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Open Letter To The CEO Of Xceligent. You think you know but you really don’t know.

A few days back there was a big press release and announcement that Xceligent had agreed to purchase e-property data and partner up with NAR. Also within the release there were some details about Xceligent getting some big money to expand. Not being one to shy away from the C-suite in the past I thought I would pen a little letter to Doug The CEO of Xceligent.

Here is what you are going to do.

Listen to your own yes men and think that the money solves all problems.

Try to compete with Loopnet and end up being just the same as.

Loopnet is just a billboard and has not changed in 10 years

Now you think you have the Holy Grail which is a marketing platform with a data platform. So what. Everyone has that now.

Your target is 60-65 of the top markets. Big deal. www.airbnb.com has the whole world targeted and is kicking ass.

30 months to get to those markets? Wow nothing will change in that amount of time. The world will stand still.

Keep that Xceligent or Exceligent or Xlicegent brand name. Thank god for spell check.

Here is what you should do.

Forget that Co-Star and Loopnet exist. The way you are doing it now makes your company look like 3rd graders.

Get talent and more talent from outside the industry…or it will be the same as always.

Create product ship and recruit. Some kid out of Harvard named Zuckerberg is doing OK with this simple strategy. Why in the hell would you not do the same!

Branding for www.commercialsearch.com it is what may save your company….or not!

Read up on the commercial real estate data space including fame money sex power and the kitchen sink.

Pay no attention to the brokers …or press…really they have no clue!

Not so random thoughts.

Over promised and under performed it’s your companies rep….as we speak.

So if you are a member of NAR and in commercial you get a discount. Ok members of NAR at CBRE JLL Colliers and so on raise your hands. Come on let’s see them. Yea, that’s what I thought. ( As a side I do enjoy duck breast soup.) 🙂

Ownership of the data…who cares!

You have a CIE “product” which is nice but the brokers barely keep up with their own. Why will they use yours?

Pricing. You want to be the cheapest. Name one company that still exists with that strategy.

Scale.Hard to comprehend? Wait…. no I did mention Air BnB  somewhere did I not?

Honest Buildings is the opinion of commercial real estate.

Building Information Modeling is the true data standard.

42 Floors is real consumer facing search.

No one “established ” in the industry is giving the above platforms any chance of succeeding. The reasons they give are many but I think it is classic stare at your own belly button and protect your ass and business model rhetoric. Think Kodak Borders RIM…..and soon to be Best Buy. How “established” are you?

Fear the brokers big and small. Enough pain and they will not want to pay for data and worse yet for you they may just collect it and share it among themselves. They don’t need a “partner” any more. They have themselves and technology as partners!

And……….

All the opportunity in the world staring you in the face and some fat blogger sitting in a robe slippers and White Sox hat is spewing out the who what where when and how of YOUR business.

Doug you truly have a chance to change the world for commercial real estate and I think you may be THAT guy.

Do me a favor and don’t fuck it up!

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Some further thoughts…
    >> I believe NAR has some explaining to do regarding its commercial membership. Their one attempt at trying to provide a listing and data solution has now been sold off. Discounts be damned, what are they doing to provide real value? With Commercial Source (which sucked), at least it looked like they were trying (but was faking it). Now it looks like they just gave up.

    >> http://www.airbnb.com?? I keep trying, I still don’t get where it helps the commercial brokers.

    >> Does this merger mean I will get more calls from Xceligent, along with the annoying CoStar calls, wanting updates on my properties that have been skimmed from other sites.?

    >> I am always checking the search engines, do it daily. Never do I find listings from Xceligent or CoStar. Now, we might say LoopNet is a billboard, and an old one, but they get found. I believe search engines are the portals that people use now and in the future. Xceligent cannot assume they will be a portal, but so far they seem to be banking on that. Why can’t consumers and brokers be part of the same system, and the same views, oh, and the same portal??

    >> Look up “commercial real estate indianapolis, in”, and you will not find one listing from Xceligent or CoStar. Duke, you are on page 2 of Google, you should be on page 1 (IMHO)…. They both seem to bury listing information for the paid clients only, which is not a sustainable model (again, IMHO).

    Good luck, I hope this merger helps the industry and makes it more effective. For now, I have some serious doubts.

  • Lowell Peabody

    Duke, many great points regarding Xcelligent.. The market needs more transparency. Consumers need to be able to search for properties and get connected to the brokers representing them. They should not have to “know” to go to a particular site to find information. This is not about going around brokers as their local knowledge is imperative.. Someone is going to provide this level of service and soon.

  • Doug Curry

    Duke,

    I truly enjoyed visiting with you at ICSC. I believe you have some great insight for the industry. I appreciate your candor and direct approach to calling things as you see them. That is truly refreshing in this industry. In your article above you have made one very important point. This is not going to be easy. The tasks is massive. The industry needs to find a more transparent platform that provides a national solution and the company attempting to solve this has a huge undertaking ahead.

    Our task is clear. Provide the industry with an alternative to Costar and LoopNet. We need the support of the industry to make this totally successful. I believe the industry is ready and realizes this. After 14 years of making nearly every mistake you can, I think we are now best suited to provide this. With that said, it will all come down to executiion. I haven’t ever participated in a public blog but felt compelled to join in yours. I enjoyed the frankness of your thoughts. Stay honest. You provide the industry a forum that inspires a critical discourse.

    My job will be to not blow the opportunity that has been provided to us. Yours will be to keep the industry informed about the progress either good or bad.

    The BIMS idea is brilliant. I am always open to look at ways the industry can benefit from a different vantage point.

    Oh, and by the way, I will do my best not to “mess” this up.

    Doug Curry, Xceligent

  • Kbrennan7

    Personally, I don’t know how any of us in the job of updating information from commercial brokers can get anything accomplished because the commercial brokerage has little to no desire to cooperate and share information, but yet expect it.

    I am apart of one of those platforms involved in this whole merger thing. I’m excited but I refuse to become yet another platform someone has to put their information in. Our group has worked really hard to set ourselves apart and it has been no easy feat.

    I’m cautiously optimistic but part of the problem is the commercial beast. I’ve seen a lot of junk in just about every system out their and the commercial community has no desire to support nor rally around anyone to make it any better. They don’t believe in NAR (with good reason, I’ll admit), they seldom support the smaller commercial groups out there trying to make this better and they have little to no respect for the work we’re out here trying to do.

    Duke’s right commercial brokers don’t give a crap enough to want to keep up with anything and they’ll accept junk information and present their smoke and mirror reports to their clients no matter how bad the information is. So long as it looks “professional” and lots of pages and actual substance is not a requirement. If you ask me this entering info into multiple platforms is the commercial brokerage communities own fault and their inability to accept the concepts of an mls setup along with actually sharing information. (yeah, yeah yeah, I know “but it’s proprietary”. If I had a dollar for every time I heard that one!)

    My message to you Doug is I certainly hope you got something different up your sleeve because what’s out their hasn’t really been working. You can’t sell research when most of these brokers think in terms of list servs and the “post it and they will come” mentality. I don’t know how you’re going to do this without driving the price up to a point of where you’re not far from CoStar and somewhere you have got to get some sort of community cooperation from commercial. I wish you luck with that and while we have had some success here, there is always that “they’ll turn on you in a minute” if it isn’t getting done fast enough.

  • Adam Simpson