203K Loans and Using the BRRRR Method for Rental Real Estate with Stephanie Cabral REWIND

Today's Guest: Stephanie Cabral

For this episode, I am excited to welcome Stephanie Cabral, who is a buy-and-hold real estate investor and former attorney from Connecticut. Stephanie has built a portfolio of over $2.25m and began investing while working at a law firm as the sole member of the probate department and also working at one of the top commercial real estate firms in the world. Stephanie now owns and operates 15 units plus multiple active flips and is responsible for all aspects of the business including marketing, acquisition, construction management, operations, and property management. She specializes in the BRRRR strategy and was able to scale her business using a detailed network of systems, standard operating procedures, automation, and virtual assistants.


Highlights From The Show:

Stephanie shares her background with us, pointing out that she is a lawyer by trade. While she loved and thrived in law school, once she got out, she found that she didn’t love practicing as a lawyer. As much as she appreciated her clients, she did not like how adversarial the work was and didn’t like being in an office all day. She ended up buying a duplex in order to use the rental income to qualify for a personal home loan and she fell in love with the idea of house-hacking. She worked as an agent, too, while she was working as a lawyer and continues to since retiring from her firm in December 2019.


Stephanie got a 203K loan for her first property so we explored that topic a bit. Because the brokers are looking at the ARV, you can get a larger value loan to cover both the purchase price and the rehab estimate. The contractor gets paid directly from the lender in this type of loan. Also, the 203K loan does not require you to have experience in investing and rehabilitation work, which can be a huge obstacle for newer investors with traditional hard money lenders. You also get a consultant that helps you manage the project and ensure the quality of the contractors’ work.


I asked Stephanie to describe the team of people she is working with to us. She said she is very involved herself, but her right hand is a virtual assistant in the Philippines who handles all of the administrative tasks, including social media and many of the property management tasks, including interfacing with the tenants. Stephanie also has a leasing assistant who directly connects with potential tenants and shows them around and screens them for rentability. She also has a bookkeeper who she hired through Upwork that has been working with her for years, but Stephanie did talk about the need to go through the trial and error process to find some people that are really good. Stephanie talked about the need to have great systems and processes in place, including training videos and templates, in order to simplify the training procedure.


I asked Stephanie why she self-manages her properties versus hiring a property management company. She said that it is financially beneficial for her to self-manage, mostly because she has very little turnover in tenants. She attributes this to the constant communication she has with her tenants, which is largely automated but maintains a great connection. I asked how she handles any required repairs, and since she is having a VA handle the maintenance requests, how she is sure she is not getting over-charged. Stephanie explained that because she also does house flipping, she has a pool of contractors, and in particular, a go-to handyman who is always the first maintenance call.


We talked about mid-term rentals, the effects of COVID on Stephanie’s business, the BRRRR strategy, private money versus hard money lenders, the technology Stephanie uses to run her business, Facebook ads, and so much more! Don’t miss this honest, fun, and hard-core real estate episode with lawyer-turned-investor, Stephanie Cabral!

Notable Quotes:

“Being in an office environment was not the life I wanted to live.”

  • Stephanie Cabral


“What was one of the greatest frustrations at the time ended up being the greatest gift.”

  • Stephanie Cabral


“I didn’t even know that I was investing - I thought I was living cheaply and being resourceful.”

  • Stephanie Cabral


“Being resourceful is certainly one of my superpowers.”

  • Stephanie Cabral


“The power of real estate as an investment really opened up for me.”

  • Stephanie Cabral


“So the way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time.”

  • Desmond Tutu, quoted by Stephanie Cabral


“It requires some administrative stamina to get through the paperwork for a 203K loan.”

  • Stephanie Cabral


“I do make it a priority to automate and delegate as much as humanly possible.”

  • Stephanie Cabral


“Find somebody with a natural skill set that you are looking for and then you train the rest.”

  • Stephanie Cabral


“As far as delegating work, start with the task that is most repetitive that is causing the most brain damage.”

  • Stephanie Cabral


“Put yourself out there so people know what you are doing and that you are involved.”

  • Stephanie Cabral


“I have been raising private money since 2008 and I think ‘talk about what you are doing’ is the number one advice.”

  • Mike Simmons


“If you ask for money, you are going to get advice. If you ask for advice, you will get money.”

  • Mike Simmons


“I’m tech heavy, but not tech savvy.”

  • Stephanie Cabral


“The concept of ‘Just Start’ is so important. You don’t have to be super knowledgeable, but you have to be action-oriented.”

  • Stephanie Cabral

Thank You for Listening!


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Resources and Links From Today's Show:





Google Drive




Stephanie’s Website


More Resources From Mike: