Mark Twain said, “Write what you know.” Realtor Sabrina Hagood knows buying and selling homes, so she wrote a book about real estate investing.
But Hagood (pronounced “hay-good”) didn’t write “Future Real Estate Investor” for just anyone; she wrote it for children.
“Kids know what doctors are, they know what teachers are, they know what lawyers are, but we don’t teach them about building wealth through real estate,” she says.
In Hagood’s tome for tots, a young girl named Elon learns to flip houses like her parents. The author made Elon African American because she wanted black children to identify with the pint-sized protagonist.
“I’m targeting my community and any community that looks like my community,” Hagood explains. “I want children to see someone who looks like them.”
Hagood also gave Elon two parents in an effort to reflect her family growing up. “There’s this notion out there that most (African Americans) are raised by single moms, and while a lot of us are, a lot of us have both parents,” she says.
On the last page of “Future Real Estate Investor,” Hagood challenges parents to become investors themselves and involve their children in the process.
“I say, ‘If you plan to invest in a property, give your child a piggy bank and have them put their money into it,’” she summarizes. “’Then, when you invest in a house and receive a rent check, give your child a percentage of it so they understand this process made a profit.’”
Hagood wrote the book soon after becoming a Realtor and noticing the tremendous number of people who rent instead of buy a home.
“I had a first-time homebuyer who was in her 50s,” she says. “That’s a problem, so I asked, ‘What information do I need to get out there?’ Then I asked, ‘What if I write it for kids to teach them about home ownership?’
“I’m big on ownership, so let’s start them young.”
Hagood drew from personal experience while writing “Future Real Estate Investor.” Before becoming a Realtor in 2017, she worked as a real estate investor for 16 years.
“My husband decided to give me something to do, so we started buying properties,” she says. “I researched and purchased homes and managed properties while raising our two boys.”
Hagood and her husband, Keith, began teaching their sons about building wealth at a young age.
“When our children were 5 and 8, my husband helped them research and pick stocks,” Hagood recalls. “When the stocks went up, he would give them the money; when the stocks didn’t go up, he wouldn’t give them anything. And every week, he would ask them, ‘What do you think affected the stocks?’”
Hagood’s sons are now 21 and 17. The older son is serving in the Air Force, while the younger son will soon graduate from Notre Dame High School.
When the 17-year-old goes to college, Hagood and her husband plan to buy a house near the school’s campus and put him in charge of managing the property in an effort to continue the lesson about building wealth and emphasize the importance of home ownership.
“He’s going to be responsible for collecting rent and maintaining the house,” Hagood clarifies.
Hagood’s focus on education extends to her real estate business. In addition to listing and selling residential and commercial property as an agent with Keller Williams, she hosts real estate investment workshops for members of the public.
Although Hagood has canceled one upcoming workshop due to the coronavirus pandemic, she plans to reschedule the session once the city has fully reopened and announce the date on her Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RealestateDivaSabrinaHagood).
Hagood says she also would like to develop a Spanish class for real estate agents through Greater Chattanooga Realtors, where she’s chair of the Diversity Inclusion Committee. This aspiration is still in the idea stage, however.
Hagood’s vision for a class that would teach Realtors Spanish words and phrases that often come up when showing a home or during a real estate transaction stems from her experience learning Spanish as special agent with the Georgia Department of Revenue.
In the role, Hagood licensed businesses to sell alcohol and tobacco and did underage stings. Although she never became bilingual, knowing enough Spanish to speak with business owners and employees proved helpful.
“Being able to understand our clients and communicate with them even on a basic level will make us better agents for more people,” she says.
For now, however, Hagood is basking in the successful publication of her first book, which is available for purchase through her website (sabrinahagood.com). She’s also penning a book for fully-grown readers titled “The X’s and O’s of Real Estate Investing.”
She’s not writing it for just anyone, though, just people who are interested in building wealth.