This section is from the book "Practical Real Estate Methods For Broker, Operator & Owner", by Thirty Experts. Also available from Amazon: Practical Real Estate Methods for Broker, Operator, Owner.
If buyers of real estate were more discriminating, it would not be possible to market so much badly built property. The speculative craze is at the bottom of much of the trouble. Ground available for improvement is so high, the cost of material and labor so advanced, that only the very skilful can use the best and make a profit. The ordinary speculative builder, paying a high price for his ground and an unreasonable bonus for his building loan, must recoup by scanting the weight and quality of his material, pinching his contractors to a figure where it will be impossible for them to do an honest job, glossing over imperfections with eye-catching tricks, and trusting to the glib mouth of the salesman. New York is a large place, most men make but few investments in a lifetime, and by the time a man has learned wisdom in these things he is either old enough to die, or too poor to try another venture. Let us try to educate our clients to know the difference between the good and the poor. Let it be known in the trade that we are not interested in worthless property, and that it cannot be sold to them whom we advise.
There is fine productive tenement property built and sold every year. Some of it goes into the hands of parties who will not manage it themselves and who will retain it for permanent investment. Such property is worth seeking. The more you get of it the more you can get. If you push your efforts wisely and persistently your office will presently have a reputation as a place where good things can be had, and this will be of value to you not only in getting property to manage, but in keeping it well tenanted afterward. Pay particular attention to property that is held for permanent investment. There may be some glory but there is little profit in filling up a block of new tenements only to have it sold away from you as soon as it is on a paying basis. As between an occasional chance at a speculator and an opportunity to serve a permanent investor, pay court to the latter always.