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As the Chairman of Duval & Stachenfeld – a 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It will not be published in any traditional media – it will go only to friends of our firm.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 Chairman 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®

Commercial Rent Control in NYC? The Great Sucking Sound of Capital Fleeing NYC – We Can’t Let This Happen

Nov 12, 2019

Last November, I wrote this article begging, pleading, importuning the New York City Council to not proceed with commercial rent regulation, but apparently at least some of them are not listening. After the actions from Albany concerning multifamily rent control a few months ago prices of multifamily in NYC have fallen at least 30% and possibly as much as 40%. The great sucking sound everyone heard was the sound of capital fleeing NYC multifamily; hence the price drop. And as many persons have pointed out, who now is going to put capital into NYC multifamily? And the answer is – eventually – the government. Indeed, it is not farfetched to conceive of the housing stock falling into disrepair due to the lack of capital, and as a result, the government being forced to take over a large portion of NYC’s housing stock in coming years.

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You Will Never “Find” a “Good” Deal Again

Jun 28, 2019

The title to this article sounds needlessly provocative, but – alas – I think I am right here in what I am saying. The (good?) old days are gone. Those were the days where people looked for deals and sometimes “found” “good” ones. They would get setups from brokers and hear about them and then they would try to do them.

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The “Formula” for “Success” in the Real Estate World – This is Exactly What to Do – Truly!

Feb 28, 2019

Why is it that when I ping the top guy/gal at a real estate company at 11 P.M. on a Saturday night – because I had an idea – she/he responds by 11:15 P.M.? Why is it that many of the top people in the real estate world still cold-call people when they don’t have to do that any more? Why do some people succeed in building incredible franchises and others just don’t?

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Ten (Not So Obvious) Predictions for 2019 in Real Estate

Jan 7, 2019

Only foolish people try to predict things. Well, actually, that is not true. Smart people make continuous outrageous predictions. When they are right – which happens by chance to pretty much everyone at some point – they crow about how prescient they have been. When they are wrong – which usually happens way more than 50% for most predictors – they rely upon either (i) the fact that everyone will forget what they predicted or (ii) a revisionist claim that their prediction wasn’t really a certainty anyway, or what they meant was…..

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Dear City Council of New York City - Please do not Impose Commercial Rent Control on New York City

Nov 6, 2018

I ask you nicely. Please do not impose commercial rent control. I love New York City and this will really hurt us. I appreciate that those in favor really wish to do something “good”. But with all my heart, soul and intellect I ask you to reconsider. The free market certainly can be harsh – and indeed it is certainly the worst form of regulation – except for all the others….Commercial rent regulation will be a very bad thing.

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