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Former insurance adviser starts real estate firm

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A former Ollis/Akers/Arney adviser went full time into the real estate investment business after first starting in the industry around three years ago.

With his new company The Cast Group, Clay Trautman is conducting residential flipping — buying homes to renovate and sell — as well as remodeling and renovations of houses for property owners.

“There’s limited competition and a lot of inventory and a lot of work that needs to be done,” he said. “Because there is a shortage of labor, I’m able to charge smaller margins.”

Trautman, who serves as president and CEO of The Cast Group, said he has a team of about 20 contractors and subcontractors in southwest Missouri, northern Arkansas, south-central Missouri and into the West Plains area.

Trautman left his private client adviser position at Ollis/Akers/Arney in April after nearly four years with the firm. There, he helped high net worth clients manage risks, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

“I was very happy where I was, but it was just a business decision,” he said, noting Justin Coyan, formerly of Evolent Health LLC, took over his position at Ollis/Akers/Arney.

Since The Cast Group’s start in May, Trautman said the company has completed nine flipping and remodeling projects. He’s now rolling out marketing for the firm, including circulation of before-and-after photos of a home he flipped on North Campbell Avenue.

In Springfield, he said the home-flipping business is targeting the northwest side of town.

“That is an area that needs attention,” Trautman said.

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