Empowering Greener Tomorrow: Energy-Efficient Homes with LeAnn LeFortune- Payneless Flipping Podcast

In this video, we’re going to have a special guest, LeAnn LeFortune. Find out how she made it in real estate and how she is Empowering a Greener Tomorrow From Energy-Efficient Homes to Entrepreneurship. Check out this video to learn more.

What is going on everybody? This is the Payneless Flipping Podcast if you’re watching this live Glad to have you on here got a sweet episode for you today, we’re going to be talking today about energy efficient homes and how to even become an entrepreneur. So if this is the first time you listen to the Payneless Flipping Podcast, the main goal of what we’re trying to do here is to show people that it does not have to be painful to get into flipping or get into real estate get into wholesaling in entrepreneurship, you can learn from other people’s experiences. And that’s why I bring experts on the show, so you can learn from them. So you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. It’d be a very painful experience, right? Remember, this is the Payneless Flipping Podcast. So that’s why we’re here and I have my guest here, Leanne, what is up, Leanne? How are you?

Hey, bud, thank you so much for having me. I’m doing great. Good.

Yeah. I’m glad to have you on here. And to be honest, I like to tell everyone, like straight up we’ve never spoke before. And I think that’s the best way to have a podcast is so we can learn from each other. And I can ask you genuine questions. I feel like everybody would want to ask, right? Yeah,

I mean, I feel like my story is a little bit painful. So maybe people can learn from me so that it’s a little more painless for them.

Yes, yes. And let me tell you, that’s, I feel like that’s most people’s journeys is something very painful, right? They have to go through trial and error. And obviously, you can’t avoid all the pain, especially when you’re growing and progressing. So but our goal is to help as many people learn from your experiences, so they don’t have to deal with all that. So let’s start. Tell us a little bit about who you are, you know, quickly, and then we’ll dive into your story. Because I know you said you got a great story. But yeah, good summary of who Leanne is.

yes. And let me tell you, that’s, I feel like that’s most people’s journeys is something very painful, right? They have to go through trial and error. And obviously, you can’t avoid all the pain, especially when you’re growing and progressing. So but our goal is to help as many people learn from your experiences, so they don’t have to deal with all that. So let’s start. Tell us a little bit about who you are, you know, quickly, and then we’ll dive into your story. Because I know you said you got a great story. But yeah, good summary of who Leanne is.

Wow. Well, you know what, let’s let me just for the listeners that are listening already, and they’re just sitting there, like, what is green building? What is? What is that?

Oh, yeah, that’s a really vague term. So yeah, great question. I think it’s different for everybody. But what we do is we do five star Austin Energy Greenbuild rated homes, which essentially means that we stopped the thermal bridging that happens. You know, like for Texas, it’s heat, the sun shines on the house and goes through your steps actually into the home. And that’s where most of the thermal bridging occurs. So we’ll actually put a foam board layer on the outside of the home when we’re constructing it in that helps tremendously with your energy efficiency and your like AC bills and whatnot.

Can someone that has an older home, make their home energy efficient, or do you have to be a new bill.

It’s really hard. That’s actually kind of how I started was trying to flip old homes and make them energy efficient. And it was insanely difficult. I would say, you can make them more energy efficient than how it started, of course, but to get like a five star rating, like what my homes are now, you can’t really do that.

So tell me you said you’re from Alaska. You grew up in Alaska, like your whole life and then you move to eventually to Texas born and raised.

Yeah, well, so let’s get to the story.

Is hat part of your story is

Yeah, absolutely begins so I grew up on an island in southeast Alaska really remote like you can either take a boat to get there, a ferry or a bush plane. But that’s really it. You can’t drive to or from the island that I’m from so really remote small village fishing town. My father is a commercial fishing fisherman I grew up commercial though I had just an you know large number of see time hours which you need in order to get your to get your captain’s license and attend captain’s license. So I actually ended up doing was going on to get my biology degree, but because I loved seeing all the whales and everything that I saw where I grew up, it was like Nat Geo, like in my hometown. So I went to get my biology degree and my 110 captain’s license. And due to that I got a job on a research vessel where I would spend most of my year out at sea and I got one email a day that I could send out to that was my communication with normal civilization. So to have a relationship or anything like that was really difficult and ultimately I ended up being like, you know what, I’d like one day to have a you know, a husband and a dog and a house and all those things that most you know, the average American

Yeah, dream life.

Yeah, exactly. So I decided to quit with really no plan for what I was going to do after that. I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I actually one day, had to get double hip surgery soon after quitting my job. I know I’m not gonna go down the rabbit hole of how I was a competitive weightlifter but I was in a wreck my hips and Alaska. Yes, I was actually at a crossfit coach. That’s what I was doing while I was going to college is were you working out on the boats as well?

Oh, my gosh, was I ever but I was doing more of like bodyweight exercises, and I found a place where I could do pull ups on the boat, but you can ask anybody who was there? They’re like, yes, Leanne would do push ups between sets and stuff.

That’s amazing. And I have to ask this to what kind of fish are you able to catch? Are these crabs or what are you getting out there? Yeah.

So when I was working with my dad, it was mostly salmon fishing for coho or silver salmon, and king salmon. So there’s five different species of salmon for everybody who would like to know. And those are the two that I would mostly catch with my father. And then I would also do shrimping and crabbing with him as well. But he had all the permits. Like I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of black cod, but those are cod that live like a mile below the ocean. And he would do sea cucumber diving, and he would do gooey duck clam diving, which clams are like this big. Giant Yeah.

The ocean I don’t know much about well, I’ve read books and watch stuff, but I don’t know much about the ocean to be honest. It’s kind of scary, though.

It can be it can be and I actually am a rescue diver. And if you go diving, and you see a giant sea lion, you’re like, oh, man, this is I’m out of my element. They’re almost more scary than sharks.

Sea Lion.

ah, cuz they’re like two tons of something. I mean, they’re just huge.

Oh my gosh, wow. So you hold on, I gotta get got to, like, comprehend everything you’re saying. So you, you’re CrossFitting it up, you’re weightlifter, you’re, you can say people, you, you know, you’ve seen sea lions in the ocean. And then eventually you’re like, forget this because I can only send one email a day or a week or I can’t remember. But now I’m going to Texas. Is that kind of what’s going on?

Yeah, so actually, I ended up laying in bed getting my double hip surgery, we’ll get back to that. And I was listening to The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. And I was so inspired. I was like, Yes, I’m gonna be an entrepreneur. But you can do that selling butterfly stickers. Like what does that mean? You know, I was like, Okay, well, so what am I going to do? And I’m driving down the road after I can actually hobble to my car from my hip surgery, and I’m listening to the radio and all of a sudden I hear like, do you want to learn how to flip houses? And I was like, yes. I’m gonna do it.

This is an Alaska Correct. Isn’t Alaska? Yeah. Alaska is running ads on how to flip houses.

Then Merrill Merrill in what was it? Unreal. Wow, Fortune Builders. Dannemiller Fortune Builders. It’s a nationwide thing. Yeah. Anchorage, Alaska. And so I went to this, you know, real estate thing signed up for the class and started taking their courses and whatnot. And I actually met my now husband there as well. So you know, it worked out pretty good. Yeah. A couple flips in Alaska. They were rigorous. They were so hard. Oh my gosh, I was jackhammering concrete, myself and negative money in the dark. Like, because Alaska is dark in the wintertime. So negative one and the dark because we gutted this house. We had no power. There’s like one work spotlight to us. And like it was intense. We got there. We got through it. And we’re like, Yeah, we don’t want to do this anymore. And so plus the real estate market there is really small, and we had big grand visions, and we do green building. And it was hard to do in Alaska. Not many people at afford, it’s kind of an oil state. And so we ended up getting rid of everything we own and he has a jeep. So we’ve got a rooftop tent to go on the Jeep and we drove from Alaska, all the way to Austin, Texas, where we had never been before. Like it was a total leap of faith. We had a hunch someone said Austin was a great market. We’re like, let’s go there. Yeah, And it took us six weeks, we had to go through Canada down through all the states to get to Austin, Texas. It took us like I said six weeks and but we stopped in all the parks along the way the national parks and had a blast doing it. So it was a lot of fun stopped and saw family members borrow their shower in their washer and dryers, so we can at least have clean clothes along the way. Because yeah, we’re camping the whole way. Yeah, it was great. So we arrived in Austin, Texas, but because the flips in Alaska didn’t go well, we had like no money to our name. And we bought a we were able to get in with someone else, like helping us get into this apartment because like, you know, they check your credit and all that stuff when you get abroad. And we bought a Walmart like blow up bed. And that was it. We couldn’t afford any other furniture and but we’re like, we’re gonna continue the dream. And we still we started fortunate foundations, which is the company that we own now or the green buildings. And that was seven years ago. And here I am now with like, I think about 15 employees. Lots of VAs lots of subcontractors working for us. But yeah, it’s been quite the journey with it.

ask you about your experience as an entrepreneur because usually like I feel like people don’t start seeing the results until like three to five years, like even seven sometimes where starts becoming profitable, because I think people like their expectations, like a year immediately. What was your experience? Maybe it wasn’t like that for you.

It was not a year? Not Not at all. There were there’s so many trials and tribulations along the way. Pretty much right off the bat, the first thing that we wanted to do was hire general contractors to work for us to build our homes for us. One of those generals embezzled about $200,000 from us. That was a tough lesson. Yes.

Shut down his company and ran off to who knows where it’s headed down, huh? Wow.

Yeah. Um, so there was a you know, I didn’t get anything from that, except for hard knocks. Lesson there. And then one time, we bought a property that had a ju A’s or joint use access agreement with the neighboring lot. And we actually had to kind of cross over that guy’s property to reach ours.

And we thought it was the thing is that like, yeah,

it’s another Yeah, it’s another term for an easement. Essentially, that man happened to be an attorney. And he had it out to make our lives as difficult as possible. And basically said, I can keep you from building what you want to build here. And we’re like, well, we kind of need to build this kind of our business, you need to make money here. Yeah, and he really took us for a ride, because we’re still fairly new entrepreneurs. And honestly, for anybody watching this, like you have title insurance for a reason. Make sure to use it. You use.

Did you use it on that experience?

No, I wish I would have. That’s why I’m saying that.

Yeah. Because for my experience with title companies, they try their best to like get out of anything as well. Yeah, so yeah, not saying don’t use it. But yeah, everybody’s trying to be slick. I feel like Yeah,

yeah, absolutely. So anyways, this this guy made it very difficult for us to conduct or build in. I don’t know he cost us somewhere on the terms of $50,000 as to what is that whole thing ended up costing? Because we had to get an attorney in the war some.

So I’m not sure when you buy properties now you’re like, Okay, we’re gonna build we got to make sure there’s no issues with like property lines, anything like well

with the easement was there so that we thought we were playing we’re like, Okay, here’s the easement. It says we can use it what we can use it for, we thought everything was down pack and get and if there’s a nice man, maybe you should talk to your neighbor who has the easement with you. thing really is good and see how they feel about you building there. What’s in there, have an attorney review it before you close? I don’t know.

I have a question about the interest rates increasing. Has that been kind of difficult for building as well? Because I know you probably were expecting a higher purchase price. Now. Is that kind of been difficult? Because I know it’s been difficult for us in Utah on a lot of the flips that we had.

Yeah, yeah. It’s really very, very difficult. Homes are sitting on the market a lot longer than we expected. They’re going up for a lot less than we expected. Buyers can exercise a little bit more of their scrutiny and then what what exactly they want in a home you know, so though they’ll take over Your home at least that’s what I’m seeing, right? Yeah, we build very beautiful, great energy efficient homes, they like to close to the street. And I’m like, well, there’s not much I can do about that. So um, but yeah, what that’s done is it’s caused us to pivot actually. And we’re going into the, the rental space. And so I actually now have a short term rental management company because, like, I like we started doing short term rentals, mid term rentals, and I also manage them as well.

So cool. Okay, that was your pivot, you built these homes energy efficient, beautiful, and you’re noticing that people are kind of being a little pickier. And you’re like, hey, let’s rent these things out until we can get what we need is that kind of what’s going on?

Yeah, until the market turns a little bit, we’re gonna hold on to them. Because I don’t really want to short sale like weighing going underwater, if you can just hold on to them, rent them out and sell them later, when the market turns around.

Yeah, that’s what I had to do on some of the flips that I had here is, you know, with the way the market, we were projecting it, before interest rates went up, we’re looking to make a lot and then it almost either was like breakeven making you make a little bit or you lose, so we held on and luckily, the the market went up a little bit, just a little bit, but now it seems to be a little stagnant. So very, very interesting, great way to pivot. And I think that’s important for everyone to know is like change is constant in business. It’s not like you can just like create a product or create a business and just big, we’re good, like Tim Ferriss, he says The Four Hour Workweek, but hey, sometimes you’re gonna have to get back into that thing and figure it out.

Yeah, I know. And I mean, I’m still working more than four hours a week, let me tell you like, nowhere near four hours. I have so one day, but I don’t see it in my near future, right. It was just inspiring. It actually inspired me to be an entrepreneur more than seek the four hour workweek. I’m okay with working more, if that’s what it takes at this point. But yeah, pivoting is I’ve pivoted more times than I can count. I mean, I went from flips, moving down to Texas, finding that flips are not very lucrative in Texas, because the house, the price of land is just a lot in Austin anyways, in Texas, I guess I should say. And so being able to buy a lot and build two or three homes on that lot is much more lucrative than trying to flip an old home and not really recoup the costs, your workforce pays, which isn’t fun when you’re working that hard. And so, going from flips to new construction now to like, you know, rentals and whatnot, I just Yeah, I feel like you kind of have to be fluid and listen to what the markets telling you to stay ahead. You always have to have an edge, you know, what kind of how entrepreneurship is,

are you reaching out to other builders that you might know in your network and offering your services like, Hey, guys, you probably not able to sell these and you know, you don’t want to short sale, we can rent to help you out. Do you? Are you offering that as well?

I’m not.

So that’s a great idea. I might take that.

Yeah. Because might be in that situation. So if you reach out to those builders and just say, hey, instead of just trying to take a loss or just get rid of it, let me manage those properties until you know, the market rebounds. Yeah. All right. Cool. Cool. Well, hey, that’s a very cool story. And I think one thing that resonated with me from what you said was, you took action, right? Like you hear like, hey, let’s sell everything. Let’s freakin get in the jeep and roll down. And I think that’s amazing. So what do you have to say, for the people who are watching this podcast? Or will live or will watch it later? What advice would you have for them? If they’re in a situation where they’re like they want to, but they haven’t done it yet?

Oh, goodness, I don’t know. I just always say do what sets your soul on fire. And that will just keep you going you really to be an entrepreneur, I would say that you have to have grit. But if you’re doing what sets your soul on fire, you’ll get through it. I mean, I told you about the builder, you took me for $200,000. I’m like the neighborhood shoot me for 50. And there’s like countless others that I can. I’ll just not talk about weed all the time. But I could go on and on. And if I wasn’t doing what I felt my calling was and was that my soul on fire, then I wouldn’t still be here. I wouldn’t, it wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be able to keep going. It’s during those times that adversity and hardship that really, it makes you or breaks you. It’s like either you’re going to just really dig in because you’re doing your passion or you’re going to like throw in the towel and quit like most people, so just make sure you’re doing what you’re passionate about and what you feel like you’re on earth to do. Love it.

So I’m curious with your experience of seven years has coaching taken any place in your journey? I know you said you did Fortune Builders, so that that was coaching in the beginning. Have you done more of that, like learn from other people or gotten mentors or trying to figure it out your own? Um,

I It’s mostly doing it on my own. But honestly, I have met a lot of people. There’s some fairly famous authors that I know personally like who have been manning a booth built or wrote the million dollar investor I think is what it was called, I feel terrible. But J pop sound, when you have some just to do the name dropping, I forget the title of the book. Sorry, guys, if you’re listening. And they’re they were wonderful coaches, they definitely helped us they actually, when we first wanted to hire first employees, they kind of taught us Keller Williams has a great training program for that. And they actually brought us in under their wing and took us through that kind of program as far as hire your employees, which was wonderful and amazing. So important. Yeah, totally important. And then of course, the Fortune Builders, like Dan mentioned, was a little bit of it. And then I just do a lot of personal development because honestly, a lot of this entrepreneurship is like, it is all about your mindset. It is all about your mindset. And if you have a great mindset, you can really get through

any advice on improving that mindset. We got Kyle right here giving you the the 100 round applause he loves it. Yeah, any any advice for someone to keep your mind because I agree, I think mindset is so important. And I have specific things I do every day, like a routine. Yeah, get ready for the day. Yes, anything that you do, or you’d like to share, um,

I am all about that attitude of gratitude. It’s like, wake up and think of five things that you’re grateful for. And that’ll immediately you’ll start looking for the positive things throughout the day, instead of the negative like, you’ll start looking for things to be grateful for, like when I was on the floor of mattress with no money, barely able to get food in my belly, that kind of like broken roof is still going. I was like a you know, you had to really dig in to think of what you’re grateful for, and moments like that. But you can always be worse. It’s the least that wasn’t on the street, you know, and I’d wake up and I’d be like, Okay, I’m grateful for this roof over my head. I’m grateful for a warm water running water today. I’m grateful that you know, for dinner and like, you know, like you can really even if you feel like there isn’t much you can be grateful for in the moment there are you can always think of at least five things and that oh, one

I’m like a proponent. I love that. I love that. So actually, we were talking about my shelf earlier. So right there. As you can see, those are my gratitude journals that I started keeping from when I started my entrepreneurship journey five years ago. So I can go through those and look and say what was I grateful for like four years ago today? Anyway, if you ever want to try that, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried that, but I really like replying to us.

Alright, yeah, so

I just I used to start out with just like bullet points. Let me see what I was grateful for. So I got the outdoors. Yeah, nature, God’s creations. Church, my dog and cat working out in my back feeling better. So I can actually remember what happened. That was I think I had gone on a hike that day. It was probably Sunday and my back really hurt back then. I think I heard it lifting and is getting better. So it’s cool to like, write it down and just your memories like oh, okay, I remember.

Yeah. What kind of lifting the media? Oh man. Yeah. What’s your favorite workout?

I actually I actually do jujitsu, Brazilian jujitsu. That’s like my, my lifting like my workout. I used to lift like, you know, pull ups. You know, bench press. I was never that good. So I was like, Hey, I wrestled in high school and I wrestle a little bit in club team in college so I’ve always liked doing that more so that’s that’s what I do now. Awesome. Hello. Yeah, good stuff. Well, hey, it’s been great chatting with you. Do you have anything you want to leave our listeners with or I guess also adult let’s dual purpose it leave them with and how can they reach you?

Okay, yeah, yeah, um, well, like I said, I’m fortunate foundation so you can if you want to find me on my website, I am doing a website makeover so if you type it in today, you won’t find it but in about a week, I think it’ll be done revamping it but it’s fortunate foundations.com And I even put all my homes that are for sale up there as well but you can go on there and find out more information what homes we’re working on what’s coming soon what’s for sale, all that stuff on there ways to invest you know what you really don’t want to put too much out there. But um, you know, if you want to learn how you can invest with us about how you win people, you know, with people that you trust, and I’m doing green good things for the environment. We’re an awesome way to invest in real estate which is tangible and you know, things and I’m also on social media. I actually did recently a 365 day live challenge, but I went 400 days because I’m just that overachiever. And I love them all up.

You really mean, you can turn

on my Facebook page and watch a lot of content right there?

Yeah. And so you can find me on Facebook. You can find me on Instagram. We’re on all of them. So you can find us anywhere at fortunate foundations. Love it.

Hey, I’m sure anyone that reached out you’d be willing to network with and chat with Leanne right here. It’s been a pleasure having you on go check her out on her Facebook. And she’s got that challenge. That’s amazing. Cool. All right. Well, it’s great having you and you know, we’ll wrap it up for today. All right. Yeah. Thank you, everybody.


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