That’s the description we use to describe each other at Adventure From Home, Inc – AFH Properties (AFH). The phrase Team Member expresses the mutual trust and respect we have for each other and the values and culture responsible for our accomplishments. You don’t have to earn our trust here. You become a Team Member the day you start working with AFH.
This summary is being shared to familiarize you with AFH’s Culture. It is intended to help you understand why the company exists and why we expect to continue to grow and prosper in the future. It contains guiding principles we follow that serve as standards for our personal and professional conduct throughout our careers.
This summary is designed to help you understand the company you’ve chosen to work with, the values we stand for, and the importance of our culture.
History and Welcome
You will notice a Passion, a Drive, and an extraordinarily high level of Energy at AFH. This Energy has been part of AFH since its inception. This Energy is our most important competitive advantage. It is what differentiates AFH from the tens of thousands of others in our industry. It is also what helps keep us continually aligned with other world-class companies.
AFH was formed in 2015. At the time, the founders, Cherie and Patrick(Pat) High, lived in a tiny town in southern rural Florida known as Lake Placid. Pat had just left his employer of the previous 8 years while Cherie was working full-time as the manager of the local hospital fitness center.
Pat had a long history of achieving peak performing results at his previous employers which resulted in the creation of significant value for its shareholders. He and Cherie made the conscious decision that it was time to do the same for their family and those they chose to work with. They decided to take decades of experience, specifically Pat’s experiences with world-class companies, and incorporate them into this new company.
At the time, the challenge was to figure out exactly what business or industry to tackle! They knew that, while most new businesses ultimately fail or at best, barely sustain themselves, those grounded in world-class principles and values could thrive, regardless of the industry they chose.
Many years prior, Pat spent some time in rural Hillsborough County (Tampa, FL) where he purchased several land parcels, developed them into individual lots (rural subdivisions), then sold the lots to individual homeowners.
During the Great Recession of 2008/2009, anyone and everyone associated with real estate was pretty much annihilated, Pat included. He lost every penny and incurred significant debt. Fortunately for all, 80 years was a very long time since a similar severe economic downturn occurred for our country, since the Great Depression of 1929!
A New Start
In 2015, their son, Aaron, was about to be discharged from his time in the military. Aaron had no specific plans for the next step in his working life so he was planning to move back to Lake Placid…. a town with few jobs and even fewer quality career opportunities. Pat decided to take the real estate knowledge he’d gained and apply it to purchase a small rental home that Aaron could rent when he came home. This was a few years prior to when HGTV was gaining relevance.
During their thorough review of rental home options, Cherie and Pat saw first-hand how many homes for sale were poorly maintained and/or dated. Unless you were purchasing a brand new house, odds were high you’d be purchasing a house that was dirty, dated, dingy, or had repair issues. It was easy to see why new houses commanded such high prices while pre-owned houses had far lower values.
Giving It Another Go
Cherie and Pat determined that the house flipping business met the opportunity criteria needed to build a successful, thriving company. The industry was highly fragmented with non-existent systems and processes. Capital (funding) was also a significant barrier to entry as most people don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars lying around to invest into flip houses. Rather, those who choose this business typically have enough money to fund one or two houses at a time and they spend most of their time working on the house themselves. “Adding value” to homes was something anyone could both learn and implement. Pat searched but could find no one who had established a successful long-term profitably growing house flipping business with world-class systems, processes, and infrastructure. However, there were tens of thousands of individuals flipping houses as well as thousands of businesses, but on a very small scale.
A few weeks after Aaron arrived back to Lake Placid, Cherie and Pat purchased their first flip house and went to work. Dawn until dark, every day, including weekends, Pat and Aaron worked until the house was finished. Cherie joined them after her day job was done as this was the fun part of her day!
Time and time again, issues popped up. Having zero background in any trade or construction, or anything having to do with preparing a house for resale, YouTube quickly became their best friend. When asked the question, “how should we handle this?” The standard answer quickly became, “I don’t know but I have a high level of confidence we can figure it out.” “Adapt and overcome” was a daily practice. Being faced with a challenge is often the time when people are most inventive and when ingenuity and creativity thrive.
Cherie and Pat knew learning the mechanics of renovating a house was necessary if a profitably growing and sustainable business was going to be built. For the next 4 years, they did just that. They lived off Cherie’s salary and poured every dollar into the business with a work ethic second to none.
Two years and 12 houses later, Aaron’s close friend Ryan Redmon joined the company. Ryan came from a construction background with a strong desire to both learn and grow. Together they grew the business and turned 40 houses that next year due mostly to a very strong work ethic, continually reinvesting into the business, and a conscious effort to keep things simple. Buyers needed Clean, Fresh, Bright, Move-in ready homes. Cherie and Pat learned early on that anything that complicated or otherwise slowed down this simple objective (Clean, Fresh, Bright, Move-in ready) did not add additional value to the home.
The Big Move
After two more years of continued profitable growth, it was clear Lake Placid, FL wasn’t a large enough market to support the growing needs of AFH. By now, AFH had developed a strong track record and had the resources to grow into other markets. While assessing options, Pat reached out to his friend and former colleague, Tim Houser. Tim and his wife Teresa were approaching the two year mark in their startup house flipping business in East TN. They were navigating their business through its own learning curve.
In June of 2019, Cherie and Pat secured a 6-month lease on a small furnished apartment and moved to Jonesborough, TN. Although the overall Eastern TN market was significantly larger than that in Florida, it would still take hard work and significant financial and people resources to tackle this next step for the company.
Within 6 weeks, 4 houses were purchased. Aaron and Ryan lived/slept/worked in one of the houses for several months. Jeff Hensley, Tim’s best independent contractor, led one of the houses while the others were being run by AFH’s Florida team.
Fast forward another year of growth in this much larger market and it was clear that it was time to add in a world-class support infrastructure for AFH. Joe Machin, a former colleague with a track record of implementing world-class process efficiencies, joined AFH in February of 2021. Having a history of working with hundreds of businesses, Joe quickly learned AFH’s business and immediately began building the best support infrastructure in the industry.
The Foundation Has Been Built
A good bit of time has passed since Cherie and Pat first started AFH in 2015. Since then, innovative approaches and ideas have been implemented. Approaches like an infrastructure unmatched in the industry; a people development philosophy equal to that of world-class companies; an expectation of support, continuous learning, while continually challenging the status quo.
There is an Energy that has existed at AFH since Day 1. This distinctive Energy and culture is what attracts talented and ambitious people.
Over the years, AFH Team Members have learned the importance of this Energy and consider its preservation vital to future success. The business holds many values sacred—Hard work—Honesty and integrity—Continuous improvement—a Spartan approach to business—Positive discontent—People development—Thoroughness—Competitive urgency—Trust—Initiative. These are just a few of the values in the AFH culture and Energy. If you are new here, you will experience these values in the months ahead.
We welcome you and are thankful you’ve chosen to work with our unique company. We hope you like and become a part of the AFH Energy!