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property geek: how technology is changing real estate brokerage. the new sevices, resources, devices and ideas that are driving it.

April 4, 2014

What Does Technology Mean To a Real Estate Business?

"Technology is a great way of connecting with people, but it's also created a super transparent marketplace here in New York City" explains Corcoran's Peter Comitini, and while technology has facilitated unprecedented change in our market, as Peter accurately points out, it's all about what he as an agent can bring to the table that goes beyond just finding a listing online. Hear Peter explain the importance of customer service, and how the internet, and his blog in particular, has truly taken his business international.

April 3, 2014

Robert Shiller on investing in the housing market

I never seem to like this man's opinions, but occasionally find myself in reluctant agreement. Enjoy!

Nobel laureate Robert Shiller talks with WSJ.Money contributor David Wessel about the wisdom of investing in real estate and his provocative proposal to arrest the growth of inequality in the U.S.

Courtesy WSJ

November 2, 2013

New York's streets? Not so mean any more

This TED talk highlights some of the many changes in traffic flow and transportation we've seen about town in recent years. Making New York City a better place to live.

As commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, Janette Sadik-Khan is responsible for the smooth running of a New York that hides in plain sight... the streets, highways, bridges, signs and lights that make up the bustling metropolis.

Janette Sadik-Khan was appointed commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation in 2007. For six years, she managed nearly 5,000 employees and was responsible for the operation and management of some 6,300 miles of streets throughout the city's 5 boroughs. Despite her access to a budget of some $2 billion, Sadik-Khan adopted a designer's approach to urban innovation: rapid testing and regular iteration. In other words, try an idea to see if it would work; if it didn't, try something else, no harm done. In Times Square, an iconic New York City location visited by 350,000 people every day, this involved the creation of pedestrian zones by painting the asphalt and putting up some lawn chairs. The success of the approach allowed her to create 50 pedestrian zones throughout the city, in the process repurposing 26 acres of space previously allocated to cars. In 2013, she helped to introduce the instantly-popular Citi Bike bicycle-sharing program to the city, making New York one of the cycling capitals in the United States.

April 22, 2012

A Co-op With Elbow Room, The Times covers my work again!

buyer's brokerThe New York Times' The Hunt covers the often intense ups and downs of people searching for homes in New York City. For the second time this year, I'm privileged to have my clients profiled. It was an exhausting apartment hunt that I brokered, poetically culminating full circle, with my customers Evan and Natalie buying the apartment literally across the hallway from the one where I had met them months earlier, at an open house for one of my exclusives at 350 E 77th Street. It was a real roller-coaster of a search. Times writer Joyce Cohen tells the whole story in A Co-op With Elbow Room, in today's Real Estate section.

We saw over 50 Upper East Side apartments, had three accepted offers, with wrenching disappointments as two of them didn't work out. Throughout the process, I built a strong client relationship with Evan and Natalie. Few things motivate me to be on my best game more than the loyalty and sincere appreciation of customers like these. They relied heavily on my expertise as I helped to guide them through a fairly complex maze of available inventory. Helping to validate coop values, making strategically savvy offers, negotiating well, and closing on a great value for them. We encountered everything from difficult coops to sellers rescinding their acceptance. In the end we had a few laughs, and great satisfaction as we closed on their perfect, first, NYC home.

read the full article in The New York Times: A Co-op With Elbow Room

January 30, 2010

Coop application foiled by Facebook page

Coop application foiled by Facebook page I heard a story about a coop Board turn down last week, when I went out with a customer to look at some Greenwich Village apartments. We dropped by to see a "Gold Coast" property off Fifth Avenue near Washington Square Park, which had just come back on the market. It was a lovely place, in a converted townhouse, with just five units in the building. As we were about to leave, I asked the listing agent why the apartment had come back on the market. It could be for any number of reasons like the buyer exercising a mortgage contingency, or an inspection problem — both of which seemed unlikely by the condition of the building, and the fact that the co-op required a 50% down-payment, which most banks would see as a low risk, loan to value ratio on lending. It turns out that the prospective buyers were the parents of the person whom would be the occupant/tenant of the apartment. The Board's due diligence process included online research of the tenant. It revealed a 'Facebook' page for the potential occupant which included pictures that raised an eyebrow with some the Board members. While I'm not privy to knowing exactly what the problem was, it seems reasonable that some owners became worried about loud parties and late night noise. It projected a questionable image, and the Coop Board turned down the application.

Fair? Its hard to say. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes pictures lie. But the secret to passing a Board's scrutiny is to appear completely uncontroversial. It's a simple lesson, in today's wired world of social networks, potential buyers and their agents, need to review the online presence of the applicants, and edit where needed. As an agent, I go through a very exacting process in preparing financial data and references for Board packages; guiding customers through the coop approval process. That can all be undone today by a few badly considered photos from a New Years party.

September 21, 2007

Television: 'Open House NYC' begins a new season

There's a new weekly show on the airwaves about the local real estate. "Open House NYC" is focused on the residential market in the Tri-State area. You can sample one of their segments in this embedded video.

continued »

June 12, 2007

The transparent broker

I'm giving a short talk about brokers and blogging at Corcoran's Harlem office today. Blogging for business is a big topic, and my talk today is short, so I've decided to frame it as more of a "why do" than a "how to". Blogging is a way to engage people and spread ideas, in a way that is powerful, conversational and happens almost in real time. For me, it is all about transparency and visibility, which have similar meanings when used in this context. It offers people the chance to have a conversation with me in much wider way them ever before. I believe that in the future this will be the norm. To not have an online presence may invoke the question, "Why are you hiding?"

continued »

June 8, 2007

What's it look like there? Google introduces street views

There's an interesting thread about historical documentation running through this week's posts. From the world captured by Berenice Abbott in photos— up to today's networked world. About a week ago, Google introduced a technology that redefines what documenting the city means, in a way that is unique to our time. They quietly launched an amazing mapping technology they are calling street views, as an extension of Google maps. It is pure function on such an impressive scale that it is quite beautiful in a way that would have been difficult to imagine in Ms. Abbott's time. It shocked me.

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May 30, 2007

new! the real estate book shop at

Introducing the book shop on As some of you who read me know, I occasionally talk about a book, and embed an link, so that you can get more info, read reviews, and buy it too. I've expanded that idea to include a book shop here on which I launched yesterday, this is a test flight that I hope to make permanent. A portion of all profits from the book shop will be used to support Corcoran Cares, a grassroots, charitable initiative by Corcoran's agents, to give back to the communities we serve.

continued »

May 15, 2007

You get paid all that money for just 60 Minutes of work?

I wish that I could take credit for the above headline, but it was from a commenter on the CBS News Web site about a fluff piece for Redfin, the Seattle based, limited services "broker" on 60 Minutes titled "High-tech Real Estate Moves In".

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February 6, 2007

Get Smarter Agent, or smarter agents?

id_tech.gifI was quoted in this weeks New York Magazine regarding Smarter Agent, a new cellphone based client for searching properties based on the users location and a database of listings.

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November 3, 2006

why a broker blog?

The best clients that I have, are also the best informed. This space is built on the premise that the more you know, the more you'll understand what's special about the real estate services that I offer.

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September 3, 2006

redfin spins the new york times

In his New York Times story The Last Stand of the 6-Percenters? writer Damon Darlin seems to be an advocate for Redfin, a new discount broker that reduces its fees by offering less services.

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