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REBNY hosting first-ever hackathon, in conjunction with NYC Real Estate Tech Week

By John Banks

There are many complex challenges facing the real estate industry in the 21st century. Fortunately, leaders from our industry – with representation from both commercial and residential real estate – will be discussing the newest trends and solutions to those challenges all this week during NYC Real Estate Tech Week.

NYC Real Estate Tech Week 2017 will feature over 5,000 leaders and innovators from nine sectors across 12 city-wide events, including conferences, panels, roundtables, demos, networking, and education sessions. If last year’s is any
indication, this week promises to be fun, rewarding, and inspiring.

For REBNY, we are most excited for the very first #REBNYTech Hackathon, to begin on Friday, October 13th.
Hackathons, for those who might not know, are gatherings of computer programmers who work collaboratively toward a goal, often in a competition, in a short period of time. The main idea behind it is that like-minded and individuals can utilize shared skills and create innovative programs out of new technology.

While this was originally a concept popularized by Silicon Valley giants like Facebook, it has since spread to almost every other industry. We all rely on technology to operate successfully in the modern world. Now is the time for real estate organizations to recognize changing technology and ecosystems. REBNY is proud to be part of that effort in New York City – our leadership was recently recognized by Forbes magazine as a good example of a traditional player in the real estate industry who “made a strategic decision to become the disruptor, not the disrupted.”

In a nutshell, that is what the Hackathon will do this week.

The #REBNYTech Hackathon will bring together up to 200 of the brightest minds in the property and technology industry as they work toward creating cutting-edge solutions to real-world challenges faced by real estate companies across the world.

As the competition is under way, there will be a number of panel discussions and workshops from industry leaders to help inspire participants. Speakers have been confirmed from Camber Creek, Core Studio at Thornton Tomasetti, DLA Piper,
Knotel, Lotik Labs, Radiator Labs, Rudin Management Company, Sentient Buildings, | TOTEM |, and Waltz. Participants will work on any one of the six following categories: Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) & Development; Brokerage; Cybersecurity; Geospatial Intelligence; Sustainable Maintenance and Operations; and Open Hack.

Paired with work space provided by the Urban Tech Hub at Grand Central Tech, event sponsor Samsung Internet will be lending Virtual Reality (VR) headsets—Oculus, Microsoft Acer, Gear VR, Google Daydream, and HTC Vive—to participants interested in VR/Augmented Reality (AR) real estate solutions.

Six winning teams – one from each category – will win $2,500 in cash and three months of free office space to refine their solutions and compete for an additional $15,000 plus prizes worth $20,000. All in all, that’s a total of $75,000 in cash and

prizes. We are fortunate to have a number of key partners including 1776, AEC Hackathon, the Association for a Better New York (ABNY), the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, City University of New York (CUNY) and its Institute for Urban Systems, Civic Hall, the Coalition for Queens (C4Q), Columbia University, NYC Foundation for Computer Science Education (CSNYC), Thornton Tomasetti’s R&S incubator CORE Studio,, Digital NYC, the Fund for Public Housing, Gust, Intersection, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, MetaProp NYC, MIPIM PropTech, the NY Tech Alliance, New York University’s (NYU) Center for Urban Science and Progress along with its Tandon School of Engineering Urban Future Lab incubator ACRE, RICS, Silicon Harlem, Tech:NYC, | TOTEM |, and the Urban Tech Hub at Grand Central Tech.

Our prizes are provided by Fisher Brothers, Gust, Knotel, Newmark Knight Frank, Related, Rudin Management Company, and Silverstein Properties. Event sponsors include Real Capital Analytics, RealConnex, and Samsung Internet.

More information, including how to register, can be found at:
I know I speak for all of our partners, sponsors, and for the Real Estate Board of New York’s Tech Committee when I say that I am excited to see what innovations will arise out of this new venture.

In Other REBNY News:

Learn about the 3R’s of real estate: reignite, reset, and reposition, on Tuesday, October 17th, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at our free for members Inside Secrets of Top Brokers and Industry Leaders Seminar at REBNY, presented by the Residential Division’s Membership Committee led by co-chairs Barry Brandt of Argo Residential and Corinne Pulitzer of Douglas Elliman. Moderator Noah Rosenblatt of UrbanDigs, and expert panelists: Mirza Avdovic, Keller Williams NYC; Jessica Cohen, Douglas Elliman; Ryan Fitzpatrick, Town Residential; and Adam Mariucci, Nest Seekers, will discuss how to shift your business strategy to adapt to changing market trends. Register online at

Network and hear industry leaders speak about the future of the New York City retail market at our upcoming REBNY Members’ Luncheon, “What’s ‘in Store’ for NYC Retail,” to be held on Wednesday, October 18th from 11:45 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the New York Hilton Midtown (1335 Avenue of the Americas, Grand Ballroom). Moderator Robin Abrams, Vice Chairman of Retail at Eastern Consolidated, will be joined by experts Michael Goldban, Senior Vice President of Retail Leasing at Brookfield Office Properties; Brad Mendelson, Vice Chairman at Colliers International; and Richard Wagman, Managing Partner at Madison
Capital. To purchase tickets or a table at the event sponsored by Donald Zucker Company, J.P. Morgan, Kalikow, L&L Holding Company, Silverstein Properties, Vornado Realty Trust, and the Commercial Observer, visit and
register online. Contact for information on current and future sponsorship opportunities.

“Go West” at our 29th Annual Residential Deal of the Year Charity & Awards Gala, to be held on Thursday, October 26th from 6:00-10:30 p.m. at Metropolitan West (639 West 46th Street). The biggest celebration of the year for REBNY’s
Residential Brokerage Division will honor the industry’s best and brightest leaders and dealmakers, and a portion of the proceeds raised at the charity event will benefit REBNY’s “Member in Need Fund,” which provides grants to residential
members who are experiencing a financial crisis or hardship. The coveted awards to be announced at the event include the NEW Residential Agent of the Year Award, The Henry Forster Award for Lifetime Achievement, The Eileen Spinola
Award for Distinguished Service, The Residential Rookie of the Year Award, and awards for the top residential sales and rental deals completed between 2016 and 2017. To reserve your ticket or table, visit For sponsorship opportunities, email Jeanne Oliver-Taylor at

REBNY’s Residential Management Council (RMC) is offering a Fall Seminar Series for REBNY members and non-members alike. The seminars, which take place from 8:30-10:00 a.m. at REBNY, will feature current members of REBNY’s
RMC, which is comprised of leading directors and managers of top residential management firms throughout the City, who will present on industry best practices.

Residential Property Seminar on Obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy (CO): On Thursday, October 26, John Longo, Director of Compliance at Akam Associates will walk attendees through the DOB protocols for obtaining a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) and Certificate of Occupancy (CO). Residential Property Seminar on Governing Documents: On November 8th, Michael Wolfe, President of Midboro Management and Eva Talel, Partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP will present on the main governing documents of cooperatives and condominiums. The seminars are suitable for residential property managers, interested brokers, as well as the broader residential management community interested in these topics.Each seminar is free for REBNY members and $25 for non-members. To register,

On Friday, October 27th, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at our next REBNY Rental Clinic, Jesse Rhinier of City Connections will moderate a discussion among panelists Daniel Itingen of Bold New York, Gary Kiyan of Perfect Solutions Real Estate,
and Karla Saladino of Mirador Real Estate on navigating the increasing owner-paid commissions market. This free-for- members event will take seasoned and new agents through process of working in this OP environment. Register on

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