Interview With a Millennial


I had the opportunity to interview Richard Lewis, an intern who worked at a commercial real estate brokerage for several months earlier this year. A local university student majoring in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises, most of his internship involved introducing social networking to agents. Of course, I had to know how that went but I was also interested in his overall impression of the CRE industry and what he expected from brokerage. What did you think working as a CRE agent would … [Read more...]

Modern CRM


Ask any agent what a CRM is and most will tell you it’s where they keep their contact info…and maybe their appointments and calls.  In other words, for the majority of agents, CRM apps are souped-up Personal Digital Assistants (PDA). That view probably explains why so many agents dislike their CRM app so much.  If all you want is a PDA (that syncs with all your devices, of course), then most CRM apps are way too complicated. Just what is a CRM app supposed to do anyway?  Short for … [Read more...]

The Demographics of CRE Agents


As you may have noticed, most CRE agents are white males.  While the percentages vary depending on the study and what positions/specialties are included, females represent anywhere from 10% to over 40% of the work force with minorities representing around 5%. They're also old - and getting older.  Between 2002 and today, the median age of all real estate agents has climbed from 52 to 57. There are all sorts of explanations for these statistics.  Bias towards women and minorities not only … [Read more...]

Commercial Real Estate Tech Trends to Watch for 2015

With all that’s going on in the CRE tech sector, it’s too easy to focus on one app or another as being “the one” that will change commercial real estate. Truth be told, the last “app” that changed CRE was LoopNet and so far, I don’t see anything that disruptive out of the new batch of apps. Many are re-treads of what has been done before albeit with better interfaces and more functionality. What’s more disruptive is the focus on data – though it’s about time CRE got around to doing something … [Read more...]

CRE Data: My Place or Yours?

Almost a decade ago a CRE tech panel was discussing client portals which, at the time, were the “must have” app for cutting edge brokerages. So they were clunky and no one really liked or used them. The important thing was that CRE owned them. As one of the panelists warned, if the industry doesn’t take control of the transaction process, then the owners will. I thought that would be great since I’d already had some experience with assignments where the client company dictated the transaction … [Read more...]

Are Agent’s Keeping CRE a Tech Laggard?

I’m always amazed at how many brokerages, including national ones, are so disorganized when it comes to listings and deal management. It’s hard to believe that a major firm wouldn’t be able to come up with a list of current listings in a few minutes. That it could take hours or days to get transaction totals by agent, property or building use. Or that most still manually enter listing data in online aggregator sites.  I guess that's what agents are always complaining about when they say … [Read more...]