Building A Narrative. Or A Building Narrative.

Building A Narrative. Or A Building Narrative.

Building A Narrative. Or A Building Narrative.

A simple definition of narrative: a story that is told or written.

We have been told for most all our lives that marketing or branding involves “the story.”

The product story. The company story. The personal brand and story together.

It’s what is suppose to resonate with what we are told is our ultimate customer/user/advocate.

“Every picture tells a story don’t it?” – Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood. 1971

Hard to argue the point. Every picture does indeed tell a story.


What is that story?

I am sure you have your company and personal brand story down. Boring as it may be.

Yea yea I get it. You are a professional and you MUST project the “image of  professionalism.”

What about that one single building?

That one building that you are marketing to the world in a “professional” way.

Let me remind you of one thing.

Data + Location + Content = Commercial Real Estate.

Ok step back for a second and get ready to copy and paste.

Here comes the most simple idea and earth shattering statement I may ever make.

I’m serious.

“Think of every building as layers. Each floor has it’s own individual layer. Each layer has sections or rooms. In every section or room, there are people. People are the stories of the building. Every individual in that building has a story and that is and can be the narrative of each individual building.” -Duke Long

NOW! I have known this since DAY ONE!.

It’s basic storytelling. It’s commercial real estate storytelling.

Go ahead and copy and paste. I said you could. Send it off.

Wait, want some more help?

What could or should that story include?

Think beyond the numbers and data of the basic structure.

Other than you and I no one gives two shits about that stuff.

Unfortunately, that’s all anyone outside of commercial real estate gets.

How about:

What are the core issues? This should be easy. You are already doing this and doing this pretty well. Do I need to list them? I didn’t think so. But how about this? What are the “non-business” issues? Oooh is that a bit touchy? What will that open up? What could that help do? Humanize your business? Wow, now that’s non#CRE.

The ever-present media. What is the story? What are they saying, is it too standard to make any impact? You control most all stories that hit the media right? Same old BizJournal generic stuff. Canned wrapped and in the correct business font. How about SnapChat or InstaGram? Wait, no that’s ridiculous. That’s for the marketing people.

Side Rant: Best quote I have seen all year and then some.

“We don’t have a marketing girl. We don’t have a marketing boy, either.” – Barbi Reuter

The building community. What is the “normal conversation” around the building and when is it just conversation? You can call it just bitching or feedback if you want. It’s reality to them. Here’s something to think about. What and why are the “fans” of the community interested in the first place?

Support. Customer support equals what? Fixing things? How about a revenue generation source? It’s where you find the pain. Pain equals opportunity. Opportunity equals $$$$

Searching. How do they find you and your brand? Think about this one. It’s not just Gooogle, and it has to be scary as hell for you. You control none of this. Is your lack of content killing you? You know it is!

Content. What is working or not working now? How in the hell do you know? Go back to my rant. Pure Brilliance. It’s all you. Think of the story in a visual term. Some of the best and simple ideas are already in place. Think about a 50 story building on Madison Ave. in NYC. One gorgeous video is all it takes to tell the story. But that is just the beginning.


Data + Location + Content = Commercial Real Estate.

Does data need to have to be the only story of commercial real estate?

Hell NO!

Does it need to be siloed into antiquated platforms that show the world NOTHING!

You have access to the entire world.


You can tell the story. The commercial real estate story.

You own it.

You define it and you can and will start……

Building A Narrative. Or A Building Narrative.


+1 Yea, I’m known for the F-Bombs.

+1+1 Where can you find this kind of real #CRE Content?



Duke Long

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