New York, NY In the super competitive NYC real estate market, it is difficult, if not impossible, to be the “one and only” in any discipline. But Steven Schleider has achieved the seemingly impossible as the only commercial real estate appraiser with a LEED AP BD+C designation, a hard earned credential that places his experience and knowledge in the forefront of green valuation,
The “L” in LEED stands for leadership and LEED standardization took a global leadership position when it revolutionized green building with measureable standards for best-in-class building strategies and practices. It is the single most recognized building rating in the world.
Leadership is also relevant to professionals, such as Schleider, who have earned the LEED AP designation. It, too, signifies leadership in the field; that you are an active player in the green building movement; and you add value to being involved in green building, as well as organizations focused on sustainability. Schleider also holds the Building Design and Construction (BD+C) credential, indicating his area of LEED AP specialization.
Building green, going green, sustainability, even net zero and passive buildings, are experiencing tremendous growth in the commercial marketplace. Schleider said, “Metropolitan Valuation Services (MVS) has seen a marked increase in commercial appraisal assignments where green technologies are noted with significance in the initial Request for (valuation work) Proposal stage – and with good reason. There aren’t any corporate citizenship advantages for not embracing sustainability. As annual reports for publicly traded financial institutions are increasingly touting their green-friendly corporate leanings, it seems evident that banks see an advantage with green properties as a growing percentage of their collateral.”
If there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come, then the genesis of his decision to pursue a LEED AP began with such an idea, which was The Solaire, the first green residential building in the U.S. It was groundbreaking, with green features that barely existed elsewhere. When it was completed in 2003, the industry still considered green building and sustainability to be economically unfeasible, or at least a major economic challenge. Back then, the U.S. Green Building Council was still explaining what a green building even was.
He appraised The Solaire twice. The second appraisal resulted in an epiphany when he realized he could breathe noticeably better and had a sense of well being due to the technologies used to enhance indoor air quality. Thus, he foresaw the profound effect “going green” would have on the future of real estate. At that point, he made the decision to advance his knowledge in that realm which would lead to his becoming a pioneer in green valuation.
Schleider is president of MVS, one of the largest independent commercial property appraisal and consulting practices for lenders and owners in the N.Y. metro market. As one of the city’s leading real estate appraisal and consulting firms, MVS works with a broad base of clients including investment firms, international and domestic pension funds, industrial corporations, foreign and domestic financial institutions, individual investors and law firms. The firm has also appraised many large-scale, multifamily complexes for FannieMae and FreddieMac loan portfolios.
Schleider’s assignments have included development strategies, valuation and/or feasibility studies for market rate and subsidized rental facilities, nursing home, age restricted and assisted living residences, cooperative and condominium apartment buildings, development projects in various stages of approval and, valuation modeling/consulting for lower and moderate income housing. His experience with HUD-based programs includes section 8 facilities, MAP, and rent comparability surveys.
To accommodate the next level of growth, MVS recently relocated and doubled its space. The headquarters provides an open work area, conference room and lounge, break areas and features high end technology platforms as well as energy efficient “smart” lighting systems and real estate-centric artwork integrated into video displays.
As real estate investment stakeholders and decision makers rely on appraisals to finance new construction, major renovations and acquisitions, a major value added proposition in working with MVS is Schleider’s long term and hard earned expertise in green valuation. From site sustainability to water use efficiency, energy use, indoor air quality, green building systems, technologies and amenities and design innovations, all of which impact property operations and, by extension, property value, Schleider’s expertise has led to the firm’s providing valuation services for many privately owned green buildings within NYC.
Currently, the U.S. Green Building Council offers a Green Associate designation, but when Schleider took the training, the LEED AP course was the only one available, It was among the more demanding in his professional career. “The material was familiar to professionals such as architects, designers and engineers, but for an appraiser, it was like learning a new language,” said Schleider.
Given the social and legislative mandates towards green buildings, he believes it’s only a matter of time before lenders require due diligence underwriting to consider financing risks associated with non-green assets. “Valuing green real estate is a complex area of analysis at a level beyond what most appraisers currently possess,” said Schleider. “But opportunities for study by appraisers at institutions are increasing.”
A proponent of ongoing education, MVS serves as education sponsor of the metropolitan N.Y. chapter of the Appraisal Institute of which he is an active member and past president.
He is also active in the N.Y. Urban Green Council, holds the MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS), is a member of REBNY where he’s served on its housing committee and chaired the appraisal committee, and was three times reappointed by mayor Bloomberg to the NYC Rent Guidelines board.
Having segued into real estate appraisal from his first love, music, he continues to make good use of his degree from the Berklee College of Music, known as the world’s foremost institute for the study of jazz and modern American music, and can be found in clubs around town, playing bass in jazz and R+B/funk groups.