RYAN PINEDA BORN TO FLIP Former baseball player Ryan Pineda traded RBI for REI
BY KELLI WHITE PHOTOS BY BRY CRISTOBAL W
hen former baseball player turned real estate investor, business owner, and mentor, Ryan Pineda was just 12 years old, he was suspended from school for selling… Pokémon cards.
You read that right. He was suspended for selling popular trading cars to his friend for $100. It was an upfront deal. No shenanigans. But in the end, parents and policies prevailed, and Pineda was instructed to return his profit. But as a savvy businessman, he got his cards back first. Later, in his twenties, Pineda traded up when he transitioned his trading- card business for his furniture-flipping business. Earning upwards of $8,000 per month buying, rehabbing, and selling couches listed on Craigslist, Pineda had a knack for buying low and selling high. Perhaps Pineda is a natural-born flipper, but he was not satisfied with his lucrative and flexible business. Destined for something greater than couch- flipping, he knew he needed something more substantial for the long term. “After a couple years of fixing up furniture for resale, I thought, ‘what else can I do?’ I couldn’t scale. Plus, it was not fulfilling, so I was looking for a way out. At that point, I had been in the minor leagues for years and knew the Big Leagues were unlikely,” he said. He had earned his real estate license for a means of income during the off-season and now had several years’ experience as a Realtor ® , but he didn’t enjoy it enough to make it his career. “I didn’t have a back-up plan to baseball,” Pineda said. “Being a real estate agent was my first real job, but I got burned out after just a couple years.” A man of faith, Pineda prayed for a sign leading to his next step. He was 24 years old. He was a newlywed. Little did he know he was about to no longer be a Realtor ® , but rather a real estate investor.
22 | think realty magazine :: may 2020
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