New York City real estate is a unique market with micro markets. You can find astonishingly different price range for property just by walking a block or two, or sometimes even just by crossing to the north side of the street. The nuances a local expert knows. Walk a couple of blocks north from the residential neighborhood Gramercy Park and find yourself in the commercial Flatiron district on 23rd St.
How could adjusting zip codes covering just a small area be so different from one another? History and zoning regulation influencing the architecture and characteristic of neighborhoods and some iconic buildings like the Flatiron set their footprint for generations forward.
While sightseeing and enjoying the outdoor food market at Madison Square Park, with a developer and an out of town buyer, they immediately asked me about this iconic eye catching New York City building. Originally named The Fuller Building, after George Fuller, “The Father of the Skyscraper”; with its ambitious plan of 20 stories, the Flatiron became the only skyscraper north of 14th Street at the time, other than The Met Life Tower one block east.
Flatiron got a lot of attention with its defying design, a steel triangular frame with a terra cotta facade. With an undeniable amount of criticism, many skeptics believed it would tip over and fall but the building served as a commercial office space for the past 115 years!
Broadway, one of the most enchanting streets in the city, stretching diagonally along Manhattan was never converted into the grid system. This created a sharp angle on 23rd street with only six feet separating from Fifth Ave. Fuller took advantage of this challenging footprint by creating the cast-iron shaped building. Even before it was constructed in 1902, it was named the Flatiron building and thus influenced the name for the surrounding area, the Flatiron District, to distinguish between the residential areas, such as Gramercy Park.
The building has since been featured in many movies, including Godzilla and Spider-Man and has become a true New York icon. It is also the subject for many photographers and a popular backdrop for many tourist photos. Next time you are strolling down 5th Ave, stop by 23rd street to take that picture. It will make you look tall!
In March I was fortunate again to visit Cannes in France. Everybody knows Cannes, the resort town on the French Riviera famed for its international film festival. Home of The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, a modern building complete with red carpet and Allée des Stars – known to be Cannes’ walk of fame. As I do it regularly for the last 10 years, I attended MIPIM 2017 (Le marché international des professionnels de l’immobilier), the world’s leading property exhibition and gathering of real estate brokers and developers.
And unlike Cannes Film Festival’s red carpet, at MIPIM they roll down the royal blue carpet, reserved for property people! And I did walk it proudly again, the same as in the nine years before!
Since my first conference, I have learned a lot and mastered a variety of things in the world of real estate. What has changed in the last decade at MIPIM? One of the main things I observed is one could spot more women in the crowd these days compared to ten years ago, however the men are still the majority walking La Croisette and roaming The Palais des Festivals. The biggest difference is that these days, men are more likely to look down at their phone rather than at the women around them! Take a look at the side by side photo above, do you have any doubts which one is from 2007 and which one is from 2017?
The main change I see within the industry is the intensive application of new technology. We are all more electronically connected than ever, yet our face time with people has dropped. If there is one thing I know about this industry it is that communication is the key. It’s the “make it or break it” of every deal. Let’s not forget that MIPIM is an international event and that reaching outside your usual sphere of influence is the exposure you need.
Real Estate world and MIPIM are about connections, and making connections is only the beginning. There are three elements to being a good real estate broker. First, an agent must know how to make good connections. Second, an agent must excel at cultivating relationships and building a strong rapport. Lastly, an agent must be able to close the deal by bringing two parties to a meeting-of-the-minds.
Being your broker, while connecting with you on a personal level, is what makes every day in this business so exciting and rewarding for me!
Katya Bruen is an award winning Associated Broker.