RVE 182: The Power of Finding Great Mentors in Your Business

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On today’s episode, I’m interviewing Josiah Mann, founder of Investor Deal Room, a software that helps real estate investors better track everything that goes into large real estate deals. His wife is Ashley Mann who came on this podcast earlier this year on episode 168 (which just happens to be one of my most-downloaded podcast episodes ever).

Josiah’s story starts like many people I’ve interviewed over the past year, with him being unhappy working as a software developer, building websites for Fortune 500 companies.

Josiah wanted to build his own thing with Ashley and after reading books (and I’m sure watching a lot of HGTV), they decided that thing was going to be real estate.

The only problem was they had zero experience. So they decided to spend a year learning as much as they could, surrounding themselves with as many experienced real estate pros as they could find and physically going to look at properties.

They rationalized that since they would likely be moving around from place to place looking at real estate, an RV made the most sense.

So they bought a fifth wheel, Josiah quit his job and they moved to Kansas City where the real estate market was booming, and over the course of the next year spent more than $30,000 of their savings to learn the ins and outs of real estate. They were all-in until a mentor asked Josiah one question.

“What value do you bring to a real estate deal?”

This question gnawed at Josiah for weeks until he realized the honest answer.


He didn’t have any particular expertise or experience to bring value to a real estate deal. But one area he did have a ton of experience and value? Software development.

In this episode, we dive into how Josiah ended up building Investor Deal Room, a software solution for real estate investment deals after pivoting away from physically investing himself in real estate.

What we talk about in this episode:

  • What Josiah says is the best way to learn something new
  • The power of mentorship
  • How Josiah pivoted his failure to get into real estate to his strength of software development
  • How Josiah went about “customer discovery” to develop his product
  • Getting a software company to profitability
  • The challenge of your first five customers
  • The awkwardness of releasing an unfinished product
  • the biggest thing Josiah learned in the past year

Links mentioned in this episode: