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I Create a Billion Dollar Commercial MLS. Step 2: Tear the 800-lb Gorilla a New Ass.

gorilla

We all want and some of us need to think that there is this big bad 800-lb Gorilla in our commercial real estate business.

Some of us may dream of the day when we can just tear that perceived big bad boy a new ass.Sounds fun and is certainly worth the “calling.” On a world wide scale who is the big boy? Probably a different answer for different people.So, how do you compete with or tear it a new ass?

Don’t Fear the Gorilla Fear the Little Competitors.

Sure it’s easy to spit and snort at the big meandering sloth and it’s inability to innovate.Of course they are always prioritizing the shareholders value over their customers. They are big and unadaptable,whatever they are doing now is probably what they will be doing two three or five years from now. Same sales pitch same message same product same pricing same management same CEO same ego. That kind of competition is not scary.What is scary? Smart,scrappy,savvy,nasty,lean and mean start-ups.The kind that silently quietly observes and watches the mistakes of the big dumb ass and then skips those same mistakes and copies all the good parts for literally almost no cost.

Only Compete for Customers.

If a true measure of success is total domination of a market is your only answer then stop reading. The last fifty years have left us littered with companies who tried and failed. The S&P is said to loose almost half of it’s members every ten years.Real world example:Apple has a greater value than Exxon. What customer is Apple competing for? Simple answer: Apple Customers.Why waste time trying to “beat” the gorilla? The only thing that matters is more customers every day more customers the next day more customers and then the next day more customers.

The Big Gorilla Is My Friend.

Yes, my friend. How else could a mean lean nasty little company make one hundred two hundred million dollars without the gorilla creating products that take one year to launch. Pricing models that defy all logic. Pitching the same product mix again and again.Never taking a risk and protecting their existing revenue stream even it it means their ultimate demise.Not having the ability to observe and react to the market( they think they are THE market) demands because there are too many layers of people and process,and too may people whose careers depend on maintaining the SYSTEM.Which of course goes along with completely pissing off and alienating the customer base and helping create a market that begs for an alternative. My big fat ass buddy, he’s my friend. What’s not to like?

Too Fat To See Behind It’s Big Ass.

What ultimately takes you down may not even exist so how can you prepare? You can’t!

-Market data and knowledge is available to everyone everywhere.

-The cloud and apps=cheap or almost no cost to compete.

-Access to a global customer base.Unlimited.

-Global recognition of a new brand. One Click.Your real brand value?

-Platform distribution.Limitless.

-Access to capital to grow. Infinite.

-New platforms and new technologies available.Staggering.

-Market adaptability.Every minute of every day.

-Customers=Happy.Your customers.Not Happy!

-Data company=death

-Tech/customer service company=$$$$

-Big markets first.

-Plastics…no wait….. Mobile!

-Search app launch in 2011=MySpace for commercial real estate.

What’s next?

Step 2: Now that was fun.

Step 3:???

Building a billion dollar worldwide commercial MLS. What are your thoughts?

 

Photo Credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeprice/ via Flickr

 

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  • Hard to get my head around that one (the last part about the billion dollar MLS). The very things that make it fractured and accessible to all (i.e., allow the small to compete against the big) are what make it foolhardy to try an attempt to make a billion dollar MLS. And that’s your point. However, an MLS’s beauty in my humble opinion is actual sales data, and that has to be enforced through membership, enforced or strongly encouraged reporting. And there is a beauty in that. Hard to make it happen, especially on even a regional level, but it would be nice to have (really nice) and rise the tide for all if it could be pulled off.

    • Hugh,
      Oh….it’s coming. Thanks for commenting.

  • Trevor Mealham

    ‘Worldwide’ is a big place. Your right in that the little guy can observe the big guys currently in a market place and make better – the errors that exist. The front guys and ladies are key to wanting something better and if sound, building such wants in.

    But MLS is not everywhere. In the UK we are trying to introduce it, but for the last 13-14 years the main property data feed here has not had the fields that allow agents to MLS. The ability to say I’d like you to offer this property, and this, etc, etc has not been an option. As such we have had to take the best of the worst and create a MLS layer on to which includes those missing fields.

    So cultures alike the UK that was MLS paper based some 15-20 years ago, we are now re-inventing with a IT twist that IT overlooked 13-14 years ago.

    Many other parts of Europe are also very antiquated and in some poorer countries the recession has slowed the deployment of broadband, meaning that some countries struggle with beefier software.

    In the US are 50 states, the EU has 49 countries. The US has RETS which I know is res friendly, but excuse my ignorance as to whether its commercial property friendly.

    Around the EU are countries like Turkey which bump EU+ numbers up again.

    So a global MLS would be good, but as we know most property in different countries has different laws and so the property software builds around them. Its the unifying of data to a common platform in a way that works for the agent adopters on mass scale that is needed.

    Now in the UK our MLS developments are very pioneering and weve developed Holy Grail software that bridges before non compliant agents systems. We have started talking to US MLS’s and in the stages of bench testing our INEA IDX feed into US IDX agents websites. So for us, to work closer with US/Canadian MLS’s really would be bringing the 800lb Gorilla to the UK market where the biggest player here at the mo is just a portal with around 10,000 agents on board.

    UK agents have known our want to bring a full blown MLS to the UK and as such weve done a lot of the hard IT work to make US modules now slot in. Many agents want the 800lb Gorilla which we are hoping to bring.

    Trevor Mealham admin@inea.co.uk UK

  • Gary Seidel

    Worldwide, I think not. Having access to listings in Dubai or even Ireland, have little value to me and my business. In my view, wrong as it is at times, most real estate decisions are local. At the macro level, decisions might be made on a worldwide scale, but not on actual location decisions. It might help the global consulting companies that work on worldwide site selection, but few others.

    The bigger the site, the more “de-focused” it becomes. The bigger the site, the more it focuses on only the big deals, the big properties, the big companies. They will lose sight of the local markets, and have.

    Since I am a small company, working in a smaller market, I prefer a more focused approach, keep it at the state and local level. I don’t need the “worldwide” focus, don’t want it. (As a side note, and a bit of self promotion, my company developed a free site for listing commercial properties in Wisconsin, at http://www.wisconsinbrokernet.com)

    My favorite worldwide site selection story concerned a worldwide meida company, and no longer in business. They were looking for a new site, outside of Silicon Valley (California). They spent a lot of money on a selection process, hired the consultants, did the studies, mapped out transportation and logistics routes, etc.. The CEO looked at the study and said “Portugal”. “I have been to Portugal, I like Portugal a lot.” Portugal was not the study’s recommendation, but Portugal it was. The company went out of business before the plant went live.

  • DColangelo

    ePropertyData is making great strides in several US markets, including the Pacific Northwest, Southern Cal, Texas, and South Florida…

  • Dave Lewand

    Timeless. It’s been 3 years since you wrote this and the 800-lb gorilla still shows no interest in allowing CRE companies to showcase their own properties on their own websites in a mobile-friendly way.

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