HOUSTON AGENT MAGAZINE, WHO'S WHO 2018
JEFFREY FAWAZ & MIKE ELARIDI
In their college years, Jeffrey Fawaz and Mike Elaridi were both intrigued by the idea of starting a real estate career, so joining the industry following graduation was an obvious next step. Five years later, Fawaz and Elaridi are the founders and
managing partners of MJ Realty Group Premier Properties, working in and around the Inner Loop and Galleria markets, and serving a wide range of buyers and sellers.
VOYAGE HOUSTON 10 SEPTEMBER, 2019
JEFFREY FAWAZ & MIKE ELARIDI
Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeffrey Fawaz and Mike Elaridi.
Q: So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
A: As young entrepreneurs, we settled on our passion for real estate as the start of our careers. Getting licensed as real estate agents was the lowest barrier to entry as well as the quickest learning curve we found to get started into the diversified world of real estate. Both being 21 and starting with no money or family real estate connections, we hustled as sales agents to grow our network and client base. Soon we served primarily builders and investors flipping houses and selling their new developments. We learned all aspects of the business and became top producers with our own brand involved in over 100M in real estate transactions over our career. We differentiated ourselves by offering services including consulting, acquisitions, analyzing opportunities, custom designs, and innovative sales marketing strategies. After a couple of years, we started our own flipping projects. Starting with a small single family house to now multi-million dollars raised in investors capital and over 10M in projects completed. Today, Fratelli has taken another leap into commercial real estate acquisitions – most recently a value-add apartment complex and a retail strip center.
Q: Has it been a smooth road?
A: Absolutely not, the saying is true: if it was easy, everybody would do it! As entrepreneurs starting from scratch, there are always roadblocks to navigate. When you are 21 and fresh out of college, most of your peers are working for major companies with nice salaries and benefits. We had neither, instead its lots of sacrifice of not going out and vacations. Being young and inexperienced, we had to take any and all business that came our way, often one-sided and not very profitable! After a few years, problems don’t get easier, you’re just more equipped to handle the problems that arise and learn to cope with the stress. Today, we are able to be more picky about the projects and clients we take. Also, we are in total control of our time and live a life most people can’t at our age. So I’d say the hard work and sacrifice truly pays off!
Q: So, as you know, we’re impressed with Fratelli Companies – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
A: Fratelli Companies is a group of real estate related businesses including a real estate brokerage “Fratelli Properties International” and a real estate development and commercial investments companies “Fratelli Designs” and “Fratelli Casa”. We have sold out new developments for clients and also create our own projects as well. We have become known for our edgy European inspired designs, and there’s nothing like it in Houston. Because of this, our projects have consistently sold faster and for more money than the competition. Our specialty is finding opportunities in real estate where others don’t. Most recently, we have grown into a commercial investment company that pools capital to acquire larger value-add commercial and multi family assets. We are very excited for the continued change and growth of our companies!
Q: Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
A: Houston is such a unique city because as the 4th largest city, it still acts generally like a small town. Although this is changing quickly, with many new distinct neighborhoods and areas forming, Houston maintains its diversity and friendliness. Houston is at a turning point right now and it’s exciting to see all the growth and change! The least favorite thing about Houston has to be the lack of natural beauty and the weather. The good thing is that its a food haven with many great restaurants, and is a short flight or drive to many great vacation spots.
“We offer white-glove, VIP treatment to all of our clients, whether it’s
a $200,000 or a $2 million transaction,” they say, adding that they’ve excelled in representing the luxury market as well as the new construction market through working closely with developers and builders and helping them identify investment opportunities, attending to their needs from the beginning to end of the transaction. “We don’t believe in being just salespeople,” they say. “Instead, we like to consult, educate, and negotiate on our clients’ behalf to get the best outcome possible.”
Fawaz and Elaridi pride themselves on their empathetic and honest approach, as well as their market knowledge and their brokerage’s global footprint.
“With connections in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, and a multilingual team of French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish and English speakers, we are able to reach international buyers,” they say. They also note that they prioritize face- to-face interactions with their clients and use marketing techniques such as online and print advertising and property videos.
Fawaz and Elaridi are members of the Texas Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, and the Houston Association of Realtors. They are active volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and Houston Food Bank, and also provide financial support to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. After Hurricane Harvey, the brokerage donated some of their commissions to benefit flood victims.
While both Fawaz and Elaridi are avid explorers — Fawaz is a skier, while Elaridi enjoys traveling — their true passion lies in their work. “We have adopted the motto that real estate is a not just a career, but a lifestyle,” they say.
HOUSTON CHRONICLE 21 APRIL, 2016
JEFFREY FAWAZ & MIKE ELARIDI
Q: How would you describe the Houston housing market?
A: Unique. There is no better word to describe the current Houston housing market. Being one of the nation’s top-growing cities and the fourth-largest city in the nation, the housing market has yet to catch up with the economic growth.
Let’s take a minute to compare Houston with New York City, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. How different are we? The Big Apple might be home to the world’s largest financial sector (Wall Street) and the Big Orange state contains the world’s leading entertainment and tech industries (Hollywood and Silicon Valley), but between Houston’s largest cancer research and medical center, the oil and gas industry and one of the nation’s biggest ports, the Space City’s real estate market has just started to transform in recent years into the urban juggernaut it was meant to be.
Houston real estate market areas will continue to grow and develop, each having its own unique character and identity, from Montrose to the Heights to the Washington Corridor. Urban infill will continue to increase in new residential pockets inside the Loop, followed by commercial development.It truly is an exciting time to be in Houston and watch as the real estate market progresses.