April 27, 2017 was the 4th Annual Student Symposium on International Real Estate hosted by New York University, School of Professional Studies, Schack Institute of Real Estate and sponsored by RICS. NYC hosts this symposium with the goal to “provide students the opportunity to learn and gain insight from” professionals in the real estate industry. Peter Boritz from RDM was a panelist on the fireside chat Challenges and Opportunities within Real Estate Technologies.
The event started off with a morning keynote by Jonathan Pollack, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies, who briefly explained debt-based investing in a conservative way while in an environment of benign growth. From there, there were two main panels: “Searching for Investment Opportunities Globally amid a Low Growth Environment” and “Fireside Chat: Challenges and Opportunities Within real Estate Technologies”.
The first panel was moderated by Dale Todd, Executive Director of J.P. Morgan Asset Management. It featured Johnny Din, Co-Founder of Cycamore Capital, Bernard Van Der Lande who is the Director of Investment Banking for CBRE Capital Advisors, and Robert M. White, Jr. CRE, FRICS, founder and President of Real Capital Analytics. Some of the best gems from this panel, however, came in the form of advice, “It doesn’t have to be only trophy assets,” White declared, referring to Din’s mention about doing well with specific, iconic asset acquisitions. Din went on to describe some of his thought process towards what he, in particular looks for when advising buyers, “[with] good infrastructure … in ten years these buildings will be worth more.” Pollack was also very specific with his advice to the audience, “industrial is where we see the most growth potential. E-Commerce needs space to store things and are flocking to city centers [to do so].” Overall, however, they all agreed on one piece of amazing advice, “Don’t be afraid to take risks, but don’t be reckless either.”
The second panel was moderated by Hiten Samtani, Managing Editor of The Real Deal. It featured discussion between Peter Boritz, CEO of Real Data Management and Danny Shachar, Vice President of CompStak Exchange. The discussion began concerning the open flow of information in the modern age, with Shachar concluding, “Sharing some info is a good thing!” Boritz agreed, but did warn, “There’s some scar tissue on the brokerage side… [concerning] sharing information and using technology.” They also both agreed upon the global reach that commercial real estate technology is beginning to have. “Expanding CRE tech globally is more about making the software work for them than getting them to use it. They will use it,” Shachar explained. “CRE tech is a global requirement. It’s an expectation that as our customers go global, we go with them,” Boritz expanded. The panel ended with a brief Q & A.