Why #CRETech Does Not Matter!

Why #CRETech Does Not Matter!

Why #CRETech Does Not Matter!

Yes, that’s what I said!

Lease analytics, comp sharing, free property search, CRM, crowdfunding, space sharing apps, the list goes on and on, and it does not matter. And you say “but Duke what in the hell have you been drinking? Is this CRETech stuff not the basis for your life and everything you think will change the CRE world forever?”

Now don’t get me wrong they all have the potential to be transformative and in ways we may not even realize just yet. Did I leave out BlockChain? The technologies themselves do not matter, and there is one simple reason.

The Change of the #CRE Culture.

It has to happen.

And that’s the simple problem. We can’t we won’t, and we will not even try.

Case in point. A survey created by my boy Andrew Bermudez @GetDigsey and referenced in his article here of over one thousand commercial real estate agents and what technologies they use. Guess what 60% of the respondents said was the number one tech tool? Microsoft Outlook. And guess what the next one was? ACT!

Microsoft Outlook and ACT! That is the tech edge of commercial real estate! TODAY! 60% put those two first. What do you think the other 40% use? My guess is NOTHING!

Is the broker or brokerage going away anytime soon? Probably not, but what will this cultural ignorance of technology do to “our business?”

Why is it that we cannot see technology as a way of enabling new thoughts better use cases enhanced relationship builders and new business models. Why is it that we think that nothing will fundamentally change?

Why do we not forgo old ridiculous language and rhetoric that only serves to enable a position of perceived power in the marketplace that truly does not exist? Do we still need to hide behind numbers and stats that justify what is not relevant? Why do we persist in talking about the things that are known as tangible in today’s world such as digital strategies regulatory justification or back office bottom lines when they do not address the real issue of people. People and culture and the disconnected world of commercial real estate. No amount of labs, incubators, ideas, apps and beautiful dashboards will bring about change in this unmotivated crowded cesspool of entrenched ignorance.

Are we just too uncomfortable to talk about people and the culture that they create now even today? We seem to be ok with a few simple shots when they are thrown our way. It’s easy to take and sometimes seen as harmless fun as long as we can get back to the real work of commercial real estate. When I started unknowingly on this so called, tech crusade was it out of my want and need for change or was it the want and need to help this beautiful business and take it beyond the constraints of not just technology but of the true culture created from within?

We all see it and acknowledge it. Startups, vendors small pockets of individuals and even some giant companies and the people within. It is about the people, and those people are the ones with the willingness to see and create actual change. A change that will create and define our commercial real estate culture. Yes, there may always be some or maybe even more who will hang on to a dying unrealistic sense that “their ” culture is what defines commercial real estate. They will be unwilling to even recognise or validate any sense of cultural change.

So, let them stand by on the sidelines as other industries and companies do not so much as blink when they pass them by. Let them gaze at the transformation of an asset class that defines where we create learn think and work and do so in ways never before conceived. Let them think that they are the reason for this transformation even though they have no idea what that means.

Be aware of the people that are the reason for the cultural change. Be a part of that cultural change.

Because…..you….you know……

Why #CRETech Does Not Matter!




+1 You are the one that matters. You and only you.





Duke Long

  • David Music

    +1 Reality on the ground is where the disruption will happen. There’s going to be a lot of blindsided brokers when the day comes.

  • 60% said their #1 tech tool is Outlook? Woof… Couldn’t agree more that CRE tech means nothing without a change in the CRE culture. Great article, Duke!

  • Andrew Bermudez

    @duke, great post man. Totally agree. Sharing it now!

  • gavin

    Ever heard the story about the mass of starfish washed up on the beach? The one guy tossing them back in the ocean…? Search that one if you like. It applies often. “Matters” is always custom. If someone likes Outlook, master it. Someone won’t sleep until they create Zillow of Commercial, props. Just gonna try to be master of my own path. As always, thanks for the push, DL.

  • Joseph Stecher

    Every major airline turned down Netjets. Barnes & Noble could have crushed Amazon in its infancy. It is inevitable that similar change will occur in CRE (see: RealConnex.com 🙂 Improvements will startle incumbents. One quibble: by definition the outlook brokers are not the “tech edge”. They are the middle of the pack. The edge resides in the CRE Tech Intersect community. Love your stuff, brother. thank you as always.

  • John Ziemba

    Once someone captures the consumers with a new technology then the industry will be forced to change.

  • CREOutsider

    “…this unmotivated crowded cesspool of entrenched ignorance.”

    Wow. Just wow.

  • Steve Sadler

    Change agents are almost always lonely….and then, after a ten year slog -POOF- you are an overnight success. You are spot on with the culture comment….there is an awful lot of complacency in CRE. Which makes for really big opportunities!

  • David Perlmutter

    I did a one question Twitter poll a couple of weeks ago with the question “Do you use any commercial real estate apps? Of the 131 responses, 13% responded on my iPhone or iPad, 6% on my Android device, 0% on my Windows device, and 81% Not at all. My analysis and commentary can be found here: http://quantumlisting.com/blog/a-cornucopia-of-opportunity/