We All Know True Innovation Does NOT Exist In #CRE.


Innovation can be defined simply as a “new idea, device or method.”[1] However, innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.[2] period is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or business models that are readily available to markets. -Wikipedia

Reread that whole thing.

Start with “applications of better solutions that meet new requirements.”

What is a new requirement? What does that mean? Do you have any idea?

Guess what? Neither do I, specifically when it’s applied to #CRE.

Now, look at the rest of the definition.

When is there one example of #CRE being the Innovator of anything remotely close?

My Answer: Never.

Why not?

My Answer: What’s broke?

And you may reply with “well, there is this and that and that and this.”

But it would be mostly small and basic stuff right?

Data access, collaboration, quality SaaS tools, etc.

Look at the definition one more time.

Tell me what is 1000% broke in #CRE and must change, or we all go down?

My Answer: Nothing.

So, why innovate? No reason to. We don’t have to worry. Hell, we are all getting paid.

We can only screw it up.

Now, this is just about where you think I am going to go on some Rant about what why where when and how we should innovate.

Guess what? I’m not.

Why? Because maybe we are smarter than most industries or asset classes.

What if we already figured most of it out?

Let’s say you own building X, and it’s worth market value today, and five years from now it will be worth more because the market value increased if you calculate in factors and consider blah and blah and blah blah blah.

Hold on to building X for ten-fifteen-twenty years and assuming you do all the professional things you should over that period? Then what? Sell that thing and Yea, Boom, head to the bank. $$$$ WooHoo!

Is that a 100% guarantee? Nope. What else would you bet on for the next (Elon Musk?) twenty years?

There is some general thing out there that I am too lazy to look up but it’s something like 60-70% of the S&P will not exist in 2025.

Building X is looking pretty sweet right now.

If you knew that Google was going to be Google when they started, you would have what? “Sold the farm” to invest. But, you did not invest, did you? “Nope.” me either. (Wal-Mart is a story for another day.)

Maybe you invested in a couple of buildings named X and XX. How are they doing compared to thousands of tech companies over the same period? You can recite the numbers in your sleep. There is after all only one Google.

Building X and XX looking way beyond sweeter.

I got this far without using it, so here, it is “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Sorry, it was inevitable, had to be done.

Wasn’t this suppose to be about innovation and #CRE?

That’s what I thought too.

Do we even need it?

All kinds of innovations are coming from the outside like VR and AI among others, and we don’t have to spend a penny to develop it.

Hey, what’s wrong with that? How many times can I sign off on that balance sheet?

Shareholders and Sources of Financing like the clean and tight balance sheet.

Nothing wrong in that. Accountability, it’s part of what has to be done.

I get that.

And well…..

Ok, yea, you knew I wouldn’t and couldn’t pass on a prime time opportunity didn’t you?

Here it comes!

So, let me get this straight. It’s 2017 and a solid sound strategy for the commercial real estate business is to do nothing to innovate.

If innovation by definition does occur we just hang back and wait a while, then pick and choose what we “think” we need.

Hmm. Ok, I get it.

Some of if not the smartest people on the planet think that’s a good plan?

All the kids in flannel and bad beards are just trying to sell us the future so they can get paid.

Hmmm, ok I get that too.

If you haven’t noticed (and how dare you not) I have been trying to show you what that innovation looks like.

You’re staring right at it every day. Wait, let me clarify, in actuality, it’s staring right back at you.

And you’re not paying enough attention.

And that Monster CRE Innovation Opportunity Is?

It’s the consumer and or user.

Not just the consumer and or user but SERVICES PROVIDED DIRECT TO THE CONSUMER OR USER!

Missing it?

I’m not talking about brokers. When will we understand what they actually do for all of CRE? (That’s for another day also.)

Let me put it to you in a simple form.

A person lives in a multi-story building in let’s say China.

In that building are also five thousand other people who live and work in that building.

That person is walking through the building with their face planted directly into a (mobile computer) phone.

And they do what? The same things you do. Guess where commercial real estate is on that phone?


That should scare the living shit straight out of you. If it doesn’t just die!

What CRE platform is there for that one person to use?

None, and why would they?

What if the owner of the building provides one with “partnerships” from outside CRE?

Makes basic sense to me.

What if that person is in an industrial building. Wait, what? No reason to worry?

Oh, how wrong you are. Biggest Threat to Your Industrial Space? Your Customer!

Who is providing a direct to the user CRE platform?

Who is providing any type user of CRE innovative products or platforms at all?

Not us, and why again?

Look at your phone! Look at it!

Still missing it?

Don’t worry you’re good.

We’re all good here.

Making bank, buy, hold, maintain, and then sell and do what?

Let the rest of the world take away the most valuable asset we have direct access to.

The consumer and or user of commercial real estate.

What kind of money could that, wait, wait, is that worth now?

Remember though you’re not paying any attention anyway.

Amazon, Google, among others sure as hell are.

We All Know True Innovation Does NOT Exist In #CRE.

Why worry we are just “killing it.”

Making bank and owning the world.

All good here……………now about that data thing and how much it costs. Also, why in the hell can I not just do all my deals on one platform. How many listings do we have in-house, and why don’t I know that exact number? What’s my total HVAC outlay again? Where is that spreadsheet? I’m not giving out and deal information; this is a non-disclosure state. This stuff means nothing to me and my daily business. I’m not slow to adapt to anything, show me something that truly affects my bottom line.



+1 I could go on for days, but you are not paying any attention anyway.

+1+1 All the smart and brilliant people in CRE.  Maybe I’m overstating that.
















  • I think I hit a nerve yesterday with that Blockchain article…Duke such a small number of CRE folks are paying attention. The same old story…”too busy trying to make deals” You know the deal better than most. Low hanging fruit and “what’s in for me/”, and “I don’t have time to be interested in new CRE tech. “But I do wear a Fit Bit” LOL