We had the good fortune of connecting with Pam Scamardo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pam, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
If you’re not taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone then you’re not challenging yourself enough! The biggest risk I have taken to date was quitting my day job and building my real estate investing business. This choice opened my world up to so many different possibilities. Living life by design has been truly a wonderful experience and journey. I’m now able to focus on giving back through volunteering at the senior center, college student outreach, and becoming a board director with the only commercial real estate non-profit organization geared towards advancing women in the industry – CREW Network. I’ve been able to schedule my work around my life and have found fulfillment in working with an A-team focused on making our tenants in our communities happy as well as our angel investors happy. Not only that, I get to spend quality time with my family and young kiddos. Life is too short, and I’ve realized that it would be better to live my life to the fullest rather than be filled with regret later in life that I did not take a risk due to fear. Creating intentional connections and collaborations has been a wonderful part of this journey! It’s important to remember that great achievements don’t come from playing it safe. I’m a big fan of taking calculated risks, aka, a hybrid of not knowing all the answers but knowing just enough to get you to move forward to the next step.
The biggest risk I’ve taken personally was choosing to become a parent and having another child after going through a miscarriage. The miscarriage was one of the most intense sorrows I’ve ever experienced in life, and while time does heal the pain, I’ve learned that if I had stopped there, I would not have met my 2nd little nugget today who has helped my heart expand more. No one can prepare you enough to be a parent. Every day I get schooled by my kids and I am so grateful to have them.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I took an unconventional jump into real estate. I graduated school with a Masters in Aerospace Engineering, and worked as an aeronautical engineer at Lockheed Martin, Boeing and United Technologies for over 10 years. As an engineer, I was making good money and steadily climbing the corporate ladder. However, despite the comfortable compensation and technically challenging work, in the back of my mind I desired to have more control over my future, both from a financial point of view and also from an influence perspective. I had seen peers spend 30+ years saving a nest egg for retirement, and hold off on retirement plans with the trepidation that they didn’t quite have enough to leave. In my mind, there had to be a better way. So I started researching ways to generate passive income. Eventually I came across “Commercial Real Estate for Dummies” and the topic of investing in apartment complexes resonated with me. When I found out that one of the authors of this book (also a former engineer) offered mentoring/coaching services, I was thrilled and jumped on the opportunity to learn from an expert. The rest you can say is history! I closed on my first deal in 2011, retired from engineering in 2013, and started The C.R.E.A.T.E. Wealth Network in 2020. C.R.E.A.T.E. stands for Commercial Real Estate Association for Training and Education. Since closing my first deal in 2011, I have been involved with acquiring, disposing of and forming syndications – helping many men and women work towards job optional status through generating passive income. My passion is in helping others and commercial real estate has allowed me to do just that!
I think each phase of the journey has had its balance of both challenges and advantages. In my late 20’s when I started, the challenge was trying to balance my day job of 10-12 hours a day with learning as much as possible, trying to acquire my first property and raise capital as an emerging property investor. At this time I had no kiddos just yet, so while the tasks were daunting, I had the time and energy to burn the midnight oil.
In my 30’s the business had grown, so getting deals and investors was easier since I had an established track record and credibility. Yet, with the wonderful addition of my 2 children, my time and more importantly – my energy – was split. I wanted to maintain the explosive growth that I had at the start of my business while being a stay at home mom with young kids.
I think the biggest challenge was re-evaluating my own expectations, asking for help when I needed it, and finding the balance that was healthy for my personal and professional life.
My advice for women starting their journey is to find a support network of other motived women to keep you going when you face challenges. Real Estate like engineering is a male dominated industry and for both industries when I started with zero experience, I had to fight to get my voice heard and get a seat at the table. Having this support network of women as both the peers and mentor levels is priceless.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh so many places to choose from! My favorite places to visit include PB – Pacific Beach (my old stomping grounds when I first moved to San Diego), La Jolla/Torrey Pines, Balboa Park + San Diego Zoo, Downtown San Diego and Coronado Island.
Some of my favorite places to eat include Buona Forchetta in south park (LOVE their pizza and pastas), Enoteca Adriano in Pacific Beach – (love their Italian food, and the dessert called “Pope’s Pillow”), Bahn Thai (I love Thai food) , Plumeria Vegetarian Thai restaurant, Azuki Sushi – (one of the best sushi spots) and Bronx Pizza in Hillcrest.
In terms of places to grab drinks or hang out, I love the following: Kate Sessions Park, Mission Bay/Crown Point/Mission Beach, Balboa Park, The Del Hotel in Coronado, Torrey Pines, La Jolla Beach, Carlsbad Outlets, Liberty Station, Half Door Brewery, Blind Lady Ale House, Rooftop of the Hyatt Manchester Grand and Regal Beagle.
What are you most proud of as a brand?
Investing in real estate when done properly can really transform where you are financially. Which is why I felt compelled to offer my knowledge, expertise and industry connections to those looking to get started. As a way of giving back to the community, I founded The C.R.E.A.T.E. Wealth Network (www.LetsGoCreateWealth.com). C.R.E.A.T.E. stands for Commercial Real Estate Association for Education and Training. This website offers all the information and resources a beginner needs to get started in commercial real estate investing. We have articles written by industry professionals, “how to” videos, recommended books and much more, all for free. One key fact that sets me apart from others is that I’m a female multi-family investor in a world of male investors. I’m a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council and have published a number of articles including “How to become job optional in a job dependent world.” I’m also actively involved with the global business association CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Network. I am honored and excited to bring my A game to the table as a 2021-22 CREW Network Board Director. CREW Network’s mission is to transform the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally.