Scott Rechler Speaks of Faith and Business

Alumni Networking Group Hosts a Conversation with Scott Rechler of RXR Realty

On Monday, June 18, the Yeshiva University Real Estate Professionals, a YU alumni networking group, presented Scott Rechler, CEO of RXR Realty, in conversation with Charlie Harary, senior director of capital markets at RXR Realty.

Hosted by Paul Hastings LLP and sponsored by the Meridian Capital Group, the hourlong conversation covered the history of RXR, its current customer-centric business approach and the company goal of making the world better through the projects it pursues.

Charlie Harary (left) and Scott Rechler

Charlie Harary (left) and Scott Rechler

Rechler’s account of selling a successful family business to start a new venture at a time when doing so was very risky demonstrated several qualities for which Rechler is known: a deep study of markets within their social contexts (in other words, what drives people to do what they do) combined with honest conversations with his investors and other stakeholders and selecting projects that not only generate company profits but also social benefits. His longtime motto has been “recalibrate reality,” and to date, his gamble has paid off.

But today, Rechler’s motto has shifted based on what his recalibrated company has accomplished. As Harary pointed out, the new motto is posted to the wall outside Rechler’s office: “Doing good while doing well means doing better.” As he explained, “Our business is not only about making money but making the communities in which we do our business better places. We were going to invest our time and efforts in being socially responsible and engaged.”

This impulse doesn’t only come from following good business practices. It has a spiritual origin as well, both from his faith and a philosophy that says “you follow the path that life gives you as best you can and keep moving forward, keep pushing through, and take the lessons that the journey gives you.” He spoke about praying daily and keeping a journal to track patterns and directions in his personal and professional lives. “If you had the chance to read your own obituary before you passed away,” he observed, “what would you want it to say about you? I think about that all the time, and it influences my discussions with my associates and my family.”

In response to a question from the audience about the advice he would give students looking to build their careers, he came back to his point about leaving a good legacy. “Thinking about what you want to leave behind is a critical lesson to learn in a world that over-emphasizes material things,” he noted. “My advice would be this: Go into anything you do as an entrepreneurial change agent—stay humble but be a leader who tries new things. And I would add this: Success isn’t owned, it’s leased, and rent is due every day.”

Ari Hirt ’88YC, chair of the Real Estate Professionals Committee, noted that “it was heartwarming to hear a speaker like Scott Rechler at a real estate networking event who is not only successful in his field but also an example of someone who stresses the importance of faith and family. Scott’s values are YU’s values, and events like this underscore the unique quality of a YU education and how important these professional networks are for our alumni and our students.”

For more information about this and other networking opportunities, please visit www.yuprofessionalnetworking.com.

Group Photo Real Estate Professionals

(l-r) Michael Strauss, dean of Sy Syms School of Business; Bruce Schanzer ’91YC, ’93C, co-chair of the Real Estate Professionals; Joshua Muss, ’62YC, chair of the Real Estate Committee; Charlie Harary; Scott Rechler; Marc Kwestel ’87YC, co-chair of the Real Estate Professionals.

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