Linda Baumgarten co-founded the Connecticut chapter of the Real Estate Investors Association nine years ago and has built it to be the largest chapter in the Northeast. She now serves as one of its directors.
She is also coach of the CTREIA Fast-Track Team Coaching Program, which has helped hundreds of real estate professionals establish their businesses. For the CTREIA’s monthly program, she brings in nationally-known real estate speakers to teach the basics of marketing, as well as negotiating, particularly for owner financing; evaluating the numbers of a deal, such as rehab costs and financials, and making offers.
This is a far cry from the young girl who was too shy to sell Girl Scout cookies. It was the desire to be an entrepreneur, rather than a regular 9-to-5 jobholder, that pushed her to overcome that obstacle, and to learn how to sell and how to market. “Anybody can do this. You just have to apply it,” she said.
Even in an unstable economy, opportunities exist, she noted.
“We focus on mindset, focus on the opportunities, and let go of the challenges,” she explained. “As a small business, we can be nimble. We adjust our marketing, negotiations, and strategies as the economy evolves, and we stay ahead of the curve.”
In addition, Baumgarten serves as chief empowerment officer of the Ultimate Life Company, which she co-founded with a partner in response to a lack of work-life balance she saw among aspiring entrepreneurs.
“I can give them the best coaching information on the planet, but if their mindset is not in the right place, they will not take as much action as I wanted them to,” she said. The company offers online webinars featuring a select group of teachers, philosophers, and authors, in nine walks of life.
She credits JoAnne Brisette, CTREIA’s executive director and co-founder, and a mentor to hundreds of Connecticut real estate investors, as a key factor in her success.
Baumgarten’s first career was as a social worker. “I still believe in saving the world,” she said. “I just do it by teaching people to make money.”