Uruguay and Eastern Europe are two “off-the-radar” destinations that Guy Smilovich has made real estate investments. As president and founder of H Smilovich Business Tax, Sterling Holdings Inc, and Europacific Capital Holdings, feeling a connection with the people and history is a prime consideration for Smilovich when making overseas investments. The developer also owns real estate assets in New York City, Cleveland, and Miami. “At this point in my career, I am focused on philanthropic deeds, says Smilovich. “Identifying people and organizations that need charitable contributions, from hunger to poverty is my mission.”
Here are 6 questions for the successful entrepreneur on traveling; making investments overseas; and giving back:
1. You moved to the U.S. from Israel many years ago and built your real estate business from the ground up. What were some of your most defining moments of being a true self-starter?
“My defining moment as a self-starter was when I made my first real estate purchase which was a condominium in Sutton Place,” says Smilovich. “I loved New York City then just like I do now. I love the history of the city and all the beauty the city has to offer.”
2. You own H. Smilovich Business Tax and Sterling Holdings, Inc., tax and real estate businesses. What is it like to be successful in two different industries?
“I enjoy being involved in different areas of business,” says Smilovich. “I diversify my work and learn from the various markets that I work with. To manage money and invest is very competitive but when you master that skill it is very rewarding. For example, when I work with high net worth clients in finance, tax consulting, and investing in real estate is a good combination to create wealth in the long term.”
3. You own residential properties in the world, from Uruguay to Eastern Europe. How do you decide where to invest in international markets?
“My view is that having a global view is very important as the world is not just the USA,” expresses Smilovich. “When I decide on real estate in a different country, I need to like the people, the places, the history, and economic and social stability. I prefer inequality to be low where I invest, and the real estate itself needs to be in a good location. Rate of return is very important. Additionally, it is important for me to be able to manage the property remotely. I enjoy working with properties that are leased for a long time, such as to a big company or government agency.”
4. One of the biggest products of your success is starting the Holocaust Survivors Foundation in 2018. What was your mission behind this philanthropic endeavor?
“The mission for me and my partner is to help the old survivors that were left behind without any family and without help from the government,” says Smilovich. “These people needed help financially and mentally, and the mission is to help them lead healthy and fruitful lives after they suffered such tragedy.”
5. Your new goal is to identify people and organizations that need charitable contributions, ranging from hunger to poverty. Why is this of ultimate importance to you at this point in your career?
“This goal is very important to me because God gave me health and success so that I can help other people,” says Smilovich. “I think it is the true mission that all humans should hold in their lives. Helping others is the most rewarding thing for me. Helping others is something you can do every day and it is always a great feeling and is the reason to wake up every day and it helps me succeed.”
6. What advice would you give young millennials that want to start their own businesses and become financially independent?
“I would tell them to always trust themselves and to tell the truth. It’s also important to learn from others who can help guide you,” says Smilovich. “I would advise them to get educated which will help with good decision making. I started my career having very little and relied on my education and advice from others to make positive decisions. I would also tell the millennials to respect their parents and their family and to always help people and to be generous.”