually be quite challenging. If I had the ability, I would lead a reform that would advocate for the presence of real estate agents rather than declaring it unnecessary.

What advice would you give to other leaders to help their team to thrive?

I think it’s super important to first identify the respective strengths of all team members and document those results. Once that is complete, I think the real key to growth is to allow each member to lead in the capacity that best aligns with their strengths. It’s my belief that true empowerment allows for team members to have autonomy to make decisions, change decisions and offer critical feedback in an environment free of negative consequences.

Ok, here is the main question of our interview. You are a “Real Estate Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non intuitive things one should know to succeed in the Real Estate industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?

Pick the path that best aligns with your personality

As I was just starting my real estate career in 2006, I assumed that obtaining a real estate salesperson’s license would allow me to learn the hidden secrets behind flipping properties and firing my boss. I didn’t quite grasp that the license only allows the licensee to legally represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. Additionally, I had no idea of the specific traits needed to succeed as a real estate agent. As a result, I spent my early years floundering in my newfound career.

Stop chasing checks

There is no shortage of real estate gurus promising instant riches and wealth in the real estate industry. This trend started many years ago with late night infomercials and has since morphed into countless videos and sponsored posts all promoting the latest and greatest path to wealth. Many people get lost simply because they gravitate toward whatever individual is posting the largest checks on social media and other platforms. Chasing checks is still a sure fire way to spend years chasing your own tail.

Don’t change your mind every 6 weeks

We’ve talked earlier about the plethora of options available in the real estate industry, which is one of the reasons why there are so many real estate millionaires. Yet, this same plethora of options also causes lots of individuals to switch lanes every 3 to 6 weeks or so. In fact, I would dare say that this lack of focus is the greatest reason why so many people FAIL to achieve the results they desire. Each and every one of the paths can lead to a successful career — if the person is diligent in staying the course.

Understand that consistent actions will ALWAYS win

As a real estate entrepreneur, I’m fortunate to be able to talk to countless individuals both in real life and virtually about their real estate objectives. I am shocked on a daily basis by how many people ask how long they should try something before giving up. I distinctly remember a young lady stating that she had called 300 people and still wasn’t able to close her first deal. In her mind, she believed that the the lack of a deal in the first 7 days was “proof” that she had picked the wrong industry. Anyone entering this profession has to understand that DAILY actions separates those who achieve success and those that do not.

The right mentor will find you when you’re ready

Early in my career, I was fortunate enough to have an excellent mentor guiding my steps. Yet, I distinctly remember that experience as being highly uncomfortable in multiple respects. Of course, I know now that the right mentor relationship should, in fact, be uncomfortable at times. Discomfort causes growth. A true mentor will require you to stretch and expand in ways that you may never have imagined. It is in that stage of discomfort that all the magic and insights take place. Too many people waste valuable time waiting on a mentor, as opposed to doing what they can with what they have. A great mentor can absolutely change your life. It’s also my belief that the right mentor will appear when the student is truly ready in mind and spirit.

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

If I could inspire any movement that I wanted, I would advocate for the inclusion of a real estate curriculum that starts in middle school at the age of 10. Inside of that curriculum, it would offer age appropriate discussions into the multiple pathways within the real estate industry including: flipping, wholesaling, new construction, REITS, commercial leasing and building, multi family housing, tax lien investing and foreclosed properties. Most of the leading research indicates that a wide majority of millionaires obtain that financial status via real estate. I believe that many adults know this on an intuitive level but they are unclear on the best path to pursue in real estate. As a result, many will opt to acquire a real estate license to get more information. Unfortunately, obtaining a real estate license isn’t sufficient to truly learn how to succeed in the real estate industry.

How can our readers follow you online?

Please visit and subscribe to my YouTube channel:

Thank you for your time, and your excellent insights!

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