“I fell in love with real estate when I was 18,” says Ankit Duggal. “Then the economy crashed shortly after I graduated from college. I was determined to find an opportunity within the chaos.”
Ankit now runs RER, LLC, an investment management and consulting company which focuses on distressed real estate. But his journey seemed to always be under construction in more ways than one.
“I was flying high until reality threw me back down,” said Duggal. Now at 27-years-old he oversees millions of dollars in funding.
“Despite everyone’s warnings against spending another dollar on a fallen dream, I continued the business, catching the biggest break of my life.”
Learn how Ankit Duggal funded his dream with lean pockets, hustled to keep his company above water and ultimately caught the biggest break ever.
|Founder, Age:||Ankit Duggal, 27|
|Location:||Clifton, New Jersey|
How I Got Started
I fell in love with real estate when I was 18 years-old. My parents were buying their first house, and I became enthralled with the financial opportunity their realtor exposed himself to just for being friendly, while providing my parents with a product they were already on the market for. That was when I decided to pursue my realtor’s license.
The economy crashed shortly after I graduated from college. I was determined to find an opportunity within the chaos. I soon came up with the idea of providing free consultations regarding short sale structuring for people who were losing their homes. In an effort to save them from foreclosure — the payment would come when the deal was done and the house was sold. And so went the birth of RER, LLC.
Unfortunately, the short sale process is often prolonged and dependent on bank approval, which meant cash flow challenges for my company. That first year RER made “below” zero in revenue.
Despite everyone’s warnings against spending another dollar on a fallen dream, I continued the business, catching the biggest break of my life when an investor decided to hand the money directly over to me so I could proceed with making the buy, the renovation, and then flip it on my own. That was the turning point.
Some months later, a private equity company who had heard about RER invested into it, further growing the business. Today, RER is alive and kicking, overseeing millions of dollars in funding.
Best Success Story
My best success story would have to be my first “flip,” just because my expectations for its success started off quite low.
My first investor had just given me the money to invest in a house, and I’d manage to scrounge up more funding from family, friends, and personal credit cards so that I could pick up a house at an incredibly deep discount and immediately hire a contractor to get to work on it.
I was flying high until reality threw me back down— this contractor, who I’d failed to do my due diligence on, had already used up ¾ of the budget on just ¼ of the job, and my money was quickly dissipating. Needless to say, I was forced to fire him and continue the job myself, despite knowing nothing about construction.
With some quick “how-to”s and helping hands, I got through it, still sweating over the chance that I may not be able to give this investor a return on his money. The success came when multiple offers surprisingly came in for the property, and I was able to sell it for thousands more than its purchase price. The moral of my story: the money you make in real estate always comes from the buy.
Biggest Startup Challenge
My biggest startup challenge was definitely coming up with the cash flow to keep RER from flat lining. When it came time to pay bills at the end of the month, I hustled additional consulting jobs to make the cash and resorted to bootstrapping the business— cutting into credit cards and student loans to make ends meet. I was lucky: in the end, the investment I made into my dream was well worth it.
#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs
Go above and beyond to make sure that what you’re offering meets the needs, fulfills the wants, and eliminates the fears of your clients. If you can put yourself in their shoes, see what they’re seeing, hear what they’re hearing, feel what they’re feeling, you can become an indispensable asset to their lives. And then, you will succeed.
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