Paul Joseph Gellenbeck, CEO of 954 Homebuyers, has always been an out-of-the-box thinker, perhaps first out of necessity as he was forced to raise twins when their mother died shortly after their birth. This didn’t keep Paul from giving them a full and prosperous life, he was the dad that coached all of their sports interests and those of their half-sibling who would come along a little while later. Paul also spent a lot of his time volunteering to take others out on fishing trips with a purpose. One such group was dedicated to veterans and another to children with special needs Paul grew up in a small town in Indiana before moving to Florida to help his father in his business. At a young age, Paul starts working for an auto leasing and sales company where he develops a unique and wildly successful sales strategy. This results in his promotion to Vice President and member of the company’s board. Paul stays on this trajectory of success and soon makes a shift into the world of real estate where he has amassed more than a decade of experience, knowing the ins and outs of the home buying, selling, renting, and auctioning processes. With his business, 954 Homebuyers, Paul has come up with yet another brilliant marketing strategy. He buys homes that are typically hard to sell. Oftentimes the sellers are in a tough situation and are desperately seeking an option. Paul buys these homes and is able to turn them into something profitable but even more importantly, he is giving many people hope and financial freedom when they were once out of options.
How did you get started in your industry?
I worked in the auto leasing and sales industry for a while and was very successful, even taking a company public. I learned to be a hard worker and decided to make a change from cars to homes over a decade ago. Since then I have learned all about the real estate industry and found how to solve a problem in a unique way with my business, 954 Homebuyers.
How do you make money in your field?
We take the distressed properties we buy and fix them in order to flip or rent them for a profit.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
I was able to come up with a very successful strategy that is also very profitable. The market in Florida is also thankfully doing great so we were able to turn a profit from day 1.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Looking back, I don’t think I ever did doubt anything. I know that I am a hard worker and I have faced a lot of challenges in my life that I have overcome either through perseverance or through quick, innovative thinking.
Do you remember how you got your first client?
Through our website.
What is one marketing strategy that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Targeted ads work very well. When you stay on top of what is going on in the market you will know what areas are more likely to use our services and then you can target your ads to certain markets or even specific neighborhoods.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in your professional life?
In the past, when I have chosen to leave a job, that can be a tough decision. Sometimes you can love a job and the people you work with, but you have simply outgrown it and it is time to move on.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I think it is my creative way of thinking. For instance, I came up with new and exciting out of the box strategies to find ways to clear title on houses we buy at auctions. And I have also developed new investment strategies that can be scaled. These are the kind of ides that help businesses to stand out and thrive in today’s market.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
When I was young, and I took that auto leasing and sales company public. They wrote a press release about it which of course was flattering but internally, knowing that I was the one to develop the sales strategy that the entire thing was dependent on, that felt like a great personal accomplishment.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I am excited to see how much I can grow my business. Just the challenge of thinking up new, innovative ideas to work with is exciting too.
What business books have inspired you?
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: It’s Your Turn to #JoinTheRide by Darren Hardy
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self that he is going to face some tough things, but he is stronger than he knows so “don’t doubt yourself”.