Entrepreneur Howard Phan has been buying and flipping since day one. From Pokémon cards and ninja stars, to real estate and sportscars, Phan’s success in life has always revolved around this single, driving passion. Now a successful businessman, Phan looks to give back through angel investments in up-and-coming local businesses, as well as by helping artists break into the burgeoning NFT scene. Whether working on his own projects or enjoying the perks of life as an investor, however, Phan is always ready to look back to his roots, leveraging the buy-and-flip for maximum potential.
“I started younger than most,” shares Phan. “I still remember the feeling I had when I made my first $20 from selling that Blastoise card in 3rd grade. It was a rush I’ve been chasing my entire life. I’ve always had a knack for flipping things. I traded Pokémon cards in elementary school, and went on to buying and flipping ipods in middle school. I transitioned a bit to cars, before nailing my real passion for buying and flipping houses. I’ve since broken the six-figure mark on annual revenue and have started reinvesting in my community through everything from restaurants and bars to laundromats.”
Success didn’t always come easily to Phan, however, and the young entrepreneur had to fight tooth and nail to prove himself in the hyper-competitive world of residential real estate. Still, Phan manages to view his business life as a game of sorts; leveraging his own talents and playing style to the best of his advantage, while identifying and bringing on teammates when the challenge proves too tough to take on alone. Phan now looks back on those early lessons with a quick wince and a smile on his face, knowing the challenges he faced then prepared him for much bigger work down the road.
“The biggest obstacle in my career came in the form of a house I bought to flip back in about 2017,” Phan recounts. “The inspection came out fine, but that was the last time anything went right with that property. It was my first flip on my own and I realized pretty quickly that I was in over my head. Everything bad that could’ve gone wrong with the house, did go wrong. I got scammed and robbed by a few contractors, redid electrical 3 times, tore out both bathrooms, multiple walls, gutted the kitchen, and redid the foundation twice. Every penny of my saving went into that flip, along with every line of debt and credit I could muster, but in the end we flipped it for $40,000. I never looked back.”
Since that first flip on his own, Phan has reinvested his earnings in small businesses around his native Dallas, bolstering the local economy while helping other entrepreneurs get off the ground. Phan is now an investor and part-owner in everything from local Korean restaurant Dansungsa, to Las Colinas nightclub Firefly Lounge. He’s managed to double sales for most of these businesses in less than a year by personally working with owners and managers to optimize sales and marketing. Phan also leverages a massive network of friends and former colleagues to bring in the best of the best for every job.
“Since acquiring my first laundromat in 2018, I’ve consistently made bets into new ventures. As I looked back at my time as a career investor, I realized that I was able to push through all the hurdles because I was passionate about everything I worked on. I even enjoyed the bad days! One of the things I look forward to in ventures are the perks. If there’s free food, drinks, and a good time while there’s profit, I’m up for it. Now, I’m looking to bring my flipping expertise to the world of NFTs as I take my first steps into the market.”
Indeed, Phan is all-in on the brief window of opportunity presented by the explosion in NFT transactions. Phan’s team is actively developing and producing NFT projects and identifying arbitrage opportunities in the existing marketplaces. Moving forward, Phan hopes to continue his angel investing while making inroads into the growing online space. No matter which direction Phan takes, however, he’ll never let go of his signature gamestyle: the buy and flip.
You can follow Phan’s ventures on Instagram (@howard.phan)