Ellie Perlman is a real estate investor owning various multifamily properties across the U.S. She is the founder and CEO of Blue Lake Capital, a real estate investment firm specializing in multifamily acquisition and management. At Blue Lake Capital, Ellie helps her investors grow their wealth by investing alongside her in various large multifamily deals.
Ellie grew up in poverty, being the oldest child in a family of six. She got her first job cleaning synagogues when she was nine. Ellie always wanted more and had a burning desire to succeed and break the poverty chain.
At the age of 19, she married her high school sweetheart. Initially, both struggled greatly, but after a lot of hard work and motivation, Ellie joined the best law school in Israel. Later she got a job at a prestigious law firm, working round the clock on fascinating real estate transactions until she found her eyesight distorted because of a disease that nearly left her blind. However, Ellie’s eyesight was restored after a painful and lengthy healing process. At that point, she was determined to live her life to the fullest.
After recovering from her eye disease, she took time to reflect on her life and soon realized that she didn’t want to practice law any further; instead, she wanted to join the real estate industry. Ellie knew real estate was her ticket out of poverty, but she didn’t know how exactly. So, she decided to leave her job as a lawyer and became a property manager, keeping tabs on more than 300 properties. Her internal fire then pushed her even further, and a few years later, Ellie joined MIT to pursue her MBA degree. After graduation, she pivoted her career and became a real estate investor and entrepreneur.
While growing up in poverty, Ellie swore that her kids would not experience the reality she had gone through. She says, “When I was about 11 years old, I decided I would have a different future. I didn’t know how. Over the years, I learned that the richest families in the world had one thing in common: they all owned real estate. But I was certain I needed money to invest in real estate, which I didn’t have then.”
After graduating from MIT, Ellie founded Blue Lake Capital, where she buys multifamily properties across the U.S. while raising money from investors, overseeing the management of the assets, and executing renovations to increase rents and streamline expenses, until it’s time to sell after roughly 2-5 years.
Harnessing the Power of Commercial Real Estate Investing
Since its inception in 2017, Blue Lake Capital has grown to over $750M AUM. The organization creates the path for extraordinary living, primarily by harnessing the tremendous power of commercial real estate investing, combined with technology in underwriting and elite management of multifamily properties to create opportunities to help its investors grow and thrive.
The organization buys, operates, and sells multifamily assets across the U.S. while raising money from investors to purchase those assets.
Ellie sees challenges as an opportunity to learn, grow and improve. Like most other companies, the challenge of capitalizing on a business, creating a sustainable and efficient process, and building the right team can be difficult. Still, Ellie finds creating wealth and building a future for not just herself but her team and investors to be thrilling.
Hiring the right people is always an exciting task. Building a company is a team sport. In order to thrive, you must have the right team. Cultural fit is as important as experiences.
Ellie and her team rely upon A.I. technology for underwriting data and seek to implement additional cutting-edge technology as it becomes available in the organization’s processes and properties. She says, “We are currently evaluating how to further advance our green policies and practices in our property communities to create healthier, more sustainable, and more community-enriching practices.”
Current Market Landscape
Although the real estate industry was highly competitive and tight, recently, it has started showing early signs of softening. Ellie believes that with the rising inflation and the Fed’s rising interest rates, the market can soon witness a correction. She feels there will be more opportunities to purchase assets at a discount from owners who have overpaid for their assets. On the other hand, unlike the residential market in 2007, where investors could purchase a single-family home at a discount if they had cash, it makes little sense to pay in cash when it comes to large multifamily properties. Ellie says, “The multifamily lending scene has been more challenging than before; Increasing interest rates and lower LTVs play a significant role in the ability to make a smart purchase and seize opportunities.”
Ellie is proud that despite having grown up in challenging economic circumstances, she put herself through law school in Israel, transitioned her career in property management, and then earned a scholarship that helped her attend MIT for her MBA. This incredible journey has given her the strength to bring Blue Lake Capital where it is today.
Since its foundation in 2017, in less than 5 years, Blue Lake Capital was able to exit 6 deals, with an average IRR to investors of 31%.
Advice for Young Entrepreneurs
Ellie advises young entrepreneurs by saying, “The difference between dreamers and achievers is that achievers take the first step and stick to it. It’s as simple as that. Don’t let fear talk you out of doing something big. Others will advise you against it, but they are also motivated by fear. After all, fear is the thing that keeps us from the pain of failing because you can’t fail what you don’t do. Don’t listen to that voice; acknowledge it and thank it for its attempts, but listen to the other voice that pushes you forward and take action.”