Published: Feb. 1, 2024 By

In the heart of Ohio, Mark Woodard's entrepreneurial journey began with an unusual discovery and a Craigslist ad. At just eight years old, Mark began flipping items on craigslist as he rode his bike to McDonalds for the meetups. This early success sparked a lifelong passion for entrepreneurship, leading to a series of innovative ventures that would shape his future.

Mark continued to demonstrate his artistic talent and hunger for business by painting mailboxes in his neighborhood and flipping fish tanks he found on Facebook and Craigslist. His journey evolved when he worked for a contractor on high-end homes, where an opportunity arose while pulling weeds on a patio. A neighbor, impressed by his work, hired him for a similar task, which earned Mark $50 in just 20 minutes. This experience inspired him to quit his job and start a successful landscaping business. 

While working on his landscaping business, Mark experimented with building and flipping vans. After transforming his landscaping van into a camper van at the end of the season, he started his next venture: Geotrek Vans.

Transforming Travel Dreams into Affordable Adventures and Pioneering a Housing Revolution

Mark’s first experience with van conversion began when he flipped his old landscaping van into a camper van for a trip to eight national parks. After six months, Mark sold the van for a $4,000 profit and discovered a gap in the market for affordable, high-quality camper vans. Noticing the steep prices of other mobile homes, Mark decided to explore this niche.Geotrek Van Side View

Geotrek Vans is redefining the camper van market with a unique approach that blends affordability, functionality and minimalism. The company, continually evolving to meet customer desires and needs, aligns its vision with the founder's core values of freedom, simplicity and value for money. This exceptional value is achieved by streamlining the design process, offering just one layout that allows for cost-effective production. These vans are also affordable and elegantly designed, featuring bamboo countertops and avoiding unnecessary bells and whistles. The focus is on functional and essential items, maintaining a minimalist yet high-quality build.

At the heart of Geotreck's philosophy is the commitment to offering the best value in the camper van market. They come equipped with large refrigerators, expansive solar panels, substantial battery systems and birch cabinetry, features not commonly found in this price range of $50,000-$100,000. 

The growth of Geotrek Vans has been rapid and impressive. In 2021, Mark converted roughly five vans, which escalated to 15 the following year and nearly 70 in 2023 with nearly all converted vans already sold. Based in Fort Lupton, Colorado, the operation has expanded to a team of 14, working on a lot with 20 vans ready for conversion.

Geotrek Van's success lies in understanding how its customers prioritize spending on travel experiences rather than the vehicle itself. They appreciate the basics and seek to stretch their money practically and meaningfully, making Geotrek Vans a game changer in the camper van industry. This unique style of van has opened a world of opportunity, impacting communities as well. Mark's long-term vision for Geotrek Vans is to contribute to the fight to provide affordable housing. 

Pioneering Affordable Housing Through Innovation and Simplicity

Geotrek Vans is ambitiously aiming to reshape the landscape of affordable housing in the United States. Mark envisions Geotrek Vans becoming one of the top ten largest companies in the country, dedicated to providing innovative solutions to the housing affordability crisis. Geotrek Vans’ approach is focused on embedding a long-term perspective and values into every aspect ofGeotrek Van Backside View the business.

These modern, simplistic communities Mark envisions offer an affordable and efficient living solution similar to those of tiny homes. Tiny homes are a social movement where people downsize their space for environmental concerns, financial concerns or a desire for more time and freedom. The idea revolves around largely solar-powered and renewable homes, providing a lease-to-own model that allows residents to build equity over time. This idea, still in its early stages, represents a bold step towards redefining the norms of housing and lifestyle in the 21st century. Although living in tiny or mobile homes are not yet legal everywhere, Geotrek Vans is committed to changing the obstacles with current living situations.

“I think we're going to be the affordable housing solution. And that's my lifetime goal. I'm not gonna stop until we reach it.”

Currently, the company's immediate goal is to become the country's best and largest affordable camper van company. The future, however, holds broader aspirations. Geotrek Vans aims to challenge the complexity and high-cost models prevalent in the housing and recreational vehicle markets by keeping things affordable and straightforward.

Advice from a Young Entrepreneur

Having goals and dreams as expansive as Mark’s requires a team to create and implement business principles that you and your team can truly believe in. One of Mark’s core principles is theMark Woodard importance of being obsessed with your venture. This deep passion and commitment are crucial for driving success. Mark strongly believes that true passion for your work is essential and that this passion is what allows you to endure long hours and demanding schedules without burning out. 

“If you are genuinely passionate about what you do, the long hours feel worthwhile.”

Mark notes that the success behind his business is driven by an incredible team with shared passions and drive. He emphasizes the role of his cousin, who has been an integral part of his journey. Although there are always bottlenecks and weaknesses in the business process, his teams' collaborative effort makes the challenges worthwhile. Effective collaboration, especially when managing a team, is essential. Mark excels in creating a productive and respectful environment, which has been critical to their growth.

 

 

 

 

 

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