Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cool retail leasing APP / 22-22-22 / A dog's tail

Cool retail leasing APP

I met Dan Levy in 1997 at the very first commercial real estate technology conference.  This NYC event was organized by Peter Pike, an early commercial real estate blogger.  Since then Dan has experienced success in both residential and commercial real estate technology.  He founded and REOL (Real Estate On-Line). 

City Realty is the closest thing New York City has to a residential multiple listing service. Their database contains thousands of apartments for sale or rent, and will match buyers and renters with brokers that best align with the needs of apartment hunters. 

On the commercial real estate side, has developed a number of technology solutions for commercial real estate owners including corporate websites and content management systems.  I visited Dan this week and was excited to be given a demo of his iPad app for multiple property types. As a former shopping center leasing person, sampling the retail portfolio app was most engaging.   

I immediately saw the advantage of having a shopping center portfolio fully loaded on an iPad and ready to show - to anyone, anywhere, at any time.  The dynamic mapping and site-plan functionality leverage what technology is all about:  making things simpler and more mobile. 

A number of Dan’s clients will be using the iPad app at the annual International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) convention in Las Vegas in May.  If you are an owner of retail properties, you may want to check this out - before you go to Vegas with your printed presentation books and rolled-up leasing plans.  With retail leasing so competitive, a tool like this might just differentiate you from your competition and show retailers that you are a forward-thinking landlord.  You never know what could swing a decision in your favor.  Here’s the link (


When I began my working career, the normal workday was considered 9:00am to 5:00pm.  But those days are long gone.  One culprit is that there’s so much cross time-zone business being done.  Another reason is the amazing advancements in technology.  Then there is a third reason.

I was introduced to a new phrase this week: ‘22-22-22’ - a 22-year old who will work 22 hours a day for $22K.  While this expression is new to me, the theme isn’t a shock – the job market is tough!  Hopefully it won’t always be this way. But for now, employers have their pick of numerous applicants because there are so many people applying for every job. 

I found an on-line New York Times article called ‘The No-limits Job’ (March 2, 2013 by Teddy Wayne) that offers some real-life color on this subject. Following are excerpts quoted directly from the article:
“If I’m not at the office, I’m always on my BlackBerry,” said Casey McIntyre, 28, a book publicist in New York. “I never feel like I’m totally checked out of work.”
Ms. McIntyre is just one 20-something — a population historically exploitable as cheap labor — learning that long hours and low pay go hand in hand in the creative class. The recession has been no friend to entry-level positions, where hundreds of applicants vie for unpaid internships at which they are expected to be on call with iPhone in hand, tweeting for and representing their company at all hours.
“We need to hire a 22-22-22,” one new-media manager was overheard saying recently, meaning a 22-year-old willing to work 22-hour days for $22,000 a year. Perhaps the middle figure is an exaggeration, but its bookends certainly aren’t.
Lots of very bright, hard-working students graduating each year seem willing to accept ‘opportunities’ to work in the field of their choice (hopefully) and be that 22-22-22 person.  But I wonder: do the employers ever think about the reputation their company is developing? 

Some of us have accepted a lower salary just to get the job - we had mortgages to pay and mouths to feed. But it never feels good.  Those employers who feel they are getting a ‘bargain’ may tend to outsmart themselves when a really talented person leaves because they don’t feel appreciated where they are - and a better paying position comes along.

While the 22-22-22 concept is an exaggeration, the mere fact that the phrase exists says something about our society and the values being instilled in this generation.  I don’t feel it’s a healthy direction at all.

A dog’s tail

What does a dog have to do with deciding which apartment to buy? 

Debra Weiner is a successful residential real estate salesperson in Manhattan and the devoted owner of Daisy, a mixed-breed rescue dog.  

She recently met a couple that was looking for their new home when they visited one of her apartment listings.  The couple said they were interested in this building because of the close proximity to the dog run in a nearby park.  Deb told them about another available apartment – on the first floor - in the same building they wanted.  They almost didn’t come to see the second apartment because they thought it wouldn’t have enough sunlight for their dog.  They did, however, come to see the listing – and they actually brought the dog to check out the place!  When the dog’s tail did not wag upon entry, the clients knew it was not the right home.

Debra shared with me that this type of thing happens all the time.  “Dogs are part of the family!”

Stay tuned for more human-interest (and canine-interest!!) stories about New Yorkers and their search for the apartment that will wag their dog’s tail!  To learn more about dog-friendly apartment buildings in NYC, reach out to Deb Weiner directly (

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