Editor’s note: Where the money’s at

Stuart Elliott
Stuart Elliott

There’s money, and then there’s money. 

That’s the main takeaway from our cover story this month about how much real estate professionals working in different parts of the business earn.

The story by Joe Lovinger surveys what the bosses at brokerages and REITs have made in recent years, even amid a pandemic, inflation, rising interest rates and a sagging stock market. 

There is king-of-the-last-mile money: Prologis CEO Hamid Moghadam made the most of any real estate trust chief, earning a whopping $24 million last year and $34 million in 2020. (As the magazine was going to press, news broke that Moghadam had been mugged in San Francisco, with the thieves taking off with his Patek Philippe watch.)

The average head of a REIT took home a more modest $5.9 million last year, which at least qualifies as I-own-four-houses-and-always-fly-private money.  

Then there are the perks. For better-than-a-Metrocard money, Howard Lorber receives up to $200,000 in private jet usage a year from Douglas Elliman for commuting and travel. Not that he couldn’t have paid out of pocket: Lorber’s compensation after bonuses and equity grants reached $32 million last year.  

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Elsewhere in the issue, we take a look at sunny money: how blue-chip financial and tech firms are heading down to Miami in large numbers, boosting commercial rents, land values and home prices (even if the residential market is now starting to slow in South Florida, like the rest of the country).  

The recent news that Citadel Securities, the market-making firm founded by billionaire Ken Griffin, would relocate its headquarters to Miami from Chicago means more I-don’t-care-what-it-costs-I’ll-take-the-place money for residential brokers and commercial landlords to chase after. Check out the story here.

There’s also a lot of profit-on-the-backs-of-strapped-millennials money out there — namely, capital being poured into building new homes that can be rented out and earn investors a tidy profit. The single-family rental segment is growing astronomically, as many younger Americans are now locked out of buying. More than $45 billion was invested in single-family rental properties last year, up from $3 billion the year before. Check out the story by Patrick Sisson.

Meanwhile, under where-have-my-tenants-gone money, the landlords of famed Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley are being hit hard by the move to remote work. The thoroughfare is known for housing the venture capital firms that have funded almost every prominent Silicon Valley company — Google, Facebook and Apple among them. But dominoes have already begun to fall, as reporter Matt Niksa writes, with Andreessen Horowitz, one of the world’s most influential VC firms, announcing last month that its headquarters was moving to the cloud, and Sequoia Capital planning an office in New York. 

Then there is make-a-killing-with-a-contrarian-bet money, as our profile of Shaya Prager’s Opal Holdings in Chicago explores. Prager is making a surprising billion-dollar gamble on the office market, even as the nature of office work in the city has changed, perhaps forever. 

And finally, we examine the behind-the-ridiculously-high-hedgerow money in the Hamptons in our last special section on the East End before the summer ends. 

Read on to follow the money!