Real Estate Entrepreneur Educates With Strategies For The Wholesale Market
Gen-Z continues learning journey into the merits of real estate investment.
Financial literacy is a top priority for students looking to graduate high school prepared for real-world responsibilities. However, according to a CNBC report, there are no federal guidelines for teaching personal finance inside schools. While individual states are attempting to put forth legislation to beef up personal finance requirements in high schools, according to a recent Forbes article, many face a steep climb in getting legislation passed. Concerns about the cost of career training and replacement of other curriculums have a way of stalling final acceptance.
Without proper financial training, the younger generation faces increased challenges post-graduation. A lack of understanding of mortgages, loans, credit acquisition, and investment knowledge places them at a disadvantage in forming a stable financial life. For instance, some headlines suggest that Gen Z are less interested in home buying, but it’s not because they wish to rent the rest of their lives. Instead, they see home costs rising and feel powerless without the financial know-how to become buyers.
The average home price in the US in the first quarter of 2022 was $428,700, a 30% increase from 2020’s numbers. And commercial properties are even more expensive. The trillion-dollar industry is an investment area that real estate professionals are interested in the younger generation becoming involved. Although it might appear to be a market filled with buyers laying down large sums of cash, some individuals have learned techniques and strategies without reserve capital and wish to teach what they know.
One such person is real estate investor Reno Davis. At just 22 years old, he has proven that there’s a way into real estate for younger investors without massive cash reserves. He hopes others can learn from his journey to gain flourishing financial lives. “I was elated to find a path into real estate that didn’t require much capital,” says Davis. “I needed a way out of my circumstances, and real estate wholesaling was my escape. Today I own my own real estate company and am very successful at what I do, but it requires hard work.”
Davis went from a job in landscaping to becoming a successful real estate entrepreneur with over 4.5 million Instagram followers. I recently spoke with him about his current role in real estate, the knowledge picked up on his new career journey, and how others can follow his path.
Rod Berger: Alright, when we spoke earlier, you mentioned real estate as your escape. What exactly did you mean by that? What were you doing before you entered the property industry, and how did you get in?
Reno Davis: I’m from Miami, and we all know how vast and competitive the real estate market is there. Early on, I worked as a landscaper, but it started to wear on me in the crazy Florida sun. I was at a point in my life where I knew there was a better way to make money. I didn’t want to spend my time working hours on backbreaking manual labor. So I decided to explore my options, but I needed something that allowed me to be my own boss.
Real estate was the only self-employment opportunity that caught my eye because I saw the potential in the market, especially in Miami, where it skyrocketed with home sales. Once I realized that real estate was what I wanted, I had to figure out what type of real estate I wanted to take on.
I started looking into options and came across wholesaling real estate. I’d never heard of it before, and that intrigued me. So I spent weeks scouring the internet, reading everything I could find on it. I consumed all the content I could find on Google, YouTube, and social media platforms.
Once I had a firm grasp of what it was about, I decided to invest in myself by buying courses from people who were already successful in that niche. Then, armed with my knowledge from the course and reading the entire internet, I moved into the execution phase.
It took me about a month to get my first wholesale deal, which was the moment that let me know I could do this. After that, I think I closed another deal two weeks later, and it’s been uphill ever since.
Berger: Describe real estate wholesaling a little more. I bet many people don’t know as much about it as the other branches of real estate. Could you briefly explain what it is?
Davis: Real estate wholesaling is when you find someone who wants to sell their home, make an offer, and then sell it off to a buyer. The wholesaler makes an offer to the buyer, contracts it with a buyer at a higher price, and keeps the difference as profit. That’s the easiest way to describe the process.
Berger: So, essentially, it’s real estate arbitrage?
Davis: [Laughs] Yeah, it kind of works like that, and you don’t need crazy money to get started. If the circumstances are right, you could even start with no money.
Berger: Let me know a bit more about your network. How did you go about networking in a space where you were new to learning? Were you researching online and meeting people in the real world simultaneously?
Davis: After I purchased the wholesaling courses, they placed their contact information at the end. So I contacted them, and they were also in Miami. I took a call with them and said, ‘Hey, I’m really into this, and I want to get into it. Can you help me get started?’ Usually, they’d give me tips on what to do and tell me to get back to them when I received a lead to guide me through the process. That’s how I branched into meeting them and other people.
Berger: I imagine others in this niche don’t do wholesaling the same way. How exactly do you operate, and how did you scale it while differentiating yourself in the industry?
Reno Davis is using his age and approach to social media to expand his brand and professional … [+]
Davis: In the beginning, I was fine doing the field work myself, but I knew I would have to adjust if I wanted to grow the business. I needed help and people. So I found myself a business partner, and we now own an LLC that hires ten people currently to do all the leg work. They handle the cold calls, do the drive for dollars, and post ads around town for our business.
Whenever they get a lead, my partner and I take care of the rest and close the deal. Then, on top of their hourly wage, we pay them a bonus if a lead they brought in culminates in a sale. So that’s how we scaled.
Our wholesaling process takes a liability on the home. When we find an ideal property, we put down a minimum payment, and then we draft a contract with a clause that stipulates that it will be void if we don’t find a buyer for the home in 30 days. So, essentially, no harm, no foul. It’s been an effective strategy for us and a big reason why I was able to close over 30 deals myself in my first year.
Berger: Quick question. What’s driving for dollars?
Davis: It’s when you get in your car, drive around your neighborhood and search for potential homes to get under contract to sell.
Berger: How would you say being in the real estate world has affected you? Are there traits you’ve developed from your experience selling a property?
Davis: I live a fast-paced life filled with chaos daily, and I do everything quickly. But in this industry, it doesn’t necessarily work that way. In South Florida, a lot of patience is necessary for this business. I’m not known to have patience, but I’m learning. I’m still a go-getter that will run through a brick wall to get whatever I set my eyes on, but real estate wholesaling taught me that sometimes patience is a virtue that brings the fastest results. Ironic, but that’s just the way it is.
It’s important not to confuse patience for lethargy or sluggishness. You cannot have a slacker mentality in this game. When you’re just starting, you’re the new kid on the block, so you’ve got to go out there and be loud and heard. The homes and people won’t come to you. You must reach out, send 100 emails daily, and phone people 100 times.
It’s about remaining persistent, personal, and sometimes, even willing to be irritable. No one will market you but yourself until you grow to the point where you’re worth marketing. Real estate wholesaling is a hustle, and you won’t move forward until you take it that way.
Berger: Are there plans for your real estate business in the future? Are you thinking of expanding into other areas of the industry?
Davis: I’ve been toying with getting into commercial real estate for a while, like buying offices and leasing them out to suitors. It’s another good way to squeeze more juice out of the real estate value chain.
On a philanthropic note, I plan to start my charity one day to help less fortunate people. I want to create a foundation that donates essential items to the poor and the homeless. I’m in the development process of completing the mental picture, but that’s the vision. I want to give back to the community in some way.
Until financial literacy further expands inside educational models, many of today’s youth will find themselves looking for answers and advice from those who have found success on their own. Knowledge obtained through social network channels, available resources, and personalized stories will shape and drive future opportunities.
Reno Davis’ advice about making it in real estate is straightforward: learn from those who have done it before, follow in their footsteps, work at it with everything you’ve got, and scale and delegate as soon as possible.
Like all investing, it has its risks, but Davis has leveraged cost-effective principles to get into real estate by selling entire properties and not buying a fraction of a home, popular in real estate crowdfunding. According to him, there’s a piece of the pie for everyone in the industry, and as he reiterates, “Wholesaling levels the playing field for people with much smaller budgets.”
Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.