America’s unemployment rate surged from 6.3 million in February to 20.2 million in May, a number that continues to rise as the pandemic’s effect on the economy lingers.
Tony “The Closer” Robinson used his expertise in real estate wholesaling and his heart for helping others to create better stability in thousands of households through his Rona Proof real estate program. To date, more than 5,000 Rona Proof students have made over $1,600,000 flipping real estate contracts. For Robinson, a former NFL player who is now a full-time entrepreneur, best-selling author and investor, the pandemic was an opportunity to empower and equip people with the tools to secure their financial freedom. The program provides hands-on coaching to its members, with real estate lessons, including purchase and sale agreements taught by Robinson himself.
For(bes) the Culture spoke to Robinson about his mission with Rona Proof and real estate wholesaling and advice on how to make necessary transitions when life hits you unexpectedly.
For(bes) The Culture: What inspired you to create the Rona Proof program?
Tony “The Closer” Robinson: When Covid-19 came, there were a lot of people who panicked because of how traditional real estate works. [Traditionally, they’re] meeting the seller, meeting the buyer— the whole hand-to-hand type of working deals. So I knew it was really important to show people a new way to do real estate without ever physically meeting the seller or the buyers. I wanted to show people that it could basically be done completely virtually, all from your laptop.
So many people were being displaced from their jobs and they weren’t sure how they could make an income. It just came to me, ‘Rona Proof’: how can I show them how to do this entire process from home? As we stand right now, $1.6 million has been made through the Rona Proof training. It’s been amazing. There are 5,000 plus people that have now joined Rona Proof and thousands of others who have taken my free training and made money. I have one client who made $100,000 in one deal. I have another client, a 21-year-old guy, who made $90,679 in one deal in the middle of the pandemic.
For(bes) The Culture: What are some of the aspects of the Rona Proof program that make it unique?
Robinson: I have a free training that I do, which has a 10-step breakdown of how you can do it if you can’t afford to invest in the [full] training program. Because I knew it was important, for people who couldn’t invest, to still be able to give them a way to get the information. I didn’t want to limit the information to people that only had money. So I did this free training and it just took off.
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People think it’s unbelievable that I’m teaching the game for free. For people who want to go further and want to have access to me and my team and all the contracts and resources, I have a fee for that. But I wanted to have as much inclusion as possible.
For(bes) The Culture: What are some of the real estate principles you teach in the class?
Robinson: I teach wholesaling. Wholesaling is like a niche in real estate where we are looking for off market properties that someone may be looking to liquidate and sell quickly. Then we put those properties under contract and sell the contracts to cash investors that are looking to fix and flip properties. A lot of people are fearful, thinking, ‘in order to get into real estate, I’ve got to have hundreds of thousands of dollars, I’ve got to have a license or great credit.’ For wholesaling, none of that’s necessary. You can get started without those things and make huge spreads quickly. People hear these things and think it’s a scam or it’s not legal and are close-minded to it, think it’s some type of hocus pocus. But then you really see people get involved in it and they go ‘woah, this is real.’ It’s life-changing.
For(bes) The Culture: Why is ownership (real estate, business, assets, etc.) so important within the Black community?
Robinson: I think the Bureau of Labor and Statistics says that the average Black man makes $35,000 to $37,000 a year and the average Black woman makes like $31,000 a year. The numbers are absolutely disgusting. We know that real estate is the key to generational wealth, we hear it all the time. I’ve had people use the Rona Proof program to make the capital to be able to build other businesses and do other things. This is an investor time right now, point blank, period. People that have money can move around and do things that will have an impact for generations, forever. This is [definitely important] in our community. We have to be able to be in the game to be able to play it.
For(bes) The Culture: How have your past experiences as an NFL athlete and your upbringing prepared you to do the work you’re doing as an entrepreneur?
Robinson: I was an ex-NFL athlete. When I grew up, I came from North Philly. I grew up in the hood. We were always taught how you become successful, it’s from sports, or it’ll be the streets. Now I’m showing people that there’s a completely different lane that you can venture into that doesn’t put you at risk. People don’t realize they can use Rona Proof and wholesaling as a way to get your feet in the door if you don’t have the capital to invest and buy right out the gate. That’s what I did, I used wholesaling as a way to build capital to get started. I just purchased a $1.2 million dollar home in DC, it was my grandmother’s house. She was about to sell her home that she bought in the 1950s, but I was like ‘wait Grandma, let’s keep that in the family.’ Now I’m able to establish generational wealth because I have access to cash that I wouldn’t have had if Rona Proof and wholesaling wasn’t available.
When you get cut from the NFL, you get this harsh reality that no one cares how good you were. Life is here now and you’ve got to figure out what’s next. For a lot of the youth right now, especially the Black youth, we have been conditioned to be athletes. That’s what I want to push to the younger generation, that entrepreneurship is the new wave. You don’t have to be an athlete. I make more money now than I did then. You don’t have to risk your life on the streets, you can have longevity. Those key things for me have changed my life.