How long have you been a BOMA New York member and how did you first get involved with the Association?
My relationship with BOMA New York began with their RPA program in late 2012, a couple of years after I entered the industry. In the process of obtaining my RPA designation, I found the content covered and relationships formed to be extremely helpful in my day-to-day and annual responsibilities. Noticing my affinity for education and growth, Mary Sorgente, the BOMA New York Director of Education at that time, encouraged me to get more involved with the Association. Based on her recommendation and guidance from industry mentors, I joined the Professional Development Committee. She could not have been more right. My involvement with BOMA New York has been invaluable. I look forward to joining the Board of Directors in 2021 as we collectively propel the CRE industry here in New York City.
Prior to COVID-19, what was your favorite BOMA New York event and why?
My favorite event has always been the Rooftop Event at 230 Fifth. This event is a BOMA NY classic and an opportunity where we get to unwind, connect and catch-up. The evening is peppered with great food, drinks, views, and company. Speaking from experience, the Rooftop Event has the potential to jumpstart new relationships and improve careers, as was the case with me and my current position with RXR.
As co-chair of the Professional Development Committee, you’ve developed several valuable seminars. You’re known for placing an emphasis on innovation, having organized the first inaugural Tech Summit planned for March 2020. What are some of the new technologies for building operators that you’re most interested in and what about the cancelled Tech Summit were you most excited about?
I am most excited about the various new apps that improve the tenant experience and the continued integration and consolidation these apps are creating with existing building software and services. I am also intrigued by new platforms that give operators the ability to monitor and improve indoor air quality and other wellness related data points. Together, these apps and the direction they are taking the industry, will better position building owners to maximize the tenant experience and operational goals they have. For example, Rise Buildings—one of many tenant experience app providers that was set to present at the BOMA NY Tech Summit, does an excellent job of delivering significant benefit and flexibility to both occupants and management.
You received your RPA designation in 2015 through the BOMA New York Scholarship Program. Please tell us about the importance of continued education and your firsthand experience with the Scholarship Program.
I am a firm believer in education and training to foster both personal and professional growth. The RPA designation course was the ideal solution to fast track the development of my career. The instructors had a unique ability to bridge the educational content with everyday operations. I would not be as successful as I am today without the knowledge, I gained through the RPA coursework. I am grateful for the commitment that BOMA NY places on education and its crucial Scholarship Program.
As the Property Manager of RXR’s 1330 A of A – a 41-story, 535,000 sq. ft., Class A office building – please provide an overview of what RXR is doing to compete for tenants within the Plaza District, as well as how you are preparing the asset for a new tomorrow.
Fluctuating market conditions and characteristics of the submarket always have an effect on how a building positions itself against the competition. In the case of 1330, the smaller floorplate size and boutique style of the property lends itself to a wide variety of tenant types and sizes that are looking to have a presence on the Avenue and not be one of a dozen firms on a floor, such as most other Class A properties in the Plaza District. Working with Gensler, we continue to develop and refine pre-built suites and floors that accommodate current and future space needs, and have placed a larger emphasis on amenities, hospitality and the nuances of customer service. We also continue to upgrade the base building mechanical and control systems to improve and monitor indoor air quality.
RXR is committed to the convergence of art, culture, community, and technology in order to deliver a unique set of tenant-focused amenities. How has that changed your role as a Property manager?
The primary reason I joined RXR is because of its executive leadership – starting at the top with Scott Rechler. At RXR, we look at the future to get ahead with one mission – better serve the tenant. RxWell is a great example of reacting in the now and preparing for the future. Developed by RXR’s Digital Lab in partnership with Microsoft, RxWell is a dynamic, data-driven platform that uses cutting-edge technology to enable safe and responsible management of indoor space. Operationally, it takes more time to learn how to maximize these new tools. With that said and in the long-term – it benefits all – owner, building management and tenants.
You’ve managed buildings in the Financial District, Midtown, and the Plaza District. From an operational perspective, does submarket matter?
Yes. Different submarkets attract different types of tenants and as a result the demand on each building is different. These differences directly corelate to building management and marketplace positioning of how to promote the property.
What’s your advice to someone starting out in the commercial real estate industry?
Today, now more than ever, new employees are thrown into their roles with little onboarding and training. As such, being resourceful and relying on professional education is paramount. I recommend attending as many classes as possible and ultimately seeking their RPA or FMA designation, as well as other industry certifications such as LEED and WELL. Additionally, make sure that you fully understand what’s coming at you. Always ask, “Why?” and ask “Why?” three times. The more you learn in your first year, the better you will be long-term for most any scenario that comes across your desk.
When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing with your spare time?
Ha. Spare time. Well as a father of a 6-month-old daughter and a 3-year-old son, most of my time outside of work is spent with them and my beautiful wife, Carolyn. When I can take advantage of some spare time, I enjoy going golfing, backpacking in the Adirondacks, and working on projects around the house.
What’s your favorite book?
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World
–By Admiral William H. McRaven