Software Features


Software Features

Property Data

Research properties and their owners, compile lists, and more.

MLS Comps

A multiple-listing service comparable tool.


List your properties with Propelio Realty for incredible savings.

Short Sales

If you have an underwater property, our experts can help.

For Education


Interesting and valuable articles from Propelio and the industry.


Real Estate education platform led by a team of professionals.

Propelio TV

A channel that gives daily updated archive of our live video.

Discover Propelio

About Us

Get to know Propelio better – explore our story and mission.

Map Coverage and Brokers

Shows MLS coverage and broker transactions in your state.

Referral Program

Share Propelio with friends and family to earn exciting rewards

Template is not defined.
Play Video

From Sales Job to Real Estate Mogul: A Journey of Hard Work and Persistence

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to make serious money in real estate without having any background or education in it, meet Donovan Ruffin. He grew up in Ohio and moved to Texas seven years ago. In this piece, Donovan candidly shares his inspiring journey and some golden advice for anyone looking to venture into real estate investment.

The Start of a Real Estate Career

Donovan’s story begins quite humbly. After a couple of years in a sales job, Donovan’s friend, who was a real estate wholesaler, sent him a photo of an $18,000 check. Donovan was hooked. He knew immediately that he wanted in, no matter the effort required. He dove into the business headfirst, partnering with his friend, and they started learning and growing together.

The First Deal

Donovan’s first deal was in Garland, Texas. Armed with bandit signs that he scribbled on with a marker, he got his first call from a desperate seller. Without any fancy contracts or formal knowledge, he drafted his own contract in Microsoft Word. That deal netted him around $4,000. The key takeaway? He learned by doing, not by overthinking or overplanning.

Taking Action Over Theories

Unlike many new investors who spend endless amounts of time on education and formalities, Donovan went straight to action. He adopted a hands-on approach—typing contracts, asking questions, and learning on the go. He firmly believes that real, valuable learning happens on the field, not in the classroom.

Age is Just a Number

Donovan nailed his first deal at the age of 20, an age at which most people are far from considering real estate investment. What he realized early on was that work ethic and action are the true catalysts for success. He didn’t have money, credit, or experience—only a willingness to hustle.

The Shift to Fixed and Flip

Today, Donovan primarily focuses on fix and flip projects. The current market makes it advantageous to do so. He looks for properties that can give him a good return by investing his time and effort. Typically, he sticks to the formula of buying properties at 75% of their market value minus repairs.

Managing Finances and Projects

Initially, Donovan used his own money for investments. However, he soon realized that expanding required more capital. Enter private investors. They provide the financial backing, secured by the real estate itself—a win-win situation for both parties.

The Importance of Knowing Your Numbers

Donovan cannot stress enough the importance of knowing your numbers. Miscalculations can spell disaster in real estate. Being young and somewhat inexperienced, he learned this lesson the hard way but has been meticulous ever since.

Overcoming Analysis Paralysis

Having a tool like Propelio has been a game-changer for Donovan. It allows him quick and accurate evaluations of potential deals, enabling him to make decisions fast and minimizing the phenomena of analysis paralysis.

Learning from Mistakes

Not every deal was a home run. Donovan recalls a particular rehab deal where he relied too much on others for the numbers, resulting in extensive stress and time investment, only to net a small $5,000 profit. It taught him the value of personal research and due diligence.

Daily Must-Dos for Real Estate Investors

Donovan’s daily routine includes activities that will bring in future leads and profits. Networking is crucial in his life—he makes sure every person he meets knows he buys houses. Self-branding also plays a big role; he works to ensure he’s the go-to person for real estate in his network.

Sacrifices on the Path to Success

Donovan made personal sacrifices, like cutting off negative influences and focusing on surrounding himself with like-minded, successful individuals. This change in social circle was essential for his mental and entrepreneurial growth.

Goals and Vision

Donovan credits much of his success to setting clear, visible goals. His goals are written on his bathroom wall, ensuring he sees them every day. These goals keep him focused and accountable.

The Bigger Picture

Beyond the monetary rewards, real estate has given Donovan time freedom and the ability to support others. Whether providing job opportunities to his team or allowing a friend to fund a passion like music, the benefits extend far beyond just dollars.

Getting In Touch

For those interested in partnering or learning more from Donovan, the best way to reach him is through social media. Find him on Facebook as Donovan Ruffin, on Snapchat as Donnie Ruffin, and on Instagram as TheDonovanRuffin.

Closing Remarks

Donovan Ruffin’s journey from a sales job to a successful real estate investor is a testament to the power of determination, action, and learning by doing. His story demonstrates that with a strong work ethic, a willingness to hustle, and the ability to learn from mistakes, anyone can break into the real estate market and achieve significant success. Donovan’s experiences underscore the importance of taking action, knowing your numbers, and setting clear goals. 

By leveraging personal sacrifices and surrounding himself with positive influences, he has not only achieved financial success but also gained the freedom to support others and pursue his passions. For those inspired by his story, Donovan remains accessible through social media, ready to share his insights and continue his journey of growth and success in real estate.

show less

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Episodes

Play Video
78 minutes

Good morning, everyone! I’m Ron, and today, along with Daniel from Propelio, we’re...

Play Video
10 minutes

Exploring owner financing in real estate opens up a unique pathway to property...

Play Video
16 minutes

Max Maxwell has become a name to reckon with in the real estate...

Play Video
32 minutes

Getting into real estate can be daunting, especially when trying to secure private...

Play Video
47 minutes

Hey real estate enthusiasts! Today, I’m excited to share some invaluable insights from...

Play Video
33 minutes

Hey everyone, Grant Kemp here from Creative Cash Flow. Today, I want to...

Play Video
44 minutes

Good morning, investors! Today, we’re diving into one of the most crucial skills...

Play Video
43 minutes

Good morning, everyone! Welcome back to episode 5 of “Grant Teaches You Something.”...

Play Video
9 minutes

Hey there! Today, I’m excited to give you a quick rundown of how...

Play Video
10 minutes

Today, we’re diving into the basics of owner financing, one of my favorite...

Propelio TV

Do you love learning from your favorite hosts? Subscribe and we will notify you when we release new shows.