Commercial Real Estate Must Kill the PDF! Redux. This One Is Breaking My Heart!

Commercial Real Estate Must Kill the PDF! Redux. This One Is Breaking My Heart!

YES, IT IS TIME! Why? We sit here every day and get our inbox BLASTED with how many e-mail PDF’s of property from sources all over the world? What is the point?

Bad Marketing? Spam? Laziness?

So this is your property marketing strategy?

– A flyer made by the assistant in marketing = you are effing lazy.

– You blast out to LinkedIn discussion groups = you don’t want to discuss anything.

– You automate with lists, old lists, bad lists, lists purchased = God forbid you should be on a list.

– Expect only about 20%-30% to open  =pissing off and wasting the time of the other 75%.

– Set up a savvy to accept complaints from ISPs = you know you are a spammer.

– Limit the info available = If they happen to inquire, you can show your super sales strategy.

– Blatantly push your brand = not delivering value, creating resentment and just plain annoying someone.

– Putting your property “top of mind” status = It’s not listed anywhere, Loopnet, Co-Star, Commsource, E-property, Catylist, Google, your site, etc., etc.

– Assuming the potential client/ broker/user is stupid and does not know the market or market conditions = see previous.

– Assuming the client/broker/user will want to see a property from AZ, NY, FLA, MN, TX, Dubai, India, etc. = see previous.

– Spam CRE Blast = put that name on every property pdf sent and see what the return on time, money and effort is.

Something Better or Just Techy Toys?

Well, what should you do instead?

1. Complete data, Don’t be stingy.

2. Think Mobil. Are you the last human on earth without a phone?

3. Video, my thirteen-year-old has a flip camera. How hard can it be?

4 .I pad apps. They are amazing gadgets…and how many millions have been sold.

5. Augmented Reality  Layar app…for like the 1000th time, I mention this in a post.

6. Hyper local lifestyle mapping.

7. Just plain fun free mapping.

8. Use a LinkedIN app.

9. Create your own marketing!

10. UH..YouTube..the number 2 search engine.

11. Please fill in your suggestions.

The quality commercial property that is marketed to today’s savvy client/investor/principle… using real technology……WINS!

Kill the PDF Blast once and for all?

YES… NOW…. PLEASE!!! Thoughts?

Ok, so I having a flashback phase. I did the Venture Capital Redux and as things go I was prompted to look back at an old post about PDF’s. In part ironically because of the post I wrote about the future of commercial real estate brokerage.

I started to dig in a do a bit of research. And to my shock amazement and heartbreak not too much has changed in five years.

Let me give you and example:

I click on the site of one of the most aggressive and forward thinking “tech brokerages ” out there. (They shall remain nameless, because I like them and least they are fucking trying.) And what do I do? I search for the most important and valuable thing they have on their site. Commercial Property “FOR SALE” It takes me to a fuzzy regional map and shows me little numbers. I have to zoom in to see what the are. It’s obvious then that it’s the number of listings they have in a given area. I click, and it takes me to more little numbers. I click again, and it shows me those little map pin things like you see on Google. So, I click again on the pin, and nothing happens. Wait, I notice I need to scroll down and see two little pictures. There is a small description of the property and contact information. There is also a button to click for more information. It takes me to another page with a button VIEW A FLYER. So I guess I need to click again and there it is in all it’s glory. THE PDF.

-Basic property information

-A map with pointy things that show what’s near the property and of course, it’s a WAL-Mart.

-Fuzzy floorplans from at least five or more years ago showing how the last tenants set up.

-A couple of pics of the entrance and the parking lot.

-A couple more pics of some trees and WOW the foyer.

-And that’s it. That’s it.

-Oh, wait, contact information on each page for the broker.

-Did I mention no pricing information anywhere?

Side rant: What if this were a car? Think about it. Two pics of the interior. Two pics of the outside. Basic info. Steering, wheels, tires, engine, seats. No price. Just call me and buy the damn thing. It’s just a car.

We are talking about a multi-million dollar asset

Marketed by one of the most progressive brokerages out there.

It’s more than five years later.

Commercial Real Estate Must Kill the PDF! Redux. This One Is Breaking My Heart!


+1 Why waste my time. It will never change

+1+1 It’s called work. Wonder why you are not doing more deals?


Maybe I have figured out a way for the building to market itself. Oh. yes I have.











Duke Long

1 comment

  • The PDF Flyer is certainly outdated in investment sales. CRE Brokers show in-place income, but neglect future leasing and rent bumps. If they shared a dynamic future cash flow model, brokers could capture that future value in today’s sale price. We have hundreds of brokers around the country using to create “living” flyers that show all the data to anyone.