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Meet Zach Oehlman of Valley Investment Club

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zach Oehlman.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Zach. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up on a farm in Northwest Indiana and thought I would stay there the rest of my life. This was until I graduated school and decided I wanted to travel the world and have my own businesses. I had no clue on how to run a business so I went to College. I studied finance and business administration and fell in love with valuing companies and decided I wanted to start my own private equity company. Again, I had no idea how to do this so I continued my studies. I graduated from Indiana University in 2008 right when the entire housing market was crashing. I was competing against all of these people that had years of experience. There were investment bankers, analysts, bankers, and other financial experts that all had amazing experience and were looking for work. I finally ended up taking a job for a real estate investor in Chicago and continued to send out resumes. I ended up getting a job at the Chicago Board of Trade and spent almost a year there as I continued sending out resumes. After sending out about 3,000 resumes I finally got a job as a valuation analyst for a small boutique firm in Chicago and loved the work. I had the opportunity to value private businesses, debt, franchises, patents, and almost anything else you can think of. I then had an amazing opportunity to work with one of the companies that was leading the way in valuation and jumped at the opportunity. I worked there for a while and was able to get a paper published and had the opportunity to work with industry leaders and on some amazing projects. I still had a burning desire to have the freedom to travel so I quit my job and started working with a group of real estate investors. We would meet several times a week and found an amazing mentor. We partnered with a hedge fund and provided them turn key rental properties. I loved this and started doing it on my own. I then moved to Phoenix and bought my first business that I eventually flipped for a profit. Now I focus solely on real estate investing. Today I have my own 2,400 sq ft office where we train and develop real estate investors / entrepreneurs. I started my office because I know how important it is to be surrounded by like-minded individuals that are focused on the same goals as me. We have mastermind sessions where we analyze deals, raise capital, look for properties and just hang out. It is what helped me so much and now we get to pass it on to help others. Today we are involved in rental properties, fix and flips, subject-tos, seller finance, and multi-family real estate deals.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest challenge was getting out of my own way. I was very smart in college and graduated at the top of my class. I also spent thousands of hours learning about finance on my own and thought I knew everything so when I joined the group of real estate investors I was arrogant and wouldn’t let people contribute to me. I wasn’t publicly arrogant but rather would disregard all the direction my mentors provided me. If I did take their direction I wasn’t being the person I needed to be so I still wasn’t successful. It wasn’t until I took the Landmark Forum that I actually started seeing results. I spent so much time getting ready to get ready and wasn’t taking any action. I thought I had to know everything about what I was doing and was paralyzed with my analysis and fear of making a mistake. I spent two years learning and “trying” to start my business. I didn’t get very far because I wasn’t taking the actions that would grow my business – finding deals and raising money.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Valley Investment Club – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I have several businesses but they all revolve around real estate. We invest in real estate several different ways. This includes fix and flips, rentals, lease options, notes, multi-family, commercial, and many others. We help a lot of people that have challenges around their real estate. This can include foreclosures, selling a vacant of distressed property, investing their money to earn a return, and much more. We also train / develop real estate investors through a mentoring program we created. We can take someone that doesn’t know anyone about real estate investing and turn them into an amazing investor that can stand on their own.

I am most proud of the people we have helped. There are countless people that we have saved from foreclosures and helped out of difficult situations. We have also helped countless people quit their jobs and they are now living their dreams because we taught them how to invest in real estate.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am looking forward to taking my business to the next level. We are going to have 200 doors by the end of next year and will be operating our own property management company and construction company so we can complete our projects and manage them in-house. Our primary goal going forward is going to be multi-family properties and creative acquisitions that we will be using to help people out of foreclosures. I look forward to be able to focus solely on acquisition and raising capital as we grow our team and people are able to focus more on specific tasks as opposed to doing everything.

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