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Rahul started Custom Creatives in 2005. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Custom Creatives?
My intention during and after high school was to move to Europe and play soccer (football) as my career. However, I was persuaded to try my hand at college which eventually took me down the path where I am today.
I grew up in a family full of entrepreneurs, thinkers…people smarter than me so I was definitely lucky to be in the right room.
My first job was selling credit card machines and processing. I was raw in business but determined (or stubborn) to make it alone with the help of no one (NOTE, this was a dumb idea and everyone should get help at every stage of life). When I started, I thought I was in a finance position. It turned out I was in a sales position, responsible for calling businesses to sell them on our services. It was the best thing to ever happen to me at this stage in my young career.
I was forced to talk to people, negotiate, persuade, help strangers over the phone - I learned one of the greatest skills of all time, how to sell over the phone. I had never sold anything, I learned sales in 3 days, then practiced every single day. This position lasted 30 days, but the grass only got greener. I was somehow recruited to a company called Homestore, which owned Realtor.com where I eventually became a top sales account executive managing the East Coast as my territory.
I went from the worst at sales in the company to the top 10 in the company. I took my sales learnings from my first job selling credit card processing to selling to internet advertising to Real Estate Agents, Brokers, Lenders and those involved in the real estate transaction.
After just a few years, I left Realtor.com (for no reason whatsoever, I loved working there) to start my own company. Young, dumb, no plan, no office, no product, no smart idea, but I had one thing to offer… I decided to help realtors manage and promote their listings on the internet.
This quickly turned into a referral business from Realtor.com to send me clients to do paid customer service which was a win-win-win. Clients leveraged the power of their account, sales reps at realtor.com didn't have to worry about support and could sell, we got free clients through the power of the network.
One day a client called and asked me to do a banner ad, naturally, I said YES. I had no idea what or how to do this and did not know what to charge so I charged a huge amount for a 468x60 banner ad.
I went online, found a designer, finished the ad the same day then, that sparked the REAL launch to CustomCreatives.com. Realtor ended up hiring my company to be the exclusive vendor to provide all of their agents with a marketing strategy for the digital campaigns that included:
- Writing ad copy to inspire conversions
- Design interactive ads that attracted an ideal client
- Built-in tracking technology for optimizing campaigns
- Landing page design which helped convert clicks to leads
- Customer support to coach their team, real estate agents & brokers to success
In my relationship with Realtor.com, my company had worked with over 40,000 Realtors & Brokers!
This helped me finance my company, grow, scale and build into a full-service digital marketing agency serving multiple industries to leverage and attracted “wallet out” customers from Social Media and Search Engines.
Working from home as a startup
Now my company services a broad audience where we white label for Digital Marketing Agency Owners of any size, Real Estate, Law Firms, Medical, Restaurant, Fitness, and more. They say there are riches in niches, however, we failed flat once we niche down - go figure. Goes to show that you need to make your own decisions and not always listen to the gurus or experts out there.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder of Starter Story
- Wiki Updater