Parents often wonder how to get their kids interested in their work. For Nathan Eckles, a real estate investor, it was relatively easy—he took his daughter, Ryleigh, on the job with him when she was just an infant. Over the years, it became second nature to Ryleigh, and now at age 15, she’s an active part of their real estate business: dadanddaughterbuyhouses.com.
Edge: How did your interest in real estate progress?
Ryleigh: I’d go to properties with my dad when I was young and we’d make a game out of it, like ‘let’s see how can get to the basement first.’ As I got older I’d pick up the lawn, paint walls, etc. My dad would always involve me, so it was never boring.
Edge: Why did you decide to enter into business with your dad?
Ryleigh: I would always listen to him talking to the sellers, and I’d take in all the info. Now my favorite part is interacting with people. I love helping them with their problems, and I also love networking. It’s not about what we do inside the business, it’s about what we do outside the business.
Edge: How did you come up with the business?
Nathan: When I was getting started, I talked to people about how involved Ryleigh was, and a lot of them said I needed to include that in my business. There have been times when I’ve walked into houses without her and they want to know where my daughter is.
Edge: What are some of the business aspects you do now that you’re in high school?
Ryleigh: I do all of our YouTube video walk-thrus. It’s like HGTV, and I get to be the face of the company. I also do our social media and follow other real estate pages to see how they do it. I also help put door hangers on houses and talk to sellers. We’re doing our first furnished rental, which is really exciting.
Nathan: Once she starts driving, she’ll be able to canvas neighborhoods on her own and negotiate with sellers. She will also be able to help with the bookkeeping, and look for other gaps in the business she can fill.
Edge: You’ve also presented at a national conference, correct?
Ryleigh: Yes, I presented in Orlando in front of 700 other investors. It was incredible! I loved it. Talking in front of my peers is actually harder than talking in front of 700 adults.
Edge: What did you present?
Ryleigh: How to expose kids to their business at an early age. You have to dip their toe in it.
Nathan: It was a necessity to have her be involved from an early age, and she took to it. We get to spend time together and she’s a true part of the business. She’s always asking to do more—I’m probably holding her back!
Edge: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Ryleigh: I love playing video games, reading, and I’m a mom to over 50 plants. I’m also on my school’s (Millard North High School) first girls wrestling team. I wanted to try something new, and it’s going pretty well.
Edge: What are your future plans with real estate?
Ryleigh: I definitely want to continue doing it. It might not just be in one category. I’ll dip my toe into every category and see what I like best.
Edge: Do you ever want to have your own tv show, like on HGTV?
Ryleigh: That would be nice!