My Story: Bob Faith
When Bob Faith, founder of apartment giant Greystar, graduated from Harvard Business School in 86, he did what many fellow grads did: He went to work for Trammell Crow Commercial, starting in Tulsa and moving to Charlotte two years later. When the 90s financial crisis hit (and more people started wearing ripped jeans), he and Harvard classmate Barry Sternlicht launched a little company called Starwood Capital Partners to gobble up foreclosed properties. The savings and loans had been hefty multifamily lenders in the 80s, and so thats primarily what they were selling when Starwood got started.
Bob became a fan of multifamily because it was less volatile than office and retail (residents still need a place to live in a downturn while office tenants might just disappear). Plus, its a lot cheaper to turn over apartment space. Bob launched Greystar in 93, starting with 6,000 units. The company now manages more than 200,000.