Today, I have my friend Tajani Farhan and we are going to talk about balancing work and life as a woman, a mom, and as a real estate investor. I think a lot of women out there will resonate with this and I’m excited to talk about it today!

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    [00:00:00] Mike: [00:00:00] Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. Excited to have you with us today. I’ve had my friend Tahani here. We’re going to be talking about kind of balancing work and life as well. A woman and a mom and a real estate investor. A lot of, I think there’s a lot of women out there that can resonate with this.

    So excited to talk about it today.

    Professional real estate investors know that it’s not really about the real estate fact real estate is just a vehicle of freedom. A group of over a hundred of a nation’s leading. Real estate investors from across the country meet several times a year at the investor fuel real estate mastermind to share ideas on how to strengthen each other’s businesses, but also to come together as friends and build more fulfilling lives or all of those around us on today’s show, we’re going to continue our conversations of fueling our businesses and our lives.

    I’m glad you’re here.

    [00:01:00] Hey, Tajani welcome to the show.

    Tajani: [00:01:06] Hi Mike. Thanks for having me. I’m

    Mike: [00:01:08] excited to be here right here. I know we’ve been talking about it for a while. I know you say you’re a little bit nervous, but you’re, you’re, you’re an amazing woman and so excited to have you here and learn a little bit more about you and share your story today.

    Tajani: [00:01:18] Thank you for taking an interest. I hope I can help someone. Yeah.

    Mike: [00:01:21] Oh yeah, for sure. It’s interesting. Cause there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of women in their business. There’s there’s obviously this is kind of a male dominated industry. We talked about that, but the truth is, is. A lot of those males that are like the front person, there’s a strong woman behind them.

    That’s making those things or allowing that to thing to happen, whether they’re involved in the business like you are, or whether they’re just a supportive spouse and mother behind the scenes, which you also are, a lot of them play all those roles. And so that kind of hits close to home with my wife, Lindsey as well.

    So, um, you get into real estate. Tell us kind of from the beginning, like how you found your, because I know you, you started off as an attorney and you weren’t in real estate. So kind of talk about how you got

    Tajani: [00:01:57] here. So that sort of segues [00:02:00] into the whole motherhood, um, issues. So I was an attorney. I was a practicing attorney in the small law firm and I was practicing real estate law.

    So, um, this is when the market was super hot like that. Um, Prior to 2008. Um, so I saw these investors in what they were doing. I got married, became pregnant and I was all set to go back to work and somehow I just couldn’t do it. And so, um, I decided to stay home, um, just for a little while and see where that journey took me.

    So, um, When I decided to stay home, uh, I had a newborn and I just, um, Unfortunately watched a lot of TV because sort of like, I felt lonely to be honest. And so, um, I would always gravitate to HD TV, which we could talk about in a second. How fake that? Yeah. Anyways,

    [00:03:00] Mike: [00:03:00] it was entertaining though, for sure.

    Tajani: [00:03:01] It’s entertaining and sort of peak my interest.

    So then I, um, I had to go to this event with my husband and I met this real estate investor. We were sitting at the same table and he goes to me, um, At the end of the night, you’re going to be, yeah, my partner, you just don’t know it yet. And that’s how I started real estate investing. So I first started with, um, tax sales certificates and my, um, legal fees were our buy into this partnership.

    And from there we bought a home buying franchise and then from there we decided to go out on our own. And so making a lot of mistakes. Um, learning and sort of dabbling in a whole bunch of. Real estate, um, avenues.

    Mike: [00:03:48] Yeah. That’s how the process works. You, you have to fail a lot, try stuff, dabble. I’m gonna say that’s one of the blood, that’s one of the blessings that we have as entrepreneurs, especially when you have a business that, you know, we all want our businesses to do better.

    It doesn’t matter [00:04:00] how well you’re doing. You always want a 10 exit. Right. But I think for a lot of us that have businesses that do well enough to where we’re living. Below our means, right? We have, it gives you an opportunity to test stuff and try stuff and play with stuff. Cause you’re not, when you’re just in a job and you’re living largely paycheck to paycheck or month to month, you can’t take those risks.

    You just can’t. And so I think that’s one of the things that we have, um, That’s great about this business. When you get it up and running, is it gives you some kind of dry powder to try stuff, or like, let me try, you guys are doing some development now. Like, let me try this. And you know, there might be some things that you do once or twice a year.

    Yeah. We’re never doing that again, but you had the opportunity. Yeah. Ready to try that. Right. And so a lot of folks don’t have that. And so that’s one of the great things about our business, I think are about the fact that we’re entrepreneurs.

    Tajani: [00:04:47] Sure. So we started off, like I said, with tax sale certificates, moved into owner financing, moved on on to flipping it, to having a monitor size rental portfolio.

    And now we’re going to [00:05:00] start developing. And then the next step after developing it, I think is going to start raising money. So, um, you can evolve. That’s one of the things about this business as you can evolve or, um, stay where you are. And so we’re keeping, we’re keeping our. Or a smaller rental portfolio and continue with our rehabbing, but sort of moving on to some developments in funding.

    Mike: [00:05:23] So, yeah. Yup. Yup. That’s awesome. And, and, and the truth is, is those things might change by, um, cycles in the market. Right? I know you’re talking about selling off some of your rentals now because. The market’s so hot, you can sell them for prices that you think is ridiculous. So why wouldn’t you sell them?

    And then it might be the market cycles down and you scoop some back up. And I think you just kind of start to learn how to play into market cycles, no different, then somebody that’s investing in stocks would right.

    Tajani: [00:05:49] I don’t know if that’s exactly what we’re doing. So, um, one of the things is I want to start servicing the industry so that w that’s where the funding it comes in.

    Um, I always think back to the [00:06:00] minors that like the gold rush miners in California, those individuals. Didn’t make their fortunes, the people who made fortunes or the general store or an owner or the brothel owner or the, or people who housed them. Those are the people. So I want to get to somehow we can service that industry, our industry, but now, but not letting go of our.

    Yeah,

    Mike: [00:06:22] I think a brothel would be just as relevant for real estate investors as it would for coal miners. So that could be something you do. I don’t know.

    Tajani: [00:06:29] Where’s that legal? I don’t know.

    Mike: [00:06:31] I don’t know. I might change too. So, um, so one of the things I want to talk about today is being a woman in this industry and, um, I know you work with your husband, but I also know that you’re very much a leadership role in everything that you guys do.

    So let’s talk, I told her about, you know, some of the, some of the things that women can do do in this industry are some of them, um, you know, women that are out there that might be doing things right now that are kind of second guessing. Am I operating in a man’s world, if you will mean there’s a lot of benefits to [00:07:00] being a woman in this industry.

    And we know a lot of strong ones, right. But they’re there in numbers. They tend to be smaller. And so talk about some of the benefits I could talk to the women out there. Talk about some of the benefits of being a woman in this industry.

    Tajani: [00:07:12] Sure. So, um, first things off it is just do it scared. Right? Do it afraid if you’re thinking of purchasing your first one, approach somebody, your first property approach somebody and ask them to partner with you or ask somebody to walk this property along with you.

    Um, I think that really helps. And so speaking to one of the strengths. The strengths of women, I think, um, we’re very relationship based and I don’t want to go into stereotypes here, but we’re very relationship based. And so the market, as we all know, is super, super hot. Um, where relationship marketing, meaning going to retailer?

    Um, I’m sorry. Uh, real estate agents going to wholesalers going to, um, anybody else that may have properties for sale, uh, women tend to have advantage. Um, [00:08:00] I think, um, Yeah. They tend to, people tend to trust us more. They see us as more nurturing. They don’t think that, um, we’ll take it vantage of them. So already we have like sort of a step up.

    So, um, in terms of relationship marketing as well, uh, you can just start building these relationships, um, as well. So I think that’s one of the biggest things we, we tend to. We tend to have an art advantage also like negotiating we need, we tried to find win-wins situations. We’re not out there for the kill.

    Right. Um, necessarily. So, um, I think that’s, I think those two things are really big.

    Mike: [00:08:40] Yeah. I agree. Even if you, even, if you, cause you don’t do, your husband does acquisitions. Right. And you don’t do acquisitions like me. Right?

    Tajani: [00:08:47] No. And we’re actually in the process of probably getting an acquisition manager, but yes he does.

    Mike: [00:08:52] Yeah. So I think, you know, you always want to be safe, right. But I’ve known some women led businesses and they had do the acquisitions and they bring [00:09:00] on other women and or they bring on other women to do acquisitions. It’s the same thing. When you’re meeting with a seller and you’re going into the house of a stranger, like first off, you want to be safe.

    That’s always a concern with. Women, you know, are you going to be safe? Right. Um, but yeah, same thing. I think that when you’re meeting with a seller, um, they are, they’re always guarded. Especially when, uh, if you’re like a big burly guy and you walk in, then people are just guarded. Right. I just think you have a leg up as a, as a woman when talking to even directly to home sellers too, because they’re just a little more at ease with, with your style then than the average dude.

    Tajani: [00:09:39] Yeah. I completely, I completely agree with you on that.

    Mike: [00:09:42] Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. So let’s talk a little about, um, you know, I think one of the other things, uh, uh, Uh, that is always a struggle for women in this business is kind of balancing being a mom, being a wife and having the business. And I know my wife, you know, works hard.

    She’s behind the scenes, you know, unless if you know [00:10:00] me personally, you know, my wife, but a lot of folks out there we’ve been doing this pie. I’ve been doing podcasts for almost seven years. She was on one time, uh, you know, uh, I kinda had to twist her arm to do it cause she likes to be more behind the scenes, but she wears a lot of hats too.

    Right. And so how do you balance all those things?

    Tajani: [00:10:17] Um, do you, I don’t know.

    Mike: [00:10:19] Yeah. How do you attempt, how do you attempt to balance all those things?

    Tajani: [00:10:23] Sure. So this is where you have to really lean in to your partner here. So like you said, my Jessie and I am our partner. Um, we run the business and we’re also partners in life.

    So, um, this is where you got to say. We have to run this like a, like a business or a house or in our family. So one thing that has helped us a ton, um, and I got this idea for somewhere else and I can’t remember where, so we create the spreadsheet and we create all the tasks needed to run the household, like a hundred, 200 tasks, right.

    Everything from child-rearing to school, to like, whatever else. [00:11:00] And we’re fortunate enough to like, not clean our house. Like, I mean, so it’s like everything, everything else. Right. Um, then we decide who’s going to do them when they’re going to do them the task, and more importantly, how it’s going to be done because he could do the laundry.

    But if he folds the clothes, like I, no for the clothes, then it’s going to, it’s like Armageddon, forget it. You know, it’s like, I’m I’m, I should have done everything. So, um, that has really helped us balance. Life. Right. So it’s like a schedule, uh, expectations are met. And, and you do it like a business, like whoever fails on that, you know, the other one can call them out on it.

    Mike: [00:11:43] Yeah. That’s great. Yeah, my wife, so we’re very much the same way. Yeah. I think, you know, we’re like power users of a sauna. Lindsey has everything. I mean, she goes down to the infinite detail of, you know, everything that we have to, especially for her schedule. She does, I know it really helps her stay on task.

    So, um, but yeah, [00:12:00] Asana has turned into, we got, has the grocery list and it has like. Home repairs that we need to do and who we need to call. And, uh, we use stuff like that a lot. Cause you’re right. It is like a business. It’s just like, I need the structure of the business if you’re structured, which if you’re not, you should be, um, it’s the same thing, right?

    Like these are the things that I do. I think for all of us is it’s hard to balance work and life. And so we just kinda, it’s kind of all. It’s a concatenation of like everything we do daily. So why not operate the same way? One of the things I’ve struggled with a lot, not struggle with, I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is, you know, we always talk about KPIs in our business.

    How are we performing? Are we on track? Are we hitting our goals? And I want to integrate more of that in my personal life, because I’m like, it’s the same thing. It’s like, know health wise, am I doing, am I doing the activities I need to do to get there? Like even, maybe even this is a little bit of a stretch, but even in terms of being a better husband, a better father, like, am I doing the things that I need to do?

    Because sometimes, you know, [00:13:00] unfortunately the business gets a priority, right. Because I have it structured honestly, is why? Because I can go through my checklist and say that I do it. Yes or no. Sometimes other parts of our life we take for granted, but that’s not a good thing.

    Tajani: [00:13:12] Right. And like you and Lindsey are, our business is our life.

    Like they’re so intertwined. So if our business is not doing well, like our home life is not doing well. Right. And so you need to, like you said, sort of, um, measure it. I dunno if KPI’s is a better husband

    tense, unless you do like date nights or something, you know, that cause that’s the KPI. Um, but you’re right. It has to be structured. So in terms of balance, that helps. Um, but. You just have to sometimes just go with it. It’s

    Mike: [00:13:48] a constant, it’s a constant struggle, right? Yeah. It’s not like nobody’s got it figured out.

    It’s just, they have it figured out this week, but that could change next week, but that’s just a, how the world works. Right.

    [00:14:00] Tajani: [00:14:00] Right, right. And so we have a small team. We’re growing our team. We’re adding two new members by the end of the year. And so in, in hopes of like getting us out of the day to day and into, like I said, at the bigger development and funding issues.

    Um, but I think getting us out of the data table provide them more balanced. Right. Or home life and ultimately our business.

    Mike: [00:14:25] Just like if you’re in your business, if you like, you guys have multiple businesses, you have a fix and flip business, you’re doing development. You’re going to be lending at some point you have rentals.

    I mean, those are all separate businesses. And if you were to look across it, you would say, We were not doing well over here because we’re putting all of our resources here and you can move it around. Right. It’s the same thing. When you’re balancing your business and your personal life. If something’s failing at home, you’re probably have too many resources, whether it’s probably your time applied towards something in your business.

    And it’s like, you know, sometimes we have to remember as entrepreneurs we got in this to live a better life. And so if the life part isn’t working [00:15:00] out, then it’s like, what’s the business even for, right. So there’s this constant balance of saying. Should I be doing, you know, if I’m not doing well here, why is that?

    And maybe I need to refocus over it.

    Tajani: [00:15:11] Sure. So, um, I hear this all the time and it’s so true. Like I didn’t get into real estate because I love I’m a bungalow. Like that’s how I got into real estate. You get into real estate for the ultimate goal in your ultimate returns. And so you can keep on growing up, but if everything else is failing, then what’s it.

    What good is it for?

    Mike: [00:15:33] Yeah. Yeah. We’ve all seen people. And there’s a guy that I know. I won’t say any names because people will know who it is that I wasn’t really aware of what’s going on, but apparently a year, year and a half ago, this guy got divorced, life fell apart and he was like a heavy hitter, real estate investor.

    And I just kind of found myself thinking like, you know, that’s, that’s unfortunate because I, I know that they were a couple, at one point they were both involved in the business and it’s like, they let the business tear apart and we’ve all, we all know people that that’s happened [00:16:00] to. And I think we should all.

    Be aware that, you know, just aware that we can’t let that happen to us because we got in this to build a better life together. Right.

    Tajani: [00:16:09] Right. I would love to see Lindsey is going back to Lindsay’s Assana tasks. She can share them with me. Yeah.

    Mike: [00:16:15] Yeah. Um, you can, you can reach out to Lindsey anytime, you know that.

    So, um, uh, one of the things that I think is, is amazing about women or that’s, maybe this is a negative about guys, is that okay? There’s especially on social media, if your act social media, there’s just this, uh, chest thumping and everybody is kind of constantly comparing themselves or maybe misrepresenting themselves in some instance.

    Right. And so women don’t have a tendency to do that as much. Right.

    Tajani: [00:16:40] No. Um, and you just hit, like, I don’t know, a pet peeve of mine. Like I could go on for hours about this. Um, I, I don’t appreciate the chest bumping and I know that, um, I’m part of an investor field, so that’s one of the things I like about investor fields are.

    So we sort of come in with our vulnerabilities and where we need, um, [00:17:00] our challenges addressed. But like, if everyone now is reading the same books, they’re reading, um, the same. Blogs or their reading or listening to the same podcasts. So everybody’s up there on social media with their handheld device, like walking through her house or walking on a sidewalk.

    And first of all, I it’s neat to see, but then secondly, it’s just all BS. Like don’t believe everything you see on social media. If someone’s trying to Hawk something, ask them to see their financials. And I bet you, they will fall. Um, people who are sit on panels. That’s another thing that they’re always people who want to sit on panels.

    Um, and they’re doing like one deal a month and I’m like, get out of here. Um, so you’re right. Women don’t tend to do that. So seek out other like minded investors, whether that’d be men or women who really are just generally there too. Assist because it’s can be a really lonely business and [00:18:00] ignore everything you see on social media.

    Seriously, ignore everything you do, what you need to do in order to promote your business or do marketing on social media. But after that, just turn it all off.

    Mike: [00:18:10] Yeah. That’s one of the, there’s some pros and cons with social media, for sure. But it can be distracting it. And the problem this isn’t certainly exclusive to real estate is that people put the very best parts of their life.

    Usually on social media. And that’s a couple of minutes a day, but then the rest is, you know, it could be not as glamorous as that. Right. And so, um, I think that’s a, that’s a, it’s a good thing about having in your business. And I know it’s happened with Lindsey before too is she’s like, you know, she’s like, she’ll call me out.

    If I’m, if I do something that you know is like misrepresenting, which I don’t really do, but sometimes she’s like, you know, why do you have time for that? You don’t have time for this or whatever, you know? So. Anyway, that’s another benefit of having a strong woman or your spouse involved in your businesses.

    They’ll call you out, right. She’s a, you know, um, you should want that as a male that you should want that, or any relationship you should want a partner [00:19:00] that could call you. So, uh, anyway, yeah. So you mentioned, uh, know I mentioned investor appeal. You’ve been a member of investor fuel for a while now, and it’s awesome having you guys as members.

    Can you just maybe share some. Some thoughts are a quick testimonial on investor pool.

    Tajani: [00:19:16] Sure. So, um, two things that I really like being part of investor fuel, um, first off is, uh, there’s very little chest on being involved. And so, um, if there is you just ignore it, cause it’s so minimal and everybody just goes in there with their vulnerabilities and they’re there to help.

    Um, and then secondly, uh, Investor feels so tied to you and to Stenson and, um, And you, you guys have just been great. You’re always available. Um, and you provide all of this just really practical, uh, guidance for our businesses and practical, um, tasks to do for our business. So those two things I [00:20:00] really. I really.

    Oh, Oh. And one more thing. Um, even though you haven’t met anybody, I’m an investor field, but because of the Facebook page, if somebody is doing something that you think would help in your business, you can just reach out, reach out to them. There’s a Katie. I have to, honey, I saw this. I know we’ve never met.

    Can you, um, jump on a quick call and everyone is always, I’ve never had a no, I’ve never had no one. I

    Mike: [00:20:23] said down. That’s awesome. Yeah, we definitely have a, have a, we call it the fuel fam for a reason why people kind of come together and help one another. And I think, you know, some of it is, I think I have, I have, but belief that we all inherently want to help more people.

    Sometimes we get caught up in this business for. The, you know, we all want to make money. Don’t, don’t get me wrong. But I think inherently, we, we make money by selling when people, right. So I think we all want to help more people, but sometimes they’re just like, well, I can’t help everybody. And so I’m just gonna help people that are closest to me because, um, I can’t, I know I can serve that group, you know?

    Well, and I get so [00:21:00] much in return that you just start to feel obligated to like, wow, I get so much I need to give. And it’s just kind of this cycle of giving and getting, you know, that, that works. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. So, um, what if, and to reach out to you or connect in any way, like what’s a good way to connect with you and talk, actually, I should say this, you can tell, talk about where you operate at.

    So if anybody, you know, might want to even reach out to you with deals or work together on deals as well.

    Tajani: [00:21:25] So we operate out of Northwest Indiana, which is about 40 miles outside of Chicago. So you can, we’re considered an excerpt of Chicago. Um, a lot of people are fleeing right, Chicago now. So we becoming a destination for that of serve.

    Anybody wants to send us deals where they’re in Northwest Indiana and you can reach me at Tahani, which is my first name T a J a N [email protected] to your U S T a R T homes. H O M E s.com. That’d be more than happy to chat, talk, get deals, [00:22:00] work together. Let me know how I could be in a

    Mike: [00:22:02] service.

    Awesome. Awesome. I appreciate you spending some time with us today.

    Tajani: [00:22:06] Well, thank you so much for having me.

    Mike: [00:22:07] I really appreciate it.

    Tajani: [00:22:09] Thank you. And this wasn’t so bad.

    Mike: [00:22:11] I know. I know. Uh, everybody, uh, we appreciate you joining us today. Hopefully you got some great information today. If you’re a woman in this business, Um, there’s a lot of opportunity for you there’s we would love for women to pop their head up a little bit more authentic fact.

    We have our, uh, at the time we’ll have just had our million dollar mean. We actually have a woman’s panel there because, you know, we believe that there’s a lot of strong women in the industry and we’d love to kind of hear them be a little more vocal. So thanks for joining us today. Tahani and if you’re out there listening to this, this resonates with you.

    Hopefully you got some value from it. So if you haven’t yet talked to us at investor fuel. Our next meeting is coming up pretty fast. So we’d love for you to reach out, just go to investor.com. You can learn a little bit more and schedule a call. We can kind of tell you some areas you can make improvements in your business.

    There’s really no pressure at all. It sounds like you’re a fit. We’d love to talk to you about that too. So just go to  dot com to learn more, have a great day. See you on the next year.

    Tajani: [00:22:59] Thanks. [00:23:00] Bye.

    Mike: [00:23:03] Are you an active real estate investor? If so, and you want to latch onto the power of surrounding yourself with overall a hundred of the nation’s leading real estate investors, all committed to building stronger businesses and living richer fuller lives. You should jump on a call with us to learn more about investing.

    Simply visit investor fuel. Dot com to get started. .

     

     

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