The Unique Struggles of Being a Real Estate Entrepreneur at 18
Our guest this week is Zach Garfias, an impressive young gentleman who’s a great entrepreneur in real estate. At 18, he was the youngest licensed agent in Colorado to complete a transaction, and from there he’s gone on to successfully flip houses and create several businesses. Now, he’s developing new software that could shake up the market around town. Chris sat down with him to talk about how he got started in real estate and frankly discuss what he’s learned along the way. Listen to the podcast to find out why his new software could be a game changer.

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. 

Zach Garfias
Zach Garfias – Venturesome Inc.
Three Learning Options!
  1. Listen to the podcast “#307: The Unique Struggles of Being a Real Estate Entrepreneur at 18” on the Denver Real Estate Investing Podcast
  2. Watch the YouTube video (at the bottom).
  3. 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.

Zach Garfias real estate investor
Zach (18) working with his contractors inside of an in-progress house flip

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. 

Zach Garfias in India with software development team
Zach (21) in India with his former development team

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.

 

eGent real estate software
Today, eGent is up and running with active users

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

Get Started Building Your Own Rental Portfolio

For information on how to get started investing in Denver, check out our 2021 Denver Real Estate Investing Guide. You can also sign up for our free Real Estate Investing Newsletter and download free real estate spreadsheets and toolkits.

YouTube Video:

The Unique Struggles of Being a Real Estate Entrepreneur at 18

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Authors
Chris Lopez
Chris Lopez is a Denver area real estate entrepreneur and investor, as well as the host of Bigger Pockets’ House Hackerz and the Denver Real Estate Investing Podcast.
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