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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It will not be published in any traditional media – it will go only to friends of our firm.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.


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

Ten Real Estate Industry Predictions for 2020

Jan 6, 2020

New York is not dead yet for real estate. There are a lot of negatives for real estate in NYC – as per my prior article – but people will be surprised how well real estate continues to do in The Big Apple. This is for the simple reason that (talented) people want to be here more than anything because other talented people are here. English is the spoken language, and NYC is still the world center of commerce and becoming the world center for many different things (including technology, education, and maybe soon life sciences). Even if NYC has some troubles for the real estate industry taking it on the chin, it is still a much better place for people and capital than anywhere else.

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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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Real estate
Peter Drucker
Michael Porter
Power Niche
Creating Value
Capital Providers
Five Forces
Peter Thiel
Seth Godin
Uniqueness Challenge
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