Could you ever imagine what it was like to work with Michael Jackson? What about Sean “Diddy” Combs or the Honorable Minister Farrakhan? Luckily for Michael Amir and Faheem Muhammad, they have worked with all three. Fast forward to today, the hard-working dynamic duo has taken all of the gems learned from their impactful mentors and translated them into OASIS, a multimillion-dollar real estate investment company. Although the illustrious team could write a novel about their experiences, the OASIS co-founders know their story is still being written.
Amir and Muhammad are both extremely intentional. The focus of OASIS is to rebuild communities one investment at a time. They started with a singular $40,000 investment property and have turned that into a $10 million real estate empire. The OASIS co-founders came from humble beginnings, but now they are determined to utilize their inclusive business structure to help create generational wealth for many in the Black community.
Accordingly, Amir and Muhammad have partnered with REVOLT for REBUILD: Chicago. Their ability to build and maintain strong relationships has helped them become real estate investment industry giants. In honor of Financial Literacy Month, we sat down with the OASIS masterminds to discuss generational wealth, their experiences working with pop culture icons, and their plans to increase home ownership in the Black community. Tune into the informative and exclusive conversation with Michael Amir and Faheem Muhammad below!
How would you explain what you all do to a 5-year-old child?
Michael Amir: I would explain to the child that some neighborhoods are less fortunate than others. Therefore, we buy the ones that are not as nice and make them just as beautiful as the others.
You focus on underserved communities and making them into an “OASIS.” Can you explain what that means to you?
Faheem Muhammad: When you think of an oasis, you think of lush, pleasant, and peaceful. In our perfect world, that is what our communities have the opportunity to be. We want to change the vibration of those communities and build not only beautiful properties but also build beautiful people. We want the homes and the people to grow freely, like a natural flower. We have young Black men and women being killed in our communities, like Tamir Rice and Sandra Bland. We want to create communities that grow in their natural state. When we say “OASIS,” we talk about everything that encompasses a community.
Michael: When you think of an oasis, they are usually in a desert. Unfortunately, our communities are historical food, educational, and employment deserts. We want to change the narrative from getting money and leaving the hood to earning money and helping our communities grow. We want to bring hope to our communities and show people that they do not need to leave their communities when they make money.
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Generational wealth is a buzzword but extremely important. How does your company help people build that level of affluence?
Faheem: In 2008, when the market crashed, single-family homes were not considered an asset class, and that is why the market was able to crash due to individuals owning homes with bad loans. Today, single-family homes are a fundamental asset class to million-dollar corporations. Big businesses buy up these homes instead of single families holding them.
Many people in the Black community’s net worth is tied to the ability to buy homes. Our company wants to help grow a portfolio and deliver these homes back to the community when right.
Michael: When we own these homes and buildings, we can control what businesses are around. Therefore, we do not have to allow liquor stores and other companies that are detrimental to our communities. We are putting our community in a position to grow generational owners. We have programs that help make it possible for our people to continue to become owners. Without ownership, there is no way to create generational wealth. We want to get our people in the mindset of thinking about their future and creating an asset that they can pass down throughout generations.
Muhammad means “worthy of praise,” and Amir means “prince.” How did you all find your path with leadership essentially being built into your DNA?
Faheem: The path chose us! Even before we were born, our parents were friends. We have seen our community’s conditions growing up in Southern California. Everything we do is intentional, whether it is our religion or how we grow. Everything we do is to give back. We were doing real estate, but it was an effortless pivot to do it for our community. We want to help change the conditions of our communities and our people.
Michael: I want to commend your research for even asking that. We do plenty of interviews, but no one has ever dug into the meaning of our names. This is like a mission for us. This is not a job; we make money from it, but it is more significant than that. We were also taught to do for the whole. This is an avenue. We have always been involved in social justice, but we know we can only make a real change with economic leverage. Our mission is to ensure that our people live a better life. Ownership is the natural way to make a change. Our people have been kept out of these conversations before, but we have made it an intentional goal to preach ownership to our people.
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You have worked with Sean “Diddy” Combs on various projects. Can you explain how that process went and what it’s like?
Faheem: He’s a fantastic brother. He’s very loving, caring, and a great leader for people in the culture. He is one of the most underrated in empowering our people. REVOLT is one of the things that kicked it off. When Puff moved to LA in 2013, we connected and have worked ever since. He’s been like a brother to me, and he’s done so much to put many people in position.
Michael: I was blessed to be his assistant back in the day. He’s the one who inspired me to jump out there and start a business. He created a lot of millionaires, man. We know about the artists but do not talk about the young Black businesspeople he has empowered. He helps make it so that people do not have to start from scratch financially. Our parents educated us, but we did not have the financial resources to get it going. People like Puff have helped us secure the resources needed to grow our businesses. It’s about helping the generation get better and better.
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You stand by the three R’s: Rebuild, redevelop, and reclaim. Explain what these words mean to you both.
Michael: Chicago is our headquarters. We decided to start there to help build a proof of concept for our business. As a community, the institution purposely destroyed and displaced the Black people there. The first thing we had to do was reclaim who we are and reclaim the possibilities. We have Black women working, but Black men stood up and said they wanted to reclaim their communities. We must rebuild and redevelop these areas to help necessarily build them. The financial literacy aspect of it helps when it comes to redevelopment and rebuilding. We must show the world that we are not who the media has portrayed our people as.
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