Insights

Technology

First time house flippers already have to face a lot of competition in a heated single family home market. They also have to compete with legions of other hopeful house flippers looking to get started. But there's an even bigger threat looming ...
Read More
In our first proptech spotlight, Derek does a deep dive into the Latch smart access control company and its products. He starts with an interview with Ryan F. Flynn, then shows the install process of the M-series and R-reader in our current project in Brooklyn, and reviews their functionality ...
Read More
Proptech makes up a huge portion of VC investment these days, but the real estate industry remains notoriously difficult to disrupt. Derek breaks down why this is the case by talking through everything that would be required to create a truly disruptive building that changes the way the industry would ...
Read More
What did we do when we didn't have enough sunlight in our lower floors at 424 W 47th St? We created our own! ...
Read More
I'm very proud to announce that YD Development has just started construction on 424 W 47th St, partnering with Common Living to deliver their first home in core Manhattan. For this project, we wanted to provide a careful balance of ergonomics, efficiency, aesthetics, and community with, of course, budget. There ...
Read More
I've been talking the talk about Green Technology for a long time, and, having recently started YD Development with Yoori Oh, I took my first steps in walking the walk. Not surprisingly, it's easier said than done. But real estate development is mostly about problem solving, so we are tackling the ...
Read More
Real Estate Development is a highly conservative industry, driven mostly by relationships, handshakes, politics, and money. The scene is dominated by alpha males oozing charisma, and the most successful developers have mastered the art of outmaneuvering their competition in the quest to erect the biggest and best phallus in the skyline ...
Read More
Lately I've been seeing a lot about Blockchain in my LinkedIn news feed. It sounded like a gimmicky tech buzz word, but after seeing it appear for the umpteenth time, I decided to finally learn what it is. It's pretty neat, and you, too, can understand the basics by watching these two ...
Read More
In the mid 2020's, the development of AI reached an event horizon. It wasn't the singularity, but productivity exploded from that point. What followed was a tumultuous economic period known as The Great Automation. Almost thirty years into The Great Automation, nearly half of able-bodied adults were completely removed from the workforce. Each ...
Read More
Imagine it's the not-too-distant-future, and you're at home and hungry. You decide to cook dinner, so you say "Hey Google, what can I make tonight?" (Or Alexa, but Google Home emerged victorious in my Epic IoT Battle). Your phone and a fridge-mounted screen suddenly display a list of meals that you ...
Read More

Discussions in Real Estate

NYC real estate is crashing! People are fleeing and inbound migration is not filling the vacancies, resulting in falling rents and real estate prices. Here's why we think the recovery could take a while ...
Read More
We are doing an in-depth analysis of national and regional residential real estate data to get a clearer picture of what happened in the last 6 months in the US housing market. As a companion to a white paper we're publishing, this video kicks off the series of what the ...
Read More
Derek Hsiang and VisionaRE Partners founder Sterling Jawitz discuss Coliving Investment and understanding the extra development costs, operating costs, and other considerations that developers and owners new to coliving should be aware of before taking on a coliving project. We also fast forward to coliving's future and what technologies we'd ...
Read More
In light of the recent protests, we want to start a dialogue with our colleagues in the real estate industry about how we can enable positive social change/ responsibility through the work we do. Derek asks and gives his answers for the following four questions: 1) What aspect of real ...
Read More
We're pleased welcome our first guest, Chris Brodhead of B6 Real Estate Advisors on The Real Estate R/Evolution, our show where we make up games based on random skills we pick up as real estate developers and play them with professionals in the industry. Afterwards, we do serious interviews to get their insights on where ...
Read More
What do NYC real estate developers do when we're quarantined and bored? We make up stupid games where we test each other about whether we still remember where things are in Manhattan. There are 2820 intersections in Manhattan and we try to guess which one from a street view screen ...
Read More
I was bitter about Bloomberg's affordable housing program back in 2009. When the administration seized Tennisport's land in Long Island City through eminent domain, my tennis e-commerce business became orphaned in its infancy. A developer planned to construct middle-income housing on Tennisport's prime waterfront property. And it was going to block the view of ...
Read More
For those who aren't in the real estate industry, the role of the real estate developer is kind of a mystery. Hollywood isn't doing us any favors, having produced countless movies with villainous real estate developers. When I attend networking or social events outside of the real estate world, one of ...
Read More
I do a lot of walking in NYC, and I used to do a fair amount of city driving as well. One of the things that irks me most is the traffic conflict between cars making a turn vs pedestrian crosswalks. Both turn green/white at the same time, and cars ...
Read More
There’s undoubtedly a lot of discussions these days about making our cities smarter through technology. But sometimes simple UX changes can make a world of difference. So here’s a no-tech tweak to the subway system to ponder while you’re stuck in Thanksgiving traffic. Most subway platforms in NYC service lines ...
Read More

Real Estate for Noobs

Coliving is a relatively new term slapped on the age-old concept of living with roommates. YD Development has developed over 100 coliving beds in NYC and have developed best practices as coliving has matured into a legitimate new real estate asset class. Derek covers everything you need to know about ...
Read More
Derek explains how members of a private equity cap stack are paid out in a waterfall profit distribution with a typical real estate example. This is critical knowledge in structuring commercial real estate deals with debt and outside equity. And it illustrates how General Partners (GP's) and Limited Partners (LP's) ...
Read More
In this lesson of Real Estate for Noobs, Derek breaks down the Cap Stack, or Capital Stack, which, in real estate and private equity deals, illustrates how a project is financed between debt and equity. Derek also dives into what role real estate developers have in this stack, and the ...
Read More
Which is better? To use all cash to pay for a property or to leverage debt to buy something bigger? In this episode of Real Estate for Noobs, Derek explains how and when to use debt strategically to boost your income, and what the dangers of debt are if you ...
Read More
Derek shares all his secrets to what led to him partnering with Yoori to form YD Development and purchase an $8m townhouse as our first project ...
Read More
The IRR (Internal Rate of Return) is a frustrating concept to learn because it's often taught using a very confusing definition. Derek explains the IRR using a definition we haven't seen anywhere else, using practical experience with how the metric is used in the real estate industry ...
Read More
In this episode we build on the relationship between NOI, Cap Rate, and Valuation to explain how to increase property valuation by boosting NOI. These tactics are the basic foundations we look for when deal hunting ...
Read More
In this episode of Real Estate for Noobs, Derek explains the relationships between Net Operating Income (NOI), Cap Rate, and Valuation using a simple and clear analogy that we WISHED we had back in school. We also break down the components of a real estate Profit & Loss Statement (P&L), ...
Read More
Derek explains YD Development's approach to staying ethically grounded in an industry that's prone to unethical behavior. The approach is simple: PUT PEOPLE FIRST! And we break it down to 5 categories that we have to consider when we design buildings for people: Ergonomics, Aesthetics, Efficiency, Community, and Financials ...
Read More
In our first episode of Real Estate for Noobs, a series where we explain complex real estate topics in super easy to understand terms, Derek uses an analogy to explain the role of the real estate developer ...
Read More