Investing in real estate is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth. With it, you can generate passive income for years. However, it takes a lot of hard work and knowledge to be successful in the industry. The following investors below have shown it, and they have become billionaires!
Top 10 richest real estate investors:
1. Donald Bren – $16.2 billion
Donald Bren is currently the richest real-life investor in the world, but he didn’t build his empire overnight! He derived the majority of his wealth from The Irvine Company, a real estate giant he oversees.
He began his career building houses with the Bren Company. Donald also helped develop Mission Viejo, a town in California. He saved enough money to acquire The Irvine Company.
Bren is in charge of a real estate empire that spans Southern California, most of which is in Orange County. With that, he amassed an estimated net worth of $16.2 billion.
2. Stephen Ross – $8.2 billion
Popularly known for developing the Time Warner Center, Stephen Ross is the famous majority owner of international development firm The Related Companies.
Stephen first worked as a tax lawyer. He was fired from his job and he decided to start The Related Companies to build affordable housing. He has grown into a giant who now owns over $60 billion in real estate.
Apart from the real estate business, Ross also owns the Miami Dolphins professional football team in the NFL. He currently holds a net worth of $8.2 billion.
3. Leonard Stern – $6.2 billion
Leonard Stern is the CEO and President of the Hartz Mountain Industries subsidiary. He runs another company, Hartz Group, which focuses on the real estate sector.
His father was an influential figure on the board of Yeshiva University. After his death, Leonard inherited his fortune, which was later used to fund Hartz Mountain Industries.
The company’s warehouse portfolio, primarily industrial and focused on suburban areas, has performed well over the years. Their other commercial buildings also helped Stern reach a fortune of $6.2 billion.
4. Sam Zell – $5.8 billion
The legendary Sam Zell is considered the ancestor of contemporary real estate investment trusts. He has many investments, but his share in Equity LifeStyle is perhaps his most valuable asset.
Sam started a business that provided student apartments for affluent students during his undergraduate years. He slowly improved his skills and portfolio to create his first company, Equity Group Investment.
Today, he also owns a global investment company called Equity International, which has considerable investments in Argentina and Colombia. That’s why Zell is worth $5.8 billion.
5. John A. Sobrato – $5.5 billion
Many residential and commercial properties in Silicon Valley were built by John A. Sobrato through his company, the Sobrato Organization. He has worked with companies like Netflix and Google.
Sobrato started selling homes in Palo Alto in his youth while attending college. When he started the Sobrato organization, he worked closely with his family to grow the business.
He asked his son, John Michael Sobrato, to replace his leadership roles, but the two eventually left to pursue philanthropy. Even so, Sobrato’s wealth is still around $5.5 billion.
6. Neil Bluhm – $5.2 billion
Neil Bluhm made most of his money from casino properties. He is a major shareholder in Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, a company that operates a number of casino sites.
He first worked as a lawyer for a few firms. Next, he co-founded a private equity firm called Walton Street Capital before moving into gambling endeavors.
He currently owns a sports betting company and an online casino named Rush Street Interactive. He also has stakes in the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and MLB’s Chicago White Sox. His fortune currently stands at $5.2 billion.
7. Edward Roski, Jr. – $5.2 billion
Edward Roski, Jr. is an office park developer and president of Majestic Realty. It also manages commercial, industrial and residential properties.
Before becoming a businessman, Edward served in the US Marine Corps. After his service, he joined Majestic Realty. He continued to build his fortune by buying shares in professional sports teams.
He became a minority owner of the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL and the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. This, and his booming business, helped Roski amass a fortune worth $5.2 billion.
8. Jeff Greene – $5.1 billion
Democrat Jeff Greene is a real estate mogul who made substantial income from condos and apartments. It also owns a large number of offices, land and retail buildings.
He started his career as a busboy at the Breakers Hotel. During the housing crashes of 2007 and 2008, he made a fortune buying credit default swaps on lower-grade mortgage-backed bonds.
Greene has yet to find success with his political campaigns, but he continues to thrive in his business pursuits. His net worth is said to be around $5.1 billion.
9. Igor Olenicoff – $4.7 billion
Next on the list is Igor Olenicoff. He is the head of Olen Properties, which has 6.4 million square feet of office space. The company also owns approximately 12,000 residential properties in various states.
Before being a wealthy personality, Olenicoff was a consultant. Later, he also became a business manager. With the funds he collected, Igor established Olen Properties.
However, has been involved in shady acts throughout his professional life. He pleaded guilty to a federal tax crime in 2007. This resulted in him being fined $52 million, but still left with $4.7 billion in wealth.
10. Ted Lerner – $4.3 billion
One of America’s oldest real estate moguls, Ted Lerner is the founder of Lerner Enterprises, the National Capital Region’s largest private landowner. The offices are its main source of income.
He sold houses on weekends while studying law school. This prompted Ted to start his own business by borrowing money from his wife. He started by selling houses to developers.
Although, in general, Lerner Enterprises is a huge success, it suffered a big loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, Ted’s fortune has persevered as he still has $4.3 billion.