Abbas Mohammed is the founder and CEO of Model Equity.
Abbas was raised and born in Iraq, growing up sleeping on concrete floors because his family couldn’t afford to buy beds. He came to the US at the age of 11, and years later, decided to get into Real Estate at the age of 18, paying for his start-up costs on a $5,000 credit card he had at the time. After spending a full year making thousands and thousands of cold calls a day to generate clients, Abbas got his first listing in the Bay Area as an agent, and within a year after that, became one of the top producing agents in the bay area.
2 years into the business, he decided to start running his sales business as an actual business and implemented systems and processes, as well as hiring virtual assistants from all over the world, to expand the business to multiple 7 figures a year.
Abbas became one of the top 50 agents nationwide with RE/MAX in less than 5 years of being in business. Wanting to invest his business cash flow and not being satisfied with buying single family homes or stocks, he eventually decided to invest in Multifamily Apartments.
Within a year, Abbas invested in over 1500 apartments in top performing locations. He also exited his Real Estate sales business and went full time into running Model Equity with the mission of reaching $1 Billion in assets under management in the next 5 years alongside investors.
You can read more about our investment philosophy, our favorite markets, and other things on our website.
Abbas Mohammed is the founder and CEO of Model Equity.
I was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. Growing up in a very low income household, I remember having to sleep on Concrete floors alongside my siblings and parents because my family couldn’t afford to buy beds. At the age of 6, during the Iraq war in 2003, we lost everything we had and had to constantly move around from one location to another in order to survive. After 4 years of doing that, we finally emigrated out of Iraq to Syria for 2 years, and then came to the US when I was 11 years old.
Years later, at the age of 18, I was going to college and selling used cars. I was relatively good at it, but I wasn’t happy with the long term prospects of where that was going and I knew I had to change. I researched what businesses I could start with the little money I had access to, and eventually decided to get my Real Estate license in the Bay Area, paying for all start-up costs and licensing fees through my credit card that was limited to $5,000 at the time.
I got my license, dropped out of college, and quit my used car sales job, and went all in on being a Real Estate agent with hunger to succeed and strong commitment. I imagined it would be a difficult business, but I hadn’t realized how difficult it would be. After knocking on hundreds of doors a day for 3 months to find clients, I was unsuccessful in even getting a single seller to work with me, and I had to go back to selling used cars again, a job I hated doing but was decently good at.
When I got back to selling cars, I realized that I had two choices, the easy option would be to just completely quit, get back to college, and keep going as I had before, or attempt to find a different way to generate business in Real Estate sales. I decided that since there were times where I wasn’t actively selling a car to customers, instead of wasting that time, I could cold call potential prospects out of the car dealership to find clients.
I started out by cold calling random homeowners with my phone, then eventually connected my phone to a system that could dial 3 lines at a time so I could 3x my efficiency. After a month of doing that I put on another headset on my head (two headsets at the same time) and got another dialer so that I could dial 6 lines at the same time and 6x my efficiency. I was the first to come in the morning way before everyone else, and the last person to leave after everyone else, spending the vast majority of the time cold calling thousands of people per day to find clients. Many times, I had to leave my office and cold call out of the bathroom or on the rooftop of the car dealership to not make other customers feel uncomfortable with me speaking about Real Estate at a car dealership.
Even with the thousands of phone calls a day I was doing, 12 hours a day of cold calling, 7 days a week, I was still not generating any business as I was building relationships with people that wanted to sell in the future. I wanted to quit so badly to the point where I made the commitment to quit on the idea of quitting. There was no plan B. I either make it work, or I keep trying until it does.
12 months after getting my real estate license and working insanely hard, I finally landed my first client. A million dollar listing. It felt like it was the light at the end of the tunnel at the time. I sold my first house and treated my client like royalty. Shortly after, I got a second client, and not long after, I got a third client. The first three clients gave me enough income to be able to quit selling cars.
I quit my car sales job and made a commitment to never again sell a used car at a dealership again.
Within a year after that I was making $350k a year at the age of 21. It was more money than all my family had made combined, and it was great to finally have some sort of financial stability, however, I was starting to burn out. I was working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, in a dark office making thousands and thousands of phone calls a day generating new business, with little to no time to see my family or anyone else. I knew there had to be a better way to grow a business than to do this for the rest of my life. I set out on a mission to figure out how to scale my business beyond what I had achieved.
I decided to study the biggest companies in the world to see what they had in common that I could implement. Companies like McDonald’s, Walmart, Costco, etc. and what I realized is that every business has 2 things in common:
- Systems & processes
Later on, I also realized that Data was another common theme.
I looked at my business and realized that everything I did was purely based on my own judgment and decisions, nothing was systemized, and I was the bottleneck of the business. I also had no employees, and the minute I would stop working my business would go down to zero.
I took a step back, broke down my business into different parts, set up procedures for every portion of my business, and then went on to hire a Virtual Assistant from the Phillipines to help take over some of my work load in October of 2019. 1 month after my first hire, I saw our lead production double. I thought it may have been a lucky fluke. I hired another person a month later, and I noticed our lead production tripled.
I hired a third person, and as I was about to hire my fourth in March of 2020, Covid hit. Everyone around me was scaling down, letting go of employees, reducing marketing, and just waiting to see what would happen. I looked at that and realized that if I was to ever grow, this would be the fastest and easiest way for me to expand. I knew the more people I hire, the more business we could generate once the market opens back up. At the start of the pandemic, I hired a hiring manager and instructed her to keep hiring people non-stop even if I would instruct her to stop in the future, her job was to continue hiring no matter what I tell her to do.
She did exactly what I told her. We went from having 4 virtual assistants, to 12 virtual assistants by the end of the year. I tripled my production and doubled my income in the middle of Covid.
During the following year in 2021, we went from having 12 virtual assistants to having 25 by the end of the year, tripling my production and doubling my annual income once again. I was ranked as one of the top 50 agents with RE/MAX nationwide within 4.5 years of being in business.
At the beginning of 2021 while my business was rapidly growing as I had delegated many different positions (lead generation, hiring, training, management, sales, etc), I felt like there had to be more to life than just this. There had to be a bigger challenge I could take on beyond being a top Real Estate agent. It wasn’t my intention to reach #1 status as an agent as that didn’t appeal to what I truly wanted in life. I wanted to build a big company that could add more value to society beyond just selling homes. I wanted to add more value by hiring more people. I wanted to test out what is our potential for excellence as humans and how far we can grow if we stay uncomfortable and push our limits constantly.
I discovered the world of Multifamily investing early on in 2021. I started by joining a mentorship group to learn about how to invest in multifamily. It was relatively easy to transition as I was able to carry a lot of knowledge over from my life as an agent into investing. I knew what to look for as I tend to be very data driven and had a good understanding of what’s important to look for when investing (more on that here). After investing in over 1300 apartments, I decided to start putting investments together myself and giving my network the ability to invest with me as well.
My number one criteria was to be in the best of the best markets with high population growth, followed by favorable political climate towards landlords, high income, established neighborhoods, etc. After evaluating many deals, we ended up buying a 64 unit investment property in the Dallas Fort-Worth market for $6.5 Million dollars in a great location with lots of upside potential. A few months after closing on that purchase, we purchased another property, 194 units for $30.5 Million dollars just an hour north of the first property, but within the same market. That all happened during 2021 while my business was exploding with growth.
Daymond John from Shark Tank
During the first 3 months of 2022, I knew that I had to choose a path. I struggled with the idea of leaving a relatively successful business that many would gladly have, just to venture into a new business that I wasn’t at the top of yet. What I did know is that I couldn’t be successful at both, and deep down if I was to live my life within my comfort zone, I would live a life of regret.
In the middle of April, I decided that in order for me to continue to grow, hire, scale, help others in a more significant way by having them be a part of what we do, I would have to choose the uncomfortable route of going all in on a business I had true passion for. I decided to go all in on officially running this as an investment firm, with full focus and dedication.
I hired multiple agents to take over my Real Estate business, in order to cut down any chances of me going back, and jumped all in. Our target is to acquire $1 Billion dollars worth of high quality assets in the top performing markets across the US prior to the end of 2027, and along with that give our investors the ability to invest alongside us as well as help improve the communities we invest in for a win-win situation.
If you would like to be a part of our mission and see future investment opportunities, feel free to join our private Equity Model Investor Club by clicking here.
Thank you for reading my story! Let’s keep growing in the pursuit of maximizing our potential and achievement.