The Real Deal New York

Letters, emails and comments to The Real Deal

Our January cover story on real estate's diversity problem sparked a wider conversation both inside and outside the business.
February 01, 2017 07:00AM

Alison Novak, Karim Hutson and Angela Howard (Photos by Michael McWeeney)

Our cover story last month on the challenges that women and minorities face in New York City real estate has initiated many responses from readers, sources and other individuals. That broader conversation cannot be summed up in one (or even six) pages. But to keep the discussion going, we have decided to share some of the reactions — both positive and negative — that The Real Deal has received over the past four weeks. We will continue to share your thoughts and insights on our bigger stories when the opportunity arises.

Note from the editors: Some of the letters, emails and comments were truncated to fit the page. The content of each message was not edited in any way to change the meaning.

Great cover story in this month’s Real Deal. It’s great you all have the courage, integrity and sense of fairness to publish such a story. It speaks volumes about the magazine, its publisher, its team and the place of power it occupies in the industry. Thank you for bringing to light one of the greatest business injustices of our time.

Don Peebles, the Peebles Corporation

As an ambitious, 21st-century Chinese immigrant currently living and working in New York City in the highly competitive, indeed cutthroat field of metropolitan real estate, I was extremely pleased to read The Real Deal’s January 1st article regarding diversity within the industry. Pleased and inspired! Hats off to the writers Elizabeth, Kathryn and Rich for their revelation and understanding of the core issues. While the struggle of Blacks and Hispanics for industry inclusion is evident, there’s no question but that the same hurdles exist for Asians.

Cathy Han, TRD reader

I just wanted to congratulate you on a great piece of journalism. The amount of research and authenticity your article provided really spoke to me. I, too, am a minority in commercial real estate — and though I absolutely love the business I work in, I believe that igniting this discussion may allow for greater change in the future. Your article allows a forum to be had that previously did not exist. Baby Steps…

Colin Turner, CBRE

We just received your copies of the Jan. 2017 and December 2016 Real Deal magazine. Not interested in your racist political, anti-American garbage. Good way to lose business, putting left-wing politics on a real estate publication. This is why Trump won.

Linda Hickey, Hickey & Smith Realtors

Talent and hard work will get you a long way in life if you make good decisions. Many people that came from humble beginnings made it big. All the “structural racism” out there didn’t stop Condoleezza Rice, Michelle Obama, Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Oprah Winfrey, Don Peebles, Tyler Perry, Robert Johnson, Richard Parsons, Thurgood Marshall. There’s also one other guy, but his name escapes me. A half-black kid from a broken home. He went to school in Indonesia and later became editor of the Harvard Law Review and President of the United States. Enough already. Let’s live in the here and now. I can tell you that as a business owner, when I am hiring, I am looking for the best candidate. Racism, sexism and all the other -isms don’t help my bottom line if they inhibit my ability to build a team.

Online comment from an anonymous user

The conversation of DIVERSITY is one that the tight-knit community wants no part of. It does not suit their interest or needs. No one in real estate ever tries to give up their advantage. It is appropriate/sad that the big firms of New York City both commercial or residential stay silent and duck this conversation. It is an uncomfortable topic and one that won’t make money for the Big Firms.

Online comment from an anonymous user

Congrats on running such an important piece. This topic is a part of weekly dialogue with my female real estate clients. Thanks for highlighting the struggles (they are real).

Laurie A. Grasso, Hunton & Williams LLP