Inman News wins 3 first-place journalism awards

Real estate editors honor Paul Hagey, Teke Wiggin with gold awards

Inman News writers received two first-place awards and Inman.com was named best website by judges of the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ 64th Annual Journalism Awards.

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Paul Hagey

Inman News staff writer Paul Hagey was the gold winner in the “Best Series” category, for his coverage of tests realtor.com conducted in two markets of its “AgentMatch” tool.

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Judges from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University said the series of stories on AgentMatch testing, published Nov. 15, Nov. 22, Dec. 3 and Dec. 12,  “revealed an experiment that was too bold: an attempt at a transparent, consumer-oriented database of real estate agents’ performance. A clear winner in this category, it showed how realtor.com tried to help buyers and sellers and failed to get information that some Realtors wanted to keep secret, touching off an unexpected backlash from real estate agents.”

Teke Wiggin

Teke Wiggin

Inman News staff writer Teke Wiggin was the gold winner in the category, “Best Residential, Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Report or Feature,” for a story detailing how a scammer hijacked the identify of a listing agent to place a fraudulent rental listing sites on Zillow and HotPads.

Judges said the story, “Sophisticated Zillow scam puts NAR and MLS on alert,” was “a notable public service piece that raised awareness of the risks involved in making online contacts for real estate deals. It personalized a somewhat complicated story.”

In awarding top honors to Inman.com in the “best website” category, judges said the site “is intelligently designed for easy and quick navigation. News and commentary from a variety of contributors is constantly updated and inviting to the reader. Always fresh material makes this site worthy of repeated visits.”

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A complete list of contest winners:

Best Overall Individual Entry (chosen from categories 1-18)

Platinum Winner: Josh Salman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Comment on Platinum Winner: “An investigative heavy hitter, this reporter navigates public records with the ease of a journeyman. His work has exposed illegal activities by convicted felons and has led to an FBI investigation of a real estate fraud scheme by a government-sponsored nonprofit. He is a home run hitter.”

Best Entry by a Young Journalist (chosen from categories 1-18)

Co-Gold Winner: Mike Ratliff, Multi-Housing News

Comment on Co-Gold Winner: “This reporter is skilled at spotting real estate trends and picking out the telling details that illustrate them. He writes well about both big and small pictures.”

Co-Gold Winner: Josh Salman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Comment on Co-Gold Winner: “Although he writes for a small daily newspaper, he has the skills of a seasoned journalist. His ability to write about a variety of real estate topics is impressive.”

Bronze Winner: Nick Timiraos, Wall Street Journal

Comment on Bronze Winner: “This is a talented reporter who is a credit to one of the country’s top newspapers. He obviously can recognize a good real estate story, and then he delivers it to readers with good writing that makes them want to keep reading.”

Best Freelance Collection (chosen from categories 1-25)

Gold Winner: Mary Umberger, Freelance-Chicago Tribune

Comment on Gold Winner: “This columnist is a gem. She finds quirky topics and writes about them well with a voice that readers will enjoy.”

Silver Winner: Sarah Tilton, Freelance-Wall Street Journal

Comment on Silver Winner: “This reporter spends considerable time traveling the country looking for stories that others have missed. She constructs excellent narratives on a range of topics.”

Bronze Winner: Ken Harney, Washington Post Writers

Comment on Bronze Winner: “His experience in covering real estate is obvious in everything that he writes. He tackles both easy and tough issues and makes all of them interesting and understandable to readers. As his newspaper says online, he ‘guides readers to smart solutions.’ ”

Category 1: Best Collection of Work by an Individual

Gold Winner: Jeff Collins, Orange County Register

Comment on Gold Winner: “This reporter combines an eye for detail with a knack for handling reams of information effortlessly. His stories on drone use in real estate marketing, online auctions and adjustable-rate mortgages demonstrate broad command of subject matter related to real estate.”

Silver Winner: Sarah Tilton, Freelance-Wall Street Journal

Comment on Silver Winner: “This writer looks for real estate in the margins of most people’s maps. Memorable feature stories include an African-American winery, a thriving heirloom seed business in the Ozarks, and a profile of a widow of vintner Robert Mondavi.”

Bronze  Winner: Michelle Jarboe McFee, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Comment on Bronze Winner: “This reporter knows Cleveland real estate. From a comprehensive and compelling look at the city’s skywalk plans to an in-depth profile of a brother duo bringing their family business from the suburbs to the heart of the city, she offers a surprising variety of content to readers.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Candace Jackson, Wall Street Journal

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “Comfortable in the high end of the real estate market, this reporter has uncovered an array of surprising trends in building and marketing luxury homes. Although the audience who can afford such luxuries is limited, her writing makes these subjects inviting to people of all backgrounds and economic classes.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Ken Harney, Washington Post Writers

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “It is rare for a journalist to possess a mastery of sophisticated quantitative research methods and the deft skill to write for a mass audience. This reporter does this with ease, and the readers are the beneficiaries.”

Category 2: Best Column

Gold Winner: Mary Beth Breckenridge, Akron Beacon Journal

Comment on Gold Winner: “This columnist has a fun, lively voice and yet packs a lot of information on diverse topics. The writing is conversational, making this a reliably great read.”

Silver Winner: Mary Umberger, Freelance-Chicago Tribune

Comment on Silver Winner: “Writing about such unexpected topics as building McMansions in China and the value of pet photos in online rental listings, this columnist is consistently engaging and informative. Her expertise, built on years of column writing, comes through loud and clear.”

Bronze Winner: Ken Harney, Washington Post Writers

Comment on Bronze Winner: “It is not every day that a columnist can point to concrete results stemming directly from what he or she has written. However, this columnist’s examination of reverse mortgages helped a 91-year-old woman get her house back. In another column, he used a sophisticated statistical analysis to reveal that a national realty brokerage firm study was flawed and misleading.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Katherine Salant, Washington Post

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “This columnist can handle the abstract and the esoteric equally well in writing about the psychology of irrational homeowners and LED light bulbs. Her work connects with readers as evidenced by the avalanche of mail.”

Category 3: Best Home & Design Feature

Gold Winner: Candace Jackson, Wall Street Journal

Comment on Gold Winner: “Highlighting a creative way to keep older kids happy at home, this story detailed building such luxury amenities as secret passageways, video arcades and [disc jockey] mixing stations. Peppered with loads of examples and interviews with families, designers, builders, and architects, this reporter produced a story on a developing trend that has been largely ignored in the media.”

Silver Winner: Sanette Tanaka, Wall Street Journal

Comment on Silver Winner: “Judges were surprised how some homeowners were creating spiritual spaces for meditation and prayer. The report contained a nice balance of the pluses and minuses of such spaces when it comes time to sell a home.”

Bronze Winner: Mary Beth Breckenridge, Akron Beacon Journal

Comment on Bronze Winner: “The judges have seen numerous stories about Frank Lloyd Wright homes, but this may be the first compelling feature on one of his houses that has not been built. The reporter interviewed the woman who commissioned the home plan in the 1940s and detailed why the house was never built. The narrative was a joy to read.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Bruce Irving, Design New England

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “The reporter blended historical research about New England’s warming huts for hikers with a tour that modern readers could follow and appreciate. The writing was simple and elegant.”

Category 4: Best Residential Real Estate Report in a Daily Newspaper

Gold Winner: Jeff Collins, Orange County Register

Comment on Gold Winner: “When people hear about drones, they automatically think of the military. However, this reporter showed that real estate sellers are using drone technology to get unique and stunning views of their properties. In what is one of the best, if not the best, feature story in this year’s contest, the reporter crafted a narrative that not only drew in readers but also compelled them to continue until the end. Among the significant topics covered in the story were the legal ramifications of potential privacy invasion.”

Silver Winner: Debbie Arrington, Sacramento Bee

Comment on Silver Winner: “What are the hot new amenities that will sell big homes? Not what you think. They include puppy showers and charging stations, and this reporter showed that high-end homebuyers want houses with the works and explained why this is a trend.”

Bronze Winner: Ben Alexander-Bloch, New Orleans Times-Picayune

Comment on Bronze Winner: “Already devastated by multiple hurricanes, residents of Plaquemines Parish south of New Orleans are being pummeled again. With a wealth of heart-wrenching detail, the reporter noted that homeowners were forced to pay either huge costs to elevate their homes or an equally large sum to insure them.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Sarah Varble, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “In a story that has one of the potentially largest impacts nationwide, this reporter described the significant decline in military families owning homes and why this occurred. The reporting was in-depth, clear and compelling, bringing together both raw data and human emotions.”

Category 5: Best Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Report in a Daily Newspaper

Gold Winner: Nick Timiraos, Wall Street Journal

Comment on Gold Winner: “This reporter examined a disturbing trend of investors snapping up the majority of available affordable housing not to sell but to rent out. Investor landlords, making homeownership more difficult for entry-level buyers, are remaking the face of many communities. The lead was engaging and the writing was crisp.”

Silver Winner: Arielle Kass, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Comment on Silver Winner: “Homebuyers ready to close a deal found in this story an explanation for the last-minute shock of appraisals coming in below an agreed-upon sales price. This was an important story for anyone seeking to get a home loan in a depressed market.”

Bronze Winner: Julie Satow, Freelance-New York Times

Comment on Bronze Winner: “Energetic and muscular writing made for an engaging story about how New York City’s One Madison 60-story building was “a poster child of the boom era” of construction. The writer reintroduced to readers this property, which will be reopened in 2014, by tracing its troubled history.”

Category 6: Best Commercial Real Estate Report in a Daily Newspaper

Gold Winner: Craig Karmin, Wall Street Journal

Comment on Gold Winner: “In perhaps the most novel topic in the contest, the reporter tracked the rise of jails and prisons being converted to high-end hotels. The story brought together examples from multiple cities and augmented the report with a nifty, online slide show.”

Silver Winner: Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

Comment on Silver Winner: “This was a sprawling story bringing together lots of news angles and great maps to detail the biggest building boom in recent San Francisco history. The reporter’s lyrical writing made this more than just a business roundup, and photographs and graphics made this a visual treat.”

Bronze Winner: June Fletcher, Naples Daily News

Comment on Bronze Winner: “This was a mesmerizing story about an Everglades slumlord hotel owner who takes advantage of a similarly named hotel nearby to lure unsuspecting guests. The reporter tracked down and exposed the owner, who also operated run-down properties in other states.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Matt Hudgins, Freelance-New York Times

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “This reporter revealed the creation of new distribution hubs serving a ‘just in case’ model in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. He sought to explain why retail stores shelves were empty despite the widespread availability of goods.”

Category 7: Best Small Daily Newspaper Report

Gold Winner: Kim Miller, Palm Beach Post

Comment on Gold Winner: “This story packed a punch with a high outrage factor. It showed that banks received millions of taxpayer dollars, which were used to pay attorney and foreclosure fees, while struggling homeowners, who were supposed to benefit the most, saw little of the money. The reporter did an excellent job of telling a complicated story in a clear fashion.”

Silver Winner: June Fletcher, Naples Daily News

Comment on Silver Winner: “The reporter provided a colorful look at southwest Florida’s abundance of “zombie homes.” Utilizing public records as well as great interviews, the story illustrated how such homes drag down the owners, the neighbors and the unwitting squatters duped into renting them illegally.”

Bronze Winner: Josh Salman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Comment on Bronze Winner: “In this ambitious story, the reporter investigated the rise of property flips with a comprehensive look at all 1,200 properties bought and resold in a six-month window. The article also mapped each local flip in a searchable, online data base. The reporter should be commended for taking on such a project.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Carol Hazard, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “The reporter found a new angle in the perennial house-flipping story: how to successfully flip a home in a down market. The writing was brisk, colorful and pragmatic. ”

Category 8: Best Weekly Newspaper Report

Gold Winner: Sam Black, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Comment on Gold Winner: “This well-written report pulled together considerable data on developed and undeveloped lots in Minneapolis and St. Paul, showing the growing influence of large corporate builders. The graphics, map and photographs revealed the familiar Walmart narrative: big national firms taking down the local guys.”

Silver Winner: Gus Delaporte, Commercial Observer

Comment on Silver Winner: “This story examined the big-time New York City developers’ renewed affection for Brooklyn. The reporter captured Brooklyn’s still untapped real estate potential for those working in the city.”

Bronze Winner: Donna Knipp, Commercial Mortgage Alert

Comment on Bronze Winner: “The writer revealed the existence of chat rooms by institutional bond buyers and raised questions of whether laws were being broken through price fixing in mortgage-backed securities. The story included stories from some people about the clubby nature of chat room participation.”

Category 9: Best Residential, Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Magazine Report

Gold Winner: Roger Grody, Unique Homes

Comment on Gold Winner: “Unique Homes delivered a unique perspective on how superb design increases the desirability of a listed home. Affluent audiences will appreciate the move away from conventional mansions as this story treated them to a pictorial display of some of the finest distinctive residential architecture in America.”

Silver Winner: Ian Robinson, Angie’s List Magazine

Comment on Silver Winner: “This enterprising report examined toxic building products and the invisible dangers they pose in homes. The story was not just a list of the products but a narrative woven with the faces of those affected.”

Bronze Winner: Dennis Rodkin, Chicago Magazine

Comment on Bronze Winner: “This was a comprehensive and well-organized guide to the Chicago homebuyers’ market. Readers were offered categories of content, allowing them to zoom in on details about specific homes in specific neighborhoods. This interactive piece was very user-friendly.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Lisa Gibbs, Money Magazine

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “This was very much a story that offered readers news that they could use about gaps in home insurance coverage. The reporter plowed through the fine print of such agreements to warn readers about limits on water damage, holes in the full replacement benefit, and ways that owners could protect themselves.”

Category 10: Best Trade Magazine Report

Gold Winner: Trish Kirk, Urban Land Magazine

Comment on Gold Winner: “The reporter started with the coverage of an event, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Orange County, California, but quickly moved into an in-depth examination of entrants’ projects. The result was more or a story about issues than the event itself.”

Silver Winner: Mike Ratliff, Multi-Housing News

Comment on Silver Winner: “This story examined the growth of urban downtowns over the surrounding suburbs. Packed with surprising facts, such as the construction of only one enclosed mall in the U.S. since 2006, the reporter pointed to a future of walkable, livable urban centers.”

Bronze Winner: Kyle Clapham, Professional Builder

Comment on Bronze Winner: “This reporter told the story of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Challenge Home. Offering a look at the future, this was a recounting of some of the successes and obstacles that homebuilders will soon need to pay attention to.”

Category 11: Best Commercial Trade Magazine Report

Gold Winner: Mike Ratliff, Multi-Housing News

Comment on Gold Winner: “This story examined the emerging trend of college students wanting more amenities in their housing from tanning beds to game rooms to outdoor volleyball courts to swimming pools. The reporter detailed these amenity packages across the country in a very readable and colorful account.”

Silver Winner: Adam Pincus,  Real Deal Magazine

Comment on Silver Winner: “This entry was an unconventional way to present information to the reader. Eschewing traditional narrative in favor of exploded graphics, he X-rayed the Empire State Building to reveal its managers and users floor by floor.”

Bronze Winner: Paul Rosta, Commercial Property Executive

Comment on Bronze Winner: “Natural disasters often bring swift second guessing after the fact. This report marshaled an impressive number of sources — and not just the usual suspects — to detail what needed to be done to minimize the impact of future storms like Hurricane Sandy. The writer should be commended on the quick turnaround on this detailed report.”

Category 12: Best Residential, Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Report or Feature

Gold Winner: Teke Wiggin, Inman News

Comment on Gold Winner: “A lively introduction put the reader in the middle of an identity theft scam in real estate. This was a notable public service piece that raised awareness of the risks involved in making online contacts for real estate deals. It personalized a somewhat complicated story.”

Silver Winner: Prashant Gopal, Bloomberg News

Comment on Silver Winner: “This story spotted a trend on the disproportionate impact that the housing crash had on black Chicago neighborhoods, beginning with where President Barack Obama got his start as an organizer. It was laced with deeply personal antidotes from the many interviews done by the reporter.”

Bronze Winner: Heather Perlberg, Bloomberg News

Comment on Bronze Winner: “A fresh look at house flipping, this report examined turnover in what some would consider the least desirable properties (zombie homes). The reporter detailed the work of enthusiastic buyers who take on the ugliest homes and revitalize a neighborhood, turning trash into gold.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Paul Hagey, Inman News

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “The reporter detailed a clash between the country’s largest Realtor association and a popular transaction software website. This is of intense interest to people who make their living buying and selling real estate, particularly in California.”

Category 13: Best Commercial Real Estate Report

Gold Winner: David Levitt, Bloomberg News

Comment on Gold Winner: “This report about the real estate remaking of Lower Manhattan pulled together a wide range of sources to portray the many ways in which landlords were scrambling to fill empty space. Targeting a new demographic of “skateboard millionaires,” landlords are trying everything from bicycle parking to free Wi-Fi to transform millions of square feet of space formerly devoted to banking. ”

Silver Winner: Mark Heschmeyer, CoStar News

Comment on Silver Winner: “As this report revealed, commercial real estate was becoming increasingly comfortable with the tools of social media. The story surprisingly punctured the myth of CRE performing poorly with these new platforms.”

Bronze Winner: Randyl Drummer, CoStar News

Comment on Bronze Winner: “In a story about the aging of office buildings, the reporter detailed how owners and investors in several cities re-engineered their office spaces to meet current workplace needs. It was a solid piece of journalism.”

Category 14: Best Blog

Gold Winner: Valerie Kellogg, Newsday

Comment on Gold Winner: “This blog is a constantly updated source on the Long Island real estate market. It features news and photographs, homebuying and selling tips, celebrity mansions, and engaging commentary.”

Silver Winner: Sheree Curry, Freelance/AOL Real Estate

Comment on Silver Winner: “This blogger offers a wide range of lively content. Included are consumer-oriented tips and unusual features, such as a report on the protest inspired by a marine seeking to convert his garage into a gathering space.”

Bronze Winner: Ilyce Glink, News Talk 750WSB

Comment on Bronze Winner: “National and consumer real estate figures prominently in this blog. Posts include stories on trends in individual cities, as well as nationwide issues facing homebuyers and owners.”

Category 15: Best Broadcast Report on Online, Radio, or Television

Gold Winner: Gina Cervetti, Marketwatch.com Radio

Comment on Gold Winner: “This radio report of the one-year anniversary of the Hurricane Sandy destruction revealed surprising details about the large number of people still displaced by the disaster. The reporter put a human face on those still suffering and unsure of their future.”

Silver Winner: Alisa Parenti, Marketwatch.com Radio

Comment on Silver Winner: “This was an eye-opening looks at the escalating steps that buyers and sellers were taking to reach a deal in the hot housing market. It made good use of ambient sound, as well as insightful interviews.”

Bronze Winner: Andrew Schneider, KUHF Radio

Comment on Bronze Winner: “In Houston’s explosive rental market, this reporter provided a useful guide to those moving into the city and feeling overwhelmed. It revealed a tilt in the market toward high-end construction, putting greater pressure on young professionals.”

Category 16: Best Breaking News Report

Gold Winner: Katherine Clarke, Real Deal Magazine

Comment on Gold Winner: “The reporter’s deep source base was invaluable in tracking down rumors that New York City’s top real estate agent, Dolly Lenz, was starting her own firm. Katherine Clarke was the first to break this story, which was being chased by numerous publications in the city.”

Silver Winner: Mark Heschmeyer, CoStar News

Comment on Silver Winner: “A new law, which increased the maximum number of investors in private real estate offerings, was tracked by the reporter to the first instance where an asset management firm took advantage of the relaxed rules. Particularly useful was an interview with the CFO of the Rochester, New York, firm that was involved.”

Bronze Winner: Ralph Bivins, RealtyNewsReport.com

Comment on Bronze Winner: “This scoop was about a 41-story skyscraper in downtown Houston. Making the story particularly significant was that it would be only 300 feet from the Houston Chronicle, which played catchup on the story.”

Category 17: Best Investigative Report or Investigative Series

Gold Winner: Carol Hazard, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Comment on Gold Winner: “This report, in the strongest category in this year’s contest, combined the best elements of journalism: speed and depth of reporting on a rapidly unfolding scandal related to real estate shenanigans by the Virginia governor and his wife, resulting in them being indicted for violating federal corruption laws. Details from public records revealed the extent of the couple’s investment in, and relations with, wealthy real estate businesses.”

Silver Winner: Josh Salman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Comment on Silver Winner: “This was a meticulous investigation tracking a predator, who convinced homeowners to hand over their property deeds for $100, then evading mortgage lenders and tax collectors through repeated fraudulent tax-bankruptcy filings. Because of the newspaper’s reporting, the FBI began investigating this new kind of scam.”

Bronze Winner: David Migoya, Denver Post

Comment on Bronze Winner: “In a continuing investigation, this reporter discovered that only two law firms handled the bulk of real estate foreclosures throughout Colorado, inflating their fees and forcing homeowners to pay for lawsuits that were never filed. The series helped explain price fixing and collusion as well as other abuses that hurt homeowners.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Heather Perlberg, Bloomberg News

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “This was excellent public service. It detailed how a large hedge fund purchased a third of the rental properties near Dayton and then sought the largest tax cuts in county history. The reporter’s exposure prevented the firing of sixteen teachers and other job losses, which would have been caused by the tax cuts.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Sanjay Bhatt, Seattle Times

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “This series dug into the failure of the Westsound bank in Seattle, focusing on insider abuses. Building on scores of public records, it exposed a pattern of illegal insider lending to experienced builders.”

Category 18: Best Series

Gold Winner: Paul Hagey, Inman News

Comment on Gold Winner: “These stories revealed an experiment that was too bold: an attempt at a transparent, consumer-oriented data base of real estate agents’ performance. A clear winner in this category, it showed how Realtor.com tried to help buyers and sellers and failed to get information that some Realtors wanted to keep secret, touching off an unexpected backlash from real estate agents.”

Silver Winner: Paul Rosta, Commercial Property

Comment on Silver Winner: “This three-part special report was an enterprising look at urban property planning and risk management pegged to the recent Hurricane Sandy disaster in New York and New Jersey. Particularly effective was a question-and-answer story with insurance experts about wind damage.”

Bronze Winner: Sanjay Bhatt, Seattle Times

Comment on Bronze Winner: “This was a comprehensive view of the apartment boom in the Seattle metropolitan area, providing large and small detail of how soaring rents were changing lifestyles. Particularly useful were maps and graphics that explained the emerging apartment rental market, neighborhood by neighborhood.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Camilla McLaughlin, Unique Homes

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “This was an interesting roundup of the luxury market throughout the U.S. since the real estate bubble burst. Judges were impressed by the thoroughness of the state by state and regional roundups.”

Category 19: Best Team Report

Gold Winner: Michelle Conlin, Reuters

Comment on Gold Winner: “Amid a media sea of stories on fracking, this investigation rose to the top with its surprising horror tales of unsuspecting homebuyers and owners who did not realize they did not own “what lies beneath.” It artfully wove together details from thousands of properties from California to Florida with the personal impact on individual homeowners. The oh-my-God moment when they interviewed individuals was journalism at its finest.”

Silver Winner: John Gittelsohn, Bloomberg News

Comment on Silver Winner: “This article immediately stood out because of its can’t stop reading introduction about a corporate lock picker. It drew readers into a comprehensive picture of how institutional investors have become the nation’s largest homeowners, to the detriment of minorities and young people.”

Bronze Winner: Dan Levy, Bloomberg News

Comment on Bronze Winner: “This was an eye-opening introduction to the growing influence of Chinese investments in U.S. real estate. It took readers on a trip with a group of Chinese developers, who were flush with cash and trolling for available property, both commercial and residential.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Marc Stiles, Puget Sound Business Journal

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “This group of stories examined an emerging trend in neighborhood development in Seattle: clustering living spaces around  access to mass transit. A surprising detail, which may become more common in the future, was the construction of apartment complexes with no parking spaces.”

Category 20: Best Design, Home or Shelter Magazine

Gold Winner: Gail Ravgiala, Design New England

Comment on Gold Winner: “This magazine stood out not only because of its beautiful photographs but its range of stories. From the feature of apple trees to a historical look at hikers’ huts in the White Mountains, readers were treated to a rich slice of New England.”

Silver Winner: Melissa Gillespie, Ocean Home Magazine

Comment on Silver Winner: “Judges were grieving that they were not sitting on a stunning beach like those appearing throughout this magazine. A wide range of well-written stories offered an insiders’ take on featured locales.”

Bronze Winner: Mark Moffa, Unique Homes Magazine

Comment on Bronze Winner: “Written for those who purchase homes at the high end of real estate, this lush magazine was a pictorial feast. It marshaled a huge amount of information, carrying photographs and text of the most desirable homes in America.”

Category 21: Best Residential Trade Magazine

Gold Winner: Matt Power, Green Builder Magazine

Comment on Gold Winner: “This magazine packs a lot of information in a small space. It broke new ground by challenging readers to do better with features on living with a smaller carbon footprint and detailing environmental crises of our time. The photography helps this publication stand out.”

Silver Winner: Stuart Elliott, Real Deal Magazine

Comment on Silver Winner: “This is a scrappy magazine that breaks news in the most competitive real estate market in the country. The controversial profile of super broker Dolly Lenz was one especially well done since it required pulling together multiple sources on deadline. Also noteworthy was the analysis of Brooklyn home prices and their comparison to Manhattan.”

Category 22: Best Commercial Trade Magazine

Gold Winner: Robin Marriott, PERE Magazine

Comment on Gold Winner: “This slick publication offers news analysis, attractive design and considerable industry data on market trends. Particularly useful are the regional roundups with a wealth of information.”

Silver Winner: Sule Aygoren, Real Estate Forum

Comment on Silver Winner: “It has a good mix of editorial and advertising content that is extremely helpful to readers. The 20th anniversary issue, about women of influence, offered timely and comprehensive analysis of the present and future of female industry leaders.”

Bronze Winner: Joanna Masterson, Construction Executive

Comment on Bronze Winner: “This is a useful mix of both general information about best practices and focused, in-depth discussion of types of construction projects from historic restoration to new health-care construction. It is of interest to readers ranging from small family businesses to large corporate contractors.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Matt Valley, Seniors Housing

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “This publication is informative and engaging. It has tight writing and extensive use of property photographs and charts.”

Category 23: Best Newsletter

Gold Winner: Patricia Garcia, New Homesource.com

Comment on Gold Winner: “This e-newsletter offers far more than its home of the week feature. It covers the hottest trends from cool gadgets and gizmos to the future of the mortgage interest deduction.”

Silver Winner: Jennifer Molloy, Institutional Real Estate Letter–Asia Pacific

Comment on Silver Winner: “This newsletter offers investors and managers a vast amount of information. It is almost encyclopedic in nature.”

Category 24: Best Newspaper Real Estate or Home Section

Gold Winner: Dion Haynes, Washington Post

Comment on Gold Winner: “This section is a nice mix of content, including hard news, practical advice and fun features. There is a lot of information laid out attractively with good photographs. Someone new to Washington or even a longtime resident will find many surprises here.”

Silver Winner: Beth DeCarbo, Wall Street Journal

Comment on Silver Winner: “The newspaper’s readers must look forward to Friday to the latest edition of this section. It has solid photographs and stories that the judges did not not see anywhere else. Examples of the latter included building a $100,000 closet, moving an 8,000-foot dream home, and negotiating to buy the contents of a home as well as the house itself.”

Bronze Winner: Jeff Collins, Orange County Register

Comment on Bronze Winner: “Of all of the entries in this category, the Orange County Register had the best and most attractive visual presentation. Homeowners and renters alike will find compelling, well-written stories.”

Honorable Mention Winner: Blanca Torres, San Francisco Business Times

Comment on Honorable Mention Winner: “This is a well-focused news product for those in the Bay Area. It combines weekly data on commercial and residential development with stories on the changing face of San Francisco.”

Category 25: Best Web Site

Gold Winner: Andrea Brambila, Morgan Brown, Matt Carter, Paul Hagey, Eddison Lim, Laura Monroe, Teke Wiggin, Inman News.

Comment on Gold Winner: “This website is intelligently designed for easy and quick navigation. News and commentary from a variety of contributors is constantly updated and inviting to the reader. Always fresh material makes this site worthy of repeated visits.”

Silver Winner: Suzann Silverman, Commercial Property Executive

Comment on Silver Winner: “The graphics are clean and bright, the navigation bar is well organized, and it offers a variety of data analysis, interviews, and features. The organization of news by community, where users can click by city, is extremely helpful.”

Bronze Winner: Diana Mosher, MHN Online

Comment on Bronze Winner: “This site is consistently updated with useful news and includes unusual features, such as a user poll.  It serves a niche market with interviews and tightly focused content.”


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