Helping people is at the heart of realtor's new venture
By: Kamelia Kohlmeier
Kohlmeier graduated in 2009 with her Doctor of Pharmacy from Roseman University's College of Pharmacy in Henderson, Nev. After getting married, she started thinking about having a family, and she realized that she and her husband were barely affording life as a couple with student loan debt on top of everything else, so providing for a family would be hard.
She and her husband, David, were both curious about the real estate market, so they started attending real estate investment seminars and weekend classes as well as reading books and researching. They found real estate investing to be fairly low risk.
"I looked into investing, I looked into day trading and other part-time jobs. Everyone was always talking about investing and stocks, but I thought about the stock crash. I feel like we don't have enough say in stocks," Kohlmeier said. "How companies manage their financials is variable; sometimes even CEOs don't know what is happening. You think a company is doing so great, and then it gets bought out and people get laid off. But I learned in the real estate classes that real estate will never go to zero. Stocks can go to zero, but when you look at a graph of real estate trends, it's almost always heading up. .. So we decided we needed to do this for us, for our kids."
Now the couple has about 15 investment properties. Since 2012, they have bought most to hold and rent out as a strategy to help them save for retirement. But what started as a revenue stream has transformed into a passion.
As someone who came from a foreign country at a young age, Kohlmeier relates to the idea of everyone wanting to achieve the American dream, which often includes owning a home. But ownership often seems out of reach, so families resort to renting. And with rents on the rise, many people often feel stuck. Now that Kohlmeier has her real estate license, she wants to help people realize their dreams and see that buying a home is possible.
"Investing was more for myself. I was helping my family grow and leaving a legacy for them," she said. "Being a real estate agent, now I can actually help others realize their dream. … Everyone deserves to have a roof over their family's head they can call their own home."
Within that passion lies another passion. In her new real estate venture, Kohlmeier especially wants to reach out to students (particularly in the pharmacy field) who are like she was — facing a mountain of student loan debt that eats up almost their entire salary, not leaving much room for investing in a home — and help them realize their dream of owning a home and providing for their future. She also wants to educate women in financial literacy and teach them how to invest in real estate so they can focus on their families.
But it won't be just women she educates. Because seminars played such a large role in her development, she and her husband hope to pull together professionals they have met along the way and offer seminars to teach people about real estate investing. She said her seminars will be different than what some people are used to seeing because she will offer people strategies that will make them successful as opposed to just telling them to go out and buy and sell.
And the help doesn't stop there. Kohlmeier has hired real estate scouts who drive around Las Vegas, find homes that are boarded up and/or distressed and take pictures of them. The pictures and information are used to create an interactive map that she believes can serve three purposes. Potential local buyers may find homes at a cheaper price, and investors can quickly locate and acquire properties to fix and sell. When either of those things happen, it benefits the communities the houses are in because a fixed up house is less likely to attract vandalism and squatters and is more likely to increase home values in the area.
Creative solutions like that are what Kohlmeier believes will set her apart in a real estate-rich area. She sees herself specializing in creative financial strategies that help people get into a home who have acquired a lot of school debt, are first-time buyers, have gone through a divorce, struggle with less-than-perfect credit, are in a job transition or experience other hardship.
"I want to help people find their right home or sell their home," she said. "Buying that first home is the scariest. I remember the first property we got was $19,000, and we were terrified. When our offer was approved, we just said, 'Now what? What's next?' Doing it, taking action versus just talking about it, is very different. Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase most of us make in a lifetime."
Kohlmeier still plans to be active in a pharmacy role part time because she loves that part of her life, too. But she is looking forward to the opportunity to help others achieve their dreams while setting up her family for 20 or 30 years down the line.
For more information about buying, selling and investing with Kohlmeier, call 702-333-HOME or 702-333-SOLD.