Barbara Barnes shares startup tips for real estate investors

Barbara J. Barnes
Barbara J. Barnes (Photo credit: LaVan Anderson of EverydayLavan Photography)

Millennials today are making their mark in the marketplace. Barbara J. Barnes is living proof that success for a single, African American mom of two daughters in a highly competitive industry is not an impossibility.

At age 24, an extremely unpleasant experience with a real estate agent during the purchase of her first home provoked her to get a real estate license to educate herself and help others avoid the same kind of experience.

Two years later, Barnes decided to quit her job to become a full-time entrepreneur in the real estate industry. She was cautioned against taking the big risk of quitting her job, especially with a 9-month-old and 9-year old. However, she believed she would be taking a bigger risk by staying stuck in a job with no purpose or passion rather than exploring what was possible.

Barnes began attending real estate investing events and was hungry to learn and soak up as much knowledge as possible. During that quest, she was introduced to the concept of wholesaling. Wholesaling is an investment strategy where you locate and place a residential property under contract with a seller and then sell the same contract to an investor partner for a fee. After executing this strategy, she has sold more than $15 million dollars worth of real estate.

Barnes currently specializes in two types of real estate investing. The first is “active” residential real estate investing, where houses are acquired through wholesaling. This involves scouting, cold calling, marketing and accompanying sellers on appointments to find deals. The investor is actively on the hunt for new deals every day. The second is “passive” investing where cash flow is acquired monthly by tenants paying rent from real estate assets. Unlike wholesaling, this type requires less day-to-day involvement.

“Some may assume that success in this industry at a young age can be very difficult without years of experience. However, it can be done, and I’m living proof of that,” Barnes said.

Barnes shared the following startup tips for new or aspiring real estate investors:

Find a mentor. “Seek out a real estate investing coach or mentor that has already achieved the level of success that you desire. Shorten your learning curve by leveraging someone’s knowledge, mistakes and experience.”

Understand financing types. “Although, you don’t need money to start, you still should be aware of the financing strategies used throughout the industry. For example, there are no money down loans, creative financing, lease options, hard money loans and more.”

Do your research. “Research the market of your choice to invest in and the type of strategy that you want to use whether it’s wholesaling, fix-and-flip, buy and hold or commercial real estate.”

Build great relationships. “You can join real estate investing networking groups, meetups and associations for opportunities in education and networking, all focused on giving you the knowledge and contacts you need to do deals.”

Follow Barbara Barnes on Instagram at @barbarajbarnes or visit her website at

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