“I was born into real estate,” says Ivana Rose Bramson, a designer, creative director and brand manager/ambassador at GLB Properties, a Los Angeles-based property development, family investment office and management group that specializes in architecturally significant, luxury vintage apartments.
Bramson’s parents, Gene and Louise, founded GLB nearly a decade before Ivana was born, and she grew up watching her parents build the business.
While Bramson credits her parents as her mentors, she’s also put her creative stamp on GLB Properties. When vacancies mounted during the pandemic, Bramson tapped her passion for photography to highlight GLB’s distinctive properties and used social media to fill apartments faster than ever.
Bramson spoke with Story by J.P. Morgan about her strategy for standing out on in the market and how she and her family stick together while working together.
A: I was always creative and I always loved architecture, but my parents discouraged me from just going into the business immediately. I worked in PR, I assisted a lawyer, I tried a bunch of things but was always drawn back to more creative roles. In my early 20s, that brought me back to start working with my family.
A: We primarily invest in buildings from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s — vintage, historic properties, like prewar art deco, Spanish revival, French Normandy, old Hollywood — gem properties.
We say yes to properties other people have said no to because we can envision the potential. I have to give my dad credit for a lot of that, and I’ve soaked it up and now I know how to look for those things, too. Good bones, good location and hidden potential, as long as that’s there, we can renovate a property with our eyes closed.
A: Don’t try and post things that are already popular. This dare-to-be-different mentality, there’s a market for it. We keep it fresh and unique, we show things that aren’t expected.
I get so many messages from people saying, “I saw your Instagram and now I need to live in a vintage property. I’d been looking at modern places and nothing was speaking to me, and now I know why.” Sometimes you don’t know what you want until you see it.
Before Instagram, people would come to us and say, “Oh it’s old; I’m looking for something new.” Now we only get people who want our properties.
A: Seeing a completed project come to life after spending anywhere from a couple months to years working on it with my family and our amazing team. Everyone has their part to play in bringing a project from vision to reality. Also, seeing a new renter walk in to their new home after giving them keys and watching their face light up with excitement of what their future might hold in their new living space.
It’s also been fun to express myself creatively through our Instagram, through photography, light, color and detail. Instagram has become our main marketing tool.
I also love being able to connect with my dad through working on renovations and design. I’m learning from him, but he’s also learning from me.
A: We make it work, we have fun, we check in with each other. It is hard to separate the two. But I think that what’s fun about it is it’s very creative, it’s very exciting, there’s always something new going on.
We all have our own thing that we contribute to GLB and we come together very well. It’s an organic part of our lives, it’s like a family member we all love.
My dad is my biggest mentor. He created this business from absolutely nothing and I’m just lucky enough to come in and give it my millennial spin. He’s held my hand through a lot of things over the past decade, but he’s also given me a lot of creative control. But as far as the business and financial side of GLB, he’s still my mentor and I’m learning from him every day.
A: Stretch, coffee, and usually while I’m sipping my coffee I’ll answer GLB Instagram messages and emails. I’ll usually do a post and try and get that out of the way first thing in the morning. Then I’m usually off to a construction site to see how our projects are coming along.
A: The RealDeal and Bisnow — those are my top two. I also sometimes listen to Mottek on Money, which covers financial news in the Los Angeles area.
A: Europe. I love a challenge, and our buildings are about 100 years old, so I’d love a 300-year-old building or a castle in the countryside, something that would take the rest of my life to renovate. A Paris penthouse overlooking the Eiffel Tower with chevron floors and high ceilings and French windows, that’s the dream.