Mike's Path to Freedom: Engineer to Real Estate Wholesale
We all hear the cliche, money doesn't buy happiness. But in the case of Mike's story, it rang true. With a six-figure engineering position, Mike had great job security but was not happy with his work life.
In this blog post, we will dive into how Mike transitioned from an engineer to real estate investing. Without further ado, let's dive in.
Mike's Engineering Background and Unhappiness
Mike studied engineering in college and worked as an engineer for 5 years because it was expected of him. Even though he knew it wasn't a good fit, he pushed through because of the high-income potential and job security.
However, Mike was deeply unhappy in his engineering career from day one. To make extra money for financial independence, he worked side hustles like coaching CrossFit classes, driving for Uber, and selling stuff on eBay.
At 27, Mike had had enough. He quit his 6-figure engineering job to pursue something else, without even knowing what that would be.
"I literally did zero exploration. I failed myself by not even giving myself the opportunity to learn about who I was and instead just going through who everyone else wanted me to be."
Discovering Real Estate Investing
For the next year, Mike worked at a gym and drove for Uber while trying to determine his next steps.
He knew he wanted financial freedom and passive income. And real estate kept coming up as he read books on business and wealth creation.
So in late 2019, at 29 years old, Mike got into real estate wholesaling - making big checks by finding discounted properties and "flipping" them to investors.
Closing His First Deal for $7,500
Mike spent about $5,000/month on direct mail campaigns to distressed homeowners.
After 3 months of following up with sellers, Mike finally closed his first deal - an assigned contract for $7,500!
"We were in the right place at the right time for this person, and we were able to get assigned contract. We found another buyer who was just interested in buying the contract from us via an assignment."
Scaling Up Through The Pandemic
COVID hit right after Mike's first deal, putting him $30k in the hole. But he persisted in following up with sellers.
Over the next 6 weeks, Mike made $50,000 wholesaling real estate! He credits his coaching group for the success.
Mike has now done over 329 deals with an average profit of $17.5k per deal and a marketing cost of $3.2k per deal.
Achieving Financial Freedom
Thanks to passive income from his rental properties, Mike achieved financial independence by age 30, just 2 years after starting in real estate.
Some benefits Mike enjoys:
- House cleaner
- Lawn mowing service
- Frequent international trips (Egypt, Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia)
- U.S. trips for fun events
- Flexibility to "splurge" on experiences since he can always make the money back
Mike explains his rapid success:
"It was being very intentional and spending 12 hours a day working for usually 6 to 7 days a week for four years."
Mike's Real Estate Investing Tips
Here are some of Mike's top tips for new investors:
- Use traditional marketing lists - bankruptcies, liens, vacants, absentees, and failed MLS deals. No need to get overly complicated. With software like DealMachine, you can build custom property lists to using these criteria versus buying lists.
- Target distressed sellers - market to lists like bankruptcy, tax delinquency, etc. People who need to sell quickly because life problems.
- Follow a proven model - don't try to reinvent the wheel. Wholesaling using direct mail campaigns works consistently across markets.
- Don't spread yourself too thin - focus on mastering wholesaling before moving into other strategies.
- Consistency and persistence pay off - it took Mike 3 months of follow-up before his first deal. Keep at it!
Mike's story demonstrates that real estate wholesaling can provide financial freedom, even without money or experience. With consistency and the right mindset, you too can replace a stable W-2 income with the freedom of entrepreneurship.
Mike's parting advice:
"I would say you're honestly doing yourself an injustice to not work a side hustle while you're at your W-2 job...You probably should."
About Samantha Ankney
Samantha has been a media specialist for DealMachine for 2.5 years. She produces, edits, writes, and publishes all media that is distributed to the DealMachine and Real Estate Investing community.