How Al Goldstein found his niche with Pangea Properties by renting to underserved areas

Al Goldstein, president, Pangea Properties

Al Goldstein, president, Pangea Properties

Emerging Entrepreneur

WINNER

Al Goldstein, president of Pangea Properties, candidly admits that he believes real estate is an entrenched industry, with a “good ol’ boy” network.

Nevertheless, Goldstein and longtime high school friend Steve Joung fought and clawed their way past that hurdle when launching their new venture, Pangea Properties.

While they did not know much about the real estate market, they did know the Internet/marketing data side of the business, and wanted to provide a better product to a market they felt was underserved. They wanted to incorporate technology and best in class customer service to the rental market in multifamily apartment complexes within distressed communities.

Coming off the sale of his first successful venture, CashnetUSA, a short-term consumer lending company, his new company started buying units in the south side of Chicago in 2009, and its holdings have now grown to more than 8,000 apartment units in three markets: Chicago, Indianapolis and Baltimore, with a goal of 15,000 units by 2015.

In three years, more than $180 million of capital has been raised. Pangea now employs 300 employees.

One of the largest obstacles was convincing the right people that they knew enough about real estate, which they admittedly did not, in order to raise capital to drive growth.

However, with Goldstein’s unwavering dedication to the business and his faith in his team, the company overcame these obstacles and continued on the path to success.

Pangea’s average property is 30 units, as opposed to the 300-unit properties its closest competitors were offering. Most major apartment rental firms purchase large apartment complexes that already had the “right” types of tenants and didn’t require much marketing or effort to fill those units.

Goldstein looks for a good product and value to his tenants, but he is also more interested in wanting to give something back to the communities and people that had largely been neglected for years.

How to reach: Pangea Properties, www.pangeare.com

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