Interviewing Linda Pliagas of Realty 411

By Christina Suter on Oct 27, 2018 at 12:00 PM in Business Issues
Interviewing Linda Pliagas of Realty 411

This week on my Ask Christina First radio show I had the pleasure of interviewing the founder and editor of Realty 411 magazine, Linda Pliagas. Like myself, Linda works in both the real estate and small business industries. Since 2007 the magazine has provided readers with tips, strategies, and techniques on how to invest. With a degree in journalism and a passion for magazine media, Linda also became passionate about real estate after finding out how little journalism paid. At age 23, Linda's new in-laws were entrepreneurial and owned residential and commercial property in California. Her in-laws encouraged the newlyweds to invest in real estate, to buy their own homes, and to open businesses.

Linda started learning about real estate investing and she and her husband purchased their first home. Their agent, who was investor savvy, helped Linda and her husband buy their first home with no money out of pocket. In 2007 she started Realty 411 while she was an active agent who gave client advice and wanted a good way to advertise her services. She used the magazine to promote her real estate services and got her associates to advertise with her. She invested less than $1,000 and she was able to sell ads to pay for the first issue. Aside from the magazine, Linda is an active investor who hosts a podcast, and expos. Linda's passion is getting to know investors and sharing information so she has created a media company of sorts that serves the real estate community. 

Linda says she has worked on self-growth for a while and her belief in the law of attraction, and encircling herself with people who want to see her succeed, helped. Her parents lost their home when she was 15 and Linda put herself through college working as a waitress and nannying. The lessons she learned through those hardships have helped her close deals where she's grossed over $250,000 in less than 18 months. Linda's daily practice to stay on purpose includes waking at 4am, meditating, exercising, and staying in a mindset of gratitude. She says her mornings are when she reflects, reads, and makes her goals for where she wants to go in life and business. As a naturally energetic person, Linda says a little sleep and a lot of passion for her work fuel her. 

I asked Linda about her staff size and she shared that she's gone from being a one-woman media machine into now having a graphic designer, webmaster, and sales help, but that she doesn't maintain a large staff. Her magazine is available online for free and she doesn't charge for her live events because she wants to help as many people as possible. Realty 411 pays reporters to write on the best markets, how to stay away from fraud, and other articles they think will serve the public.

Linda says readers and expo attendees can expect great contacts, valuable tips, and information, and a lot of motivation when reading Realty 411 ( or when attending an expo. You can sign up for the expos at 

May 08, 2020 Arrow1 Down Reply
Donald Havens

Dear Ms. Pliagas:

We would like to submit an article for publication because it strikes a nerve in any new real estate investor and is de ju Vu for seasoned investors. I believe it would contribute to convincing argument for new investor that are testing the water for the first time in real estate.

I am a forty year veteran in real estate, a California Real Estate Broker, SEC Licensed, a Community College Real Estate Instructor and a Retired University Finance Faculty.

If you include the article in the next publication, please forward a check for $350 to the following:

Donald Havens
18740 Pendergast Avenue
Cupertino, CA 95014

Thank You for Your Time !


When we were in are twenties, we decided to buy a residential rental. How bad can it be? I mean people do it every day and make a fortune. But buying a rental property is like holding a hand grenade. The hand grenade is a round metal ball with a ring in the top. The real estate rental and the hand grenade are both innocent in appearance. But when the hand grenade ring is pulled, horrible things happen. A residential rental is similar to a hand grenade in that both appear peaceful. Once the rental is purchased, the excitement begins like an exploding grenade. We bought a distressed home in Silicon Valley, California. Our education was just beginning and it would be an accelerated curriculum. It would be cruel, unrelenting and continuous. The first tenants we had were a couple of guys that nobody else would rent. And we did it because they were the only ones that would pay amount monthly rent for the house. We were just trying to cover our mortgage. Do we sound like novices or what? After about two years and several of the guy’s girl friends later, the guys moved out. This landlord experience with the guys provided us journeyman experience in the mastery of fixing toilets. The education was primarily removing famine toiletries from the commode. Also, we removed ticker toys, washcloths, hairbrushes, human hair and garbage bags. Oh, I forgot to mention the extra credit portion of the education. The nice tenants submerged a Buick Car V8 Motor in industrial cleaning solutions in the bathtub. That was fun and it built a strong endearing relationship between the tenants and us.

But all of this was a warm-up to the graduate level education being provided by our next tenant. We were fortunate enough to attract one of the biggest con artists in Northern California. We had Juanita and her six kids. Now when we decided to become landlords we thought we would treat the tenants right and with respect and they will return that behavior and respect to us. Unfortunately it didn’t work that way! Juanita stated her income was from her ex-husband on the rental application. Actually she was on welfare, but she didn’t plan to share any of the welfare money she received with us the landlord. We were desperate and we needed a tenant because the property had been vacant for two months. Basic principle of covers the mortgage with the rent. So we let Juanita in with the first month’s rent and a minimal cleaning deposit. Guess what? That was the last money we ever saw from Juanita for the next three months. Now the neighbor across the street from Juanita took a special interest in her and they let us know when ever Juanita would entertain male house guests. The friendly neighbor would report they saw a number of men each day for about a half-hour at a time. When the men would arrive, the six kids would all line-up on the front porch until the men would leave, then they would return inside the house. The friendly neighbor would call me about twice a week to keep me abreast of Juanita’s social activities. Hmmmmmmm…….I wonder what Juanita was doing. Maybe individual religious instruction? You know what, we never found out? But the neighbor kept me apprised weekly of her activities. Two months into Juanita contract of not paying her rent, we became more aggressive to collect it. I would make daily calls on her for rent. Almost never caught her. Either she would not answer the door, be gone or one of her kids would tell me she had to leave for an emergency. The emergency was that the landlord was there to collect the rent. One day my wife and I made the customary stopping by Juanita’s to collect the rent. My wife had gone from mildly disliking Juanita to a fanatically disliking her. My wife waited in the car because she could not tolerate Juanita. I walked up to Juanita’s door and knocked. She answered the door not expecting me. I impressed upon her that today is the day we are here to collect the rent. Juanita was dressed in a bathrobe and bare footed. With a very sad face, she said she had no money because he husband had not paid child support. Remember, she does not have an ex-husband. I told her we were sorry to hear about her ex-husband, but I needed the rent today. Suddenly, she changed her facial expression from sad to a big, beaming smile. With her eyes fluttering at me, she dropped the belt of her bath rob she was wearing. Suddenly, the rob flew open and she was standing in front of me completely naked. She smiled and asked if we could work this out another way? I stood there a true novice and speechless. I finally I said I will discuss this with my wife. I walked back to the car and told my wife that Juanita had suggested another idea to meet the rent. My wife glared at me and ask what she had in mind? I told her what Juanita had done and the suggested alternative for rent. My wife at this point was so angry that she shot straight up from her car seat into the car’s roof and hit head. Temporarily knocking herself unconscious. Once my wife regained herself, I walked back to Juanita and told her my wife said she could throw in the alternative but the rent money came first.
Two months later Juanita had vacated the property. Instead of collecting rent, we had incurred three months lost rent, the cost of an attorney and the expense of refurbishing the house that Juanita had trashed. Thank you Juanita for your extra effort of trashing the house.

Is there a moral to this story? Did we learn about rental management? Yes, and unlike many classes you have taken in school, we did not forget any part of the education. From all the maintenance and refurbishing I learned by owning the rental, I can now include handyman on my resume’. Finally, the experience had encouraged us to sell the house. When selling the house, the realtor told us the husband and wife buyers both employed The husband was a part-time piano tuner and his wife a belly dancer. We wouldn’t have cared what their professions were if they were bank robbers, as long as they qualified for a home loan. In spite of the landlord education and the house experiences, we sold the house and for a 60% profit. The gray hairs we gain from the experience were not taxable by the Internal Revenue Service.

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