Stars to Watch 2013: Scott Hartstein and Steve Milona

Co-Founders & Principals, Case Real Estate Capital L.L.C.

Memorable Achievements: Besides forming Case Real Estate Capital, the most memorable experience for Hartstein was to have the courage to walk away from “a comfortable job with a paycheck” to co-found his first company, SBL Capital, in 2003.

What Others Say About Them: When managing principal Sanford Herrick was looking to start a company, Hartstein and Milona “were the ones I went to.” Hartstein is “very loyal and extraordinarily hardworking. He would walk through a wall for Steve and myself. … Steve’s guidance on how to get things done is very valuable.” “They get the job done with great judgment and great expertise.”

Secrets to Success: “Know your market, know your market cold,” said Milona. The borrower may look to you to be collaborative with him, so market knowledge is important.  Also, “know your investors, and what they are interested in. Know your competition, and what differentiates you from your competition.” Speed of execution, pricing and the ability to close are also secrets to success.

Best Advice Received: “Be transparent with everyone—the borrowers, the investors—and not to sugar coat anything,” said Milona. “It is very important that you be upfront. There is no reason to be opaque about anything.”

Advice to Others: “Treat everyone with respect and be friendly no matter who they are,” said Hartstein. Very often in the real estate world, players are selectively respectful, depending on who will “help them get ahead,” said Hartstein. “The fact is, you do not know who will be your white knight.” In any case, to be respectful of everyone “is the right thing to do,” he said.

– Keat Foong

More details on the accomplishments of CPE’s 2013 Stars to Watch appeared in the May 2013 issue.