Dean Bar-Haim (26), an ambitious entrepreneur and businessman from Israel, who is on the breakthrough to the Miami elite, running several different businesses, currently known mostly for his exotic cars rental business, as well as being a person with a wide range of possibilities and options, living to the fullest. Here is a close up to the personality that is also known as 360Hurricane.
Q: How did Start Point Exotics come to existence, what triggered the idea of wanting to provide business with exotic luxury cars?
It’s funny that you asked that because my mother just sent me a picture of a book from my school graduation 13 years ago. Everybody writes where they imagine themselves to be in about ten years which is where I clearly mentioned I wanted to deal with exotic cars and that I will have an exotic car business. *Shows the picture*, it’s in Hebrew.
I always wanted to do it, but when I moved here I didn’t know how to start until I met a guy who was driving a red Lamborghini Huracan and asked him for a picture. Apparently, he was a car wash guy who worked for an exotic car rental company owned by an Israeli guy like me. The guy with the Lamborghini gave me the details and I said that I wanted to meet the owner of the company. I met the guy and told him I could make big changes. So I started working for the guy, really underpaid while working there. I was making $1,200 dollars a month, while I was working 8 hours every day under the sun trying to rent out exotic cars and personally closing 20 – 30 thousand dollar deals a week in sales.
After 4-5 months, I told him it’s not possible to live like that, that I wanted to upgrade and live more comfortably and that I deserve more and he would not agree to pay me more so I decided to resign and opened my own exotic car rental company. It was hard in the beginning but luckily my family’s business partners had a dealership, only for exotic and luxury cars with over 300 cars at a time, they had several companies under their brand, like Sixth car rental company for example. They had the commercial fleet insurance already, so I asked them, why don’t we try to rent cars out?
Soon enough, they dedicated 13 cars to the rental business and I started going around the hotels in Miami, including the one we are sitting at right now (1 Hotel South Beach), came with the pricing, negotiated why our car rental company is the right one, what led to this point, being featured on google maps in this area, when you google “car rental company” in Miami Beach, my rental company is the one that is going to pop up, exactly in this hotel on collins avenue. It kept spreading across other hotels as well, what brought me to a current situation of partnerships with most of the big hotels in Miami Beach, Florida.
Q: Your fleet of cars consists of famous brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maserati, what is the idea behind choosing, what car is right to have and what not?
I have a couple of different things that I have to consider when picking a car to add to my fleet and the music industry is one of them. For example, one of the most popular songs by the multi-platinum music trio “Migos” is speaking about the stars in the ceiling of a Rolls Royce Wraith – so I have a Wraith. Fans and people who listen to this music often try to imitate their idol and therefore choose a wraith in this case. Another way to pick up a car is realizing which are the most popular cars when it comes to owning them by a private person. Many clients actually own exotic cars back in their home country. Those clients want to maintain their lifestyle while visiting and in most cases, they want to rent the same car they own.
Q: What kind of people does your clientele consist of? Can you give me couple particular names?
Some of the most famous ones are multi-platinum recording artists such as Meek Mill, Future, and Migos. We also just had Gunna, DJ R3hab, DJ EDX, Fetty Wap and FatBoy SSE. There is a famous music artist from Israel called Static, he is the most trending artist in Israel, TM88, a very famous multi-platinum music producer, Southside, another multi-platinum music producer, Eran Zahavi, a famous Israeli soccer player, PnB Rock, footballer Maurice Jones-Drew for example. There are also many names that are not known as well, they are just wealthy but not famous. I could just keep going on with names forever.
Q: Out of every car model you offer, which are your favorites?
My favorite vehicle is the red Ferrari 458 Spider. However, it depends, because there are so many answers to that question. A Ferrari could be the best choice for a certain purpose while a Fiat could serve other purposes better. I always think which car is the best for the specific activity I am going to be doing. If I go out with a friend and we need something that gets all the attention, I would pick the Ferrari. Just the other day I needed something luxurious, but comfortable for more than two people so I picked a Rolls Royce Ghost. Less speed, more luxury. I may sometimes find a use for a Cadillac Escalade when my family is in town and I need extra seats.
Q: As an exotic car rental company owner, where and how far are you willing to ship a car when the customer requests it?
Everything is about money. I can do anything I want, as long as I have funds from the client. If the client needed the car in Orlando, we will ship it to Orlando. We just recently opened a location in Los Angeles. That city is a little bit different because there are many luxury car rental companies there already. Orlando, on the other hand, has none so if someone wants to drive an exotic car rental in Orlando, they will have to ship it from South, Florida, which is where we are located. Its only four hours away from Miami so we just put the car in a closed truck where it’s protected and charge the shipping costs. Whichever car in whatever location, if the client requests it to be shipped, we will make it happen.
Q: You don’t only do business with cars but also with yachts, tell me a little about the yacht charters in your business?
Many people in the yacht industry become car rental brokers for me, but also to other companies. The moment the client comes to rent a yacht, the first thing they do is offering them a car rental. To prevent my clients being offered to rent a car from a yacht charter company, I opened a yacht charter company under Start Point Exotics LLC. Statistically, over 150 thousand people arrive at Miami International Airport every day. People book the hotel, the car, and the flight in whichever order, but these are the first three things to deal with when planning a trip to Miami. After that, they deal with the extras such as yacht charters. If a client rents a car from us, since they are already renting a car from us, we also offer our yacht charter services. I later decided to offer additional services such as reserving tables in nightclubs and restaurants as an additional service to the yachts and the cars and Start Point Exotics LLC is now an approved vendor in all the biggest nightclubs in Miami Beach. This way I created the ultimate 360 service that allows the clients to deal with one company for everything and prevent the risk of getting scammed by other smaller companies they have not tried before.”
Dean Bar-Haim with the founder of ONN Network Peter Kianicka
Q: How flexible are the yachts when somebody requests them from another city or marina?
It’s slightly different with yachts. We do ship them to other marinas as long as it doesn’t take hours. If it’s a regular charter, we like to stay in the area of Miami Beach, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Big charters are a whole different service – we price them differently and are able to bring them to a little wider area so if the client wishes to cruise somewhere further than just Miami or Fort Lauderdale, like the Bahamas for example, we can also do that.
Q: In addition to cars and yachts, you provide chauffeur service as well, what does being a chauffeur at your company require?
We require drivers to look professional and act professionally. Fluent in English and Spanish and of course, we prefer them to speak more languages. The service has to be a six-start service. Remember – the clients pay a lot of money and a 4 start service is unacceptable. We provide this as an additional service, it’s not very popular but if someone needs a chauffeur to pick them up from the airport, we’ll send a chauffeur with the vehicle our client requested such as Rolls Royce, Bentley or a Mercedes-Benz S550.
Q: To change the topic a little to your more personal side, you are originally from Israel. What made you come to the United States?
Although my immediate family still lives in Israel, my uncles, aunts, and cousins live here – 16 family members to be accurate. When I moved to Miami, my family owned a big part of the nightclubs here such as SET nightclub which was renamed to Mr. Jones, Mokai, Mansion which is now closed and more. I knew that my family was very powerful here with over 13 other businesses and that I could collaborate with them and use the connections. Soon enough, I met the nightclubs’ owners, managers, and promoters and started making connections. They started referring clients to me, clients who were already opening tables for 10 thousand dollars and a lot more. I am the one who provides the cars to them now. Apart from that, Miami has always been my dream, ever since I was 4 years old, as I mentioned at the beginning of the interview. I remember the first time I came here, I told my mom I wanted to move to Miami one day. Prior to moving to Miami, I used to spend at least 3 – 4 months a year visiting my family.
Q: The US as a country is very different to where you come from if you could give one advice, to the younger Dean from the times when you just moved here, what would it be?
Be a little bit more careful with people during your journey to success. Not everyone is nice or straightforward in business. Like that Linkin Park song goes: “I had to fall, to lose it all”. It happened to me at least 3 times that I had to start from scratch again. There was a time when a famous producer scammed me for 30 thousand dollars, I fell for it because I was too passionate about the future music career I wanted to have. I did not even have 30 thousand dollars at that time. Although I was really depressed, I did not give up on my dreams and I worked 10 times harder to do some good business afterward and paid everything off.
Q: You do business with cars, yachts, chauffeur services, you are also in the music industry as well as jewelry industry, what are some of the tips a beginning businessman coming to the states should know?
First of all, you need to know and focus on what you want to do. You need to be passionate about it and you need to have a business plan. Second, you need a website, as soon as possible, because of the google searches. Third, you need to have your marketing strategy planned, you need to open your social media pages, like Instagram and other platforms. The website and Instagram play two major roles as of right now. You also need to figure out a budget you can dedicate and decide on how to spend your funds. Do you want to stay in your area or provide your services / sell your products worldwide? You need to think about those things and have them all written as a business plan before starting. Do not forget to make sure the name you want your brand to be called is not taken, otherwise, you will have to start from scratch once you get big and the person who owns the name originally finds out about you.
Q: Do you think Miami in terms of business and how to develop it, is different compared to other major American and European cities? I think Miami is very visual, people like to represent themselves, show off as you could call it.
Of course. There are two ways to market a business. One is personalized marketing – I was going to hotels and speaking with them twice a week. I also printed brochures, handed out flyers and business cars for everyone. Now, I don’t have to do it that often, since there is more trust between me and my brokers and partners at the concierge desks of the hotels. It’s important to let people know that you are there for them, because in the beginning, building a brand, nobody will remember the name of the brand. It’s like if it didn’t even exist. So the first thing they have to remember is you and your name personally.
The other way is online such as Instagram and other social media platforms, website, paid advertising, which is also very important. I was working day and night. After I was done walking around the hotels, I would spend the rest of the night working on the website SEO (search engine optimization), since I did not have that much money in the beginning just to spend on SEO. I did it all myself.
Q: What is the craziest thing you have seen/done since you moved to Miami?
Everything is crazy about my businesses for two reasons – I deal with very famous people and I also deal with crazy amounts of money. In the beginning, it felt even crazier since I was not used to it but still, I always get to see someone even more famous or even bigger amounts of money. For me, the excitement is what it is about. It feels the same for me to get inside a Ferrari, the same as the first time. I don’t see it as a job, I love what I do and I think that this is what makes me successful in this industry.
Q: Recently, you joined the private community of ONN Network, as far as the time you’ve spent on the app goes, how do you like it so far?
It looks like nothing else I have seen before. It is a lot more luxurious and selective than any other app, the quality is amazing. Like the 24/7 concierge service, those things are going to make people spend a lot more time using this app than other platforms with fewer features. I think that whether you are famous or rich, ONN Network is going to be a better niche to connect and network with other people at the same high level.
Q: After everything that you’ve built and gained responsibility for so far, what comes next?
I also just recently opened Hurricane & Co, a high-end jewelry business. We provide our clients with jewelry that is based on gold and diamonds such as the Rolex I am wearing right now, which is fully covered with VS diamonds or the tennis necklace I am wearing right that is also full with diamonds. We also sell plain luxury watches and jewelry, without diamonds. My goal is to serve anyone who wants to wear gold and diamond jewelry, with any budget. Our job is to make everyone look good and feel good with their purchase.
Thank you very much for being here and giving us your time and effort to make this happen.