Stick or Automatic?

I prefer manual transmissions…even when it comes to communication.


Ah it brings me back to the good old days. Fast cars, throaty exhaust systems, American racing wheels with tires that seduced the driver as much as they did the road itself. When I was in high school, stick shifts were more popular. The reason for all of this reminiscing and banter is an overall theme: Controlled transmission. When driving a manual transmission, I feel like I am in more control. I can negotiate twists, turns and obstacles with more precision and savvy. I can also ramp up to a blow this long hair back in the wind carefree speed without waiting for a sluggish overdrive to finally decide what it wants to be when it grows up.

“Okay”, you say, “What in the world does that have to do with Commercial Real Estate???” Well, my good man/woman…the correlation is this: Total Automation of Your Social Media and Communications = Epic Fail. I know that every piece of new CRE bling whether it be software for your pc or an app for your ipad is pushing you to “automate” your online voice. To some extent, it does make sense. Efficiency, time-saver…your assistant can do it for you – these pros all sound great, but…

Communication: the exchange of information between people, e.g. by means of speaking, writing, or using a common system of signs or behavior (Courtesy of Encarta).

Social Media is a technology based extension of your voice to an online global community. Let me play devil’s advocate for uno momento por favor. How many of you love spambots? Most of you block them, right? Why? Because they spam you with all kinds of duplication and junk you aren’t interested in.

Please keep that in mind when it comes to your online communication, even as it relates to CRE.  If variety is the spice of life, your Twitter account should be more a reflection of than iStock_000008822742Large

Say this in the mirror ten times, “I am a REAL person.” Then please convince me…online. No, don’t get me wrong. I do not want to see all of your personal photos, I do not want a close-up into your personal existence, but engage me. Let me know who you are. Yea, I know you eat, breath and even sleep Commercial Real Estate (for those of you who take time to sleep that is), but still…Networking is about connection, content, corroboration, collaboration, rapport and relationship.

I will probably never become your BFF, but you will be “top of mind” when I have a CRE want or have that I think is really spectacular. I will contact you for your thoughts on an issue with a property. I might even share what things are like in my neck of the woods (CRE market area).  I will RT your TWEETS, because you’ve made yourself relevant in my eyes. I might even + your post. I become part of your community. Get the idea??? If you are utilizing Social Media to increase your online presence minus the engagement, you are missing the key piece of the pie. Without it, you are one ingredient short of the “Pièce de résistance”.

Google Glass for #CRE

With the emerging tech eye candy that is finally making its way into the Commercial Real Estate Industry, there is a unusually balanced amount of excitement versus concern. Sites such as View the Space give you the try before you buy realistic experience before you even bother to make the appointment with the listing agent.  With all the available data flooding the consumer base, most of which we as Commercial Brokerages are willingly supplying to the CRE data storehouses such as CoStar and LoopNet, you have to wonder if you really need to show up in person ever again, right? Boy, that’s really going to cut down on that tax break for the dry cleaning, huh?

Enter, stage right….Google Glass, Google Tango. If you didn’t have to actually wear it or carry it you would be having eery flashbacks to the Matrix wondering if reality is overrated. From all of the reviews we’ve watched, comments included “efficient”, “time-saver”, “get more deals done quicker”, etc. Google Glass allows you to video tour the property for your client who may just happen to be on the other side of the hemisphere, virtually interacting while providing a more “personalized” experience.

But wait, behind door number three…Google Tango materializes, furnishing mobile devices a “human-scale understanding of space and motion”{1} .  The possible applications are endless in regards to Google Tango, because a user can be impaired and be empowered to navigate in a way they never thought possible. The application for the retail environment could be epic. Instead of the individual store apps, Google Glass could direct you to that much desired item through a captivating virtual and realistic experience combined without proprietorially taking up more memory on your tablet or your mobile.

For the Commercial Real Estate Industry, virtual tours are not the only tool in its belt folks. Google Glass can create 3D advertising images such as “For Sale” and “Office Space Available for Lease”. Google Glass Real Estate Layer App Tenant improvements could be visualized in that same 3D format, bringing vision to reality in a potentially shorter time frame. For Property Manager, this technology could prove helpful in maintenance, security and construction on-site.

Keep your camera button on your smartphone on the ready for now. With a limited quantity of glass users and Project Tango still in the incubation stages, you, our Commercial Realtor friend, and your camera app are still needed. Uneasiness lies in the guts of more than one industry, let alone governmental authorities regarding safety, security and privacy concerns.  How many times do pass people on the highway who are texting away while holding 70+.  The Department of Transport in the UK has deemed using Google Glass while driving as careless driving and is a penalty offense. West Virginia’s Gary Howell proposed an amendment to their state’s law including bans against any wearable computer  out of concern for safety. Video capture is not welcome everywhere, people. I know the minute you finally got your turn when the I-Phone came out you felt an empowerment to share EVERYTHING. However, companies hold proprietary information, private records, personal data, codes, strategies…the list goes on.  The cyber-crime units see the vast buffet of new ways to commit felony “virtually”. And lest we forget, Big Brother Google is able to track your every movement while utilizing Glass or Tango. This gives new meaning to “personalized ads”, doesn’t it?

References: {1} Project Tango

Has Technology Made Us Lazy?

EMarketeerMy opinion? Absolutely 110% yes!

We are bombarded with marketing for the latest and the greatest every single day of our lives, from the coffee we gulp to the cars we drive to tools we use to run our business.

As technology propels forward, new CRE tools pop up more often than Nicki Minaj gets her Botox fix. I get new offers in my email, through social media and believe it or not snail mail…(yes, it still exists).
There is also a copious menagerie of CRE websites to add your listings to for “THE BEST EXPOSURE”…this is not Britney on TMZ folks. This is commercial real estate. So first tell me who my listings are getting to and why you are the “best”. What difference does it make if my listing is on 16 different CRE listing sites and they are: 1) serving market areas OUTSIDE of my market area, or 2) unknown to most of the population.

I find that some are trying to impress their clientele with the laundry list of marketing avenues that their listing will receive exposure on. I’m all for the marketing proposal and putting a nice package together, but let’s get serious here for a minute. What is the ONE THING that will impress your client more than anything?? RESULTS. PERIOD…that is all.

So, I digress from my rant, “Duke Long Style” and I move on to say this. If you have swallowed the hype like mother’s milk and are counting on the internet to do all of the work for you, you should stop reading this post right now.

(Insert Cheesy Game Show Music)….You’re still here? Great! Commercial Real Estate is moving with the technology (gradually) but do not rely on the geeks behind the curtain to do all the work. You still have to connect, network, face-to-face meet, hit the pavement with those loafers or stilettos and for the love of all that is good and right – FOLLOW UP.

I am a Social Media hound at times. I admit it and my #CRE buds will testify. They will also testify that I take breaks from the #SMM to work on LOI revisions, lease transactions, renewals, target marketing and prospecting. It’s a balancing act to which I thoroughly enjoy playing my part.

For those of you who need closure, the bottom line is:
1. Do not rely on Social Media for marketing of properties – that’s not what it is for
2. Do not rely on CRE listing websites to sell your properties for you – that is why they call you a “REALTOR” – You do the selling, remember?
3. Your clients deserve better – It’s not enough to blast their property all over the stratosphere and never give them an update, make cold calls, etc.
4. Impress Me…how? Give me RESULTS.PERIOD.THAT IS ALL.