Real estate is not easy. It's multidimensional, fast-paced, chaotic, and—especially in the multifamily arena—extraordinarily competitive. Each year yields fresh goals for national and regional operations, and a new batch of young, driven execs rises to the occasion to develop them.

While their talents are different and their roles vary, these five multifamily executives have one thing in common: They're all 40 or under and wouldn't dream of thinking inside the box. They start companies from scratch, establish dynamic professional partnerships, and find fruitful investments and influential developments. Hardworking and creative, these people are the kind of employees that propel their companies to success.

Just as their talents differ, so do their backgrounds. With degrees in accounting, economics, French, business administration, and finance, these up-and-comers have the diverse knowledge base and know-how to do great things for the industry.

Meet the new order.

Derek Kahn, Lane Co.

Karen Kossow, Kettler Management

John Hogan, Viscaya Development Group

Ben Pislak, Gables Residential

Erik Kaiser, Remi Cos.