Story written by: Marcus Mulenga
In communities all across the country, there are certain topics of discussion that always seem to take place: Where do you want to go to college? What do you want to be when you grow up? How much money do you want to make? However, there’s one important question, one essential conversation that gets neglected: How can I invest in real estate to become financially secure? This may seem like a very specific inquiry, but it is relevant to everyone, especially to those who come from poor, underprivileged communities. Desmond Pollock can attest to this. Growing up in Queens, New York, financial security was never talked about in his social circles. His loving mother, being the amazing woman that she is, did a great job in raising and providing for her three children, but they still struggled to make ends meet, as so many families do when the father isn’t involved. As the oldest son, Desmond always felt that he had to do something in order to bring wealth to his family and introduce them to a more secure way of life. It turns out that real estate was the key to realizing that dream.
After moving to Tampa, Florida as an adolescent and eventually enrolling in music college (believe it or not), Desmond tried venturing into the recording arena. He DJ’d at a local radio station and got in touch with a few recording companies, but this path just didn’t seem to fulfill him in the way he thought it would. That’s when he came to realize this vital truth: “if you’re not having a good time at what you do for work, you should probably go and do something else!” That “something else” turned out to be going into business for himself. Desmond decided to take advantage of all the free education available in the area of real estate investing (after all, we are living in the information age), and after much-dedicated study, he was able to sell his first home for $36,000, even while having $0 invested into the project! At last, he had found a way to bring wealth to his family and support his brothers’ separate business ventures. But Desmond discovered something more, and that was the desire to help others bridge the seemingly daunting gap of financial literacy.
Today, Desmond is proud to be the co-owner, with his partner Damone Franklin of Encore Real Estate Investment, a company with one goal and many ways of achieving it. By means of traditional buying and selling, flipping homes, and setting up hedge funds for private equity firms and investors, all while doing everything in-house, Encore Real Estate has proven to be a valuable gem to the Central Florida and Jacksonville areas—they even operate in parts of Ohio, with future goals of expanding into Atlanta, Georgia and North and South Florida. Desmond sums up the company’s mission statement nicely:
Desmond’s favorite part of what he does is the people he works with. In fact, he is blessed to spend most of his time behind the scenes, keeping a pulse on the company to make sure that spirits stay high. Just like Encore Real Estate makes sure that people looking for a smooth investing process have the resources they need to succeed, Desmond manages the people on his team via personal and career coaching in order to make sure they have what they need to reach their own personal goals as well.
As satisfying as working in real estate is for Desmond, it’s not without its challenges. For one thing, the market is in constant flux, continually shifting from high points and good selling times, as experienced in 2006–2007 (we are actually on the cusp of another spike in sales heading into 2022), to the drastic low points that invoke panic selling, similar to that experienced during housing market crash in 2008 and the pandemic. This most recent disaster brought operations at Encore Real Estate to a near standstill. But one thing Desmond knows about real estate is that “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”, and to survive, you MUST have the ability to get up after you get knocked down. This resilient company did just that by developing systems and projects in order to help clients virtually, which you can check out by visiting their website. Even when faced with hard times, Encore Real Estate never lost sight of its desire to be involved with the community. They continue to give back to underprivileged communities through their mentoring programs, and they still donate a portion of every deal to Feeding Children Everywhere, as making sure all humans have their basic food needs met is another passion for Desmond.
For anyone looking to branch out into real estate for the first time, Desmond offers some sage advice. First and foremost, do NOT try to time the market. There will always be ups and downs, so instead of waiting for the perfect market, jump right in. Also, maintain a constant cash flow, along with your ability to roll with the punches. Also, he insists that
This is a lesson he got from one of the five books that have helped him to educate himself, not just about real estate, but about business in general: “Think and Grow Rich”, “The One Thing”, “Never Split the Difference”, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, and “The World’s Greatest Salesman.”
In fact, you can find this last book on Desmond’s shelf in his office, just above a picture that he has of his two young boys, Malachi and Isaiah. They have been a source of inspiration that he can look to when those inevitable bad days at work come up. His wife Mandy, who works as a schoolteacher in the Orange County area, is also a motivational force that helps him to stay focused on his work and family.
So, there you have it! Desmond Pollock and his company are truly gems to their community. If you have goals of buying, selling, or flipping a house, or if you’re looking for an easy way to get funding for an investment project, Encore Real Estate is there to help you successfully bridge the gap to financial literacy and to gain the wealth from passive income that so many are eager to attain!