Day in the life of: Michael Stoler

The Madison Realty Capital managing director on hosting a TV show, his workout regimen and the dangers of playing squash

Michael Stoler (Photo by Michael McWeeney)
Michael Stoler (Photo by Michael McWeeney)

Michael Stoler, 70, is a managing director at the real estate management firm Madison Realty Capital. But he’s better known as the host of the eponymous real estate roundtable show “The Stoler Report” on the City University of New York’s television network and as a radio commentator on 1010 WINS and WCBS 880. He recently taped his 1,000th television show between “The Stoler Report” (which first aired in 2003) and a handful of other shows he’s created over the years. The Brooklyn-born New Yorker can always be seen wearing suspenders and a blue dress shirt, but he says that’s about the only thing that’s consistent in his day-to-day. “Somebody who tells you that they have the same routine each and every day is bullshitting you,” he said.

At Madison, Stoler maintains the firm’s relationships with financial institutions such as Mercantil Bank, Citizens Bank and New York Community Bank. He joined in 2009 after three years at Apollo Real Estate Advisors. He’s also been a senior vice president at First American Title Insurance and founded Princeton Commercial Corporation, a financial advisory firm, in the 1980s.

Stoler lives in Manhattan with his wife, and has two sons and four grandchildren. 

6:20 a.m. I don’t get up with an alarm, my body just wakes at 6:20 a.m. And I’m not the maniac looking at emails right away. I take enough time to just brush my teeth, take a shower, and decide where I’m going to be.

The Harmonie Club

7: 00 a.m. About three days a week, I go to the Harmonie Club on East 60th Street, where I work out. It’s a social club. I don’t eat beforehand — no coffee, no nothing, cold turkey. I do the elliptical for 40 minutes and rowing machine for 10. I also do some weights and swim for a short time. After, I go to the whirlpool and then the double steam room.

8:45 a.m. On the days I’m at Harmonie, I’ll have a coffee and breakfast there. I read three newspapers: the New York Post, the Times and the Journal. I’m looking at my emails by now on my phone.

9:15 a.m. I’ll walk over to Madison [at 825 Third Avenue]. I walk a lot and review the city. I always look around and see what’s happening — projects being built, sold and financed. Near the Harmonie is 515 Park Avenue, being built by the Zeckendorfs. And today on my walk I passed 390 Madison Avenue, an office building that L&L Holding Company is redeveloping.

9:30 a.m. I get to Madison and check my emails again. On Mondays we have pipeline meetings. Other days I see what’s going on and hear what the teams are working on. I’m on the phone with a number of people — bankers, friends and others. Normally I speak or meet with Mercantil Bank’s Paolo Garcia and Avi Lieberman just to find out what’s going on in their business. I do a little advisory work with them. I also speak with Bill Butler at Citizens Bank. I keep in touch with a number of bankers to see what’s going on, what’s going on with their pricing and what markets they’re trying to do business in.

10:30 a.m. I start working on “The Stoler Real Estate Minute,” which airs on WCBS 880 AM. I also work on “The Michael Stoler Real Estate Report,” which airs on 1010 WINS. I write the copy for both. When I don’t go down to the Harmonie Club or have a business meeting for breakfast, I’ll head down to CBS Radio to tape them.

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11:00 a.m. I’m talking to people about what’s happening in the world of real estate — calling them and having discussions about finance and other transactions. Not just for Madison, but also for “The Stoler Report.” I create the topic and pick the guests for each episode, so that’s part of my role each day at work. I have to be on the phone or emailing people to get them on the show. And I shoot three shows at a time.

12:15 p.m. I meet with my producer at the CUNY Graduate Center, where we shoot ”The Stoler Report.” I sit down with the makeup artist to take care of the grain. Not really the hair, more the face.

12:30 p.m. I don’t catch lunch most days, I’ll just pick up a little nosh from the outside, nothing in particular. Two or three times a week I have a business lunch. There’s a pub in the Madison building called Ashton’s Alley that I frequently go to, and I’ll usually have a salad and salmon — it’s an afterthought.

1:00 p.m. The guests for the first show come in. I sit down with them for about 20 to 25 minutes in the green room and we discuss the topic of the show, but they don’t get the questions. We talk about it more broadly so they’re not nervous when they get on the air.

2:00 p.m. We head into the studio and shoot the first show. There’s no editing — and we do three in a row. [Some recent guests were Ravel Hotel owner Ravi Patel, Douglaston Development project manager Jessica Sherman and New York Building Congress President and CEO Carlo Scissura.]

5:15 p.m. I leave the CUNY studio, and then it’s a decision: I’m either going back to Madison to do some paperwork or going back to Harmonie to work out. It’s 50/50, but I prefer to go work out. I do a good hour and 15 minutes in those cases. I even used to try to play squash, but I nearly ruptured my Achilles’ tendon last February so I’ve given up temporarily. If you’re a klutz, you can really hurt yourself.

7:00 p.m. After a workout, I like to go to the Hub at the Harmonie Club, where the benefit of exercising is normally destroyed by a drink. I recently cut out drinking, so now it’s visiting for a water. I like to stop in and visit with some guys from the club, or sometimes I’ll meet some client there. Other times I’ll go to a business event.

7:30 p.m. I’ll go out to dinner with bankers and other industry leaders on occasion. I like Wolfgang’s on 54th Street and Third Avenue. Or maybe I’ll go to Cellini on 54th Street and Park Avenue — that’s Italian. I’ll get chicken or fish. I don’t eat red meat.

9:00 p.m. By now I’m usually home watching television with my wife, Paula, who’s retired. I watch “Shark Tank” and “The Profit,” or she’s watching Netflix or Amazon. If Paula’s been out playing mahjong or at dinner with friends, she’s usually home when I get back.

10:00 p.m. I don’t fall asleep easy. I lie in bed, thinking. I don’t wake up with an alarm, I don’t go to sleep with an alarm.