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For Sunday readers of the New York Times, the real estate section is a sweet slice of escape, where you can relax with a cup of coffee. Readers often find sanctuaries on their pages, and are attached to Brooklyn blocks on tree-lined streets, brick townhouses, and even larger (and even more envy-inducing) Hampton houses (inducing envy). Peruse the pictures of the lawn.
But this section offers more than just eye candy, says real estate editor Nikita Stewart. Stewart joined the Times in 2014. She initially joined as a metro reporter covering the city hall, defeating social services before becoming an assistant editor at the desk. She took over her real estate in late January. Stewart, who moved from New York City to New Jersey during a pandemic (“It was access to an outdoor space, but I kicked and shouted a bit”), wants to find out what creates a community and who is in this section. I think. Share with your readers not only the number of bedrooms the property may have, but also the historical and cultural relevance of the neighborhood in which the property resides.
In an interview, Stewart shared how the section evolved and expanded. Her answer has been edited.
Do you think the previous beat report influenced or provided information on your vision for real estate?
I strongly believe that not only as a journalist, but also as a human being, everyone deserves to live in New York City if they so desire. It’s a beautiful and wonderful place, and everyone needs to make room. One of the things I want to make sure I’m always looking at in real estate isn’t always right, but when I’m writing about a new development, I wonder what happened here before. is needed.
This section is a convergence of cultural, community, business, and human interests as well as properties. What makes a balanced real estate story?
I would like readers to broaden their horizons about what real estate is and what it means. Real estate is more than a physical store building. People are inside the building. It surrounds you in your home, outside, the coffee shop you go to, the garden you build on your leaning over or put on your patio. I want readers to be shipped, especially on Sundays. You will find either aspirations, inspiration, or remorse. I want a surprise.
We had great success in talking about Harlem Towald Jui is the wallpaper. Many readers said, “I didn’t want to know so much about wallpaper,” because it’s more than wallpaper. I’m trying Make readers understand that what you put in your home is worth; they don’t have to be expensive to be worth to you, and I’m telling them that I would like to confirm.
Is it difficult to get people to reveal their homebuying trip and budget in a column like The Hunt?
Since I took on the job of a real estate editor, I’ve learned that hunting can be very difficult. We ask hunters to leak a lot of personal information.
I think the people who attend The Hunt think it’s a valuable feature every week. There is nothing more than wondering what they choose in their place. I have a lot of friends and that’s my favorite feature of the week, but they always send me the text message “They chose the wrong house!”.
Real estate has traditionally focused on the New York metropolitan area. Are there any efforts to expand?
We have already expanded our reach to California and hope that our readers will be happy and surprised. I’m not going to reveal much yet, but it’s expanding to the south. Leave it as it is — let’s make it a little strange.
Do you have any tips or tricks on the home buying process?
I did all the hunting before becoming a real estate editor, so I don’t have any tips or tricks, but now I’m ready — I’m here in 2023! I am planning to move. I don’t know where I am yet, but all of these real estate stories from our great writers will let me know.
How do you think the Real Estate section of the Times is evolving?
I want to expand the readership. We have some loyal readers, and I certainly want to keep giving them the stories they love. But, as I said, I really want to surprise the reader. It will attract readers who have not traditionally turned to the New York Times real estate section. I strongly believe in digital storytelling, visual storytelling, and storytelling that people can access over the phone. The New York Times real estate print section is symbolic and there is a place for it in New York culture, but we think it’s important to meet readers where they are. I want to make what you see on your phone spectacular, breathtaking, stunning and immersive. Readers will be amazed.