Developer Adam Milstein on What it Takes to Make it in Real Estate

Adam Milstein is a real estate developer based in Southern California. Born in Israel, Milstein fought in the Yom Kippur War before earning his degree in 1978. He moved to the United States with his family in the early 80s, earning an MBA from the University of Southern California. According to Adam Milstein, after finishing graduate school, he was unhappy with the job offers he received. Recruiters didn’t value his life experience and knowledge, so he hung his own shingle as a real estate broker and later became a partner in a real estate development firm called Hager Pacific Properties.


Milstein says that when you first strike out on your own in business, it’s hard to know what your day-to-day work will be like, because everyday is likely to be a challenge. However, as the business grows you can give your day more structure. The key in Milstein’s view is to keep going until your goals come true. In other words, if it’s impossible, don’t bother with it, but once you decide it’s doable, Milstein thinks you should go ahead and continue until you accomplish it.


One of the reasons that Milstein chose real estate is the excitement of the market. The market is constantly alternating between a buyer’s and seller’s market, and understanding that is a major part of how to make money in real estate. He notes that it takes a very long time to become successful in the field, which is why he cites persistence as the most important habit he possesses.

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