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Real Estate REality Check | Real Estate & Business Career Success Education and Training
55 minutes | a day ago
Episode 062: David Schechtman
Today on Real Estate REality Check, I have a rather easy assignment, given that I am going to attempt the not-so-impossible by bringing our guest out from his shell. The not-so-shy, the always informative and truly effervescent reformed yet long recovered attorney, who is now the Senior Executive Managing Director of Investment Sales for Meridian Capital Group, spends his days not only representing many of the name players in our industry, but also the true stars and integral backbones of NYC, namely the mom-and-pop owners of multifamily, industrial, office and retail properties. Yes my real estate brethren, I give to you the one and (definitely) the only David Schechtman. Thanks for joining us my friend, just a few days after your recovery from a perspective changing moment in your life which we will get to a bit later ... needless to say David, we have some things to talk about, here beside the rising and to many, not so rising tide of real estate, life and the consequential tumult from the pandemic.
52 minutes | a month ago
Episode 061: Chris Weilminster
Today we are fortunate to have with us on Real Estate REality Check someone who I consider to be (pun intended) not only on the cutting, suburban and urban edge of real estate professionally speaking, but also, without dating myself too much, a friend whose persona reminds me of the title of the 1980’s song “Cool Cat” by Freddie Mercury and Queen ... yes my real estate brethren, I give to you the Executive Vice President and COO of Urban Edge Properties, Chris Weilminster.
78 minutes | a month ago
Episode 060: Adelaide Polsinelli and Robin Abrams
Today we have with us on Real Estate REality Check, two renowned leaders who have played an integral role during their illustrious careers in making a difference for their clients, those that they work with, as well as for the CRE industry, namely the dynamic duo and vice chairpersons of investment sales and retail leasing, respectively, for Compass, my dear friends Adelaide Polsinelli and Robin Abrams. Thank you so much for joining us, and for being the charter members of our new series called “The Mothers of REinvention,” which plays off of the name of music legend Frank Zappa’s old band, “The Mothers of Invention.”
42 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 059: Richard Sarkis
Today on Real Estate REality Check we have with us someone who less than a decade ago took on a U2 like “I Will Follow” mindset when it came to his passion to make something out of nothing, notwithstanding that at the time, he then possessed the equivalent of the title of an Elvis Costello song called “Less Than Zero” when it came to his base of knowledge in the world of CRE. In spite of those challenges, he went on to build a “value-added tech driven data engine employing sophisticated algorithms and artificial intelligence” that some may describe as a “CRE data democracy.” He did (and I may add, continues to do) so by not only subconsciously embracing the song titles “Harder Better Stronger Faster” by Daft Punk and "It's in the Way That You Use It" by Eric Clapton, but also by heeding the wisdom of, among others, Jeff Bezos and his “Day 1” mindset, so as to minimize the chances of Reonomy meeting up with the business equivalent of the schoolyard bully who wants to take its lunch and give them a metaphorical wedgie, to that of Ben Franklin’s mantra of “Diligence is the mother of good luck,” and W.B. Yeats as well, who said “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven't yet met,” all of which he employed to ultimately co-found Reonomy (which, as a consequence of a networking play date, with props out to an old Grateful Dead tune and his co-founder, because “Mr. Charlie” told him so). I give to you my real estate brethren, from the streets of London, the one language shy of being a polyglot and the man who had the business he co-founded in college become the subject of a 60 Minutes segment, the truly fascinating CEO of Reonomy, my new friend Rich Sarkis.
68 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 058: Bill Abramson
Today we have with us a native New Yorker possessing a multitude of degrees, the first being that of street smarts earned while pounding the pavement of NYC, followed by a degree in Psychology from Boston University, a Master of Arts in Sports Management from NYU, and then in community service, including his 9 years as a senior member of the management team which helped establish Chelsea Piers as the third largest tourist attraction in New York City. Bill Abramson, in line with the Muhammad Ali mantra of “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth,” has served as Co-Chairperson of the Union Square Partnership and Treasurer of The Village Alliance among many other community minded endeavors, is the Director of Brokerage for the renowned full service management and brokerage firm Buchbinder & Warren.
69 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 057: Alyssa Zahler
Today we are fortunate enough to have with us on Real Estate REality Check someone who has personified my Albert Einstein (“Try not to be a man [or woman] of success, rather be a man [or woman] of value”), Snoop Dogg (“Master your craft”), Drake (“Started From the Bottom”) and Beastie Boys (“Skills to Pay the Bills”) mantras, yes my real estate brethren, Alyssa Zahler. Alyssa, who over her career has built a foundation of knowledge, experiences and relationships working in production on programs and for media companies such as Hardball with Chris Matthews, the Beijing Olympics, CNN, and Bloomberg LP, parlayed those experiences by joining Newmark’s commercial leasing department. Once there, she played an integral role in growing the development portfolios of a number of landlords, while simultaneously representing high growth companies in the media and technology spaces. In early 2020, Alyssa parlayed her skillset to become the Director of Commercial Leasing for Brooklyn based and family owned Two Trees Management, owners of a $4 billion real estate portfolio containing among other properties, 3MM square feet of office, retail and industrial product.
42 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 056: Andrew Rigie
After a nearly 7-month hiatus, I am happy to have on as my first guest back on Real Estate REality Check someone who I consider to be the equivalent of the Pulp Fiction character Winston Wolf when it comes to making a difference for the restaurant industry that has been, in the words of Mick Jagger, absolutely “SHATTERED” by the impact of COVID-19. Even if you have been doing your best impression of “The Bubble Boy” character from Seinfeld, Andrew Rigie, the Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, has been like Elvis Presley ... you know, as in EVERYWHERE, as he goes about channeling Winston Wolf’s mantra of “I solve problems” for the 100’s of thousands of NYC restaurant workers that have been devastated by the pandemic. Andrew knows that without food and beverage coming back to being an integral part of our lives and the fabric that makes NYC so great, the road to recovery is going to be a long and treacherous one.
61 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 055: Willy Walker
PODCAST RECORDED ON March 3, 2020 Introduction: Willy Walker, an avid skier, cyclist, family man and Boston Marathon runner who once clocked in with an outstanding time of 2:36, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Walker & Dunlop, one of the largest commercial real estate finance companies in the United States. I came away from my hour long chat with Willy recognizing that I was not only a bit smarter from it, given some of the pearls of wisdom he threw my way, but also cognizant of his passion to make a difference and his conscious and/or subconscious belief in two quotes and a song title that I believe play an integral part in one’s path to success ... namely that of “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard” (Kevin Durant), “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle” (Honest Abraham Lincoln), and “Can’t Knock the Hustle” (Jay-Z). Episode Notes: At 0:55, Willy Walker discusses planting seeds and his empowering chat with Jim Collins, author of the bestselling book Good to Great. At 2:52, Willy touches upon Walker & Dunlop acquiring and integrating companies and human capital being the real value in its business. At 4:34, Walker shares Colin Powell’s thoughts on decision making and taking calculated risks. At 5:46, he dives into taking Walker & Dunlop public in 2010. At 7:40, Willy speaks on change, opportunity and “countercyclical moves.” At 13:05, Walker addresses culture and scaling at Walker & Dunlop, and informs us of a past “cancer” within the organization. At 16:38, he chats about the recent acquisition of Aaron Appel’s AKS Capital Partners team. At 19:44, Willy provides some negotiation pointers and explains the importance of watching and listening. At 23:49, Walker dishes on adding value and his passion for the business. At 27:07, he talks about Walker & Dunlop’s range of clients, understanding the time value of money and taking care and upgrading assets. At 32:17, Willy voices his thoughts on diversity in the workplace and the pertitance of building a “bench” through recruitment and investment. At 36:14, Walker chats about networking and maintaining relationships. At 41:36, Walker dishes on his “no phone policy” during meetings, and discusses his retreat last year where he “learned to unplug.” At 46:42, Willy dives into Walker & Dunlop’s partnership with GeoPhy through artificial intelligence and machine learning. At 50:35, Walker believes that tough times increase collaboration, while allowing one to see what someone is actually made of. At 55:08, Willy Walker closes out the podcast sharing part of his recent conversation with Jim Collins, and discusses Walker & Dunlop making calculated bets.
44 minutes | a year ago
Episode 054: Matt Giffune
Introduction: Although stated in a different context by David Byrne recently during his hit Broadway show American Utopia, Matt Giffune, the co-founder of Occupier, does have a bit in common with Mr. Byrne when it comes to the benefits of collaboration. Just as David said, “By giving more, I get more,” the same can be said of the benefits that a user receives from Occupier's online deal and portfolio management collaboration software for tenants of commercial space. Episode Notes: At 1:52, Matt Giffune opens up the podcast with his thoughts on “getting small wins” and “playing the long game.” At 3:24, Matt touches upon mastering the fundamentals, always believing that he is “still at the bottom,” and his mentality that there’s always room for improvement. At 6:24, Giffune notes his previous role as broker in Boston, along with the inefficiencies that exist within the industry. At 8:03, he talks about leaving JLL and his transition to working at VTS. At 9:54, Matt dives into how Occupier came to fruition, and how it filled a hole in the marketplace. At 12:32, Giffune explains how Occupier’s product differentiates itself from its competitors. At 14:43, he shares how technology has changed and allows him to stay hyper-connected to anything he cares about. At 17:46, Matt notions that spreadsheets are “dangerous” if not used for the right application. At 19:21, Giffune speaks on how Occupier provides a medium for real estate professionals to “do the right thing” with the leasing process. At 22:17, he gives his take on the PropTech sector of the industry. At 24:44, Matt mentions how working at VTS provided the opportunity for him to step outside of his “broker skin,” and exposed him to see how other companies operate. At 27:06, Giffune elaborates on developing relationships and being a big believer in serendipity, by sharing a story from his brokerage days. At 29:38, he touches upon WeWork and the realm of co-working. At 33:22, Matt suggests that there is “no magic pill” to take to be successful in the real estate industry, and instead believes that one must “absorb, listen, and ask.” At 35:23, Giffune credits his wife for being his safety net in life, and his dad for being a great sounding board for him to bounce ideas off of. At 39:50, Matt dishes on failure, the willingness to make mistakes, and the need for one to place themselves in the “pain cave” in order to grow. At 41:48, Matt Giffune closes out the podcast on how he wants to be remembered: He hopes that people think that he treated them with respect, and that he had great taste in music.
34 minutes | a year ago
Episode 053: Brad Gerla
Introduction: Today’s guest is Brad Gerla, an Executive Vice President at CBRE and the 2014 award winner for REBNY’s Sales Brokers Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award for 11 Madison Avenue. Given the manner in which Brad exudes a youthful yet passionate and relentless nature to make a difference for landlords and tenants alike, he reminds me of what Albert Einstein was conveying in his quote “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” Episode Notes: At 1:49, Brad Gerla discusses finding the balance between having fun and the business of real estate. At 3:28, Brad notes the importance of “doing your homework” on your clients as you are negotiating on behalf of them. At 5:27, Gerla stresses to know the business inside and out, and advises not to go half-assed into anything – whether that be a pitch, presentation, or meeting. At 6:57, he dives into his start in the business, and elaborates on his mentor Jim Gross. At 9:43, Brad speaks on leasing office buildings and knowing the product, as well as space tours being your time to impress. At 12:17, Gerla highlights CBRE’s platform and the firm’s resources. At 13:51, he touches upon the Harlem Lacrosse charitable initiative. At 15:54, Brad informs us of being a voracious reader, and the opportunity one can receive through reading. At 19:10, Gerla credits networking to being a key in business, and recollects meeting Larry Haber at the ICSC convention in Las Vegas a couple of years ago. At 21:35, he shares how he approaches the “game of life” – family, health, and business. At 23:17, Brad talks about the over 60 lacrosse team in which he plays on. Gerla also notes that it’s easy to stay focused when one is on a winning team in business. At 25:24, he discusses Leasing REality’s and AGMB’s David Byrne January event, and how he goes about making a difference in the community. At 27:53, Brad reminisces about winning REBNY’s Sales Brokers Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award for 11 Madison Avenue in 2014. At 30:21, Gerla dishes on being a “glass half full” guy, and how he confronts challenges. At 31:35, Brad Gerla closes out the podcast mentioning how his real estate stories would make for great reading.
52 minutes | a year ago
Episode 052: Sarah Saltzberg
Introduction: Today we have with us the multidimensional and talented Sarah Saltzberg, who given her prior (and to some extent still current) career as a Broadway actress and screenwriter, brings to mind not only Billy Joel and his classic songs “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)” and “Uptown Girl,” but also that of the great Queen song “Bohemian Rhapsody,” as she is also the co-founder of Harlem and Washington Heights based Bohemia Realty Group. Episode Notes: At 2:09, Sarah Saltzberg discusses Bohemia Realty Group’s agents simultaneously building parallel careers in both real estate and the arts, as well as how Bohemia promotes work-life balance, self-care, and kindness to their agents. At 4:38, Sarah talks about accidentally ending up in the real estate industry, and how she went about raising money for a show that she was creating while working as a waitress. At 8:18, Saltzberg dives into education, as well as her growth as an actress through the lessons learned via her real estate experiences. At 10:13, Sarah shares how she and her partner Jon Goodell developed Bohemia’s mission, and why the firm is all for sharing knowledge and information. At 15:51, she touches upon erring on the side of caution when it comes to the unknowns surrounding the Housing Stability Tenant Protection Act of 2019. At 21:50, Saltzberg dishes on the positives associated with women possessing an “emotional openness.” At 24:34, she speaks on her not initially integrating her artistic and real estate careers. At 26:25, Sarah highlights her ability to improvise in acting, and how this skill aids her in real estate negotiations. At 29:26, Larry Haber plays an improv game with Sarah Saltzberg. At 35:25, Saltzberg compares being a deal junkie to being on stage, and also mentions her love in watching Bohemia’s agents grow. At 38:58, she wholeheartedly believes that it is crucial to have a positive attitude in real estate dealings, coupled with providing value to those in which you are working with. At 41:13, Sarah suggests that it is necessary for agents to be transparent about their strengths and weaknesses. Saltzberg also talks about her play that she authored, “Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage.” At 46:10, she shares her intention in opening Bohemia Realty Group, hosting events for the community, and “building something bigger than yourself.” At 48:02, Sarah Saltzberg closes out the podcast with the message of making the world a better place everyday for family, friends and the community through the platform and avenues that she has created.
41 minutes | a year ago
Episode 051: Vicente Wolf
Introduction: Today’s guest brings to mind the words of the iconic artist Vincent Van Gogh, who once said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Given how Vicente Wolf brings together the four elements of design – namely those of earth, water, air and fire – he takes Van Gogh’s quote to another level in the manner he goes about creating cool, cerebral and modern interiors that create atmospheres without boundaries. In fact, Margaret Russell, the former Editor in Chief of Architectural Digest, described Vicente as having a “remarkably grounded sensibility like earth”; as being “passionate and vital as fire, as clear and fluid as water, and as imaginative and carefree as air.” So Vicente, with that as our backdrop, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and visions through what to me at least is essentially through the lens of none other than Mother Nature. Episode Notes: At 2:24, Vicente Wolf discusses his family motto of survival, as well as him being a Cuban refugee. At 4:56, Vicente shares how nature has always been present in his soul, and how nature brings honesty to his work. At 8:27, Wolf dives into providing longevity and a sense of value to a space when working with developers. At 9:31, he notes that he doesn’t believe in “trends,” and instead believes in his “gut” feeling. At 12:21, Vicente advises on one staying within its core while not compromising personal values. At 14:18, Wolf talks about finding the balance between his creative vision and the business side of a project when dealing with clients. At 17:01, he highlights how he molds the wants, needs, and desires of his clients to fit the situation at hand. At 19:48, Vicente provides us with how he adds value to a project while simultaneously building confidence within the consumer. At 21:38, Wolf shares an instance in which his space design contributed to a drastic change in a client’s lifestyle. At 23:38, he wholeheartedly believes that reputation is all one has. At 25:30, Vicente points out the importance of a designer being on the same page as an architect from the start of a project. At 26:58, Wolf touches upon his ability in seeing the big picture in a project. At 29:12, he discusses every inch being so valuable in a space, and why a current space use analysis before the design stage is essential. At 31:58, Vicente mentions how he gives back through design. At 34:10, Wolf describes how traveling allows him to step outside of his comfort zone. At 36:53, Vicente Wolf closes out the podcast with a message on the love he has for his work, and the surprise he has in his creativity.
41 minutes | a year ago
Episode 050: Ryan Serhant
Introduction: Hard work. Relentless passion. Adding value. Following up. Time management. Considering failures and mistakes as opportunities to grow and thereafter succeed. Likeability. Family ... and oh yeah, the desire to sell like there is no tomorrow. These are but a few of the mantras that have played an integral part in the meteoric rise of the former broke actor just a bit more than a decade ago – to that of the very top of the residential real estate and salesmanship world. I give to you my real estate brethren the one and only Ryan Serhant. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on business, life, sales, and, playing off of the title of an afternoon soap opera you were on back in 2008, how to survive and succeed “As the [Real Estate] World Turns.” Episode Notes: At 2:31, Ryan Serhant makes known that he would much rather regret the things he did than regret the things he never tried. At 3:54, Ryan dives into how he measures success, as well as the pertinence in setting consistent goals. At 5:28, Serhant discusses the “FKD” system he created, and how he goes about structuring his day. At 9:43, he talks about his mantra in “following up until you die” along with an example of how it helped back in 2009. At 11:21, Ryan receives a FaceTime from his daughter Zena (her first podcast!) and wife Emilia. At 13:10, Serhant picks up where he left off as he defines following up (with value), following through, and following back in being the crux of his business. At 14:30, he advises that one controls his or her reputation by merely controlling his or her actions. At 16:35, Ryan tells Larry Haber: “You have the best questions,” and notes that one will get through both bad and good markets by simply taking care of “the work” and being disciplined. At 18:32, Serhant gives his thoughts on virtual brokerage versus that of the element of the human touch. At 23:00, he discusses how he differentiates with all the inventory on the market, and shares an example in his branding of “SoHY” (South of Hudson Yards). At 26:31, Larry Haber asks Ryan what he would rewind in his career. At 28:29, Serhant touches upon target marketing and thinking outside of the box when marketing properties. At 28:47, he recommends the productivity hack in practicing “inbox zero.” At 32:26, Ryan proclaims his real estate sales team is modeled after the structure of his beloved New England Patriots. At 34:19, Serhant plays a “song/lyrics” word association game with Larry Haber. At 38:39, Ryan Serhant closes out the podcast discussing the one great thing he would like to have to opportunity to do in his lifetime.
29 minutes | a year ago
Episode 049: Lou Diamond and Jen Du Plessis
Introduction: Right before their great dual presentation at the NYC Real Estate Expo 2019 on October 24, Lou Diamond and Jen Du Plessis joined us for an impromptu podcast. Lou, the CEO and founder of Thrive and host of Thrive LOUD with Lou Diamond podcast, is “a dynamic speaker and master connector who will energize and motivate your organization to explode your sales, retain your clients and build a thriving culture.” Jen is a rock star in her own right, as she began her mortgage lending career in high school and is Principal at Kinetic Spark Consulting, author of “Launch! How to Take Your Business to New Heights,” and host of the Mortgage Lending Mastery podcast. Episode Notes: At 1:30, Lou Diamond talks about the skills he believes are needed to be a good connector, the power of empathy, and listening being a lost art form. At 4:54, Lou discusses solving problems, and points out that rarely is a company able to synthesize specifically the problem(s) they solve. At 6:46, Diamond shares that he helps individuals in companies thrive through connecting by way of figuring out the process, as well as “unleashing superpowers” within those individuals he aids. At 8:48, he notes the importance of authenticity and messaging on social media. At 10:58, Lou Diamond closes out his segment of the podcast with his dream of playing 18 holes at Augusta National Golf Club, the fulfillment he feels in spending quality time with his family, and why “Lou = NY.” At 14:31, Jen Du Plessis discusses her book “Launch! How to Take Your Business to New Heights,” and “finder, minder, grinder.” At 15:51, Jen touches upon living a lifestyle centered around “not sabotaging life.” At 17:18, Du Plessis speaks about not believing in balance, being all-in, and “going on vacation everyday.” At 18:59, she talks about taking action and achieving results. At 19:30, Jen describes her passion in helping people succeed, as well as her family. At 20:57, Du Plessis shares her dream “circle of trust.” At 22:48, dishes on her belief that one must find a “tribe” that completes you. At 25:19, Jen Du Plessis closes out the podcast as she dives into the topic of women in real estate (and the mortgage space) and the #MeToo movement.
44 minutes | a year ago
Episode 048: Lance Leighton
Introduction: Integral components to being a successful real estate broker include that of having a relentless passion to make a difference for one’s clients, an unquenchable thirst for knowledge (and the ability to use it properly and to your advantage), to be cognizant of when you don’t have all of the answers, and to be smart enough to not only know it (while making like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire by finding someone to complete you). Given my experiences on a number of deals I have worked on with him, that is what the never shy and always entertaining Lance Leighton, Senior Managing Director at Savills, brings to the table … along with the ability to channel Paul McCartney during a difficult negotiation by conveying the message “there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friends, we can work it out!” Episode Notes: At 2:12, Lance Leighton shares who he is and notes that “extra” is the best word to describe him. At 2:58, Lance dishes on how technology will continue to change how to market oneself and his or her brand. At 6:00, Leighton talks about leveraging video content. At 7:57, he discusses how technology has impacted him. At 9:50, Leighton shares Savills occupier technology platform in Knowledge³, as well as his thoughts on workplace efficiency. At 11:34, he touches upon landlords adapting to change, and the commercial real estate industry being slow to adapt to change. At 14:38, Lance speaks about commutation for employees, and how landlords are using creative methods in order to attract tenants. At 16:39, Leighton informs that he is “all-in” or “all-out” in anything he does. At 18:16, he points out that his role as a broker is to help clients solve significant problems, while also anticipating those problems before they happen. At 21:30, Lance highlights being a consultant, a trusted advisor and building relationships. At 22:41, Leighton discusses the evolution of his canvassing style, and running the broker training program at Savills. At 25:45, he dives into experiential, interactive, and “Instagram worthy” retail. At 28:28, Lance believes that the introduction of new technology will not kill off brokers, and instead will simplify the role of a broker. At 32:00, Leighton talks about hedgefundspaces.com, techofficespaces.com, as well as his mentor in Evan Margolin. At 35:33, he makes note that he wears his heart on his sleeve and “you see what you get.” At 36:43, Lance shares his thoughts on “positivity,” “excitement,” and the brutal amount of rejection in the commercial real estate industry. At 39:35, Leighton points out the importance of authenticity and passion in work. At 41:43, Lance Leighton closes out the podcast with advice he received from his mentor Evan Margolin in imagining that every call that you make or email that you send is going to get back to the CEO.
53 minutes | a year ago
Episode 047: Ash Zandieh
Introduction: Today we have with us Ash Zandieh, the CREtech and PropTech visionary and guru, who seemingly made it his mission to channel the song by hip-hop heartthrob Drake, namely that of “Started from the Bottom” as to the acquisition of his real estate knowledge base. Ash continues that mission in a myriad of ways, including that of helping the commercial real estate tech sector grow into a thriving ecosystem by helping startups grow their businesses by connecting them to the funding sector. Episode Notes: At 2:30, Ash Zandieh discusses his strength in “narrowing the margin of vulnerability” not just for himself, but for others as well. At 4:08, Ash notes that a great deal of entrepreneurs today are coming from the real estate scene. At 5:56, Zandieh states that the notion of technology changing people is a little foreign to him. At 7:16, he talks about innovation, “borrowed money,” and defines PropTech for the layperson. At 11:06, Ash touches upon Airbnb and the impact CompStak had on him while he was a broker. At 14:33, Zandieh provides his thoughts on venture capital in New York and non-New York based start-ups solving a “New York problem.” At 16:59, he dishes on “the old school model of profitability and scale” when launching a business. At 18:44, Ash dives into PropTech unicorns and borrowing power in today’s market. At 21:56, Zandieh makes note of his dislike for the word “disruption,” and tell us why he believes that AI will not kill off the broker. At 24:56, he points out that he is in the knowledge business and that “attention is the only asset that matters.” At 28:12, Ash discusses the commodities of time and knowledge. At 29:52, Zandieh advises on auditing your skillset and “contextualizing tech.” At 33:20, he informs that AI technology is moving at a faster speed compared to that of government. At 36:38, Ash dives into his love for sharing knowledge, in addition to playing a role in the growth of other entrepreneurs. At 40:27, Zandieh talks about utilizing both old school and tech methods. At 43:04, he speaks on WeWork and the built world sector. At 46:04, Ash touches upon agility, as well as being comfortable with discomfort. At 48:08, Zandieh stresses in believing in oneself and its ability to execute. At 50:50, Ash Zandieh closes the podcast with a message on the affect fatherhood has had on him.
40 minutes | a year ago
Episode 046: Gary Malin
Introduction: Today we have with us none other than Gary Malin, the always charming, engaging, insightful and giving President of Citi Habitats, a New York City based real estate brokerage firm specializing in sales and the leasing of over 10,000 apartments annually. Crazy as this may sound to you, given Gary’s positive spirit and mindset, when I speak to him, the classic songs by Jamaican reggae legend Jimmy Cliff come to mind, namely that of “No Problems Only Solutions” and “You Can Get It If You Really Want.” Episode Notes: At 1:50, Gary Malin discusses his father providing him with a foundation of honesty and integrity, and shares how his legal training and background helps him in business. At 3:30, Gary touches upon the negative implications of the Housing Stability Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (“HSTPA 2019”). At 6:47, Malin notes the effect of the HSTPA 2019 on owners, and how tenant advocates did a better job advocating in Albany. At 10:19, he speaks on the difficulty of balancing the interests of agents and the interests of the business, and informs that he works for the agents of Citi Habitats, not the other way around. At 12:08, Gary informs that he infuses the message to agents that “We are in the hospitality business.” At 13:43, Malin highlights Citi Habitats’ embracing of change and never being complacent. At 15:40, he talks about flexibility and how renting offers tenants the “ability to test drive the car without buying the car.” At 18:14, Gary notes that he doesn’t look at buying a home as an investment. At 21:36, Malin discusses Citi Habitats culture and being able to relate to agents no matter of age. At 23:05, he touches upon branding Citi Habitats on social media, as well as conducting digital audits with Citi Habitats’ top agents. At 25:45, Gary points out the necessity of agents putting in the time, effort and commitment to earn access to a clients sphere of influence. At 28:00, Malin provides his thoughts on the impact of technology and iBuying. At 30:53, he speaks on being honest, constructive and having the best interest of clients at heart. At 32:39, Gary stresses that brokers must realize the importance of communication and responsiveness when representing clients. At 35:06, Malin shares some of his passions. At 36:38, Gary Malin closes out the podcast with a message on being truthful in your everyday dealings and mindful as to the imprint you’re leaving.
76 minutes | a year ago
Episode 045: Peter Braus
Introduction: Today we have with us Peter Braus, an owner and operator of real estate as well as the managing principal of Lee & Associates NYC, the entrepreneurial, fully integrated service real estate firm with a national reach yet local expertise. Among two of Peter’s sagelike business mantras are that of “a good broker must understand a client’s business well enough to know what type of space their client needs,” and (somewhat akin to Albert Einstein’s line of “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value”) Peter’s mindset of that “if a broker can’t add value to a deal as a broker, they have no business being involved in that deal.” Episode Notes: At 2:12, Peter Braus touches upon diversification, Lee NYC’s growth, and opportunities that exist in the marketplace. At 6:14, Peter provides his thoughts on commercial rent control and the current retail landscape. At 11:15, Braus discusses situations in which pop-up stores make sense for a tenant. At 13:31, he makes note that the definition of mom-and-pop stores has changed. At 17:38, Peter talks about SoHo now versus the SoHo of the past. At 20:46, Braus speaks on a tenant having the power in the current day marketplace, and at 23:49, he shares time being on the tenant’s side. At 29:00, Peter dives into starting Lee NYC about 8 years ago. At 30:07, Braus believes that in brokerage one doesn’t have the option to spectate given the “eat what you kill” nature of the business, and as a result one must always be on the job. At 33:20, he points out that Lee NYC likes to hire athletes due to the competitiveness athletes possess. At 36:17, Peter shares the impact September 11th has had on how he goes about his life. At 40:34, Braus answers the question in if he believes real estate owners will shop around and take advantage of rising cap rates and distress in the marketplace. At 48:00, he discusses advising clients on how to leverage the equity in their buildings. At 56:14, Peter mentions his dislike for “stupid, lazy and/or lying” brokers. At 58:41, Braus talks about Long Island City and Amazon. At 1:03:25, he dives into the collaborative culture at Lee NYC. At 1:07:41, Peter speaks about learning from difficult past experiences, as well as breaking through the clutter in NYC when Lee NYC first started. At 1:12:23, Peter Braus closes out the podcast with a dual message on appreciating what you have to work for, and not allowing the highs get too high and lows get too low.
35 minutes | a year ago
Episode 044: Nancy Bass Wyden
Introduction: I want to start out a bit differently today with a quote by the great visionary, activist, poet and author, namely Maya Angelou, who once said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” With that as the backdrop my friends, we have with us Nancy Bass Wyden － who in addition to being both one of my favorites as both a person and client － is the 3rd generation owner of the legendary Strand Book Store on 12th Street and Broadway in New York City, which has been in existence since 1927. When I walk into the Strand, it makes me feel as if I am visiting a dear, warm and fuzzy, but still totally cool and vibrant, childhood friend ... and I attribute that feeling to both Nancy as well as her grandfather Ben, and her father Fred. The sense of community one gets from being at the Strand is something that, simply stated, is one that should be bottled and marketed to the masses, because if it was, we would all be better off for it. Episode Notes: At 2:56, Nancy Bass Wyden describes what being “lost in the stacks” at the Strand Book Store means to her. At 4:23, Nancy highlights her family being in the book business for 92 years, and discusses old, rare, and new books. At 6:04, Bass Wyden informs that she is in the process of writing a memoir – stay tuned! At 6:33, she makes note of how short life is, and shares that she is one who wakes up in the morning with an optimistic and “kick ass” mindset. At 7:09, Nancy speaks about the accumulation of knowledge and her ability in noticing patterns in businesses and people. At 8:24, Bass Wyden touches upon open mindedness and always keeping your curiosity up. At 9:58, she dives into the government’s overreach in landmarking the building that the Strand is located. At 13:22, Nancy points out the reality of the Strand operating on thin margins in a fragile environment, as well as the extra operational costs due to the Strand’s building being landmarked. At 15:23, Bass Wyden discusses her grandfather, as well as her father saving up to buy the building. At 17:40, Nancy mentions her responsibility to the Strand’s employees, and touches upon the retail landscape and Amazon. At 21:51, Nancy talks about the Strand’s knowledgeable employees and their customer’s insatiable curiosity. At 23:29, Bass Wyden discusses forming long term relationships with her tenants. At 24:47, she shares that as she has gotten older, she has become a bit more anti-establishment. At 28:21, Nancy dishes on how the Strand has changed the culture of book stores by hiring “extroverts.” At 29:11, Bass Wyden informs us about the Strand’s 400 annual events schedule. At 30:09, she speaks about the impact her father Fred has had on her. At 31:40, Nancy talks about doing the right thing and your reputation. At 32:38, Bass Wyden points out her love for nature, sea air, diving into a good read, and the opportunity to write and ponder. At 33:37, Nancy Bass Wyden closes out the podcast with a message on keeping with the family mission of putting good books in the hands of young and old readers.
35 minutes | a year ago
Episode 043: Simon Ziff
Introduction: Today we have with us Simon Ziff, the always effervescent president of the Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, one of the industry’s preeminent boutique real estate capital advisory firms, with offices in New York as well as Miami, Los Angeles and Boston. In addition to being a gem of a person, a master of his real estate domain, a truly obsessed Penn State football fan and a man who may cry if one mentions the movie Field of Dreams in his presence, Simon has been described as “a hillbilly at heart,” and by himself as a fashion trendsetter as he proudly has taken credit for the suit-no-tie look many of us have made part of our workplace wardrobe. Episode Notes: At 2:08, Simon Ziff touches upon living life in a positive and healthy way, and the impact music has had on his life. At 4:32, Simon shares that trust is at the center of Ackman-Ziff’s culture, and the value in a strong and talented team. At 7:21, Ziff discusses risk and return as the basis of analysis, losing business to competition, and being reputationally focused. At 9:24, he talks about playing the long game, developing relationships, and the Ackman-Ziff team. At 10:12, Simon advises that he is more comfortable investing in debt versus that of equity in this current cycle, and notes Ackman-Ziff being agnostic to the asset classes they work on. At 13:55, Ziff describes what Ackman-Ziff looks for in job candidates. At 17:19, he points out that he is proud of the women working for, but not satisfied with the percentage of women working, at Ackman-Ziff. At 19:40, Simon touches upon whether an “impatiencence” exists amongst the younger generation today versus that of the past. At 20:48, Ziff gives his take on whether it is safe to invest in NYC today. At 21:42, he dishes on his lists for everything, as well as organization and planning. At 23:32, Simon speaks on “building it and they will come.” At 25:36, Ziff notes his preference to hit “singles and doubles” versus home runs. At 28:20, he touches upon working hard and surrounding yourself with talent. At 29:38, Simon dives into learning, improving and growing everyday. At 31:14, Ziff takes us back in time to growing up in the 1970’s in a small town, and attending Penn State in the 1980’s. At 33:20, Simon Ziff closes out the podcast with the message “it’s here and now.”
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