Cynthia Cuccuini has been a real estate entrepreneur for over ten years. Her specialties include rental properties, flipping houses, lease options, and land contracts. Collectively as a real estate agent, she has bought and sold hundreds of properties in multiple states. Cynthia is also the founder of Hey Rich Girl, which is a community that teaches entrepreneurs about real estate investing. Her online courses have taught over 1000 women to become successful real estate investors.
Cynthia was named Best Home Improvement Influencers 2018 by People Maven. Last year, she was selected to attend New York Fashion Week to represent the home design industry. It was there that she networked with other celebrity home designers and learned the latest trends in home textiles, paint, and wallpaper.
She grew up in an inner-city neighborhood in Pittsburgh and did not have rich parents. At the age of 24, Cynthia got laid off from her corporate job when the company downsized. It was devastating. Luckily, she had read a few real estate investing books and decided that it was time to get started. She went all in and bought her first property to rehab. That same year she acquired an apartment building and a single-family home. It was so exciting! Eventually, she picked up the business and moved to a different state. There she was able to replicate the exact system and invest in the new area. Cynthia Cuccuini is a Millennial entrepreneur, wife, and mom. As a graduate of La Roche University, she double majored in business management and marketing.
Where did the idea for Hey Rich Girl come from?
Hey Rich Girl is a unique learning platform that teaches women about investing and personal finance. There are not very many business communities for girls, who are entrepreneurs and want to collaborate with other like-minded people. This is the reason why I created Hey Rich Girl so that we can teach and inspire each other.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every day is different. That is why I love being a real estate entrepreneur. A typical day involves waking up and drinking coffee with a healthy breakfast. It’s so important to eat healthy and I try to get at least five fruits and vegetables each day. Lots of emails. Then, it depends on what type of project that I’m working on. I might be meeting with vendors to pick out designs or going to the home improvement store to grab supplies for contractors. I’m a night owl so I usually stay up pretty late working on the marketing for Hey Rich Girl.
How do you bring ideas to life?
A lot of my inspiration for designing homes comes from Pinterest. I like to create vision boards with photos of different items to use in each room. For example, a dining room might have photos of a chandelier, carpet, and paint swatch.
Both the e-book (called Champagne Wishes and Real Estate Dreams) and the video course (called Rags to Riches) took about 6 months to create. I spent a lot of time and research on writing the content, editing it, making the graphics, and filming the video. It took several days to film the course to make sure that we got it right.
What’s one trend that excites you?
All of the trends excite me! I’m really into the mid-century modern look for homes right now. Also, the Bohemian home styles are awesome too. I’ve always loved real hardwood floors. But, it’s nice to see light, natural wood tones come back in style after the dark floors were in style for so long. The smart homes are always fun with their voice activated kitchen faucets and fingerprint entry doors.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Lots of coffee throughout the day. Just kidding (sort of). I am super ambitious and constantly pushing myself to try new things. Never stop learning. There’s such a huge learning curve when it comes to real estate. The market and laws are constantly changing so it’s important to keep up with it. If you have a student mentality and love what you do, then you will be productive.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to try something new. If you’re scared, then it means that you are about to do something really brave. Remember that the expert was once a rookie. Then, realize that every stressful situation is a lesson learned.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I’m sure that outsourcing jobs to contractors is not suggested by most real estate investors who prefer to do the work themselves. But, I love creating jobs for other people.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
If you have kids, then include them in the business. It’s so important to teach children about finance. My daughter has attended meetings with lenders, contractors, and she helps pick out designs. These are real world skills that cannot be taught in a classroom.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Having a mentor will dramatically shorten the learning curve. It’s nice to have a person who can provide answers and guide you in the right direction. I have an awesome mentor who gives great business advice. I had already been investing in real estate for a few years before I met her, but she taught me how to take my business to the next level.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There are no failures. Just learning experiences. It’s really important for a house flipper to have extra reserves in the budget. Unexpected circumstances happen all of the time and it is a big financial risk. Luckily, having the extra reserves to cover this can help to offset some of the costs. When you have a bad day, then you just have to chalk it up as a learning experience and hope for a better day tomorrow.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Own a vending machine business. Buy vending machines, stock them with snacks, and place them in ideal locations. Contact business owners and negotiate a contract to put your vending machines in their place of business.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
You should always want to learn more. I recently invested in my education. It was for an online course that teaches how to do online marketing more effectively. So far it has been a great investment because I have learned new strategies to implement in the business.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use the Notes app in my phone for everything from grocery lists to construction materials. It’s helpful to stay organized and easily look up the items that I need to get at the home improvement store. Instead of writing something down or trying to remember it, you can just make a quick note in the phone.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
My e-book called, Champagne Wishes and Real Estate Dreams. It teaches about real estate investing and personal finance. Also, Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill is such a classic. It has a lot of great business lessons.
What is your favorite quote?
One of my favorite quotes is from Steve Jobs. He said, “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
• Get a mentor
• Never stop learning
• Don’t be afraid to try new ideas
• If you have children, then involve them in the business activities
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.