The Commercial Real Estate Transaction and The Client Experience.

The Commercial Real Estate Transaction and The Client Experience.

I talk to a whole bunch of tech people.

Most of the time they say ” we love brokers we want to work with them they are our customers.”

I also talk to a whole bunch of brokers.

Most of the time they say ” the tech thing is looking to marginalize or disrupt my value.”

What they are both really saying is…” How can we use or eliminate the other one so we can make MONEY?”

Here is what they are both missing.

A real chance.

A real chance at value for both sides.

A real chance TODAY…not some pie in the sky live streaming pitch deck bullshit chance.


A Better Transactional Experience.

On both fronts right now it sucks….and sucks hard. ( #cre does hard good #justsayin)

For Brokers:

The transaction will happen without you….yes it will.

It will happen online ….without you. Don’t think so? Click Here take some time and look around. Did you miss the important part?

Take a look at who is backing them………. yea no Shit!

Guess what. You are focused. Focused on churning and burning.

You bang the doors burn up the phones and have a CRM system that people would sell their kids to get their hands on.

More leads More sales More deals More money and more and more and more….!

You were trained and trained hard to do what……… PROSPECT and what do you train your people to do…….. PROSPECT!!

Look at your office roster.. …they are prospecting GODS…..or they would not still be there would they?

Are they the best “client friendly” brokers? If they could not bring in deals would they last?

Do you even think about a better way to service your client?

Is the model we now use just designed to create more leads and cut up the $$$$$ pie?

If you don’t pay attention to your clients…..who will?

No it can’t be. It won’t be ………..somebody other than brokers……..will it?

For the tech companies:

I know where some of if not all of your ideas come from.

The transaction or process that you went thru to get space.

IT SUCKED ……..and you thought…….. Holy Shit this can’t be the way this really is.

We can do this so much better.

There are so many other industries that are changing and this one is RIPE!

Today I watch Netflix …instead of …I use Uber instead of……. I buy from Amazon instead of……. I book on Priceline instead of….?

So why not transact on_______instead of………!


What to do?

What’s the answer?

What will create a better transactional experience?




If you are a broker keep reading.

If you are a tech company …………SMILE………yes you are way ahead………maybe.

If you are a broker who is still reading and does not understand you may be FUCKED.

Let me “decode” that for you.

Concierge is the start-up code word for customer service.

“Of course” you say .” I understand what that is.”

Not like the start-ups do.

They have people.

Real people.

Hi Emily!

They have teams with people.

They have scripts.

They test.

They diagram.

They have metrics you have never thought about.

It was one of the first things on their white board when they didn’t even know what they were going to do………really.

We have a chance TODAY.

We have a chance to really disrupt and create value buy focusing on………

The  Commercial Real Estate Transaction and The Client Experience





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Duke Long


  • Wow! i heard rumors of such a system being developed, had no idea JLL was behind it. Kind of a Loopnet/Xceligent merged with Regus complimented with auto cad lite. So the big question here is, where is the tenant representation expertise, negotiation skills, etc? There are none! Are companies willing to give that up?

    • The bottom line is that companies generally don’t care. The whole “tenant rep” pitch that Studley, Cresa, etc. make is great and all, but at the end of the day it falls on mostly deaf ears. People want a smooth transaction, and at the end of the day, when you have brokers who don’t answer calls, and a process of shuffling letters of intents back and forth, conference calls, lease review, so on and so forth, the end user gets tired of it.

      A lot of brokers out there make their money off the sub 5K SF deals. Automating the process is really going to hurt them, particularly if the customers can rack up airlines miles when they pay their rent!

  • Technology is all about making the jobs of agents, brokers and industry professionals easier and providing better decision making for the buyer and end user….but will never replace the human equation. Most clients need and want the human interaction and experience when making a decisions of 3 million 5 million 15 Million dollars or more. I don’t care what number crunching, algorithm twisting software advises me to buy, it won’t ever be more important than a knowledgeable and trusted advisor…..we just need a few more of those in the industry!!

    LC Chase

  • Love the article Duke! Such truth in how so many startups are coming into the RE space because of first hand experiences and realizing things can absolutely be done differently/better. Excited to connect and talk more about RE and tech!

  • Too Funny, I just had an experience with a client that is a perfect match for this, and wrote a blog article today on customer service in CRE.


  • Right on Duke. It will be interesting to see what technology evolves to simplify lease negotiations. Sending lease comments back and forth is still a huge time killer.

  • Hi Rise is not alone. There are several variations on the theme both here and abroad but the backing by JLL is, so far, unique. These venues are starting with the smaller end of the market. It would be a mistake to think traditional brokers work only on much larger deals so this isn’t even on the radar screen. If this movement succeeds at the smaller deal arena, the providers like HiRise will have sharpened their skills on arguably the most difficult part of the market at least in terms of deal volume. Somewhere in this evolution, they will have refined their program and started to turn on the rest of the market. Do not fear, there will be people involved, just perhaps not traditional brokers. These initiatives may be well timed to deal with the corporate trend towards BYOD (bring your own device) and even BYOO (bring your own office). Corporations are reducing cost by not having to provide employees with technology (employees carry and already pay for their own technology) or even office space. Will we see roaming numbers of teams and individuals become the norm with companies contracting them for specific projects and then they move on to another company and another project. Sounds like growth in the HiRise environment, shared offices and Starbucks office locations.