About Us

GVA Real Estate Group is an Austin-based vertically integrated real estate company committed to creating value in the multi-family real estate sector. GVA specializes in conventional as well as affordable opportunities, paying particular attention to expanding sub-markets. Through owning and managing a diverse set of assets, GVA accomplishes the challenging feat of simultaneously mitigating risk while tapping into market upside.

At GVA we are detail-oriented and meticulous in our culture. Equipped with a keen sense of evolving trends, we are able to consistently identify opportunities that yield profit and produce long-term value. Our directive is to add value, improve communities, while increasing investor’s equity returns safely. Efficiency, innovation, growth and care, these are the core qualities that strengthen the foundation of all that we do at GVA.

Investment Strategy

At GVA, our investment strategy is simple: find opportunities that can yield above market cash flow once stabilized while generating capital appreciation in the short and long term. GVA has the experience to quickly recognize opportunities and long standing relationships with capital sources to effectively close on properties in a timely manner. GVA is able to utilize our existing property management team to recognize operational inefficiencies and maximize investor returns. The GVA team believes multi-family residents appreciate and will pay for modern style at affordable prices, close proximity to jobs and school, and well-maintained complexes with curb appeal. Once in place, you create long term value while mitigating investor downside risk, while improving communities.

We evaluate investment opportunities and select those possessing the most of the following characteristics:

  • Significant discount to replacement cost
  • Repositioning through capital value-add programs
  • Off-market or limited marketed transactions
  • Growing and emerging growth sub-markets
  • Absent owners missing market trends
  • Operational efficiencies with our dedicated property management team

Property Management

Creating an exceptional living experience…one resident at a time

GVA Property Management is a leader in the multi-family industry by providing quality-living and memorable experiences for our residents. By combining thoughtfully designed interiors with attention to detail and amenities tailored for your lifestyle with superior customer service.

A result-oriented company who invests not only in our assets, but also our team members providing a company culture that encourages balance, development and growth.


Demonstrating a genuine passion to show up every day with a can-do attitude, being mindful of our choices and the overall impact we have on every resident. Everyday.


Conducting our business with honesty, transparency and a commitment to be better today than we were yesterday. Everyday.


Having a thoughtful approach and taking time to listen, applying consideration and attention to every situation. Everyday.


Possessing honesty and integrity; honest with ourselves and those we interact with in every way. Everyday.


Above all; respect for our residents, our teammates, our business partners and ourselves. To appreciate diversity in everyone. Everyday.



Kara Garst brings over 20 years of operations leadership and experience within the multi-family industry. Most recently, Kara served as Director of Operations at a start-up company, that she built from the ground up. Kara began her career working for over 14 years at UDR, a Real Estate Investment Trust. Kara Garst has served as the President of the Austin Apartment Association, 2009-2010. In 2010, Kara was awarded the Regional Supervisor of the Year for both the State of Texas and the nation (Rita Kirby Award, TAA and Paragon Award, NAA). Kara is a Lyceum Graduate and holds her CAPS designation.

Kara Garst
President of Operations

Leah Bush is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and is a CPA. Leah has 30 years of industry accounting experience in a variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, healthcare services, and hospitality. She has held a variety of positions ranging from sole contributor to accounting management and Controllership. Leah brings a strong accounting and financial analysis skill set with outstanding communication and leadership skills. Leah’s finance shared services experience provides a solid foundation for a highly efficient operation with sound internal controls.

Leah Bush

Bryan Harvey is Acquisitions Manager of GVA real estate group. Prior to GVA, Bryan worked in Holliday Fenoglio Fowler’s Austin office, and at Lincoln Financial Group in Commercial Mortgage Loan Production, based in Greensboro, North Carolina. Bryan holds a B.S. degree in Economics, Finance and Accounting from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Bryan Harvey
Acquisitions Manager

Eric Lodge is an Acquisitions Analyst for GVA, where he is involved in multifamily underwriting and asset management. Prior to joining GVA, Eric worked for SureTec Insurance and Zurich North America, where he underwrote Commercial Surety bonds. Eric holds an MBA from the Acton School of Business and his undergraduate degree in Business from Texas Christian University. He enjoys playing golf, hunting, fishing and traveling with his wife, Amanda.

Eric Lodge
Acquisitions Analyst

Toni has been active in the multifamily industry since 1990 and has experience with new construction, development, conventional property management and student housing. Her long-term focus is in acquisitions and renovations. Toni holds her Certified Apartment Manager (CAM), and Certified Apartment Property Supervisor (CAPS) designations. She is equally adept at managing operations and leasing programs from the ground up in a variety of project types. Toni is an experienced leader and highly skilled at overseeing large portfolios.

Toni Boyette
Regional Property Manager

Tommie Haywood began his career in the multifamily industry in 2004 straight from the United States Marine Corps. Tommie holds his CAMT and OSHA certification, as well as his CPO and EPO certification. Tommie is responsible for several aspects of maintenance ranging from compliance and safety issues, managing extensive renovation programs, training and development, vendor relations and negotiations, asset preservation projects and expense-control throughout the portfolio.

Tommie Haywood Jr.
Regional Service Manager