What is my definition of the market disconnect?

I’m not sure it’s a complete definition but it is the disconnect between what the tech or CRE tech companies are doing to attract customers and what is actually happening.

For example, a recent conversation I had with a major building owner/REIT-type company was telling and eye-opening, to say the least.

The difference between the level of marketing knowledge of what they, the customer, actually does and needs from a software provider, in general, was from one end of the spectrum to the other. The ability to voice and explain what the product is was and does from the startup entrepreneurs followed the same pattern.

This happens why?

I’m not sure how to address this. It seems so simple does it not? Yes, part of the lure of CRE is the huge marketplace it occupies. Another is the “perception” that CRE is a bunch of dinosaurs barely able to open an Excel spreadsheet. We all know that is far from the truth in most cases. Almost if not all owners brokers management and analytical professionals in CRE know exactly where they are in the “stack” and are more than happy to voice their opinion about what they are using every day.


Here is some advice, some learned and gain from experience and some straight out of your potential customers mouth.

Be creative. What does that mean? These people are now getting pitched all the time. Yes, it’s their job but does that mean a cold email with a snappy headline? Is that all you got? How about three people that potential customer knows or three people within that customer actual company recommending you? How about that? It’s called work. It may not look like it but what is the power of those personal recommendations? They may be priceless.

Get them involved. But, I have another bit of information for you. Most of them want to do nothing? They are not being lazy. Is it there job to make every last human being in their company love your product and use it? No, that’s your fucking job. Don’t know how to do that? Wow!

Is it more than just a sales pitch? It has to be right? Wam Bam super sales. You’re what’s next right? It’s about relationships because that’s how it will always be? How long does it take to get there? That’s a multi-million dollar answer and one you have to figure out. It’s not a game. And when I say that I think about gamification. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t get me wrong I understand the “process” you are using but do you think that’s what’s going to work?

What about an automated response? Some of you may be saying “what?” Yes, it happens or I would not be addressing it. You are dealing with actual human beings. You want to automate the process and in turn, dehumanize the person with a part of your company’s future in their hands?

This may be a bit personal but are you trying to be too professional? Or just the opposite unpolished, techy, artistic and creative. All fine qualities I must say. Are you just young naive and inexperienced needing help? Think about it and be realistic and true to yourself.

How about combining creative inspiration with product knowledge and function? Now there is a thought. That sounds too obvious because it is and many think that’s exactly where they are. Go ahead and tell them they are dinosaurs. That should seal the deal. How about a good powerpoint? Am I boring you? That’s the point. Show them that you care enough.

Is there a marketing disconnect between CRE tech startups and their customers?

Oh yes there is!

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.