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Secret to Success – Ovi Nasui

While growing up in front of the family business, Ovi Nasui started to take a liking towards entrepreneurship. Knowing that a typical career wasn’t the right path, Ovi decided to drop out of school after finding success in real estate. Good things sometimes come to an end and the real estate crash in 2008 put Ovi in a hole and through some tough times. Believing that he could overcome this obstacle, Ovi went back to the drawing board and started a new business, one that was almost recession proof. Along with his father, which is also his best friend and mentor, Ovi started a senior care facility and has continued to see tremendous growth and new opportunities in multiple locations. Ovi is the perfect example of living in the American Dream.
Tell us a little bit about how you started your entrepreneur journey…

I was born in Romania and moved to the United States with both my parents at a fairly young age. It was always a dream for my father to come to the US and make his “American Dream” happen. We came to the states in 1991 and started like many immigrants who left for a better life. My father worked ridiculous hours at a job that paid next to nothing for some time, while my mother was getting her RN license, who in the meantime, was also working long hours. It was quite difficult for them, but they always made sure I was taken care of.

We lived in a one bedroom apartment for quite some time and that was definitely interesting. Even though we may not have had much, we made it work and were content with what we had. After a few years of struggling, my father started a small business and we started doing a little bit better financially. He was always so entrepreneurial and definitely had it in him to run his own business and I truly feel that I got my drive from him. My childhood was a fairly standard one, but things started changing when I started thinking about the future and considering what I wanted to do with my life.

Growing up under your parents watch, how did you follow their footsteps?

In high school, I started looking at my options for the future and what I could do to make my life easier and better. I started small little businesses to make a few bucks on the side, but always had a feeling and somehow knew that I wanted to be my own boss and did not want to rely on others and do what they told me to do. My guidance counselors and many others told me to go be an analyst or to get a real job, but I chose to ignore them. I never wanted to be a robot for someone else. I started investing in real estate at a very early age and it started working out quite well. After I graduated from high school I started college and found myself hating the days that I had to go to class. I found that for the most part, most of the information that was being taught was complete and utter $*%^. I couldn’t handle it so I dropped out and continued to invest in real estate and started other small businesses in search for that one hit.

You mentioned things changing for the better once your dad started his business. What business was he in and what did you learn from that experience?

My dad’s first business in the states was a small owner operated carpet cleaning business. He worked long hours and it wasn’t easy work. He contracted with apartment complexes which kept him really busy. When I wasn’t in school I would go out with him and help him do the work at the apartments. Can’t tell you how many things I saw and really learned from that experience. That first business really motivated him and I to work smart, rather than hard. I know that is kind of a cliche to say, but it’s true. I also learned that I should never ever give up on a dream and do whatever it takes to make that happen.





As an immigrant, education is usually extremely important. What did your parents say about you dropping out?

You’re right, most immigrant families do definitely push for higher education and to their credit, it can truly be something important for most people. I didn’t feel it was in my case. My mother always pushed me to get a degree and I believe that she was very disappointed when I dropped out. However, my father always supported me and let me make my own choices. He said if getting a job and finishing school won’t make you happy then what’s the point? That was very encouraging and helped me push for something higher than the average out there.

Tell us about how you got started in real estate at such a young age in high school…

When I got started with real estate investing I saw what other people were doing, and really got amped up when I met another mentor of mine. I saw that fad and saw the massive appreciation that regions of the states where having so I obviously wanted in. In just like everything I have done, I did it together with my father. He is more like a friend and mentor to me than just my father. So together we went to Phoenix Arizona which at the time was an incredible market and was booming.

At such a young age I didn’t have credit to buy a house so what I did was put a down payment on my credit card just to hold the house for me while it was being built. I was buying “preconstruction” projects. It was crazy to think that someone could do that. The awesome thing is that I put down only $2500 per house and picked up 3 properties. I never had to close on them because as soon as the construction was done, I immediately sold the property or assigned the property for the current market value. It was an amazing first couple of deals because each property appreciated about $60 to $80k within 6 months and I was able to take that profit and use it for further deals. It was quite a rush. After that I did a few flips, and purchased a bunch of rental properties for some residual income. It was an awesome start and I’m thankful for everything that I did and every lesson that I learned at such an early age. It definitely was fun, interesting, and knew that one day it would pay off.

You mentioned buying property because of the fad but that lead to the bubble and housing crash in 2008. What did that do for you?

Unfortunately, the real estate market crashed and crashed hard for me and many other people around the US. I lost a lot during that time and essentially had to start over. 2008 and 2009 was very hard, but I believe that it was actually a blessing to go through that at a young age and not when I was older. The lessons that I learned are priceless and now I understand what to do and what not to do. The truth is, when we want something bad enough, no matter what, we will always find a way to make it happen and bounce back from whatever took us down. So when everything was falling apart and everyone was complaining, my father and I together started a new senior care business that would pull us back up.

At any point did you regret your decisions in regards to school or investments?

I would like to say I never regret anything I do because I learn from it, but the reality of it is that yes, I do sometimes. Even to this day I look back and wonder “What if? However, that hasn’t done anyone any good so we just move on. If I had the financial power to sustain all the properties and investments during the downturn it would have paid off tenfold, but it is what it is.

I am extremely grateful for the experience and the real life education I received during that time. It was a very expensive education, but it was an education that I would have never gotten if I didn’t do what I did. I am just happy that by pushing through and working hard and smart was able to turn things around, and was able to get back on the right path.

What triggered the idea for the senior care business?

The idea actually started because of the experience my mother had as an RN (registered nurse) and the past experience my father had in the industry. We saw that there were so many amazing opportunities in this field to not just make a great living, but to truly help seniors. We saw that more times than not, the news and media were reporting negative things about peoples’ experiences in these types of facilities, and I really wanted to create something with a higher class of living and the highest possible level of care for the seniors in the area. We knew that RCFE (residential care facilities for elderly) investing was an awesome opportunity now and in the future because of the huge increase of the age demographics in the United States. The baby boomer age needed and still needs care so here we are. We tapped into a market that was pre-existing and just did our best to make it better.

Tell us about your RCFE business and what services you guys offer and provide.

The RCFE business is quite cool and can be quite a lot of fun and very rewarding in a personal way. We provide our customers with only the nicest locations possible in the area and something that is comfortable for them. I have actually had customers say that the homes are too nice for them, and that they aren’t used to something of this caliber. The whole goal with the senior care business is to create a level of comfort for our senior residents and to make sure that they are as comfortable as possible. The customers get 24/7 around the clock care, home cooked meals, activities, and essentially we can customize our programs to meet their specific needs and wants. For us, it’s all about the customer and their family at all times, and because of that I feel that we have built a strong reputation and name in the area.

How did you get your first few customers?

The first customers where referrals from doctors that toured the facilities and knew the level of quality that we offered was beyond what the other competitors had to offer and knew it was where they wanted their patients to be. To this day, we get referrals from doctors along with referrals from families that have been at the homes and can speak from experience of the care that is provided for their loved ones. We really don’t even use many other means of advertising.

We started with one property in California and then we began to slowly grow. It was definitely a slow growth, but it was strong growth based on solid financials. We expanded with projects in Florida when I was living there for a few year, but ending up getting rid of those and instead put the focus back in the California market for now. When we first started growing there was really no interest to expand. We were trying to just catch our breath and recover from the market crash, but because the demand was so high, people kept asking us to open more and more. So never disappoint a customer right? The growth never stopped.

What has been some of your biggest struggles as a business owner?

Out of all the hurdles I would say that staffing has been the hardest part of the business. It cracks me up when people say “there are no jobs out there” because we are always hiring. The problem is that most people don’t want to work. It was hard to get a solid staff line up that we could truly have confidence in. As time passed we nailed down our team and can happily say that our staff is outstanding and I love working with them every day. It really has blossomed into a business that is not only now beneficial for our residents, but also beneficial for our awesome staff. The cool thing about owning your own business is that you can not only help your clients, but also help the people looking for work and if they choose to help themselves first; you can then also step in and further help them secure their future.





 



Running a RCFE business takes a much larger initial investment. How did you validate your idea?

When it comes to RCFE investing, real estate or any other type of business, I can’t stress enough how important due diligence has been for me. Learning the hard way has been an amazing teacher. When it comes to businesses, I now spend countless hours researching and making sure that the market will be able to sustain the idea, and there is not only room, but a completely open door for whatever the business is. There is no excuse for losing money because you don’t take the time to research. So as important as it is to have a good gut feeling, it’s even more important to make sure the data proves you correct and that way I can comfortably invest and move forward in whatever the project may be. That, along with using creative financing, has been a huge help for me in moving forward and expanding the RCFE business along with the other businesses as well.

 
For anyone that wants to get involved in the RCFE business do you have any advice?

I actually think this is an awesome industry for people to get involved in because there is not only currently a HUGE demand, but also because the demand is growing at a rapid rate and will continue to grow. One of the biggest pieces of advice I could give someone would be please don’t be cheap. What I mean by that is don’t try and skimp on prices by getting subpar locations, resources, staff, or anything in the business. If you put out a quality product you will be rewarded with quality. I feel the same about any business though. I actually apply that to anything like RCFE, real estate, retail, my new businesses, and anything else in life. Always be a stand up person, full disclosure, and always provide the best for your customers. Put out quality and you will get back quality.

 
What’s next for you and your businesses?

Currently I am working on a lot of projects and there are a lot of new things coming down the pipeline. I am still running the senior care business and will continue to do so for some time. However, I have 2 new businesses and projects that I am even more excited about. The first one is a software company that I launched and we are building out some really great stuff for clients whom unfortunately I can’t discuss, but it has been something that I have been working on for over 2 years now. I am very excited about what the future holds for this business. Every day that goes by things keep getting better and bigger, and the future keeps looking brighter and brighter. Really excited about what it holds.

The second business that I am working on now whom I am just as excited about is my new company called Ghiotto Artisan Gelato. Just as the name indicates it’s a gelato company. I mean come on who doesn’t like gelato? It will be mainly a gelato shop but will feature gourmet small bites, quality wines, and champagnes. I am really excited about this project which will launch in early spring in northern California and then will be opening up in Florida shortly after. All of the projects that I am working on are just really fun, and I have awesome hopes for them all. Along with those two new businesses I am still investing and have done some land acquisition in Europe and will be prepping for some pretty awesome development projects. Just keeping things different and making sure that income will come from as many areas as possible.

It is without a doubt a lot of work but I would rather work some of the years in my life like most people won’t so that I can live the rest of my life like most people can’t. I always believe that it is really important to always be happy with what you have but never be satisfied and always strive for more. I don’t only mean that from a financial point of view. When all said and done, business aside, the biggest motivation for me with all of this is to be able to have full freedom to travel the world with my girlfriend, and create a future that will be fun, adventurous, and to hopefully set an example for others as well.

You recently had the privilege of picking up your first exotic car. Tell us about that experience…

I have had a passion for cars since I was young. I’m a little obsessed to be honest. I really have wanted an exotic for the longest time, but until now it was never the right time. I had a few opportunities to get something prior to my Aston Martin DBS, but on every occasion I chose to use the money elsewhere. I feel that even though I just now picked up an exotic, it was well worth the wait.

I initially always wanted a Lamborghini and I will be adding one to the garage in the near future, but something about Aston Martin has always appealed to me. I love the fact that they are like a rolling tuxedo, and somewhat understated. I love most Astons, but the DBS has had my heart and has for the longest time. It’s been on the top of my list for some time now.

When a buddy posted that one was coming up for sale and it was exactly the specifications that I wanted, I just had to get it. I actually got the car while I was in Europe, and had my dad pick it up and drive it home for me. I was really excited to drive it when I got home. Now every time I open the garage I can’t help but smile. Really awesome feeling and a definitely a “mission accomplished” for me. Now I’m very excited to work even harder, continue expanding the businesses, travel more, and add a few more goals to my list.

 
We want to thank Ovi Nasui for sharing his awesome story. To get in touch with Ovi, you can follow him at the following places.

Ovi on Instagram
Ghiotto Gelato
Ovi on twitter


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