The Lower East Side: Real Estate.

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As a Lower East Side Resident, and real estate broker, I have observed the shift in the architectural landscape. What once used to be the Matzo Factory, is now a new condominium development. Adorning the corners of  the high foot traffic Clinton Street – an array of new boutique shops selling art, good food, and love in a cup of gourmet hot chocolate.  It makes sense that developers hedged on the steady growth of the LES. A romantic landscape , with vibrant flavor and history, where a developer could build and make a profit, while not surpassing the average 2k a foot psqf,  in surrounding neighborhoods.  As a resident, and broker, I do feel that it is positive that our community continues to dynamically move forward, while still keeping aspects of the history that has made the LES what it is. Among the fancy  new boutique shops, one can still find the little mom and pop spaces, art, music, galleries, Orchard Street. The architectural design does not take away from the skyline; featuring small walk-ups, and charming buildings. From a buyer’s standpoint, this would be the place to invest at the moment, while prices are relatively low, and the product new, in a wonderful location.  GO LES!!!!

Data sharing IS shrinking.

I love New York City, because it is a dramatic space with fluid and dynamic energy and an artistic underlying climate.  Being a real estate broker, is challenging, but it is also exciting. Throughout the years, open source players and creative programmers have tried to find a way to democratize data in the real estate landscape. After acknowledging that New York City’s real estate data has mostly operated in closed, non cybernetic systems prior to listing aggregators – they realized that  it would behoove them, to mostly create tools that brokers can use to facilitate a transaction, or create spaces where brokers and prospective buyers and leasees could try to find real time data to negotiate a transaction based on a macro, contextually relevant comparisons.  With aggregators, they welcomed the real estate industry’s willingness to share data and create an overall market place for all.  Thus, consumers became locally familiar with the marketplaces, and brokers were able to find  direct customers/clients. That is, until every new aggregator, or provider of real estate data, decides, that they are more interested in the classical brokerage model  for controlling data and turning profit. Thus, democratizing of information is great, but then, they want to be compensated for the service that they provide, and what better way than to use the content already provided by the real estate players who kept the information in closed systems and by default control the market. A conflict of interest is born, and regardless of how many new tools are used to democratize this particular data, the content providers will  pull back because it affects their profits. Data sharing is shrinking because of the push and pull that technocratization of this particular type of information purports, and the landscape is not ready to lose power or control of extremely valuable data with fancy profits.  New York City’s real estate landscape is interesting because it contains different types of properties, and for each, a unique process. Furthermore, there  are laws dictating how each property can operate within the macro landscape. Brokers are needed; technology is useful – what will the future bring for this complex landscape? will owners accept that an agent would not want to list their property in a given space, because this will mean having to share the commission? Will that owner receive the highest bid? will that owner still be paying the same commission amount if the buyer comes directly to the listing agent vs having to co broke it with a buyer’s agent representing a customer? Do buyers even care who represents them, and rather go directly to the seller’s agent because this will guarantee them getting the property that they want?  If a buyer’s agent doesn’t know a property, his/her job is to conduct due diligence, and by default the understanding is that the professional has experience and knowledge in reference to the process, pricing and market movement. Will  owners even care or understand how this paradigm shift  impacts the bottom line? will the brokerage system change? Only time will tell.