Stars to Watch 2013: David Schechtman

Executive Managing Director & Principal, Eastern Consolidated

Memorable Achievements: Last year, Schechtman sold The Chatsworth on the Upper West Side for $151 million. The 110-year-old building had been owned by a private family for 67 years and was sold in the last week of December. He also sold 3.7 acres of land in Queens for $34 million, 57-63 Greene St. in Manhattan for $17.3 million, 21-27 Mercer St. in Manhattan for $18 million and a portfolio of 443 apartments in Washington Heights for $64 million. This year’s assignments include the retail portion of 380 Columbus Ave., a 100-year-old building across the street from the Museum of Natural History that has never been on the market before. The home of the Ocean Grill is listed for $24 million. He is also currently selling a 110,000-square-foot loft office building in the Garment Center with an asking price of $38 million.

What Others Say About Him: Having sat opposite Schechtman at the deal table for the past four or five years, David Peretz, managing principal at East End Capital, says he has his pulse on the market and thus is able to produce potential buyers “you didn’t know about.” He added: “Everyone knows him.” And “he’s really good at helping you get behind the (deals) that are really great opportunities.”

Greatest Challenges: “I talk too much,” he joked.

Secrets to Success: Preparation and “every day building on what I did the day before.” After selling 57-63 Greene St. in downtown Manhattan, he was hired to sell 29 Green St. and 72 Greene St. (with a partner), and then became an exclusive agent for 80 Greene St. Thus, an $18 million assignment was converted into $100 million more in deals.

Best Advice Received: Someone stood up after he made a comment during a Real Estate Board of New York speech in which he commented that seven years is a decent length of time and said, “Seven years will go by with the bat of an eyelash. Time moves very quickly, so you have to continue to make each and every day very, very fruitful.” Have an agenda for each day, and be very regimented. Schechtman has a clicker on his desk and starts at zero every day. “Quality is more important than quantity, but you need to divide up the day so you have a significant amount of quality every day.”

Advice to Others: “The people making a lot more than you, who you believe you want to be professionally, are very likely no different than you socially. Be yourself.” And there’s an opportunity to do something charitable every day. “It’s probably the most important part of my personal and professional life.”

—Suzann D. Silverman

More details on the accomplishments of CPE’s 2013 Stars to Watch appeared in the May 2013 issue.