It’s easy to spot. It’s also hard to execute and do it well.
I fortunately or unfortunately have seen it all.
Websites from the 90’s.
Logos blatantly ripped off from some of the best known brands in the world.
Taglines that make you think of food, shoes or nothing at all instead of the actual product.

Startup marketing or more specifically RE/CREtech startup marketing.
What are the basics?
What should you do?
What does it take to do it right?

Let’s start with Part 1: Strategic Positioning, Brand and Web Presence.

1. Strategic positioning

Or better put who is your customer and why exactly should they buy your product. You think your idea is original or solves the all important problem or pain point. How can you be sure?
Have you defined the exact category where your customer is focused. Real estate and specifically commercial real estate niches itself very well and has it’s own unique practices, methods and lingo. Do you clearly and definitively understand why it is important to create core messages, strategies, plans, and objectives targeted at that customer?

Example: ReThink CRM

Sophisticated CRM & Deal Management for the modern commercial broker.
“ Close More Deals In Less Time.”
This is who we are.
This is the solution we provide for you the modern commercial broker.
If you use our product you will close more deals in less time.
Clear, specific, uncomplicated, targeted messaging.

2. Brand development

In this world of intangibles and endless competition, branding is everything. The Googles, Ubers and Amazons have helped redefine what a brand and more precisely a technology brand can be. There are multiple URL’s and endless combinations to be had. Can you keep focused on your target market of real estate? Do you have the time money and savvy to build a strong brand out of nothing? Can you combine the name, logo, and colors that attract not only customers but potential partners and employees from day one?

Example: Buildout

Awesome Marketing for Commercial Real Estate.
“Produce custom marketing materials and streamline your entire property listing process from one centralized place.”
Beautiful combination of industry specific focused name, logo, and website.

3. Web Presence

In the age of social media and digital marketing your web presence is both more important and more complicated than ever. It no longer requires just a functional site, you need a sophisticated website that performs multiple roles. Think of your website as a customer ‘application’ rather than just for information.

You’ll also need a rich blog site, a dynamic Facebook Fan page and the right Twitter page at a minimum. Residential is far and away a leader and benchmark all should follow. Commercial real estate in general is catching up. On the corporate level there is no question companies such as CBRE, JLL and Cushman Wakefield flex their marketing might in all phases and have no equal. Can startups compete? Absolutely.

Example: Digsy
Digsy Blog
Digsy Twitter
Digsy Facebook

Get your Web presence right, it’s your window to the world. It’s the usually the first chance and most lasting impression your company will have. It’s all in the design, but content and structure are also critical. Of course, with the continuing onslaught of mobile internet access and ecommerce, you need to ensure your website is fully responsive to all users’ devices.

Three stellar real world examples of startup strategic positioning, branding and web presence.

Get ready, coming next, Part 2: Blogging, PR, Video and SEO.

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 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.