The Real Estate Philosopher


As the Managing Partner of Duval & Stachenfeld – a 70-lawyer law firm in mid-town NYC known as The Pure Play in Real Estate Law – I am inviting you to join The Real Estate Philosopher™. This will consist of my thoughts and also thoughts of friends and colleagues.

It will not be published in any traditional media – it will go only to friends of our firm. The purpose here is very simple – to put forth thoughts in the real estate world that are different, provocative, and challenging of accepted wisdom. Hopefully, nothing said here will be mainstream thinking.

You may be wondering how I am qualified to write on these topics since I am “just” a lawyer. However, I have an unusual place in the real estate world. As the managing partner of The Pure Play in Real Estate Law (one of the largest real estate law practices in NYC), I interact with an incredible number of real estate players. This ranges from small real estate shops with nothing but a gleam in their eyes, to some of the largest real estate institutions in the world, and everything in between. This gives me a unique and global perspective and allows me to act as an amateur philosopher in the real estate world. This has always been my hobby and it is what I love doing.

Regards,

Bruce Stachenfeld
a.k.a The Real Estate Philosopher™

Brexit and London and Talent, Oh My

Jul 11, 2016

I am sitting here in New York reading goodness knows how many articles on the Brexit. It is getting more coverage than any other news right now. I recognize it is juicy for the media because there are all sorts of thought-provoking issues that touch on how human beings can live together (or maybe not live together) — but I have another take on this that I haven't seen in other articles so I will share it. My thoughts also lead into a possible twist on real estate investing as well.

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What "Inning" of the Real Estate Cycle Are We In?

Jun 2, 2016

I have now practiced real estate law for almost 35 years, which is a long time to do anything. I am not absolutely "sure" about many things; however, I am confident that no one has a crystal ball about what the markets are going to do.

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Uniqueness - the Bane of Fund Raising

May 10, 2016

I have seen this time and again. Someone uses their brainpower to come up with a cutting-edge idea for real estate investment. It is a niche (a "Power Niche" as I call it), or a way of looking at real estate that no one has done before. It seems pretty cool, but the lament is that "investors won't go for it", so, alas it is just not viable.

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Gorging on Leverage Always a Dumb Idea?

Jan 21, 2016

Heresy — according to a dictionary I found on-line, is a word that means "Any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs, customs, etc." I think it has become heresy to advocate a lot of leverage — at least for "conservative investors" in investment funds. But I am going to do exactly that, at least in part.

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Porter's Five Forces in the Real Estate World

Jan 6, 2016

Michael Porter is a professor at Harvard Business School. He has spent his long career analyzing strategy and competition. His analysis is exceptional and probably just about everyone in the business world knows all about him; however, I have never seen his theories applied to the real estate world.

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A Special Idea to Create Value in Real Estate

Nov 23, 2015

I was going to have this article be about applying Porter's Five Forces to the real estate world. That will be a great article when I write it; however, A very interesting value-creating idea just struck me this beautiful afternoon in New Jersey, and I thought I would sneak this idea in first through this (very short) article.

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Peter Drucker
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