Who Does The Commercial Real Estate Heavy Lifting?

Who Does The Commercial Real Estate Heavy Lifting?

As a continuation of my posts Is Almost Every Building In The World Always For Rent Or For Sale and Self Serve Commercial Real Estate. This Cannot Be Happening let’s take a peek at the commercial real estate client of today.

Information Overload?

That’s all we hear from every possible media source. There has got to be information overload. Individuals now have access to more information than ever and the only way to cope is to back away from that information. Walk away and detox reduce your stress levels. Seek the simple things in life. Work and life balance. Blah Blah Blah.

Commercial real estate clients today are not information overloaded in my opinion  if anything they lack commercial real estate information. They do not have enough and will seek out any informational venue they see necessary to get that information. At this point that information sits where? Not with the brokers that is one thing for sure. Most likely it sits partially with the building owners but the best sources of information about commercial real estate are easily outside sources. Simple example: (GIS) Geographic Information System.  Other examples: Public records, architectural data, construction management, facilities management, BIM and on and on and on.

The Heavy Lifting.

Commercial real estate clients are doing the data research on a potential lease or purchase long before they ever think about contacting a broker. Don’t think so? How much time did you spend online researching let’s say you last phone purchase? Wait,really you just walked into the phone store said hello to the pimple faced kid behind the counter and said ” just pick me out one that you think might work for a couple of years.”  ” Five hundred and sixty dollars sounds good to me and no I don’t care about a maintenance program.” ” Just hit my card and put the phone in a bag, I will figure out how to work the thing later.” How about your last computer purchase? Take even less time or effort on that one?

So someone potentially making a long-term huge decision for their company is just going to call up a broker out of the blue and say ” hey we may be in the market what have you got that may work?” ” Just email me some flyers that should be all I need.” Ok alright I know it’s not that way really or in the delusional minds of some that’s the way they still hope it is. Let me restate this again.

Clients have already evaluated the building.

Clients have already evaluated the broker.

Clients have already evaluated the building owner.

Clients have already evaluated the tenants.

Clients have already evaluated the entire deal.

Clients have their own database.

Clients have always been connected to commercial real estate.

Clients have no need for face to face they don’t want face to face.

Clients have their own transaction management.

Clients have no need for white papers.

Clients have no need for consultative selling.

Clients have no need for relationship building.

Clients have already downloaded the information.

Clients have no idea what transactional means and could care less.

Clients have made your phone go quiet for a reason.

Let’s continue on……

Clients will only call you after they have done at least 60-70 % of the research.

Clients will most likely call you for information as a last resort.

Clients will only contact you when they think you are the only human that can answer their question.

Clients have changed the sales process.

Clients have change your role as a sales person.

Clients only need you for specific commercial real estate tasks.

Your New Client.

Is You.

You already search research download transact connect and evaluate the exact same way your commercial real estate client does.

Who Does The Commercial Real Estate Heavy Lifting?


Duke Long


  • It doesn’t matter who does the heavy lifting, and unless you’re a glutton for punishment, you should be happy it’s not you. If information was sufficient on it’s own, indeed, there would no longer be a need for brokers.

    Information is useless without analysis. As an aspiring professional, understand the interrelationship between the information and its implementation, should, at the very least, be the first step in differentiating yourself from the glut of wanna-be brokers. But it doesn’t end there.

    Even with the most robust analytics, information is still just fluff, without interpretation. Thus, the goal of those who want to be at the “top of their game”, should be taking the information and analytics provided by the grunts, and providing your client with an interpretation that meets their needs.

  • Duke, I follow you on this. Sooo, the Tenant Rep is likely dead at some point (probably not entirely). Long live the Owner Rep? I don’t see many Owners getting onto the trenches and reaching out for prospects, though, of course there are some. Some of these “in-house” people have the world’s biggest catchers mitts on their hands waiting for that great magical call that justifies their existence (..no not all fit this generalization). So our former client/tenant connects in some chance way but connects. Does the Owner re-direct to a broker for follow up or will they be following it up alone? Of course the Owner won’t very well know who his competition is for sure, or the what might be on the table… If the property is listed then the former client/tenant connects with the broker directly…. wait isn’t this exactly how signs work? Difference today is that the former client/tenant doesn’t have to drive around too much (which is what they used to do before calling a broker, remember?) and more information (more and more) is becoming available to educate the former client/tenant before they call a broker. When they do call a broker isn’t that where a broker has a chance to open the door for a tenant rep deal with the ability to add real value of market knowledge like who else is in the market for the same type space, what owners are likely to offer, what owners have a hot hand and which ones are stone cold? Is it possible we are going a bit back to the future?

  • I tend to agree with Bob here. Information without analysis is just static information…plus it’s the “relationships” that cause the data to come alive. Here is what I mean. Let’s say Duke wants to come to SoCal to pitch 42 Floors. He can rely on the client to research the site, form opinions, try it out. But my relationships (and mine with Duke) got him in the door to three Lee managers, the top leasing team in the Inland Empire, our CEO, etc.