Chapter 1 -How Progreece started

Welcome to the page of our articles on personal development. The first article will talk mainly about us, about my and Zack’s decision to establish Pro Greece.
I decided that the page of articles will not only talk about real estate but will also touch on Thessaloniki (especially anything to do with real estate trends, but occasionally you will also find here some descriptions to become more familiar with the city, which I think is very important to do in places you choose to invest) to create an image that I think will help you move into action!

So why did I start?
After four years of working together, Zack is responsible for the Israeli side and I take the Greek side I think long before any real estate knowledge I can give you I must prepare the readers who are interested in creating for themselves a somewhat independent future for the things we experience.

The road is great, but at the same time, it is fraught with obstacles.
Let me start because the introduction could go on forever…

Four and a half years ago, both I and Zach (not yet close friends, but simple acquaintances at this point) were still working for other companies. We both knew that our passion was in real estate but at the same time we were employees in companies that deal with the field without the ability to make important decisions.

I will tell about the development of our business and the product design in the following articles but today I want to focus on the beginning, exactly how everything started.

Many of us who will go talk to their relatives about starting an independent business (probably at the age we were – 25) will tell them, with good intention of course, that the vast majority of businesses fail and close in the first year, about how self-employment is dangerous and other phrases that we have all heard in the past.
Today after 4 years I can say – everything is true but I am very grateful that then I thought it was nonsense and decided to take this meaningful step.

This article is a series of articles. After this whole introduction I will touch on our first stage… Understanding that there’s business here.

In order for all your background noise to disappear, you must believe in your product, in our first six months in the business (if you can call this period a business at all) we just learned, despite the familiarity and prior knowledge we had, we looked and learned and gathered as much info as possible.
We explored Thessaloniki in all its aspects and to be honest I can say that I knew the city much better than most of the realtors I met in Thessaloniki four years ago.

After six months of sending over 500 emails to almost every professional connected to the field, we cross-referenced data, talked to colleagues and formed personal relationships with locals. And then it started! For some of you who haven’t started a business, I can compare it to a date you really want to go on, such a feeling of excitement that can also cause you a certain discomfort in your stomach. That’s how I found myself after six months, that I know everything I need to know in order to get going and prepare for take off in Thessaloniki and boom, all the conversations, the hours spent on Google Maps, realtors, lawyers, notaries… Everything really happening simultaneously…
First flight, second flight, third flight… We’re not closing in on the deals we wanted yet, and our jobs were already starting to ask what’s going on with all the flights… Family and friends were starting to say that maybe it’s not that good really and it has expenses and there is the risk of not coming back home and it’s a shame we’ll lose our jobs. With every return flight, especially the 4th or 5th and I already knew who the teams I’m going to work with are going to be (don’t think there were no thoughts on whether it’s the right decision or not, it was definitely on my mind) and if you thought THAT was the hard choice then… I go back to Israel and make the decision that if I go for it I can’t work at another job simultaneously and part of me going through with it is knows that I shouldn’t have my job as a backup and should have no option of not being successful at this.

After a year and two months, in which we got 7 customers who purchased seven apartments, we entered the first transaction…
We started(:

In the next article I will tell about our first recruitment, how we started and who are the lunatics (I know you will forgive me for this word) who would invest in a business that has not yet done anything.

Gal Rubin.