AFRICANGLOBE – Victor Bomi says there is “no secret” to his early success as a real estate investor, other than his knack for relationship-building and spotting good deals.
At only 22 years old, he grew his business with $4,000 that he earned from his first real estate deal. As the CEO of ATLCO, a privately held real estate advisory and investment company, and founder of Offervest, a national real estate investment platform, Bomi gives credit to his Nigerian heritage and determination to make real estate investing available to almost anyone. In an industry where starting or ending big gets all the praise, Bomi wants to focus on longevity after starting at an earlier age than most. Now 27, Bomi has acquired over 45 homes and closed over $4 million worth of investment properties in the Atlanta, Georgia area since he launched his company in 2013.
Maryann Reid: Some people believe that they can make it in real estate alone with their own ingenuity. How did you get started?
Victor Bomi: When I first got started I didn’t have a lot of capital to invest personally, but what I did have was a very open mindset and strong work ethic, alongside two mentors, a real estate developer and a real estate wholesaler. Both helped me shorten my learning curve, set the framework for my real estate companies and avoid some of the most common mistakes that a lot of first time investors make. In the beginning of my real estate investing career, one thing that helped me was understanding that this was a people business, and relationship centered industry so I always focused on building bridges, rather than burning them…I think it is important that when first getting started investing in real estate, one must have a set of personal values and set the right foundations in place right from the start. Some of the key foundations for your real estate journey I recommend include: getting a mentor, doing business with professionalism and integrity, focus more on execution than ideas, and place a high value on building quality relationships.
Reid: What is your secret to building “one on one” relationships with investors?
Bomi: I believe that being straightforward with investors and not overselling them on what you know you can’t deliver. What we do here at ATLCO is key to establishing a real connection with them. Most times I let them know what I have been able to accomplish as a real estate investor and even take them to investment projects my company has actively been a part of. The key to any relationship is being able to communicate well, listen well, and work towards a win-win scenario. Most serious investors we work with are quick to blacklist agents/wholesalers who send out bad deals, thus in order to be taken seriously and actually build a relationship with any investor, you need to actually know what a good deal looks like and how to find them. We have a vested interest in the success of our investors, as it is also directly linked to our success and longevity.
Reid: Tell me more about your first successful real estate transaction that turned into ATLCO.
Bomi: My first successful real estate transaction was a property in Jonesboro, Georgia. My developer mentor had an investment property for sale and I was tasked with finding a cash investor whom would be interested in adding that property to their rental portfolio. At the time of closing I was able to walk away with $4,000 consulting fee for simply being able to source my cash investor.
Reid: Your latest venture, Offervest says it helps people sell their homes without an agent. Yet, most cash offers are typically lower than traditional offers that require a lender. How does Offervest compete with higher offers from real estate agents?
Bomi: We provide property owners with competitive offers and guarantee each owner a fair price at the fair market value for their real estate. We don’t try to compete with the banks and agents based on price, rather we focus on providing a solution that takes the stress out of selling real estate. There are some sellers who don’t necessarily want the highest and best, rather they are more interested in getting rid of their property as quickly as possible without having to go through the uncertain nature of the sales process.
Reid: How does your Nigerian background influence how you work and do business?
Bomi: In my culture, you are usually swayed into the medical, engineer, or law field but in addition to those fields, most Nigerians also have a very high acumen for the world of business and entrepreneurship. If you have ever been to the city of Lagos especially you will understand the hustle mentality that a lot of Nigerians have, and I would say I have taken the best qualities of what it means to be a Nigerian in business: visionary, mental toughness, tenacious, hardworking, critical thinker, are just some of the few qualities that come to mind and I have applied them to my business and professional life.
Reid: You credit much of your success to your faith in God. Who are your role models that keep you focused on growing?
Bomi: If I had to name one person who was my role model in life, I would say it was my mother Veronica Bomi. To start, my mom was the first girl in her village at the time when girls didn’t even go to school to actually go to school. She has a Master’s in Nigeria, Master’s here in the States and is also currently finishing her PhD as well. She is by far the most hard-working person I know and she has taught me and my siblings the importance of not only working hard but keeping God at the center of our lives.
Reid: You’ve accomplished so much, early on in your life. What is next for you?
Bomi: I have begun working on a self-help, personal development book that I believe will help alot of people to go for their dreams and unlock their true potential. My other projects include expanding my latest venture Offervest, Inc. by hiring more acquisition and sales associates, as well as launching into new markets. My other company ATLCO Real Estate has also recently partnered with and raised new investment capital from private international investment group to acquire investment properties and re-develop lower income communities throughout the city of Atlanta. Legacy Investors Club is an educational firm focused on providing aspiring real estate investors with mentorship, business and financial literacy education and the tools to change their lives for the better, forever. At Legacy, I take my own knowledge, resources and experiences to help prepare aspiring entrepreneurs and future investors with firsthand education to accomplish their business and financial goals.
Reid: Anything else you’d like to say?
Bomi: When you decide that you want to become an entrepreneur, that essentially means you have decided to take your life into your own hands and design your future. Don’t fall into the trap of making excuses for yourself, or telling yourself why entrepreneurship and real estate investing may not work for you, bet on yourself.
By: Maryann Reid