It seems that there is no money around, which means there must be a liquidity crisis – right? However, there are actually many zillions of dollars in sitting on the sidelines, which means there is no liquidity crisis after all. The reality is that there is plenty of money, but the parties with the money are fearful of putting it out into the choppy markets. I call the current situation: A Faux Liquidity CrisisRead more
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It will not be published in any traditional media – it will go only to friends of our firm.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.
a.k.a The Real Estate Philosopher®
Let me get right to it. There is going to be distressed real estate – I mean it is already here. Here is the background and some thoughts about what to do: First – some history – during the Global Financial Crisis, many thought there would be tons of real estate distress. I recall meetings and seminars planning for an enormous wave of distressed real estate. However, the Fed and other governments printed a lot more money, which lowered interest rates. This permitted most of the cans to be kicked down the road. There was some distress for sure, but not nearly the expected level. Second – came COVID – and there was again a major expectation of distressed real estate. However – other than retail, hotels, and a few other places – the crash and distress were a flash that lasted a little over 60 days, and the dip quickly disappeared to be replaced by a boom. This was again due to interest rates continuing to fall – plus the government continuing to print dramatically more money. However, this time it is quite different.Read more
I hear every day – with the drumbeat growing louder – how RE tech companies are struggling – and severely so. The money spigot where rapidly propagating unicorns – indirectly birthed by the governmental printing press, low-interest rates, and intrepid VC investors – roamed the forests has been turned off. And instead of a plethora of capital, there is a paucity.Read more
All over the markets, I am hearing – and seeing – purchasers, investors, lenders, and other parties worried about doing deals in ‘this uncertain market.’ Some are putting a pause on their activities. I have some thoughts about that as follows:Read more
He mentioned the idea of thinking of what your business would be like in ten years – one hundred years – and (even) one thousand years. This seemed a bit far-fetched, but I paid attention when he referenced one company that had been in business for almost 1500 years. No, that is not a typo. It did indeed last for close to 1500 years. At this point, I stopped reading the Mind Power book and tried to imagine what this company could have done. What could last so long? What could it be? I knew as I was reading that this information would likely be exceptionally valuable, as what this company did would give me insights into what would make my law firm last (maybe) or what would make your real estate business last (maybe).Read more
On June 29, 2017 – almost exactly five years ago – I wrote an article about how to beat Amazon – if you are a retailer. My thesis was then – and is now – that Amazon was a distortion of the retail landscape brought on by Wall Street, giving it a free pass on not having to make money. Amazon was making essentially zilch – i.e., zero dollars – when one subtracted stock-based compensation – but still had a $450B market cap at that time. Its base online retail business model as the Everything Store had never made money and possibly never would. I also mentioned that I thought the Whole Foods acquisition would be a major disaster for Amazon.Read more
They say that "As remote work becomes a more permanent fixture — despite the edicts of a few billionaires on returning to the office — the values of office buildings are headed south, researchers predict. Office values in New York City will drop 28% by 2029, representing value destruction of $49B, according to a new study by academics at New York University and Columbia University, as lease revenue and the total number of leases drop."Read more