The ROCO story begins in 1991 on Michael Colman’s and Tyler Ross’ first day of kindergarten at Cranbrook Schools. The two went on to spend the next 13 years attending grade school together. Fast forward to after college; they both made their way back to Bloomfield Hills, MI to work at Edward Rose & Sons (Tyler’s family business). Founded in 1921, Edward Rose is one of the largest multifamily development and management companies in the country. As you can imagine, the firm is very established, well-run and disciplined. Michael and Tyler, being young, hungry and aggressive entrepreneurs, wanted to do things differently. Thus, with the blessing of Tyler’s family, they left and started their own real estate company.
As Michael and Tyler departed, they each recruited their younger brothers, David Colman and Evan Ross, to launch the business with them. At the time, David was working on the fixed income trading floor at BlackRock in NYC. He resigned, moved-back home and dived head first into helping build the business. Evan was and still is an opera singer that travels the world performing. He became a silent partner.
ROCO (ROss + COlman) Real Estate was founded in 2012 centered around four young entrepreneurs making waves in an old industry. They set out to treat their residents, employees, and Investor Partners the way they would want to be treated if the positions were reversed. Over the next four years, ROCO acquired 75 multifamily properties in tertiary markets at favorable cap rates. ROCO syndicated Investor equity on a deal-by-deal basis and utilized third party property management firms… 10 to be exact. As ROCO’s portfolio reached a critical mass of 15,000 apartment units across 9 states, it became clear to the Principals that they needed to control their own destiny and launch an in-house property management division.
On February 29, 2016, ROCO Management was established. The management division completely changed the composition of ROCO – growing from 9 employees to over 500. Looking back, this was the best strategic business decision ROCO made because it allowed them to build one ROCO culture and take advantage of their economies of scale.
Today, ROCO provides housing for over 60,000 people. Although the business has become more corporate over the years, the entrepreneurial spirit burns stronger than ever.