The real estate community in New York takes care of the broader community, says Corcoran's Liebman. is partnering with the Real Estate Board of New York for its annual banquet next week and speaking with present and past award winners honored at the gala. (Click here to get more information about the Jan. 17 event.) Pamela Liebman, president and chief executive officer of the Corcoran Group, was last year’s Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award Winner. She took a few mintues to speak with us about philanthropy in the industry and the bright spots in today’s market. How do you think the real estate community is involved in philanthropy compared to other industries?

Pamela Liebman: As an industry, they do an excellent job, and there are individuals that do an extraordinary job. There are leaders that really help shape the face of New York City. Some have really played a really important part in the cultural dynamic of the city and the social welfare programs. A lot of different aspects of New York City are extremely impacted by the generosity of the real estate community. You look at some of the leaders and the boards they serve on and the money they donate – it’s a really big deal. Winning that award must have meant a lot to you then?

Liebman: I was extraordinarily flattered to win this award amongst my peers, especially since I admire and respect what they have done so much. It was very special, and I was very proud of it. What is the importance of REBNY to the industry in general?

Liebman: In many ways they are the leading voice of the industry and advocate for what they believe are the best outcomes for the City of New York and the people who live here. It is an incredibly important organization, and many people view them as the mouthpiece of real estate in New York, and they do it in a very good way. Sometimes they take a lot of heat if they have an unpopular position, but they take a position that they truly believe is in the best interest in the future of New York. What’s great about REBNY is they always take a long-term view, and Steve Spinola has been a great leader. What do you think the mood will be like at this year’s event?

Liebman: People are always upbeat at that dinner. People are closing out a very strong year and feeling positive going into 2013. While there are some uncertainties in the economy and whether there might be some downsizing that impacts some leasing, the sales brokers are going to be in a good mood. Part of what everybody’s excited about is the expansion of New York City, what is happening downtown and at the Hudson Yards. You’re seeing asking prices in the Meatpacking District of over $100 a foot. While people might be concerned about some traditional businesses moving into 2013, their eyes are wide open when it comes to new opportunities that are being presented in New York City, and this is a smart crowd that will take advantage of it, so I see it as a positive.