Although Leonia-based Monticello Management, Inc. is a fairly new property management company, the people behind the company have a lifetime (or two) of real estate experience between them.
"I spent the first 20 years of my career as a financial officer on one end of New York City," says Monticello's co-founder and president Robin Habacht. "On the other end of the city there was a director of engineering and property manager named Paul DePetro, who had spent 20 years of his career working for Cushman Wakefield and Helmsley Spear—two of the largest management companies in the world."
In 2003, a property management company came up for sale and Habacht and DePetro decided to leave their respective positions to form a partnership as owners of the company. However, things didn't work out as planned.
"With my years in finance and Paul's years of property management, it looked like a great opportunity," Habacht said. "But after months of negotiations, the deal with the property management company fell through. But I already picked up two clients and Paul was committed to the venture."
Rather than look for another firm for sale, they decided to found their own company. Monticello Management was born—with just those two clients to start. Since then however, things have definitely changed for the better. With a main office in Leonia, and another in Morganville, the company currently serves 25 client properties, representing more than 2,500 individual property owners, and is expanding with a third office buy the end of 2006.