Adam Neumann is plunging into the real estate industry — again.
No, the co-founder and former WeWork CEO is not seeking to start another coworking firm or invest into an artificial wave company.
This time, he’s setting his sights on the piping hot rental market.
According to new reporting from the Wall Street Journal, Neumann entities have acquired majority stakes in over 4,000 apartments across the southern U.S. mostly over the past year, including in cities like Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, and Nashville.
On the surface, this may appear innocent enough.
Real estate and rental costs have skyrocketed since the onset of the pandemic, and many professionals have migrated to this region of the country in search of a lower cost of living and a better quality of life.
So why wouldn’t the former real estate mogul take advantage of this opportunity?
Reports show that Neumann is seeking to start a company that would “shake up” the rental housing market. Now with a $1 billion portfolio in tow, it is understandable why this move may leave some with a sense of foreboding.
Neumann’s history as a leader of a commercial real estate firm has been less-than-glamorous.
His efforts within the coworking industry shouldn’t go unnoticed. The boisterous leader made WeWork a household name and may have contributed to making coworking mainstream.
However, his leadership simultaneously led to the failure of several side projects that included a coliving project called WeLive, numerous reports of a toxic work culture with allegations that included sexual harassment and racism, and even some former employees likening the company to a cult.
The pseudo startup guru has admitted himself that the power he held at WeWork “went to his head” in his first interview since the coworking firm’s first IPO attempt went down in flames in late 2019.
“Since the spring of 2020, we have been excited about multifamily apartments living in vibrant cities where a new generation of young people increasingly are choosing to live, the kind of cities that are redefining the future of living,” said D.J. Mauch, a partner at Neumann’s family office.