Artem Tepler, founder of development firm Schon Tepler, dies at 41

Russian immigrant made his first housing investment when he was 23

Housing Developer Artem Tepler Dies at 41
Schon Tepler's Artem Tepler (X, formerly known as Twitter)

Artem Tepler, a co-founder of multifamily developer and investor Schon Tepler, died by suicide Wednesday. He was 41.

“We have lost one of the most amazing humans,” Paul Schon, who helped found Schon Tepler, said on a GoFundMe page. “We were all touched by him in many incredible ways.”

“Artem was the most generous and giving man, especially when it came to real estate,” Schon said in an interview. 

He got on the phone with “everyone,” Schon said, sharing models, information he’d read from books and generally educating people on real estate. 

“A great man,” Schon said.

Tepler was from Siberia, the son of a car salesman and the grandson of a member of the Russian military. He moved to the U.S. from the Russia in 1991, when he was 9 years old. 

“What America means to me, it’s the complete land of opportunity, where you can grow and scale your business without worrying about going to jail,” Tepler said on a podcast earlier this year. “Everything is possible here.” 

He studied finance at Rutgers Business School in New Jersey, during which time he formed his own real estate investment firm to buy up distressed residential properties in New Jersey and Florida. 

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Tepler made his first investment at 23 — a $300,000 single-family home. 

After graduation, he moved to L.A. — “strictly for the weather,” he once said. He formed Schon Tepler in 2009 with the idea of buying, renovating and selling multifamily properties that had become distressed during the financial crisis.

Schon Tepler started adding branches, including a property management division and a construction arm. The firm also started an affiliate for construction and permanent financing. 

The company has completed 22 ground-up multifamily developments across L.A., four custom homes, four mixed-use projects and more than 100 renovations of single-family rentals, duplexes and triplexes, according to its website. 

On Twitter, the platform now known as X, Tepler was known for handing out advice to other multifamily developers, brokers and investors — and sharing personal stories.

“I will forever be grateful to my father, who left everything behind and brought me to this amazing country when I was in 4th grade,” he wrote in July. “I’m blessed to have all the opportunities in this amazing country.”

He is survived by his daughter and his fiancée. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health or suicide crisis or emotional distress, reach out 24/7 to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing or texting 988 or using chat services at suicidepreventionlifeline.org to connect to a trained crisis counselor. You can also get crisis text support through the National Alliance on Mental Illness by texting NAMI to 741741.