MEET DAVE HARKE
PRESIDENT & CEO OF RIDGEMOOR
Dave Harke, President of Ridgemoor, has established himself as a prominent figure in the real estate investment industry, as his ability to navigate the changes and challenges of the market is unparalleled. Over the years, Dave has mastered the art of strategizing, structuring, and negotiating deals — with over 14,000 transactions completed to date and over 30 years in business.
Dave's journey has been nothing short of remarkable, as he overcame immense challenges to reach his current standing. Prior to his career as an investor, his battle with leukemia and subsequent bone marrow transplant pushed him to the brink, with his insurance maxed out and an extended hospitalization period leading to the loss of his job at a major corporation and the near loss of his home. His success story has become known as one of unwavering determination and resilience in the face of struggle.
Dave's interest in real estate had been brewing since high school, but like many, he was uncertain about how to embark on this path. His breakthrough came when he found himself needing to sell his Father-In-Law's house, introducing him to mentors who possessed years of experience in real estate investing and speculation.
However, gaining entry into this exclusive circle was no easy task. Dave's initial request to work with them was met with skepticism, as they laughed and told him “real estate is the biggest hobby in America next to golf”. Yet, Dave's persistence eventually paid off, and they allowed him to join their ranks — earning only a third of the profit from each deal he brought in. However, Dave wasted no time and acquired 40 properties in his first ten months and 60 more the following year.
Just a few months into his second year, Dave bought out his mentors' interest in the company. Armed with the knowledge and experience he had acquired in his past role at a Fortune 500 company and all he’d accomplished in just over two years in the real estate investment industry, he focused on refining the business model, implementing systems, and providing ongoing training. Dave immediately began restaffing and growing the company, now hiring and training individuals with little to no real estate background, teaching them the intricacies of the business, from locating and analyzing properties to strategizing, structuring, and negotiating deals.
This is where Dave’s expertise lay — not only in the art of strategizing, structuring, and negotiating deals, but his ability to teach others sustainable ways to do it themselves and profit. Those he mentored and coached came from diverse backgrounds, including bank presidents, housewives, sales executives, firefighters, and contractors. Despite their lack of prior experience, many of them started earning six-figure incomes based solely on their share of the deals, often working less than a full week. Dave's hands-on experience, combined with his coaching and systematic approach, paved the way for their success.
Dave's mentorship and coaching extended beyond the initial stages of deals; he also delved into wholesaling residential properties. He developed systems to engage and educate buyers, teaching them not only how to be successful rehabbers and investors but also how to transition from one property to the next. This approach fostered loyalty and long-term customer relationships. Many of Dave's mentees even tapped into his lending resources and personal contacts to secure funding for their projects. This became a whole other facet of his business, as he incorporated private lending into his wide breadth of ventures. Recognizing his successful relationships with investors and buyers, banks approached him not only to provide loans but also to ensure the success of borrowers. Overwhelmed by the influx of inexperienced borrowers, banks relied on Dave's expertise to guide these newcomers on the right path.
Progressing logically, Dave expanded his focus to encompass multifamily and commercial properties, both for long-term investment and wholesaling. This required a different mindset and approach, leading Dave to emphasize professional marketing strategies and develop new systems. He honed his key skills in strategizing, negotiating, and structuring complex deals to acquire these properties, resulting in substantial six-figure profits on each deal, for both himself and those he trained and collaborated with.
In retrospect, Dave's career can be divided into multiple integrated phases, but underlying the success of each phase was his unwavering commitment to coaching, mentoring, and properly educating others. His journey is a testament to the transformative power of persistence, knowledge sharing, and dedication to helping others succeed in the world of real estate. As he likes to say: “We do more than buy property, we share our knowledge.”