Our business hasn’t always operated under the name “Red Barn.” In fact, our business has undergone different iterations over the last 12 years and as we expanded into other related businesses, it seemed like every new venture brought with it a new name and identity.
One of the holding companies we formed early on used the name “Red Barn”, but didn’t have much activity associated with it. However, as we began to see the need to consolidate our branding under a common name, we went back to “Red Barn” and decided to use that to brand all of our businesses under a common, recognizable name.
A Little History
Our very first real estate investment can be traced back to the first house we bought right out of college when we were 23 years old. This was in 2000 and new construction was booming in Atlanta. We were fortunate enough to buy a brand new (albeit tiny) 3 bed, 2.5 bath home in a new subdivision. Less than two years later, I had the itch to find a little plot of land and attempt to build our own home.
Sufficed to say, at 25, with modest income and almost no assets (except what tiny bit of equity we had built up in our first home), we bought 2 acres and somehow talked the bank into giving us a construction loan. Over the course of 6 months, Anita and I dove head first into building our house (something we knew zero about at the time). From building retaining walls to laying (secondhand) hardwood flooring to pouring our own driveway … we learned a lot about homebuilding in the process. However, after many months of hard work, we accomplished what we set out for – our very own slice of heaven on 2 acres … complete with an old barn (our first red barn) and some chickens.
Persistence Pays Off
Soon after moving into our newly built out house, our next door neighbor, Marlin, wandered over to our house to introduce himself (one, to get to know these kids that had invaded his quiet little street and two, to peddle the folk CD he had just recorded). Luckily for us, Marlin ended up being one of the nicest neighbors you could ask for.
Within a few weeks of moving into our new home, we would occasionally hear the sound of a guitar coming from the back of Marlin’s property. Upon further inspection through the woods, we discovered that Marlin had built a fairly large barn at the back of his property that he used for song writing as well as woodworking. I was instantly jealous. Soon after, Marlin gave me a tour of his rustic, song-writing, slice of perfection in the woods. I awkwardly stammered that if he ever had any inclination to sell his back acre and barn, I wanted to be the first one in line. I can’t remember if he went completely cross-eyed at this notion, but I definitely remember feeling like a giant goober for bringing it up.
A few years later, I quit my corporate job and started the real estate business (another story for another time). For the first year or so, I worked out of our basement. This wasn’t ideal as we often brought clients to the house … and as we added an employee, this became even more inconvenient. Increasingly, I began eyeballing the big barn in Marlin’s backyard that had the potential to be the perfect home office. Upon mentioning my desire to him at least 2 more times during that year … I could tell the seed that I’d planted actually began to soften his stance.
About the time the economy started taking a turn for the worse, Marlin became even more amenable to the idea of pulling some cash out of his property and letting go of his humble barn. It didn’t really matter to me at the time what he was asking for that acre, I was determined. In the end, he agreed to sell. We definitely ended up paying well above market value for that one acre, but it didn’t matter – I wanted that barn to be our new office.
Our New Office
The barn was immediately painted red and black (Go Dawgs!) and It took about a month for me and my Dad to frame out the old workshop, run electrical, plumbing, phone, etc – basically finish out 2 additional offices and a spot for a front desk. We added a porch and a double door entrance. We even finished out the loft space upstairs in what affectionately became known as “Manland.” (although in hindsight, we probably should have name it “Ratland”)
For four years, this humble red barn was an incubator where our business truly began to blossom. We added multiple employees, created systems and processes, honed our marketing strategies, networked with other investors around the country … and grew into a legitimate house-flipping business.
In 2011, our drafty little barn was bursting at the seams and it was becoming apparent that we would need to find additional space. We ended up finding some land and a warehouse right around the corner. We sold the house we had built along with the barn …. And even sold our goats at the time (yes, the buyers actually asked to include our goats with the sale).
Luckily, we live and work right down the street from the old red barn and drive by it almost every day. It serves as a reminder of our humble beginnings. It also reminds us that hard work and persistence pays off.
When the time came for us to bring all of our businesses under a single brand name, it didn’t take long to identify “Red Barn” as the obvious choice. We hope that if we ever have the opportunity to serve you in some capacity, that you’ll find our team to be the same way – humble, persistent and hard-working.