Drexel University alum Jeffery Gopshtein has worn many hats since he graduated in 2017.
The first in his family to graduate from college, he was inspired by his parents’ entrepreneurial ventures. After a stint of founding and running a food truck business at Drexel, he earned his degree in finance and real estate, assuming he’d work on Wall Street. But Gopshtein soon realized through a co-op experience that he wasn’t built for staring at spreadsheets.
So he jumped into the traditional side of real estate, getting his license and selling homes, he told Technical.ly. He was intrigued by becoming an investor, and eventually bought his first property, a single family home. But he watched how big the commercial and multi-unit market was growing, and brainstormed a way to get in without a lot of capital.
“There was a real appeal there,” Gopshtein said, so he spent time with a development firm. “I watched and learned about all the implications of building urban areas.”
He felt there was a hole missing in the real estate market for those who were interested in investing in smaller multi-unit properties. Buildings that host between two and 20 units make up the majority of Philadelphia’s apartment buildings, according to Gopshtein, but many real estate agents and buyers stayed away from them. It takes about the same time and energy to sell a property with a few units as one with 40 units, he reasoned. But one of the paychecks is a lot bigger.
Gopshtein began work building an end-to-end marketplace for people buying apartment buildings. The platform sources, analyzes and markets these buildings, and also hosts many of the tools necessary in completing a property sale like title, financing and property management tools. The platform, YieldEasy, will launch next month in Philadelphia.
The company’s revenue comes through its tech-enabled marketplace, and both buyers and sellers save money, because the company doesn’t have the overhead of traditional brokerage, the founder said. Instead, it charges a flat, 1.5% transaction fee. Gopshtein realizes he’s not reinventing the wheel, he said, but creating a set of digital tools for an underserved market.
“We’re not inventing the space, we’re digitizing a $13 billion market,” he said.
Currently, Gopshtein runs the business with one other person who’s working on getting to full-time. The company also has a group of trusted advisors, and has recently raised $100,000 in pre-seed money to get them to the platform’s launch and seed round later this year, Gopshtein said.
He foresees expanding next year to other markets that have a similar makeup of these multi-family units, perhaps in Austin or Miami. His main goal is to let people know that if they have a goal of property investing, it’s more accessible than they might think. The company will even be considering fractional ownership — where someone puts a partial investment into a property with others — for the future.
“It’s very capital intensive, so a lot of people stay in the single family home lane. There’s no real seamless way to get into it,” the founder said of ownership. “But someone who could buy a $500,000 home could also as easily buy a $500,000 duplex.”