Interview by Nichelle Lucas
Ola Fakinlede is a serial entrepreneur based in Washington, DC. He is the owner of an AllState Insurance Agency, GreenStreet Development (development company), Metro DC HomeBuyers (wholesale/real estate), and Capital Vacation Rentals (a vacation rental property company). Mr. Fakinlede recently launched his Capital Tribe Partnership Program that incentivizes travelers to work, eat, and play with small businesses in the Washington DC area. He is passionate about teaching real estate and healthy investment habits to aspiring entrepreneurs and younger generations of talent, especially marginalized communities of color.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Hartford, CT and spent my early years in Dayton, OH. When I was 7 years old my family moved permanently to Nigeria where we spent the next nine years. After elementary school, I went off to boarding school where I spent the next 4 years before coming back to the United States. I believe I came back and it was the spring year of my 11th-grade year. After that year we moved to Silver Spring, MD where I finished high school and was off to college.
Do you have any siblings?
Yes, I am the oldest of three. I have a younger brother and a younger sister.
Were either of your parent’s business owners?
Not at all. My father was an educator, at least while I was young. He was the Dean of the Computer Science Department at the University of Ilorin in Kwara State in Nigeria. My mother was an Executive Administrator for both the Dayton Times and the Washington Times.
Growing up, who inspired or influenced you?
My father was a my great inspiration. I remember sitting in my father’s computer lab, with all these big machines (later I happen to know they were mainframe computers). He was the Dean of the Computer Science Department at University of Ilorin, Kwara State, http://www.unilorin.edu.ng/ and The Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), https://futa.edu.ng/. Little did I know at the time, I would follow right in his footsteps. I later received my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Software Engineering. Funny, my father and I have worked at the same place a few times in our careers. We would take walks on our lunch breaks, my father definitely influenced me.
What advice would you give to your eight-year old self?
Play more, explore more and dance more. Go looking in the woods more, just do what makes you happy.
What does a typical day look like for Mr. Olatokunbo Fakinlede?
I wake up around 7 AM, out to the gym by 8-8:30 AM and back home at around 9-9:30 AM. Then I’m at my desk working no later than 10:30 AM. I follow up on emails and phone calls. Then I analyze prospect properties and plan to be out of the office by 1 PM to actually meet colleagues in the field and to look at the prospect properties. My day ends by getting back home by 6 PM or have early evening meetings with partners and investors. Sometimes I am at meetups networking to further my business.
Would you consider yourself a serial entrepreneur or a business mogul?
I would consider myself a serial entrepreneur more so than a business mogul. I do enjoy starting businesses, because fortunately (or unfortunately) I like to explore different avenues of wealth-building (or cash flow). I gain inspiration and knowledge of myself and able to perfect my niche over and over again with every venture.
Your vacation rental company and partnership program both have the word “capital” in
them. How do you define “capital” in terms of business and assets?
Living in Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital, we are the center of influence necessary to grow and mature assets. I’ve seen that come to fruition and for me, it’s been real estate.
With Capital Tribe Partnership Program, you incentivize travelers to work, eat and play with small businesses in the DC Metro area. Was it important for you to highlight small businesses? Why is that?
It is very important to highlight other smalls businesses. I’m the owner of a few small businesses and I believe that we can all grow together as opposed to working independently in silos. Together, we can create synergies that work better to serve our customers. We also encourage our guests to work, eat and play at small businesses that we partner with. We believe this will create a sense of community that guests cannot get from big brand hotels.
Why is it important for you to pass on your knowledge of real estate and healthy
I particularly took the real estate route, but these skills can work in other industries. I believe that cash flow is king. Real Estate is that equalizer that allows individuals to create legacies for themselves and their families.
Regarding your teachings, I read that you specifically to marginalized communities of color. Why do you feel that that is important to do?
I honestly believe that it is an obligation of successful business individuals to give back and encourage marginalized communities of color. To seek business to growing wealth and freedoms that will not only help them, but give those that come behind them a head start. Showing them that is just takes an idea and hard work to get what it is that you want.
What legacy do you hope to leave behind?
I want to leave behind a legacy of doing and becoming. A legacy of dreaming and realizing. Doing and becoming through obstacles overcome.