Real estate can be a puzzle with all the components it takes to close a deal. Josiah Willis has become masterful at putting the pieces together because he knows his Seattle area market from every angle. He has invested, is in the process of building, and has sold new construction. “So I’ve had a lot of experience looking at how to remodel a house, what’s the best use of space, what you can and can’t do with a property,” he says, adding that few agents ever get so much behind-the-scenes access. “And then, just coming across so many different real estate types of properties has made me a better overall agent to understand real estate from a holistic perspective.”
Focused on investing, Josiah got an early start in real estate. At 20, he bought his first five acres with money he earned working for his dad summers while in college studying finance. He landed a consulting job after graduation, but that first purchase had sparked a keen interest in real estate. “I liked the idea of passive income through buying rentals and investing,” he says. Josiah earned his license in 2017 and a year later began practicing full time. He found in Caliber Group a firm that embraced his finance background with his role as an agent. The opportunity proved pivotal for Josiah, whose retail sales volume has grown to over $10 million annually.
Josiah has evolved to a quality control analyst with Caliber. He combs through deals for their investment potential and underwrites anything from house flips to apartment buildings. He has analyzed a couple thousand deals in that capacity. He also maintains a network of wholesale and retail investors and assesses land development opportunities, a service he initiated at the firm. Always adding layers to his market knowledge, Josiah has studied zoning code to better assess possible uses for investment property. He can do more because he knows more.
Since his coming aboard, Caliber has sold its brokerage to fast-growing Compass. Josiah, an exceptionally well-rounded agent, juggles his growing brokerage and pursuit of his own developments. Already in the works he has a townhome development in Capitol Hill, Seattle, and a tear down in Monroe in addition to a 12-lot development in southwest Washington. He markets investments through his network as well as with community connections he has gained through his church involvement.
Josiah wants to keep his momentum as agent and developer, raising more capital to expand. He sees, though, putting together a team to serve more retail home buyers and sellers. “I have all the knowledge,” he says. “Now it’s time to execute on the building out of a team and then being in a position where I can mentor people and help them grow.” Until then, Josiah wants to keep pushing the envelope on what he can learn in real estate. “I just like the idea of growing something from either nothing or very little and seeing the fruits of your labor.”
Josiah’s drive in business stems from the legacy that his grandpa started. Growing up learning from his grandpa and his dad and uncle—who took over the family garbage and recycling business—has taught Josiah the importance of working to pass the family torch on to the next generation. Josiah says this helps him focus on the values that matter in life, as well as the drive to succeed for not just himself, but the generations that come after him.