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Are You Missing The Obvious? One Of The Most Valuable Assets You Have Is Not Data.


It started with a Tweet.


How much do we suck? Let me count the ways.

Almost by default commercial real estate is a numbers business.

Lot size, Rent rolls, Lease terms, Cash Flow, Maintenance Costs, Expenses, TI, NOI, etc., etc., etc. etc.



You get it. I get it. We all get it.

Commercial real estate is all about justifying and defining a deal any deal with data and numbers.

It is what we do.

A million times I have said ” data+ location = commercial real estate.”

And there is absolutely nothing wrong or invaluable with that approach.

It’s working .

It works now and will continue forever as far as I am concerned.


Are we missing something that may have just as much value?

I think so.

The buildings or structures themselves can and do create a narrative.

That narrative then creates content.

Content (media)

In publishing, art, and communication, content is the information and experience(s) directed towards an end-user or audience.[1]


Did you get this part?

“content is the information and experience(s) directed towards an end-user or audience.”

Where have you heard that before?

It sure as hell has not been anywhere near commercial real estate.

Look at the definition one more time.

We are PISS POOR at this.

There is so much opportunity in just that one statement.

(This is usually the part of the article where I jump on the soapbox and go into a rant and rip into the status quo.)

How about this?

The data itself is and will always be mostly the same.

You can call some of it proprietary if you want but that really means nothing if you think about it.

There may even be an agreed upon data standard. And why not?

How about a content standard?

What if the content became proprietary? (Someone already figured part of this out and they sue your ass every chance they get.)

Who gets to define that standard?

Right now for better or worse you do.

Wait a minute did you get that?

YOU have the all the power in the world to define what the proprietary standard is for commercial real estate content.

That has a real tangible value.

A tangible value to you,  your clients and your potential new clients.

I would take that power seriously and use it.


Use it to your advantage.


Are You Missing The Obvious? One Of The Most Valuable Assets You Have Is Not Data.


+1 How about this? Data + Location + Content = Commercial Real Estate.

+1+1 You control how much of that equation? That’s called #CRE POWER!

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  • David Music

    Love it. What you are really talking about is differentiation. Too often we all look and talk the same (except you of course?). Once data becomes ubiquitous then it no longer differentiates us. Our presentation of our assets, clients, capabilities, and solutions will. Content is differentiation. Show off your value. Flaunt it like a peacock strutting through town. Quit thinking like everyone else and step up to excellence.

  • Duke Long

    And to my point.

  • Bob Canter

    The data is the basis in which to tell a story which is the content you speak of…absolutely.
    Data means nothing unless it is put into context. The Average John/Joan Q Public has no understanding of the data to begin with, but translate that into real world understanding and meaning illustraing the ramifications and “the what ifs” now that is true engagement.

  • Jim Simpson

    Well said, Duke. The industry treats tenant requirements and office space like a commodity. No two are alike and each has a story to tell, but they need a platform to share them. That’s why we did Crelow.

  • Thomas Morgan

    The best deals have a story. Why it is the way it is. Why it can be this or that. I think most of us tell is verbally. Maybe time to tell in brochures, video and blogging?