Everyone Agrees, “It’s All About Relationships In Commercial Real Estate.” And I Said, “That’s Bullshit!”

And that was way back in 2012.

Google your tail off and that’s all you see in just about any #CRE pitch.

“We build…”

“We provide…”

“We understand…”

“We are…”

“We develop…”

“We nurture…”



Yes, yes I get it.

It must be some kind of law. You HAVE to have that on your website, pitchbook, and marketing materials or the world will collapse.

BUT, is that the actual real-world truth?

If you did not read the article (and shame on you) I wrote in 2012 I basically made the case for the exact opposite.

To summarise my opinion was that the data basically made the deal happen.

The location, the pricing, the demographics among many other data points is then and certainly now driving the entire process.

Now there are a few out there who are starting to think along the same lines (Hell, I was only 5 years ahead of the curve) and are stressing the ability to do just that.

“But, but, but,” you say. “It the very basis of all of our business.” Let me say it again, BULLSHIT!

Pure Bullshit.

It’s all about the data.

Hell, how many of you reading at this very moment even use a dedicated #CRE #CRM product?

Yea, that’s what I thought.

Let me throw this at you.

I live on the upper east side of Manhattan. Obviously, known to be some of the most prime residential real estate in the world. What if a property on a prime corner comes up for sale? Let’s say 74th and Madison Ave. (Again this is completely made up to emphasize a point. In no way shape or form do I have any possible idea of the status of any property near this location) Who is the broker? Do you care? All you want is the property details. Period. Does it take a broker to initiate that data exchange? NO, it does not. It can come straight from the owner. Furthermore, the amount of data possibly being withheld….yea I said it, can only be speculated on. One of my favorite sayings lately is “you don’t know what you don’t know.” What if you take that data run some numbers and think it might be a serious play. Then what? You contact who? Whoever signs the deed. You throw them a number. Back and forth a time or two and the deal is done. You may not even meet face to face. Why should you? It’s your checkbook the owners are interested in. Do they give a shit where you tee it up? Do they need to know your significant others choice in wine? NOPE! It all about the $$$. How much and how fast can they get it?

Where does “the relationship” fit in that scenario?

You might say that’s just one simple example. Yes, it sure is.

Which brings us back again to the data.

I did mention withheld did I not. How about using the word proprietary instead? There are state laws that address this issue are there not? Nondisclosure I think is the general term used. So the ability to withhold and not disclose is protected by laws.


How far do you want me to go with this?

Not too far I’m assuming.

How important is that relationship again?

Why should they as in the people you are “nurturing, providing, and building…….form any type of relationship?

What is the benefit for them again?

It’s hard for me to see any.

Now, before you go off, the main point of this article is to start what I hope is some fulfilling and robust debate.

Some may not even care to take my point of view into consideration, fair enough.

Some may say that there are always two sides to this.

And others may see that there is only one way forward.


Everyone Agrees, “It’s All About Relationships In Commercial Real Estate.”

And I Said, “That’s Bullshit!”


+1 What do you think?






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