In spite of the recent real estate collapse in North America, some savvy entrepreneurs have managed to continue to profit. They have negotiated major deals and launched new companies while others have struggled to survive. One example of someone who could have easily cashed out and retired to avoid the risks involved in real estate is Canada’s own Daniel Drimmer.
Drimmer is a truly international real estate mogul. Born in Germany and educated in Switzerland, Drimmer formed Transglobe Property Management Services in 1994 in Toronto. Over the years, he expanded the company’s holdings to cover all of Canada. He was one of the first to implement internet tools like virtual apartment tours, interactive search maps, and online submission of lease applications. While these are now standard on rental sites across North America, they were ground-breaking when Drimmer began using them.
In 2010, Drimmer completed the largest multi-residential transaction of the year — leaving him the largest shareholder in Transglobe Apartment REIT, but no longer CEO. Instead of retiring at a young age and enjoying the fruits of his labor, Drimmer chose to start over again. Taking personal family holdings that were not part of the Transglobe sale, he formed Starlight Apartments. The original plan was to take five years to build the company, but instead he managed to get it up and running in one year. After its launch on September 1st with 5,500 units, the company has already acquired additional properties bringing its total holdings to over 5,900 residential units and more than 300,000 feet of commercial space.
With Starlight Apartments, Drimmer is drawing on not only his years of experience in Canadian real estate, but his willingness to look forward to find new and better ways to serve his customers and make the apartment hunting process easier. His ambitious goal is to have 10,000 units by the end of 2012. Based on his track record with Transglobe and the initial acquisitions of Starlight in the last quarter of 2011, there is little doubt that he will succeed.
image courtesy scazon on Flickr, Creative Commons License