Property Grunt

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Roll Call Attack of the Press Releases

Here is a bombardment of press releases. Enjoy.

Top 8 Worst Real Estate Deals on Record

Online Resources Vital to Real Estate Agent Selection

According to New Study from Yahoo!

Results Reveal Disconnect Between Media Spend and Consumer Behavior

Yahoo! Inc., released the results of an in-depth study on how online resources influence home buyers and sellers - specifically when it comes to selecting a real estate agent.

Yahoo! found that online resources played a pivotal role in the selection process and was central in helping consumers identify agents. While friends and family are mostly responsible for recommending agents, the vast majority of home buyers and sellers still rely on the Internet to search for potential agents in their local markets as well as to verify their choices.

However, there is a disconnect between advertising dollars and consumer behavior. Based on Yahoo!’s study, 77 percent of respondents used an online source for information during their research process compared to 34 percent for print. But, according to a recent analysis by Borrell Associates, realtor advertising dollars have yet to catch up to where homebuyers are going – the Internet. While this year’s online media spend did in fact double from 2005, capturing 32 percent of the overall advertising spend, newspapers continue to get more share of dollars with 40 percent.

According to the Yahoo! study, consumers look to the Web to ensure that the selected agent will best meet their specific needs. Key findings include:

· Home buyers and sellers consider approximately two agents on average before making a final decision

· The Internet impacts consumer trust. Forty percent of respondents credited a site in increasing their trust in the agent

· 74 percent of people who accessed an agent Web site got there with the help of a search engine

· The online research process is quick and intense: consumers spent an average of 12 hours online researching agents and 75 percent selected an agent within one week of starting their search

· Online resources provided introduction to new agents as well as promotional deals:

o 45 percent of respondents used the Internet to learn about agents they didn’t know existed

o 41 percent discovered special deals and promotions offered from an agent through the Internet

The bottom line: As online resources increasingly become more critical in the decision making process for consumers, local agents should maintain a quality online presence as this indicates to potential clients a thoroughness and a commitment to success. By maximizing their online media investments, local agents can benefit significantly and increase their chances for consideration while earning the trust and confidence of consumers.


The companies spoke to over 500 consumers, both recent and potential home buyers and sellers.. Consumers were surveyed over a 2-week period in April 2008. Participants consisted of consumers, 18 years or older who selected a real estate agent, service or home within the past 6 months or intend to select a real estate agent, service or home within the next week..


Aspiring Designers of Bravo’s Biggest Reality Show Enjoy Perks of Gotham Luxury Building

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – July 15 – The aspiring designers of Project Runway Season Five, airing on July 16th, may have spent the past few months toiling over sewing machines in Parson’s School of Design during the day, but after hours, the 16 contestants got to wind down in the luxurious destination, Atlas New York, a 48 floor high rise rental residence owned by Gotham Organization in midtown Manhattan.

After a 4th season spent at New Gotham, 520 West 43rd Street, also a Gotham owned building, Project Runway made its way back to its original digs for the final season on the Bravo Network before moving to Lifetime Television. Home to the designers since the show’s inception five years ago, the ultra-stylish Atlas at 66 West 38th Street was again the backdrop for two months of grueling competition, which just wrapped.

The contestants were provided with six apartments, had access to the building’s 24-hour personalized concierge service as well as to all the generous perks the Atlas lifestyle offers, including full use of the Atlas Fitness Club and Lounge with complementary daily breakfast, and the 4,000 square foot 48th floor Atlas Sky Terrace.

Atlas residents enjoyed late night sightings and co-mingling amongst the Project Runway designers, and the show’s personalities. “It wasn’t at all uncommon for the residents to be riding up the elevator 30+ floors or jogging on a treadmill along side contestants,” notes Katherine Sabroff, Gotham’s Vice President of Marketing and Operations. “But Atlas residents were really cool about the experience, respected the production and contestants and allowed them to fly completely under the radar, which is very important for a show that needs to keep the suspense completely under wraps.”

The Emmy-award winning show is currently in a transition period. For the sixth season, the show is jetting off cross-country. “It’s fitting that Project Runway would return to where it all began before heading to Los Angeles,” continues Sabroff. “Atlas has helped shape the experiences of the designers, often serving as a backdrop for the juicy relationships that unfold on the show, as well as serving as an inspiration for the contestant challenges. The building itself has become a character on the show.”
In addition to partnering with Bravo and the Weinstein Company, Gotham Organization recently launched a rooftop concert series called Atlas OPEN A.I.R (short for Artist in Residence) that has featured performances from major label recording artists Carina Round, Lady GaGa and current VH1 Artist of the Month Charlotte Sometimes. As a perk of living in a Gotham building, tenants enjoy year round social activities right in their own buildings such as Sushi & Saki parties, wine tastings, complimentary spa days and movie screenings, just to name a few. Always one step ahead of the competition, the innovative real estate developer has also teamed up with Concierge Service International (CSI) to provide residents with a complimentary on-site personal concierge service that includes everything from securing reservations at New York’s hardest-to-get into-nightclubs to vacation planning.



NEW YORK, NY – Swanke Hayden Connell Architects (SHCA), in conjunction with Cameron Engineering, has been awarded a contract to design the new $190 million New York State Center of Innovation and Excellence in Homeland Security in Bethpage, NY.

The center is intended to foster the development, evaluation and deployment of effective and affordable system solutions that address the nation’s and the state’s security requirements. Its goal is to facilitate field applications of the latest scientific discoveries and technological developments in both industry and academia.

The 65,000 square foot facility will house a main computer and communication complex, approximately 20 research cells, a modeling and simulation lab and digital theater as well as an integration and demonstration center. It will also feature a lecture hall or large conference room with broadband capabilities to link it with other organizations that are part of the virtual homeland security network. Additional meeting rooms, administrative and product support areas and a lunch room round out the center’s facilities.

The New York State Center will be part of a network of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence proposed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The department has already named three such centers at Texas A&M University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Southern California.

Headquartered in New York City, Swanke Hayden Connell Architects is the continuation of an architectural practice founded in 1906. Staffed with more than 300 professionals located in eight offices worldwide, the firm provides services in five core areas of practice: architecture, interior design, master planning, strategic facilities planning, and historic preservation, working with a variety of corporate and institutional clients.