Tim Milazzo
January 7, 2020

In many ways, real estate is all about ownership. In commercial real estate finance circles, however, we rarely use the term “owner” when referring to a person who owns a building. That’s because there’s complexity to the capital stack (the sum total of all monies used to invest in a property), and the word owner can actually be ambiguous. We use the term “sponsor” when referring to a person who owns or is buying a controlling stake in a property.

A real estate sponsor is the person or entity that is ultimately responsible for the building. They choose to buy it, determine the business plan, bring in the rest of the capital, and lead the execution of the plan. A sponsor may not bring much (or any) of the actual cash to the deal, but it’s their deal, their decision.

StackSource, like many platforms, brokers, and service providers in commercial real estate, does not act as a Sponsor — we don’t own real estate. Our clients do. These clients come to us for a specific service: arranging the best financing possible for their commercial property. To accomplish this, we need to exercise a spirit of Ownership.


noun : an attitude of accepting responsibility for something and taking control of how it develops

similar : responsibility

While we don’t take ownership of the real estate in our transactions, we choose to take ownership over our piece of the process. We can control our own work and the outcomes we strive for. Our clients want us to get them great financing; we take responsibility for doing so.

I look for a mindset of ownership right from the interview process at StackSource. I think it’s easy to show up for an interview and answer questions about yourself. I’ve added steps into the interviewing process that require candidates to complete tasks and then follow up to get back in touch, particularly for Capital Advisor roles. Once we hire someone and they start working with sponsors and lenders, they’ll need that mindset to navigate the common ambiguity of real estate deals that are coming together.

A sense of ownership comes hand in hand with maturity. It’s a consistent theme in the types of personal development plans espoused by successful real estate investors and entrepreneurs. We are not all victims of circumstance. We can’t control everything around us, but we can choose to accept the responsibility for achieving our own goals. We may not achieve every one of those goals, but taking ownership is a core tenant in a successful mindset.

Find the right commercial real estate financing with StackSource by getting instantly matched to the best debt and equity options for your project from our nationwide network of capital sources. 

Our expert Capital Advisors help you secure your ideal capital stack, resulting in a lower cost of capital for your investments in less time and with more transparency than a traditional commercial mortgage brokerage. Learn more at StackSource.com.