This third, and sadly last week, was mainly focused on sustainability. For the final blog post I will write about the visit which was the most important to me. As a private real-estate investor, I was really interested about real estate companies in Manhattan and how this business work here comparing to Europe. During the last week we visited “Rudin Management Company” which is one of the largest and most respected privately owned portfolios in the city. The fact that Rudin builds, owns, leases and manages its buildings attracts many of New York’s most prestigious tenants. I have to admit that their vision of “how to manage a building/residency” surprised me because they explained that happiness of their clients was more important that saving money, sometimes for what I call no reason. For example, they told us that even if the lift was working well, they were thinking to replace it by a new one because it may break “one day”. I thought a lot about how they are managing it and I still have difficulties to understand it correctly. As a real estate private investor, when I buy a house or a small building with several flats, my main focus is to calculate my net return of investment once the project is done without adding additional cost just for the happiness of my clients… Someone in the class asked that question and they couldn’t answer it, their only answer was “it’s not really important to know it because we know at the end everybody will be happy”, that was a “wow” moment for me.
During this last week Ilona Beatrice Polyak, an Alumni student of CEU Business School, invited us for a special info session about “NYC Real Estate for International Investors”. Ilona is working for Town Residential as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson. This session was really interesting and really helped me to understand that my dream about investing in NYC will stay a dream for a long time 🙂 We first started to have a speech about the history and development of the city, before and after the war and it really helped us to understand why each neighborhood has a very distinct characteristic. The main point of this session and the reason I said that my dream of investing will stay a dream is that to invest in Manhattan, you cannot do it “in private”. She explained us that there are 4 types of property in Manhattan: rental, co-op, condo and condop and investing in each one of them must be done by a company, which won’t possess the flat itself but % equity with the other shareholders. She explained us also that if one day we would like to sell that flat, it must require an approval of the board and that they have a right to refuse the price we want to sell it etc… These reasons, among others like for example 3 different taxes, really discourage me one day having my own flat here, especially after realizing that the return of investment is higher in Europe than here.
As an EMBA, we were supposed to stay only one week in NYC but I don’t regret to stay the full 3 weeks. I really learned a lot, sometimes not in my field or my interest, but it was really good to see all these entrepreneurs, open minded persons who were able to do a lot just to follow their dreams and to see how the society is changing. Will it impact the way I pursue my dreams and can some of the things we learned be settled in Budapest? I don’t have the answer yet, probably I will be able to answer in few years. The only thing I can hope is that Budapest will find its own way to evolve and will keep being the best city to live, even after visiting NYC! 😉