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Real Estate Luminary Larry Silverstein Shares Secrets of Success with MBA Students

“The secret of success is working hard and having a little luck,” explained NYU alumnus Larry Silverstein (ARTS ’52), president and CEO of Silverstein Properties, who recently sat down with a group of MBA students during a Leadership Luncheon Series.

Real Estate Luminary Larry Silverstein Shares Secrets of Success with MBA Studen

“Never bet against New York City.”

Silverstein, who serves as an honorary vice chair of NYU’s Board of Trustees, spoke candidly about his 55-year career in the real estate industry, including the recent progress and challenges facing the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site. He shared advice with students interested in the field:

  • Never bet against New York City because it always comes back bigger and better
  • Opportunities are endless in NYC, so if you build it, they [renters/buyers] will come
  • The best time to build is during an economic downturn
  • To minimize risk in development, don’t take on too much debt
  • Keep your eyes open for new opportunities and use your imagination
  • Be willing to take some risk
  • Work your tail off
  • Never violate the rules of integrity
  • Treat people how you would want them to treat you
Real Estate Luminary Larry Silverstein Shares Secrets of Success with MBA Studen

He also stressed the importance of finding the right partner in life. “Your spouse is the most important person in your life,” he explained. “With the right one, there isn’t anything that you can’t accomplish.”