From the ground up: TRD’s longest-tenured staffers reflect on the first 20 years
VP, Corporate Development
Our life back then was always do or die; you either brought in business or you died. We had no funding, so what we didn’t cover we had to pay out of pocket. That kind of mentality, where failure is not an option, brings out your carnal side. Everything was a hunt and a kill; and if you didn’t land that combo, you didn’t eat. It was exhausting, but extremely, extremely rewarding. The thing that kept us going through those times of serious pressure was the satisfaction we felt meeting the deadline on the monthly issue. We never met the elusive deadline, not once in the first two years, but I loved every moment of being a part of something that became an important cultural voice.
Chief Sales Officer
I’ll never forget waiting at the Polo Bar for a client dinner and randomly seeing Jerry Jones and Stan Kroenke. They both casually walked into the bar with their own whiskey glasses from a limo parked out front. Of course I was a bit starstruck, but I did manage to have a conversation with them. They knew of The Real Deal and were both fans!
I’ve seen The Real Deal grow tremendously since joining in 2014. We’ve gone from having little to no design team to building an entire marketing department in what seems like the blink of an eye. We’ve gone from a staff of 40 to a staff of 100 — and that’s not counting office dogs. We’ve outgrown NYC and expanded to other cities. I can only hope that Philly, where I now live, will be in our future…
You don’t truly know your coworkers ’til you’ve seen them screaming in agony. We did a “TRD Olympics” one year at Chelsea Piers, which included a brutal game of tug of war. We went from business to barbaric real quick!
VP, Strategic Sales and Business Development
When TRD moved into our most recent office, an office with room to move and not be on top of everyone, ping-pong became the ultimate luxury. Clients would come in just to challenge us. I remember Venus Williams coming to challenge one of my colleagues while the company watched and cheered them on. Since then, that ping-pong space became a piano area, photo area, and most recently, the office has been converted into a media studio and event space. Adapting, that’s what we do.
Commercial Bureau Chief and Senior Reporter
We’re always trying out new editorial features, and there was a time when we were coming up with real estate quizzes for the website each week. One time, a reporter joked that we should do one called “Who said it? Stephen Ross or Steven Roth?” It was a joke but it’s exactly the kind of thing TRD would do. I think about that almost every time I hear one of those guys’ names, which at TRD is a lot.
Special Projects Editor and Senior Reporter
Reporters used to create their own art for every story, a system that has blessedly been replaced by a team of ace designers. Most of those early slapdash Photoshop jobs are (luckily) no longer easily findable on the internet, though I stand by superimposing Dan Garodnick into Super Mario Bros. But I am immensely grateful for an art team that makes our stories pop and routinely saves me from my own goofy ideas.
South Florida Managing Editor
When I joined The Real Deal as South Florida managing editor in late 2014, we were the only TRD site outside of New York City. Our team consisted of just Katherine Kallergis and me. We knew the company was destined for growth, but it’s amazing how much we have expanded in the past eight-plus years! Today we have a South Florida team of six people, and we have sites in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Texas, as well as a staff of designers and researchers, a video team and more!
Residential Bureau Chief and Senior Reporter
Our Miami office in the earlier days was unconventional but fun. Initially we were working out of a brokerage’s office where employees would offer champagne during working hours. Then, we moved to two desks in an open co-working space, where my editor Ina Cordle would shush people around us if they were being too loud. Eventually, we moved up to a real office with separate rooms, walls and doors — though one room was blazing hot and another freezing. Looking back, it was a form of character building that I wouldn’t change.
New Business Development Team
I remember when Ross [Fox] came in to interview for the first time. He was very cordial and respectful. I remember how excited and intrigued and relieved I was when we launched in Los Angeles in 2016. That was turning a page, opening on the opposite coast, so to speak.
…to all of the hardworking people behind The Real Deal, who have made it the real estate industry’s publication of record for 20 years and counting.
Nearly a dozen reporters and editors at The Real Deal have continued their careers at the Wall Street Journal, including reporters Kathy Clarke, E.B. Solomont and Konrad Putzier. Others have gone on to the New York Times, Bloomberg, ProPublica, The Information, Forbes, Hearst, the New York Post, Billboard and many more outlets. A few have even launched their own media companies. Some have written award-winning books.
TRD would especially like to recognize its longest serving and earliest staffers, including Jill Noonan, Adam Pincus, Heather Grossmann, Tom Acitelli, Jennifer White Karp, Lauren Schram and Eran Evron.
Then there’s the freelancer who has stood head and shoulders over anyone else – and wrote our first long form narrative book – Adam Piore.
We would also like to remember our colleagues who have passed away: Abi Laoshe, Nick Mascaro, Shahram Granmayeh, Christopher Cuomo and Leora Brinkley.