From the wilds of Oregon to the chaos of Bangkok, see how Mark Wolf is bringing the best of a bespoke real-estate service from the US to Asia and at the same time setting up venture capital clubs.
What’s your story?
I grew up poor in the state of Oregon USA. Graduated with honors from the University of Oregon in FInance, Real Estate, and Architecture. I started my career in real estate lending (commercial). I lived 20 plus years in the growing city of high-tech, Bellevue, Washington. I owned many real estate-related companies and did many developments including industrial, shopping centers, office buildings, luxury housing, storage, etc. I was also involved in a venture club with well-known entrepreneurs and recently started a similar club in Bangkok. I have travelled to Asia for about 15 years; and I moved to Bangkok one year ago. In January this year, I opened a new full-service real estate company.
What excites you most about your industry?
It provides a great opportunity to innovate and be different. It is results-oriented and customer service driven. It has integrity. I want to change the way real estate is done in South East Asia.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I came for the culture, opportunity, food, climate, and people. I stayed because I was recently married and I enjoy the people and I believe the future is now.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Bangkok. It is organized chaos. It’s like the Wild West to me. It provides many opportunities.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
One of my college professors said… “Most people look; you see…” I always wonder “why?” and I never accept “no”. I always exceed expectations.
Who inspires you?
Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Phil Knight; Ron Van Auker; my sensei; Mother Theresa, David Lyman; Ronald Reagan
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I am a father (again)
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I have loved my life. I would not change anything. If I died tomorrow I would die happy. I don’t believe in luck (you make your own luck). I believe our lives have a meaning and helping family and friends and creating value on earth is meaningful.
How do you unwind?
I don’t need to unwind. I am peaceful and I give thanks every day for the chances and opportunities I have been given. I walk to work every morning and feel blessed for all I have. I have a loving wife, beautiful kids, many friends, and I see happiness everywhere.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I don’t care for tourists. I don’t like sex-pats. Anywhere that is quiet and private I enjoy. But I also like to return to the chaos of the city.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Lyman’s Laws for Lawyers (and everyone else too); Dr. Seuss books
Shameless plug for your business:
I don’t need a plug; we will prove our worth by our actions and our customers belief in us. If we are honest and ethical, moral, creative, innovative, work hard, persevere, and genuinely care – we will become respected and worthy.
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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