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It will not be published in any traditional media – it will go only to friends of our firm.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

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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Anti-Fragility – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Aug 30, 2018

Some of the greatest “thinkers” are often not afraid to get ideas from other people – and so it is for The Real Estate Philosopher. My thinking in this article comes from Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his new book called Antifragile.

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How to Avoid Getting Taken Advantage of in a Real Estate Deal

Jul 19, 2018

I have been around for an awfully long time now. Close to 35 years since I started my real estate career in 1984 – after a year in litigation. And, just for amusement, this issue is going out on my sixtieth birthday. I have seen a lot of things happen, including the laws of unintended consequences upend some really smart real estate players. Here are some things I have seen (very smart) people do that have turned out quite badly for them in the end, always to their surprise:

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An Insidious Danger to Your Business in the Real Estate Industry

Jun 25, 2018

There is something particularly dangerous and awful lurking out there that can potentially destroy just about any business – even a very successful one – and that is letting someone get between you and your “customer.” To be clear what I mean here by “customer,” it could mean:

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The “Best” Books to Read for Building a World Class Real Estate Organization

Jun 4, 2018

This article contains my thoughts on which are the ‘best’ books to read in order to build a world class real estate organization. As a philosopher I am supposed to think – of course – that’s what we philosophers do. However, when you really are honest with yourself, you admit that most thinking is built on the thinking of others. You learn something and then you apply it to something else or you build on it, or, just maybe, you break away from what you learned completely

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A Super-Easy Marketing Thing You Can Do – But So Many Miss This…

May 18, 2018

Sometimes people are brilliant at what they are doing but overlook an opportunity that is right under their noses. So here goes some hopefully useful thinking … What is the absolutely easiest free marketing and sales pitch any company can make in the real estate world – or really in any world? Answer – your name – i.e. the name of your company!

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