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If I Can Do It, So Can You with Deven Wohlwend
In this episode, Larry invited a very special guest. Deven Wohlend is an 11-year-old real estate investor and has started being an entrepreneur at age 7. Deven has already written a book and been doing multiple real estate deals.
Deven talked about how he got into real estate investing, what his book is all about, and his deals.
- How Larry and Deven met
- How he got into real estate and entrepreneurship
- What his book, “If I Can Do It, So Can You!,” is all about
- Deven's first investment
- On acting immediately
- Starting small
- Getting their child interested in business, entrepreneurship, or real estate investing
- How his parents got him interested in real estate
- His venture into real estate
- His part-time job
- Finding his first deal
- On hiring a management company
- Number of deals Deven has done
- How parents can encourage their children
- What his typical day looks like
- His future plans
- Who inspires him
- “Always hire professionals.”
- “Start small.”
- “Be creative and take action.”
RESOURCES AND LINKS FROM THIS SHOW:
- Cashflow Classic Game
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- If I Can Do It, So Can You! by Deven J. Wohlwend
- Email Address: email@example.com
Larry: Hey everybody and welcome to the Brain-Pick-A-Pro show live from Lake Wylie, South Carolina. I am really excited about today’s guest. First of all, thank you guys so much for watching. You’ve probably seen some of the other episodes. Each week, we interview a different rock star, somebody who is a mover and a shaker, people who are doing business and doing deals. We only have action takers on the show, okay? And they don’t hold anything back. Okay? Today, I am so excited. He is my good friend, Deven Wohlwend, and Deven is… how old are you now, Deven?
Deven: I’m eleven years old.
Larry: He is eleven years old and he started investing in real estate and being an entrepreneur when you were how old?
Deven: Age seven.
Larry: Age seven. Age seven. Now, Deven already has written a book and he is already doing multiple real estate deals and I met him. The first place I ever met him was at the OREIA convention. This was probably what? Three or four years ago maybe?
Deven: I think it was maybe three years ago.
Larry: Okay. So I met him at the OREIA convention and he impressed me so much. I gave him a copy of my course and I was just really excited for him. I come to find out, he was working on a book. He completed the book and he asked me if I would write the foreword for it and I did and I am just really excited. Please welcome Deven. What’s going on, buddy?
Deven: Oh, wrote a book, going to multiple speaking and engagements, still working on multiple deals.
Larry: That’s sweet, man. That’s sweet. So tell us a little bit about yourself. I mean, how did you get involved in real estate. I know mom and dad are really big influence and they’ve exposed you to a lot of things. So how did you get the bug and get interested in entrepreneurship and real estate.
Deven: I started out by playing the game cashflow.
Larry: Oh, cool. That’s the Robert Kiyosaki game, right?
Deven: Yup. I also went to multiple REIA meetings, I read Rich Dad Poor Dad, and then multiple other investment books. I also went to OREIA which you were just talking about, but actually a year or two before that.
Deven: Soon after I went to OREIA for my first time, I bought my first house and kept going.
Larry: That’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. So, tell us a little bit about your book.
Deven: It’s about how I got started in real estate, about my first investment, a bunch of other good knowledge about lending, some of the deals that I’ve done, about credit, overall a lot of knowledge.
Larry: That’s really good. That’s really good. It’s a very inspirational book too. What’s the name of the book?
Deven: If I Can Do It, So Can You.
Larry: That’s awesome. You sent me a signed copy of it. It was really awesome. I let someone who was one of my coaching students, they brought their 13 year old here to the office and I let him borrow it so he could read it and I gave him your contact information so hopefully he will be reaching out to you as well, so it’s really cool to see young men and women out there getting involved in real estate. So, tell us a little bit about your first deal. How did your first deal come about and tell us a little bit about that.
Deven: Well, my first investment was actually in Lego.
Larry: That’s right. I remember reading that in the book.
Larry: Your first business venture was in Legos. That’s a really cool story. Would you mind sharing that?
Deven: Yes, it taught me that I could invest. Maybe not in real estate quite yet, but it taught me that I could invest. I also learned to take action. Before I actually bought it, I was saving money to buy it but it ended up taking too long. I couldn’t borrow the money and I need even more money after interest. I also could have been more creative. I could have partnered the money faster. Another thing I learned was always hire professionals.
Larry: That’s good.
Deven: I tried to save money by using a more local place to sell my Death Star instead of eBay which sells pretty much everywhere. I did this because I did not want to pay eBay’s 10% commission. I didn’t sell my set before Lego released a new Death Star and prices went way down. I saw the deal and did not act even though I was pretty sure it would be a good deal.
Deven: I don’t get analysis paralysis anymore. If there’s a good deal that gets me closer to my goal, I act immediately. I am very glad I purchased the Lego Death Star for my first investment. It was much cheaper to make mistakes there than on a house or apartment building. If you want to invest but you think or if you keep thinking you just need to learn one more small thing, start small. I know a few other people that work for my parents’ companies start on mobile homes. You can make very high returns with very little money invested. I’ve done multiple of these. You’re alright maybe more than 100% but still only a few thousand dollars. In that way, even if it doesn’t work out and you decide real estate isn’t for you, it’s not a big deal. It’s much better than losing money on a house or apartment building.
Larry: Exactly. Exactly. That is so true. Now, your parents have really inspired you and I know that it helped you a lot. I’ve met your parents. So tell us about what they do.
Deven: They own hundreds of rental units. They’ve owned storage units, mobile home parks, a part of an airport at one point in time.
Larry: Sweet. That’s awesome. That’s really really cool. Now, you’re not an only child either. You have some siblings, right?
Deven: I have one little brother.
Larry: Okay. Is he interested in entrepreneurship?
Deven: Yes he is. He owns quite a few rental units also.
Larry: That’s really cool. How old is he?
Deven: He is nine right now.
Larry: He is nine and he owns quite a few rental units. Man, I love it. I love it. So tell us a little bit about, I mean, what would you say to encourage someone, just off the cuff, just in your own words, what would you say to someone out there who is watching this, maybe it’s not someone your age, but maybe it’s even a parent or a grandparent of someone, what would you say to that parent or grandparent to get their child or grandchild interested in business, entrepreneurship, and real estate?
Deven: Take action.
Larry: Take action.
Deven: You can’t buy your second until you buy your first deal.
Larry: That’s great. That’s great. That’s great. Your parents have been a real big encouragement to you over the years, right?
Deven: They have.
Larry: What do you think are some things that they did to help get you interested and get you to the point where you are right now?
Deven: Like I said, they got me started by playing the game cash flow. So, they kind of got me thinking that it’s like a game and I was doing the same things that I do now in the game cash flow. In that way I could learn but it’s a way that’s easier for me.
Larry: Uh-huh. Cool. You can learn without the risk.
Deven: Yes, more or less.
Larry: That’s really cool. That’s good. So your first venture was selling Legos. You made an investment into a Death Star and tell us about how that worked out. You bought it, how much you bought it for, what you did, how you sold it, and that sort of thing.
Deven: So, Lego, the company that makes it, retires their sets after a certain amount of time. Usually the price doubles and I realized that on multiple other sets that I might have wanted for say a Christmas present.
Deven: Then I saw this one which is the biggest set I ever put together and I was like, I think they might retire this soon. They’ve had this set on the market for quite a while. Well, then they did retire it and I hadn’t saved enough money to buy it, but I ended up buying it for around 500 dollars.
Deven: Yes, instead of the 400 it would have cost me so that’s quite a bit more.
Deven: I haven’t actually sold it yet. So, I don’t have those numbers.
Larry: So, what are of them selling for currently? Do you know?
Deven: I think around 500 dollars because they’ve released a new Death Star set that’s very close to what I have.
Larry: Oh, okay. Okay. so you still have that investment. You held on to it. So, now, tell us a little bit about your first venture into real estate.
Deven: I bought my first house using only my knowledge, creativity, a little bit of money I earned from my part time job.
Larry: That’s cool.
Deven: Yes. It was a nice house. It was near where I lived. I bought it for 50,000 dollars and got a loan from a private lender. I thought based on what my numbers were, I thought it was worth about 80,000 dollars so that’s a pretty good deal to me.
Larry: So, you bought it for 50. You borrowed private money, and do you still hold that property? Is that a rental property for you?
Deven: Yes it is. I do own it and it is a rental property.
Larry: That’s good. Now, what kind of cash flow are you getting on it?
Deven: Currently. If I remember correctly, it’s about 995 dollars a month.
Larry: Good. 995 and then you have the private money lender that you pay so you still have a net positive cash flow.
Larry: That’s great. That’s really really good. I like that. So you mentioned a minute ago that you have a part time job. Tell us about that.
Deven: It’s working for my parents at their office or working on book work.
Larry: Okay, what kind of work do you do for your parents?
Deven: Reconciling statements, working on loans, packaging cheques, not too advanced. Working on taxes this time of the year.
Larry: Man I just think this is awesome. You’re like, I’m reconciling statements, I working on taxes this time of the year, and nothing too complicated. It’s awesome, man. Most eleven year olds, a lot of 21 year olds don’t know how to do that stuff, and that’s really really cool. Your parents have exposed you to this and gotten you involved in this and that’s really, really cool, but you have to have the desire to do it yourself. Like you said, the number one thing is to take action, right?
Deven: Be creative and take action.
Larry: That’s really cool. Be creative and take action. How did you find this deal that you bought for 50,000? Was it a for sale by owner or was it online, or did your parents help you, or how did you find that deal?
Deven: It was a company that my parents knew. I saw the for sale sign because I was driving past it and I saw the “for sale” sign.
Larry: You mean you were riding past it. Your parents were driving.
Larry: That’s cool, man. I love it. So you saw the for sale sign, and you called the seller and negotiated the deal, right?
Larry: That’s good. That is good. Now, do you get involved in screening your tenants and stuff like that as well?
Deven: I hire a management company but that is one that my family owns so I do work there, so I understand that better.
Larry: That’s good. That’s good. So would you recommend people do their own management or outsource it? Outsource it, like, to a second company?
Deven: Yes. I’d say, it depends on how much you own. If you own a lot more, it’s probably better to hire somebody because eventually it’s just very hard to manage your own, but if you have a small amount, you probably could.
Larry: That’s really good. So you’ve done some other deals since that first one, correct?
Larry: How many deals have you done so far?
Deven: Now, I own 23 units right now.
Larry: 23 units right now. That’s really cool. I love it. I love it. That’s great. So, there’s a lot of people watching that, you know, like I said, they’ve got a child or a grandchild or something like that, what are some things that that parent or grandparent can do to encourage that child? Some things like get them involved in the day to day operations because it’s obvious that your parents have you right in the thick of things, right?
Deven: Yes, more or less. You have to… it depends on what the child or the person you’re trying to teach likes, because at my age, they got me playing the game cash flow.
Deven: That to me was more of a game, but to some kids, it would be different. So it will probably depend on the kid.
Larry: That’s really good. So what you’re saying is, by starting out and making it fun, it was interesting to you and it kept your attention.
Larry: That’s really good. So, what does a typical day look like for you?
Deven: A typical day, it completely depends. Like today, wednesday, I am usually going to at least one or possibly both of the investment meetings because around here, we have two meetings that go on on wednesday.
Larry: Right. So you go to your local investor’s meetings. It might be a meet-up or a real estate investors group or something like that. So you go to that so you can learn and network and find other private money and other deals and stuff, right?
Larry: Excellent. Excellent. That’s good. When you’re not going to REIA meetings, what are you doing typically during the day? I am assuming that you’re home schooled, right?
Larry: I kind of figured since, you know, where we’re recording this, it’s eleven o’clock on a Wednesday so I would assume you’re home schooled.
Deven: Yes. I am homeschooled. So I would be doing school work for a part of it, but once this thing I have for school work is investing, so I could look at a deal, look at more investment or go to investment meetings, like I said, watch different investment podcasts and things, like yours.
Larry: That’s good. That is good. That is good. So, Deven, what’s in store for the future for you? I mean, you already said that now you’re even doing some traveling and speaking at investor’s meetings and stuff like that, you’re just really inspiring people and teaching people and helping them, what’s next for Deven?
Deven: Possibly this fall I think I’m going to be going to college.
Larry: Wow. This fall, you’re going to college?
Larry: That’s really cool. I love it. I love it. Being only eleven, you’re going to college, so what are some things you plan to study in college?
Deven: Entrepreneurship that more or less some other basic things science.
Larry: Right, the regular stuff.
Deven: Not really regular, but for me, yes.
Larry: Right. Right. That’s good, man. I love it. I love it. So, Deven, who are some people that inspire you?
Deven: Some people that inspired me?
Larry: Yes. Like, people you look up to.
Deven: A lot.
Larry: People you learn from that inspire you.
Deven: My parents. Another good one would be Robert Kiyosaki.
Deven: You’ve said he made cash flow. He also wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad, which is one of my first investment books that I’ve read.
Deven: Speakers at OREIA.
Larry: That’s good. That’s good. What would you say is your favorite book, would you say it’s Rich Dad Poor Dad?
Deven: Favorite book. Yes, Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Larry: Okay. Good. Do you have any other favorites that are on your list that you like?
Deven: I like quite a few different books and mainly just for fun, but I think Rich Dad Poor Dad is my favorite.
Larry: That’s good. That’s good.
Deven: Oh, one more favorite, my book.
Larry: I love it. Let’s see your book. Hold it up. Let’s see what it looks like. That’s good. So how would our viewers and listeners get a copy of that?
Deven: They can go to IfICanSoCanYouBook.com, and that will give you information about the book. There’s a link to Amazon there so you can buy it if you want. There’s other things you can learn there.
Larry: That’s great. That’s really, really good. So that’s IfICanSoCanYouBook.com.
Larry: That’s great and you’ve got some training there, some education. Now, you put together a class that you teach at REIA groups, didn’t you?
Deven: I’m going to be teaching.
Larry: That’s good. That’s good. That is really, really good. I am really proud of you. So there might even be some REIA group leaders that are watching this that might want to book you to come to their group and speak. I know for about 15 years, I’ve traveled around the country, speaking to the REIA groups all over. It was a lot of fun. You got to travel. So I think that’s something that you’re going to do really really good at. If someone wanted to reach out to you, maybe a group leader or something like that, how would they contact you or is it best just to go to the website?
Deven: Okay, so Deven@ClearSkyTrainer.com.
Larry: Okay, say that one more time.
Deven: D-E-V-E-N at C-L-E-A-R-S-K-Y-T-R-A-I-N-E-R dot com.
Larry: That’s really cool. How did you come up with that name?
Deven: It’s for training people. It’s the training company, Clear Sky Training.
Deven: Yes, clear sky trainer so I got a training email.
Larry: Awesome. That’s really cool. I like it.
Larry: That’s really good. So, Deven, do you have any kind of parting works for anyone watching this that wants to get started in real estate or help a child or grandchild get started in real estate?
Deven: Well, if I can do it, so can you.
Larry: I love it. I love it. That is great. Well, Deven, I really, really appreciate you being on today. This has been really cool. It’s been a lot of fun. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be able to sit with me for a little bit and share some of your knowledge, some of your wisdom, and the information about your book. I’ve read your book. I think it’s phenomenal. It’s very, very easy to read and it’s very down to earth. It’s very practical. I urge everybody watching or listening, go to IfICanSoCanYouBook.com and don’t just buy one copy, buy five, ten, twenty copies, take them to your child’s school. You know, tell your child to give it out to their friends. Take them to church and give them out to youth pastors, youth ministers. I mean, I think you need to get five, ten, twenty, or more copies of this book and share it because Deven, you’re a big inspiration and you’re helping a lot of people and I am really proud of you. You’re going to do great things in this world.
Deven: Thank you, Larry, and thank you so much for having me on.
Larry: You’re very welcome. I am really glad you took the time today and thank you so much. Thanks a lot for watching, everybody.