Manoucher Sarbaz is a visionary entrepreneur and property developer renowned for pioneering sustainable urban development in Lucerne Valley, California. Since relocating from Iran in 1979, Sarbaz has leveraged his expertise in economics and insurance into creating high-quality, environmentally-conscious residential and commercial properties. His dedication to sustainability and community well-being has defined his career, leading to the establishment of thriving, green communities that resonate with diverse markets—from young families to professional businesses. His business acumen and commitment to ethical practices have not only garnered profitability within five years of inception but have also solidified his reputation in the real estate industry. Sarbaz is passionate about mentoring the next generation, particularly those interested in sustainable practices, guiding them with lessons drawn from his own experiences and challenges. His work continues to push the boundaries of eco-friendly development, aiming to expand his influence into new urban areas.

How did you get started in this business?

I began my journey in property development after moving to the United States from Iran in 1979. My background in economics and insurance, combined with a passion for creating vibrant, sustainable communities, drove me to explore opportunities in Lucerne Valley, California. The area’s potential for growth and development was immense, and I saw an opportunity to make a significant impact by applying my vision and values to the burgeoning field of property development.

How do you make money?

My business generates revenue primarily through the development and sale of residential and commercial properties. We focus on creating high-quality, sustainable developments that appeal to a broad market, including young families, professionals, and businesses looking for environmentally conscious living and working spaces. Additionally, we manage properties, which provides a steady stream of income through leases and rents.

How long did it take for you to become profitable?

It took about five years to become genuinely profitable. Those initial years involved substantial investment in acquiring land, planning, and construction. Building a reputation for quality and sustainability took time, but as our projects came to fruition, they began attracting more buyers and investors, solidifying our profitability.

When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work?

Absolutely, there were times of doubt, especially during the early phases when the financial stakes were high and the market was unpredictable. However, my commitment to my vision and the support from my early investors and community leaders helped me persevere through the uncertainties.

How did you get your first customer?

Our first major customer was secured through networking within local business and community groups. By presenting our project plans and showcasing the potential benefits to the community and environment, we managed to secure our first big contract for a residential development project.

What is one marketing strategy that works well to generate new business?

One effective marketing strategy has been hosting community engagement events where potential clients can see firsthand the quality of our developments and the innovative sustainable practices we use. These events help us build trust and a strong community presence, essential in attracting new business.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?

Recently, the toughest decision was whether to expand our operations into a new region with different regulatory and environmental challenges. After thorough research and consultation with my team, we decided to proceed cautiously, recognizing the potential for significant long-term benefits.

What do you think makes you successful?

I believe my success stems from a combination of relentless perseverance, a strong ethical foundation, and a genuine commitment to sustainability and community well-being. These principles guide all my business decisions and have helped build a reputable and resilient company.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

The most satisfying moment was the completion of our first green community project, where every home was equipped with solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and green roofs. Seeing families move in and enjoy the space we created was profoundly fulfilling.

What does the future hold for your business?

The future looks promising with plans to expand into more urban areas and introduce more innovative, sustainable building practices. We aim to be at the forefront of eco-friendly development, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in sustainable urban living.

What business books have inspired you?

“Built to Last” by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras has been particularly inspirational. It emphasizes the importance of visionary goals and enduring values, which resonate deeply with my approach to building a lasting, values-driven company.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would advise my younger self to be patient and steadfast in the face of challenges. The road to success is long and often bumpy, but with persistence and a clear vision, obstacles can be transformed into stepping stones.

Are you willing to be a mentor?

Yes, I am very much open to mentoring young entrepreneurs, especially those passionate about sustainable development and community enhancement. Sharing my knowledge and experiences to help others succeed and make a positive impact is something I find incredibly rewarding.

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