GE Ep 82: How an Hourly Worker Launched a $1.5 Million Real Estate Business With 10 Months of Prep Time

engelo rumoraHey everyone, today we’re talking with Engelo Rumora, founder of Ohio Cash Flow, Rumora Construction, and Venticap. He’s overflowing with passion about what he does in the real estate world, and his advice on being disciplined enough to be committed to numbers to achieve success is really practical and inspiring.

A High School Dropout Reads a Book that Changes His Life

Engelo was a soccer superstar at a young age, and one of the main reasons he had for dropping out of high school was to commit to the sport, become a professional, and achieve success that way.

He did become a professional at age 18, but didn’t quite achieve the level of success he wanted, so he had to stop playing to find an alternate path to make a living. And since he didn’t have any formal education, it was working on construction sites.

But when a friend gave him the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, he says he became brainwashed by what the book said and he started looking into and learning about assets, business, finance, real estate, and so on.

He started going to loads of personal development seminars where he met all kinds of interesting people, one in particular who was a successful real estate investor who kind of became his mentor. He took Engelo under his wing as his real estate apprentice for a couple of years, and taught him how to buy, sell and negotiate – giving him a solid foundation in real estate knowledge.

The only drawback was that the real estate market in Australia was really expensive at the time, so he didn’t see becoming a real estate professional there as a feasible option and started to look elsewhere.

He noticed that the USA’s real estate market was on its knees because of the depressed economy, making real estate prices there super low. So he combined his real estate knowledge with his knowledge from working on construction sites, and moved to the US to start flipping houses and making money.

Ohio Cash Flow’s Revenues – $1.5 Million in the First Year

Ohio Cash Flow wasn’t founded until April 2014, and just one year later, they’ve done over $1.5 million in revenue and have bought, sold, and fixed over 40 properties.

The Driver Behind Ohio Cash Flow’s Wild Success

“Doing the small things consistently and on a daily basis will just make the big things fall into place,” says Engelo.

To become successful, Engelo says it’s all about showing up to the office every day and really committing to the numbers.

Before Ohio Cash Flow even started, he and his team showed up every day for 10 months to cold call, email and go to meetings and got nowhere before they had their breakthrough moment.

Naming Your Business for SEO

Engelo said that when he was picking out the name for his business, he wanted to make sure that it was catchy and that it would be something Google would recognize.

He didn’t necessarily care about limiting his geographic base to Ohio because he wanted to be known as a market expert there, and cash flow is exactly what they do: they offer tun-key cashflow properties for their investors.

He says that the SEO from Google is wonderful, and that they’re number one in searches for their target keywords due to their domain name and on-site content.

Staying Energetic

Engelo stays insanely energetic throughout the entire interview, but he says that his energy comes from the fact that he’s found his purpose in life, and he gets to wake up and work towards it everyday.

Giving his advice about finding your own purpose, he says it can’t come from money or yourself – it has to be something bigger and something you truly believe in. He believes in his purpose so much that he doesn’t even hit the snooze button in the morning.

Real Estate Trends in 2015 for Newbie Investors

According to Engelo, people invest in real estate so they can supplement their current income, and the number one reason they go after real estate as an investment is the cash flow.

But, he says, simply buying a property and hoping it will increase in value isn’t a sound investment strategy… no one knows if it will increase or not, so it’s important to take the time to run the numbers and see if they make sense.

For a newbie investor, Engelo advises that you should make sure you’re getting at least a 10% return on your money. If the deal doesn’t provide that, look elsewhere.

Customer Acquisition Advice: Be Different

Engelo says that in the real estate world, he feels that Ohio Cash Flow is so successful because they’re different from other real estate investing businesses.

They keep their customer base exclusive and don’t work with everyone, but they also don’t do hard sales towards their customer base… they simply present who they are, what they have, the services they provide, and let those who are interested come knocking on their door.

He says Ohio Cash Flow offers turnkey, hands-off properties that already have tenants, and they handle all the property management, from maintenance, to repairs, to eviction when necessary, and so on.

With that, they’ve also got strong, color-based branding, produce tip of the day videos, and focus on quality over quantity.

The Biggest Struggle in Growing a Real Estate Business

In real estate, Engelo says it’s always either one of three things:

  1. Having money, but no properties or good deals available to invest in.
  2. Having properties available, but no money to buy them.
  3. Having buyers, but no properties to offer them.

Right now, he says he has buyers lined up, but doesn’t have enough inventory to present to them.

Advice to His 21-Year-Old Self

“Be patient. Wait for the right deal to come along, and only purchase it when the numbers in that deal suit your end goal.”

When he was younger, he said he jumped the gun and bought properties that ended up costing him years of financial hardship.

He had $1.4 million in debt when he was in Australia, and said it was awful. Today, he only buys with cash.

One Productivity Hack

“Don’t hit snooze when your alarm goes off.”

This too, Engelo says comes down to the numbers.

If you get an extra 30 minutes per day, five days per week, for 52 weeks per year, that’s a lot of time. (It amounts to 130 hours – which is 16.25 eight-hour workdays – more than three weeks of working time!)

One Must-Read Book

How to Win Friends and Influence People because it teaches you how to work and talk with people.

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About Eric Siu

Eric Siu (@ericosiu) is the CEO at Single Grain, a digital marketing agency that focuses on paid advertising and content marketing. He contributes regularly to Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes and more.

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