Like any American family, Dutch Mendenhall and his wife, Vanessa, are looking toward the future.
“My wife recently said to me, ‘We need a Plan B,’” Dutch said, adding. “I said, ‘What does that mean?’” The couple began to hatch a get-out-of-dodge plan in case of any impending disasters in California, where they live, or the country.
Brandon “Dutch” Mendenhall founded RAD Diversified, a non-traded, public REIT unaffected by the stock market, and is a highly successful real estate educator.
“My wife has not feared a day in her life. So, when she said something like that, I knew it was pretty serious,” Dutch said.
The real estate leader has been busy growing an empire through the years while educating students about increasing their investments. However, during a conversation with Vanessa, he realized that tumultuous events in the world could take away everything they had worked for in one swift move.
Dutch, who grew up in Iowa, maintains that while he grew up around guns, he never owned any until this year. While survivalist culture had never been on his radar before, he installed solar panels on his home this year. He also has a generator, 200 gallons of water, and a year’s food supply in case of an emergency.
Dutch and his family believe that the world is changing and that everyone needs preparation. As a natural businessman, Dutch has begun merging this way of thinking with investments and deals.
The Survival Project allows investors to buy into sustainable farms. Everything from water, food, electricity, and shelter is self-contained in the project. “We create communities that can survive. If things do hit the fan, if stuff is worse, if every apocalyptic video or movie you’ve ever seen in your life, any of that comes anywhere close to real, you’re going to want a place to go,” Dutch said.
While other companies claim to offer protection from the end-of-days for exorbitant prices, Dutch’s project promises consumers an economical alternative that could also serve as a prosperous return-on-investment.
“I’m building a new Plan B for middle class families, for the average American, for the average person. What I think that Plan B is, happens to be a real, sustainable escape plan,” Dutch said. “We want people to live in the now, build their wealth in the present, and have an affordable alternative for the future.”
While the wealthy in the United States have bunkers and bomb shelters scattered throughout the country in nuclear war or other impending disasters, Dutch and his company plan to charge low, monthly fees. Hence, individuals have access to autonomous communities in the case of some armageddon.
“The reality is that I think the scariest things are not going to come from a bomb,” Dutch said, continuing, “but I also think that you need to create communities that are not going to be within two miles of where the bombs are going to hit if they ever do.”
To Dutch, larger threats come from Communist countries like China and Russia who want to undermine the United States government and the economy. He believes that enough forces want to take away Americans’ rights, and as a proud citizen, he wants to take the actions he can to stay safe while keeping others out of harm’s way.
“No matter where you are in America, you want a place to go to be safe and thrive. You also can’t take away from your finances and your livelihoods to do that, so found an economical solution,” Dutch said. “No one has ever created an economically sensible way to do it and created something as sustainable as we have.”
Dutch maintains that the Survival Project is and will always be about family, God, and country. He’s proud of his opportunity to come from a poor upbringing and rise to the top of the country’s real estate market and education sector. “I remember days when we had electricity but no gas, and I remember heating water up in the microwave so we could bathe,” he said.
Now, as a thought leader having broken through the class system, he and his company have grown and invested carefully during these uncertain times. “Twelve months ago, nobody saw COVID coming. You can sit here and say, ‘Well, they plan for pandemics,’ but did you or me as an everyday, average American ever see wearing masks in public everywhere we go, pulling our kids out of school, and everything else that goes along with it?”
Now, Dutch and his team are thriving when other companies are tanking during the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re the first fund I know of that did a coronavirus amendment to the SEC in February,” he said. The team got the paperwork done quickly, which in turn guaranteed their investors money.
Dutch is also fiercely protective of every investor with this company and the select group of close members called the Inner Circle.
He recently had an investor come to him with an emergency whose natural withdrawal was not for another six months. “We sent him a wire this morning because that is what we needed to do for him in that case. He was in a bad situation, and all of a sudden, there was an emergency. That’s how we look at things,” he said.
Dutch and his team continue to prepare for a changing world and the challenges it presents. It’s always good to have a Plan B.