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Someone Already Has So You Must Stop.

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A long and wonderful week.

I have had a little time to detox after my trip to RECon13 in Las Vegas last week.

A special thanks to @MrsSarahMalcolm and @jesseTronPR  you are the best.

So much to say and so little I can tell but hey that’s Las Vegas.

The conversations.

The simple beauty of ICSC RECon is that it gets people face to face in a room to make a deal.

What is also fascinating is the conversations that happen away from the conference at the “networking” functions.

Case in point.

I literally was asked at every function about technology. Specifically about commercial real estate and technology.

Where are we? What’s next? Who are the players? Why are there not more technology companies here? Where is the VC money going?

And on and on and on. Those are the simple questions with easy answers. More to the point.

What questions should we be asking?

Part of writing is reading. Lots and lots of reading. Because of this I reference all types of technology.

I have recently become an Apple “fanboy” partly because Jason Freedman @42floors was too embarrassed to see me with anything but a MacBook and “gave” me one. Thanks Jason!

Ah yes the almighty Apple and their powerful and mysterious ways.

This of course led me to dig and do a little more research on the apps that now became available to me. What they do. How they function and how some of them are developed and why.

Interesting to me though was the way Apple allows or actually does not allow developers to create apps.

Simply put they want apps developed that will function in the ………….future!

Not developed for the now. Not developed to add-on. Not developed for the next year.

Let’s see a technology company only thinking of the future. Radicals!

Here is our big problem…sort of!

Only a precious few companies and people in commercial real estate look to the future.

Most of us look at the shiny and new toy that everyone is using and jump right at it (QR Codes still?) only to waste precious time effort and money.

Most of us still use the tried and true traditional (excel spreadsheet) because it generally seems to work.

Most of us look at potential tools (I-pad) as a techy toy for the kids.

So what are the smart companies and people doing?

1. Mobile:

Mobile everything. It is now and will be the future of commercial real estate. Don’t think so? RETIRE!

What does the client/consumer experience when they look at you or your company in a mobile environment?

If you don’t even know what that is or should be you are in deep trouble. I say again RETIRE!

2. Search:

Did I mention mobile somewhere? It’s the location stupid. Wait it’s the online mobile location.

Don’t understand? Look up your listing or building on your phone. Yes just your phone. Oh shit!

No wonder you can’t fill that space up. How do you make this better? Can it be any worse?

3. Data Sharing.

Jones Lang LaSalle created IntelliCommand Center .

They get building data directly from the building itself.

They analyze the data for the customer and that data helps them manage the building for the customer.

They then give the data back to the customer.

It’s called the share economy. Guess what you do? You Don”t Share…Do You? Do you? Do You?

4. Connection.

I saw the signs all over ICSC RECon 13. Follow us. Friend us. Link up to us and yes even Tweet us.

Now we are not talking about a fringe few. It was everybody.

Something that I have noticed is that it’s getting more…professional. No not corporate…professional.

We all need customer and clients. They are all online. All online. All online. All online.

Someone has already.

Someone in commercial real estate has already looked into the future

Someone in commercial real estate has already decided not to be defined by the past.

Someone in commercial real estate has already created the environment necessary.

Someone in commercial real estate has already……..and you have not…So You Must Stop!

Comments opinions and points of view are always appreciated.

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  • BobSchecter

    The presumption that the future of our industry lies on the internet and likely in some mobile format (whichever turns out to be function over form) is probably spot on. However, the presumption that our industry will head down the social media highway, I think is simply a waste of time.

    We have a professional industry that does not deal with the social public (commercial real estate of course), so there really is no inherent need to be social. What we have is an industry
    that is tattered and torn by the recession and desperately looking …… for a survival tactic. But twitter, facebook, and LinkedIn are not tactics as much as they are our own personal antics.

    Look at any – yes, any – of the CRE Groups on LinkedIn, Pages on Facebook, or Twitter Pages and you won’t find “deals”, you’ll find adults trying to figure out what the hell to do, desperate to do something because gurus (yes, like you Duke) have given them the message from the mountain –
    “thou shalt engage in social media”. But I submit, in the future, we’ll gravitate toward niche sites, not these mega-sites. Word of mouth will guide us to informative sites and blogs, and indeed we’ll engage, but not socially, after all, we’re here to make money, not friends. It will be business as usual, but in business discussions (like the one we’re engaged in here, in your comments).

    • thecowboywhey

      Bob, I agree with you entirely. The social media outlets actually present as much a threat as a solution to our problems in the commercial business. Information is not treated with any confidentiality, anyone can sign up for the services, they’re free and open to anyone wishing to mine or undermine a commercial property owner, business owner and so on. These are superficial sites designed to begin a conversation and for that purpose, they’re great. But not as a final, one-stop solution to anything related to real estate.

  • Allen Buchanan

    With all due respect, Bob…as we have never met…please keep that attitude and shout it from the rooftops to ALL who will listen. The more disciples you convert, the fewer competitors we will have in the future.

    Social media is not about “deals”…although I have made deals through social media connections…it is about streamlining relationships which allow us to connect…quicker and more efficiently.

  • BobSchecter

    Not sure what you mean Allen.

    I’m a huge proponent of social media, I just don’t believe the mega-sites are where we’ll end up because they don’t provide a good medium for the type of engagement that leads to deals.

    Speaking amid the din of a billion people dilutes your voice so dramatically that it’s barely a blip on the map. But socializing on a niche site, and as you and I are now, means you are talking to fewer, more focused people, with like mind and goals, lending a certain gravitas to your comments.

    So if the social media adage holds true, wherein it’s no longer who you know, but rather who knows you, the surely you want to go where everyone knows your name ….. Cheers Allen!

    • hfklaw

      Bob. I assume that what you mean, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, as the “mega-sites that you reference. I agree that is not where we are going to end up to promote a B2B environment. The mega-sites are too broad and as they become more popular, it becomes more and more difficult to create a message that your intended audience will receive or for you to find the message that you want to receive. LinkedIn has been somewhat successful with groups, but has lost some of its effectiveness due to its growing popularity and the difficulty in monitoring the content in each group. Even a niche site like creradio may be too broadly focused on commercial real estate and may need to splinter into more focused topics by region or category of property. Starting broadly is where only where we start. And now I can’t get the Cheers song out of my head. Look, LinkedIn and BTR has worked well enough that we know each others name. While we are on the subject, let me raise my glass in honor of you and all of those who have served in the military on this Memorial Day.

      • BobSchecter

        Howard, CRERadio is exactly the type of site we would or should go, but because it’s so labor intense for you, I’m not sure how sustainable it can be. My guess is that even blogs like Duke’s are incredibly difficult to maintain. I think the ideal sites will be those where members participate to a much greater degree. So a blog with guest bloggers will have a much better survival chance.

        I’m also a big fan of localization. No offense, but for the most part, what happens in California or Ohio, might effect me indirectly, but since 98% of what I do is in Florida, I’ll likely end up in a site or group that is dedicated to Florida. Within that, of course we’ll discuss the industry at large, but only as it relates to us locally.

        Between the lottery and college, I never did serve. I’m active in the veterans forums because my son (who was just made Master Chief this week) will of course, end up a veteran. Nevertheless, the best to you and all on this solemn day Howard.

  • BobSchecter
  • Dennis

    Frankly you need to stop drinking coffee. You should you should you should! Mobile is great, but you’ve swallowed the “next great solution to hard work” pill and have ceded the position of RainMaker to a digital device. Get mobile, then go meet someone face to face. Warning: You will have to learn to speak in complete sentences and will be expected to leave the meeting having delivered a cogent, meaningful message in verbal (as in spoken) format. Eye contact may be required. Oh, and shut your phone off when you are interfacing with the other human organism. Good bye good bye good bye.