As the BLACKBERRY BLACKOUT continues, I as a real estate broker vow never to complain about my Tech ever again, even though at times it may be warranted. Life in real estate land in New York is simply HORRIBLE without a functioning Blackberry. I feel I have lost a part of my brain. It reminds me of the times we schlepped the streets of Manhattan with appointment books and just Cell phones. It’s not that doing business was impossible, but it was significantly slower, bound us more to an office environment, and in my opinion it was a lot less efficient. The stress of reading and responding to hundreds of e-mails a day while on the road has now been replaced by the stress of knowing you will have to address them once you get back to your desk. And while I do love my I-pad, it simply does not compare to that hand sized little wonder we have become so accustomed to.
Posts Tagged ‘i-pad’
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on alternative uses for the traditional dining room. As a broker I consistently hear the story of ‘the un-used dining room’…..its a story how everyone buying a home dreams of lavish dinner parties in their dining room surrounded by prized furnishings, accessories and artwork, only to realize years later that the room is hardly ever used.
We have seen over the years how the dining room is being re-invented: the paradigm is that a large table surrounded by chairs is for dining alone….the reality is a large table with chairs can be used for a host of other things, including a large work desk that converts to a dining table when needed. We think this is a brilliant solution to a decades long issue. A large table can be used for a host of other uses besides dining: conversation, casual entertaining, work space, etc, etc. It is only once we look at these ‘problem areas’ in homes with new eyes that solutions are formed. Maybe dining tables are hoisted up into the ceiling, and stored there when not in use?
Most New York homes require as much flexibility as possible, even the larger lavish ones. As the cost of space rises, the need for clever engineering increases. We see a huge future in space ENGINEERING, rather than mere design. With so much time spent on I-pads, laptops, etc, sitting at a ‘dining’ table sounds much healthier.
And now to come up with a name change: If not DINING ROOM, then what? The FLEX-ROOM? I-ROOM?
Have you ever noticed the trash in front of some buildings (a system that appears more in keeping with 19th century technology) while other buildings do not have to succumb to placing large bags of garbage in front of their buildings?
“It is truly amazing that in the 21st Century, with a world full of I-pads, self-parking cars and self-service checkout, that New York still places piles of garbage onto the streets awaiting collection,” says Leonard Steinberg, publisher of LUXURYLETTER and managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman. “We should look to other international cities that get it right with somewhat elegant containers that house the garbage before pick up, thus taking it off the streets. Surely with the exorbintant real estate taxes we pay in this City, our lovely government could come up with a more sightly and sanitory method for garbage collection?”
Matt Amico discovered the two examples above: the projects in Chelsea with immaculately clean side-walks, while a few doors away….
Any ideas/suggestions for a solution?
After years of growth, the Census Bureau recently reported that median new home size fell to 2,135 square feet in 2009 after peaking at more than 2,300 earlier in the decade. That is a significant drop….almost 7%!
“As we see two economies emerge, the averages will shift,” says Leonard Steinberg of Prudential Douglas Elliman managing director of New York’s leading residential real estate brokerage. “Most middle and lower income homeowners do not use or need a formal dining room, let alone a double height ceilinged entrance hall: With new technologies come new efficiencies. A large screen TV used to take up about 12sf ….now it hangs on the wall. Architects are becoming more focused on engineering useful space rather than creating large spaces. Of course, the very wealthy will still have their Mc Mansions, but even in this arena we are seeing a remarkable shift towards energy efficiency and it has become fashionable to boast of a home’s eco-friendly features.”
So, how could New Yorkers shrink their space, considering homes here are significantly smaller (and thereby much more efficient than suburban homes):
1) Use skinny plasma TV’s mounted on the wall.
2) Double up: a wall that has bookshelves built in to it uses the space of the wall. Better still, store the books away and use a KINDLE or I-pad to store thousands of books. If you dine formally once a year, think about making the dining room more of a great room/study that converts easily for formal dining.
3) Scale your furniture differently: Many, over-stuffed, over-sized furniture items achieve the exact same comfort levels as much smaller pieces that use up much less square footage.
4) Engineer your storage: Closets should be engineered for maximum usage. Use ‘void spaces’ those little pieces of space under stairs, above closets, etc where outstanding storage opportunities exist used creatively.
5) If you have those hideous through-the-wall AC systems, box around them to add storage as well as hide them from sight. Still better than those vile window units that are both ugly and super-inefficient.
The downside to shrinking homes? The cost per square foot will rise.
The recent equity market flash-crash was determined to be a product of the computer-run systems we rely so heavily on. The flash crash produced a 1000-plus point market drop. And worse, we should expect another flash-crash in the future. With our lives increasingly over-taken by computers, the FLASH CRASH could happen not only on Wall Street, but other part of our lives.
Think of all the elements in our lives run by computers and the possibilities become endless: Blackberry’s, I-pads, I-phones, all telecommunication systems, electrical grids, etc…..the message: In crisis lies opportunity! When the recent FLASH CRASH happened, Apple stock dropped briefly to $ 200.00……it’s trading a few weeks later at $ 260 plus….
And how does this impact real estate? Being a much slower market place, flash crashes in real estate markets seem unlikely, but forms of them do happen. 9/11 caused a 3-month New York real estate FLASH CRASH: anyone who bought in those 3 months had a HUGE advantage….if the Sellers were nervous enough. And some were.
THE MESSAGE: “Don’t panic,” says Leonard Steinberg, managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman andauthor of the monthly LUXURYLETTER. “We live in a new world. Adjust to these new times so that you do not make quick, rash decisions that could cost you LOTS.”
With Research in Motion’s announcement today that they are developing a similar device to Apple’s I-Pad, we should feel certain that home automation and real estate brokerage will more than likely be entirely controlled by these devices going forward. And why not? Unlike cell phones, the larger screen is much easier to read, and much easier to operate being touch sensitive.
“I see many luxury households having possibly 2 or 3 (or more)of these devices within the next 12 months.” says Leonard Steinberg, leader of the Luxuryloft team and managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman. “We have always touted the need for easy-to-use, consumer friendly controls in the home in our monthly LUXURYLETTER. These ‘pads’ will certainly address this need. They will also become the devise of the next decade for New York City luxury real estate brokers, just the way the Blackberry has been for the past 10 years…..already I see the I-Pad in use everywhere.”
I believe the two thousand and teen years will be the ROLLER COASTER DECADE. Already we are witnessing a volatility that has rarely been seen before in our history, and I fear this is the new normal.
We are seeing vast fluctuations in the Equity Markets, often fueled by our new electronic economy, a system that is more focused on incremental minute technical gains and losses achieved through advanced technology than long term investment strategies.
The quarterly driven thinking and analysis is being replaced by a monthly analysis that results in sweeping conclusions, mostly politically fueled. These ‘conclusions’ become the press stories who are desperately seeking the next headline, and the more dramatic it is, the better.
With everything being averaged, sooner or later it will become evident that all these averages are actually inaccurate and that more specific long term data is indeed more meaningful….but it could take a decade of roller coaster style pain to learn this lesson.
We are in the midst of a technology revolution: this decade will see a vast shift in media (Think how the I-Pad is already replacing 6 newspapers in hotel lobbies!), energy (the BP oil spill will see a huge new focus on clean energy) and the markets in general (banking reform).