Working with your spouse has many pros and sometimes a few cons.

For Debbie Wilcox, it was mostly pros. Debbie partnered in life and in business with her husband. The couple owned a swimming pool business for 32 years. They made many connections and loved having their own business.

Two years ago, Debbie upended her life and moved from Hawaii to the Mainland in California to try her hand at real estate.

Her journey with her husband in their new venture is not just about making money but also finding meaning in sharing what they now both love to do.


Show Notes:

Debbie’s Real Estate Journey

  • Debbie shares her passion for real estate and how she started with a swimming pool business in Hawaii.
  • She talks about her initial attempts at real estate investing and how they decided to focus on the pool business instead.
  • After running the pool business successfully for many years, she felt unfulfilled and wanted to explore real estate further.
  • Debbie discovered podcasts and learned about multifamily real estate investing, which sparked her interest.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she focused on virtual learning and invested as a limited partner in syndications.
  • Over time, she and her husband became general partners in multifamily deals and currently manage over 2,400 units.

Debbie’s Partnership with Her Husband

  • Atara discusses Debbie’s partnership with her husband and their involvement in the real estate industry together.
  • They attend conferences, listen to podcasts, and network as a team.
  • Debbie highlights the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry and the importance of connecting with other women in real estate.

Transition from Limited Partner to General Partner

  • Debbie shares her experience as a limited partner in syndications and the trust-building process with operators.
  • She discusses the potential impact of changing market conditions on their investments.
  • Debbie explains how they became general partners by networking and forming connections at conferences.
  • Their first GP deal was with partners they had met through networking.

Joining the MIH Mastermind

  • Debbie mentions joining the MIH Mastermind with Jake and Gino.
  • Talks about the wonderful coaches and the great family culture in the mastermind.
  • Mentions that many students in the mastermind are interested in joining the M I H Mastermind.

Finding One’s Place in Real Estate

  • Atara discusses the difficulty for people starting out to understand where they fit in real estate.
  • Mentions the different goals and stages of life that influence real estate decisions.
  • Debbie agrees and talks about the presence of limiting beliefs.
  • Shares her own experience and willingness to venture into something different.
  • Emphasizes the importance of having courage and pushing past comfort zones.

Building Habits and Overcoming Fear

  • Debbie mentions reading “Atomic Habits” by James Clear and finding it helpful.
  • Talks about time management and purposeful routines.
  • Atara asks about Debbie’s organization methods for working from home.
  • Debbie mentions using Google Calendar for time blocking and fine-tuning her schedule.
  • Discusses the importance of continuous education in the real estate business.

Property Sourcing and Roles

  • Atara asks Debbie about her involvement in property sourcing.
  • Debbie explains that they are currently not focused on sourcing properties themselves.
  • Talks about their role as business owners and their enjoyment of asset management.
  • Mentions the possibility of sourcing deals in the future as they gain more experience.
  • Highlights the importance of mastering one aspect before taking on multiple responsibilities.
  • Atara agrees and emphasizes the need to understand deal analysis.

Team Building and Partnerships

  • Atara asks Debbie about her team and if she has partners for every deal.
  • Debbie mentions working with a group of people they met through the Jake and Gino community.
  • Talks about collaborating with other members from their mastermind to form a team.
  • Emphasizes the importance of alignment and vetting team members as a GP.

Working with Partners and Relinquishing Control

  • Atara asks if there are difficulties in bringing new people into their partnership.
  • Debbie mentions that the challenge lies in the dynamics between her and her husband.
  • Talks about the importance of complementing each other’s strengths and filling in weaknesses.
  • Discusses the need to trust and delegate decision-making in a multifamily team.

Syndication and Joint Ventures

  • Atara asks about syndication and if they have syndicated multiple deals.
  • Debbie explains that they have syndicated their first deal but subsequent deals were joint ventures.
  • Discusses the experience of handling investor relations and adapting to different structures.
  • Emphasizes the responsibility of managing investors’ money and maintaining alignment.

Adapting to Market Changes and Investing Plans

  • Atara asks how the market changes and rising interest rates are affecting their investing plans.
  • Debbie mentions a slowdown in their aggressive approach and the uncertainty in the market.
  • Talks about the challenges faced by operators, sellers, and passive investors.
  • Discusses the importance of finding good deals and adapting to changing conditions.
  • Emphasizes the value of persistence and long-term vision in real estate.

Finding Fulfillment in Real Estate

  • Atara shares her appreciation for Debbie’s positive and fulfilled demeanor.
  • Discusses the perception that real estate lacks meaning for some people.
  • Asks Debbie to share an overarching feeling

Connect with Debbie

Connect with Atara Twersky!


About Atara Twersky

Atara Twersky, is a real estate owner, sponsor and syndicator.  She is principal and founder at Ascendo Capital LLC.  Atara is also an attorney in NYC and the bestselling author of the children’s book series, Curlee Girlee, inspired by her own young curly-haired daughter  Atara is the host of a popular Real Estate podcast to help women understand their Real Estate Investments options so they can be informed investors.  For more information on Real Estate investment listen to Atara’s podcast Bridging the Gap: Real Estate for Women.


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