Click on the button below to listen to this episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast…

Getting started in the real estate industry can be an incredibly challenging task. The competition is fierce, and if you’re new to the arena, there’s a lot of ground to cover to learn what it takes to make your real estate business successful.

No one knows this better than James Wise, real estate broker and owner of Holton Wise Property Group.

James is a firm believer that to become a successful entrepreneur – whether in real estate or other ventures – you must “eat, sleep, live, and breathe your business.”

Today, he shares the story of how he got started in the real estate industry, some of the challenges he and his partner faced early in his career, and why they decided to keep pushing forward to turn their real estate business into a multi-million-dollar success.

In This Episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast:

  • James explains how he got started in the real estate industry.
  • He explains why he enjoys being an entrepreneur and his passion for working in real estate.
  • He shares some helpful tips and advice for new and aspiring entrepreneurs interested in getting started in the industry.
  • He explains why his greatest challenge as an entrepreneur is the feeling of fighting a multi-faceted war.

James Wise’s Favorite Online Resources:

Reach Out to James Wise:

Give Us a Rate & Review!

Thank you for listening to the Start Fierce Business Podcast! I truly appreciate each and every one of you. If you have any questions or comments about the show, please feel free to leave a comment below.

If you found the information and interviews shared on this podcast helpful, please head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and leave your honest review!


Note: Transcripts are created automatically and are not 100% accurate. However, they help our visitors find relevant content using our website’s search feature.

Welcome to the show, James. Thank you for having me. Cindy.

Thank you for being on tell us about yourself outside of your business. Well, it’s not really much going on outside of my business. That’s kind of why I’m on your entrepreneurial podcast. Honestly, you know, my belief is, you know, if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to eat, sleep, live and breathe your business. You are your business. So to be honest, yeah, you know, I don’t really do much that’s outside of the business. I don’t have many hobbies, my businesses, pretty much all inclusive of me, besides my business, they are I’m engaged. I live in the Cleveland Ohio area, but pretty much everything else is all business for me. Okay. Well, tell us about your business and how you got started with it. Okay, I am the broker and owner of Holton wise Property Group where commercial and residential real estate firm we handle, you know, buying and selling on behalf of our clients. On top of that we do full service property management and investment services. So currently, we’re managing a portfolio of about $30 million worth of real estate, hey, it’s all in the greater Cleveland area that’s on behalf of properties that myself and the other owner of this business own and we manage for investors from all around the country, the majority of which come from your high end markets, you’re super pricey markets, like your la market or New York market.

Okay? And how did you get into that? Well, myself and my partner, john Holton, we actually got into this business because we just wanted we had a dream of buying as many rental properties as we could. So he’s a general contractor, I’m a salesman. So we thought that our talents were, you know, very complimentary, kind of, like peanut butter and jelly, you know, contractor on one side sales on the other. So we teamed up, we started buying properties together.

And we quickly ran out of money.

And we realized, hey, we don’t, we don’t have as many properties as we want.

And we’re out of money, what do we do. So we started, you know, researching, we started telling everybody what we were doing, and all the great returns who are making on these rental properties and are, it was actually our goal to see if some investors would like to passively invest with us by loaning us money, so we could buy more properties or ourselves, they didn’t, we found that out very quickly. They didn’t want to do that. But what they did want to do was they wanted to own these properties themselves, because the properties you could buy in the Cleveland market are so much cheaper than what you could buy out in New York or California. So that’s, that’s kind of where the idea came to do the property management, you know, there was just this demand, like, Hey, I don’t want to loan you money. So you could buy this apartment building, but I want to buy the apartment building, can you manage it for me?

Because I’m a doctor in Los Angeles, and that’s how it started. Okay. And what do you enjoy most about what you do who, you know, it’s kind of like a two parter question, right? Like, what do I enjoy about being an entrepreneur, you know, just owning any business, you know, I love the freedom to, you know, make the rules, you know, do things the way you think they should be done. Whenever I would work at another job, you know, you’d have a boss or manager who was doing something and you’re like, I, you know, I think it could be done better. But you didn’t have the power to do that.

And as far as, you know, my specific business real estate, I like the deals, I just, I just love the deal. You know, I love selling a deal, you know, closing that transaction getting, you know, that hefty commission check, you know, just just going out there finding a seller, finding a buyer and just making things happen. I you know, anybody that’s in sales, you know, you just, they probably know what I’m talking about. You just you just love the act of making that deal happen. What advice would you give to someone that’s wanting to get into a real estate business, you have to be prepared to grind, many, many people get into real estate, just thinking of, you know, all the money, all the big commission checks. And, you know, it’s a very free industry, you’re not tied down to a nine to five. So you do have the opportunity to make your own schedule. But a lot of people see that and they see the big checks, but they forget about all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Because of that, you know, there’s an 80% drop off in the real estate industry. So that means for every 10 people that become realtors, eight of them are most likely going to be out of the business within the first five years, because they forget about the grind, they forget about the constant boring, repetitive stuff, you have to automate your life, you have to set aside like, two, three hours every single day to prospect for new leads, you know, a lot of people, they come, they come to work for hold wise, you know, on day one, they expect to sit in a desk, and that phone just automatically starts ringing with buyers and sellers. It doesn’t happen that way. You have to find the buyers and sellers and people forget to do the boring, mundane tasks to make that phone ring non stop.

What’s your greatest challenge as an entrepreneur, I think in real estate and in any, any business where someone is an entrepreneur, I think probably the toughest thing is, it could feel like you are fighting a war on multiple fronts. What I mean by that is, it’s almost like when you’re a business, it feels like everybody is coming at you from one way or the other, you have your competition who’s trying to put you out of business you’ll have in, especially in my business you have sometimes because we act as a middleman. So we have tenants on one hand, and we have property owners on the other, we’re in the middle.

If there’s a dispute, we need to make a decision. And no matter what decision we make, typically we’re going to have one person who’s upset if I make a decision that makes the owner happy, it most likely makes the tenant unhappy if we did the decision that made the tenant happy, the owners most likely unhappy, so we’re dealing with that. And then you have your competition, trying to put you out of business it, you know, can feel like, you know, everyone’s just coming at you from all angles. So, when you’re an entrepreneur, you have to be on your toes at all times, and that you’ll be ready for the challenges that come.

Okay. And when did you know that you were an entrepreneur my entire life, I’ve always wanted to be a business owner. You know, I just knew from the first time I got a job. When I was 14 years old, I was handing out pretzel samples in the local mall. I knew, hey, this isn’t for me, man.

So aside from not wanting to work for someone else, and aside from family, what’s your Why? Well, I think everybody’s why everybody’s got probably the same y, which is, you know, a little money that comes along with it, you know, you have, there’s no ceiling when you’re an entrepreneur, when you own the business, you know, your pay can be whatever it could be, if you if you work a regular job, you’re going to be kept that well, you can make, but on top of that, you know, just the obvious one, you know, I like building things. Why, like real estate and, you know, I think by starting a business, you have a unique opportunity to leave a footprint, you know, a legacy, so to speak on this world that, you know, you know, regular nine to five or can’t do that, you know, you could really do something special, you could fill a need in the marketplace with your business. And, you know, you could change lives. You know, my company, we employ 60 people at 60 families, you know, 60 people are able to feed their families based on what we’ve built. You know, we house you know, over 600 people every single month, you know, that’s powerful stuff. Yeah, that’s awesome.

What’s on your bucket list? Ooh, that’s a tough what’s on your bucket list?

Give me one. Give me a good one. Um, I want to travel the world. But that’s kind of cliche. You know, my biggest thing, my biggest focus right now is building this brand. So I know it’s what I’ve been talking about. But my biggest goal, my biggest bucket list goal is by the time I’m old and I’m retired. You know, I want my brand my businessto be the largest real estate business in the state of Ohio. We are absolutely not at that point yet. We are on our way. So that is my number one focus. I love it. That’s awesome. Okay, so I  have a real one. I want to be a multi millionaire. Well, that’s a good one. Yeah, who does? It became?

I guess that’s cliche, too, but I just became a partner. And well, by the time this airs of would have been a few months into it. But I became a partner in a tech startup. So I’m really excited to help that grow and see what happens. That’s awesome. That’s great. A lot of money in tech. Yeah, I work at a co working office. That’s only for tech companies, tech startups in Orlando. Now, are you at liberty to say what this business is? Or is it still in the early stages to release that? Oh, no, I can say by the time the podcast airs, it will be out of beta, it’ll be live, it’s an app for Shopify, it’s called artistry dot IO. And it is a product customizer app where if you sell custom products, like t shirts or whatever, with people’s names on it, pictures, you can install our app, and your users will be able to customize your products. Oh, very cool. Yeah. And then we’re releasing for other platforms. And 2017 so excited about that.

Very cool. Thanks for interviewing me about that, by the way, Hey, no prob, what’s your favorite internet resource or app that just makes your life easier?

Drop Box? Absolutely. Dropbox, you know, with 60 employees, multiple locations. I work from home, I work from the office, I work on my phone, being able to save and have all my employees have the same documents anywhere else. That’s awesome. Yeah, all the cloud based storage but that I’ve tried several, I would say Dropbox. I don’t work for Dropbox, by the way, but they’re the best and you know, that’s awesome. And I love the cloud.

Yeah, Dropbox is pretty cool. I like the feature where you can send somebody a link to request for files and they can just upload files there they don’t have to have an account yeah that’s amazing. Another one that’s great is that loop I love that loop that allows us to sign contracts digitally so you don’t have to print scan Oh that’s good. Okay. dot loop I’ll check that one out. I’m looking for new software Yeah, that one’s great you upload everything and then you add signature spaces and you know people could sign contracts on their iPhone that’s what’s the best way for listeners to get in touch with you follow me on Instagram would be the easiest and best way to get in touch with me or to see what I’m up to you know I’m counting somebody’s posting things about real estate or about business given out tips you know motivational tidbits here my handle is James wise each w p g okay and what’s your website Holton wise that calm?

Okay. Well, James, thanks so much for sharing your story with us today. Hey, thank you, Cindy.


Cindy Rodriguez is the host of the Start Fierce Business Podcast. When she’s not interviewing awesome entrepreneurs, she’s working on growing her startup, going to Disney World with her daughter, or reading a book.

Pin It on Pinterest