Media News

NAREE names annual real estate journalism award winners

June 9, 2023

Posted by Chris Roush

The National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) announced the winners of its 73rd Annual Journalism Awards today. This prestigious competition recognizes excellence in reporting, writing, and editing stories about residential and commercial real estate.

The awards were announced at NAREE’s annual conference held in Las Vegas at the Caesars Palace hotel. A panel of expert judges from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University selected all winners. Medill’s Karen Springen chaired the panel. Here are NAREE’s 2023 winners with judges’ comments:

Platinum Overall Winner: Kyle Campbell, American Banker

“Home appraisers are fed up with how their industry is run”

Judges’ Comment: Kyle Campbell zooms in on a once-happy home appraiser to illustrate the larger problem with an industry and then zooms out to explain it. As he explains, simply and without jargon, the field is too difficult to enter, too easy to get booted out of and “too bogged down with bureaucracy.” In rural communities in particular, there aren’t enough appraisers. And Black and Hispanic homeowners routinely get their homes assessed below market value. He also notes how many in the field “point fingers” at the nonprofit industry group called The Appraisal Foundation. Good storyteller that he is, he circles back to the home appraiser in his lede. (No spoilers!) He knows how to clearly tell a compelling story about a complicated, important societal issue.

Best Young Journalist: Keith Larsen, The Real Deal

“Bankruptcy Beeline: How troubled developers from far and wide found their way to a White Plains judge”

Judges’ Comment: In his meticulously reported pieces, Keith Larsen shows a talent for finding unique stories about fascinating characters — and for getting these colorful people to talk to him. A piece about bankrupt developers in New York City who “venue shop” to seek out a sympathetic judge in White Plains, New York, includes quotes from his honor himself, of course. Anecdotes are memorable. Larsen practices shoe-leather journalism, digging through real estate and court documents and conducting extensive interviews. As a result, he can produce pieces with “show, don’t tell” details that make readers say “wow.”

Best Freelance Collection: Brenda Richardson, The Washington Post & California Real Estate

Collection Includes: “Colorado mountain project offers vision of green housing’s future,” “Geothermal heat pumps are among the most earth-friendly home energy sources, experts say,” “Fair Housing Responsibilities for Housing Providers”

Judges’ Comment: Like Goldilocks, Brenda Richardson knows what’s “just right” — the right number of quotes, statistics and anecdotes to weave into her stories. To show the need for green housing, she notes that homes account for 20% of greenhouse gases. She tucks in specific details, like floor-to-ceiling triple-pane windows. In a story about geothermal heat pumps, which might sound like an “eat-your-spinach” type of read, she hooks the reader with an engaging lead about how one of the best ways to make a house more comfortable all year “could be right beneath your feet.” Her easy-to-understand descriptions of complex topics, from green building issues to fair housing, also make her a standout.

Category 1: Kenneth R. Harney Award for Best Real Estate Consumer Education Reporting – $1,000 Award

Winner: Michael Finch, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate Collection includes: “’You are responsible’: One Louisianan’s experience after his homeowners’ insurance collapsed,” “Low ratings didn’t disqualify weak insurers from taking risky policies from Louisiana citizens,” “Louisiana regulators continue allowing weak insurers to take on risky policies”

Judges’ Comment: In this deeply reported trio of stories, Finch revealed how homeowners on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast were left holding the bag after massive claims on hurricane-damaged homes drove dozens of insurers out of business or out of state. Louisiana’s insurance commissioner made things worse by allowing equally shaky companies to take over the policies, leaving claims unpaid and homeowners coping with angry contractors and outstanding bills. Graphics help simplify the complex subject matter, and Finch’s crisp, clear writing and humanizing narrative keeps the reader engaged.

Category 2: Best Collection of Work by an Individual Covering Residential Real Estate Gold Winner: Jim Morrison, The Boston Globe

Collection includes: “So many fire escapes in Boston haven’t been inspected: It’s a problem that could imperil residents, delay condo sales, and expose homeowners associations to financial ruin,” “How a court ruling in a double homicide could cost condo owners millions,” “One home, six owners of color, seven decades of building generational wealth”

Judges’ Comment: Morrison does not shy away from reporting and writing stories that are complex and require nuance. This collection showcases a breadth of reportage. The reporter plays a watchdog role in an exploration of Boston’s uninspected fire escapes, looks out for condo owners with an explanation of how a court ruling could affect them and tells the deeper story of a home and its owners of color building generational wealth.

Silver Winner: Conor Dougherty, The New York Times

Collection includes: “The Next Affordable City Is Already Too Expensive,” “Twilight of the NIMBY,” “The Rent Revolution Is Coming”

Judges’ Comment: With this collection of work, Dougherty paints a picture of different forces and groups influencing or affected by the current U.S. housing market. These stories take readers up and down the West Coast and to the Midwest, diving into the lives and motivations of different groups of people. While geography and politics factor heavily into why these people do what they do, all three stories make clear the intertwined implications on society in these communities facing change and upheaval.

Bronze Winner: Jon Banister, Bisnow

Collection includes: “Afghan Refugees Left ‘Hoping For A Miracle’ As U.S. Housing Solutions Come Up Short,” “Biden’s 100,000-Refugee Pledge Faces Hurdles Amid U.S. Housing Shortage,” “Landlords Help Ease Refugee Housing Crisis By Bending The Rules”

Honorable Mention: Julie Lasky (Freelance Writer), The New York Times

Collection includes: “Green Pastures, Rural Problems,” “The Pandemic, By Design,” “Ma’s House Fulfills a Grandmother’s Dying Wish”

Category 3: Best Collection of Work by an Individual Covering Commercial Real Estate Gold Winner: Keith Larsen, The Real Deal

Collection includes: “Age of empires: Rubie Schron’s Cammeby’s makes national

push,” “Collateral Damage: A decade after becoming famous as WeWork’s first investor, Joel Schreiber finds himself under fire on multiple fronts,” “Bankruptcy Beeline: How troubled developers from far and wide found their way to a White Plains judge”

Judges’ Comment: Larsen has a talent for finding unique stories about fascinating characters. He also knows how to grab the reader with entertaining anecdotes, such as legendary developer Rubie Schron telling Donald Trump he didn’t know what “The Apprentice” was (he didn’t own a TV). Another story in the collection, engagingly written, detailed the strange-but- legal practice of bankrupt developers in NYC seeking out a sympathetic judge in White Plains, New York. The kicker: The judge is retiring. Larsen has an eye for detail and a gift for descriptive writing.

Silver Winner: Alex Nicoll, Insider

Collection includes: “Vishal Garg wants you to understand why he’s still Better’s CEO, even after getting ridiculed for brutally laying off 900 people via Zoom,” “As families and ‘Parrotheads’ flock to campgrounds and RV parks, institutional real-estate investors see their next big score,” “A band of immigrant tenants went to war with their $31 billion landlord. It’s a sneak peek at what’s to come across America.”

Judges’ Comment: This collection of stories demonstrates Nicoll’s range, from a fresh and thoroughly reported trend story about RV parks attracting significant institutional investor money, to an exclusive interview with Vishal Garg that had the competition scrambling. Nicoll elevated the narrative in a story about immigrant tenants fighting their institutional landlord, CIM Group, by tying it to tenants’ rights movements elsewhere. Keen reporting instincts and skillful writing underpin Nicoll’s work.

Bronze Winner: Lois Weiss, New York Post

Collection includes: “You might have rats in your NYC storage unit,” “Got wood? Developers are looking to trees to build tomorrow’s NYC,” “Critics claim Cookies mural may flout draft rules for cannabis ads”

Honorable Mention: Olivia Lueckemeyer, Bisnow

Collection includes: “Amazon Crushes Building Materials Supply Chain, Sends Shockwaves Through Construction Industry,” “Will Trump Organization Conviction Trigger ‘Bad Boy’ Clause with Lenders?,” “A Generational Setback’: The Pandemic Marked a Painful Loss of Progress for Women”

Category 4: Best Regular or Syndicated Real Estate Column Gold Winner: V.L. Hendrickson, Mansion Global, Dow Jones

“Wealthy Americans Are Hunting for ‘Plan B’ Citizenship in Record Numbers. Here’s Where They Should Look.”

Judges’ Comment: With money to spare, rich people who want a second home and perhaps a second citizenship look abroad. V.L. Hendrickson captures the ins and outs of rich people who seek out “golden visa programs” to buy another house. It’s not just for the very highest net-worth individuals: Hendrickson gives figures for lower-cost spots like Greece, Portugal and the Caribbean that are open to offering residency for investment. Rather than just pontificate, Hendrickson interviews experts who explain the appeal — typically the perk of a visa or passport more than just the monetary return on the investment or the quality of the real estate.

Silver Winner: Paul Bishop, Real Estate News

“Housing Market Decoded: 6 housing stats to watch”

Judges’ Comment: In this industry, data are king. And Paul Bishop, the former vice president of research at NAR, where he researched the economic and demographic forces influencing real estate, shows where to find the numbers his readers need. For example, he explains federal data on new single-family home sales and links to where to find them. It’s practical, straightforward information — not flashy, but vital.

Bronze Winner: J. Philip Faranda, Real Estate News

“Agents Decoded: When it’s time to fire your client”

Category 5: Best Economic Analysis

Gold Winner: Marissa Luck, Houston Chronicle

“Houston workers don’t want a full return to the office. And a recession won’t force them to do it.”

Judges’ Comment: In this timely, well-written story, Luck explores one of the biggest economic questions post-pandemic — will workers ever return to the office? Focusing deeply on the Houston workforce, Luck interviews area workers, dives into regional labor data, and talks to local companies and recruiting firms to come up with the answer: not likely, given a power shift

in the labor market toward employees. Numbers and statistics, along with colorful graphics, help to make the case.

Silver Winner: Randyl Drummer, CoStar News

“As Phoenix’s Population Rises, Developers Race to Keep Up”

Judges’ Comment: Drummer provides a compelling analysis of the causes and effects of Phoenix’s recent explosive population growth, as people and companies have flocked there from high-cost states such as California. The numbers are compelling (23% rent growth; warehouses growing by 32 million square feet), and Drummer makes good use of them without overwhelming the reader. He provides a variety of perspectives, from downtown office developers and manufacturers to environmental experts worried about the expanding urban heat island. Stunning photos enhance the piece.

Bronze Winner: Larry Edelman, The Boston Globe/

“Buyers and sellers play the waiting game: As the Fed tries to stem inflation, sales numbers start to crater, and mortgage rates climb, the hopes of snagging a home grow dimmer”



Honorable Mention: Mark Ellwood, Financial Times

“Will the buck stop here? Dollar homebuyers eye London market”

Category 6: Best Interior Design Story Gold Winner: Zoe Rosenberg, Insider

“A $25,000 refrigerator with ‘that wow factor’: Wealthy people like Kris Jenner are buying glass- door fridges that put their fancy drinks and colorful vegetables on display”

Judges’ Comment: It’s a “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” type of story — great fun and eye roll inducing. Who needs a $25,000 refrigerator with a see-through glass door? But the piece also illustrates the creativity that goes into servicing super-rich customers. And it gives Zoe Rosenberg a chance to display her writerly flair. She notes that this high-end appliance (which got its 15 minutes of fame on social media, thanks to the Kardashians) provided “a literal window” into the lives of celebs and wealthy people. A hint: They’ve got “crisp heads of Romaine standing tall.”

Silver Winner: Evelyn Battaglia, Brick Underground, “Want a faster renovation? Artificial intelligence can speed up the design process and save you money”

Judges’ Comment: AI isn’t necessarily evil. It can do the grunt work and give cost estimates, giving architects more time to be creative and saving everyone time and money. With easy-to- use websites and mobile apps, users don’t even need much tech know-how. Evelyn Battaglia gives helpful information, including the names of innovative companies that specialize in different areas (such as both Skipp and Block Renovation for kitchen and bath renovations). Still, she ultimately makes the case for an experienced pro as the boss of it all.

Bronze Winner: Michele Lerner (Freelance Writer), Barron’s

“Interior Designers Adapt to Digital Art”

Honorable Mention: Jessica Flint, The Wall Street Journal

“Is Your House Style Modern Farmhouse, Modern Modern Farmhouse or Modernized Farmhouse?”

Category 7: Best Architecture Story

Gold Winner :Nancy Keates, The Wall Street Journal

“James Taylor’s Childhood Home Is Back In Tune”

Judges’ Comment: How sweet it is to read a thoroughly reported story about a successful effort to save an icon’s childhood home. James Taylor’s “Copperline” lyrics refer to overdevelopment in his Chapel Hill neighborhood, where speculators build McMansions. Keates interviews many people, including the two men who invested $2 million into this labor-of-love renovation. The New Yorkers didn’t need the Taylor family’s North Carolina place because they own three other residences. But they wanted to preserve the land and save the seven-bedroom home from disrepair and destruction. Renovation fans will like the details about the original architecture, and Taylor fans will like to learn more about the singer and his family.

and translation by Haidee Chu.

Silver Winner: Anna Kodé, The New York Times

“Not Just a Fence: The Story of a Stainless Steel Status Symbol”

Judges’ Comment: This enlightening story, at least for many readers, falls into that wonderful category that makes readers say: “Wow! Who knew?” Particularly in some Asian neighborhoods in New York, flashy stainless steel fences are a status symbol. Anna Kodé displays a way with words, noting that the shiny barriers encircling otherwise unassuming homes are “like a diamond necklace worn atop an old white T-shirt.” She interviews everyone from

homeowners to Realtors, and she explains that the decorated fences, for all their fanciness, are practical and low maintenance compared with iron fences with peeling paint. It’s a share-worthy story.

Bronze Winner: Zoe Rosenberg, Insider

“Real-estate developers who hadn’t even heard of pickleball until recently are rushing to build courts for the sport’s 4.8 million US players”

Honorable Mention:

Michele Lerner (Freelance Writer), Barron’s

“The Appeal of Ancient Building Techniques”

Category 8: Best Residential Real Estate Story – Daily or Weekly Newspaper Gold Winner: Kris B. Mamula, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Left behind: Troubled Homewood faces uncertain prospect of revival”

Judges’ Comment: This in-depth exploration of a deeply struggling community is carefully and meticulously done. Instead of relying on current crime statistics to paint the picture of this community, this story dives into decades of issues and amplifies the voices of residents who speak about the demoralizing toll to the human spirit of living in a place with fewer and fewer residents and more and more derelict buildings.

Silver Winner: Troy McMullen, Freelance Writer, The Washington Post

“For buyers of color, the housing market can be particularly troubling”

Judges’ Comment: This story explores how the current housing market can be particularly damaging for those who recently have made strides in homeownership in the U.S.: minority home buyers and millennials, especially if they fall within both categories. The story uses experts and statistics to explain how these groups traditionally start the home hunt at a disadvantage, and how the current state of the market and trends are squeezing these groups even further. But key are the experiences of home hunters that bookend this story, capturing their hope amid all this uncertainty.

Bronze Winner: Ronda Kaysen, The New York Times

“A Landlord ‘Underestimated’ His Tenants. Now They Could Own the Building”

Honorable Mention: Jon Gorey, Boston Globe, “GREEN BUILDING: Cut your losses – Here’s what it takes – and costs – to make an old New England home energy-efficient.”

Category 9: Best Residential Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Story – Daily or Weekly Newspaper

Gold Winner: Michele Lerner (Freelance Writer), The Washington Post

“What climate change will mean for your home”

Judges’ Comment: Michele Lerner takes an issue that can be overwhelming and abstract for many, and literally brings it home to readers. The story explores the effect on property values and maintenance costs, but instead of simply relying on numbers and dollar signs, it also brings in the personal accounts of homeowners, advice from real estate experts and practical tips for hopeful homeowners on how to evaluate climate risk.

Silver Winner: Nicole Friedman, The Wall Street Journal

“They Signed Contracts for Their Dream Homes Last Year. Now Their Borrowing Costs Are Ballooning”


Judges’ Comment: Though much has been said and written about rising mortgage interest rates, this story puts a human face on the issue by focusing on homeowners who find themselves at the mercy of climbing rates after signing contracts for under-construction homes but having not yet closed on their new homes. The story captures the limbo they are caught in, weaving in the difficulties of budgeting and planning amid rising rates and construction delays due to pandemic-induced supply chain issues.

Bronze Winner: Richard Mize, The Oklahoman

“INSTANT REGRETS? Selling your home online could cost you, stats show”

Honorable Mention: Cameron Sperance, The Boston Globe

“Home schooling: Student loan forgiveness may not be the silver bullet to boost homeownership”



Category 10: Best Commercial Real Estate Story – Daily or Weekly Newspaper Gold Winner: Aaron Elstein, Crain’s New York Business

“Churches look for Salvation in the Sky”

Judges’ Comment: In a tightly written story, Aaron Elstein was able to break down the complex and intertwined issues of the legalities of air rights, the real estate holdings of churches and post-pandemic pressures forcing shifts of ownership from religious institutions to developers. The different perspectives and what is at stake for the concerned parties were explored and presented in a balanced way.

Silver Winner: Steph Kukuljan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Why does Centene own Ritz-Carlton in Clayton? Health care giant says it’s just business”

Judges’ Comment: The reporter followed a journalist’s hunch from a low-profile sale in 2018 to fully uncover in 2022 the ties between a health care corporation and a luxury hotel chain’s local outpost. The story carefully explained how those ties were uncovered, and how unusual, though technically legal, the situation was, all while placing it in the larger context of Centene’s and the Ritz-Carlton’s post-pandemic issues.



Bronze Winner: Stan Bullard, Crain’s Cleveland Business

“Broker tackles a traditional taboo — disclosing an illness — in commercial real estate”



Honorable Mention: James McCandless, San Antonio Business Journal

“As a seasoned pro plans to step aside, it’s business as usual at Accessibility Unlimited”



Category 11: Best Residential Real Estate, Residential Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Magazine Story – General Circulation


Gold Winner: Patrick Clark, Bloomberg Businessweek

“Wall Street Is Buying Starter Homes to Quietly Become America’s Landlord: Private equity money is pouring into the Phoenix real estate market, turning first-time homebuyers into renters.”

Judges’ Comment: In a textbook example of “show, don’t tell” journalism, Patrick Clark zeroes in on a new investment practice that’s threatening the American dream of home ownership. Wall Street landlords are taking houses off the market and charging higher and higher prices to rent them back to people who might otherwise have been able to buy. A master wordsmith, Clark calls the pandemic-fueled speculation a “suburban gold rush” that “proved irresistible” to small landlords and home flippers but also to private equity giants and sovereign wealth funds. Admire Clark’s reporting and craft.



Silver Winner: David Kaufman, Robb Report


Judges’ Comment: In a story full of wows, David Kaufman starts with the biggest one: Tel Aviv (not London, New York or Hong Kong) is the world’s most expensive city. This fact sets the stage for a fascinating look at a city with a high demand for housing but a low supply of it.

Hurdles include a significant amount of land owned by the government and the lack of a multiple listings system. Through thorough reporting, Kaufman explains these issues — and gets good quotes to add color. As one source notes, “Especially at the top end, deals are very private, very hush-hush.” It’s a treat to read.



Bronze Winner: Carisa Chappell, Chicago Magazine

“Where to Buy Now”



Honorable Mention: Jon Gorey, Boston Globe Magazine

“TOP SPOTS TO LIVE 2022: A guide to 36 Greater Boston communities where demand – and prices – are surging”



Category 12: Best Residential Real Estate Trade or B-to-B Magazine Story Gold Winner: Harrison Connery, The Real Deal

“Compass revises market share after NAR changes its math”

Judges’ Comments: Years ago, the novelist Stephen King told The Atlantic, “An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.” Harrison Connery’s opener: “The residential real estate world is guilty of some fuzzy math.” Ah. Connery then adeptly uses numbers and clever writing to explain a complex issue. Basically, Compass disclosed its national market share is lower than it had said and pointed to a change in how the National Association of Realtors estimates home prices. It had capped high-end sales at $750,000 — “a number that barely gets you a studio in Manhattan,” Connery aptly notes — but just readjusted it to $3 million. He also knows the importance of tucking in relevant history, including Compass’ failure to hit its ambitious goal to capture 20% of market share in the country’s top 20 cities by 2020.


Silver Winner: Jon Gorey, Chicago Agent Magazine

“WARMING PLANET in a HOT MARKET: The Climate Is Changing – How Will Buyers, and Their Agents, Keep Up?”

Judges’ Comments: Veteran journalist Jon Gorey knows how to expertly find and use numbers to set up a story about the gap between Americans’ awareness of climate change (two-thirds say their community will be vulnerable to extreme weather in the next decade) and their real- estate actions (the most popular places to move are in hot spots like South Florida, Phoenix, and Las Vegas). Gorey cuts to the chase, noting that California is at risk for more wildfires, and sea-level cities like Boston and New York are at risk from rising water levels. So, what’s a real- estate agent to do? This thoroughly reported piece lets some good experts make a strong case for the Chicago area and the Great Lakes region. But beyond directing buyers to information like flood maps, Realtors can’t do much when buyers choose to ignore them.



Bronze Winner: Michele Lerner (Freelance Writer), Green Builder

“It’s Electrifying: Converting to All-Electric Comes with Challenges”



Category 13: Best Commercial Real Estate Trade or B-to-B Magazine Story Gold Winner: Adam Piore, The Real Deal

“Joseph Chetrit: The Man from Morocco”

Judge’s Comment: Writer Adam Piore gives a master class in the art of in-depth storytelling, even without a sit-down with the profile subject himself. It scarcely matters that notoriously press-shy investor and developer Joseph Chetrit won’t talk. A family member and many others fill in the blanks in this compelling cover story about him, just as, in his legendary Esquire profile of Frank Sinatra, Gay Talese interviewed everyone but the singer. Revealing anecdotes include an opener with the investor even wheeling and dealing to be sure he gets his desired World Cup soccer seats.



Silver Winner: Jonathan Brasse, PERE

“The man behind the mandate”

Judges’ Comments: It’s a coup to land the first interview given by a billionaire owner of a huge private equity real estate business. Kudos to Jonathan Brasse for spending a couple hours with John Grayken, a former Morgan Stanley investment banker who still wears a double-breasted pinstripe suit. He even gets the third-richest man in private equity (with a net worth of $7.6 billion, according to Forbes) to mention his four kids and his two marriages and to tell him, “Working and being with my family are the two things I like to do.” Still, he knows his audience and devotes more space to Grayken’s philosophy on compensation and deals: make money for investors. Grayken is a big get.



Bronze Winner: Sam Lounsberry, The Real Deal

“Inside Chicago’s condo deconversion wars”


Honorable Mention: Joe Lovinger, The Real Deal

“Inside Traded, real estate’s vanity mirror”



Honorable Mention: Trevor Bach, The Real Deal

“Builder’s justice: How a legal loophole could reshape California”



Category 14: Best Online Residential, Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Story



Gold Winner: Laura Malt Schneiderman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Crossroads Wilkinsburg”

Judges’ Comment: Using the present-day debate of whether Wilkinsburg should be annexed into nearby Pittsburgh as a jumping-off point, Laura Malt Schneiderman delved deep into the history of attempts to annex the borough and painted a multi-faceted picture of myriad systemic issues that have affected the community. The online presentation of this story unites the writing with data graphics and historical photos, and helps organize the different issues and eras Wilkinsburg has experienced.



Silver Winner: Ashley Clarke and Amy DiPierro, Center for Public Integrity and The Washington Informer

“This D.C. housing program is a ‘top priority.’ Why do repairs take years?”

Judges’ Comment: This investigation uncovered the damages low-income residents in D.C. are forced to live with as they wait – for an average of three years – for a local housing program to make repairs. The story balances descriptions of bureaucracy with the frustrations and suffering of homeowners living with leaking roofs and mold.



Bronze Winner: Rebecca San Juan and Andres Viglucci, Miami Herald

“‘You can knock anything down’: A rash of landmark home demolitions riles Miami Beach”



Honorable Mention: Ethan Rothstein (Deputy Managing Editor) and team members Bianca Barragán, Jon Banister, Miriam Hall, Olivia Lueckemeyer, Mike Phillips, Matthew Rothstein, Jarred Schenke, Dees Stribling, David Thame, Jacob Wallace, Bisnow

“One Crisis After Another’: How Covid Has Turned Affordable Housing Development Into A High- Wire Act”



Category 15: Best Online Commercial Real Estate Story Gold Winner: Alex Nicoll, Insider

“As families and ‘Parrotheads’ flock to campgrounds and RV parks, institutional real-estate investors see their next big score”


Judges’ Comment: This is a timely story about institutional investors betting big on campgrounds and RV parks, once the purview of mom-and-pop owners. Nicoll’s writing is packed with descriptive detail, and his lead entertains while drawing the reader in (boomer-rich “Parrotheads” sip on fruity cocktails while surrounded by fire pits, water slides and a 9-hole golf course). Effective use of numbers and financial details underpin this winning story.



Silver Winner: Jason Hidalgo, Reno Gazette-Journal

“Oops: Toll Brothers sells more than 80 lots to Sparks homebuyer after a copy-paste error”


Judges’ Comment: Following a tip, Hidalgo checked real estate transaction records to discover that national homebuilder Toll Brothers had accidentally sold an entire neighborhood to a woman who was buying just one home in the development. Shoe-leather reporting revealed what happened: The title company had copy-and-pasted the wrong information into the deed. Not surprisingly, national news outlets picked up this unusual and expertly reported and written story.



Bronze Winner: Natalie Wong, John Gittelsohn and Noah Buhayar, Bloomberg News

“New York City’s Empty Offices Reveal a Global Property Dilemma”



Honorable Mention: Olivia Lueckemeyer, Bisnow

“Amazon Crushes Building Materials Supply Chain, Sends Shockwaves Through Construction Industry”



Category 16: Best Real Estate E-Newsletter

Gold Winner: Kerry Barger, The Wall Street Journal, Mansion’s Real-Estate Newsletter “The Priciest Home in America” – Sept. 19, 2022, newsletter

Judges’ Comment: The Wall Street Journal’s well-organized real-estate newsletter is a pleasure to scroll through. The photos are great visual touchpoints for the highlighted stories, and in the case of the “priciest home in America,” illustrate what mere words cannot. The magic number statistic is a nice variation on the usual headline/blurb/link template most newsletters use.



Silver Winner: Ashley Fahey, The Business Journals

The National Observer Real Estate Edition, May 4, 2022, newsletter


Judges’ Comment: Opening this newsletter with a 1969 quote that could have been written in 2022 certainly catches the reader’s attention and continues to hold it with an introduction that offers a pleasant balance of news and personality. The use of subheads and bullet points for each story featured in the newsletter makes for a very efficient read, breaking down the most important information for readers in a clear-cut way.


Bronze Winner: Kathryn Brenzel, The Real Deal, The Daily Dirt

“The Trials of the ‘American Dream” Feb. 3, 2022, newsletter



Honorable Mention: Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, Prime Property

“Million-dollar houses get smaller” – Sept. 22, 2022, newsletter



Category 17: Best Real Audio Real Estate Report – Online or Broadcast – Podcast or Radio – local, network, subscription or internet channels


Gold Winner: Alissa Quart and Shannon Henry Kleiber, Executive Producers, and Ray Suarez, Host, Economic Hardship Reporting Project and The Best of Our

Knowledge, PRX

Judges’ Comment: Beautifully produced and deeply reported, this audio story takes the listener by hand to navigate the complex issue of affordable housing through the lens of the

people impacted and the experts who want to solve the crisis. Quart and Kleiber found memorable characters who stick with the listener, such as Bobbi Dempsey, who grew up not knowing where she would sleep at night. Another woman confronts her assumptions about homelessness after she takes in two young women living out of their car. Music transitions, natural sound breaks, and elegant writing round out the winning entry.



Silver Winner: Emily Myers, Brick Underground

“Racism and the lack of diversity in the appraisal business”

Judges’ Comment: Myers tackles racial bias in appraisals, based on an FHFA report that found such discrimination had increased during the pandemic. The 15-minute podcast features New York appraiser Jonathan Miller, who blames the “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” insularity of the appraisal business. The result is that most in the business became appraisers through friends and family, who traditionally were white. Myers’ probing questions encourage Miller to further demystify the appraisal process. Her delivery is crisp and professional, and the podcast is solidly produced.



Bronze Winner: Isabella Farr and Suzannah Cavanaugh, The Real Deal

“Compass Points to its Future”



Honorable Mention: Laura Calugar, Multi-Housing News

“Mission Success: Helping Minority Developers Scale Up”



Category 18: Best Video Real Estate Report Online or Broadcast – Streaming or Television – local, network, subscription, or internet channels


Gold Winner: Beckie Strum and Liz Lucking, Mansion Global, Dow Jones “Design Spotlight Gilded Age”


Judges’ Comment: Strum and Lucking offer a luscious, voyeuristic dive into New York’s Gilded Age mansions, using HBO’s then-new series “The Gilded Age” as the hook. Conversational, descriptive writing pairs with expertly curated historical context and archival photos to make this story shine. Viewers are then taken on a video tour of several modern-day holdovers, including the late Gloria Vanderbilt’s mansion. Strong production values round out this winner.



Category 19: Best Breaking Real Estate News Story Gold Winner: Jason Hidalgo, Reno Gazette-Journal

“Redwood Materials: Former Tesla exec’s battery recycling company nets $105.6 M in tax breaks”

Judges’ Comment: Jason Hidalgo and the Reno Gazette-Journal broke news of a company receiving more than a million dollars in tax breaks by covering a monthly meeting of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. No press release or trending topic on social media clued them into the significance of this meeting. It was the act of covering a local meeting as part of public service journalism that led to RGJ being the only media outlet to cover this event and break the news of tax breaks being given to a company whose owner had Tesla ties.



Silver Winner: Richard Mize, The Oklahoman

“US flag removal upsets OKC-area Realtors”

Judges’ Comment: Reporters find stories by going out into the community and speaking with members about the issues they face. Increasingly, that kind of shoe-leather reporting takes place virtually, since online communities play such a big role in our lives today, and that’s exactly how this reporter broke this story – by seeing Realtors complain on Facebook about the removal of the U.S. flag, among others, from the front of their office building. But the story tied what easily could have been dismissed as an online dust-up to the real-world issues of local, national and international politics.



Bronze Winner: Ryan Ori, CoStar News

“Google in Talks to Buy Chicago’s Thompson Center”



Honorable Mention: Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Heinz Field becomes Acrisure Stadium in new naming rights deal with the Thomas Tull- connected insurance firm”



Category 20: Best Investigative Report or Investigative Series – Commercial or Residential Real Estate


Platinum Winner: Shawn Donnan, Ann Choi, Hannah Levitt and Christopher Cannon,

Bloomberg News

“Wells Fargo Rejected Half Its Black Applicants in Mortgage Refinancing Boom,” “Senate Democrats Seek Wells Fargo Probe Over Mortgage Refis,” “Wells Fargo Faces Persistent Racial Gap in Mortgage Refinancing”

Judges’ Comment: This powerful collection shows the fourth estate at its finest. The reporters reveal that in 2020, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo approved just 47% of mortgage refinancings sought by Black homeowners vs. 79% sought by white ones. (A year later, it accepted 58% of Black applicants and 72% of white ones — still the greatest gap of any major lender.) Bloomberg’s team both analyzed Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data for 8 million completed applications to refinance conventional loans in 2020 and found real people affected by the disparity — including a Black Microsoft engineer (married to a doctor) with a credit score above 800. This impressive package also includes a U.S. map that shows lower approval rates on the East Coast and parts of the South. The figures are depressing, but the ability of these journalists to crunch the numbers, expose mortgage discrimination and address solutions is uplifting.



Gold Winner: Konrad Putzier and Will Parker, The Wall Street Journal

“Florida Couple Turned the Empty Miami Mansions of Venezuela’s Elite Into Personal Piggy Banks”

Judges’ Comment: As the saying goes, you can’t make this stuff up. First-rate reporters and storytellers Konrad Putzier and Will Parker tell the crazy story of Venezuelan immigrants who brazenly impersonate the real owners of Miami-area mansions and then trick lenders into giving them multimillion-dollar mortgages on those homes. The perpetrators justify their housing heists: They’re targeting their country’s hated elite, so it’s payback. Putzier and Parker even get in touch with a man who pled guilty to participating in the scheme, who explained the logic in a message from prison: “There is a saying that the thief who steals from a thief has 100 years of forgiveness.” A narrative that should lead to a Hollywood screenplay includes rags-to-temporary- riches characters who use their ill-gotten millions to gamble and buy a Lamborghini and a Pomeranian. The journalists colorfully lay out how opportunity, including Florida’s lack of regulation (Google “hard-money lending”), can make property fraud far too easy.



Silver Winner: Kate Taylor and Daniel Geiger, Insider

“He’s got 20 Kids, a $4.4 billion real-estate fortune, and a trail of terrified nannies: Meet Stefan Soloviev”

Judges’ Comment: The wild tale of Stefan Soloviev, son of the New York City real-estate billionaire Sheldon Solow, reads like a bestselling novel in the expert hands of Kate Taylor and Daniel Geiger. But it’s true. The reporting is remarkable and extensive. Interviewees include Soloviev and seven former employees — among them, a nanny who goes down a laundry chute in Soloviev’s 20,550-square-foot estate in East Hampton to avoid getting screamed at. Through “show, don’t tell” storytelling, without editorializing, they paint an alarming picture of an OxyContin-taking, heavily tattooed 46-year-old father of at least 20 children (with four women), whose father left him $4.4 billion in buildings and art when he died in 2020. Soloviev even tells the Insider team about his plan (pending the legalization of casino gambling) to build a major gaming development next to the United Nations.


Bronze Winner: Alex Lubben, Julia Shipley, Zak Cassel, Olga Loginova, McNelly Torres, Columbia Journalism Investigations, Center for Public Integrity, and Type Investigations

“Harm’s Way” Series: “Trapped in harm’s way as climate disasters mount,” “Too little, too late for people seeking climate relief,” “Leaving the island: The messy, contentious reality of climate relocation,” “How we found communities in harm’s way,” “Floods, hurricanes, wildfires: What aid is your county getting to prepare?”



Honorable Mention: Dan Rabb, Bisnow

“Data Centers Don’t Have to Be Water Hogs. But Even in a Record Drought, Some Are”



Honorable Mention: Alex Nicoll and Daniel Geiger, Insider

“Inside the Mass Exodus at CoStar” Series: “Inside the mass exodus at CoStar, real estate’s biggest data firm, where 29 current and former staffers say the company surveilled and humiliated them”, “Read the memo CoStar CEO Andy Florance sent to employees after current and former staffers said the company surveilled and humiliated them”, “Andy Florance built CoStar into the country’s top real estate data firm. But 50 employees say the CEO’s ruthless, callous behavior also built a culture of fear”



Category 21: Best Multi-Platform Package or Series – Real Estate



Gold Winner: Liam Dillon, Brittny Mejia, Gabrielle LaMarr LeMee, Sandhya Kambhampati, and Gary Coronado, Los Angeles Times

“Packed In: Death by design in overcrowded Los Angeles” Series: “L.A.’s love of sprawl made it America’s most overcrowded place. Poor people pay a deadly price,” “One family’s desperate act to escape overcrowded housing in L.A.”, “Why it’s so hard to fix housing overcrowding in Los Angeles,” “A century of overcrowded homes: How we reported the story”


Judges’ Comment: This blockbuster package of three stories explores overcrowded living conditions in poor Los Angeles neighborhoods that led to pandemic death rates double those of uncrowded communities. In “L.A.’s love of sprawl made it America’s most overcrowded place.

Poor people pay a deadly price,” we meet a family of eight in a three-bedroom home where two died of COVID-19. Through dozens of interviews, in-depth research and beautifully immersive storytelling, readers feel the devastation of seemingly intractable substandard living conditions. Compelling photos and helpful graphics round out this package, as does a separate piece, “How we reported this story.”



Silver Winner: Nicole Friedman and Ben Eisen, The Wall Street Journal

“Ripples of the Foreclosure Crisis” Series: “Housing Boom Fails to Lift All Homes Above Previous Cycle’s Peak,” “Housing Market in This Small City Took a Long Road to Recovery,” “Why This Housing Downturn Isn’t Like the Last One”


Judges’ Comment: Friedman and Eisen viewed the 2022 real estate market through the lens of the 2008 foreclosure crisis, and the result is a unique and enterprising series of stories. In


“Housing Market in This Small City Took a Long Road to Recovery,” the reporters interviewed Las Cruces, New Mexico, homeowners, who are just now regaining equity in their homes 15 years after the last crisis. In “Why This Housing Downturn Isn’t Like the Last One,” the reporters deftly explain in text, scrolling graphics, photos and a video why 2022 isn’t likely to turn into another 2008. This is top-notch reporting and writing.



Bronze Winner: Madeline Bilis, Apartment Therapy

“Suburbs Week”



Honorable Mention: Miriam Hall, Olivia Lueckemeyer, Dees Stribling, Bianca Barragán,

Joseph Gordon, and Jonathan Banister, Bisnow

“Bisnow’s 2022 DEI Data Series”



Category 22: Best International Real Estate Story

Gold Winner: Keith Larsen and Katherine Kallergis, The Real Deal

“Trouble in paradise: How a Miami developer’s Nicaraguan venture went south”

Judges’ Comment: Great journalism requires great reporting, and Keith Larsen and Katherine Kallergis deliver it here. They only quote gems, including one from a key player who says Nicaraguan farmers “all carry machetes.” Right. This “show, don’t tell” piece illustrates the difficulties of developing abroad and gives plenty of anecdotes, including old financial records being eaten by termites.



Silver Winner: Paul Norman, CoStar News, CoStar Group

“London’s Game-Changing Rail Line Is Late – But Has Perfect Timing”

Judges’ Comment: This story about the pricey, long-delayed Elizabeth line looks beyond just the London Tube and raises an important societal question. Is massive investment in infrastructure like public transportation worth it? This piece makes a compelling case for saying “yes.” Developers build by stations along the new line, and buyers pay good money for a home near a train. Like all good pieces, this one provides a takeaway and food for thought.



Bronze Winner: Mike Phillips, Bisnow

“Renting For Life Will Change Society – For Better and For Worse”



Honorable Mention: Robyn A. Friedman (Freelance Writer), City & Shore Magazine, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“What to know before seeking Caribbean residency, citizenship”


Category 23: Best Team Report – Real Estate

Gold Winner: Jarred Schenke, Olivia Lueckemeyer, and Lane Gillespie, Bisnow

“As Wall Street Nudges The Nation Toward Rentership, Community Resentment And Pushback Are Building”



Judges’ Comment: Great pieces often take on societal issues – in this case, so-called predatory purchasing that leaves Americans who would once have been able to buy houses only able to rent them, often from less-than-ideal corporate landlords. The authors never editorialize, but they use powerful quotes, such as one that asks, “Do we want to promote the crack dealers of housing, or do we want to promote American families?”



Silver Winner: Katanga Johnson and Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg News

“Sam Bankman-Fried’s Island Haven Is Drawing Scrutiny After FTX Demise”

Judges’ Comment: It’s tricky to tackle a story about an elusive figure who was living the high life on an island, but the authors manage to do it. Consider it a tribute to their good news judgment, too, that they were looking at Sam Bankman-Fried and the places he lived and kept his money earlier than many others.



Bronze Winner: Dees Stribling, Olivia Lueckemeyer, Bianca Barragán, and Joseph Gordon, Bisnow

“SPECIAL REPORT: CRE Made Limited Progress On Diversity in 2022. Advocates Worry Momentum Is Waning”



Honorable Mention: Miriam Hall, Olivia Lueckemeyer, Bianca Barragán, Katharine Carlon, and Kate Murar, Bisnow

“Two Years Of Pandemic Changed Everything for Women in CRE”



Category 24: Best Design, Home, or Shelter Magazine Gold Winner: Pete Catapano, Mansion Global, Dow Jones

Experience Luxury Collection: “Living the High Life,” “Hosts with the Most,” “Cool Island Escapes,” “The Greenest Blueprints,” “Back to the Future”

Judges’ Comment: This luxury magazine looks at high-end hearths and homes — with a dash of humor. The editor’s note in the “ski and mountain” edition mentions houses designed to accommodate “both extreme skiing and extreme lounging.” Stories written by veteran journalists include juicy details about the over-the-top places: Guests at one 11,000-square-foot chalet in Park City, Utah, can ski straight there, use one of 25 lockers with boot dryers and USB chargers, head to the stainless-steel hot tub, and then find a gas fireplace in every room. They also always tuck in the money and specific details. A piece about home theaters mentions an

$80,000 Sony projector and a $1,675 popcorn maker. The ads for the multimillion-dollar properties are almost as fun as the stories.


Category 25: Best Residential Real Estate – Trade Magazine

Gold Winner: Stuart Elliott, Hiten Samtani, Greg Dool, The Real Deal, October 2022 issue



Judges’ Comment: This issue of a magazine that’s always stylishly written and designed tackles a timely, worthy subject: the struggles of 28,000-agent Compass. With his usual flair, Editor-in- Chief Stuart Elliott references how it’s been criticized “as an emperor with no clothes (or at least a scantily clad king) — a tech-infused brokerage with little in the way of actual tech.” The Real Deal opens with fun, appetizer-like pages (“In Their Words,” with short quotes) and moves into longer pieces. Headlines are snappy, not dull. (The headline for a piece about 75-year-old “developer, philanthropist and pardoned felon” James Batmasian is “Citizen James.”) Writers always give specific details. For example, a piece about the quest to sell out the 67-story Skyline Tower, Queens’ tallest building, notes that only 509 of its 802 condo units were sold four years after sales began. And a piece about how illegal Airbnb’s “slip through the cracks” notes that about 13,000 homes in New York City are regularly being rented illegally.


Silver Winner: Maria Patterson, RISMedia, Real Estate Magazine, April 2022 issue Judges’ Comment: With industry must-reads like its Annual Power Broker Report, which ranks

the top 500 firms by sales volume, Real Estate Magazine makes itself essential reading. Stories always follow the money, giving the dollar value behind earnings and deals. Coverage also tackles the tough issues, including the extremely low number of homes for sale.



Bronze Winner: James Kleimann, Housingwire, June 2022 issue



Honorable Mention: Matthew Power and Alan Naditz, Green Builder, September 2022 issue



Category 26: Best Commercial Real Estate Trade Magazine

Gold Winner: Stuart Elliott, Hiten Samtani, Greg Dool, The Real Deal, June 2022 issue

Judge’s Comment: The editors know that the people behind big real-estate deals make for compelling reading. They ferret out the most intriguing ones and run profiles or Q&A’s with the key players. Adam Piore’s cover story on developer and investor Joseph Chetrit illustrates how a good story manages to both inform and entertain. The publication also knows how to geek out and explain complex issues such as ground leases. And it tackles technology, looking at the future of 3D-printed houses. It’s an all-around intriguing, informative read.



Silver Winner: Randall Shearin, France Media, Student Housing Business Magazine, November/December 2022 issue

Judge’s Comment: This magazine makes itself a must-read through its rankings of top owners and managers, its “news in brief” and campus updates, its “company profile” of a fast-growing player, and its interviews with investors, campus housing directors, and key administrators, such as the senior vice president of Arizona State University. Stories cite crucial figures (including property value and numbers of beds), and designers always include photographs of the property.


Bronze Winner: Samantha Rowan, Anna-Marie Beal and Randy Plavajka, Real Estate Capital USA, June 2022 issue



Honorable Mention: Matt Valley, Jeff Shaw, Jane Adler, Eric Taub, Bendix Anderson, France Media, Seniors Housing Business Magazine, August-September 2022 issue



Category 27: Best Real Estate Newsletter

No winners in this category.



Category 28: Best Newspaper Real Estate or Home Section

Gold Winner: Eileen McEleney Woods (Sunday Real Estate Editor), and team members Ally Rzesa, Robyn A. Friedman (Freelance Writer), Cameron Sperance, Jim Morrison, Mark Philben, Hiawatha Bray, Maya Homan, Marni Elyse Katz, The Boston Globe, Fall House Hunt – Sept. 18, 2022

Judges’ Comment: Every inch of the Fall House Hunt issue of Address is geared toward helping those looking to buy, sell and navigate their current living situations. From cover to cover it is the complete package of service journalism, well-organized and designed to serve readers with inspiration-inducing photos of interior design to more practical things to look out for – such as corroded pipes or roof damage – while on the house hunt.



Silver Winner: Lois Weiss, New York Post, Commercial Real Estate – Oct. 26, 2022

Judges’ comment: The trends and issues facing commercial real estate are presented in ways that are both relatable to the regular reader and those involved in the market. Stories about the use of fire-resistant timber in buildings, office leases and subleases, and luxury retailers explore the post-pandemic changes that are rocking both the commercial real estate market and those who live, work, and buy goods around the city.



Bronze Winner: Heather Halberstadt, The Wall Street Journal, Mansion section – Nov. 18, 2022



Honorable Mention: Nikita Stewart, The New York Times, Real Estate section – June 26, 2022



Category 29: Best Real Estate Web Site Gold Winner: Stuart Elliott, The Real Deal

Judges’ Comment: The Real Deal’s home page is visually exciting and packed with news, but more than that, it’s functional. Indecisive readers are helped by tabs for “top stories” and “latest stories.” Those interested in specific markets can easily find tabs across the top of the page for Texas, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and South Florida. Podcasts, videos and TRD’s trademark immersive long-form stories are also accessible. It’s a site that could keep this news junky busy for hours.


Silver Winner: Jennifer White Karp, Emily Myers, Evelyn Battaglia, and Mimi O’Connor, Brick Underground

Judges’ Comment: Brick Underground’s website is a tour de force, with sections for everyone in New York City: buyers, renters, rehabbers, and advice of all kinds, such as “How to break the lease for your NYC apartment.” The home page is eye-catching, with a banner-style feature story and below it, “trending,” a Netflix-style horizontal offering of top stories. Click through and you will discover well-organized, thoroughly researched stories and guides.



Bronze Winner: Kerry Barger, The Wall Street Journal



Honorable Mention: Laura Kinsler, GrowthSp

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