10 Thoughts and Observations: New York #CRETech Scene.

10 Thoughts and Observations: New York #CRETech Scene.

If by some off chance you haven’t noticed I have relocated to New York City.

The reason as I stated in my article was to not only get knee deep (didn’t say balls) into the #CRETech scene but help it grow and flourish.

It’s been a few months since the move, and I thought I would get you caught up on what is happening in the big city.

1. I know this is too obvious, but New York is the center of the #CRETech universe. Yes, there are other cities with some companies but in my and many other peoples minds 98% of any companies worth anything are here. Period! I’m not hating on any companies or places specifically but if you are not here how relevant are you? Maybe not at all. It is what it is.

2. New York is commercial real estate and commercial real estate enterprise. Every major owner, asset manager, brokerage and or REIT is based here. I may have said this a thousand times, but New York is 25-30% of all commercial real estate in the United States. (Need to look up some serious stats) Stand at Grand Central and look up Park Ave. They call them concrete canyons.

3. Diversity. I was sitting in Bryant Park and heard no less than four languages being spoken at the tables around me. The startup companies are staffed with people from everywhere. Yes, even Alabama. It’s fucking New York.

4. Talent. Welcome to the jungle. It’s commercial real estate so mention Columbia, Harvard, Wharton, Dartmouth, Princeton, Georgetown just to name a few and you have someone running a #CREtech company. And the staff? Only the best and brightest and they get PAID and paid well. Notre Dame seems to come up often for some reason. I think it’s a finance thing.

5. The island that is Manhattan. It was brought to my attention that it is indeed an island. It’s hard to relate sometimes because I am so focused on getting to where I need to get to. The island creates this amazing culture of networking and connecting. The bars restaurants and coffee shops are always packed. Secret Insider tip: This is THE Place for tech power meetings. It could also be the wait staff.


6. The breakneck pace is daunting and exhilarating at the same time. I usually have meetings every two hours. Part of that is getting to and from those meetings. I am the godfather of the 4 and 6 uptown and downtown express. It’s like a magic carpet. Poof, jump on, and you magically appear 30 blocks away in minutes. Some of the CEO’s I am close to will schedule meetings in half hour blocks. It’s that way. Do your business and then get on with it.


7. I need to throw a big shout out to Aaron and the people at MetaProp NYC they are flat out fucking killing it. I hear their name everywhere. Yes, I am an advisor/mentor for them. The content they are putting out should be a use case for all companies. I met with Aaron, and he mentioned I barely had time to drop by and see him. Sorry, Aaron, it’s the city, and I am a busy boy. I promise to take more time to help. You are building something great, and I am honored to be just a little piece of it.

8. Money and finance are in midtown. It’s suits skinny pants and ties. Startups and companies are Union Square Flatiron and downtown. Sit in the plaza next to the Flatiron building and within a five block radius are 20 plus #CRETech companies, and that’s just off the top of my head. By the way, these are companies with customers revenue and growth. Go ahead think about some of them. It’s not as big of a list as you would think.


9. Culture. It’s brought up every time there is some article about startups. In New York, the city is the culture. You don’t have to create it’s in the streets every day. Now each company may have their own way. I was in HighTowers office, and a couple of people walked by with HUGE floppy hats and a couple of guys with suits the colors of popsicles. I was like “kids these days.” It was brought to my attention that it was Derby Day in the office, so if anyone wanted to, they could dress like they were going to the Kentucky Derby. “Kids these days.”

10. The grind as I call it is indeed just that a grind. The city takes no prisoners. Bring your A game as they say or stay away. There is so much opportunity and possibility right in front of your face. It may be me, but I am constantly amazed at how willing everyone is to help. There is always an email phone call or introduction around the next corner. Is it irony that the #CRETech scene is dominated and fueled by networking and face to face meetings? I don’t think so. We are still just at the beginnings of what will be a monumental transformation of one of the world’s amazing asset classes.

10 Thoughts and Observations: New York #CRETech Scene.

+1 Yes, it’s New York, so I have already been contacted by a “reality TV type” show for advice. They came after me. It’s unreal how much people have no clue what commercial real estate is. My last email to them “keep in touch, I’m not hiding.”




Duke Long