Mobile Home Geeks
How San Antonio’s Entrepreneurial Incubator helped Us Launch Our Mobile Home Dealership
Several years ago, the company I worked for was pursuing a new website and PPC campaign. After a bit of research, I contacted Alfonso Montemayor, Digital Sales Manager for Cox Media Group, who agreed to a meeting at his location.
Entering Geekdom, I was instantly drawn to the energy that seemed to permeate throughout the building. All around me were people starting companies and realizing their dreams. Alfonso took me around and introduced me to a few of the members. Although forgetting the company name, I vividly remember the guys who created a retinae scanner to help employers accurately track when employees clocked in. Not only did they create an account for me, but they also made time to show me how the technology worked.
I longed for the freedom and sense of adventure that every member I met at Geekdom seemed to share. My dilemma was making good money at a corporate “name brand” in my industry and feeling very snug in my comfort zone.
Fast forward to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving of 2016. I found myself caught up in the middle of mass layoffs at my company. My wife and mother were very worried, but I felt surprisingly calm. That being said, I didn’t have the slightest clue how I was going to fulfill my role as the sole provider for our family of 6.
The majority of my career involved working as a General Manager in the mobile home industry. It’s a space that I loved and seemed like the perfect fit for most of my friends and family. Initially, it did not seem like staying in this industry would be an option for me. First, I didn’t think I could continue working for somebody else. Second, there were things I wanted to change in the mobile home industry that just didn’t gel with the “way it’s always been done” perspective. Finally, and frankly, being let go the day before turkey day left a bitter aftertaste.
Did I really want to trust someone else with my family’s financial security?
I decided that if I couldn’t lead a sales team any longer, I would teach others how to do it and be successful. A friend of mine introduced me to Rick Neuman at Digital Harvest Marketing and he and his team helped me launch my sales coaching website for Braustin Consulting.
Anyone who’s ever attempted to write a blog at home with small children in the house might understand my immediate need to find an office where I could focus. Because he always seems to be in the middle of San Antonio’s vibrant start-up community, I reached out to my old friend, Omar Quimbaya, the Technology Evangelist for Def-Logix. He recommended a “collaborative co-working space where Entrepreneurs, Technologists, Developers, Makers & Creatives help each other build businesses & other cool things together”…Geekdom!
I was excited to go back to the place I had wanted to work at all those years ago, but must admit I felt intimidated by my new environment. Located in downtown San Antonio, most Geekdom folks work on the top three floors of the Rand Building. In this space are brilliant minds using technology to transform entire industries. I grew up with computers and social media like every other Millennial, but had no clue about coding, developing websites, or really anything beyond the basics of using a laptop to listen to music and write emails.
Braustin was Born
December was an interesting month for me. Several of my closest friends and coworkers strongly encouraged me to continue to try and find a way to start my own mobile home dealership. I called an old buddy of mine from the industry, Jorge Trevino. As it turned out, he was about to purchase a vacant mobile home park down in Poteet, TX. We decided that it would be mutually beneficial for us to set some new mobile homes up front and my mind went wild! For the next several weeks I did lots of research and analyzed the numbers to see if starting this mobile home dealership would be feasible.
I called Rick and his team after the New Year to let him know that I had changed my mind and wanted to plot a new course for a new business. I spent much of January navigating through the state paperwork and securing my broker’s license. On January 20th, my brother Jason quit his job at the previous mobile home dealership we had both worked at, and we officially launched Braustin Homes.
Our first month in business has far surpassed our initial expectations! As it turns out, the brilliant minds at Geekdom didn’t care that we weren’t the most computer-savvy. Instead, we are blown away by everyone’s willingness to help. The free flow of ideas and information here is remarkable and unlike anything I have ever experienced in the corporate workforce. No matter the skillset or background, everyone that walks through the doors here has a burning desire to leave at the end of the day having bettered themselves and those around them.
I am so grateful to have found a better way to continue to help families achieve their dreams of homeownership. I absolutely love what I do and am very proud of what our team has achieved in our first month. We look forward to the grand opening of our new model home center in a couple of weeks but have no doubt that we will continue to pop into Geekdom from time to time for bursts of entrepreneurial energy that only this place can provide.
Alberto B. Piña
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