LRE® Blog

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March 2, 2015

It’s All In The Fingertips

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty I love to teach. Last week I had a wonderful time leading a pricing and negotiation class for a large group of veteran agents. I was reminded, as I often am when teaching, about the rapidity with which change occurs in our marketplace. Pricing and negotiating strategies evolve on a month-to-month basis (in fact, pricing the property with the seller is often our first negotiation!) and it is particularly challenging to keep our clients and customers informed and up to date. Here’s what I (and the group) believe is happening at the moment:

February 18, 2015

Foreign Money

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty The New York Times series, published last week, about foreign money at the Time Warner Center has raised a lot of eyebrows. Does this foreign money, frequently emanating, according to The Times, from sources which are perhaps corrupt, deserve a home in the condominiums of New York City, or Miami, or San Francisco? It’s a great question but not one which allows an easy answer. All the issues which surround it are complex.

February 12, 2015

The Enemy Within

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty This past week-end my wife and I saw the movie "Selma". It continues days later to vibrate in my head. Watching that terrible legacy of disenfranchisement and brutalization reminded me of other systematic stories of terror and violent mistreatment, directed towards the Jews, or the Armenians, or gay people. Even here in New York, this most cosmopolitan of cities, we require constant vigilance against prejudice. And when it comes to housing, that vigilance often starts with us, the agents.

February 9, 2015

Do Clothes Make the Agent?

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty When I was a teenager, most of my wardrobe was purple. I wore a purple fringed suede vest, ruffled satin shirts, clogs, and bell bottom blue jeans I bought at The Different Drummer, the first hippie/head shop on the Upper East Side. My goals in this wardrobe rebellion were murky (as most adolescent thinking is murky): I wanted to break out of the sartorial straitjacket in which I had spent the first 15 years of my life, and I wanted to conform to the rapidly altering standards of what was cool. I both wanted to stand out and to belong.

February 2, 2015

Learning from Beethoven

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty I am about three quarters of the way through the enormous new Beethoven biography by Jan Swafford; like so many contemporary biographies, it is highly detailed and carefully researched. It makes one point over and over: in spite of illness, personal crisis, disappointments in love, money problems, the composer always kept his eye on his need to serve his gift, to be true to his vocation. These thoughts reconnected me, as most things do sooner or later, to the real estate brokerage business and how most successfully to ply it.

January 27, 2015


Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty When my wife and I bought our apartment in 1977 we did not consider the apartment an investment. Investments earned compound interest in the bank; real estate was something you either bought or rented, depending on which was cheaper and which offered more options of places to live. For us, moving back to Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights and thinking ahead to having a family, there were better big places to buy than to rent, especially on Central Park West.

January 20, 2015

The Real World

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty Last week I was called by a reporter who wanted to discuss the possibility of an overstock of Manhattan condominiums in the $30 million to $50 million dollar market. I took the call reluctantly. It’s not that I did not know what to say – quite the contrary! I have been fielding calls from the press about the ultra-luxury condo market almost once a week for the past year. Will 2015 be the year of the $100 million sale, they want to know? Who will buy all those new downtown penthouses priced at $30 million? Were you to be reading the popular press, it might well appear to you that the entry level price in New York City is $15 million. It’s not.

December 18, 2014

It’s Not As Easy As It Looks

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty Residential real estate buyers feel enabled by the Internet. They can go online and, with a few keystrokes, find everything that is for sale in the neighborhoods in which they are interested. So they increasingly believe that they can make themselves a better deal if they work without a buyer’s agent and offer and negotiate directly with the seller’s agent. After all, gatekeeping the information WAS the primary job of the broker, right?

December 15, 2014

The Gift of High Standards

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty It has been a year of new directions for us here at Warburg, and because of that I particularly want to express my profound belief in our guiding principles, and my fervent wish that they continue to animate the firm at every level. Many of you have heard me articulate my dislike for the phrase “It’s just business.” For me, that phrase lacks the ring of truth. Nothing is “just business.” Somehow the notion has grown up in this country that business practices hew to a different standard than those in our personal lives; somehow saying that it is “just business” exonerates us from displaying the behaviors we believe to be most important in our personal lives. I don’t believe this – in fact, I have tried to build this firm on my conviction that the opposite is true.

December 4, 2014


Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty Every year at Thanksgiving, my family goes around our table and each person speaks for a moment about why they are grateful. This year we had a modest crew of 25, and the diverse reasons for gratitude were, as always, far reaching. Four generations of our family expressed their appreciation for births, marriages, jobs: the common theme was the importance of family. For me, 2014 brought a new granddaughter, Naomi, born just a few weeks ago, and a new great nephew, Morgan, born just a few weeks before that. I feel so thankful to experience the sense of unfolding generations which seeing my children’s children gives to me.
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