Business partners and Think Realty Presidents’ Circle members Gabe Clements and Eitan Fishbein’s real estate investing story began in 2016 when they met at a local REI event. They hit it off immediately thanks to a shared passion other than real estate—aviation.
“We hit it off when I heard Gabe was a pilot and he was looking to do more flips,” Fishbein said. “I love aviation and was looking to expand my business. Gabe had been flipping houses before, but not full time and when we learned more about each other we realized our skill sets were very complementary. We spent about six months strategizing and gearing up for business before we did our first deal together. Things quickly snowballed and it feels like an eternity that we have been working together.”
In just a few short years and $5,000 each in start-up money, they have now flipped more than 100 properties and have grossed several million dollars. But more than assets have evolved on their entrepreneurial journey. Clements and Fishbein said they have evolved as individuals and together as a company.
“In the beginning, we were anxious about passing on an opportunity to make money. As a result, we weren’t as focused and disciplined as we needed to be to scale our business. We now have a minimum deal threshold and are focused on our bottom line not just in dollars, but in time. Separately, we have developed as salespeople and as a process-oriented business. Every time we come up with a new marketing, sales, construction, or hiring plan, we first evaluate how we can systematize it so that it can be repeated by our team. No idea is truly great unless it can be systematized or efficiently delegated to our team members,” Fishbein said.
With five employees at their company, Fishbein and Clements could often benefit from a larger team but have learned a lot about human resources and the challenges associated with finding the right people for the right job.
“We have hired a couple dozen employees and currently our company employs five people, including both of us. That means that we have let go more people than we have kept onboard. We have learned that just because the right person for the job hasn’t come around yet, doesn’t mean they won’t if we don’t keep looking. That is just one example of trying something repeatedly and continuing to try until it works. Don’t give up! As our business continues to expand, we are setting our sights on making an even bigger impact by hiring the right people to fill the right seats so we can reach further throughout our community.”
Clements and Fishbein said they joined the Presidents’ Circle because of Think Realty’s owner and CEO Eddie Wilson, and they have realized that the REI industry is truly a people business.
“There is a huge network of businesspeople who we don’t even know we want to meet. To be part of the Circle, members must add some value to the group, and sometimes we don’t even know what that value is until we meet. Some of the best ideas we have come across in business have been by accident!” they said.
But other great ideas are very much intentional—like giving back and helping others.
“Philanthropy has been the cornerstone of our business,” Fishbein said. “Gabe and I have always set our mission to help others. Sometimes our sellers are the ones who we help the most—whether it’s helping them with what feels like an insurmountable challenge or helping someone find a place to live. However, our true philanthropy has been manifested by our commitment to two special organizations—The Caring House Project and the Final Frontiers Charity. We have been honored to build several houses in Haiti for the homeless as well as sponsoring dozens of children in Central America. It is only when we are able to help others that we become wealthy ourselves.”