Finding the good in the global pandemic

 Hadar Goldman (photo credit: EITAN TAL)
Hadar Goldman
(photo credit: EITAN TAL)

“There is plenty of good in the world today, and even if it is a rarity, if you choose to find it, you will surround yourself with great people and colleagues and live a wonderful life,” Hadar Goldman, founder and owner of Goldman Investments as well as The Greater Light, recently said.

This is the motto that Goldman, an Israeli businessman, entrepreneur, TV personality, and musician, tries to live by.

He recently sat down with The Post to discuss the challenges and successes his two companies have faced since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic – from multifamily real estate ventures to disruptive technologies and investments in solar energy.

For the past several years he has focused on multifamily real estate, that is multi-home residential buildings and complexes in the United States as well as bringing technological advances to this sector through his innovative C² platform.

“I feel like I’ve come out of a long battle,” he said of the last two years.

According to Goldman, the onset of the pandemic brought forward many fears and challenges. From a “lack of commuting abilities,” like flying, as governments shut down skies around the world; to a lack of employees for construction sites, essentially halting new and existing projects.

Additional challenges, he said, included entire sectors working from home, including financial institutions. “There was a point in time where Wall Street was going downhill in a very big way.”

“The major challenge, though, was the fear of the unknown,” he said.

As such, Goldman said his company went into “emergency mode” right from the start, and yet, still did not shy away from closing a major real estate deal of some 1,000 apartments in Chicago at the onset of the pandemic.

“I think that one of the most important decisions I made was to go for this new, big deal,” he said. “The fact that we managed to pull it together sent out a large signal that not only are we still in business, but that we are going to kill it.”

Following the successful deal, Goldman said his company, Goldman Investments, essentially split into two departments – retention and acquisition.

“We made sure we took care of everyone from the top management levels to the construction workers to our residents and community,” he said.

The company bought some 100,000 surgical masks, at a time when masks were in short supply, and delivered them to all the residents, employees, and colleges within their communities.

The most important department, however, according to Goldman, was acquisitions.

“We started buying like lunatics. In the past 24 months of the pandemic, we bought around 4,000 apartments. The opportunity was there, and we acquired and acquired, and it has paid off,” he said.

“The past two years were among the best years ever for us,” he added.

Goldman began investing in the multifamily real estate market in the US some 12 years ago, and quickly brought Israeli innovation into the market. Today his company owns around 5,000 to 6,000 communities throughout the United States with an estimated 48 million multifamily apartments.

“In America the annual turnover ratio is at 55%, which means that more than half of tenants leave their homes once a year – the main reason: they hate where they live,” he said. “Most real estate people are old fashioned in terms of tech and that is exactly where we came in.”

As such, he aimed to build a community surrounding every multifamily complex, bridging the gaps through an innovative C² platform that serves a one-stop-shop for tenants, landlords, property managers, vendors and shop owners - connecting and aligning all their needs with a simple press of a button.

“We built this platform and today it’s a huge success and it currently serves our communities because we wanted to be the absolute best for our residents and management,” he said.

Now, looking to the future Goldman hopes to bring another innovation to the multifamily real estate market – solar energy.

“The future for us is definitely the mixing together of real estate and solar energy,” he said.

“If you look at the long term, residential real estate is going to be a huge source of clean energy.”

As such, nearly 2.5 years ago Goldman entered the field of solar energy, purchasing a solar energy farm in the Kfar Hayarok, just outside of Tel Aviv, Israel.

“I wanted to enter this category ages ago and the opportunity actually first presented itself in Israel,” he said. “Since then, we started to grow our portfolio in the United States, mainly in California and now Texas, and we are going to pour at least $1 billion in investments into this field.”

He said his company, The Greater Light, already produces, sells and provides solar energy in three categories: the commercial and industrial, with solar panels over rooftops, airports and industrial parks; utilities scale, such as solar farms; and residential.

“We already sell to two different clients, huge utility companies and off takers, for example supermarkets that create solar energy on their rooftops – we supply them with green energy and the rest that they don’t use we sell,” he explained.

As such, his company has recently also signed a four-year contract with Tesla for solar energy storage.

“So as far as solar energy we are going to be a very large company,” he said. “As for real estate, we have the product that’s going to connect between solar energy and real estate – and for us this is the future in 2022.”

“We live in an era, despite the coronavirus [pandemic], that is really the best; we live in a tremendous era where good and money can come together for the first time – and there is plenty of good out there, you just need to choose to find it,” he added.   

This article is taken from The Jerusalem Post Annual Executive Magazine 2021-2022. To read the entire magazine, click here.

This article was written in cooperation with Goldman Investments