Barry Gabster has always found his center amid external turmoil. In 2003, he had a solid professional career in the mortgage industry. Five years later, he was faced with the financial crisis and recession, which squeezed him out and forced him to reconsider his options.
His career path was in flux, but he found a silver lining.
“I know how to make the phone ring,” he said. “This is who I am as a person. It’s in my DNA.”
Of course, it’s a dream for any business or hungry entrepreneur: clients calling you for your business instead of you spending valuable time and resources chasing clients for their business.
His career and his industry were collapsing around him, but that was the dream Gabster was whipping up for his future clients – and himself. He knew if he could make phones ring, he would always be an asset to whatever he pursued.
So, with a giant leap of faith and an entrepreneurial spirit, Gabster dove head first into his passion: marketing. He assumed the role of Vice President of Business Development for a direct mail marketing agency. It was there that he built up relationships throughout the business and smoothed out any rough edges of his understanding of the industry.
“I built that bridge from what’s going on inside the company to what’s going on out on the street,” Gabster said.
Tricks of the Trade
Gabster spent eight years at a direct mail agency and in 2018, he made moves. The energy that initially motivated him when he started, had grown stale and he felt complacent. It was then that he launched InitiateU armed with a deep understanding of the industry.
“When I broke away, I had new energy … and got fired up,” he explained. “I started going for it; taking on clients and working late and hiring more people.”
As the founder and chief executive officer of InitiateU, Gabster has increased his bustling business tenfold in the last year alone, growing from $800,000 to $8.5 million. And he has accomplished this all organically without anything but word of mouth. His clients know that his marketing acumen can open any door in the mortgage lending industry.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, he again hit his stride among external unrest. While the world struggled with the weight of the pandemic, the real estate market boomed and mortgage lenders were spending more money on mailers than ever before, which really helped bolster his business. These days, Gabster sends 450,000 mailers for his clients every week, which equates to nearly 2 million a month and 24 million a year. His clientele ranges from individual officers wanting to spend a few marketing dollars weekly to big names in the lending world, including Mutual of Omaha Mortgage, Sun West Mortgage Company, AmeriSave Mortgage Corp to name a few.
What’s in a Name?
While he is a big name marketer, Gabster has never advertised his business. He has built his brand solely on networking and word of mouth.
“I don’t burn bridges,” said Gabster. “There’s always a problem to fix. I massage out the kinks if there’s ever an issue with a client to make sure they stay.”
He prides himself on being a conversationalist, who developed an acute social IQ in order to compensate for a shorter stature to avoid getting picked when he was younger. He says he made it a point to be personable and liked by all individuals.
When he meets new people, he knows how to get them to open up. His chatty, people-person strategy has served him well, not only on his Orange County stomping grounds but also in his professional life. His business partnerships were formed with friends and to this day, his clients are all known to him through some friend or another.
“I created a community and a circle of support, a backing behind me and that is a testament to how I’ve gotten all my clients,” he said. “They are all friends of friends.”
About Barry Gabster
Barry Gabster, the founder and CEO of InitiateU, is revolutionizing the advertising game. InitiateU has worked with up to 82 clients per month, mailing over 2 million mailers in one month, skyrocketing their sales from $800k to $8.5 million in gross sales in just one year. To learn more about working with Barry, please visit www.initiateu.life