Luxor Properties is a Corporate Housing company that focuses on providing luxurious short-term accommodation for business professionals and families at a price rivaling that of hotels. At the head of this budding enterprise is 29-year-old Kareem Thomas, a young ambitious Queens New York native with his eyes set on making his mark in the real estate and entertainment business.
After enjoying success in modeling independently, he took the opportunity to jump into the entertainment business and was cast on the popular reality show Temptation Island Season 2. His passion for basketball led him to a short-lived professional career in the popular sport, after which he promptly landed a job as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs.
Within 2 years he realized he needed to channel the same love and passion he had for basketball into something more rewarding. Drawing inspiration from his favorite entrepreneur Gary Vee, he went through a trial and error period of starting his own companies. Basketball gave him a competitive spirit and taught him not to give up, “I started a couple of companies which all failed but made me a better entrepreneur, I believe it(basketball) definitely gives me an advantage over others who have never played sports in life. It also has taught me perseverance and hard work which are both key components for a successful business owner”.
Kareem always knew he wanted to make an impact in real estate and kept absorbing knowledge from mentors he sought out in the industry. His perseverance paid off and when the right opportunity presented itself, Kareem was ready to take the risk.
While business has taught him to embrace failure as an opportunity to grow, he attributes the entertainment industry for helping him develop a thick skin, “In the entertainment world you will quickly come to see that it is an industry filled with drama and critics. If you are not mentally strong enough to deal with other people’s opinions about you, you probably won’t last very long”.
5 lessons from Kareem for upstart entrepreneurs:
- It will consume your life. I knew business requires attention but I never get a chance to shut the business off as of right now.
- Some people are hard to please. I’ve realized business is a people’s game and you must learn how to deal with people.
- Save. To scale as quickly as possible you need money!
- Never stop learning. You will decline in business if you are not learning more ways to improve it.
- Promote your business. I realize now. No one will know about your business unless you promote it and tell people about it.
Kareem believes that using your success to make other people’s lives better is what should drive an entrepreneur, “I am bringing joy into a lot of people’s lives by providing an affordable place to stay with a luxurious standard. Also, by generating paying jobs, my employees can put food on their family’s tables. I have a lot more work to do on this subject. I am just getting started”.