Zach Garfias is an impressive young entrepreneur from Denver. At 18, he was the youngest licensed agent to complete a real estate transaction in Colorado history. From there, he’s gone on to successfully flip houses, purchase non-performing notes, and create several businesses in the real estate and construction industries. I sat down with him this week to talk about how he got started in real estate, frankly discuss what he’s learned along the way, and how his new software could be a game changer.
- Listen to the podcast “#307: The Unique Struggles of Being a Real Estate Entrepreneur at 18” on the Denver Real Estate Investing Podcast
- Watch the YouTube video (at the bottom).
- Read the blog post. Note, the blog is an executive summary. Get the in-depth breakdown from the podcast or video.
Getting Started in Real Estate
Zach got his first taste of real estate when he was just 10 years old after a family friend “hired” him to help tear up old carpets and clear out foreclosures. These experiences were his first of many in working with property to uncover something great.
During high school Zach realized that entrepreneurship was his destined path and he began making plans to pursue his interest in business. Before graduating, he was brought on as a partner of a friend’s prefabrication business, which would later become Matik Metal Innovation. Zach and his partner Austin used the money from the business to invest in flipping foreign cars. Hooked on the challenge and adventure of the entrepreneur’s world, he made the decision to put plans for college on hold in exchange for a new venture: real estate.
The Youngest Real Estate Agent in Colorado
At 18, Zach enrolled in real estate school and obtained a license. He then scouted brokerage firms in search of one that would offer support and encourage his youthful optimism. Zach found mentorship with Charles Roberts and the team at Your Castle Real Estate, in addition to other seasoned agents who wished to see him thrive in the real estate world. Soon after he planted his roots, he made his first home sale and became the youngest real estate agent in Colorado to complete a transaction.
Using his sweat equity and recent commission, Zach partnered with two other investors to take on his first residential flip. Even though he was green to the flipping world, he and his team managed to complete their first project in three months, turning a $75k profit.
Learning Lessons the Hard Way
Despite the flip’s ultimate success, Zach learned a great deal from the challenges it posed in timing, budget, and intensive labor. Later, in a subsequent transaction, he learned his hardest lesson yet when he placed a bid on a home at foreclosure auction, only to find out shortly after that he now owned a second mortgage on a property riddled with liens. Through legal counsel, careful negotiation, and 18 months of anxious waiting, Zach navigated through the event and eventually sold the property for an 18% return. Though a victory, the experience was a stark warning about the consequences of making big bets without performing proper due diligence. Moving forward, he would lean on his mentors and seasoned experts to help guide him and his team.
From House Flipping to Software Development
With a few real estate transactions under his belt, Zach observed that the standard for eContract & Transaction Management software was far behind that of other modern-day platforms. After digging in, he determined that there was an opportunity to better serve his peers and their clients, so he committed to uncovering what that was.
Over more than 5 years of grueling research, trial and error, and intensive development, Zach and his team officially launched Version 1 the successful eGent platform in 2020.
Vision, Planning, Execution
In reflection of his experiences as a multi-industry entrepreneur, Zach, now 25, has boiled his recipe for success down to three parts: vision, planning, and execution. He admits that some of his greatest challenges were borne of skipping (or significantly abbreviating) the planning stage and recommends that anyone who follows a similar path spends ample time there, under the guidance of subject matter experts and mentors.
For now, Zach is focusing his business efforts on refining the eGent user experience, overseeing his Demolition company, and occasionally taking on more passive investments. But, an entrepreneur’s work is never done, so keep an eye out for the future of his company Venturesome Inc.
Connect with Zach
Through the years, Zach has created several companies that touch on real estate. If you’re interested in learning more about them or want to reach out to Zach, you can find him @ZachGarfias on LinkedIn and Instagram.
Connect with Zach’s Companies
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The Unique Struggles of Being a Real Estate Entrepreneur at 18
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:01:47 — 70.7MB)
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