May 6, 2024    5 min read

How to Outperform in Real Estate on a Long-Term Basis

I think my becoming a plain old Philosopher – in addition to being The Real Estate Philosopher has resulted in a realization about long-term real estate outperformance that I wish I had figured out many years ago.  Let me explain….

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April 8, 2024    3 min read

(NOT) Predicting Interest Rates?

This is a quick article – very quick but maybe useful nonetheless…. And to be super clear at the outset, I am NOT trying to predict interest rates, which I believe is a fool’s errand. Here is my thinking: The ten-year treasury is at 4.416% as of today when I wrote this.

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April 2, 2024    3 min read

My Latest Real Estate Book is Now Live!

I am pleased to report that I have another real estate book! It is called -- How to Invest in Commercial Real Estate if You Know Nothing About Commercial Real Estate I co-wrote it with my friend and real estate business guru David Dowell as an assignment for a blue chip highly-respected institutional investor who had invested in all asset classes other than real estate. The investor was moving into real estate investing and sought what they called, “Real Estate 101.”

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March 20, 2024    5 min read

Creating Economic Upside in an Uncertain Real Estate World

I just read a book called The Uncertainty Solution, by John Jennings of the St. Louis Trust Company – and I also heard him speak live. I like people who use math and analytics to, well, analyze things, and Jennings does that exceptionally well. In short, his thesis is – overall – this: - Many more things are uncertain than we realize. - We should cultivate an awareness of when things are uncertain and build this awareness into our investment decision-making.

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February 7, 2024    5 min read

Remote Work Will End With a Thud – Offices Will Thrive Again

I recognize that at least so far I have been wronger than wrong about office, i.e. in predicting an imminent recovery – I have been far too soon and I have to own that. However, I do believe that those who invest in it today – at the discounted prices increasingly coming on the market – will be over-rewarded for the risk.

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January 3, 2024    6 min read

Predictions for 2024

Artificial Intelligence – despite all the hype -- will be close to irrelevant, except as a useful tool that saves time.  People will start to realize that it is not a game-changer.  It is not a new business; it is just a new way of doing business.  I called it a Glorified Spell Check in a prior article, i.e. it can catch errors but will not create value for you.  I do caution that even though AI won’t give you a competitive advantage, not having it at your fingertips when your competition has it will hurt you since it will provide some cost-savings and other internal benefits.  Notably, Bill Gates’s famous quote is apropos here; namely, that people tend to overestimate what will happen in one year but underestimate what will happen in ten years.  

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December 26, 2023    8 min read

Predictions -- How Accurate Have I Been?

I have some predictions about 2024 coming to you next week, but before I serve up that article I thought I would take a moment to assess how accurate I have been in my past predictions, as that would be relevant whether you would be open to considering my future predictions.

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December 13, 2023    3 min read

Real (Estate) Politics – Danger For SFR

It seems that whether the real estate industry likes it or not, a growing percentage of the population of this country – or those governing us – seem to be coming to the conclusion that housing is not something one purchases or rents but a “right” that someone who lives in this country must have.

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November 28, 2023    2 min read

Scrappy Startups Sought

As I get older (despite my Baby Boomer desire to live forever), I have been trying to think about things that I can do that are meaningful, helpful and useful to the real estate industry and those who work in it.   It seems like a place where I could add the greatest value would be to parties just starting out and potentially struggling in the real estate world.  

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October 30, 2023    4 min read

Equity (Not Debt) Is The Place For Equity Players

Over the past year-ish, many equity players are moving – or have moved – into debt.  Generally, the view is something like this: Why should I do equity, when I can do equity returns with less risk in debt? Yet this point of view is, in my opinion, significantly flawed for several reasons:

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September 21, 2023    4 min read

You Will (Definitely) Never “Find” A “Good” Deal Again – Redux

Several years ago I wrote an article entitled:           You Will Never “Find” A “Good” Deal Again  The theory was that you would need to ‘create’ deals rather than just ‘find’ them.  This was because the internet and related technology make information ubiquitously available so when you look at a deal on your computer screen, many others (maybe hundreds of others) are looking at the same screen.  Accordingly, your chances of outperforming on that specific deal are very low and your chances of outperforming on a long-term basis are essentially zero (other than by statistical variations of luck).

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August 3, 2023    3 min read

Buy Real Estate Now!!!

I haven’t written a Real Estate Philosopher in a bit since I try to only write if I feel I have something useful to say – and I do now – so here goes. It is pretty simple and straightforward: Buy Real Estate Now! Right now from my catbird seat at one of the largest real estate law practices in NYC – coupled with my work with clients helping them on the business side, I see just about everyone doing the same thing, which is not doing deals.

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April 5, 2023

Leverage and Diversification Conjoined

I started some deep thinking about what I should do as an investor – or what my real estate friends should do as investors/owners in the real estate industry – since there is so much perceived turmoil going on right now in the markets. This turmoil includes, without limitation...

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September 2, 2022    6 min read

Rumors of the Demise of Office Are Greatly Exaggerated

Don’t ask me why I was doing this, but I was recently comparing the market capitalization of WeWork to SL Green. WeWork’s is a little over $3B, and SL Green’s a shade under $3B – they are getting close to equal as time goes on.

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December 5, 2020    10 min read

2021 Will be a Boom Year for Real Estate

Here is a thought piece from your Real Estate Philosopher that I am confident you will “like” even if you think I am dead wrong. In brief, I will stick my neck out to say: 2021 Will Be A Boom Year for Real Estate.

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November 19, 2020

Time to Look Seriously at Retail! | Announcing our Win/Win Retail HUB

Retail to many is a location where the retailer takes products from a producer of the products, puts them on a shelf, marks them up 50%, and customers come in and buy them at the higher price. The retailer gets the markup (less its costs). I would call that business "Old Retail." But then there is a completely different kind of Retail, a location where the owner of a brand, or something that people need or desire, has a competitive advantage. The most obvious is an Apple Store, but there are many more, and you know it when you see it since it was packed with customers (before COVID) and will be again (after COVID). Technically this kind of business is also Retail, isn't it? But it is hardly struggling. I have coined the phrase, which you have seen in my prior writings, "Power Niche" to describe businesses that derive their competitive strength from a niche that they have ownership of. I would call this business "Power Niche Retail."

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May 24, 2020

Distressed Debt Acquisitions? Not So Fast…

My point was that anyone could "find" a deal, and it hardly leverages your skills or talents to look at the same stuff everyone else is looking at – and do you really think you can outperform on a long-term basis when you are looking at the same screen that everyone else is seeing at the same time.

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April 19, 2020

Why This Will be a “Big V Recovery”

I am old enough to have been in a relatively senior position in the real estate world during the Global Financing Crisis (the “GFC”) and the pandemic today (the “COVID Pandemic”). In my position – then as Managing Partner of Adler & Stachenfeld – and now as Chairman -- I have friends, clients, contacts, and relationships with many of the highest level players throughout every corner of the real estate world. This extremely wide lens allows me a unique composite view into what everyone is doing, thinking, wondering about, planning, etc.

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April 14, 2020

The Real Estate Philosopher: Is New York City Over With - Finally?

Eleven years ago – at the depths of the Global Financial Crisis – when I was scared to get out of bed in the morning – somewhere near the end of 2008 – there were many who thought it was lights out for New York. The thinking was that the banks and investment banks and funds were falling apart, there were no bonuses for the people who worked at them, people would give up, the financial center would shrink down and die and possibly the center of the US world would move to DC or another location.

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January 19, 2017

The End Game for Co-Working

I have been watching – and our firm has been participating in – the co-working trend. It started with Regus when it was founded in 1989 but didn’t really go anywhere until WeWork captured everyone’s imagination with its trendy platform. Since then, numerous competitors have entered the market, each with its own twist to appeal to different parties.

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October 16, 2015

Creating Value in the Real Estate World

In my wanderings and discussions with clients and other friends in the real estate world, I hear many different plans from many different people. Many plans are of course brilliant and well executed; however, I do see a perennial fundamental flaw in many plans that I would like to talk about. Here is my thinking......

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