Engelo Rumora, “Real Estate Dingo”, is a successful property investor, motivational speaker, and serial entrepreneur who quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at 18. He is also a soon-to-be published author, along with becoming a TV personality on This Is Life Live, where he gave a home away to a family in need.
To-date and against all odds, Engelo has been involved in over 500 real estate deals, equating to $80 million worth of transactions, along with successfully founding and running five businesses in Ohio. The most successful and prominent being Ohio Cashflow, a company that specializes in providing turnkey properties in Toledo, Ohio. We always emphasize on quality over quantity, with the main focus on building trust and relationships with investors and key individuals involved in the venture. Engelo’s newest, and soon-to-be most prominent venture, is List’n Sell Realty, a real estate brokerage firm based in Toledo, Ohio. List’n Sell Realty’s mission is to completely revolutionize the way all real estate transactions are done with a complete, virtual experience for the broker, agent, buyer, and seller.
How did the concept for Ohio Cashflow come about?
I found out about the amazing opportunity the U.S. market had to offer, and invested in a company in Rochester, NY…completely lost my ass, packed my bags, and decided to come to the U.S. from Australia and do it myself. I found that there was a very bad rep for turnkey operators, and decided to take the “stigma out of turnkey investing” and just do the right thing, and that’s exactly what I did. By just doing the right thing, in five short years, I have became one of the most reputable turnkey operators in the country.
How was the first year in business?
Well, it wasn’t unicorns and rainbows, and was what I suspect most startups’ first years were like: living off of spoonfuls of peanut butter, $1 gas station coffee, and working 18-hour days.
What was your marketing strategy?
Being my raw and uncensored Aussie-self. I found that I eliminated a lot of investors by not being “professional,” but many more appreciated my raw and no BS-attitude towards business and investing.
How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
We have doubled, and some years, tripled our revenue since we started.
How do you define success?
Not focusing on money but finding your purpose, your “Why,” and being able to stay true to your core ethics and morals. If you do this, the money will follow.
What is the key to success?
Be willing to work hard, and never get too euphoric at your triumphs and too depressed at your failures. Also, realizing every lesson is good as long as you perceive it to be.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
Always believe in yourself, even when others (even those close to you) might not agree with you or see your vision. Only you have the ingredients to make it happen, so ignore the noise and make shit happen.
What are some quotes that you live by?
Make your passion an obsession and you will never work a day in your life.
Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
I was broke, had a fractured wrist I couldn’t afford to get fixed, and when I entered this country to start a business, I was on a conditional visa that restricted me from leaving, and when my grandmother, who I was extremely close to, passed away, I was unable to see her and attend her funeral.
When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
I came to this country with nothing; quitting is not an option for me. Not even a notion. I have my mom and dad to support, and a legacy to fulfill.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Realize that to make a difference, make it happen—you’re going to live like no one else can, sacrifice what many cannot sacrifice, be tired, stressed, go through ups and downs, but as long as you have a burning desire for what you do—none of this will matter. Stick with it, be yourself, ignore the noise, and you WILL pave a path for yourself.
This interview was conducted for research purposes by author Jason Navallo for his upcoming book, Underdog.
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