Born in Pakistan, but raised in the United Kingdom, Khalid Muneer, founder and owner of Jupiter Properties inc, has successfully built a real estate brokerage firm from one employee to 27 with an emphasis on service and an international staff capable of servicing a culturally diverse customer base. Having lived in nine different countries, Muneer, who previously owned a service station and a dry cleaning business, acquired the skill set needed to excel in today’s rapidly changing and ultra-competitive real estate industry. Muneer shared the story from when he first moved to the United States to how the Jupiter Properties Inc. brand of real estate is able to do things most other brokers, who lack the skills, can't.
“I grew up in London,” he said. “After college, I went to work for a London based International bank and had multiple postings overseas. I spent time in Egypt, Dubai, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Seychelles, Italy and many other places. I spent 17 years in international banking before moving to Florida in 1991 to raise my family. We had relatives in Palm Coast, so that’s where we initially ended up. While living in Palm Coast, I owned and operated a service station in Orange City and a dry cleaning business. That’s where I learned the art of servicing the customer and the importance of developing relationships. That would later come in handy when I started Jupiter Properties.”
While still in Palm Coast, a customer encouraged Muneer, due to his knack for developing strong interpersonal relationships, to consider starting a real estate brokerage company. With the housing market primed for growth it didn’t take much convincing and, in 2002, he did just that. Initially, the firm concentrated on Flagler and Volusia County. However, after the real estate market crashed in 2008, the company diversified to cover a wider geographic area and expanded into commercial real estate. As a result, the office was moved to Orlando in 2009. Muneer shared some of the early challenges he faced along the way and how he grew the business to what it is today.
“Our initial challenges were no different than any other startup business,” he said. “Challenges included things like trying to get a feel for the business, promoting our name, limited financial resources, recruiting agents, etc. Fortunately, the city of Orlando has many incredible resources for helping small business owners. Organizations like the National Entrepreneur Center offer small businesses help with HR, raising capital and getting access to the many resources available from county and city programs. I grew the business by taking advantage of these resources and by building meaningful relationships through networking events and serving in leadership roles including President of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce CFL. Relationship building was key to our growth.”
Today, Jupiter Properties has 27 agents covering Flagler County, Volusia County and several Central Florida Counties. Collectively, the agents represent 15 different countries including Egypt, Argentina, Columbia, China, Vietnam, Philippines, India, Uganda, Lebanon, Morocco and Pakistan. They speak 14 different languages including Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Gujrati, Swahili, Mandarin, French and Arabic.They truly are an international company with the ability to cater to every type of client.
“We pride ourselves on the fact that we’re so international,” Muneer said. “As such, we’re better able to communicate and relate with people from all over the World. I also place a big emphasis on our realtors joining organizations like chambers of commerce and attending networking events. On a personal level, I’m actively involved with several organizations,the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, where I served as President, The American Muslim Chamber of Commerce, where I currently serve as President, the Orlando Economic Development Commission and many others.”
Muneer shared that what he enjoys most about owning and running Jupiter Properties is dealing with people, meeting people, attending networking events and serving in various leadership roles. He enjoys using his diverse background as a way to relate with and to get to know others with different backgrounds. According to Muneer, he’s able to use this as a way to find something in common with just about anyone.
Looking ahead, he would like to continue to grow the business. He wants to add more agents, but also wants to expand geographically. An area of interest is South Florida, where, as Muneer shared, there are great opportunities to tap into a population that’s culturally diverse and looking to buy.
What advice does Muneer have for aspiring entrepreneurs? “Being your own business is rewarding in the long term, but it’s a challenge to get there,” he said. “It will take time, resources, hard work and patience. Just continue at it, because it will pay off. Also, take advantage of local resources such as the National Entrepreneur Center. They offer help and guidance with finances, management techniques, networking and more. In general, there are three things needed for business success. Get a good education, work hard and network. It’s very important to connect with others and build meaningful relationships.”
Muneer is very passionate about his Civic, Business and community engagement as a Leader. He has served on the Executive committee and the Board of the Orlando Economic Development Commission, as President of the Asian American Chamber of CFL, President of the American Muslim Chamber of Commerce CFL, Advisory Board Member of the Brazilian American Council, currently Chairman of the Orlando City Board on Certification of Minorities and also as a Board Member of the Harbor House.
He has received numerous awards as a distinguished leader including Latino Leadership council award, Emotional Intelligence Leadership award, Distinguished Asian American leadership award from Orange County Mayor and International Leadership award in Washington. He also been recognized by Orlando Sentinel on the 100 central Florida Most influential leaders list for the last 5 years.