Believing in Yourself When Odds Are Against You: Calling on the REI BlackBook Community for Support


“It really has been tough, but I really want this business. I’m determined that I can do this.” – REI BlackBook User Maricar Mendoza.

Over the past year, Maricar Mendoza has put a lot on the line to make her real estate investment business come true. 

With help and support from her family and the REI BlackBook community, she has been able to have success with each deal.

In January 2019, Maricar joined Elite Legacy Education to start learning about the real estate industry.

While working a full-time job as an ER nurse and taking care of three children, she collaborated with her sister Carmen Eng to begin a real estate investing business based in California. 

Carmen, who works full-time as a psych unit clerk, is involved on the marketing side of their business. 

The original business plan was to own rental properties in order to have a monthly cash flow income, according to Maricar.

“Our goal is to replace our W-2 with a monthly cash flow,” she said.

Maricar soon became a FastTrack member at REI BlackBook. 

In the spring of 2019, she flew to Ohio and purchased a fourplex, a duplex and a single-family home, and turned those properties into rentals. 

However, Maricar said she was having a difficult time with the management company that was hired to maintain the rental properties. 

“It’s hard to really find people who would really do the right thing,” she said. 

Maricar eventually sold those properties in Ohio and began flipping properties in California. In May of last year was when she started using REI BlackBook’s software tools for her business.

That also was when she became a part of the REI BlackBook Connect Facebook Group.  

“The community helped me a lot,” Maricar said. “Everytime I have questions, I post it there, and you get a lot of members answering, and very much willing to help out.” 

“You feel the positive vibes of the community and the willingness of everyone to give and help out,” she added.

To grow her business, Maricar partnered with REI BlackBook FastTrack member Andy Wright on a single-family house flip in Sacramento. 

“We bought it for $170,000, and the pending offer is $305,000,” she said.  

Maricar noted that she was hesitant to do business in California because the industry is very competitive and expensive there. 

However, after the flip on the house in Sacramento, Maricar thought to herself, “I guess it’s doable here.” 

Support from the REI BlackBook community didn’t stop there. Maricar and Andy brought in “an expert” FastTrack member Jesse Thornock to help on another deal. 

This time, it’s a mobile home flip. 

“He’s an expert on mobile homes,” Maricar said.

She added that she will continue to partner with Andy and Jesse on future deals. 

“I think if you ask the community who would want to help or partner up, you’ll get a lot of people raising their hands,” Maricar said.

Over the course of her short real estate investment journey, she has overcome multiple adversities so far. Although it seemed impossible to do at first and has felt overwhelmed at times, that hasn’t stopped her continue to make business successful for her and her family.   

“This is my way out of not being able to work much and be able to spend more time with my kids,” Maricar said. 

She paid gratitude to the REI BlackBook community for helping her make her dreams a reality. 

“I’m thankful that I am part of this awesome community,” Maricar said. 

She added that she’s “grateful knowing that there’s this group of people who are giving and happy to help others. I’m blessed to be part of it.” 

“This community is our go to place when we need help and some clarifications with the business,” she added.

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  • andy-wright

    Without REI BlackBook we would not have gotten as far as we have as fast as we have. It is an invaluable swiss army knife for our business.

    Andy Wright
    Mountain Shamrock Properties