Meet The Judges: Monica Henry

Monica Henry became a realtor not to sell multi-million-dollar homes, but to empower people to invest in real estate in a way that will enrich their lives.

“When I was in real estate school the teacher tells you, ‘If you’re getting into real estate to help people, that’s kind of laughable,'” recalls Monica. “And I was like, ‘I don’t believe that.’ He was kind of alluding to, you know, real estate makes money. I guess people get into it for different things, but for me and my journey, real estate really is to help people and educate them on what they can do through home ownership.”

As a single mom, Monica and her young daughter shared a bedroom so she could rent out the other bedroom to bring in extra income.          

“I knew that I wanted to get into home ownership,” she says. “I didn’t have a lot of money. I didn’t know where to start, but I just knew that, by any means necessary, I was going to get in and own something.”

Monica developed a love for real estate as she invested in more properties and saw the benefits it brought her and her family. She wants to help her clients feel empowered in their real estate decisions, whether they are looking for their first single-family home or purchasing additional property.

Monica worked for more than 15 years as an IT professional but is now dedicated full time to her real estate career in Arizona.

“It really is coming from the heart when I’m doing real estate,” Monica says, of the “impact” owning property has had on her life.

Now a mother of two, Monica helps her daughters think about their financial futures and how home ownership will set them—and future generations—up for success.

“With my parents, finances were not discussed in front of kids,” Monica says. “Maybe parents just don’t feel comfortable talking about their current financial situation with their kids, but I’m kind of an open book in that area. Having those kinds of discussions early and often, I think, is pretty important.”

Monica purchased her first home when she was 30, a move she wishes she made sooner.

“It’s financial freedom,” Monica says. “Historically in this country, real estate is how people have gotten wealthy. That’s how you create generational wealth.”

For Black Americans in particular—who were locked out of homeownership in the past and, on average, have accumulated far less wealth than white Americans—Monica says “it’s really important for Black people to get into home ownership and get into buying land and passing that down generationally.”

“I don’t care about hair. I don’t care about nails. I don’t care about any of that kind of stuff,” Monica says. “I want to make sure I have enough money saved for my next investment. And that’s really what kids need to realize, is this shift away from immediate gratification in material objects and start planning and thinking ahead a little bit.”

Soon, Monica plans to teach more classes to help educate first-time home buyers and intends to invest in multifamily homes to boost her personal real estate portfolio.