MHN interviews Josh Koppel, CPM, president, HSC Management Corp. in Yonkers, N.Y.
MHN: How did you get into the multifamily industry?
Koppel: I started working with my father-in-law, Howard S. Cohen. He had a passion for the business. It was contagious.
MHN: If you weren’t in multifamily, what would you be doing?
Koppel: I am certain it would be in the field of finance.
MHN: Who has been the biggest inspiration during your career?
Koppel: My father-in-law Howard S. Cohen, because he built everything that he had by himself. No one gave him a thing. He had to work for it. His drive and motivation were beyond what a normal person could fathom. It didn’t matter how many times he lost or was told no, he just kept going. The biggest part of his inspiration was his honesty and integrity. He never took anything from anyone, not even a cup of coffee. Even though I was his son-in-law he treated me like a son. He was tough on me and never gave me an inch. Because of that I am the man I am today. I can look in the mirror and smile, and I can rest at night knowing I did the right thing. Every day I strive to do better to make him proud.
MHN: (In terms of work) What keeps you up at night?
Koppel: I manage many low-income properties, so money is always an issue. This is true more than ever, because water, sewer, property taxes and fuel prices are going through the roof.
MHN: What’s the best part of your workday?
Koppel: Accomplishing what everyone else thinks is impossible. Helping people ranks high in this area.
MHN: What one story in your career stands out in your mind?
Koppel: I was hired by a very large development company to manage a luxury high-rise property—my first building of this type. There were many issues related to the construction. I sent the developer a certified letter putting them on notice of a condition. I was called into their office so that I could be told who do you think you am sending a certified letter to them. I told them my job was to protect the individual owners and I will not sweep things under the rug no matter who you are. Several days later my management was terminated. About a year went by and the real estate bubble burst and the very same company went bankrupt. It is four years later and we are doing better than we were then.
MHN: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Koppel: Expanding HSC Management. Ten years? Still expanding HSC Management for the next generation to take over. I see myself still striving to show our clients and potential clients the professionalism, honesty, integrity and fairness that we have shown for the past 35 years. A positive work environment for our employees is also a key to our success. I will never stop trying to do better and never stop trying to grow HSC Management. I will continue to charge!
MHN: What advice would you give another that you wish someone would had said to you?
Koppel: The best advice I received from my father-in-law was “be honest and fair in your dealings with people. Reputation is everything.” By following this rule, everything falls into place.