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Sonia Hodgin and Formulaic Inc.: Teaching People to Be Their Own Real Estate Agents

Sonia Hodgin, founder of Formulaic Inc. in Scottsdale Arizona, looked at the real estate world and asked one question: could properties be traded without the use of an agent? “If the answer was yes, that had enormous ramifications for the trader,” she says. “So, I spent some time thinking about it and learned eleven years ago that yes, it was possible to cut out the middleman. I then launched my Formulaic Inc. company so that I could teach others how to be their own agents and have more control over their portfolios. The company has taken off from there.”

Sonia Hodgin created a successful business structure that would focus on providing clients of all income levels the tools they needed to enter the real estate market on their own. “One of the most effective things I do is mentor my clients. When they first consider bypassing an agent, that can feel intimidating to them. I sit down with them and go through their portfolio and show them how to change their formulas. It’s really practical advice that they can turn to for excellent results. I like to tell them that there is no such thing as bad real estate, just a bad investor. They are excited to see that becoming a good investor is actually easier than they originally thought. There are over 300 formulas to use that can help them up their basis.”

For people who need a broader understanding of real estate investments, Sonia Hodgin offers Formulaic 300, 3-day seminars in Scottsdale, Arizona, through Formulaic Inc. “I show them how to invest, do their first transactions, and trade in a forum. I also show attendees how to take a bad debt and change it into a passive asset to cash flow. People finish the seminar confident that they have the knowledge and ability to enter the real estate market. They also understand that they don’t need money to buy real estate – they just need to know the right formulas to use.”

A highly successful service has been the company’s Formulaic Circle, its Wine and Dine Trading Circle and an invitation-only event in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Personally, I love going to these because it’s exciting to be around such like-minded people,” she says. “Once a month, twelve accredited investors from around the world meet to learn how to truly do a 1031 exchange. No real estate agents are allowed, as they must have their own investments to trade and be accredited. The investor/attendee may have a $1 million property; by selling the property on their own with the 1031 exchange formula, they can defer an average of 38% taxation.  On top of that, they save on real-estate agent fees, which can be up to 10% in commercial and up to 14% in real estate in a two-way transaction (selling and buying). That fee of about $170,000 remains with the investor.” On any given night, Sonia Hodgin states that there are on average $38,000,000 in transactions. There is no fee for the attendee, as Sonia is there as an investor. “I do not mentor anyone at these events. My attendees show up knowing what to do. They have to be savvy.”

Sonia Hodgin also started a popular trading forum, The forum was created in San Francisco by a well-known software guru, Ed Wong. It is for paid members only, and they must pay $10,000/year. She explains that they get to trade as many investments as they want with like-minded, accredited investors. “Once again, there are no real estate agents, brokers, third party involvement, or transaction fees. With one transaction, members have a return investment instantly and beyond.” She pauses, then smiles. “I was recently offered $50,000,000 for the forum, but I turned them down.”

Sonia Hodgin’s ability to walk away from a large profit comes from how grounded she is. “I am very close to my four siblings as well as my husband’s four siblings, my 21 nephews and nieces, and my five God-children. I am involved in their lives. I have extraordinary friends, and I am part of their lives and their children’s. I send out an average of 28 cards per month for birthdays and holidays and over 100 for Christmas. I am a fruitful woman.”

That commitment to people helps explain the success of Formulaic Inc. “Yes, it is true that business is about making money,” Sonia Hodgin says. “No one can deny that. Even so, I think it’s more about helping people. If you can use what you know to lift someone up and improve their life, then you’ll know that you’ve done a good day’s work.”