The Odom Story
“Everyone has one. I am no exception. The difference is that I tell my story to inspire you to think outside the box – or even do away with the whole box, and begin to create your own story. A story that you can proudly share with others.”
Erica Odom, MSW, APSW
CEO & Founder
Hello, I am Erica Odom, founder of Odom Investments & Property Management LLC. I am an Advanced Practice licensed social worker, with both a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Social Work. I also have an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. I am a college instructor, a landlord, real estate investor, and an investment consultant. Yes, it’s a mouthful, but the “multi-hats” are in place to serve the diversity of our community and society as a whole. Here’s my story.
In 2006, I purchased my first duplex home for $125,000, before the housing market crashed in 2008, when many people defaulted on their mortgage loans. At the time I was an inexperienced 19-year-old. I had a fairly decent credit score and I was employed. My mortgage broker approved me for a mortgage loan. I purchased my duplex. My mortgage loan was an 80/20 loan, which consisted of 80 percent of the loan being an ARM loan (Adjustable Rate Mortgage), and 20 percent of the loan being a balloon payment.
I rented out one half of my duplex and lived in the other half for about five years. Throughout those years I watched my property depreciate in value. In addition, my adjustable arm mortgage loan was scheduled to adjust within a year. I reached out to my mortgage company for help, but was told there was nothing they could do because my mortgage loan was current, and I would need to be in default on the loan in order to get assistance. I could not get a bank to approve me for the refinancing of my loans, because my debt to income ratio was high. Talking about being between a rock and a hard place. That is an understatement compared to what I was facing in my young life at that time. I made the decision to stop making my mortgage payments. I sure did. I decided I was not going to put another dime towards this property. I didn’t quite know what I was going to do, however, I knew I had to do something and quickly. I also made the decision to put the house up for sale as a short sale in April 2013. It sold for $15,000 cash to an investor. That deal, to this day was probably my best pawn-push ever (a reference to playing chess); a true game changer. By 2017, I was able to rebuild my credit and build up my savings from the loss I took in 2013. I purchased a single family home in the Roosevelt Grove neighborhood in Milwaukee, WI. I lived there for about a year and a half, and increased the equity and value of the home. I sold my home in June 2019, and invested the capital from the sale of the property into my next venture – building and growing my company.
In December 2018, I founded my company in Milwaukee, WI. I was a victim of predatory lending like most were during the year of 2006, which encouraged me not to give up on my real estate investing journey, but to instead expand and grow my knowledge of this industry. Working in a field where all I did was work with people, I knew that I had to help others become more informed about the pros, cons and pitfalls of real estate investing. I would not wish what I experienced and went through upon anyone else. Especially someone who simply wants to put a roof over their head or provide stability for their family. I began to study a lot, and I mean a lot, to educate and reposition myself to be a better, stronger, and more informed investor. I began to collaborate with other investors, and attend seminars and training to further bolster my knowledge and bargaining position at anyone’s table. I didn’t let my losses break me, they made me stronger because I didn’t tuck tail and run. I was in this to not just win, but to stay.
My team consists of dedicated professionals, whose priority is to always produce quality work, maintain a good work ethic, and treat our families and the community with dignity and respect. Our goal is to educate, inform, and empower all individuals we come in contact with. We launched a home buying seminar in 2019 and was able to educate over 30 people from the Milwaukee community area. Besides educating the community, we were able to give back to the community during a charity event. In 2019, we donated 50 backpacks filled with school supplies to the Mary Ryan Boys and Girls Club back to school fair. We will continue to set out each day striving to provide affordable housing, while changing communities, and bringing life back to homes.