8 Simple Tips to Help You and Your Commercial Real Estate Clients Online

So you think you are pretty tech savvy and keep pretty current on the latest apps,platforms and stats. How are you relating that tech savvy to your actual clients or customers?  What are the basics and what should you be doing? I have a few suggestions.

1. Authentication– As in data. Lots and lots of data.  There are so many sources and different types available today. Rent rates ,absorption,shadow inventory, analytics and on and on and on. What are you doing to authenticate that data?. Is It just from your corporate brand source? Are you paying for it and therefore place more value to it.  Are you a true market source?  Why should your customers look to you ? They can find a lot of that data on their own.

2. Watchdog- for the client and of the market. True and accurate. Period!

3. Witness- stand out as a….? Can I get a witness? Be a witness for commercial real estate.

4. Forum Leader- lead the conversations about the commercial real estate business. Is that not what all this online stuff/social media/LinkedIn/ Quora/Foursquare/Amplify….etc is suppose to be. Starting The Conversation!

5. Making Sense- What is the real market right now! Every day and I mean every day there are contrary reports,articles,posts about the state of commercial real estate.Think back 5 years can you justify a deal that was done with that same client today? What makes sense TODAY?

6. Smart Aggregation- What information are you “broadcasting” to your clients? Yes, this is the age of YOU the commercial real estate digital broadcasting brand/channel. You can chose whatever commercial real estate “content” will be published. The client/customer is NOT stupid or naive about your brand/channel or content. Be Smart!

7. Empowerment- Give the client all the tools and expertise they need to make an informed decision. What is in your tool box? Better yet what is in your clients toolbox? Give them anything and everything…or they will find it on their own and or someone else will.

8. Role Model- What are you really teaching the next commercial real estate…..? Think of the disruption in so many industries not only commercial real estate. Who is leading and teaching in the reality we face today.

Photo Credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/mountainbread/

Duke Long


  • I’m going to steal that idea from Bob and also steal this content. Honestly, good list. We’re all just rough, aerial perspective to provide guidance to what we’re doing on a moment to moment basis. This helps.

  • Very good perspective…however I will contend even if clients have access to data, such as Loopnet, they generally don’t know what to do with it. They don’t realize the data may be flawed, outdated, not applicable to their use, etc. Our value comes into play with our experience and expertise in really knowing the market, from zoning to actual individual buildings and presenting the client with the knowledgeable choices. It not as easy as the clients think…plus there is the value of the agent putting the deal together, making sure the client stays out of harms way in especially when it comes to commercial leases.

  • Duke this goes back to a recent post of yours. How can we as a “community” share data before the trulia’s come in & do it for us?
    My question now is how can we protect our “work product”
    from the 3d party pimps? I don’t mind sharing with my clients but I’m sick & tired of a 3d party taking my research,calling it their own and selling it to the public.My local Commercial MLS won’t let us watermark out property photos which, would give us some protection.
    I know this is somewhat off topic but, it ties in.
    Please expand this further.

    • Well,
      How can you protect “work” that is basically a public record? Answer: You can’t. What information are you adding to that record that gives it value…..that the client cannot or does not already have access to? I obliviously know the answer. Think of the stock market and how much information about a particular company you can find. Is the NYSE and Nasdaq not aggregating data and basically selling/publishing it for everyone to see? Is that not what and MLS/CIE can and should do? What if that actually helps create more business for the CRE Broker? What are you really trying to protect? Data that you think gives you the only advantage to compete in the marketplace. Take a look at the comment below from Bob. BTW Bob was a trainer for Co-Star. Thoughts?

  • You know, you can also do more to embrace online technologies, the cloud, if you will. Plus, what about eForms? Electronic signatures have been legal for more than a decade, why aren’t more leases, agreements and contracts left electronic, instead of being printed, filled-out, scanned, e-mailed and often re-printed, edited, etc.

    Transactions could be much smoother if forms never became paper. Then, tools like Box.net and anything from 37 Signals could help power your client relationships.

    Scary thing is, your clients are asking for this. The next great young Web site company founder is going to relate much better to the broker who can do everything online when it’s time for his 100,000 Class A lease.

    Just some thoughts. Keep it up Duke.