Investing in real estate is one of the best ways to build wealth in the long term. With it, you can generate passive income for years. However, it takes a lot of hard work and knowledge to succeed in the industry. The following investors below have exhibited that, and they became billionaires!
Top 10 Wealthiest Real Estate Investors:
1. Donald Bren – $17 Billion
Donald Bren is currently the richest real investor in the world but he didn’t build his empire overnight! He earned the majority of his wealth from The Irvine Company, a property giant he oversees.
He started his career building houses with the Bren Company. Donald also helped develop Mission Viejo, a city in California. He saved up enough money to acquire The Irvine Company.
Bren is in charge of a real estate empire that covers southern California, with the most of it in Orange County. With this, he has accumulated an estimated net worth of $17 billion.
2. Stephen Ross – $11.6 Billion
Popularly known for developing the Time Warner Center, Stephen Ross is the renowned majority owner of the international development firm, The Related Companies.
Stephen first worked as a tax attorney. He was fired from his job, and he decided to start The Related Companies to construct affordable housing. It evolved into a behemoth that now owns over $60 billion in real estate.
Apart from the property business, Ross also is the owner of the professional football team Miami Dolphins in the NFL. He currently holds a net worth of $11.6 billion.
3. Leonard Stern – $7.6 Billion
Leonard Stern is the CEO and chairman of the subsidiary firm Hartz Mountain Industries. Under it is another company he heads, Hartz Group, and it focuses on the property industry.
His father was an influential figure on Yeshiva University’s board of trustees. After he died, Leonard inherited his wealth, which was then used to finance Hartz Mountain Industries.
The company’s warehouse portfolio, which is mostly industrial and focuses on suburban regions, has done well over the years. Their other commercial buildings have also helped Stern reach a $7.6 billion fortune.
4. Jeff Greene – $7.2 Billion
Democrat Jeff Greene is a property magnate who made his fortune from condos and apartments. He also has an extensive number of offices, land, and retail buildings.
He started his career as a busboy at the Breakers Hotel. During the housing collapse of 2007 and 2008, he made a fortune by purchasing credit default swaps on substandard mortgage-backed bonds.
Greene hasn’t yet found success with his political campaigns, but he continues to flourish in his business pursuits. Greene’s net worth is reported to be around $7.2 billion.
5. Igor Olenicoff – $6.9 Billion
Next on the list is Igor Olenicoff. He is the head of Olen Properties, which has a whopping 6.4 million square feet of office space. The company also owns about 12,000 residential properties in various states.
Prior to being an affluent figure, Olenicoff served as a consultant. Later on, he also became a business executive. With the funds he rounded up, Igor established Olen Properties.
However, has been involved in shady deeds throughout his professional life. He pleaded guilty to a federal tax felony in 2007. This led to him paying a $52 million fine, but he’s still left with $6.9 billion.
6. John A. Sobrato – $6 Billion
Many of Silicon Valley’s residential and commercial properties were built by John A. Sobrato through his company, the Sobrato Organization. He has worked with companies like Netflix and Google.
Sobrato began selling homes in Palo Alto as a youngster while attending university. When he launched the Sobrato Organization, he worked closely with his family to grow the business.
He had his son, John Michael Sobrato, replace his leadership roles, but both of them eventually left to pursue philanthropy. Even so, Sobrato’s wealth is still an impressive $6 billion.
7. Ted Lerner – $6 Billion
One of the oldest real estate tycoons in the US, Ted Lerner is the founder of Lerner Enterprises, the largest private landowner in the National Capital Region. Offices are his main revenue generator.
Lerner sold houses on weekends while studying in law school. This pushed Ted to start a company of his own by borrowing money from his wife. He started off by selling houses to developers.
Though, in general, Lerner Enterprises is a huge success, it suffered a big loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, Ted’s fortune persevered as he still has $6 billion.
8. Neil Bluhm – $5.9 Billion
Neil Bluhm made most of his money from casino properties. He is a big-time shareholder in Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, a company that runs a number of casino sites.
He first worked as a lawyer for a couple of firms. Then, he co-founded a private equity firm called Walton Street Capital before transitioning to gaming endeavors.
Bluhm currently owns a sports betting company and online casino named Rush Street Interactive. He also has stakes in the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and the MLB’s Chicago White Sox. His wealth currently stands at $5.9 billion.
9. Edward Roski, Jr. – $5.7 Billion
Edward Roski, Jr. is an office park developer, and is the President of the real estate company Majestic Realty. He also handles retail, industrial, and residential properties.
Before he became a businessman, Edward was part of the US Marine Corps. After his service, he joined Majestic Realty. He continued to grow his wealth by buying shares in professional sports teams.
He became a minority owner of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers. This, and his thriving company, has helped Roski accumulate a fortune worth $5.7 billion.
10. Sam Zell – $5.2 Billion
The legendary Sam Zell is regarded as the forefather of contemporary real estate investment trusts. He has numerous investments, but his share in Equity LifeStyle is perhaps his most valuable asset.
Sam created a business that provides student apartments to affluent students during his undergraduate days. He slowly improved his skills and portfolio to establish his first company, Equity Group Investment.
Now, he also owns a global equity firm called Equity International, which has considerable investments in Argentina and Colombia. This is why Zell is worth $5.2 billion.