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NAREE's 69th Annual Journalism Contest Winners
 
Published Friday, June 28, 2019 9:00 pm

in a room full of other real estate professionals who have traveled a different path. In addition to the text, the story also includes video interviews with some sources. 

 

BRONZE WINNER:

DANIEL GEIGER, Crain’s New York Business, “A developer’s project becomes his downfall”

 

Judges’ comment: Geiger gives readers a behind-the-curtain look at how Rudy Thompson’s personal and professional lives fell apart with the failure of his Washington Heights development. This is an interesting, detailed story about a riches-to-rags developer who opened up to Geiger in a manner that many sources do not. 

 

SECTION III: INDIVIDUAL AWARDS – MAGAZINES – PRINT OR DIGITAL- 

 

Category 13: Best Residential, Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Magazine Story – General Circulation

 

GOLD WINNER:  

PRASHANT GOPAL, Bloomberg Businessweek, “Getting Rich on Government-Backed Mortgages” 

 

Judges’ comment: Gopal knows how to zoom in on a character, such as Lamborghini-owning Angelo Christian, who illustrates how non-bank lending today is echoing what happened in 2008. He uses plenty of numbers, pointing out (somewhat alarmingly) that borrowers are on average spending 43 percent of their income on debt payments and (somewhat reassuringly) that only 3.5 percent of new loans today are to people with credit scores below 620, compared with 15 percent in 2008. 

 

SILVER WINNER:  

EUGENE MEYER, Freelancer, Bethesda Magazine, “Why Marriott Stayed”

 

Judges’ comment: This account of why Marriott chose to build new headquarters in Bethesda rather than relocate outside the area gives local readers extensive reporting and inside information. Helpful sidebars look at the history of the company, parking and the differences between the old space and the new, denser one. 

 

BRONZE WINNER:  

BECKIE STRUM, Dow Jones/ Mansion Global, “The High Life”

 

Judges’ comment: Strum tells her readers what they want to know. For example, a third of all residential and mixed-use residential “supertalls” are in Dubai; and high addresses give bragging rights. A helpful graphic shows supertalls worldwide.

 

HONORABLE MENTION:  

JON GOREY, Freelancer, Boston Globe, “What to Know When Buying an Older Home”

 

Judges’ comment: This piece gives readers excellent advice about buying surprise-filled older homes. Gorey begins his story with a personal anecdote about his wife hearing a waterfall coming from the linen closet in their 1920 house. Along with the charm of slightly sloping floors, these homes can come with high price-tag problems, such as outdated wiring, plumbing and roofs.

 

Category 14: Best Residential Real Estate Trade Magazine Story

 

GOLD WINNER:  

E.B. SOLOMONT, The Real Deal, “Death of the Brokerage” 

 

Judges’ comment: Solomont uses the demise of splashy Town Residential, which once employed 600 agents, to tell her story about how star agents, open data and venture capital are hurting traditional brokerages. She interviews many industry sources, including the CEOs of Triplemint and Nest Seekers. And she gets quotes that are gems. Says one highly wooed star agent: “I feel like LeBron heading into free agency.” 

 

SILVER WINNER:

ALEX NITKIN, The Real Deal, “Is @properties scaling up or selling out?” 

 

Judges’ comment: @properties remains the sales-volume market leader in residential real estate in Chicago’s Cook County, but Nitkin uses strong reporting and figures to question how long it can remain at the top. In 2018 its founders -- facing competition from Compass and others -- sold a significant share of their business to a venture-capital firm. Though Nitkin couldn’t get the duo to comment for this story, he works around that problem by interviewing other key players. 

 

BRONZE WINNER:

RONDA KAYSEN, Freelancer, Architectural Record, “The Housing Crisis in America”

 

Judge’s comment: Kaysen skillfully tells her audience of architects and designers about the affordability crisis in New York City, with its “insatiable” demand for housing. Despite the best efforts of the nation’s biggest public housing landlord, it remains a place with 77,000 homeless residents.


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