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March 2012
  • Janno Lieber and Larry Silverstein

    The real estate industry in New York is famous (or infamous) for its outsized personalities, who make headlines not only for their property deals, but also for their head-to-head battles, art collections and White House aspirations. For every boldface frontman, however, there’s a behind-the-scenes wizard who is running day-to-day operations or shaping the direction of the company. These top lieutenants often decide what buildings will look like, how they’ll be marketed and who will sell … [more]

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  • Lutnick’s big hedge

    With two new firms under his control, Howard Lutnick’s BGC Partners looks to launch property derivatives market — and he is not alone
    Howard Lutnick

    Howard Lutnick’s announcement last month that his firm BGC Partners would buy distressed brokerage Grubb & Ellis through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy moves the conversation from why he’s getting into the commercial real estate game to how big a company he wants to build. The purchase announcement came four months after the financial brokerage bought real estate services firm Newmark Knight Frank, and just weeks after Lutnick boasted on Bloomberg Television that he hoped to … [more]

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  • broker-darwin_fb

    Jobs, jobs, jobs: For months, even years now, the topic has been front and center in the minds of many Americans, not least of all President Barack Obama and his Republican presidential rivals. Yet for New York City real estate brokers, getting an accurate picture of their corner of the job market is difficult, since most brokers operate more like small businesses than employees, and make a living based on commissions, not regular paychecks. This … [more]

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  • Saunders stakes his Hamptons beachhead

    With $850 million in exclusive listings, Hamptons’ brokerage founder Andrew Saunders is taking on his corporate-owned East-End rivals
    Andrew Saunders

    For Andrew Saunders, founder of the Hamptons residential brokerage Saunders & Associates, it’s impossible to have an anonymous lunch at the Bridgehampton bistro, Pierre’s. Over French onion soup and poached salmon, Saunders points out Alice Bell, a senior vice president at competing brokerage Sotheby’s International Realty. He congratulates a diner at the next table on the half-marathon she recently finished. And he spots a former senior partner at Allan Schneider & Associates, acquired by another … [more]

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  • agency_spread_fb

    In the Manhattan commercial leasing world, the battles to represent buildings are a blood sport won and lost in the corner offices and conference rooms of owners and landlords. While there are no official scorecards tallying which commercial brokerages win — and which lose — the assignments are collectively worth tens of millions of dollars and can make a serious difference in a firm’s bottom line. However, the competition itself — which involves aggressively pitching … [more]

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  • Delays at the DOB

    The department has become more thorough, but developers complain about slowdowns
    dob_fb

    It was four years ago this month that seven people were killed in a crane collapse on East 51st Street. Since then, the New York City Department of Buildings — under fire for lax oversight of building plans — has taken steps to improve its safety procedures. But some real estate professionals say the pendulum may have swung too far in the other direction; the agency is now taking so much time to scrutinize plans … [more]

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  • Lazenby’s 007 moment

    Bond actor’s daughter — and Elliman broker — comes out guns blazing, breaking sales and rental records along the way
    Melanie Lazenby

    In the fall of 2010, real estate broker Melanie Lazenby was riding the elevator at the West Village condominium Superior Ink when a stranger started asking her questions. “I had no idea who he was,” recalled Lazenby, an executive vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman. “He asked me, ‘Do you know if there are any apartments for sale in this building?’” She did know. Not only is Lazenby a top-ranked broker at Elliman, she lives … [more]

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  • Nobody really grows up saying, ‘I want to be a real estate agent,’” said Fanny Montalvo, managing director of sales at residential brokerage A.C. Lawrence & Co. and a former information technology recruiter. Still, “a couple years ago everybody was getting their real estate license,” she said. “Today, those people are no longer in the business.” This, of course, has been one of the central narratives of the real estate boom-and-bust: the surge of inexperienced … [more]

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  • Movers and shakers

    The Real Deal charts 30 of the biggest residential broker moves of the last year

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  • Are renters ditching brokers?

    With rents up, some tenants, especially 99 percenters, do their own research to save on broker fees

    As New York City home-seekers well know, vacancy is low and rents are rapidly rising from their financial-crisis depths, while many landlords are no longer offering the generous concessions of the past few years. Ironically, this is actually bad news for rental brokers, some industry insiders say. Today’s rapidly improving rental market has caused some customers to balk at higher rents and disappearing OPs, or “owner paid” broker commissions, sources said, although not all renters … [more]

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