The New Cutting Edge #CRE Marking Strategy? It’s ROBO Calling. “You Have Got To Be F*cking Kidding Me!”

So, I’m sitting somewhere around Midtown Manhattan, headphones in working my ass off and my phone rings and it shows the area code for Dallas Texas, yes, I recognized it because I have peoples there. Thinking it might be one of those people I picked it up and…

The pitch started…”We have an amazing opportunity to purchase a highly profitable commercial asset in the Dallas Metropolitan area.”

Now normally I would have hung up before this but they said “amazing opportunity to purchase a highly profitable commercial asset.” So I continued to listen and they explained what type of property it was and then said the name of the broker, the brokerage company and repeated the phone number to call. Then it just hung up. That was it.

I was like, “you have got to be fucking kidding me.” Now I have admitted many times in the past because of my “exposure” to the #CRE world, in general, it’s not uncommon for me to get all kind of calls and inquiries. But I have never received a recorded ROBO call pitching a specific asset to buy. 

Being that this caught my attention I thought I would Tweet this out and see what type of reaction I would get.

And I would say it was interesting, to say the least.

In case you were wondering about the power of Twitter.

And that’s from just a single day. Hmm, makes you wonder…

Now we all have our theories of, stories of, strategies of, how to market/sell/brand and push #CRE.

As you can see from the response above it’s all over the place…somewhat. 

What is actually better, best, ethical, moral, cost-effective and or the “only way in this market” to do all of the above?

Wow, the answers to that question are about as many as the human beings that exist in #CRE.


As far as #CRE may have come in recent years we are still yet so very far behind and as ever set in our ways. However sad they may be.

The marketing of any type of #CRE is all over the place.

Print is still dominating, believe it or not. Brochures and good old direct mail still make it to the top of most lists.  Email blasts seem to be the number one way to market and push information out, which is sad. I  personally purge how many blasts out of my spam every week? Hundreds, so how are they working? Not at all.

Here’s a tasty little example.

This is from a CCIM article. Dated June 2017,

“marketed three properties using a 3-inch by 2.5-inch CD-ROM.”

Yea a CD-ROM. I personally do not have any type of access to a CD-ROM player. I use this new fangled technology called a MAC. They quit putting CD-ROM drives into their laptops in 2013. That’s six years ago. I do use a computer with a CD ROM. It’s underneath my wastebasket so that I have a higher target to throw crumpled trash at. “But Duke…Duke, you are so tech savvy and…” Bullshit, I’m not any more advanced than anyone else. I do think I understand how to use technology better but I’m typing this article on a recently purchased Mac Book Pro, does that make me some kind of tech savant? Uh, no!

BTW if you read through the entire article there are these little gems…

“Despite the emergence of technology, direct mail remains a popular tool for most businesses.”

“For example, a company may try to take full advantage of the money spent on a flier by listing as many properties as possible on it. However, the flier probably will draw more attention if only one property is listed.”

“The company creates fliers as Word documents, then imports pictures and spreadsheets as images.”

“created Jasper the ghost, a cartoon character that resembles him right down to his…”

“staples the brochures to his business cards so that everyone who requests a card receives one.”

“warns not to get wrapped up in the software and forget about the hardware. “If a person is going to use mapping software, Adobe software, or computer-aided design software, they need to have a [computer] with a lot of memory,”

June 2017. That’s what the educated and professional #CRE person should be doing. Right from the mouth of their peers.

Or better put they might as well just have said…“Hey, don’t forget to get you one of them new computer type things. It might help just a bit.” 

Am I singling out CCIM on purpose? No, but this is what they pushed out in 2017. June of 2017. I didn’t write it. I didn’t publish it. I did Google it and it was the third article down from the top. (Hey, the SEO must be working.)

I did write this about #CRE marketing in 2010 Commercial Real Estate Must Kill the PDF!  as an example of where we were then and where we needed to go.

Here is an excerpt…remember 2019-2010 = 9 years ago.

Let me give you an example:

I click on the site of one of the most aggressive and forward thinking “tech brokerages ” out there. (They shall remain nameless because I like them and least they are fucking trying.) And what do I do? I search for the most important and valuable thing they have on their site. Commercial Property “FOR SALE” It takes me to a fuzzy regional map and shows me little numbers. I have to zoom in to see what the are. It’s obvious then that it’s the number of listings they have in a given area. I click, and it takes me to more little numbers. I click again, and it shows me those little map pin things like you see on Google. So, I click again on the pin, and nothing happens. Wait, I notice I need to scroll down and see two little pictures. There is a small description of the property and contact information. There is also a button to click for more information. It takes me to another page with a button VIEW A FLYER. So I guess I need to click again and there it is in all its glory. THE PDF.

-Basic property information

-A map with pointy things that show what’s near the property and of course, it’s a WAL-Mart.

-Fuzzy floorplans from at least five or more years ago showing how the last tenants set up.

-A couple of pics of the entrance and the parking lot.

-A couple more pics of some trees and WOW the foyer.

-And that’s it. That’s it.

-Oh, wait, contact information on each page for the broker.

-Did I mention no pricing information anywhere?

Side rant: What if this were a car? Think about it. Two pics of the interior. Two pics of the outside. Basic info. Steering, wheels, tires, engine, seats. No price. Just call me and buy the damn thing. It’s just a car.

9 years later and we have advance so progressively that the way still today to market that multi-million dollar asset is to self make a print brochure, put a cartoon character on it with a stapled business card and send it out hoping to hell some idiot will think “Holy shit I just have to go look at this amazing deal and buy it.”

If I’m off track here just let me know in the comments below. Is there a better way, a better solution? Well hell yes but I could list 20 and what would you do? Click on a couple, look at the pricing and no matter what it is, no matter what, decide you can do it cheaper and better. Better yet even still today in 2019. Because why spend ANY real money marketing Millions of Dollars of physical assets when you can spend basically pennies to get what a 5-6-7 percent commission of those millions and stick that in your bank account. 

Your marketing budget is? Drinks, dinners, memberships, and drinks, with some off-site trips to do “education” and then drinks dinners and… Yea, it’s a write-off, I know.

In case you are (or maybe not) getting the satirical bent to this article and actually want to see what you can do go to and see how it’s done. Is this me endorsing a specific company? Yes, it is. Do I get paid one penny from anything you buy? NO, Zero. They are just a great company with smart people flat out killing it. By the way, Buildout has been around since…2010. “The Duke Provides.”

So #CRE Marketing 2019 is…

Self Made Print Brochure.

Templated Email Blast.

Website with Broker Glam Shots.

Website with Google Maps and Links To Templated Brochure.

Website with Every Link To A Contact Us Form. 

Email Capture with Opt-in Access Only.

And Now As We Push The Cutting Edge Even Further…

ROBO Calling with a Canned Pitch Message To Call A Broker Only.

And that’s it, that’s the best we can do…hey if it ain’t broke.


“You Have Got To Be F*cking Kidding Me!”


+1 BTW never use professional marketing people to help. It’s the same reason someone should never use a professional broker to buy a #CRE asset, what in the hell do they know and they get paid too much anyway.

+1+1 Look at the Twitter stats again. Nothing. You see nothing there? Yea, I know you don’t get it, that’s the point!














So, this is what it has come to?

Robo calls are 60% of complaints to FCC. Nobody EVER bought anything at least know on I know.

banlks robo call for late payments.

Insurance scams robo call

Look at last week tonight for more facts.

Duke Long

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