A Peek Into Natay Hayes’ Journey — From Real Estate Agent to Successful Investor

As the saying goes, “Investing is not gambling, but rather a calculated risk.” Natay Hayes is one individual who perfectly embodies this statement. With her unwavering passion for real estate, she has successfully carved her niche in the world of investing. From starting as a real estate agent to gradually transitioning into a savvy investor, Natay has proven to be a force to be reckoned with.

In a recent interview with We Empower Magazine, Natay opened up about her beginnings and how she got started in real estate investing. Her journey is inspiring and informative, especially for those seeking to venture into the same field. Natay is undoubtedly an excellent role model for anyone looking to learn about investing and making sound financial decisions.

Hi, Natay. Thank you for taking some time to speak with us. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?

I am Natay Hayes. I am a full-time real estate agent and investor, aspiring developer and syndicator. I say aspiring because I’m literally in the middle of working on my first ground-up construction deal and purchasing my first apartment building complex by way of syndication. I’ve built a 7-figure real estate portfolio from a $40,000/year job. I’ve been investing in real estate since 2012. My background was in Human Resources before transitioning to real estate. I’ve worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies.

What inspired you to become a Realtor and Real Estate Investor?

A to 9 to 5 was the bane of my existence. Physically, I would always show up. Mentally, I would be in Hawaii every day. I just could not fathom doing 40+ hours a week until I was 65. This pain started around 21 years old! I had a long time to go. I called it the “Monday is it Friday yet syndrome.” I’m sure most people can relate. I had to figure out a way to get my time back. Waking up every Monday, counting down to Friday, and counting my life away just wasn’t it. I had to figure out a way to create income that didn’t require me to show up. I credit that thinking to Robert Kiyosaki’s book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. It was the reading that changed the way I started to think. So, over the course of my early twenties, I decided that I was going to just save my money for a house. He said an asset was something that paid you. With this thinking, I had to buy a home that paid for me. The only way to do that was to purchase a multi-family home. That’s exactly what I did. I saved and purchased my first home at the age of 28. A 3-family home that still pays me to this day. I decided I would get my real estate license to buy more homes. But, I ended up getting licensed and helping other families create wealth, exactly how I did.

Post-pandemic, many are still feeling financial repercussions. How is home buying in the current climate affected what you do (or has it)?

 I decided to change my entire investing strategy. I lost $30,000 to a non-paying tenant. It was my first eviction in my 12 years of investing. It was enough for me to say never again. Plus, the prices of properties started to increase to the point where my profit margins just weren’t the same. So, increasing my portfolios with 3 and 4 families just didn’t make sense anymore. That’s when I decided I would buy apartment complexes through a structure known as syndicating. I could expand into a new state where the laws were more landlord-friendly. It’s not much easier over here, as inventory is low just all around. But I can partner with people who may already have good deals. Secondly, during that time, my partners and I went under contract for our first ground-up development deal. With real estate, you just have to have a few projects going on at different times. Luckily for me, it was never just one stream. Also, many people felt financial restrictions. The pandemic saw a lot of people make a ton of money. I was on that side, too. I was able to sell off some of my small portfolio. Low inventory drove up prices. Being in a position to sell meant capitalizing off the demand. You just have to get into the game of real estate. Ride the wave when it’s good and harvest. So, when the bad days come and they will, you’ll just simply be prepared.

Simplicity is often the most memorable. Where did the business name come from?

Diva Keyz, LLC represents women and investing. Diva for a woman like me with style and on a mission. The woman who desires to have it all! Knows she can have it all. Keyz for house keys. The woman who wants to be a homeowner or investor. I kind of captured it all with the name. I really wanted to keep it super simple! I wanted to embody all that I was and share it with the world. Those who looked like me could see themselves becoming successful investors too.

What do you hope to accomplish with your business by this time next year?

By the end of next year, I hope my partners and I start breaking ground on our ground-up development project. We’re looking to build 10 single families in Montclair, NJ. I also hope to have 2 apartment complexes under my belt.

Where can the readers connect with you?

I can be found on both Instagram & FB @natayhayes

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