The resilience Stephen Bittel has had in the commercial real estate realm has kept his business afloat for over 41 years now. Stephen Bittel founded his commercial real estate firm, Terranova Corporation, with a negative net while pursuing law. By the time he graduated from Miami School of Law with a law degree and passed the bar, his company had already started taking root in the commercial real estate industry. Although it was expected that he would follow his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps of being a lawyer, he defied this and opted to venture into business.
Before starting his business, he had worked at a commercial real estate firm where he was earning based on commission. His interest and passion for this business made him start his own company. Stephen Bittel’s financial management strategy of managing balance sheets made his business stay afloat during this time. His business picked, and by the end of the 1980s, he had found an office location. He, therefore, moved the business from his home office.
During the same decade, there was a crash in the housing market. The crash led to the crash in the weight of mortgage rates that saw many commercial real estate owners lose their properties to banks and insurance companies. The banks took over their commercial property management since they had defaulted in mortgage payments. Stephen Bittel took advantage of this opportunity and offered property management services to these financial institutions. The funds from these services were used to sustain his business at this time.
Other recessions hit the real estate market. However, the persistence of Stephen Bittel in this market made him take advantage of these turbulent times and better his business. By 2014, Terranova Company hit the papers due to the significant sale it had made that year of $342 million, making it the biggest sale yet in Southern Florida at the time.