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Manhattan Loft Guy

Jan. 20, 2010 - adventures in nephrology / about that kidney donation....

people say they want to know
I continue to be amazed and gratified by the number of people who have reached out to me after I went AWOL from Manhattan Loft Guy for the entire Fall. (Just today I had a long telephone conversation with a faithful MLG reader, but that will be for another post.)

People have expressed interest in reading about an interview of me and of Susan (my kidney's present custodian) for a private school newsletter (our 'connection' through that private school will be explained there), so I will post the link below.

way back on September 4
I posted in the wee hours on the Friday before Labor Day, asking for prayers from those who pray, as I was about to go up to Columbia Presbyterian to donate a kidney. That post was the beginning of the story for MLG readers, the middle of the story for me, and the beginning of the (happy!) end of the story for Susan.

good news!
The good news is that Susan has been on a successful path that includes post-surgery recovery and jiggering of her anti-rejection medications, with a (long!) lifetime ahead of her. The only bad news I see is that "my" kidney will have to get used to Susan's much more healthy lifestyle (has a donated kidney ever been rejected due to alcohol withdrawal??).

For me, the immediate post-op experience was about as good as it gets, even allowing for the Vicodin visions. As you will see in the article, I was on the subway and showed an apartment on the Thursday after the Friday surgery. But I needed to -- and did -- take it easy; more than I anticipated, frankly. I dropped off the face of the Internet after a couple of weeks because I could not count on having the energy and ability to concentrate as much as I needed to in order to service clients and the blog.

At some point, when I had the time and energy I started going to the gym instead of blogging. Throughout, I had less mental energy and concentration than it took to sit with a laptop at 11 PM and find interesting closed loft sales.

I did not have in mind when I took the unannounced sabbatical how long I would be gone, and it went on longer than I expected. Partly because "next week" is the seduction that precedes "tomorrow", which is still a long way from "doing it".  Partly because I was hoping to come back with some sort of bang, some grand post wrapping up X weeks of market activity and X weeks of blog absence. Sigh.

So that's the story (and I am sticking to it), with all sorts of Real Life Info on page 8 (of 10) of the January 2010 edition of FieldNotes, from the Ethical Culture Fieldston School (sorry for all the scrolling required).

2 more things
In the future, I will try to post some announcement when I intend to be 'away' from Manhattan Loft Guy for more than a few days.

Contact me if you are interested in live kidney donation. But anyone can donate a kidney once they no longer need it.  (You won't need them while dead, and they make lousy souvenirs!) This is from my September 4 post:

The New York Donor Network website is http://donatelifeny.org/, where you can get information about donating organs after you don't need them. There's a form you can fill out, print and mail that enrolls you in the donor program, which you can access here. The main site has many, many links if you want further information about organ transplants.

Do. It. Now.

© Sandy Mattingly 2010


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Apr. 12, 2008 - "one of the finest and most honest broker-bloggers ...

... the NYC real estate industry has produced to date" (blushing)
I did not say that (nor anyone in my family); Curbed did in yesterday's
Silence of the Bloggers: Manhattan Loft Guy Muzzled. (More blushing.)


Lockhart Steele and the Curbed-folk run an interesting (and popular) forum, for sure. And they read a lot of stuff put out by the Real Estate Industrial Complex. So I take the compliments proudly. THX again Joey.

© Sandy Mattingly 2008

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Apr. 2, 2008 - surreality or surrealty / quick MLG interview, results TBD

I was brilliant…
… in my own mind, at least, when I did a 15 minute cell phone interview about The State of The Market this morning with Inman News. (I focused on Manhattan lofts, of course.) I wonder how it will turn out.

I got a call this morning from Glenn Roberts, Deputy Editor of Inman News, asking for comments about the various First Quarter market reports that have been issued by the major firms this morning. As it happened, I got an email from Jonathan Miller with a copy of the Miller Samuel report during my call, so all I had to go on at that point – beyond my own anecdotes of what I see in The Market — was today’s NY Times article synthesizing the various reports.

Most interesting, there was no mention of loft numbers in the Times, but Roberts gave me the Miller Samuel numbers about the loft segment. Overall, it sounds as though the loft market was generally flat, year-over-year, compared to the overall market (up, up, up, in most metrics). I speculated about why that was.

what an interesting experience
Who knows if anything I said will make it into the Inman News article, but in reflecting on the experience of being interviewed I was struck by a few things.

Real time is fast. I had to concentrate hard to stay in the moment, rather than get ahead of myself (where will he go next?) and rather than get too distracted (worrying, for example, about exactly what did the Times article report this morning??).

Thinking and talking at the same time is more complicated than walking and chewing gum. Fortunately, I read the Times article on-line late last night, again this morning from home, and yet again this morning for details between appointments – all before knowing I would speak to Roberts. So I was pretty familiar with the big picture numbers in the Times, but had not yet studied any of the firm reports. And, as I noted above, I got all my loft segment data this morning from Roberts in the call. So I was processing information and responding to him at the same time.

I continue to ponder why the loft market differed from the general market, which should generate a blog post or two; generally, as I told Roberts, the fact that loft inventory is relatively flat [500 or so] and transactions are also flat [in the 180s] suggest continued demand for lofts is ‘pretty good’. (I know I said something that sounded very clever to me about how loft buyers set the market; we’ll see if he uses it and if it was clever….). Which leads me to the next (theatrical) point.

Like Ms. Dubois, I am dependent on the kindness of strangers. In retrospect, 15 minutes seems like a long time, but it went by in real time fairly quickly. More to the point, anything I said will be put through the filter of Roberts’ view of the article he is writing. He may use nothing of what I said, or just a little, and I have no control over what he uses, or where it fits in relation to other interviews he’s doing. While I think I was brilliant (or, at least, coherent), whether I come across that way in print will be up to him. Yikes!

Like blogging, without the control. The interview was only a bit faster in real time than blogging is, though with my blogging I can re-read before clicking and I can delete something that I really don’t like or that (in 20-20 hindsight) makes me look … stupid. All that is out of my hands now.

Like blogging, it is ephemeral. Blogging is what-I-think-at-this-instant. So is being interviewed on a cell phone on the street. Given more time to reflect, I might come to different conclusions about trends or what is most important, but The Record will reflect whatever I said today. (Remember the kindness of strangers.) Clever readers may remember what I said there and throw it back to me later (gently, no doubt).

I considered waiting to blog about the experience until the results are in, but decided to blog more about the experience. I can blog again about the results, if they seem to warrant it.

I will blog about the Times article and the various market reports … after I have had that chance to really reflect….

The ‘net has tentacles. I asked Roberts how he got to me. He said he saw the Manhattan Loft Guy ‘somewhere’. I wonder where, when, why. (He was the one asking questions; I only got that one and did not follow up.) Curious about that.

Practice, practice, practice. I will be better the next time I do this, right?

I should add that it was fun. I hope reading it is, too. (Please,please.)

© Sandy Mattingly 2008

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- the website is coming, the website is coming (so is Christmas)

I have been “working on” the content for my website ManhattanLoftGuy.com for months and months, having missed many self-imposed deadlines for handing off the content to my wonderful design team at Nunet.
Just missed another deadline, but my new deadline is January February 15 [sigh]. [March 7: my “new deadline” is streeeeetching, as my “wonderful design team at Nunet" is gone! My good friend and long-time next door loft neighbor Dietmar sold the company, and I am in website-design limbo once again. So let’s say that my new deadline is] sooner or later. arggghhh
In the meantime, as of today [that "today" was Dec 6] that URL is pointing to this blog site. (Big shout out to Ian Parker at Internet Crusade for taking care of that quickly.) So if you started there and ended up here, that’s why.
My blog readers will be among the very first to know when I finally birth that website baby!
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Jun. 6, 2006 - NY Daily News article about stories that help sell apartments


The Daily News ran a fun article (Celebrity owners & intriguing tales always help…) Make A Sale last week in which I was quoted at the start and end. Reporter Lore Croghan did a nice job on an angle that seems obvious to me – as an agent – but she found to be sufficiently ‘not obvious’ to warrant a story. Here is her lead:


A home is easier to sell if there's a story to tell — whether it's about rock stars or 19th-century architects, or even the seller's happy life.


A catchy tale is an often-used tool for marketing real estate in New York — where the chances that someone famous lived in a building, or designed it, are way better than in some small town in the Midwest.


She’s got examples in there about celebrity apartments, a townhouse with a ‘spicy past’, and (my angle) a ‘story’ about the family selling that some buyers may relate to. It’s all part of marketing.


Funny thing is, she didn’t use a story she had heard that I thought was one of the best use of a marketing hook I have heard about. She mentioned a 1 BR apartment that was sold to a (30-something?) single woman that had been owned in succession by two single women who sold and moved to larger apartments when they got married. I guess the karma was a good fit for the right buyer!


I spoke to Lore for about an hour when she did her research and I am very happy with the results. (Not everyone has that experience with the press every time, I know.) She quoted me accurately (spelled my name right!) and – I think – intelligently.


Here is my first quote in the piece:


It [a ‘story’] helps some buyers make an emotional connection to a property," said Sandy Mattingly, an associate broker at Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy.  "You want them to imagine it as a home — then as their home."


And the second and closing quote for the piece:


You create a parallel between the seller's experiences and the buyer's hopes and dreams," Mattingly explained. "You show a movie of what their life could be."


That attempt to create the parallel is about as good a brief description about how we market apartments as I can come up with, even now, after much reflection. That parallel was a terrific hook for the single-woman-with-aspirations-of-marriage buyer that did not appear in the article, but I think her editor made a mistake with that choice.

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Sandy Mattingly is Manhattan Loft Guy; now with The Corcoran Group (http://corcoran.com/ ; but see the disclaimer at the bottom of the page), he can be reached most easily at Sandy@ManhattanLoftGuy.com or 917.902.2491, and followed on Twitter @ManhattnLoftGuy (note "mis-spelling"). After 7+ years, the blog has moved. Links here on RealTown will work for the foreseeable future, but new posts (and all the old content) has migrated to ManhattanLoftGuy.com.

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