Michael Zaransky

Founder and Managing Principal


Michael Zaransky has a wide range of real estate, banking, and financial experience and has been a licensed Real Estate Broker since 1979. With nearly four decades of experience in real estate investment, Michael is the consummate investment professional. Currently, he runs two thriving firms: MZ Capital Partners, which seeks to acquire profitable, diverse holdings across a range of uses and specialties with a focus on Mid-Tier Class B apartment communities, and Prime Property Investors (PPI), whose properties include both comfortable, suburban apartments to healthcare facilities.

A self-made man, Michael Zaransky got his start by tapping into an underserved market: student housing. He noticed that even as higher education expanded dramatically, taking in millions more students across the country, housing remained scarce. As a result of his hard work and business acumen, Michael (along with his co-CEO) was able to grow PPI from a bold gamble on a niche market into a leading real estate investment company with a portfolio of holdings from Illinois to Texas. In 2007, PPI was recognized by Inc Magazine as an Inc 500 company–one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States.

In addition, Michael Zaransky has won a number of awards for rehabilitating older properties, including the Chicago Apartment Association’s Chicagoland Apartment Marketing and Management Excellence (CAMME) Award and Vintage Apartments of the Year Award; the Good Neighbor Award by the Chicago Association of REALTORS, and the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago’s Gold Key Design Awards. Because Michael understands the challenging housing rental market today, he is driven to provide affordable, highly livable apartments to middle-class Americans by restoring and refitting functional, if aging structures with modern amenities, layouts, and rooms.

Not content to stop there, Michael founded MZ Capital Partners in 2005 to provide equity and capital, and further explore the changing, shifting real estate market. With his long experience in multifamily homes and student rentals, Michael wanted to pivot to other segments of the market, seeking new leads and prospects for investors. Along with charting out new approaches to real estate investment, MZ Capital Partners will also cover aspects of the market where Michael made his name, including renovating and rebranding older properties, as well as niche housing.

Contrary to popular perceptions of tight-lipped businessmen, Michael Zaransky is quite keen on sharing his hard-won insights with both other investors and the general public at large. Michael has authored a number of books and articles on both investing in real estate (broadly), as well as investing in student housing (more specifically). He has also published numerous articles, and lectured nationally, on the subject of real estate investment. Michael’s real estate investment books Profit by Investing in Student Housing and Purchase Rehab, and Reposition Commercial Investment Property (both real estate category best sellers) were published by Kaplan Publishing and are sold in major bookstores and online booksellers. Michael has also been featured in the works of several major media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and MSNBC.

A native and longtime resident of Illinois, Michael Zaransky is deeply involved in the local community. He is a James Scholar graduate from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and received his JD from Northwestern University School of Law. He’s also an active member of several professional, community, and nonprofit associations, including the Urban Land Institute, the National Multifamily Housing Council, the National Apartment Association, and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO-Gold). He has been a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Chicago Association of Realtors and is the past Chairman of Commercial Forum, the Commercial Division of the Chicago Association of Realtor.

Additionally, Michael also currently occupies several leadership roles: he sits on the board of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and is the Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago/the Jewish United Fund, one of America’s leading charitable organizations.

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How The Holocaust Shaped My World View

by Michael Zaransky

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