Venture Capital and Commercial Real Estate.

Venture Capital and Commercial Real Estate.

I because of no fault of my own have become some what of a magnet for commercial real estate start up and technology related companies. Which is fine with me because I love that kind of stuff.

So I sat down and thought what if I were a hot shot venture capital player and could look into the commercial real estate technology space.

Where are the real opportunities?

Aggregate the potential tenants/users.

Broker to Broker Apps that are real tools that engage the client/ user and not just analytic tables for brokers to play with.

The building talks markets and sells itself and I don’t mean without a broker so get off my ass already. Quit looking at you own ass.

All services or related transactions around commercial real estate.

Put together a true and accurate marketing and data platform.Do not rely on brokers to provide the information.They LIE!

How about no marketing platform at all?

Face the user and give them tools to engage and make commercial real estate decisions.

Want my money? Think about this.

Value revenue not just the process.

Value production today. Do not rely on past production.(Albert Pujols, Adam Dunn)

Build users and revenue.

Show a model that solves a problem.

Resumes mean nothing.

So you failed at your last three start ups and you call it experience. I call it failure. Be a winner.

Create investor confidence. Do not show me examples of companies that only generate revenues  of 1%  of their market cap. I’m no genius and I know it’s working in Silicon Valley right now but get real!

Yes, people are the company. The company needs to generate revenue or there will be no people.

Have a true (legal) company structure and plan. Who invests in a dream?

Get out of your own back yard.

Form partnerships.

Build and sell and do nothing else.

What’s Next?

It’s already happening.

It’s not the technology it’s the people.

It’s five people sharing a house with no rules and no reason to fail.

It’s two brokers who see the simple way to get clients to react to a building.

It’s a broker who wants the building to have an opinion.

It’s a broker who sees marketing property as a form of art.

It’s a broker who looks at a building and sees only emotions.

It’s not always about the money…………of course it is.

Venture Capital and Commercial Real Estate. All In!





Photo Credit:


Duke Long


  • The Brokerage business has always been exciting and productive when we actually connect with people, Clients , investors, etc. With technology advancing at warp speed , we, as Brokers , stopped TALKING and MEETING with people, everything was an email , text, voicemail. I have been in the Commercial Real Estate Profession for 35 years and from my experience it takes tough times to get back to basics, communicating directly with people. That has been the true joy in this profession, the PEOPLE we meet and help.

  • Here’s what you’re missing above: you have to split CRE out. Tools must ENABLE brokers instead of being USED by brokers. That’s the issue with all historic tools (including CoStar, LoopNet, 42Floors, etc.). The skill of a broker is their ability to relate to clients and landlords not to use technology. That’s what Silicon Valley and VCs don’t understand about CRE and why all the technology of the past has failed in this space. It’s also why the JLLs and CBREs can’t do technology – they are controlled by brokers who want brokers to do everything.

    The real opportunity is to provide a free set of tools to clients to manage their real estate (let’s be honest, most clients have TERRIBLE real estate tools and databases internally – even the Fortune 500 ones) and in exchange their data could be anonymously aggregated. It’s the only way to get real information while providing users value and keeping the brokers from controlling the tool. Win-win-win.

    The problem with revenue in the CRE space is that it’s all commission driven. What technology firm in the world has a model the is commission driven? What broker willing gives up some piece of every commission to enable client technology that they don’t control? There are a handful but they are the exceptions that prove the rule. In other words, to get something real off the ground you have to build a database (a good one with real data) but to do that you have to go some period with no revenue. Chicken and egg argument. Can’t generate revenue without the database but the lack of revenue while building the database means you can’t build the database.

    So, you’re right. It’s the people not the tech, but that’s also why technology in CRE hasn’t advanced in 25 years. Let’s get real, there’s some fabulous tools out there but none of them have hit critical mass or even come close to it. None are real industry changers and none are likely to change the industry because they either approach CRE from a tech perspective or a broker perspective but none have every tried to really reinvent the approach.