Sound Judgment with
Wisdom and Experience
Leitner Berman has been building futures with knowledge and experience – dependably.
Joel has a proven, 33-year track record of providing expert advisory, consulting, and valuation services to his clients.
Josh has the varied work experience and comprehensive skillset to approach valuation from a unique perspective
In May 2020, during the depths of the Covid-19 quarantine in New York, Joel Leitner surveyed a familiar real estate landscape. During his 33-year career, he had navigated at least three crises of similar magnitude which uniquely affected New York City real estate – the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990’s, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the Great Recession of 2008. These events yielded similar results: dropping of office, retail, and multifamily rents, reduced collections, a pullback in the lending markets, and great uncertainty in underlying property values. In each instance, the appraisal took on additional weight. To meet the challenge, Joel founded The Leitner Group and over three decades grew it from four employees to become the preeminent independent real estate valuation and consulting firm in the New York Metropolitan area.
Joel’s top New York clients have always looked for guidance and expertise in uncertain markets. As Covid-19 shut down the City’s normal day-to-day life and stressed its real estate market fundamentals, the writing was on the wall for the fourth economic crisis of Joel’s career. It was in this climate that Joel placed a call to Josh Berman, a trusted colleague with the judgment, work experience, and skill set necessary to navigate this new market with him.
Josh was recruited by Joel out of the University of Pennsylvania and worked for the Leitner Group from 2007-2014, becoming a Senior Appraiser while simultaneously earning his MBA from Columbia Business School. Almost exactly a year after beginning with Joel, Lehman Brothers crashed and Josh learned firsthand what Joel had been seeing for decades before: in times of distress, both owners and lenders demand an expert they know and trust.
Branching out from his successful stint at The Leitner Group, Josh moved first into real estate banking and most recently has spent five years in commercial brokerage, where he has worked intimately with owners, developers, lenders, third party consultants, and attorneys. His comprehensive experience in multiple industry areas allows him to uniquely understand and evaluate the lifecycle of a deal; including the vital role of a well-researched and reasoned valuation.
The new Leitner Berman is a partnership forged from complementary backgrounds and perfectly suited to tackle the post-Covid real estate market. Joel’s appraisal career and history as an expert witness, arbitrator, and workout support specialist, provides Leitner Berman with a seasoned backbone. His steady hand, coupled with Josh’s finance-centric real estate worldview, allows Leitner Berman to deliver unparalleled service to its clients.
Leitner Berman’s first hire was William Freda, a former Leitner Group colleague and 20-year industry veteran. William’s entire appraisal career was as an employee of The Leitner Group and its successors, with the majority of those years spent working directly with Joel. His hiring underscores Leitner Berman’s commitment to expertise and professionalism. Leitner Berman aims to offer not just a higher level of appraisal reporting, but a bespoke valuation and consulting experience addressing the unique needs of each individual client and offering clarity in the uncertain, post-Covid New York City real estate market.