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Q & A: Former Miss Nevada Turned Real Estate Entrepreneur

You have many talents in life, so never limit yourself to just one career. Lisa Song Sutton was Miss Nevada, United States in 2014. Now she’s a successful real estate entrepreneur with Elite Homes. Bold TV’s David Grasso and Julia Sun chat with her about the current market and her advice on real estate investing and homeownership.

Q. How did you pivot from beauty pageant participant to real estate entrepreneur?

A. Well, it sounds a bit disjointed, but actually, my background is in business and law. My family started in residential real estate investing and then switched over to commercial when I was in high school. And so for me, having that background in business and law, and then realizing there’s just so much opportunity in real estate, especially in Las Vegas and Nevada. That’s when I knew I had to jump in both feet first, and it’s been a blessing ever since.

Q. So how has the real estate market been?

A. It has been on fire! So not only are we seeing residential continue to rise but also the home values here have been increasing, which has been wonderful to see. We’re also still seeing a lot of value is retained. You can get a beautiful home here for $500,000 $600,000. What a million dollars buys you here in Las Vegas is incomparable to what a million dollars buys you in other cities that have comparable amenities.

Q. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in pageantry that you’re using as an entrepreneur?

A. Pageantry taught me so many different things about life and business. One of the main lessons it taught me was getting engaged with your community. During the time that I was Miss Nevada, United States, I did nearly 500 community appearances: volunteering in schools, reading in hospitals, working with countless nonprofits. Now as a business owner and entrepreneur, it’s so important for me and my companies to give back. I’m very blessed and thankful that my business partners and our teams also ascribe by that same ethos.

Q. Let’s say you’re just getting started in life, do you feel like homeownership is accessible to everyone?

A. It absolutely is. In fact, real estate investing is now accessible to everyone. Traditionally, to get into real estate, it was a pretty high barrier. You either had to be an accredited investor or look for opportunities with cash and have excellent credit. There were a lot of barriers. Now, for example, here in Nevada, we have programs called “Home Is Possible,” where the state actually helps people with their downpayment and helps connect them with lenders that will give them great preferred rates for being first-time homebuyers. But on the real estate investing side, now we have great opportunities available, sites like instalend.com or fundrise.com. These are low-barrier-to-entry real estate investment platforms that you can invest in with as little as $2,500 and get yourself into a real estate portfolio that’s professionally managed.

Q. What suggestions would you give our younger viewers looking to go the real estate investing route?

A. I would say read as much as possible. There’s so much great information available now right at our fingertips. Everyone’s glued to their phones nowadays, so put that to work. There are great real estate podcasts that you can listen to, and just keep an eye out on what’s going on in your local market. Don’t be afraid to contact an agent and say, “Hey, I’m trying to get into real estate investing. What are some deal flows that you’ve seen? Is there any information you can email to me?”

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