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  • Writer's pictureAlice Devine

A Sweet Award for Suite Deal

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

Suite Deal, the Smart Landlord's Guide to Leasing Real Estate wins the 2019 Robinson/Bruss book award from The National Association of Real Estate Editors.

Downtown Austin complete with kayaks; Suite Deal book; The Continental Club

I just returned from boot-kickin’ Austin, a city whose downtown boasts a Willie Nelson statue alongside the likes of Google, Silicon Labs—and this year, the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) conference. Packed with journalists from The Wall Street Journal,The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg, Bisnow and many other quality publications, it’s a three-day extravaganza of industry experts and journalists talking all things real estate. And, NAREE announces its annual Robert Bruss Book Awards. There’s hardly a free minute to escape to the venerable Continental Club, beloved for its music and cozy vibe.

NAREE offers something for every real estate facet: macro economic outlooks, mortgages, massive office towers. The takeaways? CBRE and Hines are getting into the “flexible office space” or co-working arena, San Francisco and San Jose are the hottest housing and labor markets in the U.S. (but you already knew that), and online companies are mass-purchasing homes with seven-day closes and cash.

My own panel discussed the office wellness movement—and its sister, sustainability—led by moderator Amy Gamerman, who writes for WSJ's Mansion section. (The Mansion section, yum.) From robotic bike storage to high-rise rooftop gardens, it’s all about fresh air and light. Actually, according to the WELL Building Institute, which certifies buildings that meet criteria, it’s about other categories too: water, nourishment, fitness, comfort, mind. In a separate panel, Mike Leipart of The Agency Development Group commented that he considers wellness “the last great frontier” of real estate. There's opportunity as companies and consumers are willing to pay more for environments that encourage healthier and longer lives. The room nodded. After all, we’d seen the paddle boarders, scullers and canoe-ers who flock to the river—or Lady Bird Lake, which resembles a river—that runs through Austin.

In addition to panel presentations, NAREE announced its 12th annual Robert Bruss Book Awards. I was honored to accept the 2019 Leigh Robinson award for Best First-time Author for Suite Deal, the Smart Landlord's Guide to Leasing Real Estate. The national award is especially poignant because Bob Bruss lived in my neck of the woods and was one of my favorite columnists. Come to think of it, I’m pretty certain Bruss would have suggested we all head to the Continental Club to celebrate.


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