Jacob and Arleen Garza are a power duo in the multi-family real estate industry, but what sets them apart is their focus on people. Their success story is a Texan tale of hard work and a commitment to others.
In the early 1990s, Jacob approached Arleen with an unconventional idea to start a Dallas-based real estate software company. Despite her conservative banking background, Arleen supported his risk-taking mindset. After 14 years, their software venture paid off with a sale, and they moved to San Antonio with newfound freedom.
In 2012, the Garzas decided to enter the multifamily real estate market. They established REEP (Real Estate Equity Partners), focusing on acquiring underperforming multi-family properties in Texas. Today, REEP’s portfolio consists of 22 properties worth over $690 million, with more than 5,200 units bought, managed, and sold, and 1,200 investors.
What makes REEP unique is its hands-on approach. Instead of outsourcing property management, Jacob and Arleen manage all their properties through their in-house management firm, REEP Residential. This allows them to provide exceptional care and service to their tenants.
Jacob handles the strategic vision and operations while Arleen focuses on acquisitions. Their distinct roles enable them to make efficient decisions and play to their strengths. As Arleen explains, “We can divide and conquer versus both of us trying to be part of every decision.”
REEP is a family business, and Jacob and Arleen are immensely proud that their adult children, Victoria and Jack, work at the firm. Victoria manages acquisitions, leading a team of analysts, while Jack is involved in ground-up developments. The Garzas plan to pass the torch to the next generation, confident in their ability to continue the family mission.
Putting tenants first is a core value for the Garzas. They believe that if tenants are not cared for, they will leave. They go above and beyond to transform properties into places they would be proud to call home. Upgrading units with modern features, refurbishing amenities like pools and outdoor spaces, and supporting their tenants’ well-being are all part of their commitment. The Garzas believe there is power in numbers and have worked to build and care for a fiercely loyal team who helps them carry out the mission of building better communities across Texas.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Garzas discovered that some tenants were struggling financially. In response, they funded an initiative to provide groceries and personal items to those in need. This act of compassion exemplifies their dedication to fostering a sense of community and support among their tenants.
REEP has also had a significant impact on the families who have invested alongside the Garzas. The Garzas prioritize delivering value to their investors and positively impacting their lives. Some investors have been able to retire comfortably, while others have used their REEP income to send children to college and provide for future generations.
As their success continues, the Garzas are shifting their focus from personal wealth accumulation to giving back. They are in the early stages of partnering with an organization that supports young adults who have aged out of the foster care system. By providing these individuals with a place to call home, they aim to make a lasting impact.
For Jacob and Arleen, legacy is not about the amount of money they leave behind but the lives they touch. They believe in core values, ethics, and prioritizing the people they serve. Their journey is a testament to the power of hard work, resilience, and a genuine commitment to making a positive impact.
As they move forward, the Garzas emphasize living in the moment, working hard, and embodying grace. Their philosophy will undoubtedly continue to pay dividends in multiple ways as they create a lasting legacy.
If you are interested in unlocking the potential of multifamily real estate investing, success starts with finding a reliable and compatible investment partner who shares your vision and goals. To help you navigate the process and make informed decisions, we invite you to download a complementary resource: “Your Guide to Multifamily Investing: Unlock the Benefits & Discover How to Select the Right Investment Partner.