Apple Peeled Question: When describing the Espinal Adler Team, we always say that Marie is quantitative, and Jeff is qualitative.

I think for most people, it’s easier to identify the things that fall under the umbrella of quantitative. But, it’s almost as if anything that’s not quantitative is therefore qualitative — and that’s way too broad a spectrum for a lot of us to fully grasp.

With that said, here are the actual questions:

What is qualitative and what are the things that fall under the umbrella of qualitative, especially as they pertain to real estate?

Jeff Adler: Quantitative is purely numbers based, as the name suggests. Qualitative are all the factors that affect valuations and pricing but do not have a formal chart of what they are worth. Examples include location, access to public transport, views & light, quality of finishes inside an apartment as well as a building’s pedigree, etc. There’s no standard numbers to attach to each of these things, understanding their values in relation to everything else is where I come in.

The Apple Peeled Question: Can you give us specific examples of dissecting a situation using qualitative analysis?

Jeff Adler: Brokerage has been such a great fit for me because of my love for the silly minutiae and details, the ones that make you feel something – positive or negative.

A macro example would be two uber-luxury condos going up next to each other in West Chelsea; Both are done by Starchitects, have highly sought-after locations and are being marketed as “six of one, half dozen of another,” when in fact the finished product will be vastly different. One of the developers is known for cutting corners and under-delivering re: finishes and amenities. The other developer has a more established and respected reputation. For us [Espinal Adler] this has an effect on how we value the two properties.

A more micro example is the building where I live in FiDi. The developer wasn’t a boy scout if you know what I mean.  When the building opened in 2006 many structural issues were discovered. If you weren’t an original buyer, then those first 5-6 years were a bad time to buy in the building. But, with the help of a strong Board we were able to get everything properly working and stabilize the finances. In 2012 values took off because the building was more stable and became a good investment.

The Apple Peeled Question: You’ve lived in New York City for more than 30 years. You know virtually every building in every neighborhood. How does that fit into your qualitative analysis? 

Jeff Adler: We often have to guide our customer’s to certain neighborhoods because they don’t know the differences – and in NYC the entire vibe of an area can change from block-to-block. Understanding the distinctions is an art we have mastered from experience.

There are Fair Housing Laws, which are very good and important for the City to have, so steering is not permitted. However, a 75-year widow who wants to move to the city to be near her grandchildren will not likely want to be in the east village.

If being near the big-name museums and luxury shopping is an important part of your search, then the UES clearly will work for you.

All of these neighborhoods are great in their own way. Manhattan is the second safest big City in the world after Tokyo, and the nuances from neighborhood to neighborhood are significant and important to know.