Finally! A Different Kind Of #CRE Education.

Finally! A Different Kind Of #CRE Education.

Finally! A Different Kind Of #CRE Education.

It started as most things do, a conversation, a suggestion, a phone call and a meeting all with my good friend Jim Baker.

Now how can I do this without overstating,  Jim is one of those people that you meet, and after you interact and get to know him, you say “wow are we lucky to have him in commercial real estate.” Everything he does is to push commercial real estate forward. Volunteering, educating, mentoring, and on and on. Who is that guy in your market or association? Think about it. Jim is THAT GUY. I don’t know how he does it. His tireless commitment is inspiring. One quick side. Jim needs no PR or accolades from me. It comes from everyone; I am just one of many. (Jim I owe you breakfast. You bought last time. I remember these things.)

Jim had an idea. We need to get technology and commercial real estate technology specifically in front of our membership. How could we do that? After our conversations, he asked if I would help. Of course, it was Jim so how could I say no. My simple question was how? Jim being a smart and intelligent person said, “that’s why we came to you.”

Now, over the past few years, I have not held back in my opinions about what it takes to maintain a commercial real estate brokers license. They call it continuing ED. I call it torture. I understand there are and should be certain requirements to keep your license and ability to legally practice commercial real estate. I’m all for it. “Raise the Bar” and make it harder, make it a better business for us all.

But the content that has been required in the past was (and may still be) by my definition “INSULTING” to normal human intelligence. The hours spent in windowless rooms with black and white printed outlines for the one to two-hour mandatory sessions expounding the importance of riparian rights, bridges, highways lane construction, and title actuary formulas can only be described as soul-draining. Not to mention the fact that you cannot look or even breathe near your phone and God forbid you should act like you own a computer or possess the skill set necessary to use it in public. (They have people watching.)  “Damn electronic things ruining the business.” I heard that exact statement on a break in the hallway once. And that was in the last year or two.

I get asked to speak at, present, talk and have been involved in many different events. I also attend many different conferences, after hours networking events, meetups and pitch competitions in and around all kinds technology. If you pay any attention to this site, it’s well documented. We all have our preferences and opinions about what makes a good event. (Booze and Networking.)

I suggested to Jim that I call in some of my amazingly brilliant friends to sit on a series of panels and we just let it flow for the entire half day of CE. First off, I loathe the slide deck droning on stats and graphs presentation/pitch bullshit sessions I see EVERYWHERE. Panels can be a positive alternative if they are done right, I said done right. You know it’s wrong when it’s wrong. We have all been there. He said, “it sounds great, let me talk to the board and get back to you.”

A quick call and email a few days later and it was on. This is the part where I’m like ok, what did you get yourself into?

I had to pick a date, venue, content, participants, and make it all happen.

The first thing I did was to connect with Lindsey Knight Executive Director ICBR. Hey, I know when I need help.

She helped keep me in line and on time. Deadlines, communication, suggestions and direction and all in the name of quality leadership, hers not mine. In hindsight, everything was for the most part seamless and executed perfectly. Lindsey’s part was. Mine, well let’s not let too much of that out now shall we?

It was decided that the NCAA offices in downtown Indianapolis fit the bill. The ICBR has used this space in the past, and it was once again the right choice. Friendly professional staff with a central location, the room itself was set up perfectly with get this, HUGE floor to ceiling windows letting in real natural light. Wow, what a concept.  A choice of quality refreshments set up in the back with cookies and snacks. SWAG on the tables provided by the ICBR.

Indiana Commercial Board of Realtors (ICBR) CRE Technology Seminar Oct. 13, 2016. Moderator: Duke Long.

Suggested Format: Panels of National Regional and Local Experts
2-2 hour sessions.
Each session will have 4 half hour sessions/panels
Each session will be 15- 20 minutes with Q&A leaving time for transitions,

Content: Commercial Real Estate Related Technology

Session 1. 1:30pm – 2:15pm National Association of Realtors Technology.
Mark Birschbach Second Century Ventures NAR
Chad Curry Center for Real Estate Technology NAR
Todd Carpenter Managing Director Data Analytics, NAR

Session 2. 2:15 pm – 2:45 pm Regional Tech Part of The Larger Network.
Jack Buck Re-Meter
Vishu Ramanathan Buildout
Christopher Hacker ShortTrack

Session 3. 2:45pm – 3:15pm CRM: Customer Relations Management.
Greg Stewart ReThink,
Michael Griffith ClentLook


Session 4. 3:30pm – 4:00pm The All Important Data.
Craig Hancock RealMassive
Michael Griffin Xcelligent
Allen Benson Catylist

Session 5. 4:00pm – 4:30pm Transaction Management.
Michael Crenna VTS
Laura Collins Ten-X

Session 6. 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm Local CRE/RE Tech Companies
Matt Weirich Realync
Keith Kleinmaier TenantTracker
Scott Hill PERQ

Session 7. 5:00pm – 5:30pm Blockchain/AI/ Future Tech/ Future CRE Tech.
Scott McWhinnie AMP Technologies
Matt Chapdelaine CartFront
Mark Birschbach Second Century Ventures

Networking 5:30pm – 7:00pm


How can I express in words how brilliant each and every individual is just on their own?

Put them all together in one room!!!!!!!

This is the tough part for me. How do I express my humble thanks? These people came to this event and participated because I asked, that’s all no questions asked they just said yes. They took a day out of their life. They flew in; they drove down. These are CEO’s, founders and executives running companies with millions of dollars on the line and hundreds of people relying on their direction. I’m not sure that a simple thanks are in anyway appropriate.

THE ICBR was, to say the least impressed. They want to recreate this event at their annual spring event. They want to take one-half day out of their day and a half event and dedicate it to just CRE Technology. It was mentioned that they had never seen or heard of such quality content especially commercial real estate technology content EVER!

A quick side- The ICBR is one of only four CRE boards in the country. They have a CRE Certificate program with a series of courses a broker can take focused only on CRE. They have just voted to start a non-Realtor CRE associated group known as the Indiana Commercial Real Estate Alliance for brokers who are not Realtors.

This was a first-time event. I thought this would be a one-off thing. Remember I was asked to help, and I volunteered my time. I was asked to help with the spring event. I, of course, said yes. And do you know why?

I get to create something different and new. Something more relevant and up to date. Something that will help push commercial real estate forward and………

Finally! A Different Kind Of #CRE Education.


+1 Craig holds the record for Yard Per Catch at the Air Force Academy. How BadAss is that!

+1+1 Don’t sleep on NAR. It’s powerhouse resource. What are you missing?

+1+1 +1 To “The Three Amigos”  you guys are…. I’m never again….how many cities can we be banned from……go ahead and pick the bottled wine service……what did you just say…….. your flight is in 3 hours just sleep in my car next time…….you guys are the fucking best!

Duke Long


  • So right on with this. Speaking of forming CRE Boards, here in greater Madison, WI we formed a Commercial Brokers Group Inc. that includes not only non Realtors but Realtors as well. As a founder and past president of the group, CBG-Madison is the life blood of networking and pitching as well as CE. The CBG is open to any licensed agent/broker who does 60% of the business in CRE. You know me better from the RASCW Commercial Committee Chair through our local Board. Although you have to be a member of the Board to join, our Seminars and Education is open to all licensed CRE persons in WI. We also have CARW The Commercial Association of Realtors WI which is mainly Milwaukee and SE WI.
    Good to hear that ICBR is doing the same. These groups will benefit from the interaction.