In the scene that is CRE and tech, you must stake your claim to whatever place you want.

I welcome any and all, especially the contrarians and naysayers, please for us all, shout louder.

As much as we all think we are trying to the best of our abilities to solve problems and move CRE forward, it does out of want and the consumption of more expensive alcohol make me ask some questions as we sit here today……

Is there still a CRE and startup marketing disconnect? Are we still so far apart in our understanding of why “technology” can and will be a positive change?

An even greater part of that is what I see as the great divide in how startups and the marketplace they inhabit interact and “source” technology. Think about how you do it. Is it a simple process? Should it be that easy? What are you missing and do you even know why?

Here is a bigger question. How far apart is the gap? The gap I am referring to is the gap between the discovery of a useful technology and the actual practical use and application within CRE.

Which then brings us to the startups themselves. Do they understand their customer? Personas are all well and good. I completely understand why they are useful. Is that the only way? Realistically is that the ONLY way?

Maybe you were a broker or in dispositions or some other pivotal function at one time, do you have the CRE DNA? Don’t you think that’s important? Why not?

What does that mean today? What happens if something along the lines of AI takes certain pivotal tasks over? Is that your function now? Are you replacing that with software? If so why?

Are you creating for what you think is needed now or what you think that customer needs when? Is that a mistake in and of itself? Should you be creating what they will need a year or two from now? How about five years out? Too far out to be practical? Is the world changing that fast?

If you do figure it out and gain some form of traction how do you become one of the stack?

What about credibility? You and your company’s credibility. How many are left from three years ago? Don’t get mad at me. It’s a real concern voiced every day.

How about timing and what about pitching and the prospect of where your product actually is? The bigger question is why now? Why this specific product? I did mention finding a need did I not?

You want partners and funding. Let’s be honest here, they, as in your CRE customer, don’t want to help you learn how to develop a product make it valuable and then take that product to the marketplace. Oh, and yes, to their competitors. Is that so wrong? No, it’s not. It the real world

Let me ask you this, who are your advocates? Do you have any idea why you need them? This is not a startup generic lab exercise.This is the real world. It’s still about relationships. Relationships with people who will PAY YOU.

What’s the compelling reason your product will exist beyond your vision? It is your vision, not theirs. What is their vision? It always includes them. If it doesn’t then why do you need them again?

Many questions and no definitive answers?

Oh, I am sure there are.

The biggest question is, of course, how do YOU answer them?

+1 BTW that’s just 34 off the top of my head how many more are there? It must be hundreds and if not then….

Duke Long

Duke LongDuke Long is a twenty-year veteran of commercial real estate. He is the broker/owner of The Duke Long Agency. He is also known for writing his strong opinions about all things CRE at www.dukelong.com. He has delivered numerous presentations and discussions about online CRE tech, marketing, data, and digital media. Indiana University allowed him to study real estate and the United States Air Force discharged him honorably.