First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Raj Tut: All things considered, we are doing well. We welcomed our daughter into this world during the height of the pandemic, so that was an interesting experience and one that we will surely never forget.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Gateway Multifamily.
Raj Tut: I named the company after the tallest structure in St. Louis but came up with the idea below ground in the basement apartment I rented while I was in college. Based on others’ and my experiences, I realized many inefficiencies that led landlords to have horrible customer experiences and products – which would be the properties themselves.
In 2013, I left Canada and immigrated to the “land of opportunity” – ultimately opting to call the St. Louis region home. With limited resources and no connections, I started Gateway with the acquisition of a single mobile home.
The first year was challenging. I was 22 years old and had to improve many general skills required to be an entrepreneur and more defined skills necessary to be in the multifamily space. Not a day went by where I wasn’t questioning myself and thinking of getting a 9-5.
How does Gateway Multifamily innovate?
Raj Tut: We are vertically integrated and innovative in our approach to the branding, operations, and renovations of sub-institutional scale multifamily communities.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Raj Tut: We’ve had to focus more on our virtual and digital experience. It’s difficult, but we are doing well so far.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Raj Tut: We had to decide early on to work with our residents during trying times. It’s a decision that came easy to us, but the impacts can be hard on the company. Ultimately, we put people before profits, and it has actually paid off in that we earned loyalty amongst our renter bases.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Gateway Multifamily in the future?
Raj Tut: I have a very supportive family and work on personal development quite a bit. I like to believe I am a different and mentally stronger person every 6 months. I think this mentality helps the company as a whole because we are constantly looking at ways to improve and grow.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Raj Tut: We will continue to focus on providing the best renting experience possible. The rest will take care of itself.
Your final thoughts?
Raj Tut: Thank you for featuring me in your publication. I am truly grateful.