Journey of Resilience: Eric Gedalje's Rise in Real Estate

William Mullane
Eric Gedalje

Rags to riches tales are stories forged amidst the crucible of adversity. They stand as timeless testaments to the remarkable prowess of the human spirit. They speak not only to the indomitable will to triumph but also to the American dream and the modern ethos of entrepreneurialism. Regardless of where you come from or how many resources you start with, through hard work and the audacity to believe you can defy the odds, anyone can turn humble beginnings into extraordinary success. 

Born into a world marked by familial turbulence, Eric Gedalje faced a pivotal choice at just 13 years old. His mother, a strong woman who, as an immigrant, spoke broken English, was moving to Havasu, Arizona. On the other hand, his father, the passive caretaker type, planned to stay in Southern California. The decision was challenging, but Eric opted to embrace the unknown by moving to Havasu with his mother. 

Life in Havasu wasn't easy. Eric quickly landed a job working at a local restaurant brewery, picking up as many shifts as he could to help make ends meet. Eventually, however, his mom planned to leave the city. In a shock decision, Eric chose to stay and work despite only being 16. The young Eric saw work in Havasu and the prospect of economic freedom as his refuge, a sanctuary from the turmoil he had left behind. 

Continuing to work nonstop, trying to earn enough money to afford an apartment on his own, Eric's life took an unexpected turn when he crossed paths with a real estate agent working in the same strip mall as the restaurant. The agent, curious about Eric's relentless work ethic and budding savings, broached the subject of real estate investing. Eric's response was candid; no one in his family had ever owned a home, let alone ventured into real estate investment. For some reason, the agent saw potential in Eric and began explaining the intricacies of the field and offered him the opportunity to invest in a project.  

With no experience and only $20,000 to his name, Eric took a leap of faith and invested his entire savings into the deal. The initial investment soon grew to $22,000 and that was all it took to ignite Eric's passion for real estate. Over the next few years, he participated in about ten more spec projects, all in partnership with the agent who had taken an interest in him. 

By the time he turned 22, Eric was ready for the next step in his journey. He decided to enter the world of real estate sales in addition to growing his investments. This decision marked the beginning of a remarkable explosion in his career. In his first year as a Keller Williams real estate agent, he won Southwest Regional Rookie of the Year, surpassing all other agents in homes sold. 

At 24, despite his young age, Eric had the chance to start his own real estate team, the Gedalje Group. Eric's most significant turning point came a year later when he became a 20% minority partner in a massive acre parcel project called "The Villas." This deal would prove to be a game-changing “three-way-kill,” creating a positive ripple effect in his career. Through this deal, Eric also secured a land investment, exclusive representation on the development, and a massive batch of new inventory for his team. "The Villas" project also paved the way for Eric's first foray into commercial real estate with the development of "toy storage," comprising 46 storage units.  

Since then, Eric has solidified himself as one of the most prominent storage developers in Mojave County with over 400 storage unit doors developed to date. 

For the past six years, the Gedalje Group has been the highest-producing sales team in all of Mojave County. 

Eric Gedalje

In 2023, Eric led the Gedalje Group to close approximately $220 million in sales volume, a remarkable testament to their continued success and growth. At the age of 31, Eric is just getting started.  

The composition of the Gedalje Group is diverse, ranging from 20-year-old rookies to seasoned professionals in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, each contributing their unique talents to the team's success. With a low turnover rate, the Gedalje Group has expanded its reach beyond Havasu to cover the entire Mojave County. 

In terms of personal investments, Eric's portfolio is robust including 20 rental doors, a 51-unit apartment complex, 14 vacant lots to be converted to spec homes, and more holdings on the horizon.  

Eric's story not only highlights the power of determination and hard work but also the significance of seizing opportunities when they arise. His journey from financial uncertainty to real estate magnate is nothing short of inspiring. His life experiences and achievements as a self-made, first-generation entrepreneur emphasize the dedication and work ethic needed to find success as quickly as Eric had.   

Additionally, Eric underscores the importance of not being afraid to take calculated risks in real estate.   

As he looks at the market trends from the past few years, Eric highlights several key factors that could shape the future trajectory. 

In 2020, the allure of historically low interest rates drove demand to unprecedented levels, resulting in historically low inventory levels in Havasu since everything flew off the market at record prices. In 2023, however, the local market saw a decline of about 18-20% due to the economic and interest rate fluctuations over the past few years. The Gedalje Group, under Eric’s leadership, has been able to maintain growth figures on par with that of 2021.  

 Eric remains optimistic about the demand for real estate in Mojave County due to its high quality of life, favorable property taxes, and unique investment opportunities. He notes the region's appeal to California buyers seeking affordable alternatives further bolsters this demand. 

Looking ahead to 2024, Eric speculates that if interest rates continue to decrease, the real estate market could experience a substantial price rise, potentially resembling the aggressive market conditions of 2020 and 2021. With that being said, he emphasizes the importance of preparedness and cautious financial planning, especially in an ever-changing and sometimes volatile market. 

To keep up with Eric Gedalje’s next moves and real estate takes, check out his Instagram and the Gedalje Group’s Instagram

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