Did you miss me? Probably not - as the only one of you who noticed I was absent was the person tasked with herding the News Funnel butterflies - AKA the contributing bloggers - Lindsey Imperatore. Oh well, I didn't take it personally as I know that we all are very busy CRE, marketing, and social media professionals. But, I missed you - so, I'm baaack!
For those of you keeping score at home, I'm not a grandpa yet as baby TA Harper has retained residency in the only cool place in SoCal - his mother's womb. We are told "any day now". Meanwhile, Mom, Dad and anxious friends, family, and G rents to be, are on Baby Watch 2015 - similar to Storm Watch but without the sandbags.
So, all of this baby waiting has allowed me to ponder Resi and CRE Tech and the reasons our collective CRE asses are kicked - constantly! What follows are the FIVE reasons that I believe this is so.
There are greater numbers of Resi agents. So what? More agents, more competition, more need to create a competitive advantage - thus more willingness to try new things - especially technology. Resi tech is the norm whereas CRE Tech is the exception. Doubt what I say, CRE pros? Poll your office and see how many of your colleagues use a CRM - other than Outlook. The number will astound you!
Resi is a B 2 C sale, CRE is B 2 B. Face it, tech providers, a consumer is an easier marketing target than a business. Consumers have grown accustomed to on line research and purchasing. Resi tech makes it very easy for consumers to shop for a home. Take a look at Realtor.com, Zillow, or Redfin. You can conduct searches, view virtual tours, check out comps, explore school systems, get restaurant reviews close by, etc. A client of mine recently opined that on line search for CRE is shit! The reason he took to the web vs calling me is another story.
Inventory is standardized. Resi MLS systems are locally owned by boards of realtors. If your stuff is outdated, you can't access the data as an agent. Agents subscribe to this oversight and adhere to a strict ethical credo as well. We provide our stuff to a third party and buy it back. Can you imagine if CoStar disallowed access if we failed to update a CRE listing?
No one has TRULY made money with CRE Tech - except the tech creators. Tech has no doubt made CRE more efficient as I have recanted many times in this space but no one has TRULY made money with CRE tech or you would see commercial brokers running to the cliff akin to some pinstriped lemming.
CRE is pretty blah. I love looking at houses on line! There is nothing more stunning than an ocean view over an infinity pool. Frankly, CRE product is boring and ugly. Sure, there are exceptions but how many of you out there Google searched Microsoft's headquarters - good luck - you won't get a peak inside. Now, how many of you have viewed Tiger Wood's humble abode in Jupiter, Florida. I rest my case.
So, in my opinion, until these five things change and or are addressed, the use of CRE tech will continue to be a gigantic flog.
By: Allen Buchanan
Principal, Lee & Associates