You Have Questions I Have Answers But, What Is The Real Problem?

You Have Questions I Have Answers But, What Is The Real Problem?

You Have Questions I Have Answers But, What Is The Real Problem?

As I have mentioned before I am hitting the road quite a bit this year and this last week was no exception.

With that comes lots of face to face meetings and conversations.

One, in particular, stood out. Let me set the stage.

It’s crisp and sunny as I pull into the parking lot. The Starbucks sits back on the corner with bushes and patio furniture in front. I am a bit early and purchase my usual hot chocolate. Not a coffee drinker. Imagine that. I walk out to the front and pick a table with some shade. Checking my phone for messages and timing out my next meeting I raise my head to see a tall lean slightly graying man in a blue suit walk up with a big smile on his face.

“Bring it in brother” is his greeting as I reach to embrace my friend.

He has been in the business since the late 80’s in one of the biggest commercial real estate markets in the world. There is not to much he has not seen and at the risk of or blatant use of a cliche he has forgot more that you and I may ever learn about how the business of commercial real estate works.

We chit chat about families and friends. I acknowledge his new grandson, and he beams that another is on the way.

The discussion turns to business, and he has three definitive questions he wants to ask me and get my opinion.

1. Why do I need to go to 5 different places to get one thing done?

2. What is the best way to source new deals?

3. Why is there so much noise, how do I eliminate it and rise above it?

Concise specific and interesting questions so I answered.

  1. There are still too many applications out there. At some point soon they will start working together. They have to, or they will not survive. Look at your CRM to lead the way for your day to day “operations.”  Right now there are too many silos.
  2. Look for what I call triggers. Think like you are an IT person wait maybe think more like an IT vendor. How much do they rely on “triggers” or events to happen (think maintenance/upgrades) for them to make money? What are those events and how can you track and find out when they will happen?
  3. There is noise because you allow it. Pick and choose what you want to let in. Stay local. Yes, I know your clients come from all over, but they want your local knowledge. Own It! Be consistent and think long term. A single year of just trying it out is not enough. Think Long Term.

We chatted a few more minutes stood up, and both embraced as we left for our next meetings.

As I drove through the unreal traffic, I started thinking about the problems that the tech world specifically the CRE/RE Tech world are trying to solve. The problems or questions my friend had did not seem to be that earth shattering.

I say this and say this ” I see everything.” I get demos and presentations and decks and on and on.

The more I thought about it, the more I think that it’s not about flashy graphics, micro/macro equations, drones that take flowing pictures or eliminating X from the transaction.

The questions that should be asked are:

What is the real chaos?

What is causing the problems that we face?

It’s not evolution or upgrade of a spreadsheet.

It’s not a deeper analytical dive into the same basic data.

It’s not a rearranged platform of inventory.

Whoever thinks they have the answer let me know.

I am on the road this year trying to answer this question myself because…

You Have Questions I Have Answers But, What Is The Real Problem?





+1 Two words: Tesla Want.

Duke Long

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