Transcription of Episode

Lauren Cohen 0:01
Good afternoon, everybody. I’m Lauren Cohen, the host of Investing Across Borders, where we teach you how to invest, live, work and play across borders. I’m an international legal and real estate expert. And today I’m here with my guest and dear friend, Jen Du Plessis. Now Jen and I met on the marketers cruise! Because we are marketers, everybody’s a marketer at the end of the day. And Jen is a mortgage expert. She has been in the mortgage business teaching, training, learning, helping and investing for so many years. And she is just an awesome wealth of information. She is a mindset expert, as well, and I’m really privileged to have you here today. Jen also happens to run a mastermind that I am part of, which is her first mastermind that she’s facilitated, and it’s going really well, she has some lovely people in there. So Jen, welcome to the show.

Jen Du Plessis 0:55
Thank you so much, Lauren. I’m delighted to be here today. I appreciate you offering the opportunity for me to share.

Lauren Cohen 1:02
Well, anytime, you know, I think that what you’re doing is making such an impact in the mortgage industry and so many other spaces. And just pulling together so many people, and developing this mastermind. A lot of people don’t even understand the value of a mastermind, which I’d love to discuss, because masterminds ARE investing across borders, because you can work with people anywhere, especially now, since COVID started and we realized all the zoom tricks and now that we know about zoom, we can really mastermind with people from all over the world and make a huge impact for them, and with them, and so on. So Jen, can you just give us a brief introduction to who you are and what you do?

Jen Du Plessis 1:43
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for asking. So as you had mentioned, I’ve been in the financial services space for just 38 years. I’m no longer in a mortgage origination, so I’m not actually in the mortgage business anymore. But what I do is, I coach, and support real estate agents and mortgage loan officers, who feel overwhelmed and stressed out from dealing with a lot of chaos in their daily lives. I help them to really calm that down and realize that they can have lifestyle business. And what I mean by that, is a business that they are controlling, rather than a business that is controlling them. So, you know, really helping them master their priorities, so they can master their life, and also, multiply their results. So that’s really what I’m doing. I also have two podcasts, I’m a multiple author, I have two books in the works now and about ready to start a TV show. It just goes on and on. and I’m just loving it. I’m loving where I’m at now. I’m being pulled to serve in different ways, and that’s really what I’ve been up to, I don’t know if I’m keeping up with me.

Lauren Cohen 3:02
Tell me a little bit about the TV show. I didn’t know about that.

Lauren Cohen 3:06
Yeah, so, I’m writing a book right now, called Tell Me I Can’t. And the name of the show is also Tell Me I Can’t. So I interview people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and everything across the globe. People who have been told that they can’t do something, and then they’ve overcome and persevered. So we’re in pre-production right now, and we’re going into studio May 1. So by the time this is released, we will hopefully be already launched out into the world. And yeah, there’s a couple things, my book’s being written for a hallmark TV show.

Lauren Cohen 3:43

Jen Du Plessis 3:44
It’s been written in a way that will be hopefully delivered on a hallmark TV show, and then this TV show, you know, will hopefully be picked up by Netflix sometime in the next year or so. That’s our intention. So I’ve got some really cool backing. And, you know, when we decided to go big league on this, it’s not for money. It’s not for ego. It’s not for fame, it’s for how I serve. And you know enough about me to know that I’m very much a servant at heart. I just want to be able to share that story, because I was told so many times that I couldn’t do something, and I want to share other stories just like that.

Lauren Cohen 4:21
It’s especially true and I hate to say this, and I hate to play this card, but it is true because we are women operating in a male dominated space. You know, and what I do, I deal with foreign nationals. So, especially when I was doing EB-5, everybody at the table was a man, and they look at you and they’re like, what are you doing here? And, that story is true. Because they think you can’t.

Lauren Cohen 4:51
Yeah. And I think that’s exactly what it is. We’re told, so many people, I mean, I’m interviewing people that were told they can’t because of: their race; because of their physique; because they aren’t smart enough; because they’re too tall; because their shoe sizes are too big or too small. I mean, it’s just absolutely endless. And I’m looking for great stories, we’ve all been told we can’t. But I’m looking for really, really good stories. And you know, and I think this is going to resonate with so many people. We have some really wonderful people, you know, Brian Smith, obviously, the founder of UGG, Brian’s going to be on the show, and I’m so excited about that. James is also going to be on the show, Dr. James Gently, and I mean, it just goes on and on. There’s some normal, everyday people, and then people that are pretty famous. We’re exploring all parts.

Lauren Cohen 5:45
Yeah, I can’t tell you how many times, especially being an immigrant and being through it. First of all, people don’t think I’m an immigrant, because I don’t look like an immigrant. I don’t necessarily sound like an immigrant, but I’m an immigrant! So I learned early on, when I first came here, and everybody would make fun of me saying sorry. I was like, okay, I’m not gonna say that anymore. But it’s really an interesting thing, because people do prejudge you. And you know, you’ve been in the industry 38 years now, 38 years ago, the same for women for sure.

Lauren Cohen 6:30
No, absolutely not. And I feel, you know, really privileged and honored and humbled that I was one of the main women that created the beautiful path that other women have now, in this industry. And, in fact, we all wrote a book, 12 of us, 12 women that have been in the industry, and the pioneers for everyone, wrote a book called Win or Learn. You know, instead of win or lose, it’s Win or Learn: the Naked Truth. And we talked about our experiences in a male dominated industry, and how we overcame so many different things over years. So yeah, it was really fun. A fun, multi-author book, you know, and that’s what I’m working on now, is another multi-author. He has a book of acronyms, we’re gonna call it Challenge, because, you know, in three minutes, you can have a cute, cute or not, but a challenge, that is heartfelt, spiritual business oriented. A full book of authors, you know, contributing the acronyms that they use in their businesses, and what it means to them. So we’re excited.

Lauren Cohen 7:37
Well, it’s brilliant. I mean, you’ve definitely been a trailblazer in your industry and for women, and I’m greatly appreciative of that. And at the same time, look at her, look at this beautiful woman. She’s been in the business 38 years, she has grandchildren, you can see them on Facebook. And she just keeps going, and keeps building, and keeps impacting. So Jen, I wanted to ask you, since this podcast is about investing across borders, and I know that your investing is domestic. You work with investors, or people in the mortgage space from many, many countries. I’m sure Canada is obviously for, for ease of access, obviously, one of the big ones. Tell us a little bit about how that looks in terms of working with different cultures and people from different countries. Do you approach them differently? What are your thoughts on that?

Lauren Cohen 8:30
Well, I mean, my level of experience with investors across borders, is that, I find it’s very unique to learn. Number one, the terminology is quite different. Some places, it’s very similar, but most of the time, there’s some little idiosyncrasies to them, and in really the way that people invest. For example, in Australia, I met a gentleman, his name is Goose, Goose McGrath, and he is a real estate agent in Australia. And funny thing about real estate agents in Australia is that, totally unique and different from what we here in the United States look at, you know, if you’re a real estate agent, you can be a listing agent, you can be a selling agent, you can be a rental agent, right? There’s all kinds. You could be commercial, you have all of these different ways that you can work with clients, and he is a buyer’s agent. And in Australia, it is like 1000 to one that most agents are listing agents. There are very few that are buyers. It’s really the craziest thing. But what makes him even more unique in that, is that all he does is work with investors, which is right down my alley, right. All he does is work with investors and he helps them come up with a whole plan. An entire plan to build their entire portfolio over the period of time that they want to build it. So, he works with them from day one, saying, I’m your guy for the next 25 years, let’s talk about how we’re going to buy, and when we’re going to buy. So then, you have this person that you can latch on to, for your entire investment journey, and growing your wealth. And I think that is just the coolest thing in the world. And my interview with him on one of my podcasts was just really, really good. So I would say that’s probably the most unique thing, is finding out how people operate, how their business operate, it’s very, very different. What is globally equal, is Airbnb, which I happen to be an investor in as well. And, so I think that’s kind of the common thing that I see.

Lauren Cohen 10:58
Got it. Got it. So, you mentioned, this whole holistic approach that this person in Australia has, which is walking them through and being their partner, is that domestic within Australia that he’s working with them?

Jen Du Plessis 11:15
Yeah, it is. And here’s what’s funny is, I have shared that idea with many a realtor here, saying, Hey, have you ever thought about that? Because, you know, I find that real estate agents, at least in the United States, they are very focused on first time homebuyers, move out buyers, you know, that type of thing. And, in the lending space, one of my niches was investors, that’s something that I work on, primarily. And I’m no longer licensed to be a traditional loan officer, but I had started a company called Blackfox investments, many years ago, just out of my own need, because I don’t qualify for anything. I have too many properties, I can’t get anything. And if I do want an owner occupied loan, it’s an absolute nightmare for me. So out of my own need to find outlets, and resources, I started a separate company. And so when I couldn’t serve an investor, in one arena, you know, in the arena of the traditional financing, I was able to serve them in a different arena. And I still have that company, I still serve investors for a multitude of reasons. And so I went out to a bunch of realtors and said, hey, how come you guys aren’t doing more investor stuff, look at the way that McGrath is putting this together. And one of the things that’s great about him is that he’s willing to share his system with them. Because, you know, this gives you a nudey income. It’s enduring.

Lauren Cohen 12:46
That’s so so important.

Jen Du Plessis 12:49
And it differentiates you from the commodity.

Lauren Cohen 12:54
Yeah, that affinity income, that ongoing, passive income is something that realtors just don’t have. They’re like lawyers, we’re equally as guilty. You know, now, maybe more lawyers set up retirement funds. But one thing that’s common among wheelchairs is they don’t have that ongoing access to income. And if they’re not in the investment world, if they’re not transactional. So one of the things that I would bring to what you’re doing, is working with investors. I love working with investors, I work with them every day, I don’t work with buyers and sellers, other than through referrals. But I work with foreign investors, so it’s kind of like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you replace it with whatever, and foreign investors can be the best market to focus on because they are loyal, you’re not searching for the first time homebuyer, they’re usually coming to you with a significant asset base, and they’re going to look at these opportunities and be loyal. And loyalty is so hard to find in this country. But it’s not so hard to find in many other countries. So, you know, it’s about loyalty.

Lauren Cohen 14:18
Yeah, and I do think that there’s loyalty in our country when it comes to investors. Because when you can latch on to someone who you feel confident in, that is your go-to person and is well connected. I think that’s critical. And that again, is why I tended to work in that investor community, because they wanted to do it again. Let’s do it again.

Lauren Cohen 14:41
And again, right. They’re also doing it multiple times a year. It’s not like once and then they stay in the house for five years and then they sell it, they buy a new one. They’re doing this on and on and on. So that’s really important because a lot of people are afraid, especially of foreign investors. One of my talks is: Don’t Be Afraid of the Big Bad Foreign Investors, they’re really not so bad and they can be your best friend. So pick your best best friend. Tell me a little bit about what prompted you to develop the mastermind?

Lauren Cohen 15:16
Yes, so it’s actually not my first mastermind that I’m running. I’ve run several of them. But this is the first TRUE mastermind. I think that word kind of gets floated around so much. And of course, I’ve been in masterminds myself for many years, and especially with Greg Reed at Secret Knock. You know, I’ve been in Secret Knock for a while. And, you know, that by itself is a mastermind. But when he came out with a certification to be a certified mastermind facilitator, you know, I’ve always been a lifelong learner, I have many, many certifications. And I do that on purpose, because I want to learn. And when he brought that out, I said, Well, I have to be part of it. And I love the structure of it. I love the experience that I’ve received from it. I mean, it’s opened up so many doors for me, and so many opportunities. And really leaning on the mastermind, it’s not networking. Becasue the thing in networking is that everybody’s out for themselves. That’s probably the biggest complaint I have in networking. And I’m a master at networking.

Lauren Cohen 16:26
Yeah, that’s for sure you are.

Lauren Cohen 16:29
Thank you. I am really a master at networking, and I try to grab people, and it’s really one of those things where I just want to grab people sometimes and go, would you stop networking like this? Because this is why you’re not getting where you want to go.

Lauren Cohen 16:42
When they’re hanging off the back of the chair.

Lauren Cohen 16:46
Yeah, it’s always me, me, me, me.

Lauren Cohen 16:49
Right, how many people can I sell this to? It’s not about just serving you.

Jen Du Plessis 16:55
Right. And you know, I always say go first. Like go first in networking, have it be about the other person. And in that, you know, the the law of reciprocation and the natural love that will happen. And, so, that’s one thing I don’t like about networking anymore is because I don’t like being chased in a room.

Lauren Cohen 17:17
Right, being chased in a room.

Jen Du Plessis 17:21
Well, and I’ll tell you that clubhouse is becoming that way. For me, I had to pull back a little bit, because I felt like I was circling the drain, right? It’s sort of a FOMO. But when I got on there, and I started talking to people outside of it, I realized they weren’t the quality of people that I was looking for. So I’m very strategic in that now. But it was all about me, and especially as a podcaster. And I have two podcasts, right? And as soon as I said podcasts, people wanted to meet with me for THEIR purpose. Right? Not for me, not to help me in my business, but to just be on my show. And so it’s not tit for tat, it’s a reciprocation, it’s a constant. A partnership, and reciprocation. So the thing that I really, really like about the masterminds, is that the people in the masterminds that have a skill set in a specific area, are givers of that skill set to the people in the mastermind, and not at a cost, you know. For example, in one of the masterminds I’m in, this gentleman is a book editor, and writer for some of the biggest books we’ve heard of, and not in size, but in in sales. And he said to me, hey, let me take a look at your entire funnel of emails, and let me do some editing and tweaking for you. And it was all done complimentary. Because in turn, he was struggling with his business, and as a business coach, I said, Oh, well, this is a piece of cake. Here’s what you need to do in your business., and I gave him value too. But there was no money exchange. And that’s what I love about the mastermind. It is giving from the heart and giving from experience. So if you can find yourself in a true mastermind, that for me, is your sign that it’s a true mastermind. You get into a mastermind and all of a sudden, everybody’s like, Well, I’d like to coach you and you can do this.

Lauren Cohen 19:26
Yeah, I definitely agree with you. And I think that everybody, no matter what stage you’re at in your career, no matter how successful you are, you need to be in some kind of mastermind and you need a coach and whatever. Absolutely, dude, that’s the one tip I always leave with. Make sure that you do two things I guess, stay in your lane. Yeah, I’m not a tax advisor. Questions every day, stay in your lane, and get a coach. And that coach and within that coaching program, whether it’s a coach or a mastermind like Jen who has the mastermind and then she’s also a business coach. You can access like-minded people that are helping each other grow, as opposed to helping themselves grow.

Lauren Cohen 20:12
Yeah. Because you don’t want to be alone, right? You don’t want to be alone in entrepreneurship, and you know, there’s definitely power in numbers, and we know that. And exponential growth happens when you’re in a mastermind.

Lauren Cohen 20:27
100%. I mean, in our mastermind, these are all new people to me, except for Michael. And already I’m seeing some reciprocation, as an international lawyer, I’m happy to help with anything that’s needed. At any given time, obviously, there’s a point where all of us need to charge for our time, but we want to give because as givers, that’s my pleasure in receiving when I see somebody growing and expanding. And you know, you’re also talking about how the gentleman in Australia is holding their hand through the whole investment process for 25 years. That’s really what I am about in terms of my clients that are investing from other countries or investing into other countries. Because when you invest into that country, or you invest into the US, the investment doesn’t end when you sign the closing documents, right?

Lauren Cohen 21:20
Yeah, that’s when the real work begins. Now, sometimes, there are some ways that you can invest. It depends on what you’re doing.

Lauren Cohen 21:28
Yeah, of course. But when you’re dealing with cross border stuff, whatever border it might be, there’s always going to be legal issues and tax issues, and all kinds of things that you need to consider and revisit, and your business plan needs to change and morph. How many of us anticipated COVID, especially for over a year. I mean, I have pictures from a day, a year ago, when I was like, Oh, this could last for two weeks? That’s a really long time, you know.

Jen Du Plessis 21:57
Right. And, you know, it’s funny when COVID started, I went into a 12 week year, I thought, okay, we’re gonna be home for a little bit. I started a 12 week year, and I accelerated my business one year in 12 weeks. And it was incredible. I was exhausted, but it was incredible. And it really was from the cruise.

Lauren Cohen 22:23
You were sick as well, right?

Lauren Cohen 22:24
Well, I think, we had COVID because you were sick for six weeks. Both of us with a cough and a fever. And that’s it. No runny nose or anything else. But we had a cough and a fever for six weeks, and we were in bed.

Lauren Cohen 22:40
Well, yeah. I think there were about half of our group on a cruise right? I wasn’t, but I know Craig was.

Lauren Cohen 22:49
Yeah. Well, I was already sick on the ship too, I was already feeling horrible. And I’ve never been sick on a cruise. I’ve been on 22 cruises and never been sick.

Lauren Cohen 23:04
Talking about that. I’m used to going on for a year. Who knows.

Lauren Cohen 23:07
Yeah, me too. I’m used to going on many, many, many, right?

Lauren Cohen 23:10
Yeah. Anyway, Jen, tell us, when you meet somebody at a networking event, how do you introduce yourself?

Lauren Cohen 23:21
Well, I do something very, very unique. Because you’d have to go through my coaching to understand what I actually do. And I’m happy to share that, you know, share exactly what I do. But when you meet somebody, you know, when you ask someone what they do, we have a tendency to say our title. And the problem with that is that it pigeonholes us into whatever that person thinks about that title. And it creates walls. So for example, if I were to ask you what you do, I know one piece of what you would say is I’m a real estate agent, right? I’m a licensed Realtor. And then people, literally their physique changes. It’ll either be like, Oh, I can’t afford a house, or it’ll be Oh, I bet you’re busy. Or Oh, I bet you know, it’s a nightmare. Whatever their feeling is, becomes the wall, because they don’t see anything else beyond that. So if you say you’re an international attorney, they’re like, oh, you’re an attorney…we know what those people are like. And then, oh, you’re International, I don’t have anything to do with international. So I don’t need anything to talk to you about. Right. And so the problem is, and we know this in sales, people work with people they know like and trust, right? So I might know what you do, but now I’ve stereotyped you. I might like you because you seem nice, right? But I will never work with you unless I can trust you. And I can’t trust you unless I know who you are, not what you do. And so we tend to walk around and say, Hey, I’m a realtor, here’s my card. And then we go, how come I don’t get any business? They know what I do, how come I’m not getting business? Because there’s no depth to that relationship. So when you’re networking, it’s not to get business. People say that all the time. Well, I tried that, and I didn’t get any business. Most likely, you screwed it up, you went the wrong way. You don’t network to get business, you network to identify potential partners, right relationships, and the only way that you can determine that, is to have a sit down and learn who they are, and find the expansion of what they do. So I tend to never give my title when I network.

Lauren Cohen 25:50
Oh boy, I’m not gonna give my title I’m afraid now. So I’m not gonna say it. I’m going to to take it off of here right now.

Jen Du Plessis 26:01
Yeah, I don’t tend to give my title. So, generally, if I’m networking, I’ve got a couple different things that I use in different arenas. But when I’m networking, I’ll tend to tell someone, thank you so much for asking, I’m an intuitive connector. And what that means is that I look for ways to connect clients, people, anybody in their business and in their personal lives, to move their business forward, or to expand in their personal lives. And the way that I do that, is with a very savvy, vivid imagery in how I present myself. I lead with being in the know that I am aware of what everyone’s needs are, and I can intuitively connect those people for the purpose of driving their business forward. So that’s what I do. But all I’m saying is, I know people and I could do that, that’s not what I do.

Lauren Cohen 27:06
When you’re thinking about across borders, right? Because if I say, like you said, I’m an international lawyer, well, I don’t do international stuff. I’m a realtor. Well, where are you a realtor, but if I say I help people invest in real estate, and I help them to find their “why”. That’s a different conversation. I’m just coming up with that, but that’s a different conversation, because THEN you’re speaking to what might resonate with them.

Jen Du Plessis 27:33
Yeah. Well, I think the thing is too, is problem solving. You know, when I was a lender, and people would ask, what do you do? And I say, Oh, thank you so much for asking. I’m actually a discerning expert. And what that means is that unlike traditional loan officers who quote, rate, sell products, don’t show up at closing. never to be heard from again, I focus my attention and efforts in serving my client to create cash flow, and wealth creation, through the accumulation of properties. And I do this by being in the know about the market and about everything that has to do with real estate so that I can help guide them through the pathway and be that discerning expert to give them the best options for their mortgage and investments. Right? Their mortgage and investment so that I can slow that down. I can trim it down, but I know it right. When I’m a coach like now, I’m known as America’s mortgage expert. I help loan officers, real estate agents and sales professionals who are feeling overwhelmed and dealing with daily chaos, who are self sabotaging their personal lives for the sake of their business. Right, I help them to multiply the results in record time. And I do this through my five strategies to help them create mastery in their lives and create a lifestyle business mastery so that they can live their legacy while they’re building it. So it’s very unique and different. In that, what you really want to do is, well be very careful about this. Because I have a dog, and when you say “go walk”, right, or “you want to go for a ride?” and the dog goes “What??”. That’s what you want to do. When you give your title, it’s just a title, right? I mean, I’ve had plumbers say. I’m a plumber and I go oh cracked-butt, that’s what I think, cracked-butt. Other people might go “Oh, broken pipe”, so I guess I don’t need you now. Instead of coming up with a unique way of saying that I’m a water solution specialist.

Lauren Cohen 29:53
I’m a water solution specialist? Definitely different than the plumber!

Lauren Cohen 30:05
Yeah, I’ve never heard that before!

Lauren Cohen 30:09
It makes your brain think, it actually draws attention, and it engages a person to inquire, and that’s what you want. Yeah, that’s what you’re always going to want because you just don’t know, it’s like I’m an international lawyer, What?? Now I’m going to think about it Jen because I’m going to be recording your podcast in a minute, so I have to change my whole feeling under the gun here.

Lauren Cohen 30:34
It’s ok, you are an international lawyer, don’t try to change it now.

Lauren Cohen 30:37
I’m sorry. It is what it is. I can’t help that. No, it’s good, I’m a lawyer, but I’m nice. Don’t hold it against me. Jen, it’s always a pleasure to be with you. Now tell me, how do people reach you to learn more and maybe join our mastermind?

Lauren Cohen 30:59
Yeah, well thank you. For the mastermind, just reach out to me I think in all aspects is just go to and in there you can submit an information sheet, a contact sheet to me. and it’ll send an email to me. And just let me know you’re interested in the mastermind. And I’ll help you get in.

Lauren Cohen 31:18
How many more spots do we have for the moment?

Lauren Cohen 31:21
We have four spots available right now. And it’s a year long mastermind. This is a little different. I did something very, very special. The other masterminds are very expensive. And so if you went to, you’ll see what the normal cost is. But this is a special group that we’re doing. And so you know, you can always join that one too. With that I have another mastermind going but yeah, just go to and know, I’m always looking for speaking opportunities. I’m always looking for people to interview on my podcast as well, and to be interviewed on other podcasts. So just looking forward to having that connection with people.

Lauren Cohen 32:00
Thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate you. I appreciate the listeners, we are here to serve you, and help you to navigate your path to a lifestyle business that allows you to invest, live, work and play across borders. With that being said, I want to thank my guest Jen Du Plessis. And sign off for today from Investing Across Borders. This is Lauren Cohen, international legal and real estate expert signing off for today. Thanks again for joining us. Take good care. Bye for now.