From the archive: This episode was originally recorded and published in 2018. Our interviews on Entrepreneurs On Fire are meant to be evergreen, and we do our best to confirm that all offers and URL’s in these archive episodes are still relevant.
Jilliene Helman is the Founder and CEO of RealtyMogul, a private market investing platform for commercial real estate.
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RealtyMogul – Visit Jilliene’s website,
3 Value Bombs
1) FinTech is financial services on one end and technology on the other end. It’s about using technology to provide a better customer experience to your clients.
2) Jilliene had over 100 coffee meetings to raise the first million dollars for her company – and she doesn’t even drink coffee :)
3) There’s no alternative to hustle and hard work. If you want to build a business or be an entrepreneur, you have to wake up every single day and hustle.
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Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How to Raise $400 million on the Internet and Build a FinTech Business with Jilliene Helman
[01:13] – Jilliene shares something interesting about herself that most people don’t know.
- She has lived in a lot of different countries like China, Spain, Italy, & Japan, but she grew up in the US.
[02:20] – Jilliene shares a quick overview of what will be discussed today.
- RealtyMogul is one of the largest online market places for investing in real estate on the Internet.
- The company was started 6 years ago and has now raised over $400 million on the Internet to help investors get exposed to real estate.
[02:54] – How did her business start?
- She grew up in a very entrepreneurial family. They always talked about entrepreneurship at the dinner table.
- When she was asked what she wanted to do with her life, she said she wanted to be in the money business
[04:30] – What exactly is FinTech?
- It is financial services on one end and technology on the other end. It’s about using technology to provide a better customer experience to your clients
[05:15] – What kind of culture do you need to build to be a successful FinTech business, and how do you build that type of culture within your company?
- Culture starts from the top.
- They’ve built a culture around protecting their investors.
[07:11] – What was it like raising the first $1 million?
- They’ve raised $400 million to date!
- In addition, she raised $45 million in venture capital to fund the business.
- Their first million dollars was probably harder to raise than the last one hundred million!
- She used a philosophy called ‘Tornado Networking’
- Tornado Networking is when you meet one person and ask them for, let’s say, five introductions. And then, ask those five people for five more introductions. You just start to compound the number of introductions that you have and the number of people you’re around.
- She had over 100 coffee meetings to raise the first million dollars for the company – and she doesn’t even drink coffee :)
- At the end of the day, who you know is going to make or break your company.
[10:36] – What is a 2-sided marketplace?
- In the RealtyMogul marketplace they had investors who were looking for commercial real estate investments and real estate companies who were looking for investors
- She knew she had to find wealthy people who wanted to invest in real estate, but she had to build the investor side first so that when the real estate companies came and posted the transaction, there would be capital available and their transaction would be capitalized.
- The hack was to go to angel investing events and pitch the business – she needed to find wealthy investors who wanted to go online and invest in real estate
[12:56] – As entrepreneurs, we all have times when we think that our business isn’t going to work for any number of reasons, whether its because of inside or outside forces. What was that moment like when Jilliene knew her business was going to work?
- When they had raised over $250 million in capital – that was when she knew that her business was going to work.
- If you’re not setting any kind of goals, you’re going to be like a ship out in the Atlantic Ocean during a category 5 hurricane.
[15:45] – A timeout to thank our sponsors, HubSpot and Thinkific!
[18:33] – What’s the secret to raising capital on the Internet through crowdfunding?
- One secret is to tell a story. Share a story about the property, or what the business plan looks like for it – tell people why is it going to work, and why we you’re a believer.
[20:49] – Jilliene shares an example of how she tells stories about specific properties to potential investors.
[23:59] – What does Jilliene’s day look like from morning to evening?
- She spends her time researching and walking to real estate properties, she spends time with her team, and she spends time with investors.
[27:21] – Is it critical that you are actually on the ground and in person doing things?
- Their philosophy is that someone from their company is going to step foot on every single property before they make an investment.
[29:56] – The best and worst part of her journey…
- The best part is the people. She has met spectacular people and each of them have their own story. The neat thing about being a CEO is you can get access to other CEO’s because you are experiencing the same things and emotions.
- The worst part is health. She has read over 20 books about health and wellness to try and understand what is right for the body and what she needs to do to nourish herself back to health and not end up in the hospital.
[34:17] – Jilliene’s parting piece of guidance
- There’s no alternative to hustle and hard work. If you want to build a business or be an entrepreneur, you have to wake up every single day and hustle.
- RealtyMogul – Visit Jilliene’s website!
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