Real estate’s most verbose talking heads

A look at the busy schedules of NYC's go-to market pundits
By Sarabeth Sanders | October 29, 2009 07:52PM


Go-to contacts, from left to right: Dan Fasulo of Real Capital Analytics, Corcoran Group founder Barbara Corcoran, Bob Knakal of Massey Knackal Realty and Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel
They’re the talking heads on cable news screens, the sources behind industry stories, and the speakers at luncheons, seminars and panel discussions. Now more than ever, the mainstream media is relying on real estate experts who can provide commentary on a complex market.

And while their names have graced the pages of The Real Deal and many other industry publications hundreds of times, they now routinely get calls and interview requests from all over the world.

Barbara Corcoran, the founder of the Corcoran Group and now a regular on the “Today Show”; Jonathan Miller, the ubiquitous president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel; Dan Fasulo, managing director at Real Capital Analytics; and Bob Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal Realty are just a few among a growing bunch of go-to contacts.

They supply a staggering number of quotes, citations and public appearances to nearly every media platform, including radio, television, blogs and print. Together, they’ve appeared in The Real Deal and on TheRealDeal.com more than 3,000 times (not including in the current issue).

On an average day, Miller gets four or five calls from the media. Four days out of the year — the days his Manhattan market reports are released — he’s on the phone with the press nonstop. Those days feel “like the Super Bowl,” he said.

Fasulo, who once took a call from Bloomberg News on a golf course in Scotland, said he tries to get back to everyone. As of late last month, a search of Nexis, the news database, turned up 549 hits for Fasulo in publications including the New York Times, the Omaha World News, Chinese Business News and the New Zealand Herald.

As his firm expands globally, that’s becoming increasingly taxing. “I’ve done calls from Hong Kong, London, Paris, you name it,” he said. “I definitely get the middle-of-the-morning calls when I’m overseas.”

Knakal said he’s been granting interviews to the press since the 1980s. According to his firm’s internal September public relations report, Knakal was quoted 251 times in print and electronic publications during that month alone.

Miller said he sees himself as an advocate for transparency in an industry often clouded by public-relations spin. “I kind of wear the market on my sleeve,” he said.

That sort of approach is good for everyone, Fasulo said. “Informed investors make better decisions, in my humble opinion.”