In just several years, Janet LePage has gone from flipping homes to building an empire.
Both force of nature and forthright, LePage has grown a hobby for deal-making into an enterprise that now rivals publicly listed real estate investments. The CEO and co-founder of Western Wealth Capital oversees 24 multi-family properties in Arizona comprising more than 4,000 rental units with a total purchased-price value of $300 million.
LePage got the deal-making bug early. Her father owned two apartment buildings, and the term “passive income” became an early childhood building block. At 25, LePage got a real estate coach. And in 2008, the market imploded. Most thought the sky was falling; LePage saw the heavens opening up.
Leveraging higher interest and shorter-term hard-money lenders, LePage’s method was to buy a home at cash auction, invest in appliances and a little TLC, and sell the property quickly at a price on par with the unimproved foreclosed property next door. The system was scalable: LePage bought and sold 58 homes over two years, all the while working full time for a B.C. utility.
“Here’s the thing: I’m a computer scientist so everything is black and white. Everything in my world is a one or a zero. Even buying the houses it was very clear criteria. … It was a system,” explained LePage.
In 2012, she left her workplace and founded Western Wealth Capital. Since then, the company has acquired 22 multi-family rental properties and raised more than $100 million.
LePage’s growth outlook is to make Western Wealth a $1 billion company. She plans on diversifying by moving into another market outside of Phoenix in the next 12 months. Already attracting large equity partners, LePage doesn’t balk at the idea of packaging a real estate investment trust (REIT) listed on a public exchange.
However, LePage is also focused on another growth priority: increasing female leadership in her sector.
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