Neil Shekhter – CEO & Founder of NMS Properties, Inc.


Neil Shekhter is the CEO and Founder of NMS Properties, Inc., a Los Angeles based property management company.  NMS’s portfolio of mixed use commercial and multi-family buildings are well-known in populated Southern California locales such as Santa Monica, the Wilshire Corridor, Brentwood, Sawtelle Japantown and the San Fernando Valley.

Neil Shekhter and NMS Properties are known for developing “modern luxury” apartment homes in highly desirable areas that are walkable and central to large employers, schools, colleges, shopping, and dining. Shekhter’s developments include luxury finishes such as stainless steel appliances, attractive bathroom tiling, and modern finishes throughout. Spacious closets and pet-friendly rental options have also become a core trait of apartment buildings that Neil Shekhter is associated with.

Neil Shekhter’s Beginnings

While you may have heard Neil Shekhter’s name in local media or are familiar with his company logo, many do not know much about this exceedingly private entrepreneur and business owner.  In fact, many may make assumptions based on the current success of the company that would never guess that Neil Shekhter had exceptionally modest beginnings as a young refugee seeking to achieve the American dream.

From Soviet Refugee to CEO

The story of how Neil Shekhter became one of the most prominent real estate developers within the Santa Monica area has a rather interesting yet humble beginning. Neil Shekhter’s entrepreneurial journey begins quite far from his current home in Los Angeles, in the country of Ukraine.  Ukraine is a sovereign state in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the east and northeast, Belarus to the northwest, Poland and Slovakia to the west, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 233,062 square miles, making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world. It currently has a population of about 44.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world.

Life Before Los Angeles

Neil Shekhter was born in the early 1960’s Soviet Russia, in the city that is now known as Lviv, Ukraine. Neil grew up in less-than-ideal circumstances under Soviet oppression.  One example of his underprivileged background includes the story of how one of his only, and most cherished, “toys” growing up was unexpectedly a family chicken. Common items that we know in America to be a part of everyday life were often considered luxuries that many who resided within Ukraine could not afford. Items such as a basic pair of jeans were typically too expensive for the average Ukrainian family to afford.  Life in the Soviet was anything but easy for those who grew up during the time that Neil Shekhter did.

Seeking to earn a better life, Shekhter and his family fled Ukraine with hopes of building a new life in America. The journey was not an easy one, as he and his family faced a few time-consuming setbacks before they were finally able to settle in the United States.

With aid from the Jewish Federations of North America, Neil Shekhter arrived in the United States at the age of 17. He lived in West Hollywood with his mother and grandparents.  Neil and his family joined an entire community that was largely comprised of Russian Jews who had also fled Soviet oppression.

New Beginnings in America – The Journey Begins with a Single Step…

Arriving in America was essentially the first step of many that would eventually lead to Neil Shekhter’s success in real estate. Just as many others do when they arrive from another country, Neil had to begin working his way up from arriving in a completely new place with very little to his name in terms of monetary resources. Neil began his working life within the U.S. as a taxi cab driver. A few years of conscientiously saving money resulted in Neil’s ability to purchase a few taxi cab vehicles of his own, with the goal of starting his first company. His taxi cab company was successful, and he was able to begin his new career as an American entrepreneur.

It is not uncommon to hear people state that entrepreneurs are simply “lucky” people, or that entrepreneurs become successful due to having a good life and easy opportunities handed to them. Neither of these scenarios accurately describe Neil Shekhter’s life experiences as an entrepreneur and business owner. Neil’s hard work and determination were two of the key factors to his success. These two traits allowed Neil to begin his business within the real estate industry by the mid-1980’s. He initially purchased an auto center, thus beginning the first of many real estate ventures that later became known as NMS Properties, Inc.

The Beginning of NMS Properties

It was also during this time that Neil married his wife and began a family of his own. As a dedicated husband and father, he and his wife continued to work diligently on acquiring real estate and providing high-quality rental housing to renters in the Los Angeles area. Mr. and Mrs. Shekhter had acquired and managed various types of real estate including single-family homes. Naturally, their passion for real estate cultivated into multi-family residential properties with a focus on the more sought-after locations within Los Angeles. This love of multi-family real estate with an emphasis on providing the highest quality of living is what NMS Properties, Inc. eventually became recognized for.

After narrowing his focus to multi-family real estate, Neil began to develop his own residential properties and buildings in Downtown Santa Monica. After purchasing prime locations near the world-famous Santa Monica Pier, he was able to begin constructing his own properties, just steps from the beautiful beaches of Santa Monica. NMS Properties was now gaining recognition as a development company who created beautiful and modern buildings with incredible amenities.

Neil Shekhter and Santa Monica Developments

Among the first of the Santa Monica developments was NMS 1539 on 1539 4th street. This attractive building is located across the street from the 3rd Street Promenade. The NMS 1539 building features a uniquely modern design, with bright and cheerful exterior hues. The interiors of the apartment homes feature large windows, modern layouts, gourmet kitchens, and a friendly on-site concierge. NMS 1539 was later equipped with additional rental units that featured loft-style layouts, which are perfect for those who prefer to live where they work.

Neil Shekhter’s Role in Santa Monica Affordable Housing

Neil Shekhter has also played an integral role in developing affordable housing for the residents of Santa Monica. The demand for affordable rentals in Santa Monica is consistently high, and it is always growing.  Neil decided that he would develop quality, affordable rentals to help meet this demand. Among his notable developments are the affordable apartment communities at Olympic Studios, and Olympic Studio Lofts. These modern apartment homes have gone on to benefit hundreds of Santa Monica inhabitants who were in need of a less expensive Santa Monica living option.