Report By Mike Souheil If you were around during the housing crash of 2008, you didn’t need to be in real estate to feel the effects. The biggest crash of our lifetime created shock waves through the U.S. economy and forced many to file bankruptcy. For those that were in the real estate industry, many lost millions in assets and saw their properties depreciate to all-time lows nearly overnight. Some investors swore off the industry forever, stating that real estate was just too volatile and that they couldn’t go through that again. Then, there were people like Carlos Reyes and Sal Shakir. Two friends that decided to see the positives from the situation and knew that the down market would provide life changing opportunities if they were willing to work for it.
Who are they?
In 2014, Carlos Reyes and Sal Shakir decided to start down the real estate path the same way that many do these days, with aspirations of purchasing and flipping properties. “We knew we were entrepreneurs, and we knew we wanted to do something big while helping people and our families along the way,” Said Carlos Reyes. Their company, National Cash Offer, is now a multi-million dollar real estate solutions company that started from nothing. “We started out flipping cars, I was running a car dealership and Carlos came into the dealership and we quickly became great friends,” said Shakir. That friendship grew into a business partnership quickly when they flipped a car just a few days later. “I could tell that Sal and I were going to be great friends from the start because we had common interests and enjoyed helping others, but I don’t think either of us could have predicted where this journey would take us,” said Reyes.
Shortly after flipping their first car together, they decided to do their first real estate deal. Unlike many of the glorified real estate success stories to will hear these days, Carlos and Sal didn’t have the most glamorous start. “People knew we were new to real estate, they knew we didn’t really know exactly what we were doing and they used that against us the entire process, the seller, the title company, everyone… that first deal cost us over $15,000 because we were so new,” said Reyes.
They would hit a few more bumps and bruises along the way. Unlike all of the guru get rich quick real estate schemes you see these days, real estate isn’t that easy. There may be times where you will find a deal that goes smoothly, but Sal recalls the long days and hardships of getting started. “It was overwhelming at times. We were new investors and all of a sudden we had multiple properties. There were sleepless nights and plenty of nights where we slept in our office,” said Shakir.
After over a year with their hands in the dirt, working 18 hour days, Carlos and Sal knew that they wanted to expand. They knew they needed to hire reliable people to help grow their business. “We had to bring on people to help, but we wanted to make sure the people we hired cared as much about our business as we do,” said Reyes. The best way they knew to do that was to hire the people closest to them, their family. They hired a few close relatives at first to help with day to day operations. It went so well that they continued to reach out to cousins, aunts, uncles, and others in their family that they knew were hard workers and trustworthy.
“The hardest part about hiring is finding people that you trust,” said Reyes. “We knew that there were a lot of hard workers in our family and we knew that we could trust them, so even though some people say it’s hard to work with family, it has been a huge part of our success because we know they want to see National Cash Offer succeed as much as we do.” Currently, Carlos and Sal employ over 15 family members at National Cash Offer and they continue to grow within their family circle.
The growth is going so well, that they have expanded their business into 5 states, and continue to buy houses in Arizona (where they started), Nevada, California, Florida and Texas. Not only has the expansion helped change their families financial situation, but it has also been so much more than just financial. “Aside from just providing income, it’s been amazing to see our family grow and get closer by working together towards the same goals,” said Shakir.
So what has been the hardest part of working with family?
“I would say the hardest part is when you do have to reprimand somebody when something goes wrong. They understand that we are all after the same goal, so it isn’t so difficult, but sometimes it’s hard to have tough conversations with the people you love,” Shakir continued.
National Cash Offer continues to grow and they expect to be in more markets in the coming months. Realizing that they only have so many family members, they know that the next phase of growth will be hiring people that are “like family” when they move into new markets. “We know that we are close to maximizing our family growth, so anytime we hire someone that isn’t family, the biggest thing is trust. We have put so much blood, sweat and tears into growing our business and it has all been based on trust and hard work,” said Reyes.
National Cash Offer is a real estate solutions company that prides themselves on helping people in tough times. Whether it’s costly home repairs, an unfortunate divorce, financial issues or an urgent move, they try to provide buying solutions to help others in tough times. Recently, a lady had come to them after her house had almost completely burned down. Her insurance check was stolen by the contractor she had hired and she had no idea where to turn. Her house was not livable and she had no idea where to turn. Carlos and Sal took the family-like approach to help her out of her situation. “We realize that the people that come to us are in tough situations and just want to get back to their normal lives. Being able to help make somebody out of a tough situation is what makes this business so rewarding,” said Shakir.
There have been many amazing stories that have come from real estate over the last 10 years. The crash was difficult for everyone, but it set up opportunities for those that were willing to work the hardest. National Cash Offer started from nothing and grew into a multi-million dollar business on the principles of hard work, trust and most importantly… family.