As an entrepreneur in the real estate industry, Ryan Tevepaugh faces a dilemma of the best kind.  Expansion of his real estate portfolio is imminent. As a property owner, Ryan has built a diverse portfolio of rental properties and businesses. He is standing at a precipice surveying the comfort of his abundance acquired over the past decade. The business has proliferated through genuine grassroots organizing and the support of his family.

He began his business by recognizing the real estate markets and seizing an opportunity even in a volatile market. He built his business by investing in his first single-family home in 2008, shortly after completing college. That single home was the launch of a real estate rental business that has flourished for over ten years. His second stream of income is earned through partnering with a friend in the roofing industry.

Ryan was awarded an athletic scholarship in baseball to attend Trinity Christian College in Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 2008. Shortly after he graduated, he was managing fitness centers. He began investing in real estate when he returned home from college.

The future is bright for this entrepreneur. Ryan Tevepaugh has begun strategic planning to address the actions he will be required to take to make the expansion of his real estate investments come to fruition.

In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family. Also, he is involved in youth sports with his children and his community.

How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to do so?

I had a friend in the real estate industry. He suggested that I should get involved in real estate at a young age. I rented out my first home directly out of college. I knew it was something that I could do. I started building capital and purchasing other homes. Eventually, I raised enough capital to purchase an apartment building. It just started building from there. I started small I have built an impressive portfolio now.

How does your firm make money?

I have a couple of different streams of revenue. Through my real estate business, I get paid monthly from individuals renting my apartments and single-family home rentals. I also have an income from my friends’ construction company.

How long did it take for your firm to become profitable?

It took me five years to become profitable. I was able to build capital and reinvest it in the business. I had a solid profitable revenue stream within those five years.

When you first started out did you ever doubt that this would work for you? If so, how did you handle it?

Yes, I had many doubts when I first started. It happened that I purchased my first property as soon as I graduated from college. It was at the same time the financial crisis hit.  Not that I wanted to benefit from someone else’s loss. But people were trying to get out of their mortgages, and it was a buyer’s market and a great opportunity for people wanting to get into the real estate industry. I was fortunate enough to get into the market at the right time.

How did you find your first customer?

My first customer came syncronistically. There was a friend of mine who was starting a family and was not looking to buy at the time. I knew he had a good job. I didn’t have to worry about running a credit check. I offered the house to him if he wanted to rent. He moved into my ranch home and I was able to purchase another home right after that. It was a win-win for both of us.

What is one marketing strategy other than referrals that you use to generate new business?

Social media is huge when it comes to strategy. It is great to see what is out there on the market. You find out the people who are looking to buy. You speak with other real estate agents. I have great relationships with real estate agents who may have clients who are interested in renting. Using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many of the social media platforms has been huge in generating new business.

What is the toughest decision that you have had to make in the past few months?

One of the toughest decisions that I had to make in the past few months is whether I want to continue to grow. I don’t want to get so big where I cannot manage all my properties. I want to be able to manage all of the customers in my buildings that are renting. I don’t want to spread myself to thin. I want to be able to manage my portfolio. I want to be successful and keep my residents happy. You question yourself whether you want to grow or stay where you are. Do I hire more people to help me? I am at that point where I must make those decisions. 

What do you think makes you successful?

I think the thing that makes me most successful is my ability to build relationships with the people around me. It is the grassroots of having the support of my family around me and building from the ground up. My wife has been a great source of support. My support system has been such a huge value to me.

What has been your most satisfying moment since opening your business?

I think the thing that has made me so satisfied is hitting different milestones in my business. Being profitable and having that success. You can look back and be happy exactly where you are.

What is a recent purchase that you have made for your business?

I purchased several pieces of lawn equipment. I maintain the upkeep of my own properties.  I have a company within my real estate portfolio where we do the landscaping for the properties. Renters can choose to have our company provide the maintenance service for a fee or they can choose to maintain the property themselves. I purchased all sorts of lawn and maintenance equipment to make the job easier for that end of the business.

What does the future hold for you? What are you most excited about?

The future for me is to expand my portfolio and to hire on new staff members to help with my expansion. They will be able to rely on me and themselves for their families. That would really be a blessing for me.

What business books have inspired you that you would recommend?

For my business, I read the newspaper more than anything else. I read the Wall Street Journal especially the real estate section. I’ve read many books, but the Wall Street Journal is my go-to for business.

Do you have a long-term plan?

 I am striving to be the leading real estate specialist for our area. I would like to be at the forefront of the industry. I have a ten-year plan to be able to retire after my children come of age. I’d like to hire the right staff capable of managing my businesses. After I retire, I’d like to be able to move myself and my wife to a warmer climate.

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