Zack Fertel, 24, strives to beautify Baltimore City through his work as a real estate investor.
After growing up in Baltimore and attending both the Talmudical Academy and Jemicy School, Fertel went to yeshiva in Israel for a year. After he returned from Israel, he worked as a leasing agent for Platinum Realty and the Mount Washington Group, where he received a basic understanding of real estate in Maryland.
Fertel then jumped into the profession on his own.
Now, Fertel is the CEO and co-founder of City Link Partners, a real estate investment firm that concentrates on acquiring, developing and managing single-family homes.
Fertel and his wife Devori belong to Bnai Jacob Shaarei Zion with their 2-year-old son.
How did you know that you wanted to work in real estate?
I’ve always looked at people who did real estate and building, and it was always something that intrigued me. I like to take things that aren’t beautiful and be able to put a nice touch on it and give people nice houses.
Was your business affected during COVID-19?
No. COVID was definitely a change for everybody. However, the real estate market was very hot during COVID, and we were able to source deals. The people were buying, and interest rates were low. So we actually did very well with COVID. All of our properties are Section 8, sowe got all of the revenue needed.
Why do you enjoy construction and acquisitions in particular?
I like construction because I like to build things. I like putting things together. When I was a little kid, I liked Legos and was intrigued by big buildings. In regard to acquisitions and finance, I have always been a good sales guy because I like the hustle and looking for deals.
Where do you see your business going in the future?
The plan is to own hundreds of homes and to rebuild Baltimore City’s vacant housing problem. Our cool niche and strategy is that we buy vacant shells directly from Baltimore City, and we develop them. We will buy seven or eight at a time and develop the whole block. We want to be home builders in Baltimore City.
What do you do outside of work?
I do a lot of work. I like hanging out with my family and hanging out with friends. I go to the gym when I have free time.
Do you feel a connection to Baltimore?
Yes. I’ve always loved Baltimore. This is home. I’ve always seen it as a beautiful place. It has such nice infrastructure, but these neighborhoods have been neglected for so long. This is due to a lack of investment in these neighborhoods. My thought process is that these people live in such garbage situations, and I found a diamond in the rough and a way to make money doing it and rebuild these homes to make communities nicer. My plan is that in 10 to 15 years, we can really make a change in Baltimore City.
Shira Kramer is a freelance writer.