Create A World Dominating Mobile #CRE Brokerage Using Zillow Uber and Some Secret Sauce.

Create A World Dominating Mobile #CRE Brokerage Using Zillow Uber and Some Secret Sauce.

Can it be done?

Sure it can and here is how.

Start with a mobile environment and only a mobile environment.

Mobile is now the definition of technology.

Think: Tinder Yo Google Maps Twitter G-mail Instagram Google Search Pandora.

Pick up your phone and look at what you use about XX% of the time.

A Marketplace and Deal Making Platform. is just that. Do you need to understand it deeper?

It’s the future of commercial real estate now.

They bring buyer and seller together and create a deal online.

And they get paid………like a broker or like……Amazon?

A Marketing Platform.

Consumer facing search. Consumer interaction

Online lead generation…for brokers.

In other words you pay them to do your job for you.

The Independent Contractor Platform.

Yes I drilled down on this one too.

It’s a law. I have to use the Uber metaphor to explain how commercial real estate is F*cked!

Online experience between contractor and user like no other.

All mobile. Period.

Secret Sauce.

Search simplified.

Access to all building market and analytical data.

Streamlined process. Fancy word (frictionless.)

Offer a discount/rebate/incentive/flat fee/for both sides.

How about half of your nearest competitors fee structure?

It’s already the world standard.

Maybe there is more sauce out there.

Let’s have some fun.

Me you 5 brilliant start-up type people and adult beverages of your choice in a room for 4 hours.

What could we whiteboard?

What are the 10 things we need to do to disrupt the “incumbents” of commercial real estate?

1. Mobile only.

2. Create a mobile marketplace.

3. Set the standards of the deal.

4. Empower both the deal maker and user.

5. Provide all necessary data and analytics for FREE.

6. Create an online experience like no other before.




10………………….yea that’s what I was thinking too.

Think about it!

Now, what if you had $20 million in the bank from VC’s and you needed to show a business model that generated revenue TODAY!

What would your answers be then?

1. Clean clear search with brokers listings.

2. Create a dashboard that allows the brokers to use your platform to find clients.

3. Help define the marketplace with data from the brokers.

4. Try to be everything Zillow is now. Let the market place know you are their “tool box.”

5. Be a brokerage. Take a piece of every deal. Wait, not a “brokerage” a “market place” and take a piece of every deal. It’s called a revenue model…off the backs of brokers.

6. Call ourselves the “Google” of #CRE. No one really knows what that means anyway.




10……………..yea that’s what I was thinking too.

It’s happening now.

I can think of at least 10 cities with “companies ‘ using search to draw in users and offering “discounts” to rep them or list property.

What cities you say?

Look in your own back yard. They are there.

It’s a simple play.

They started out as search engines because they thought they could kick Loopnets ass in their market.

Then they realised that “hey we can make some money doing referrals” or even getting a piece of the deal for “facilitating” from our “market place advertising” platform.

Here’s a little secret. Some of them have some big $$$$ behind them.

Guess where some of that big $$$$ is coming from?

Building Owners.

Does that and should that piss off the brokers? Probably.

Is that disintermediating the value of the broker? Probably.

Is that just getting a fucking check and paying the bills? Probably.

This is not going to work because?

It’s not going to get any traction (fancy word for users.)

Online discounted brokerage. It’s been tried. Ridiculous.

Clients don’t understand commercial real estate. It’s a different class of business.

Mobile is NOT commercial real estate.

Technology is Not commercial real estate.

Mobile and Technology is NOT a value add for commercial real estate.

But what if?

What if there was a demand for something like this? Like Uber Zillow and

They created demand. Wait, maybe the market created the demand and they just filled it with a little bit of technology as leverage.

How about the buyers sellers and users of commercial real estate?

What if they started to use it? (Traction)

Who might want to “fund” this? (Private Equity)

How about the people who benefit the most?

You know the answer.

Who could pull this off? (Team)

Me? You? Smarter people than us? You and I are pretty smart.

Is there a team capable?

Who has the best team out there now?

Think I know? I could probably rank them and do a top 10.

Biggest question.

Which of the top items on the white board could they really execute?

My take is this.

People a hell of a lot smarter than me are doing it right now with $$$$ and people.

I have met with them sat next to them ate and drank with them.

How about the biggest hitters in your market?

Are they going to sit idle and watch this happen?

Are they going to let this happen without getting “IN” or do you think they are going to let the #CRE world blow by them?

I have met with sat next to ate and drank with them too.

There is NO WAY they are going to let that happen.

There are literally trillions of dollars at stake.

Think how far we have come in just the last five years.


Mobile Only!

Mobile Only!

Mobile Only!

Use parts of

Use parts of

Use parts of

Put in some secret sauce.

Create a mobile product that cannot be attacked.

Create a user experience like no other.

Get a killer team…..or use the one you have now.

Go to the building owners. They will give you $$$$ and access to all the data you want.

Streamline the process.

Charge the world standard fee.

And then……

Create A World Dominating Mobile #CRE Brokerage.



+1 I get asked this all the time. “Why don’t you quit writing about this and just do it?

Maybe I am!

Or maybe somebody’s doing it for me!
















Duke Long


  • Well done! I REALLY believe that the future also must include a revenue share of FUTURE income…not a monthly subscription or pay per view model. I really like what Andrew Bermudez is doing with Digsy. He uses search to create qualified prospects, farms them out to market partners (AKA brokers), and charges a referral fee IF the deal closes…BRILLIANT!

    • Actually, the Digsy model looks like a start on eliminating brokers from the equation. It will provide a conduit between users and building owners. If there are significant numbers of leads generated through Digsy a building owner can avoid brokerage commissions and transact directly. Same issue with tenant rep brokers… by creating a “contest” where price is the metric tenant rep expertise is devalued. The long term result is no more tenant side representation. While this may or may not hold for larger transactions, meaning that national scale companies will still have a place, it is a potential sign of the end times for local and boutique brokerages.

      • Hey Mike, thank you for your comments. This is an interesting and very sensitive topic. Let me share my 2 cents on this topic based on my 12-year brokerage and #CRE tech startup experience while creating Digsy.

        Let me start off by clarifying what Digsy is: Digsy is an on-demand tenant rep service for tenants & buyers.

        We help busy entrepreneurs instantly outsource their search for commercial space to the best market experts (brokers) that we’ve personally pre-vetted into our tenant rep network. The tenant and buyer doesn’t work with multiple brokers, they only work with agent.

        The “Competition” aspect of our service comes into play when we notify our tenant rep partner network that they have a “new client opportunity”. The 1st partner to respond wins the assignment. If they don’t respond quickly enough, they’re out of luck and will have to wait til the next notification. No one but the winning expert works with the tenant.

        Now, as far as the notion that Digsy is creating a marketplace that will kill off brokerage services — it’s highly unlikely. In fact, we partner with brokers because they are the best asset to help fulfill the needs of tenants & buyers looking for space. I haven’t seen a single piece of technology that has or will supersede the market intelligence and skills of a seasoned broker. The marketplaces that have posed a possible threat to brokerages have been listing services accessible to the tenants & buyers. If the tenant and buyer can find space for themselves, why do they need a broker? But yet the brokerage business continues to thrive. For example: look at LoopNet. They’ve been around for for almost 20 years. They indeed allow the tenant to go direct to the landlord through their lead generation engine, and indeed help landlords to circumvent brokers. So why hasn’t LoopNet permanently killed broker services already?

        Well, the funny thing is that way we (brokers and former brokers) see the CRE world and the way it actually operates is very different. In our months of interviews with landlords and brokers while creating Digsy we found out 2 things:

        1) Landlords want to quickly find tenants, but not have to become brokers themselves. They’ve got better things to do.

        2) Brokers wanted to find more clients (agency work and/or tenant rep work)

        The counter-intuitive and interesting thing we found about Landlords is that they want to hire brokers because they solve a big pain point: They provide access proprietary market intelligence and they can leverage their knowledge of tenants in the market so they can quickly find tenants. That’s a lot of value for a landlord. A CRE listing service or classified ads website can’t provide the degree of power and expertise that a tuned-in, tapped-in, turned-on broker provides. Flesh still rules in this business, over bytes and bits.

        In addition, the CRE transaction process is complex. It’s not like renting an apartment. For an entrepreneur, this is their business and the rent dollars are huge. There’s risk, large returns and a huge upside for sh*t to go haywire. This is where the broker comes in to the rescue. I foresee that the brokerage business will continue to operate the way it is. There is a chance that most small transactions may be done without brokers at some point (like some already are), but the value of the broker is huge. That is why we partner-up with local market experts to help our tenants and buyers find space, negotiate a KILLER deal and protect their best interests.

        I hope this makes sense. We work together with brokers because they are the best solution for CRE — and together we both succeed.

      • Mike,
        I beg to differ. Digsy pairs qualified leads WITH brokers. The only way a qualified lead gets a list of buildings is through a CRE professional that is vetted through the Digsy folks. I actually see the model as enhancing what we do as brokers. It would be great is we could get Andrew to weigh in here?

  • The availability of information through new technologies is disintermediating many industries. Real estate is ripe for it. I’m in IT so I have no prejudice for brokerage but I do feel that there will always be a need for some intermediary who has deep knowledge of an area/topic/industry that a client needs. There are many good brokers who bring real value to a transaction with their years of knowledge. This reduces the transaction time and therefor has value. How much the consumer is willing to spend may be up in the air but I can’t see them going away any time soon.

  • I am likely coming to the party a little late, however, I thoroughly am enjoying reading about all the issues raised and discussed by the participants. Speaking merely as an observer( I am a CRE attorney), I see the business world around me transform in ways I would have thought unimaginable 30 years ago. My personal view is that I believe Duke Long is onto something that may be ahead of its time, yet nothing wrong with owning the future. My money is with Duke Long.