Manny Khoshbin Never Give Up
Manuchehr “Manny” Khoshbin and his family once lived in their ’72 Datsun station wagon.
Today, the commercial real-estate mogul, author, car collector and purveyor of fine cigars lives in a Newport Coast, Calif., mansion and owns 14 exotics and supercars. His net worth is pegged at $100+ million, and The Khoshbin Co. manages a portfolio of more than 1 million square feet.
His whips range from a one-off full carbon-fiber McLaren P1 to a Rolls-Royce Drophead coupe to a Saleen S7 that cranks out 1,100 horsepower. Khoshbin now is in the market for a Bugatti Chiron and a Koenigsegg Agera RS one off edition; and in mid-November, he took delivery of a one-off Pagani Huayra Hermes he helped develop.
Not bad for a guy whose first car was a 1983 Honda Accord, purchased in 1987. But nothing came overnight. His business acumen and lavish lifestyle required dedication to his motto: “Never give up.” (You can glimpse his lifestyle @mannykhoshbin on Instagram.)
Khoshbin was 14 when his family arrived in California nearly penniless in 1985, fleeing the Iranian Revolution that had put radicals into power. He, his parents and three siblings lived in the Datsun wagon while saving money to rent an apartment. As immigrants from the Middle East, they battled language barriers and bigotry at a time when U.S.-Iranian relations were highly charged.
Khoshbin sold goods at swap meets in Southern California and mopped floors at a Kmart in Santa Ana, but he was an entrepreneur at heart. In high school, he started a business selling bags of nuts to auto-service centers. He later bought a gasoline station but lost his investment through a fraudulent loan officer.
Undeterred, he obtained his real-estate license in the early ‘90s and, at 25, bought and renovated his first property ─ a single-family home in Garden Grove. He eventually turned a $100,000 profit and invested in more real estate. His first commercial venture was a shopping center purchased from a bank in 2000. That transaction, he said via email, taught him the most about real estate.
Khoshbin, who focuses on Phoenix and other distressed markets, manages a real-estate portfolio worth an estimated $110 million. Manny Khoshbin’s Contrarian Playbook: How to Build Your $100 Million Real Estate Portfolio From the Ground Up, was published in 2011 (available on Amazon and at www.khoshbin.com).
Khoshbin bought his first dream car, a 1994 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL, when he was 24.
“I paid $90,000, which 21 years ago was a lot of money LOL!” he said.
His first supercar was a Ferrari F40, purchased in 2005. He drives his 2008 Drophead every day, but the car he most enjoys ─ “hands down” ─ is his P1.
Asked what other cars he would like to have in his impressive collection, Khoshbin replied, “Of course, the McLaren F1, but I’d also love to add a SLR Stirling Moss, Enzo Ferrari and LaFerrari.”
“I like to buy cars that are super-limited (production) and have legacy behind them.”
Some older cars he bought on eBay, but the newer ones mostly come from dealers.
It’s not that money doesn’t matter. Some cars out there aren’t worth the asking price, he said.
“I think paying $1.3 million for a Henessy Venom GT or $4.5 million for a LaFerrari (is too much).… LaFerrai has obviously huge legacy behind it, but selling three times the sticker is crazy for a 500-production supercar.”
Khoshbin ─ who has a daughter, Priscilla, and son, Enzo, with his wife, Leyla Milani ─ also is a fitness fanatic; Men’s Health magazine named him one of “the world’s richest and fittest guys” in 2011. But he finds it difficult to fit everything into 24 hours these days.
“Fitness played a huge part in my life early on,” Khoshbin said, “but frankly I just can’t find the time to work out every day. I do work out still a couple of days a week at my home gym.
“I love doing push-ups; it works out the entire upper body and gets you warmed up quickly. I do three sets of 30 push-ups (when I get) out of bed, and if I have time, I go down to my gym and do pull-downs for triceps and dumbbells for biceps.”
Fine cigars also are a passion. He recently opened the Cubano Room, which serves “a very exclusive selected group of guys who want to have privacy and enjoy cigars and network with each other.”
Khoshbin’s auto gallery doubles as his office, and his office furnishings reflect his tastes.
“The desk was a really cool project,” he said. “I wanted something that is just super large, unique and that can complement my stealth carbon-fiber chairs. So I sent a model Stealth bomber plane to Neal Feay, who’s a master of metals, and with collaboration by Neil Ferrier at Discommon Goods, they came up with my desk design. It took six months, but now I have an art piece that’s amazing to look at and complements my auto gallery and office.”
Koshbin’s advice to entrepreneurs is straightforward: “Sacrifice now and invest early. Whatever your passion is, always invest in real estate as a long-term investment plan.”
And, despite his motto, there are times when you should give up.
“You only give up on a project when there is a better project/opportunity in front of you. Even then, you really aren’t giving up on your dreams, just moving to a better stepping stone.”