Two weeks before his 14th birthday, Manny Khoshbin’s dad decided it was time they left Iran. By coming to the U.S., Manny wouldn’t have to enlist in the Iranian military, where there was a good chance he’d be injured or killed—like so many of his older relatives had been.
After a brief stop in Turkey, they were able to get a visa and move to Orange County. For a while, they lived out of the back of a car. Eventually Manny’s dad got a job and saved enough money to put down a deposit on a one bedroom apartment. It was crammed, but their six-person-family was happy to have a home.
At this point, Manny—a lanky teenager who couldn’t speak a lick of English—was grateful to be in America, but also carried a lot of guilt because those were tough times and he was the reason they had moved.
“So I think that really built my personality,” Manny recalled in an interview with Bedros Keuilian. “I had to grow to be a man rather quickly. And then, you know, try to reach that financial independence.”
Manny was driven to help out his parents and give them a better life. “My first job was dumpster diving,” he laughed. He and his mom would take whatever was salvageable, that others had thrown out, and then sell it at the local swap meets on the weekends.
At age 16, now legally able to work, Manny got a job mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, and putting away shopping carts at Kmart. After a year, he was promoted to assistant manager of the sporting goods department.
Yet, all along, he had a dream, a vision, to become a multi-millionaire. He was always on the lookout for a bigger, better opportunity. “I was like a sponge,” he said, “if I saw one guy selling used cars and making money, I would start getting on Autotrader, looking for used cars, you know?”
“So I done so many different trades. From being a mechanic, going to people’s homes to change their oil in their car. Brake pads. Anything. Every time I ran into somebody who was making more money than me, I copied them,” he explained.
That led Manny to become a top earner at an MLM; to start his own business going door-to-door selling cashews and trail mix; even an attempt to buy a gas station, only to be swindled out of the $25k he had saved up for the down payment.
Next, he went and sold tires for a minute before landing a job processing loans for a mortgage company. After learning the ins and outs of mortgages, Manny went into business for himself. He did well for a while, but then the market changed and that fizzled out. Along with a discount supermarket he got involved with.
By 26, after tasting some success, he finds himself $300k in debt. Everyone said, “Just file for bankruptcy.” Manny refused: “I said no. In this country, credit is everything. If you file bankruptcy, you’re dead.”
Around that time, some of Manny’s friends were bragging about all the money they were making day trading stocks. Manny decided to follow suit, opening up an E-Trade account with what little money he had. Long story short, he manages to turn that into $700 grand!
Manny cashed out, payed off his debts and, following the advice of a mentor he met during his supermarket days, began pouring money into commercial real estate.
Even though he’d get sidetracked now and then and start other ventures, he always came back to real estate. “[With] other businesses, trends change. Look at Amazon, changing the entire landscape of retail. And now WeWork’s changing the entire landscape of how you rent office space,” Manny said.
“So some trends change, but real estate doesn’t really change, ya know? God’s not making any more of it. Dirt is dirt.”
But it’s all about location and timing, Manny says. Ideally, you wait for a recession and then buy properties or buildings during the recovery, when the uptrend begins.
It’s interesting, rather than the buy, hold, and rent-it-out approach, 90% of Manny’s real estate fortune was built by flipping. Again, it’s all about buying it at the right price. If you do that, you’ll always be able to sell it for a profit at some point.
As for commercial versus residential real estate, Manny always leaned towards commercial because you have more control, more ability to act like an entrepreneur. One example: design-wise, you can typically do whatever you want with your commercial buildings. That’s just not the case if you own a bunch of tract homes.
Anyways, once Manny was happily married, two kids, had his dream home and plenty of cash flow—and because the last couple years haven’t been great for buying up more buildings—he’s been focused on growing his incredibly rare car collection.
All that eye candy is a natural fit for his YouTube vlogs and Instagram posts, where he now makes substantial extra income thanks to ad revenue and shameless self-promotion of his Real Estate Starter Course, Millionaire Mastermind, merchandise, and more.
Add it all up, and reports list Manny Khoshbin’s net worth at anywhere from $45 to $85 million dollars. No wonder the dude smokes stogies all day. With a rags to riches story like that, every day is cause for celebration.