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From Bangladesh Wealth to Gas Station Employee, Shahed’s Transformation into Real Estate Success

“I was so sick of the lifestyle, the wealth. I wanted to be uncomfortable, and I wanted to grow.”

Shahed Iqbal, a top agent with Gate Arty & the Group, has an incredible story of personal change. From his family’s mansion in Bangladesh to his one-bedroom apartment in Lakeland, Shahed knew what he had to do in order to reach real estate success. We sat down with Shahed to hear what it really takes to leave home, make your own way, and become the good and giving man he is today. 

“I had a bad group of friends in Bangladesh. I realized they were just using me for my family. And even though I got top marks in school, I would never go to class.” 

Shahed’s family worked for the government, which meant serious wealth: private escorts, servants, and huge homes. That type of upbringing can permanently spoil some people, but not Shahed. He quickly discovered how important it is to forge your own path in life, and push through struggles to become stronger. As soon as he became eligible, he told his parents he was headed to Canada to learn computer science. Tears were shed, but he was determined to build a new future. 

Moving to Canada was an extreme culture shock, but the kind and caring attitude of the Canadian people made him feel right at home. Even though Shahed thought about getting his degree and moving back to Bangladesh, his experiences during college made him realize that he could build a life of friendship, faith, and happiness anywhere in the world. 



“The weather was good, and the girl was better.” 

Combine the Canadian winters with a wonderful Florida woman, and you get Shahed on a flight across the continent. While in Canada, he met his now-wife online and eventually decided to connect in person. She was so great, he moved to Tampa to pursue his Masters Degree and work part-time jobs to support himself. Instead of calling his family in Bangladesh for financial assistance, he cleaned gas station floors all night long. 

Shahed grew so much in the next few years. He worked with people of many different nationalities and faiths, breaking down any barriers he may have once had. Different careers and entrepreneurial ventures gave him experience, persistence, and an unbreakable positive attitude. In 2008, Shahed made his first move into real estate, and everything changed. 

“I renovated and sold my first home, making $25,000 in profit. That day, I put in my notice and quit my software engineering job.” 

Fast forward five more years, and Shahed had already flipped dozens of houses. He got his real estate license, and moved away from other projects. Shahed discovered that real estate checked all the boxes of a rewarding career: helping others, connecting with many different people, and leveraging assets to grow wealth. 



By this time, Shahed called Lakeland his home. He still lives here with his beautiful family, and now works with Gate Arty & the Group. He had tried different brokerages in the past, but the way the Group treats their clients and team members is exactly how Shahed believes people should be treated. 

Finally, Shahed leaves us with the secret of how he travelled around the world, explored new cultures, worked up from the bottom, and built a bold and exciting real estate career.

“You have to move away from negativity. The cup is always half-full, and there is always a way I can help someone. I also had to realize that what is right for me is not always right for everyone else. I had to learn to listen, and make sure the client trusted me before we even talked about houses. No matter their background or personality, I now get to build lifelong friendships while I find homes for these wonderful people.”

If you’d like to connect with Shahed, you can reach him here. Shahed is always available to work with buyers, sellers, and investors, making Lakeland a better place.

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