RES9800 Guest Speaker — Harold Gee

Solid research and background is necessary for any decent submittal.  Stuck and confused? There is help.  Prof. Scribner’s RE Valuation & Market Analysis course ,RES9800, welcomed a guest speaker this past Tuesday to talk about research for real estate.  Mr. Harold Gee is the reference desk librarian specializing in Real Estate.

Mr. Gee brought a number of hard copy sources, but he focused mostly on the data available online.  He has setup a guide specifically pertaining to real estate.  Researchers can find most of the links there.

He walked us through the online data:

  • The Library RE Guide.  It has links to firms which have their proprietary data. The guide also links to sources of public data.
  • ACRIS.  This is the online register for the City of New York.  You can search by address, but having the Block and Lot of the property is easier.
  • OASISNYC.  The indispensable on-line GIS supported by the CUNY Graduate Center.
  • NYC Dept of City Planning. This site within will have information about zoning, community boards and collected data about the neighborhood.  You will also find DoITT’s NYC  City Map there too.
  • NYC Dept of Buildings. You will find a Building Information System that will have data about a specific structure.
  • NYC Community Boards. You will find specifics about a community board.
  • Lexis\Nexis. From the home library page, click on databases and then choose Lexus\Nexus on the pull down.  You will need to connect using for Baruch User ID and password.  You may need to have it verified in person at the library if you haven’t used it in a while.  You may not be able to use the database from some firms that have deep firewalls and proxy servers.  Use boolean operators when you search.  It’s not Google.
  • Bloomberg Terminals at the Subotnick Center. If the class in the center is not full, most professors will let you occupy an unused terminal.
  • CoStar.  The school has the academic version and most RE faculty have it.
  •  You can access this site through the library terminals.  This site has property details, comparables (not always that useful for commercial because it does break out by class), transaction history, voluntary loan and other aggregated public data.

The hard copy references materials that you can use at the library are:

  • Crain’s Book of Lists.  It shows the lists of important players the NYC Area (e.g. developers, construction managers, and REITs).
  • The Real Deal data book 2011.  It has specific data about RE deals in NYC
  • Office building Magazine. It shows the profile of every commercial property by submarket.   Published by Henry Robbins — a Baruch Alum.
  • Sanborn Maps.  These are largely historical maps that show details about a property.
  • RS Means. Commercial renovation data book

Baruch students also have access to the NYU Jack Brause RE Library for other materials.  The Newman library has nearly all the same information.  At NYU you will find materials going back to the 70s and 60s.  Search catalog to see if they have it – contact them at 212 992 3627 and to make an appointment and view the materials.  As a student of Baruch there is an mutual use agreement.

Mr. Gee is available by e-mail,, for additional information.


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