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Gelt’s Wasserman: Millennials Moving the Needle

By Dennis Kaiser

Los Angeles-based Gelt Inc. continues to expand its team of Millennial multifamily investment and management pros. The entrepreneurial group is led by partners and cousins Keith Wasserman, and Damian Langere. Recently, Josh Satin joined the firm, following a career in Major League Baseball.

Since Gelt was founded in 2008, it has acquired more 5,600 apartment units valued in excess of $800 million, and is on target to reach $1 billion of investment activity by mid-2017. Connect Media wanted to find out what’s driving this young CRE team to success, their approach and lessons they’ve learned so far.

Here’s what Wasserman shared:

Q: The majority of the Gelt team is made up of Millennials. So how does that play out in your approach to CRE?

A: We strive to use technology to grow our business and stay on top of industry trends. As a very entrepreneurial firm with young leadership, we are always seeking to explore new technologies that will help us run our company smoother and more effectively. To that point, we have addressed technology opportunities in related areas of our business and as a result have launched two sister companies. They include Gelt Venture Capital, a seed stage venture capital firm investing in companies in agricultural technologies, real estate technologies and transportation technologies; and, the first financing-as-a-service resident portal for the $540 billion rental payment industry.

Q: What have been the biggest lessons learned since you started your company eight years ago? How has your investor profile evolved?

A: One of the biggest lessons we have learned is not to sell too soon. Several years ago, we acquired The Colonnade Apartments in Arizona for $16 million and sold it for $25.5 million three years later. It most recently traded again for $43 million. We will never forget that one!

We have a very diverse and growing mix of private investors that is currently at about 300. This investor number continues to increase, and includes family offices and high net worth individuals. We also have a significant amount of foreign investment from Australia, Israel and China. Chinese investment has been a very significant part of our investor base. Over the past three years alone, Gelt has raised more than $70 million from Chinese investors. We only see more of that on the horizon as word of mouth catches on in the country.

Q: What are your investment plans for next year?

A: We are keeping with our criteria for value-add apartment acquisitions valued from $4 million to $75 million in key markets throughout the Western states. We believe that 2017 will continue to see strong demand for rental housing, as Millennials and others seeking quality apartment communities choose to rent versus own.

For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser


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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

  • ◦Financing
  • ◦Development
  • ◦Sale/Acquisition