Camille Pearsall’s lifelong dream of becoming a real estate developer began to take shape in 2015, but not without significant challenges. Working full time in law enforcement as a Ranked Correctional Professional and raising her family, she tried to arm herself with as much knowledge about the industry as possible.
However, nothing could prepare her for the tragedy that would befall her and her family. In the wake of her husband’s violent death, Camille rose, even more, determined to build a real estate portfolio that would allow financial independence for her and her daughters.
A child’s curiosity
Camille was fascinated to learn, at around 13 years old, that not all families were like hers and owned their own homes. She remembers sitting on her grandmother’s stoop and peppering the landlords that would come by to collect rents with questions. “There was this one woman whose husband owned 75 properties near our house, and her job was to drive around from the first to the fifth of every month and collect rents. So, she let me ride around with her while she was collecting rents, and I picked her brain the entire time!”
Camille fondly remembers a piece of advice from that woman – own property in clusters!
Camille and her husband Raheem bought their first investment property in 2016. They held on to that property and a few years later, stepped out on faith, leveraged their credit and W2 jobs to buy a flip. Over the next two years, they poured a ton of sweat equity and cashed in some goodwill chips with friends and family to rehab the property.
Tragically, when they were finally reached the finish line and were ready to list, Raheem was murdered.
After months of mourning in solitude, a stranger knocked on Camille’s door with $40,000 in cash offering to buy the initial investment property. “This stranger, and his offer, woke me from a deep fog, almost as if he threw a bucket of ice water on me,” explains Camille. She declined his offer but did so with a resolve to make the dreams she and Raheem shared come true for her and her daughters.
Back in action
In months after the stranger’s knock on her door, Camille listed the flip-house. It sold within three hours, $10,000 over asking. Rather than pour her profits into rehabbing the make-safe investment property they had initially purchased in 2016, she used it as leverage to grow her portfolio, now worth well over seven figures. She accomplished all this in a span of little over one year and with the help of her network at Better than Success.
A Well-timed raffle prize
For as long as she had been interested in real estate, Camille had heard about BTS, but it wasn’t until after Raheem’s death a family member convinced her to go to a BTS Christmas party. The highlight of the party for Camille was the raffle. She won $1,000 for the use on a project. At the time, she was trying to figure out how to pay for the engineer she needed on her make-safe property, so it didn’t take long for her to figure out how to use that gift! From there, according to Camille, things just got turbocharged.
Camille immersed herself in everything that BTS had to offer. She found endless support within the membership base and quality programs that gave real, practical tips. ”I take all my questions to BTS, and no one ever makes me feel like they are things I already should know,” she explains. “it’s a highly collaborative environment that helps people at all levels execute deals and keep the cycle going.”
Dealing with hard money lenders was always an intimidating prospect for Camille, but through BTS’s formal educational programs, and by networking with other members, Camille was able to learn of their experiences and the process of putting the profits to work and rolling the money over to the next project.
“I was no stranger to formal, traditional real estate education programs. Before BTS, I probably spent $50,000 with traditional guru’s and enrolling in Jump Start programs in Northwest Philly and Germantown,” she says. “But nothing compares to the practical education I got from BTS and the invaluable network of league members who tirelessly answer my questions and offer support and advice.”
Camille’s portfolio currently consists of 14 single-family houses. “Real estate is the gateway to our financial freedom,” Camille concludes. “When I was deep in my grief and couldn’t even find the energy to get out of bed, my 9-to-5 was calling wanting me to come back to work. Now, I spring out of bed determined to create a future that won’t require my daughters to report to a boss.”