Month: June 2016

How I Became An Entrepreneur and CEO

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As a boy growing up in Harlem, I was always the dreamer. Of course this was many sunsets ago, long before the computer was created, and Social Media, were words that had yet to be conjoined and born. I was and still am, a voracious reader of any and every type of book,that opens my eyes to the world we reside in, as Global Neighbors!

One thing for certain, I was enamored with Finance, Wall Street, Real Estate, and promised myself that, one day, I too would become a CEO of a Fortune 500 Corporation.

After college, I went right to work on Wall Street, for a small company, named Merrill Lynch.

I proceeded to spend many years in the trenches, trading Precious Metals(Gold,Silver,Platinum) and later started to trade Mortgage Backed Securities,(MBS). These are the lifelines of Real Estate, as this is the pool of Investments that Banks and other Financial Institutions rely on to provide your parents and all others with loans to purchase homes. A Mortgage Backed Security – (MBS) is a type of asset backed security that is secured by a mortgage or collection of mortgages. The mortgages are sold to groups of Investors, such as Government Agencies and Investment Banks, that securitizes, or packages, the loans together into a security that Investors can buy. The mortgages of an MBS may be Residential or Commercial, depending on whether it is an Agency MBS or a Non Agency MBS. In the United States they may be issued by structures set up by government sponsored productions, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or they can even be Private Label, issued by structures set up by Investment Banks.

The experience of working next to and with Millionaires, every day, is Intoxicating, and I badly wanted a piece for myself, especially the Title, Millionaire. (Smile)

I have made a lot of money in my career for a lot of people, including Actors, Directors, Entertainers, Financial Institutions,Oil Companies, Refineries, and Fortune 500 Corporations.

Going to college teaches you mental discipline, and responsibility, two key components in the REAL WORLD of BUSINESS, and LIFE. But in no way, does it prepare you for Corporate America, with the exception of Internships, which I highly recommend for those of you that are attending college. I was an AVP, (Assistant Vice President) before the age of 30, and thought, I’m well on my way of reaching my Dream, of becoming a Corporate CEO.

LOL..

Of course I was premature in my assessment, as I had not counted on the human hardships, water fountain conspiracies,nepotism,sexism,racism, and favoritism that existed all around me. This was, and still is the Real World of Corporate America.

Nevertheless, I thrived and succeeded, both financially and objectively. I focused on learning as much as I could from the Creators of The Game, Capitalism, making the money, and one day starting my own company. That day came soon after the events of September 11,2001, when the Financial District was turned into a Ball of Confusion, and I saw things that day, that I never want to see again.

So, I went out and created a Real Estate Consulting Firm, with all of my Power Connections from Wall Street in my pocket. But in order for me and my company to really go vertical, I needed to sell this expensive NYC Real Estate, and in order to do this, I needed a Brokers License. So I enrolled in the NY Real Estate Institute, received my Salespersons license, and went to work for another Broker, a guy by the name of Eddie Shapiro, who had a very small company, one small office, and maybe 10 staffers. I purposely worked for a small company, so I would not get lost in the mechanisms of a large company.

That same company is now one of the largest in Manhattan, a true Global Brand, called Nestseekers International, Home of the Hit TV Show, Million Dollar Listing NY.

A true Rags to Riches story in itself. I worked tirelessly to earn enough points to secure my Brokers License. Points are accrued for every Real Estate transaction made, from Rentals, Sales, or Listings. After 1.5 years, I had earned enough points to acquire my own Brokers License, and the FD Allen Group Inc, was BORN!

I started with one office at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, across the street from Bryant Park.(Between the Fashion Week parties, and the sights and sounds of Summer, it was the perfect location.) Working 16-17 hours per day is the usual for any new Startup business, and it was no different for me. I wore every hat, for every position. One office grew into three, business was Fantastic, as we catered to the 1% percent of High Net Persons,Investors, Corporations, and Professional Athletes. We had finally arrived!

We were doing volume business, and I never wanted to be BIG, or get a ton of Recognition.

I just wanted to provide Career Opportunities for others, provide a Good Quality Product, and Superlative Customer Service to our Clients.

One of the few things that I mandate to this day!

Quality Customer Service = Quality Repeat Business.

REMEMBER,These are the people that Feed U, and your Lifestyle!!

After all the hard work, long days and nights, daily headaches, wearing 10 different hats, I finally had a profitable company, and I’m very PROUD of this ACHIEVEMENT! Life is good!

And then, the Bubble Burst, with the Mortgage Crisis of 2008. The Recession came, and we all started losing our shirts. As everyone started to downsize and closing offices, I too started to consolidate my offices, as business dried up overnight.

It’s very expensive to operate a company in Manhattan, especially from your back pocket.

A Career in Real Estate, Financial Investments, is a great opportunity for a Entrepreneur minded individual. Believe me, there is nothing greater than working for yourself, and being your own BOSS! Its a wonderful thing, but be prepared for the responsibilities of every problem that falls on your plate. This happens every day when your name is painted on the Office Doors.

Most people get into Real Estate due to their attraction to Money. Plain and Simple. It’s something that you can do PT/FT. Most people with 9-5 jobs, need a supplemental income, and turn to Real Estate. The minute they get their first commission check that is larger than their day jobs salary, they quit, and start Real Estate on a Full Time basis.

My career in Real Estate is the only venture that has paid me as well as the Good Ole Days on Wall Street. I LOVE IT! You must have a Passion For Your Craft!!

There used to be a time before the Internet, that people would literally call you to ask if you would help them to sell their Real Estate. Those phone calls still ring, but not with the frequency of years past. Now days, we physically have to compete with other Brokerages for business, and are also interviewed by Sellers for the Exclusive Listings.

Life is a One Time Trip! Use your Knowledge wisely!

Every day in Real Estate is unique and different. As a Self Employed Professional,Entrepreneur, you must be a Self-Starter, Self-Confident, and Self-Motivated.

Take the Initiative, and be Fearless when speaking with potential clients. Most very successful persons are smart in their respective fields, but they too, need Professional Assistance and Expertise when they step outside of their comfort zone. This is where we step in, to hold their hand and guide them through the turbulent waters, and showcase your skills as a Captain. The Buying and Selling process.

This is you, if you so choose. Whatever your future career path, remember to be adaptable, with Eyes and Ears open, and not your Mouth, until necessary. Always pay attention to detail, and be a superb listener, because clients will tell you exactly what they want, but you have to hear them! Listen Up!!

I know all of you will be Successful in your future endeavors, and if you are Dreamers like I am, Keep on Dreaming, because Reality is Sweet, and nothing beats ,dancing to your own music.