I’ve Been Called The Most Quotable Person In Commercial Real Estate. And In 2018 I Keep The Crown Once Again!

Let’s get right to it!

And why not start with this entire article! Another Open Letter To Doug Curry? Not This Time!

“Now, this is NOT political so stay with me. A few years back ULI put together a small gathering/panel/breakfast thing before their main conference in New York. I was invited and gladly accepted. Part of this program included a somewhat open audience participation thing. The two people featured at the front of the room were Tom Byrne known for many things one of which being that he sold LoopNet for $800 plus million dollars and Jared Kushner known for many things also one of which is that he and his family own a shit ton of commercial real estate. Among some of the questions about technology, it was brought up what value it (technology) brings to commercial real estate. Now, I’m not sure of the exact words and syllables he said but Jared did say this ” how does it help me collect rent? It’s what we are all here to do collect rent and create more value.” Now again I was ten feet away from him when he said it, it may not have been the EXACT fucking words and syllables but you get the point. It’s about collecting rent and creating value.”

“Underrated and undervalued #CRE and #TECH???? #Construction #TECH.”

“How about this, how much money is that building owner NOT making by NOT providing certain services to the entire COMMUNITY that already exists under just one roof?”

“Use available technology, wait use available MOBILE technology to make……..Every Human In A Building Is A Revenue Source. And Why Not!”

  1. Take brokers data and put it on a secure platform.
  2. “Enhance” that data.
  3. Generate interest or views (potential leads) for that data.
  4. Give access to only one client, to validate the data to the marketplace (to the secured platform) and charge like never before.
  5. Add Blockchain to the marketing materials and gain 3 times the market valuation. (it happens, just ask Kodak, remember them?)
  6. Once that enhanced and verified data is in the secure database, only allow access to a specific tier of clients, in essence monopolizing that data for the platform and those specific clients and the entire marketplace.
  7. Bring that same plan to the local level. Make sure it is only available to clients who sign agreements to give the initial data away (FOR FREE) for the “opportunity” to be a part of the “special tier” of clients. Choose the clients that can and will pay the most.
  8. Then, of course, there is that token thing along with a node that……but hey, I’m just showing off…….

“The best way to understand augmented reality is to think of it as any additional tech, tool or app that adds an extra layer of interactivity within a virtual reality environment. AR can work in several different ways and is used for many different reasons, but in most cases, AR involves a scenario where virtual objects are overlaid and tracked atop real, physical objects to create the illusion that they’re in the same space.”

“In the near future, there will be no leases just the ability to generate revenue from each individual occupying a building.”

“Second, it jumps right over space as a service to individualizing space as an experience.”

“What Happens When Your Tenant Demands To Be Paid To Occupy Your Space?”

“What is that actual experience? Dark matter science? Deepwater exploration? Or just make sure there is total ignorance on their part so that they don’t see what an incredible waste of the human races fucking time this all actually is?”

“BULLSHIT! It’s all paperwork and paperwork done by people paid what? Yea, I’m going to say it. Paid WAY below your pay grade to do what again? An antiquated and analog process because………….????? It just fucking IS!”

“What were all the brokerages doing in 2014? How about now? “They have you and will provide services from the minute you wake it until the minute you go back to sleep.” That’s called market share!”

“Of course, it does because that’s how you treat people any people in commercial real estate who don’t pay out the ass, as if they are what they are and that is “freeloaders.”

“One more time, one of the methods used and promoted by a commercial estate “data vendor” ( I use the term loosely) TODAY!!!!! is to fly over it in a small light aircraft.”

“Oh my now that’s a reason to sue right there. The all-important and valuable picture taken by whoever the hell. Once it’s in the system it’s owned by who? How about Getty, they seem to own a bunch of pics? I wonder if they could make a claim? Hell, how many buildings are in Getty’s database? I wonder if that’s some kind of usage breach? I wonder how much the Getty lawyers get paid? Hmm….lawyers suing lawyers over data created by someone else.”

“Sue your customers. It’s a strategy.”

“It’s the fault of everyone who exists on the planet who dares…..Not to shut the fuck up and pay!”


“(Before I continue, anyone in the crypto community who wants to rant and rave about words letters and phrases defining anything in this article…GO FLYING FUCK YOURSELF. YOU ARE NOT GOD! YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY HUMAN BEING WHO UNDERSTANDS ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING! GO BUY A FUCKING BUILDING. SAVE A STARVING CHILD. CURE CANCER. BUT PLEASE GO FLYING FUCK YOURSELF FIRST!)”

“The real use case for #CRE and Blockchain is????????? Maybe nothing!”

“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.”

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

“When I see something like that the first thing I think about is how much some of the founders take off the table for themselves to “incentivize” there further participation of the company.”

“How about hard assets put in the name of the founder or the founders family? Funded by…..the startup?”

“Hey, give them credit, turning that #Proptech magic into personal wealth via real estate.”

“Solution to this? Buy companies with revenue and customers. Don’t Bet BUY!”

“A potential client comes to you with an asset to move. Usually, you go through a due diligence period and for the sake of argument and debate let’s say it takes 30 days to do all of that work. I said for the sake of argument and debate. But that client stares you in the face and says that you need to shrink the due diligence time from 30 days to 3 days or…you don’t get the business. And why not? It should only take 3 days in 2018 correct?”

“Have we been lucky? Have we had a marketplace that props up everything underneath that value? Trillions and Trillions of dollars of value.”

“One thing we are doing and doing well is making sure our clients rely upon us to and beg us to help.”

“I want a tool that will monitor how my portfolio is performing with the marketplace now. I also want to know how it is performing historically and I want to be able to project future performance. How will I be able to justify the money invested? How will I know what I might be able to do to improve? I need that ability in front of me NOW!”

“Robo trading commercial real estate…too far fetched or just a realistic way of competing for quality assets?”

“What if you populate a property database with every commercial property in let’s say the US for the sake of clarity. How many properties is that? I know that seems like a big task. It’s not as big as you might think. Does that database exist today? Yes, it does.”

“Streamline the transaction process by the automation of redundant tasks. Have a goal to have the entire due diligence process automated and completed in 24 hours or less. Create all legal docs for e signature and recording. Do all processing and recording. FOR FREE!! What does that do for the seller? Incentivizes the hell out of them that’s what.”

“So we have in front of us today data sets and processes that are now and will be enabling a marketplace that will function in real time.”

“It’s about the value chain of the transaction. Do you truly understand what that means?”

“The point is this. All of that information is just DATA. And all the due diligence process is, is the verification of that DATA. And it takes 30 days! Really, again I ask why!”

“How simple is it to realize what happens when just one part of a commercial real estate transaction makes a quantum leap in time, real-time, from 30 days to milliseconds.”

“I have said this I don’t know how many times to how many people but “who has created the best business and brokerage model in the last 20-30 years? WeWork and it’s not even close.”

“A bonus thought just to melt your brain… Amazon has private label products. What stops WeWork from doing the same? Nothing!”

“How much did your brokerage spend on R&D last year? If you point to one of the accelerators and or minor tech investments as an R&D spend how delusional of a statement is that?”

“Wait, you don’t sell space as a service, you sell relationships and complicated processes with hidden data. Do me a favor and go back through my archives. I have been screaming this is some way shape or form for at least 5 or 6 years and do you know why? It’s fucking hard to miss. I can’t be the only one. Hell, I know I’m not.”

“Maybe You Should Ask Compass And WeWork or maybe you should freshen up your resume, but then again those startups don’t really hire the kind of people………”

“So, it seems very clear. The original source of data, the owner, along with your firms’ data and your personal local market knowledge is indeed the best source of data. The entire market itself that is, along with yourself, creating the market velocity is the second best source. And by all indications, any third party vendor you decide that has in your opinion valuable data is the last source.”

“What were the topics of your last Monday morning broker meeting? Sales, deals, market intel, company and community involvement, maybe even a discussion about some tech you have heard about and then let’s go kick some ass and make some money. Fair enough. Is there or has there ever been any discussions about all of those targets experience with you and your company?”

“When is the last time a meeting in or around brokerage or property management ended with how are you measuring our customer’s user experience?”

“Every tenant or potential tenant/occupier is after one thing TALENT! That is there most valuable resource and they are using SPACE and that entire environment to compete and attract that TALENT.”

“Let me ask this simple question, how much have you spent on space management technology this year? Space Management? WTF does that have to do with making money for a commercial real estate brokerage?”

“Just break down every piece of the transaction and when a human has to touch it stop and think “how can I eliminate that step?”

“And while you are sitting there trying to figure out how to pay the bills and keep those hotshot productive brokers under your roof you should be automating your business and running it like a tech-savvy profit making software using machine.”

“So I guess the point that “nothing has really changed in the real estate business in the last 100 years, and frankly, it never will” is therefore validated by almost the entire industry. Or maybe not.”

“That’s not a legacy I’m willing to leave. #CRE will change like never before while I’m on this planet. That I can MF guarantee!”

“I was asked if I closed down the bar at the after party event. My response “I think that’s a very personal question to be asking, why do you need to know?” I was a bit groggy and grumpy that early in the morning…#justsayin. A bit(Hungover?)testy you might even say. How bright was the sun again? My eyes!”

“I stood up and said it in front of the entire crowd that this is 100% The Sandy Jacolow brainchild and he deserves all the credit for making this happen. He was, of course, humble and giving all the parties involved accolades and I could not agree more and yes, there were many BUT THANK YOU SANDY. I also said this. “The business plan he created for this entire thing months and months ago was a work of art.” That my friends is a gift. Throw in a bit of passion, drive and you get something special. Big shout out to all the people involved from REBNY. That’s how to show the world New York knows how to do it!”

“The event I thought was well attended. As this “thing,” we call tech and real estate continues to grow and grow the events that are regional in nature are far more interesting to me. It kind of drills down why we do this…you want the big savant take away here? All real estate is LOCAL. Wow, yea what an original concept. But it’s more and more relevant every day.”

“One of my British friends called Vienna “the poshest city in Europe.” I had someone translate for me and I could not agree more. This is a special place. Posh indeed! They all dress in black. They drive as fast as hell in shiny German sedans. They have great food. Do I even need to mention adult beverages? The buildings are RIDICULOUS and….everything is so nerdy and precise. I could so make this city work for me. One weird thing. It’s quiet here. maybe that’s me referencing New York but it’s just quiet. I need to move here…maybe!”

“Wiener Schnitzel the world needs more Wiener Schnitzel.”

“Oh, and there will be a special “highlighted” version of my session with Martin Lund at the end. I think one of my first questions to him was “How do you fuck up a billion dollars?” Yea, hey, I had to ask.”

And with that let me give you my personal take.

  1. Holy Hell is it DARK here, this is no joke I have not seen the sun in like 3 or 4 days. I know it’s a thing here but I do appreciate the fact that I do not have to wear sunglasses or worry about sunblock. For reference it gets light at about 9:00 am in the morning and by 3:30 pm ish…pitch black.
  2. The food and then again…the food. It’s that sticky kind of healthy good. One word Reindeer! Yes, Reindeer. If you are vegan and that offends you…Fuck Off!
  3. The pre-event speakers’ dinner proceeded a tour of the new library.
    Stunning is the only comment I can make just stunning. (Side Bar: Had a “few” drinks with the architect…cool guy and he can throw down!)
  4. The dinner was just one of those things..food, drinks, conversation…food…shots…dessert .. conversations…shots…cognac. I’m sure there were many there who did not touch one drink…there had to be…maybe.
  5. On to the venue…take another look at some of the Tweets. It was dead on. Perfect size, well organized and all dark and moody. What else did you expect?
  6. One major comment, I need to make. These people are precise and organized as hell and I like that. Be the fuck on time and respect everyone’s time as well. I’m down with that. They told me where and when to be and then came back up just before to make sure all was ready. If you are going to do a show fucking DO IT!
  7. BTW they even took us (the speakers) in a group to lunch with reserved tables all ready to go. Yea, that’s how you do it.
    The content was, of course, more regionally focused, that’s why I showed up in the first place. I needed to soak it all in and see how they do it is this region.
  8. Did I mention how this thing just flowed along seamlessly and was on time? I may have but just in case.
    Oh, and whoever handled the social media parts of this thing knew what the hell they were doing.
  9. The content was, of course, more regionally focused, that’s why I showed up in the first place. I needed to soak it all in and see how they do it is this region.
  10. Did I mention how this thing just flowed along seamlessly and was on time? I may have but just in case.
  11. Oh, and whoever handled the social media parts of this thing knew what the hell they were doing.

“And what did you miss? How about the possible smell of The Devil’s Weed?”

“One thing is for sure, me + open mic + no outline or filter + a quiet focused audience = Pure Gold!”

“Well…I Did Not jump into the Baltic Sea. And you are like “Duke, what’s up, It’s a must do thing. Be at one with the locals”…Uh NOPE!”

“One of the people I was with related a story that their friend would “take a saaaauuuuna” jump into the Baltic, get out and then hit the snow-covered ground, roll back and forth a few times to ensure complete coverage. I was like “WHAT!”

“Here it goes. Most of these companies are trying to solve the same problems. The same problems that have either not needed addressing in the past or that now because of the SaaS model have allowed data and the use of it in a way not previously available to create new values or at least the perception of value.”

“If you combine that with companies that have created revenue in realistic proportion to their valuation, with a strong #CRE customer base and firm long-term partnerships with those same customers, you my good friends have indeed found a real winner.”

“But, you say, Duke, things are going so well, what are you trying to do?” Nothing really other than just maybe get your attention and throw you a few ideas, hints or as I have been known to do some thought-provoking statements to help you get your head out of your ass and pay more attention beyond your safe little life bubble.”

“Let me ask you this. Who’s hanging on the sidelines with BILLIONS in the bank just waiting for the market to tank so they can do some hellacious deals? Don’t know? You might want to do a bit of research and find out. They are going to back the survivors and winners of the next cycle…because they were way ahead of not only “the curve” but ahead of the entire market!”

So there you have it.

2018 and #CRE, what a year, does it ever stop being fascinating?

In case you missed it….my personal favorite quote………. from this year that was.

“In the near future, there will be no leases just the ability to generate revenue from each individual occupying a building.”

“No way that will happen,” you say? Who is the #POTUS again? You called that one when? Think about it.

The term for that is a Black Swan Moment.

Can’t wait for 2019!

+1 My catch phrase for 2018 was “Livin The Dream.”

+1+1 My 2019 Catch Phrase Will Be “Do You Know Where The F*ck You Are?” Yea, bringing that one back and in a big way! Just Think About It. Do You Really Know???



Duke Long

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