Paul Joseph Gellenbeck, CEO of 954 Home Buyers, is a very professional entrepreneur that has developed and scaled many businesses. He is a loving father of 3 but still finds time to volunteer to support the charities that he is passionate about. Paul is originally from Indiana but moved to Florida to help with his father’s business. Paul soon became one of the most successful wholesalers in Florida and largest seller at Manheim auction for many years, selling over 400 cars a month. Due to Paul’s high sales volume, the company was able to go public and Paul was promoted to Vice President as well as a member of the company’s board. Having a knack for sales and for unique, out-of-the-box thinking, Paul decided to switch to the world of real estate next where he would gain over a decade of experience buying, selling, fixing, flipping, and renting houses. In Paul’s personal life, he has seen his fair share of adversity, he was faced with the challenge of raising his twins alone when their mother died shortly after they were born. 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’s caring is something that motivates a lot of his actions both as a father and a businessman.
With Paul’s business, 954 Home buyers, he buys homes in the most straightforward way possible. He oftentimes is offering a solution to those that are trapped and think they have no way to sell their home. These types of situations often include those facing foreclosure, those with one or more liens against their home, those that may need to relocate quickly due to a new job or other reasons, those that have inherited a home, and those facing financial or familial issues. It is a hard enough process to sell a home under normal circumstances but all the more difficult for those under distress. Paul’s business, 954 Home Buyers offers a simple process that can get sellers paid in as little as 48 hours after the offer is accepted and the title is transferred. The seller simply fills in some information on the 954 Home Buyers website and then after an evaluation is made, they are given an offer. There are no home showings to prepare for and no home repairs to be made. There are also no closing costs involved for the seller to worry about. In fact, 954 Home Buyers can even negotiate the lien(s) on a home so that they are of no concern in the sale either. Paul Gellenbeck has innovated such a unique and perfect process that there is no other company that is doing it as fast as 954 Home Buyers is able to complete it. More importantly, Paul’s company is bringing a source of hope to those that are in very stressful situations. Those that will no doubt benefit greatly from being able to receive a fast payout. Then, because Paul also knows how to fix and flip these houses, he is able to bring life back to the properties and offer a solution to families that are looking for housing in those areas, furthering enriching these communities that he works in. This all may sound too good to be true, but the beauty lies in Paul’s unmatched problem-solving skills, he found a market that most didn’t want to be involved with and knew how to make it prosperous and profitable. The key is that Paul knows how to re-vamp any home, no matter how distressed and turn it into something profitable, beautifying neighborhoods and enriching lives in the process.
Where did the idea for 954 Homebuyers come from?
I saw a unique way to capitalize on homes that may normally go unsold. I specialize in buying and fixing distressed real estate. I can help those that are having trouble getting out from under a bad situation and I can also breathe life back into a previously uninhabitable house which also helps bring value back to neighborhoods.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I get ready for the day by waking up early so that I can exercise and eat a healthy breakfast. Then, I may have several different things going on in a day, like a chartered fishing trip, a day a property doing renovations, volunteer work, many other things. I stay busy enough that I don’t have any issues staying productive, but it can get very full, so I do rely on schedules and reminders to streamline said productivity.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am a very out of the box thinker and I have no trouble coming up with new ideas, so I keep a notebook nearby to jot them all down. When I get serious about an idea, I get right into figuring out how to make it work.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Shifting some in-person services to online. At least the ones that can create a lot more convenience for everyone. I think it is great that it is being embraced by most, from young to older ones.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am a morning person. I have always felt like those quiet hours of the morning are so much more productive than the chaotic hours of the evening.
What advice would you give 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”.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Price isn’t always reflective of quality-make sure to do your due diligence before buying a product or service.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Make time for your hobbies. I find that I am more refreshed and am able to think more clearly when I am taking that time for myself.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Having a good website that is easy to navigate and looks appealing. It will make a big difference as to whether a customer stays on it or moves on.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In the past I have chosen the wrong people to do business with. You start to learn how to trust your intuitions about people, so I have overcome by learning a very valuable lesson.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Prepackaged solutions for those that are looking to learn how to do more small repairs around their house. You could send the materials and instructions in a box for a flat rate that would be much cheaper for the consumer than hiring a professional for a small job that could easily be done by anyone.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought some fishing equipment that we can use on our charity fishing trips with children that have special needs. The equipment will be safe for them to use while helping them learn about how to fish.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Slack is great for staying in touch when working on a team and it also allows you to keep projects organized.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: It’s Your Turn to #JoinTheRide by Darren Hardy. It talks about the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur while also giving advice, principals, and fundamentals to assist any along the way.
What is your favorite quote?
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”- Peter Drucker
• Start your day early to capitalize on the quiet, productive hours.
• Always do your due diligence before buying a product or service and remember that price isn’t always reflective of quality.
• Make your website do the hard work for you by making it look appealing and be easy to use.
• Find easy to use solutions like Slack to stay in touch with teammates and streamline productivity.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.