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The New Leaders Converge

Washington DC

Sunday to yesterday in Miami marked our first Bisnow retreat for under-40 real estate owners, developers and financiers from around the country—to meet, talk, and make friendships for life. And maybe take a brief run on some white sand.

Almost 300 attended at the Ritz-Carlton. You’re talking disciplined executives when most time on South Beach is spent in professional programs and networking. But because these folks live and breathe real estate, we provided some topics they don’t find at their usual conferences.

MicroStrategy founder Mike Saylor talked about tech trends and how they’ll affect real estate.

Best-selling author Esther Perel talked about how to build and develop human relationships.

Fundrise co-founder Ben Miller (above) talked about how to crowdsource your deals. Floored founder Dave Eisenberg spoke about using virtual reality to show tenant space (and let us try it via stunning Oculus goggles). Hightower founder Brandon Weber demonstrated a radical new platform to access owner and broker data.

Breakout sessions featured the likes of NY financier Simon Ziff (above) and DC’s own Gary Block of Meridian Group team-teaching a class on joint-venture negotiations. We think we even heard faculty member Mitchell Schear referred to as "professor."

And “speed dealmaking,” as well as continual meals and receptions together, helped participants bond and broaden their networks. We call the retreat Ascent, and if you meet up with any of our participants this week, cut them some slack. They’ve come back stronger, as soon as they catch up on their sleep. (Interested in next year's Ascent? Write us at and we'll keep you informed.)