How This 24-Year-Old Track Star Made Millions In Real Estate with Max Vollmer | 724

MORI 724 | Track Star Made Millions


Have you ever wondered what it would take to make millions in your early 20s?

That’s exactly what Max Vollmer did investing in real estate while in college! Listen in to find out how he did it and why he prefers buying real estate in the US.


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How This 24-Year-Old Track Star Made Millions In Real Estate with Max Vollmer

I got a special guest when I heard his story, I said, “I got to have you on.” He and I are in the same mash group together with several other real estate investors. There are interesting conversations happening now because of what has been changing in the real estate space. I wanted to get into that because not only is this man such an impressive young man. He is 24 years old. I barely became a business owner at 24 years old. I sucked at it. It is amazing to be able to have him here.

I have Max Vollmer. He is 24 years old. This real estate entrepreneur is rocking it as a business owner right now with a $1 million real estate business that he has had while he was still at school, not while he was in school, but he was competing professionally in track and field doing decathlons. He is competing not nationwide here in the US but also worldwide. I thought I was cool doing a few little marathons. This guy was running around the world. While he was doing that, he still built this $1 million real estate empire. I’m excited to have you on, Max. Welcome to our show.

I appreciate it. Thank you for having me.

We got to ask you. You have done European championships. Tell us more about your story and who you are.

I grew up in Germany. I started getting into track and field there. When I was young, I had a lot of health issues. I had asthma. My lung capacity wasn’t great to be a runner or any endurance athlete. When I was growing up, doctors told me I could never be an athlete. This stick with me if ever because my brain and my entire body were not accepting it. I always had this vision and goal. I was like, “I want to be a world-class athlete. No matter what it takes, I will get there.”

That mindset has driven my entire life and has brought me to those success stories that I have accomplished so far, but also in business. It overlapped with business and my relationship. Eventually, I became an athlete. I became healthy enough to be a runner. I consistently trained and got better. I moved out of my parent’s house when I was sixteen to chase my dream and be a professional athlete.

I was living by myself at the age of sixteen to go to Olympic Training Center in Germany, compete with the best of the best athletes, learn from them, train with them, see how they do movements, and copy them. I got to a point where I competed in my first world championship. I was placed in the top eight in the world. I got sponsorships to compete for Nike and go to school here in the United States.

Out of all these schools, I chose the University of Oregon, which was known for track and field. In my opinion, it is the best track and field school when it comes to the history of the United States. There was a no-brainer when I got that scholarship opportunity. Ashton Eaton the previous decathlon world record holder, went to the University of Oregon. He was my huge role model when it came to sports.

It was an amazing journey. I came here several years ago and competed for Germany and the University of Oregon. I had a great time as a college student. When COVID hit, as an international student, you have a student visa, which means you are not allowed to make any money with any W-2 employment, which doesn’t make sense to me because we still have to pay the same amount as any other person does. I don’t know why you wouldn’t work at a coffee shop or anything like that.

I met my wife in my freshman year at my first college party, and I never went to a party after that. We got married after dating for two years. We were married right before COVID hit. When COVID hit, I couldn’t make money. She was the same age. She still went to the same school. She was working as a server. We were living in Oregon at this point in time, and restaurants were shutting down. There was no way for us.

Two college students with no income still have the same expenses. Everyone was in the same boat. Nobody knew what was happening with COVID. There was no support coming from parents. We were pushed to the wall and had to figure out a way to get out of it. I had no idea what to do. For months, we were thinking, “What could we do? Could we do some under-the-table work, do some cutting grass or anything to get to the next month?”

One day, we hit $76 in the bank. I was like, “If we don’t do anything now, we are not going to make it to the next month. How are we supposed to pay for rent?” This is how our business was born. We started with nothing. We always had an interest in investing in real estate, but we always had this false assumption that you have to have a lot of money and W-2 jobs to start investing in real estate.

The whole idea of going into it with no money, no experience, and learning why you do it was never there. Until we were pushed to the wall, we had to do it. We jumped into it. I didn’t know anything about real estate when I started. I had no idea about escrow or underwriting. I was like, “Let’s see what happens.”

We watched YouTube videos of typical things. We started sending out a direct mailing. We had a $3,000 credit card. We utilized that. It was God’s will to help us out of that $3,000 marketing budget. We got our first deal. After a couple of weeks, it was a great deal. It turned into $25,000. I was like, “It worked. What are the odds that this $3,000 investment made us this much money.” We use it to pay our rent the next month. We reinvested everything. It was left over into the business again. We didn’t take any profit or any on the side. It was a high-risk return scenario, but we have reinvested it into more marketing, processes, educating, investing in ourselves, and scaling.

We got more deals. In the first year, we did 45 deals between my wife and me while still going to school and competing. It was extremely exhausting and hard to challenge all those circumstances. It was no freaking time because of high stress and financial stress, but also running a business and not knowing what you are doing. When you are young, you don’t know how to lead people. You don’t know all the ins and outs. You are consistently learning. You had your first and last who came in because you did something wrong, and you learned. You are like, “This is the nature of business. There is nothing crazy.”

Those small things were a huge learning lesson. We understood that for us to get to the next level, we have to surround ourselves with people that are like us, people that are like-minded, or people that are even five steps ahead of the game. We are following the path, getting mentorship, and building a network. That was the game changer. It was running the advice of hunting and chasing deals like building a business, seeing what other people do, and understanding. They are open-minded.

Coming from Germany, it is a different culture. People are not necessarily sharing. If anyone had a successful business, they would keep it for themselves. They would never share anything with anybody. It is a different mindset. When I came to the United States, I realized, “This is entirely different. People are sharing.”

Yes, there are some people that have mentorships that you pay for, but there are people for free. Sometimes you sit down and have these conversations, and it is mind-blowing. Once I realized that, I was like, “I got to tap into this. This is amazing. There’s so much free content out there. There are people willing to mentor and give you advice.” This is how the journey started. We took advantage of that. We started growing as hard as we could and as fast as we could to build a strong business. We will see what that economy brings and what adjustments you have to do to stay strong and sustainable.

People are willing to mentor you and give you advice. Take advantage of that to grow fast and build a strong business. Click To Tweet

That is an incredible story. To know this has all been happening in the last several years. That is incredible to hear what you have been able to accomplish. What would have been some of the lessons you have learned along the way?

I could write a whole book about that advice for only a couple of years. I’m learning a lesson every single day. There is this one Saturday. You feel like you own it all, you know it all, everything is great, and Monday morning, something happens. I got to learn it all again. Something else is happening. One of the things, for example, is 2 or 3 weeks ago, it was Saturday. I relaxed that day. I was like, “Everything is smooth right now. We are going in the right direction.” The next Monday, all of a sudden, things have changed because the economy has changed. It has impacted us during that week. The rest of us are pulling out. I was like, “It seems like the ground is falling off.”

I got to readjust the business. We had to make some internal adjustments. We are cutting down some expenses to be sustainable because we didn’t know what to expect moving forward. The most important thing is you never stop learning. You never feel you have achieved it. Always assume the worst. What I have realized is when it feels good, assume the worst and be prepared for it. It is eventually going to come and hit you. It is a natural cycle. You always got to hit the ceiling to grow. Once you hit the ceiling, that is that fine point where you feel like you have the right point. You hit the ceiling, and everything changes. You have to adjust, hire people, or do whatever you might have to do to get to the next phase.

Consistent scalability and growth always come with pain. You cannot grow sustainably. There is always an up and down. These down ones might feel a lot scarier than the ups. Appreciate the ups. If you have a good month, you make a lot of money, and you are like, “Let’s move on.” Next month you have a loss. You are freaking out because you are holding onto negativity, but you don’t realize the big picture, like, “We are still growing. We are still better. Let’s breathe and refocus.” The biggest investment that you can do is invest in yourself because that is going to be paying off 100x if you do it right away.

That is a great point because you have to be humble enough to always learn. Once you think you know it all, that is when life or markets will slap you around and put you back in your place.

Once you feel like, “No, I’m good. I know it all right now.” The next day you are like, “I got to learn something new.”

Tell us what you are seeing right now. You are in the business of wholesaling, and you do flipping, but you also do a lot of different rentals. It sounds like you do a lot of different types of investments. Is that correct?

Yes, we initially started a typical wholesale business. We had a virtual business. It was one in the state. We migrated to eight states at some point. It is a virtual wholesale business in a virtual team. Everything was virtual. It was working because the economy was recovering. There was crazy demand and economy. Everyone could have done that. That strategy wasn’t sustainable.

I realized within that economy while it was still hot that this was not going to work forever. At some point, the company is going to turn. This economy is not natural. We started to shift away by reducing certain markets and into focusing and eventually being in one state versus multiple states to make it smooth. Going from a virtual team to an in-house team, you have higher expenses, but also, you have more quality of capital, resources, and HR. We changed from an entirely virtual team to now entirely in-house team. We change the wholesale to doing more fix and flips and turnkey and rentals.

It is a natural progression. A lot of people are able to start in the whole selling because it doesn’t take much capital to flip contracts. We did that, and it started building a more sustainable business by always having challenges. In one month, we felt like we have cracked a code. You can wholesale. You have ten deals in escrow that week. Next week, all those ten fell off because the interest rates got announced to increase. The whole economy seemed like flatten out and collapse.

In our market, it was June. Instantly overnight, everyone was like, “What’s going on?” We had to make a decision of losing all their earn money and canceling all their contracts or fixing up and flipping ourselves because we bought them at such good prices. I was like, “Let’s figure out how to do it.” We walked into it and, eventually, built out a business to focus on the fix and flips.

Within that capacity, we started them doing the turnkeys but looking for end buyers. We got an in-house construction team that we onboarded and trained to sustain more projects and have more control of the process. Eventually, because I’m from Europe and my business partners are from Europe, we utilize that connection and the understanding of different markets to raise money from overseas and sell those properties to turnkey buyers in Europe and other countries, which cause adds another layer of issues because you have to deal with different legal requirements. It is easier to raise money here, but it was like a niche market because nobody else did it.

It was great, and it still is great. Once you figure out how to scale that more, it is fast. We have to almost physically have events there. We host events and then bring people over to Tampa, show more events, and afterward, bring them online, maybe on a virtual site making it more able for people to access our coaching or education component to invest with us.

It is another learning lesson. We have to understand how to work across markets, but it is going to open opportunities. It is interesting to deal with different economies, people, and expectations, bringing them all together and offering a package. At the end of the day, it makes everyone a winner. That is great about it.

MORI 724 | Track Star Made Millions
Track Star Made Millions: You have to understand how to work across markets.


If you scale more into this and raise money by doing those things, the syndication components that we started investing in syndicating multifamilies are going to be a focus for us moving forward. I like how the multifamily game. My focus in 2024 is building a process and a system around multifamily syndication and less than the wholesale, single-family, small, and syndicating apartments.

I like how you have maneuvered this because we are hearing more about people right now, especially in the wholesaling game, where home sales are changing. Everything is changing. That market is not a buyer’s market. It is more of a buyer’s market than before when it was a seller’s market. Now it is not as much of a seller’s market. Now we are starting to see things maneuver and change.

I like how you also went more of the long-term wealth-building strategy versus trying to do transactional. I know that is something that I taught a lot in that group you are a part of, which I was warning people a couple of years ago, saying, “Don’t get comfortable being transactionally wealthy but become passively wealthy too.” What you are starting to do is you are starting to broaden into these other areas. It is cool to see how you are maneuvering as an active investor, but you are also broadening into some passive investments.

Sustainability is passive. Active is great here and now, but it is not necessarily something you can always sustain in the long run. The best wholesalers will always have issues. I realize this, “Where do I want to go in five years? Do I consistently want to chase active income?” Do I want to also have a week off and be like, “I know I’m going to make money?” Wealth is a marathon. It is not a sprint. You have to commit to it. It is going to be a long path, but you have to start somewhere. You have to start running at some point, adding deals to your portfolio, taking a risk, and taking those opportunities along the way.

It was a shift. It is changing the active income on your balance sheet because you are not going to do all these wholesale. You are going to hold rentals. At the end of the day, in five years, I’m going to look back and be like, “You did a great thing. You have all this equity and cashflow. It is consistently adding up to be a decent portfolio, and it can be more passive.”

That was the one reason why I initially started the business. As we both know, track and field is not like football or soccer, that you make a lot of money. I love it. You could get back to it next year. I would like to continuously improve myself and figure out a way to integrate that. I don’t want to be in a position where I have to do it because of money. I want to compete because I love it.

No matter what happens in getting this position, you have to be passively in a position where you can take a week off, fly to Europe, compete there, and not worry about stuff. It is about building a business that fits your lifestyle. This is what I realized that if you are doing it, it is fun, but it is exhausting. It is a consistent race. Every single day, you are going to go out. You have to pick and choose where you want to go.

MORI 724 | Track Star Made Millions
Track Star Made Millions: Build a business that fits your lifestyle.


In the long run, I would like to go more into multifamily syndications. I like the whole concept of syndicating and building that wealth. The turnkey side is something that we do right now because it is good in the process. It opens opportunities, especially now with the market turning. We have to double down and focus on it for closure deals coming across short sales.

Looking back at the last crash, it is time to get good at that, acquiring rentals and providing turnkey deals to investors. They are looking to seek certain returns versus trying to wholesale and create capital. We had to restructure our business internally. Certain employees go because it’s a natural progression of the business.

It’s one thing that school doesn’t teach you because learning to be a leader is the most challenging thing along the way to being an entrepreneur. It is easy managing myself but managing people, having responsibility, and creating a culture is hard. It was good in the last couple of years because it was an upswing economy, but now, in moments like this, where you have to make decisions and let go of people who are adding value or closing the wholesale division a little bit.

Certain people that aligned with it had to let go. It was not easy. It was one of the hardest things I have done, having these conversations and reading afterward. It is natural. It is part of business and life. You know you are learning from it again. You are taking those design lessons moving forward. It is always a consistent side round of new challenges they used to deal with.

That is the beauty of being an entrepreneur. You choose it because you like it. I would never be happy doing the same thing and always being comfortable. I need that uncomfortable adjustment because I know I’m getting better when I’m pushed to the wall. It is like track and field. When you train, and it hurts, now it is the time I’m getting better. When you are sore, and it is painful, you are like, “I’m getting better. I got to push harder because now I’m getting to the next level.”

It is not a comfortable space. When everything is good, you never get sore. You have to run. You have to go hard. That is the same thing with business, but it has to be uncomfortable for you to get better. I see that opportunity there. I see the opportunity in the upcoming economy of a lot of uncomfortable situations, but the bottom line is looking forward. Ideally, it makes you better if you stay aware of it. You learn from it quickly, and you adapt by what you learn to use that moving forward into the new strategies and getting better as a person, leader, entrepreneur, and business owner.

When everything's good, you never get sore and will never get better. Click To Tweet

Last question for you. I have had several people here in the United States saying, “I’m curious about investing in Europe. It seems like Europe might be the place to go next.” They are looking for greener pastures. I also have many people in places like Australia, Europe, and Canada saying, “Should I be investing in the US because it sounds like it is better there?” I would love to hear your perspective because you have to educate your people in Europe. Some of your contacts want to invest over here to buy turnkeys. What’s your insight on that? What’s your feeling about how the market is in the US compared to other places like Europe?

People always say the grass is green on the other side, which certainly is the fact in this case, but markets are entirely different. If I compare the European market with the US market, I would never invest in Europe. There is a certain reason. A lot of the things that we see as natural like double closing, or the easiest thing at all like getting the data. We don’t even think about it. We get the data. If we skip trace, we get it all. It will be possible in Germany to get data because of privacy laws. You don’t even know who your neighbor is if you don’t knock. They cannot look up and be like, “Who is my neighbor?” You don’t know the address, name, or any property ownership. You can’t look those things up.

This will make acquisition almost impossible. Direct-to-seller acquisition is impossible. To be a stocker or real estate agent, you have the whole commission component. You could never wholesale, do a financing lease option, use other people’s money to buy a deal, have some equity partner syndications, and all these turnkey strategies. It will be an entirely different model.

On top of that, the tax law in Germany, as an example, if you sell your property after ten years before it hits the ten-year mark, you are getting high capital gains taxes. Even with a one-year turnaround, you will still get hit. Here we have a one-year capital gain strategy and 1031 exchange. These things don’t exist. It makes it extremely hard.

To invest all the data is a different strategy. We have to target different investments, but the things that are natural to us do not work. The other side is we don’t have the cash and cash returns investments if you invest in indie in certain countries like Europe or Italy because the price range is through the roof. It is expensive. They are high maintenance costs.

The ventilates are regulated because the government is putting a lot of control in that regard versus in the US, it is more demand supply regulated versus government regulators. Ventilates are going up because people can afford necessary homes with an 8% mortgage anymore. You will see that inclined there, which there is not much regulation yet.

The purchase price of certain properties in certain target markets where you have cashflow in markets, there is a huge variety of those markets compared to Germany to an extent. Germany is overpopulated. You can’t find niches where you can buy a house for $100,000 and get $2,000 a month in rent. You would never find it.

The best thing in Europe is they see those returns. A 3% to 4% return for them is good. They see you asking like, “15% return. It is mind-blowing.” Here, people were like, “I’m not touching anything if I don’t get 12%.” If you have these expectations, you wouldn’t be able to invest in different countries. It makes it hard to cross-regulation, legal components, tax regulations, and SEC regulations side. It is a huge headache if you try to go out of the country. With us being in the US and knowing everything, it is easy to provide that service for overseas investors. We open up the LLC, bank accounts, and all the legal documents they need.

I would not invest in some of the European countries. There is maybe an investment strategy if you want to go out of the country like those Third World countries like Costa Rica because these are high vacation areas. If you buy short-term rentals there, the acquisition price is going to be cheap. If you target the US or Canadians, you can charge the typical international fees, $200 to $500 a night, and you can cashflow them.

It adds more challenges. The US itself was a huge playground. There are different states and cashflow markets. Stay investing in the US is the easiest, and you get the same returns without all the headaches. That is how I see it. There are always opportunities everywhere. If you find a great opportunity, do the research and make sure that you understand all the other components that align with that decision and invest in different countries.

Max, I appreciate your time. This is awesome. I appreciate your generosity. I’m excited for you. This is an exciting time for you.

I appreciate you having me. If you guys have questions, reach out to me. You can follow us on social media. We are trying to give a lot of free content out there. We are trying to show the journey you will be going through the day-to-day, the things we are doing, and the things we are learning. I also provided my phone number.

If you guys have any deals, you might want to join a venture, you need some syndication partners, or you want to maybe invest passively in certain turnkeys and see what we can offer, send me a text message or call me directly. I’m happy to jump on a call and discuss those business increase in person or follow on social media. I will appreciate that as well.

Thanks so much, Max. A huge advice that Max gave that you can always learn from is to keep learning. That’s the thing you should always do is keep learning, keep growing, and keep that humility so you can always surround yourself with the right people to give you the right advice and attention. It keeps you here and now. That is what we hope to provide for you here on this show. Thank you for tuning in. Be sure to subscribe to our channel on YouTube. Make it a wonderful and prosperous week and see you later.


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About Max Vollmer

MORI 724 | Track Star Made Millions
Max Vollmer is a 24 year old business owner and Real Estate Investor. He built a million dollar real estate business while still being in school and competing professionally in track and field for Germany.
He stared with $76 on the bank and had no idea what he was doing. Within 2 years he went 10x and now owns 3 businesses with 30 employees.
His main market is Tampa, FL where he does fix and flips, short term rentals, new development and apartment syndications. He also has a wholesale business that virtually wholesales in 8 different states.
He owns a small construction company and a brokerage in Tampa and also does mentoring/coaching.
Max has competed at world and European championships and was consistently in the top 8 of the world. He claims his success came from all the lessons he has learned while being a professional athlete.