From Survivor to Multimillion-Dollar Sales
The Story of Frank Napoli
– By Stacey Gualandi
When Frank Napoli tells you, “There are no bad days and no challenges I can’t overcome,” he speaks the truth.
Long before carrying on his father Frank Sr.’s legacy with The Napoli Group—making it one of the leading luxury realty brands in Las Vegas—this 37-year-old Valley native literally had to fight for his life…twice.
At 22, he was carjacked, and with a gun to the back of his head he was forced to drive out to the desert. (“I begged and pleaded to get out of that situation. Fortunately, I did. He left me out there on the side of the road. It was a near death experience.”) But that was nothing compared to what happened just a month after his 23rd birthday.
The self-described, fear-averse adrenaline junkie—who raced motocross—broke his neck while snowboarding. He woke three days later to his parents having to share his devastating diagnosis: “The doctor said I was going to be quadriplegic,” says Napoli. “Several vertebrae shattered and went into my spinal cord.”
Napoli was soon moved to a rehab center to learn how to live life in a wheelchair. But it was his father—by his side every day—who saw his son briefly move his leg muscles and encouraged him to fight.
“I would say to my nurse, ‘You’re wheeling me in, but I’m walking out.’ I ended up walking out of that hospital carrying my own luggage in 3 months.”
Napoli says that father-son bond never wavered. His dad, Frank Sr.—the Brooklyn-born, Vietnam vet-turned-entrepreneur (who once lost everything but took the last 65 cents in his pocket, filled his gas tank and drove to pick up his first real estate client in 1991)—continues to drive him to this day. His goal for The Napoli Group, which was passed on to him in 2012 after his 65-year-old dad lost his battle with cancer, is to be even bigger and more successful.
“I never want to let fail what my dad devoted his life to building,” says Napoli while fighting back tears. “He worked hard, and gave his whole life to [this company]. I owe it to him to keep it going and make it better.”
The well-respected realtor has learned some hard-earned wisdom in his young life: Nothing you’ve worked hard for is guaranteed; never take anything for granted; and learn the value of a dollar. And, of course, never give up.
“While [my accident] could have been the worst thing to happen in my life, it was the absolute best thing. It made me who I am.”
Now, Napoli plans to promote his passion for positivity with the world. That includes a memoir, a mentorship program and ongoing talks with patients in hospitals.
“I’m very comfortable teaching people how to achieve their goals. Not only in real estate, but also in life.”