What does it take to become a maverick in real estate in the United States? For Engelo Rumora, it all began when he read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. After a professional soccer contract and then working as a laborer for three years in his home country of Australia, the future “real estate dingo” Rumora decided a change to his lifestyle and his finances was in order. Attending personal development conferences and reading up on business, finance, and investment led him to buy his first property in Victoria, Australia shortly thereafter.
Six months and seven properties later, Rumora decided the U.S. was his oyster and crossed the ocean to found Ohio Cashflow, a company dedicated to changing people’s view and educating people on turnkey real estate investments.
“I’m a strong believer in every investor—in every person who is looking to better their financial situation via investing,” Rumora shared with American BOSS Magazine. “Real estate gives you a passive income—it’ll put money in your pocket every time if you know how to invest right.”
Rumora’s enthusiasm about his choice of career and passion is infectious, and it’s not hard to see why his real estate endeavors have been successful. With a heightened awareness that we only have a finite time on Earth, making money for other people, not himself, was not the way he wanted to spend the rest of his life.
So how does someone who isn’t even 30 save up enough to invest in as many properties as Rumora? An old concept called delayed gratification.
“I didn’t fall for what everyone else is doing. While my peers were partying I was working hard. Now, I have a job that doesn’t feel like a job, and I’ll be able to ‘retire’ in the next five to 10 years.”
Ohio Cashflow is a large part of his passion, and part of the bigger picture. With knowledge of the industry that intimidates most people, Rumora knows he’s in a unique position to not only help people with their financial and investment decisions, but to also provide jobs for his staff.
“It’s bigger than me. And I want to leave a legacy—you can do that through working for a higher cash flow, you do that by helping other people change their lives,” he said.
The Importance of Property
Much like John Locke’s belief in “life, Liberty, and the pursuit of property,” Rumora believes that investing in real estate is the best way to contribute to a person’s wealth portfolio. Bricks and mortar, he believes, are a more sound investment than stocks, where an investor is just one shareholder with just one vote. In real estate the investor is in control—the “CEO”—able to make any and all decisions.
Investors should consider any investment that involves passive income—but especially real estate.
“The returns on real estate—if you invest well—can be high,” Rumora shared. “It may take some work in the beginning for research, negotiations, and fixing up the place, but once you can get a renter in there, or can turn the property for a profit, you’re seeing enormous returns. And who doesn’t want to earn money while they aren’t working?”
Opportunity Post-Global Recession
Part of the contributor to the Great Recession of the late 2000s was the pop of the housing bubble, which had expanded to astronomical levels in several countries, including the U.S. Now, the markets are recovering well, and Rumora sees a lot of potential, especially in his neck of the woods.
“The Midwest market is very undervalued. The region is a bit slower in recovery, so there is a lot of opportunity for investors to do well here.”
It’s part of the reason Rumora decided on Ohio as his home—it proved itself as a region that he believed would offer the cash flow he needed in order to retire when he wanted. In this market, Rumora has been able to buy low and sell high, in part because most people don’t consider it a viable market in which to invest.
“You cannot base your investments in this region—or ever, really—on hopes that it will go up after you buy. Buy now because it’s a good deal, not because there’s a chance the market could jump up.”
This is one of many risks of property investing. Another thing people need to keep in mind, Rumora shared, was patience. His advice came fast and furious: don’t overleverage, be patient, negotiate well, only buy the right property at the right price and be willing to walk away otherwise, and buy properties with cash when you can.
Rumora isn’t just the giver of good advice either, and he realizes good advice from other people are part of the reason for his success today.
“I’ve followed two really good pieces of advice for the entirety of my investing career: don’t get caught up in statistic or demographics: if it’s a good deal, buy. That, and ‘business is easy, people make it difficult’. Understanding that has been one of the keys to this business’s—and my—success.”