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  • Chris & John

Ep 149: Creating a Business on Your Own Terms with Ryan Narus

Moving into your asset might sound like an extreme thing to do, but it’s a decision that changed Ryan Narus’s life. Ryan is a mobile home park operator, owner, and investor, who was fed up with the lie that so many millennials bought into. He went to school and even got an MBA because he thought that is what he needed to do to get a good job. Instead, after slogging away in the corporate world, he chose to sleep on a blow-up mattress in a mobile home park and bootstrap his now successful business. In this lively conversation, Ryan talks about the importance of going against societal norms and why conforming is never going to get you the life you want. He sheds light on his take on raising capital and why he has chosen primarily to go with his own capital rather than capital from external investors. We dive into some of the current issues in the multifamily world, such as viewing it as a securities business and the overemphasis on financial engineering. Wrapping up the conversation, Ryan stresses soft skills as a way to stand out and connect with the people around you. Ryan is proof that much in the same way you can do life on your own terms, you can do business on your own terms too!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Chris’s experience hiring someone to help out and why John has not hired help yet.

  • Get to know Ryan, what he currently does, and what drew him to real estate.

  • The advice we all get is reinforced by social norms and social pressure, but trailblazers go against this!

  • How Ryan balances delegating and sticking to what he is good at.

  • Ryan's unique approach to raising capital and why he hates it so much.

  • What Ryan means when he says that more fiction is written in Microsoft Excel than Word.

  • There is a difference between capital placement and true investment.

  • Real estate investing has become a securities business not a residents’ business.

  • Profitability, not net worth, is what’s important.

  • Why Ryan believes the most crucial part of a real estate business is collections.

  • The danger of having tunnel vision when you are looking at your proforma.

  • There is too much emphasis on financial engineering and not enough on good business.

  • Why Ryan learned Spanish; to help him stand out so he connects with the right people.

  • What Ryan saw during his MBA about the importance of soft skills.

  • Ryan’s advice for those who are looking to grow their skills and get a leg up.

  • The value of moving into your asset; you will have a deep understanding of the reality on the ground.


“We listen to people who don’t have what we want and the bold get rewarded. The people who stick up the middle finger to what is socially acceptable, to what you should do, and go out there and say, ‘I’m going to figure this out.’” — Ryan Narus [0:06:03]

“The question is, how profitable are you?” — Ryan Narus [0:22:36]

“There are so many things that have to go right for a business to make sense beyond just, ‘Is there a market? Can I service that market?’” — Ryan Narus [0:36:01]

“The best advice is the one that makes you the most uncomfortable.” — Ryan Narus [0:43:10]

“I want this world to be a better place because I exist in it. And I think the best way I can do it is to literally give my time away for free.” — Ryan Narus [0:49:00]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Ryan Narus

The Archimedes Group

Mobile Home Parks In Real Life Podcast

Tim Ferriss


Wake Forest University

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