2017 REBNY Initiatives and Activities

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This year, a major accomplishment for our residential brokerage division members was the successful launch of Syndication through the REBNY Residential Listing Service (RLS). This game-changing service marked a milestone in the evolution of the REBNY RLS as the single trusted source of real estate information in New York City.

Over 90 percent of the 19,000 residential real estate listings in the RLS are currently being syndicated via this program, surpassing our goal of 80 percent. More than 300 residential brokerage firms are currently participating in syndication, representing over 75 percent of firms with active listings in the RLS

Several large websites have joined the RLS Syndication network including Homes.com, Realtor.com, and The New York Times, which has ended its decades-long practice of charging brokerage firms to list on their website. In addition, The Real Deal recently announced that they will carry RLS listings on their new real estate listing website free-of-charge.

The RLS is actively syndicating listings to more than 100 partner websites and broker products as we continue to grow our expanding network, launch new products, enhance technology, and deliver world-class service to our members.

REBNY membership dues were instrumental in helping REBNY accomplish the following initiatives and activities for our industry in 2017:

– REBNY’s efforts resulted in the enactment of the Affordable New York Housing Program (ANYHP), formerly known as 421a. ANYHP offers tax exemption benefits for rental projects (25 years at 100 percent and 10 years at 25 to 30 percent) that agree to include 25 percent or 30 percent on-site affordable housing.

This new program mandates an average hourly construction wage and benefit over the entire project ($60 in Manhattan south of 96th Street; $45 one mile in from the waterfront in community boards one and two in Brooklyn and Queens) for projects with 300 units or more.

– These projects receive a 35-year, 100 percent tax exemption. In addition, projects with 300 units or more outside the above designated area may opt-in to receive the 35-year, 100 percent exemption provided they pay the average hourly construction wage and benefit. ANYHP will produce substantially more affordable rental housing that is critical to New York City’s growth and future. 

– The Greater East Midtown rezoning plan was approved with provisions to rebuild larger office buildings by making transit improvements from a list of MTA-approved projects and by acquiring air rights from a landmarked property in the district. This plan also includes provisions to improve and expand the amount of public open space. This will be a crucial tool for the enhancement of the East Midtown office district. 

– A package of economic incentives for commercial and industrial projects was extended for three years. The vital incentives in this package include the Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP), the Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP), the Commercial Revitalization Program (CRP), the Commercial Expansion Program (CEP), the Energy Cost Savings Programs (ECSP), the Commercial Rent Tax (CRT) exemption, the Lower Manhattan Energy Program (LMEP), and the Lower Manhattan Sales and Use Tax Exemption (LMSUTE).

Also among our initiatives this year, driven by the demand for real estate technology innovation, was the formation of the REBNYTech Committee. This new committee is open to members from all divisions and was responsible for launching our first #REBNYTech Hackathon. The Hackathon provides a platform for REBNY members to connect with emerging tech talent needed to create cutting-edge PropTech solutions and new tools to improve efficiency and solve some of the most common problems observed across all areas of the real estate industry.

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RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE DIVISION

– Proceeds from this year’s sold out 29th Annual Residential Deal of the Year Charity & Awards Gala benefited REBNY’s Member in Need Fund and The Hispanic Federation’s Hurricane Relief Fund for Puerto Rico. #RESDOY17 honored standout professionals for their acumen and contributions to the residential real estate industry, and featured a new award this year, the Residential Brokerage Agent of the Year Award.

– The Residential Brokerage Upper Manhattan Committee held its fifth annual Uptown Open House Expo in May, a public event that showcases all in one weekend REBNY members’ exclusive co-ops, condos, and townhouses for sale, in addition to a selection of new rental units, throughout Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood.

– The Residential Brokerage Membership Committee’s annual Shark Night, quarterly free-for-members Top Broker Seminars, and June Residential Brokerage Division Owners and Managers Breakfast gathered more than 600 industry professionals combined. They were complemented by the Residential Brokerage Rental Committee’s bimonthly Rental Clinic Seminars.

– The Residential Brokerage Division’s continued expansion in boroughs other than Manhattan encompasses over 1,800 agents across more than 90 offices, with active involvement by members in REBNY initiatives, meetings, discussions, and events across the division’s 17 committees.

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EDUCATION

– The Residential Education Committee hosted quarterly Sales Agent Boot Camps and monthly Breakfast Club Seminars on a variety of timely industry topics and trends.  

– More than 100 participants acquired graduate designations through advanced training and education. Graduate designations offered at REBNY include the Certified and Master Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE/MCNE), Certified Buyer Representative (CBR), New York Residential Specialist (NYRS), and New York Commercial Professional (NYCP).

– A wide range of over 60 New York State approved Continuing Education Courses were taught by certified instructors.

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COMMERCIAL BROKERAGE DIVISION

– The General Members Committee held two Members’ Luncheons this year: “The $100 Billion Interview” with Blackstone’s Head of Americas Nadeem Meghji and “What’s ‘In Store’ for NYC Retail?” These luncheons were attended by a combined total of more than 1,000 industry professionals at the New York Hilton Midtown.  

– The Sales Brokers Committee’s Ingenious Deal of the Year Cocktail Party and the Retail Committee’s Retail Deal of the Year Cocktail Party gathered more than 500 industry leaders to celebrate the year’s most creative and significant deals. 

– The Division’s Annual Commercial Holiday Luncheon on December 4th will feature keynote speaker Scott Rechler, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of RXR Realty LLC.

– In addition to the division’s Commercial Seminars and Crossfire Seminar, the Commercial Finance Committee, Sales Brokers Committee, and Retail Committee each hosted key luncheon and breakfast meetings, keynote speakers, and panel discussions with industry experts and community leaders.

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OWNERS AND BUILDERS, MANAGEMENT, AND INSTITUTIONAL OWNERS AND INVESTORS DIVISIONS

– The 19th Annual Residential Management Leadership Breakfast and 14th Annual Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast gathered more than 1,200 professionals combined to celebrate the achievements of outstanding leaders in commercial and residential property management.

– The Residential Management Council (RMC) hosted the RMC Seminar Series in both the spring and fall for REBNY residential property managers, residential brokerage members, and non-members alike. The seminars featured presentations on industry best practices by current members of REBNY’s RMC.

– The Sustainability Committee presented our new "REBNY Sustainability Statement" at a meeting with UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative members at the Javits Center coinciding with Climate Week 2017. The statement, adopted by a growing list of REBNY management firms, consists of six commitments to the creation and promulgation of principles regarding fiscally, socially, and environmentally responsible business practices.

– Prominent REBNY members and longstanding leaders in our city’s real estate community signed on through REBNY to join Mayor Bill de Blasio’s NYC Carbon Challenge for Commercial Owners and Tenants representing our industry’s commitment to working with the City to build a more environmentally friendly New York, and to helping reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

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MEMBER SERVICES

We provide for our members a wide range of benefits, informational resources and tools, career development programs, networking opportunities, and services.

Through participation in our committees, advocacy efforts, education programs, social functions, and career-changing awards we help you elevate your career, maximize your professional growth, and meet your business goals.

REBNY resources include:

– Career advancement through participation in REBNY Committees, which meet regularly to discuss critical industry topics, inform policies, and share expertise and information on key issues of interest to the real estate community

– Countless networking opportunities including REBNY seminars, membership luncheon and breakfast forums, cocktail receptions, award ceremonies, and the Annual Banquet, attended by more than 2,200 industry members

– Proactive lobbying representation in New York City and New York State on quality of life and legislative issues that affect our city and our profession

– Participation in the REBNY Residential Listing Service (RLS), which requires all residential member firms to co-broke and share their exclusive listings simultaneously with any public dissemination of the listing

– Access to REBNY’s arbitration and mediation process ‎to decide disputes

– Streamlined, user-friendly weekly emails with custom content for subscribers to new Residential Brokerage, Commercial Brokerage, and Owners & Managers newsletters

– Access to REBNY’s Legal Line for help on legal matters and the Legal Line Question of the Week e-newsletter by attorney Neil Garfinkel, REBNY’s Broker Counsel

– The latest market data and statistics, policy reports, and broker studies that outline current New York City residential and commercial market conditions and trends delivered through quarterly and bi-annual Research Reports and the weekly Numbers You Need to Know e-newsletter

– Access to the expansive REBNY Property Database

– A wide range of New York State-certified qualifying and continuing education courses for brokers and salespeople, taught by certified instructors and offered with REBNY member discounts of up to 50 percent

– A growing array of free non-credit seminars to enhance your professional development

– Professional education programs that include graduate designations for professionals with an advanced level of experience

– An expansive package of Benefits and Rewards including help in obtaining health insurance and retirement planning and discounts from over 40 vendors and suppliers

– Professional staff to assist members with a wide range of real estate issues.

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