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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