By Asia Nail
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter
It’s a good thing Rob Pasker was blessed with a big, bright smile, because the man people call “The Realtist” is seldom without one.
Pasker spreads joy wherever he goes, with a cool calm attitude rooted in equality and liberation, his personal positive creed.
“The Realtist” is president of the Greater Toledo REALTIST Association and owner of Pasker & Associates. As a HUD Certified Housing Counselor with NID Housing Counseling Agency, Pasker teaches people how to build a financial foundation and position themselves for homeownership….FOR FREE.
Pasker is involved with no less than five different national organizations. Among the many boards he sits on are the Millennial Committee of The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) as director and chairman; The Greater Toledo REALTIST Association as president and with HUD as Certified Housing Counselor.
His commitment to the community, especially our underserved, is so much a part of his identity that Pasker’s niches in real estate include building community wealth through homeownership, innovating the Transaction process, and Real Estate Development.
Pasker’s clients are using their HomeBuyer Education Certificates to receive $0 Down Loans and up to $9500 down payment grants from the City of Toledo.
Born and reared in Toledo, Ohio, and raised near Richards and Hill Ave., Rob Pasker attended many different schools over the years. “My mom always wanted me to have the best education. We tried many schools: St. Jude, St. Martin de Porres, Body of Christ, Keyzer Elementary and Trinity Lutheran. I graduated from McTigue and decided on Central Catholic for high school. This truly gave me a diverse outlook and upbringing,” shares Pasker.
Pasker and his colleagues are role models in the lives of many young people today but what started out as 32 black males in his freshmen class, ended in an unstoppable graduating nine.
“Central Catholic high school taught me to be confident as myself as a Black man in a white world,” explains Pasker. When asked how the school made this impression he says, “We got in trouble for things other people didn’t get in trouble for.”
There were some disparities in the matriculation of black males through Central Catholic at that time and unfortunately many young black men didn’t make it due to financial burdens in funding tuition in addition to the normal barriers within underserved communities.
“My senior year, they chose five out of the nine of us to receive the block of lockers positioned between the principal’s office and the head priest’s office. Word got out that teachers received gang training the summer before. It was strange to us,” recalls Pasker. “To my friends and I it was weird to see the facility envisioning us as gang members.”
After this, Pasker and his small group of friends were positively on fire to spread cultural consciousness. “All the students had posters on their lockers for fun at Central, so we started raising a lot of awareness. Kinda like peaceful protests in the most fun and loving way. We always had fun,” states Pasker.
He is still friends with other members of his graduating class who are still positively impacting the black community today. Ray and Richard Aubrey own a super successful media company called Kollege Kidd and licensed professional barber and friend RaMon Armstrong of local Groomed barbershop are close, to name just a few Toledoans. “The nine of us graduating seniors called ourselves 40 BLOCC. We had a positive gang and we created our narrative. We provided our own form of education to our peers and teachers,” says Pasker.
During high school, Pasker earned a full ride scholarship to the University of Toledo as a Toledo Excel scholar in Group 13.
Immediately upon graduation Pasker decided he was ready to tackle college. “I went to UT and didn’t even take the summer off. I graduated on May 25 and I started school on June 6.”
The Toledo Excel Program was a very impactful experience for Rob. After taking a trip to Africa at 17 and doing field study for an entire month, he learned invaluable life lessons that would carry him far. “While in Africa we visited different colleges, high schools, and even met with the African National Congress Delegates of Nelson Mandela’s party. Apartheid was only 10 years past and tensions were still high. Feeling the love and seeing the opportunities in the world opened my eyes,” recalls Pasker.
In his first semester at the University of Toledo, Rob earned a 3.75 GPA. “Ironically, when the fall semester came in and everyone returned to campus, that next semester I pulled a .5 GPA. Yes I was partying, but mostly I fell out of love with the idea of institutionalized education.”
At the time his professor challenged the class to write a four-to-five page paper every week for 16 weeks. When given a paper to write on race, students were required to cite that there were no biological or physiological differences between different races.
“I did as instructed and also included other evidence supporting another stance. The professor gave me a zero on that paper,” recalls Pasker.
Some of the unfortunate experiences black students endure are a form of ‘gaslighting:’ when someone denies the experiences of a person of color. Nevertheless, everything Pasker did in his academic years, someway, somehow, positively touched the lives of others.
For a student like Pasker who had been in honors English most of his academic life, this was the first zero he had ever been given. “To be honest, after that experience I just wasn’t as excited about the academic side, but on the social side I was heavily involved with the Black Student Union,” remembers Pasker. As a double Psychology and Africana Studies major with the goal of helping to liberate black people, he made innovative decisions to leverage his talents.
Pasker stayed at UT for two more years on the academic side and as an Executive Board Member of the Black Student Union and played an instrumental role within the programming committee to raise cultural awareness on campus.
“There is just ‘some’ information that ‘some’ groups are not privy to. With this in mind, we taught our peers how popular culture of today correlates with the minstrel shows of the past so we could all see ourselves through a different, more objective lens,” shares Pasker.
Eventually the young student felt burnt out with both his double major and hiw extra-curricular activities. He went on academic probation and decided to pursue the benefits of community college.
“The truth is the whole time I was a full-time student at UT, I owned and operated my own company,” shares Pasker with a laugh. “Me and my buddies started a company called Entourage Productions LLC and used it to create culture on campus. We hosted parties and events but ultimately it was about bringing people together.”
Back in 2007 Pasker met Eddie Drake II, owner of The YNOTT Foundation (Youth Needing Organ & Tissue Transplant). He asked Pasker to help him raise awareness and funds in the Columbus area for his child-based non-profit.
The YNOTT Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing support to pediatric transplant patients, increasing awareness about the need for organ and tissue donation, and promoting disease prevention and wellness in the community.
“We didn’t know anyone in Columbus but the arena district was a hot spot so we made a plan. We rented out a club one Sunday a month and hosted events,” shares Pasker.
Although the parties weren’t financially successful, they had fun and made life-time business connections to carry them all on their next endeavors.
Pasker moved to Columbus in 2008 receiving his Associates of Arts from Columbus State in 2009. He started the campus’s Black Student Union while in attendance.
Many within underserved communities can see “the dirty little secret” of the Ivy League — that on many campuses, the make-up of Black students is not representative of black communities outside of the university. Rather, there are higher percentages of upper-class African-Americans and black immigrants. “We addressed many issues affecting the black student body. We had 35k students, even more than UT, yet we needed more campus life and culture,” recalls Pasker.
Rob Pasker is a flourishing example of what one can do with a positive mindset, despite resistance, all-the-while intentionally teaching others along the way.
Pasker went on to finish his Bachelor of Business Administration at Franklin University in 2011. Overtime Entourage Productions LLC evolved into Heartland Hiphop with his business partner Brandon Dicks – a platform for Midwest talent.
With all these ventures Pasker started focusing on his health. “In order to stay at your personal best in business, many of us become health nuts. Due to that I was open to new things and tried Matcha green tea. I did some research, found it had many health benefits and commenced in asking the barista about his supply chain.”
What he did next shows the preparedness necessary to succeed at all times. He handed the barista his business card with a single Nelson Mandela quote on the back and said,
“I build businesses. This is a multi-million dollar product just waiting to explode. I drink tea almost daily and have never heard of Matcha. Let’s connect.”
After working with the gentleman for a few months and building a solid business plan for
the Matcha product, the owner decided he wanted to sell. A trust and strong professional respect was built and He offered to sell Pasker his company under extremely generous terms. “‘Go Matcha,Go’ was my first acquisition,” he shares fondly.
He rebranded ‘Go Matcha,Go’ and it excelled through seven different sales channels. From coffee shops to corner stores to online and independent distributors, Pasker engineered the gamut. “I would sell raw Matcha, Matcha blends, Matcha face masks, lattes, lemonades and shots,” he recalls.
Eventually, after being the sole person doing the branding, marketing, sales, packaging and logistics, Pasker decided to automate his supply chain. He did the research, but like many young black men he knew he would struggle to receive grants or loans.
“I told myself to figure out how to grassroots hustle and find the money. I have a friend who is third generation in his grandmother’s RE brokerage firm. As a black woman who received her license in 1963, she is still licensed to this day and enjoys the benefits of helping other professionals with a tenacity to learn the business,” says Pasker smiling.
He realized if he can build a supply chain in tea he could build one in real estate and Pasker Real Estate Company was born.
Pasker brings in the business and he educates the client. Next the administrative staff makes sure clients are sourced where they need to go, and his diverse real estate agents help both buyers and sellers actually achieve their real estate goals regardless of color or creed.
As a member of the National Association of RE Brokers (NAREB), Pasker’s goal is to build democracy in housing. Building black wealth through real estate is important.
“Ultimately with Pasker Real Estate the goal is to create a real estate supply chain where the underserved community is also valued. And that’s what we are doing through homeownership,” he says.
Home ownership is one of the greatest sources of wealth in America. If black communities have higher homeowner, statistics show that not only will communities have more wealth, they will also increase black educational opportunities and health wellness.
“When Pasker Real Estate works with buyers we work to get them a property that is fair market value at the fastest time, with the least amount of money. When working with sellers, we get our clients top dollar in the fastest time with the least hassle,” says Pasker.
Rob Pasker is one of the youngest black male RE Brokers in NW Ohio, if not the youngest, at 34. His competitive advantage in this industry when competing with the big guys is impressive. “We choose innovative technology to get properties sold and to service our clients quickly,” says Pasker.
Pasker Real Estate provides virtual tours, drone photography and video. “Our marketing and the markets we serve well, separate us from our competitors.”
Pasker graciously hosts a Monthly HUD-certified homebuyer education program. After clients complete the program, they receive their certificates of completion making them then eligible for down payment assistance.
When Pasker is not conducting business, he loves to pour into Toledo’s youth. A former Columbus City and Toledo Public School teacher, he takes every opportunity to speak to students about financial literacy and entrepreneurship. His favorite hobby is cryptocurrency. He is also a mayoral appointed member of the City Of Toledo’s Board Of Zoning Appeals.
At home, he is a father to three daughters (Savannah, Aubrei and Joy).
Follow Pasker’s social media channels for links to sign up for your Free Housing Counseling.
Pasker & Associates Ltd. is a conglomerate holding company which includes Go Matcha,Go, Heartland Hip-Hop and Pasker Real Estate Company.