Ryan Tseko: From Cockpit to Real Estate Wealth

Fabrizio Poli traces Ryan Tseko’s amazing journey from flight school to airline captain, to working with entrepreneur Grant Cardone, initially as his Gulfstream G200 pilot prior to becoming a real estate multi-millionaire...

Fabrizio Poli  |  03rd August 2023
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    Fabrizio Poli
    Fabrizio Poli

    Fabrizio Poli is Senior Consultant at Orville Aviation. He is also an Airline Transport Pilot. Mr. Poli...

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    Ryan Tseko - Pilot and Multi-Millionaire Property Owner

    Ryan Tseko is Executive Vice President at Cardone Capital, which manages a $4bn Real Estate portfolio. He grew up in the beautiful Heber Valley in Utah, enjoying the outdoors, riding motorcycles, flying, and developing a love for speed.

    When he was 16 Ryan’s uncle bought a Cessna C175 and asked him if he wanted to help him work on the airplane. Before Ryan knew it, he was hanging out at the airport nearly every day and started flying. Just after graduating High School Ryan managed to talk his mother into giving him a $140k loan to finance his pilot training.

    Ryan was determined and worked hard during his training, and this landed him a job at the age of 21 flying CRJ700s for a regional airline. Within two years he had become a Captain, and soon after became an instructor and check airman.

    However, Ryan's passion for aviation was not enough to keep him satisfied. He knew that he wanted to do something more with his life. He started thinking about real estate, and discovered it was a perfect way for him to use his skills and experience to build a successful business.

    Buying a four-bedroom house, he rented the other three bedrooms out and he started attending Real Estate investor courses to learn more. Within a couple of years, he had 21 apartments he owned and managed in between flights.

    Thinking Bigger With Grant Cardone

    Ryan soon realized that scaling and managing the portfolio while maintaining a full-time job posed significant challenges. “I would just be getting back home from a long trip then have to pick up rent checks and deal with maintenance issues,” he recalls.

    Seeking inspiration, he began following renowned real estate investor Grant Cardone, and was inspired to reach out to him. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Grant was in the process of buying his first jet, a Gulfstream G200.

    An invaluable early lesson Grant taught Ryan was how to think big. “I soon...wanted to take my real estate profession to the next level. I sold all of my properties and started investing with Grant ten years ago. Starting with $400k, I invested in a portfolio consisting of 826 units located in Nashville, Tennessee,” he says.

    Less than four years later when Grant sold that portfolio, consisting of four community complexes, Ryan’s $400k had turned into $1.2m. Ever since, he has taken on a more extensive role with Cardone Capital.

    Ryan took a big risk. He was in line to join United Airlines and gave it all up to start a new career in Real Estate. He had never managed, nor flown private before, but he asked the right people the right questions and set a whole flight operation up for Grant.

    As Ryan flew Grant around the US he sat in many meetings and started doing the Real Estate deals. As the business grew, they moved onto a Gulfstream G550 and after a couple of years a G650ER. Ryan has grown so busy building the business that he has now hired two pilots to do the flying, while he rides in the back with Grant, working out their next Real Estate strategy.

    Ryan is a firm believer in the power of human connection. “Compared to our competition, our investors have direct access to Grant and me,” he says about his approach to business. “We have cut out all middlemen so there are no additional fees or charges when they invest with us.

    “We are the pathfinders in this industry and will continue to be because we are highly focused on customer service and investor relations.”

    Ryan has come a long way from being Grant Cardone’s pilot, and together the duo have led a ground-breaking effort to crowdfund real estate investments. Today, Ryan is a mentor to other aspiring entrepreneurs, is a frequent speaker at business events, and shares his story to inspire others to follow their dreams. Following are some of the key takeaways from his story...

    • It is never too late to start over. Ryan dropped out of high school and worked odd jobs before he discovered his passion for aviation. He then went on to become a successful airline pilot and real estate entrepreneur.
    • Never give up on your dreams. Ryan faced many challenges on his journey to success, but he never gave up. Working hard, he eventually achieved his goals.
    • Be willing to take risks. Ryan took a big risk when he decided to invest in real estate during the Great Recession. The risk paid off, and he was able to build a successful business.
    • Think and act outside the box. Ryan could have continued his airline pilot career and would probably be making $250k annually flying a Boeing 787 for United Airlines by now. He found a mentor in Grant Cardone, but also brought value in not only knowing how to fly a jet but also through his acquired Real Estate know-how. Ryan proved he was curious, humble, thought on his feet and was always willing to go the extra mile to make things happen.

    If you are looking to hire a pilot for your jet in the future, as Ryan has proved, it could be worth looking for someone that can not only fly but add other value to your business.

    Likewise, if you are a pilot, ask yourself what skillset you already have, or are there others you can develop, to add value besides flying?

    As Jim Rohn, one of my mentors always used to say, “You don’t get paid for your time. You get paid for the value you bring to the marketplace.”

    Discover more about Ryan Tseko’s story via Biz Jet TV:

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