Reposted: The Real Deal
Published September 12, 2023
Following the guidance of his mentor Bruce Wecshsler, a well-known Chicago multifamily operator, Roger Daniel began his career in multifamily 20 years ago as a leasing agent for the Habitat Company. From there, he quickly gained experience in institutional multifamily operations and finance, working for various other firms around Chicago including Village Green, RMK and Northwestern Mutual. As a property management employee, he was steadily promoted, first to property manager then to regional property manager and, ultimately, to Vice President. Roger accomplished this while gaining experience in multifamily finance along the way. This progressive on-site management experience, paired with his time in finance, played a crucial role in his understanding of multifamily property operations and would shape how he later conceptualized and structured his own company.
Ten years into his career, Roger made the courageous choice to begin his own company – Daniel Management Group (DMG). “Based on the unique experience I gained in the first ten years in the business, I was confident I could both conceptualize a value-accretive operational strategy and execute on it,” said Roger Daniel, president and founder of DMG. Whether its implementing cost savings, boosting ancillary income, implementing property re-branding, strategizing on advertising, refreshing and amenitizing common areas or performing unit rehabs, that’s exactly what DMG has spent the last 10 years doing for its clients.
DMG celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year having grown organically from a company managing a single apartment building to a vertically-integrated multifamily real estate investment and management firm that manages more than 3,000 units (with over a thousand more in the pipeline) throughout Chicagoland, Milwaukee and Madison. Once the existing pipeline is realized, DMG will have roughly $1B in assets under management.
“I remember when we first started thinking how many people it took to form a group since it was really only me on the management side,” Roger recounts fondly. “We were always patient and particular in how we wanted to grow but we now have close to 50 employees.” DMG employees are drawn to the company’s entrepreneurial environment, fast pace and collaborative culture.
Roger attributes DMG’s success to being able to combine the personal touch and creative solutions of a boutique management company with institutional-level experience, protocols, and technology. “Coming from the institutional management world, I knew I wanted a good process and good training. Our clients want us to conceptualize the strategy that’s unique to their asset and interests but they also want to know that we can execute and do so with a service-minded approach,” says Roger. The firm delivers customized property management programs focused on exceptional customer service, seamless integration of technology and a respect for the environment.
Since starting DMG, Roger Daniel has added DMG Leasing with the support of a former Zumper executive. DMG Leasing is focused on customized property leasing strategies including lease-ups. The leasing platform also helps to maintain an asset’s stabilized occupancy without having to burden it with additional full time staff. “With tighter margins and the increased seasonality of apartment leasing, we knew it was important to have a built-in tool for our clients to either increase occupancy quickly during a lease up or to maintain stabilized occupancy without an ongoing cost burden,” Roger says. DMG Leasing provides an array of client services including branding, advertising consultation, marketing, and analytics.
While making sure to stay true to his roots in property management, in 2021, Roger co-founded DMG Capital, the real estate investment arm of Daniel Management Group. DMG Capital leverages DMG’s operating platform to create value in the multifamily investment space, ultimately removing risk from real estate investing by focusing on proven, low-risk solutions that consistently deliver strong, steady returns. “We wanted to do the same thing for our investor clients that the management company was already doing for our management clients,” Roger says. DMG Capital sources assets at a discount to replacement cost and with a clear and achievable repositioning plan. The platform seeks assets in locations with existing operational infrastructure, that have a high barrier to entry, and where there is anticipated long-term demand growth. DMG Capital’s portfolio currently consists of properties in the Chicagoland area including Orland Park, Wilmette and Winnetka.
The future of multifamily operations continues to look bright and DMG is poised to be at the center of the industry’s growth. When reflecting on a driving factor of DMG’s success –it comes down to the determination, grit and commitment starting with founder Roger Daniel, but evident throughout the entire DMG organization.