“Don’t call it a comeback,
“Cause I’m just getting started.
“Winding down the path that I’ve just plotted,
“Tried to dismiss me, looking to dis me,
“You can’t see me, but you’re about to feel me
“Droppin’ some beats, cause I’m coming down the street
“I’m best the dang person that cha ever gonna meet!”
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The year: 2002
Cold calling people is the worst.
This has been established by anyone who has ever worked in a service position where you are tasked to call other people.
The concept of having to call a complete stranger to request something or ask something can be a bit terrifying. Jamil would normally not have a problem with this – given his friendly personality – however, calling someone you had previously called about a property you couldn’t afford was…
Especially when you were calling about actually purchasing the property.
For obvious reasons, the current owner had been suspicious. “Weren’t you here a few months ago trying to rent this place?” she asked. “And now you somehow have the money to buy it?”
“Well, I know someone who would,” Jamil replied. “If you were interested. Look, you know I live here and I tried to rent the place. That was like three, four months ago; how many people have called to rent this out since?”
The owner looked away, bashfully. Jamil had been correct – she had been trying to rent the property since he had initially inquired about it and even before then.
The end result was she had a property that no one seemed interested in.
“Okay,” she replied, slowly. “Let’s say that I wanted to sell this place. I’d only do it for a certain price and you’d have to match it.”
Jamil nodded. “Sure,” he said. “What’s your price?”
Jamil nodded and told the property owner that he’d call her as soon as he got with his prospective buyer. He didn’t even wait to be let into his business partner’s office, heedless of what other meeting might have been taking place.
“I have a deal for one of those bungalows you’re looking for,” he announced, causing his partner to look up from the paperwork he was working on. “Same type of lot and everything. How much do you think your dad would pay for it?”
“$400,000,” the partner announced, right off the bat. “Where is it? What’s the condition?”
“Right down the street from where I live now,” Jamil answered. “I’m surrounded by these little houses. And it’s fairly good, nothing on the outside or inside that seemed out of place the last I saw it. But $400K is what he’ll pay?”
The partner nodded. “You get us that house, we’ll have a lot to talk about.”
Jamil smiled, walking out with far more confidence in the matter than he actually felt. The owner wanted $350, his partner was willing to go $400, that left a total of $50,000 that Jamil needed to actually buy this house.
Problem was…Jamil didn’t have $50,000.
How in the world was he going to get that kind of money?
When you’re dealing with money and you’re dealing with real estate, the easiest and best avenue of recourse is to get a lawyer to handle all the legalities.
So Jamil Damji, budding real estate investor, did exactly that; he went looking for a lawyer.
From Abramson to Bennett, from Frankel to Garfield, and again from Johnson to Kennedy, Jamil called everyone listed under attorney at law in the Yellow Pages and every single one of them passed.
Or rather, their secretaries politely passed on the young unknown random person calling up attorneys.
Until he reached S.
David Steed was a young attorney, freshly spat out from law school and into the world, and was the perfect person for Jamil to speak to.
Mostly because he actually answered his own phone.
“You need to do a skip transfer,” Steed told him. “And you’re gonna need two contracts for this – one to purchase the property as a buyer and the second where you’re the seller, so you can sell it to your partner or whomever.”
“And that’s it?” asked Jamil.
“Well,” Steed continued. “You’ll need the contracts, but I can email those over to you right now. Get them signed by the right people and bring them back to me; I’ll get it all set up for you. And then you pay me a fee, of course.”
“Mr. Steed, I’ll pay you whatever you want! This is phenomenal! Thank you so much!”
As predicted, after a few weeks, all the signatures that Jamil needed – from the property owner, from his partner’s dad, and from David Steed himself – resulted in a check for $48,000 after fees were paid out.
And that, dear reader, is how our Lil Jamil became Investor Jamil. At 20-something years old, Jamil had single-handedly invented the concept of wholesaling.
(He didn’t, actually, but he didn’t know about Ron LeGrand at that time and decades later, he would realize that there was an expert in the industry who rewrote the rules of the game.)
The new life path that Jamil had been looking for, the very thing Lil Jamil had begun without ever knowing it…was finally here.
And it was here with a bang.
Lil Jamil, formerly the up-and-coming Dr. Jamil, and now Investor Jamil had stumbled upon something special and there was no way he was going to let it go.
Media Group didn’t compare to the rush that accompanied the deal and the check that followed, so there was no reason for Jamil to still be there. His business partner, already well aware of the lucrative success that can be found in real estate investing, wasn’t too upset to see Jamil leave.
He wasn’t exactly happy, seeing as he thought Jamil would be a new competitor in the space, but he couldn’t exactly tell him no.
So the young entrepreneur left for the pastures of wholesaling.
And those pastures were absolutely green, with tall grass, and a better life. But as they say, beware of things hiding in the tall grass, because while Jamil had found a new path, there was a crisis lurking on the ground that would change everything he – and the rest of the world – knew about real estate…