Did anyone ask where you were Tuesday morning? You should have been at the 5th Annual NYC Real Estate Expo on October 8, as it really was the place to be – literally a ‘Who’s Who’ in the world of New York City real estate – as some 3,500 people attended the day-long event at the New York Hilton Midtown. They represented every facet of the commercial and residential real estate and related industries.
During a morning presentation on the use of technology in the real estate industry, Michael Mandel, Co-Founder & CEO of CompStak, a marketplace for commercial real estate information, described the future as he sees it, foreshadowing his firm’s First Place title of ‘Most Disruptive’ in the NYC real estate landscape at the first TechChallenge: NYC contest later in the day.
A focal point of the day was the first TechChallenge: NYC – a novel version of TV’s ‘Shark Tank’ that featured five leading #CRE startups from across the U. S. They battled it out for the title of ‘Most Disruptive’ in the NYC marketplace. Organizer Stephen Hopkins commended CompStak for taking top title over BuildingOPS in a very close vote. The host was Emmy Award winner Cathy Hobbs, founder of Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes, a boutique interior design and home staging firm, a finalist on Season 6 of HGTV's Hit Reality Series ‘Design Star.’ Pictured below are TechChallenge: NYC Host Cathy Hobbs; judges Teke Wiggin and Anthony Lolli; winner Michael Mandel of Compstak; and judges Louis Weiss and Robin Gill.
TechChallenge: NYC judges were Lois Weiss, commercial real estate columnist, New York Post; Teke Wiggin, Tech reporter, Inman News; Anthony Lolli, Founder/CEO, Rapid Realty; and Robin Gill, Senior Vice President of the NY Tech and Venture Capital Banking Group at City National Bank, Challenge sponsor.
Kevin Guy, Founder of Real Liquidity, took the opportunity to make a groundbreaking announcement, viewed as a truly ‘disruptive idea’ for the industry: The establishment of a new exchange, patterned after the stock exchange template, to focus on trading shares of individual commercial buildings. The room was abuzz with this progressive concept to make it possible for the general public to invest in commercial real estate.
The program featured educational seminars and forums throughout the day with speakers and panelists who have had – and will have -- enormous impacts on the appearance, vitality and quality of life of the city.
For the second year, commercial real estate thought leaders joined in a panel dubbed ‘The NYC Titans of Real Estate’ and discussed their outlook on 2014 and beyond. Over 500 attendees heard panelists John Catsimatidis, Chairman & CEO, Red Apple Group; Francis Greenburger, Chairman/ CEO, Time Equities; Michael Ashner, Chairman/CEO, Winthrop Realty Trust; John Lam, Chairman/ CEO, Lam Group; Stephen Meringoff, Co-Managing Partner, Himmel + Meringoff Properties; and Aaron Kaiser, CPA, Partner, Leader, Real Estate Services Group, Eisner Amper LLP.
The morning began with a presentation ‘Trends in the New York City Multifamily Market’ led by Shimon Shkury, legendary Founder and President of Ariel Property Advisors. A standing-room-only crowd of 500+ was already present when Shkury began at 8:15 a.m. The head of Ariel, the leading NYC investment property firm, gave an overview of the multifamily market including activity and trends, pricing fundamentals, the financing environment, and buyer and seller profiles.
Among presenters during the day were Kent Swig, President, Swig Equities, LLC; Michael Stoler, President, New York Real Estate TV, LLC; James Nelson, Partner, Massey Knakal Realty Services, and many others.
This was Expo Producer Anthony Kazazis’ 5th such industry extravaganza. Sizing up the crowd, he repeated his mantra: “There are few venues where you can meet and network with so many of the industry’s ‘thought leaders’ in one day, under one roof.”
He wasn’t exaggerating. The Expo, with 125 exhibitors, is one of New York City’s only full-scale real estate expositions geared exclusively to this market. A centerpiece was a new Tech Village incorporating Media Row.
One dramatic new feature this year was Technology Village, a focal point of the exhibit hall, visionaries and pioneers of 12 of the most innovative real estate technology companies, from start-ups to established brands that provide products and services to all aspects of real estate, showcased their game-changing products and services.
Along Media Row, the Chinese TV network NTD-TV, interviewed industry leaders, enabling them to make new connections and learn how to reach dual markets in the US/NY and mainland China. Among those interviewed for NTD-TV were John Lam, John Catsimatidis and Michael Stoler, president of New York Real Estate TV, LLC and a managing director at Madison Realty Capital. New York’s largest Chinese-language publication, The Epoch Times, featured the Expo on Page One and editor Hai Li interviewed attendees.
During breakout sessions thought leaders presented on a range of exciting topics. Tech Village’s blockbuster panel discussed ‘Technology: How Disruptive Ideas Are Revolutionizing the Industry & What the Future Holds.’ Industry pioneers discussed the future of buying, selling and financing properties and how technology is facilitating the change.
Among attendees were bankers, attorneys, commercial and residential real estate brokers, developers, mortgage companies, social media experts, accountants, title insurance companies, marketing firms, construction companies and many others.
As the hotel crew and Expo team were packing boxes and cleaning up, Executive Director Anthony Kazazis was overheard commenting, “I know I’ll sleep well tonight. I have to because tomorrow morning we start planning next year’s show.”