Kam Zainabadi, of Park Place: “Labor of Love”

by Jerome Knyszewski
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Kam Zainabadi Park Place

Founder of Park Place Kam Zainabadi runs a “property technology company,” and “an online marketplace for commercial real estate deals.”

Growing up in Iran, Kam Zainabadi and his family moved to the United States when he was 11 years old. While living in the US, he came to value hard work and education, like his parents did.

Before Park Place, Kam Zainabadi studied at UCLA where he discovered that he wanted to be a doctor. At the same time, he also knew that he had to leave something behind for his children, since he knew his parents experienced financial struggles.

It was after he completed his residency to become a general surgeon that Kam Zainabadi found that real estate was the best way to grow generational wealth. He began investing.

At the same time, Kam Zainabadi started co-investing with larger developers and investing in tech startups. This move grew his network.

This network eventually led to Kam Zainabadi founding Park Place. The company is an “online marketplace for commercial real estate deals.”

With Kam Zainabadi and Park Place, you can join the “large developers as partners in multi-million dollar deals as passive partners without needing to deal with the day to day management of these properties.”

Check out more interviews with real estate executives here.

I found the United States living up to its name of being the land of opportunity. Kam Zainabadi, Park Place

Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. I know that you are a very busy person. Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you grew up?

Kam Zainabadi: I grew up in Iran and my family migrated to the United State when I was 11 years old. The two countries are so much different. I found the United States living up to its name of being the land of opportunity.

Like children of most immigrants, my family valued hard work and education a lot. So Those values were instilled in me. After struggling to learn the language, I became a very hard worker and a good student.

I did well in High school as a great student and I was popular amongst my peers. I then went to UCLA where I did well and found out I wanted to be a Doctor. I then went to medical school and completed my residency to become a general surgeon.

Knowing the financial struggles of my parents I knew I wanted to leave a lasting legacy for my children. I found out Real Estate is the best way of creating generational wealth.

I started investing in real estate, first in single families and then in larger and larger apartment complexes. I also co-invested with larger developers.

Meanwhile, I also got involved in investing in technology startups which expanded my network of friends and acquaintances.

This culminated in me forming my own property technology company called Park Place, which is an online marketplace for commercial real estate deals.

Investors can join the large developers as partners in multi-million dollar deals as passive partners without needing to deal with the day to day management of these properties.

Jerome Knyszewski: What were your early inspirations that set you off on your particular journey?

Kam Zainabadi: As an immigrant that came to the U.S. with modest means, my early inspiration was the “American Dream” which I saw materialized in successful people all around me.

America is about succeeding through hard work and having the right attitude. It is really the only country in the world that gives its citizens this ability. Another inspiration was the founding fathers of the United States, collectively.

These men were, not old as it is thought of in popular culture, but rather young, intelligent men with the idea of changing the world for the better. The United States is the fulfillment of their dreams.

As an entrepreneur, especially as head of a start-up, the toughest part of the job is facing the naysayers who always try to find faults in your business.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

Kam Zainabadi: I have made many humorous mistakes throughout my career. As far a funny mistake I have done with my current venture — I taped an entire podcast with the wrong guest on my show.

Interestingly, we both didn’t know this fact until the show went live and he said that was introducing him as a different person. The person that I misidentified him as also called me and said the person on the show isn’t him.

Everything finally got sorted out with some good editing. In the current remote work environments, these mistakes can happen and it taught me to double-check everything.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

Kam Zainabadi: One of the hardest moments of my life as a doctor was when I had to deal with a young patient’s death when I was a surgery resident. This was a young lady, only 19, who was shot while driving a car.

It was a very emotionally trying time to have to take this in and also to try to tell her family members about what had happened.

As an entrepreneur, especially as head of a start-up, the toughest part of the job is facing the naysayers who always try to find faults in your business.

Thankfully, I have enough self-confidence to know that I am doing the right things for my business to succeed.

Jerome Knyszewski: So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Kam Zainabadi: Things are going well. Not giving up on my dreams has helped me tremendously. Those who don’t have the tenacity to continue to dream and find a path to succeed are those that are haunted by regrets.

Those who don’t have the tenacity to continue to dream and find a path to succeed are those that are haunted by regrets. Kam Zainabadi

Jerome Knyszewski: Wonderful. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

Kam Zainabadi:

  1. Ideas are ideas until implemented — All of us have great ideas for business, however few of us have the tenacity and perseverance to actually create a business around them.I also have had hundreds of ideas but I had a difficult time actualizing the ideas into a business.

    If someone early on had told me to “Just do It” then I would have started my journey into entrepreneurship much earlier in life.

  1. Don’t listen to naysayers — Entrepreneurs are surrounded by naysayers. It can be their family members or their friends. It is not that they mean any harm, but it’s their attitude and view of the world.Optimism, a positive attitude, and a go get them mentality is what separate entrepreneurs from the rest.

    If someone had told me earlier in life that you are either a naysayer or entrepreneur I would have understood much earlier about what it is to be an entrepreneur.

  2. Listen to criticism of those who believe in you — after you remove all the naysayers from your unofficial “advisory board” then you must listen to positive criticism of those with an entrepreneurial mindset who are on your side and wish you success.Early in my career I always became defensive about criticism; but this was due to the fact that I couldn’t distinguish naysayers from those who were giving constructive criticism.
  3. First create a minimum viable product (MVP) — We all get excited about a new business idea we have. We know that it will be a success. We bounce the idea off our friends and they also like it.But then we don’t follow through. We don’t test the market. Or worse, we go full scale on spending large amounts of capital and the idea doesn’t take off.

    MVP’s are prototypes that demonstrate our ideas and are a laboratory to fine-tune our business plan and make appropriate adjustments without going broke.

    Thankfully, I had friends around me to introduce me to MVP’s early on and I am very thankful for this.

  4. Create a team of people that believe in you. Many times friends jump on board and want to participate in our new venture. However, this is a bad idea.Always find the right people, with the right mindset, the right work ethics and the right makeup to join you.

    They need to understand that there is a lot of hard work and free labor that needs to be done before the business can succeed.

    Early on, in my own business ventures, I was so excited about my ideas that I wanted to surround myself with friends that shared my excitement.

    However business is not a get-together, it is a labor of love. Only let people onboard that you think will lead you to success.

Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow your work online?

Kam Zainabadi: I am on LinkedIn and Facebook. My email is: drzainabadi@gmail.com Also they can visit the Park Place website.

Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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