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Small Axe Podcast

Nov 9, 2020

Today’s guest is Zach Feldman, Vice President of New Development of Aptitude Development, one of the country’s top student housing firms. He leads the company’s new development endeavors, as well as a pre-development entitlement, capital markets, and investor relations. Before joining Aptitude Development, Zach launched ENJOI 77 Holdings, a real estate investment company on student housing. When he’s not working, Zach is focusing on The Wildcat Fund, which provides mentorship and financial aid to students of color from his high school alma mater.

Let’s dive into Zach’s story and learn more about building a community that students enjoy. 

[00:01 – 06:00] Opening Segment

  • I introduce our guest, Zach Feldman 
  • Zach shares where he came from and how started his journey in real estate
  • He shares how he got into student housing after struggling at the start of his professional career

[06:01 – 11:50] Building a Community That Students Enjoy

  • Zach talks about how they try to improve the experience of students in their properties
    • Identify the market demand and find ways to deliver it in the best way possible
  • Zach talks more about the student housing business
    • Student housing is focused on how university students interact and want to live at the school
    • Bed-to-bath parity is one of the main differentiators of student housing from multi-family properties. 
  • Student housing business aims to build a community for students

[11:51 – 18:01] The Value of Student Housing 

  • Zach shares their process of building student housing properties
    • Determine the supply and demand in the target market
    • Identify potential buyers
    • Determine where the students are coming from 
    • Consider enrolment, rent rates, and occupancy within the market
  • Zach talks about how different markets are
    • You cannot build the same properties in another market
    • You should do your market research
  • Zach talks about the amenities they offer to the students

[18:02 – 25:55] Dealing with COVID-19 and Looking into the Future 

  • Zach talks about how his company funds their projects 
  • He shares how his company is adjusting during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • They’re planning long-term even though the company is still performing well
    • He shares how student housing is arguably the most prepared to deal with pandemics due to the privacy and convenience it offers

[25:56 – 29:37] Closing segment


  • Let’s imagine it’s hundred years from now and your grandkids and great grandkids want to write a book about you. How would you want that book to be titled?
  • “Enjoi”
  • He shares that this is related with Enjoi 77 Holdings. 
  • Enjoy both the good times and bad times


  • Connect with Zach. See the links below


Tweetable Quotes

 “Student housing in terms of building design is probably the best prepared to deal with a mass infection.” – Zach Feldman

“Take life as it goes and make the most out of it.” – Zach Feldman


Resources Mentioned:




You can connect with Zach Feldman via LinkedIn, email him at, or call him at 7817894354. Visit their website, Aptitude Development


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