Meet Jordan Fulmer, a real estate investor in the Huntsville, AL area. He and his wife started over three years ago, and since then have completed over a dozen real estate deals.
Their company, Momentum Property Solutions, is fairly broad in its scope. They have flipped properties, bought houses as rentals, and crafted creative financing deals. They specialize in renovating properties and have gained a great deal of experience from all of the projects we’ve completed. They’d love to share their experience about their entrepreneurial journey.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Jordan Fulmer: My name is Jordan Fulmer, and my wife Melissa and I own Momentum Property Solutions, a real estate investing company in Huntsville, AL. We’ve been buying and fixing up houses for a little over 3 years now. We’re actually mechanical engineers as well. Even though we had full-time jobs, we also had an entrepreneurial spirit. Since buying our first rental house, we have learned a ton of information related to buying houses, renovations, renting, and everything in between.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your view point, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Jordan Fulmer: I believe certain people have an innate desire to do something bigger than a standard 9-5 job. However, this doesn’t always play itself out. Many times, there has to be an external stimulus that pushes them into being an entrepreneur. In my case, I was working a job that I hated, and that fueled the fire in me to build our business. However, even before that in college, I had dreams of starting a company and building things with the knowledge I had. So I would say that many people who are “born” entrepreneurs get sucked into the standard way of life because that is all that they know. However, when that stimulus comes, they rise out of their situation and grow into what they really wanted. If I had not already had the aspirations of an entrepreneur, when tough times came at work I would have just looked for a new job. But instead, I decided to forge a completely different path, and I’m so glad that I did.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Jordan Fulmer: I would say that I am driven and passionate about what I do. I am never happy with the status quo. I’m constantly working to improve our processes so we can help more people and build our business. I have a fire inside of me that is so strong that I will never give up, no matter what the obstacle. I believe that’s what it takes to be an entrepreneur. There are always going to be tough times. I’ve had times as an entrepreneur that were much more difficult than my job before. But the rewards are so much greater – when you know that you are genuinely helping people and creating the life that you want for your family.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Jordan Fulmer: We buy houses and fix them up to either sell or rent. The first property we bought was pretty simple. It was a turn-key rental property that we got a bank loan to buy, so we had to put down about 25%. That was great to have some cash flow from the rental income, but the only issue was it was going to take us another couple of years to save up enough money to buy another one. And if we wanted to replace our income we needed about 30 more houses! But we didn’t give up. We did a lot of research and learning and developed strategies for buying houses that didn’t require us to use as much of our own money. That way we could buy as many houses as we could find.
We’ve also changed the way we do marketing. Starting out, we did the typical methods of marketing that every real estate training teaches you (direct mail, door knocking, cold calling, text messages). However, we saw a huge drop in return with these methods when our market became saturated with other investors. Plus we were tired of pestering people and getting cussed out. So we decided to go all-in on developing our website so that we could rank on Google for certain keywords, that way people that needed our help could come and find us, instead of us pestering everyone.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Jordan Fulmer: You must assume that there are going to be tough times. There are definitely going to be times that you want to quit and don’t know how to keep going. That’s why developing a “why” statement at the beginning is so crucial. It’s annoying at the time because all you want to do is get into the business and start making money. But if you don’t lay that groundwork, you’ll have no foundation when those tough times come. But if you’ve resolved within yourself why you’re doing this, then nothing can stop you.
You also must assume that not everything will work out exactly as you’ve planned. You must be adaptive. The strategies that worked last year may not still work this year. But the ones that are set on success continue to grow and find new ways to grow their business.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Jordan Fulmer: I suppose the biggest assumption I made starting out was that everything was going to be easy. Within real estate, there are plenty of coaches and gurus that nearly promise success if you just buy their program, and it sounds really good. Especially if you compare that dream to a miserable job. But the truth is, there is a lot of struggle involved in the beginning. Having that fantasized idea of how our business was going to do caused me a lot of heartaches when the business wasn’t growing near as quickly as I thought it would.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain.
Jordan Fulmer: I would say take a hard look at the things that are holding you back, and take those issues head-on. Take the necessary steps to remove those roadblocks instead of focusing so much on things that don’t matter. I spent so much time at real estate training learning new strategies and deal structures. Those are great, but my main issue was bringing in new leads. If I had realized where the bottleneck was and addressed that, we would be much further today.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Jordan Fulmer: You have to learn to be careful who you take advice from. There will be plenty of naysayers when you get started. For example, some of the things we do in real estate are pretty unique and creative. Many people that hadn’t heard of these strategies acted like we were crazy, but it is these strategies that have made us successful. Related to that, be careful about taking advice from people who act like they know a lot, but have not actually applied any of it. They are often very theoretical, but to be successful, you need practical knowledge.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Jordan Fulmer: COVID-19 has shown us that anything can happen. Many businesses closed their doors because of how they were affected by COVID-19. One lesson to take away is to have a reserve of backup funds. If you are going month-to-month, something needs to change, because you are one hit like COVID-19 away from going out of business. Another lesson is that you must be adaptive. The business that succeeded during that time were the ones that got creative and came up with new ways to provide their services and get customers.
What hasn’t changed is that people still need services that businesses provide. How businesses meet those may be different in some genres, but the need is still there.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Jordan Fulmer: Many aspiring entrepreneurs think they’re going to have a ton of free time and be making a lot of money right at the beginning. The truth is that you’re probably going to have less free time when you’re getting started. So make sure you are starting a business in something that you’re passionate about. If not, when reality sinks in and you’re working like crazy, you’ll wonder why you’re even doing this and give up.
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Jordan Fulmer: I believe you must be a self-starter. No one is going to make you do anything when you’re starting your own company. If you want to be lazy and not work, the business will reflect that. You must be resolved to never give up. Tough times will come, but if you are determined to solve every problem that comes your way, you will come out on top. I also believe you must be set on truly helping people. If you provide a quality service, people will acknowledge that and as a result, your business will grow.
On the contrary, if you constantly cheat or take advantage of people, you will develop a reputation and it won’t be long before no one wants to work with you.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Jordan Fulmer: I would say the best ways to prepare are books and websites that give you the practical skills for your business. For example, I am currently reading “Never Split The Difference” by Chris Voss. It is extremely pertinent to what I do because it gives me the skills to negotiate real estate deals. Here are a couple of tips on taking in information:
- Sometimes it helps to go back through or re-read information. It usually doesn’t stick on the first time through. So if you can tell it would be useful for you, consider reading it a second or third time.
- You must apply the things you learn. So many people are focused on absorbing information, but they never use it. But the application is where you really learn.
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Jordan Fulmer: To be honest, I’m right where I want to be. I just want to grow our business because I want to be able to be more generous with the income from it.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Jordan Fulmer: Chris Voss, because I’m reading his book right now on terrorist and hostage negotiations, and he is an absolute legend. He’s saved countless lives using his skills in negotiations.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Jordan Fulmer for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Jordan Fulmer or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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