Annual Report documents busy year at REBNY

Steven Spinola

President, Real Estate Board of New York

Each year, the Real Estate Board of New York compiles an Annual Report which details our efforts and activities over the course of the past year. Those accomplishments include improving member services and advocating on important city, state and federal level issues to improve the real estate industry and the vitality of our city’s economy.

Last year was a successful and productive year during which we reached a milestone of more than 13,000 members. Our Annual Report highlights the many benefits, tools and education resources that were available to members throughout the year. In 2012, we introduced new data platforms including the Brokerage Division Confidence Survey, Legal Line Question of the Week and Numbers You Need to Know, all of which brings more useful information to members.

Additionally, REBNY continued to compile invaluable data reports on the residential and retail markets, as well as managed and hosted 30 special events and educational seminars in 2012. Our social media outreach also improved with more than 15,000 Twitter followers and more than 3,200 Facebook fans— a significant accomplishment in a short period of time.

In 2012, REBNY had several advocacy achievements of which to be proud. REBNY’s advocacy was critical as the city moved to change the way crane operators are trained and licensed.  Because of REBNY’s efforts, the changes enacted by the NYC Department of Buildings will result in safer construction worksites moving forward.

In addition, REBNY’s involvement and support of the second year of the Committee to Save New York gave terrific impetus to the effort by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature to put New York State on sounder fiscal footing. On a federal level, REBNY played an important role in a successful Court of Appeal’s decision which should help the industry to stem the abuses caused by the Interstate Lands Sales Act (ILSA) in NYC.

Our Annual Report also cites several economic development initiatives that moved forward in 2012 and for which REBNY has been a leading proponent -- like the expansion of NYU and Chelsea Market and the development of the Barclays Center and Willets Point.

The Annual Report also highlighted the successful tenure of Mary Ann Tighe’s three-year term as REBNY’s Chairman. As REBNY’s first female Chairman in the organization’s 117-year history, Mary Ann provided extraordinary leadership throughout her chairmanship with several initiatives to further the vitality and competitiveness of New York City on a global scale. Her initiatives included the need for a Midtown East Rezoning Plan and raising REBNY’s digital presence by calling for an upgrade of REBNY’s website and creating a new identity with social media.

Tighe’s successor as Chairman Rob Speyer, the President and Co-CEO of Tishman Speyer, represents another historic milestone for REBNY. He is the third-generation of his family as well as the youngest to serve as REBNY’s Chairman. We welcome Rob in his new role, which began on January 1, 2013.

Our Annual Report highlighted many positive developments in 2012, yet in November, the metropolitan area faced great challenges in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Lower Manhattan was heavily impacted as well as coastal areas of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

The Annual Report gave an overview of REBNY’s part in the recovering efforts like providing information and services, including the compilation of available office space to displaced tenants. The response and resiliency of REBNY members overall proved incredible with property managers and owners making arrangements and around-the-clock-repairs to bring back tenants in record time.

Without the dedication and ongoing efforts of REBNY members all these accomplishments would not be possible. Members can find the full 2012 Annual Report on the member’s side of www.REBNY.com. On the left-hand side click on Reports/Surveys, then go to Annual Reports and click on 2012.

In other REBNY News:

Submissions for the Sales Brokers Committee’s Most Ingenious Deal of the Year 2012 Awards are now being accepted. Deadline is 5 pm Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. Sales, leases or finance transactions, regardless of size, are eligible, and will be judged based upon ingenuity, creativity and professional skill. The three awards for the Most Ingenious Deal of the Year will be announced at the Annual Sales Brokers Cocktail Party on April 23, 2013 at the 101 Club, 101 Park Avenue. For submission forms and more information contact Desiree Jones at djones@rebny.com.

The 15th Annual Residential Management Awards Leadership Breakfast honoring Michael Rothschild of AJ Clarke Real Estate as The Residential Management Executive of the Year will be held 8:30 to 10 am on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at The Roosevelt Hotel, 45 East 45th Street. Shaun Donovan, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is the Keynote Speaker. For sponsorship and table reservation information, contact Cindy Ramotar at cramotar@rebny.com or 212-616-5232.