Today you are a successful real estate investor and entrepreneur. That was not always the case. In 2008 there was an economic crisis that also affected the real estate market. Were you thinking about a career change at that time?
No, I did not consider changing careers at that time. Instead, every single day I was just hunting for opportunities. The business of selling houses hadn’t been doing great and I specifically remember doing a short sale transaction— I found the buyer, I found the seller, I negotiated the deal for about 11 months and after all that work, all I got was a small $7,000 check in the end. Then, the person I sold the house to, painted it, cut the grass, put it back on the market and made about $130,000. That was the exact moment that I realized I was on the wrong side of the equation and that I needed to be an investor. And while I didn’t have any money and didn’t know how to invest at the time, I just went for it and made it happen.
How did you and your wife at the time, Christina Haack, come up with the idea of redesigning old properties in very poor condition and presenting them to a TV station?
I was inspired by the idea from seeing other investors coming into the market, especially after that last $7,000 deal that I did. Christina and I had gone to a big real estate convention in Las Vegas and we just happened to be invited to sit front row alongside the VIPs, (which we were not one of!) During a break in the conference, many of the VIPs came up to us and asked who we were. We spoke with a lot of them, but one gentleman in particular shared that he had a local TV show about real estate. On the show, he would showcase his homes, which would help people recognize him and instantly know him and his reputable and want to work with him. I thought that was smart. After we arrived home, my mind was running and I suggested to my ex-wife, that we try to get ourselves a TV show like the man we met in Vegas, she laughed. We had just bought our very first condo to flip and that’s when the whole house-flipping concept hit me. I googled production companies and came across Pietown Productions. They were accepting casting submission on their website and I sent along our bio and photos. They responded with interest and asked for us to send some home video footage for consideration. We documented our very first flip and the rest is history.
2013 you went through a difficult time with your health. How did it change your life and what advice would you give to people with the same fate?
I was facing two different cancers and when you’re staring death in the face, it makes you question who you are, where you’re from and where you’re going. For me, it was definitely life changing and has really helped me to see things from a different perspective and not sweat the small stuff. It’s made me even more grateful for the life I live and the opportunities I have and I’ve come to realize that time is limited and its very important to capitalize on every moment we have on this planet.
You have been working in the real estate sector for many years. What excites you about real estate?
What excites me about real estate is the endless opportunities it brings. It’s allowed me to meet and do transcations with people from all over the world. Historically it’s the #1 way ppl have created wealth over time and it’s the #1 way people create wealth in this country today. Real estate has always appreciated, inflation has always incurred, but no matter what, over time the value of your asset is going to increase, on top of major tax benefits like depreciation. I think it’s hands down the absolute best way to build wealth in today’s climate.
Many entrepreneurs invest in start-ups to generate capital from different areas. Would you invest in start-ups and support them with your experience?
There have been ups and downs in your life. What was the lowest point for you and how did you overcome it?
For me, the most difficult thing I’ve ever faced was heartbreak. For me, it was exponentially worse than two cancers and a back surgery combined. It didn’t take me a week, a month or even a year to recover—it took time. Through many years of healing, the one thing I told myself was to stay positive, keep moving forward and keep chasing my goals and I knew one day the storm would pass, and it did. I overcame that period, found myself in a better place and I eventually met my current wife, Heather and that was the game changer.
Today you are happily married to Heather Rae and are going to be a father again. How did you meet?
It was the Fourth of July in 2019, Heather and I were both at a bar in Newport Beach, California that had boat docks where I had docked my boat. She was on a boat parked next to mine, and we had some mutual friends. She came over to my boat and that’s when I noticed her and immediately went over to introduced myself, to which she responded that she already knew who I was. I felt confident for a split second. She said that I asked her out 2 years prior via social media, but she was in a relationship at the time. She shared that she was no longer in a relationship, so I asked her out again there and then and we’ve been together ever since.
What does a day in your life look like between family and business?
My day typically starts at 5:30am, where I start checking emails and messages that have come in overnight, for about an hour. I spend an hour at the gym at 7am and then come home, have breakfast and get ready for the rest of the day. At 9am my full work day begins and slows down around 6pm if I have the kids. On days that I don’t have my kids, my work day slows down anywhere from 7pm-10pm at night.
The last 2 years have not been easy for everyone. How did you spend the Corona period and how has it changed you?
I spent the pandemic building my businesses. It actually freed up a lot of my time because I was unable to travel, which I did a lot of prior to the shutdown. Before the pandemic, I had a live event company I was working with that had been shut down, so the second it happened I pivoted from live event company to virtual education and I started building the entire program as a virtual model which is what I have today withTEM Capital. With TEM Captial, I want to make investing available to everyone in the world and allow people the opportunity to buy and own real estate on American soil. As a first generation American, I was born into an immigrant family where my parents showed me the true value of hard work, the importance of a healthy competitive spirit and how to push myself to higher limits and achieve my goals. I want to be able to help individuals bring goals like this to life when it comes to investing in real estate, with the mission to match the right investor to the right opportunity at the right time.
One last question. Are there any new TV projects and what goals do you still want to achieve?
I am currently working on a new show The Flipping El Moussas as well as filming a new season of my show, Flipping 101 with Tarek El Moussa. What really excites me about my future in television would be the opportunity do entrepreneurial focused business shows. I’d like to take the knowledge that I’ve garnered over the last 20 years, as well as my experiences and lessons and share it with budding entrepreneurs. I’d want to teach people how to make money and how to be an entrepreneur.
Keep up with Tarek’s latest projects on Instagram: @therealtarekelmoussa
Tarek is currently working with individuals all over the globe to create investment opportunities.
For more information regarding partnering with Tarek on investing with TEM Capital, visit: www.temcapital.co