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Who Are the Voices in Commercial Real Estate?

900,000 blogs per 24 hours

megaphone_manThere are some daunting stats relating to the Internet Blogosphere. As far as anyone can figure, there are about 200 million blogs around the world. Technorati tells us there are about 900,000 blog posts made every 24 hours. A quick Google search of Commercial Real Estate Blogs brings up 73,000,000 hits, but a scan of the first three pages reveals only a small scattering of real Commercial Real Estate content. Some of the more relevant and familiar Commercial Real Estate blogs appear, but many more do not.

So, let’s start with the best. Squarefeet Blog, they do it all and they do it all good. Updated almost daily. Kick-ass content and a layout and writing style that speaks to the Commercial Real Estate peeps they target. Next up is Traffic Court. The blog is hard core relevant and a true Commercial Real Estate voice. The actual site itself has enough segmented content to keep you reading for days. And to round out the Top Three is Llenrock. Simple, timely, must read content everyday, just go there.

There are some big time media blogs such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. They certainly have the content that begs for your attention. The National Commercial Listing “databases” such as Loopnet and Catylist push out generic content to try and get Commercial Real Estate eyeballs to their sites. Different segments of Commercial Real Estate such as Retail and Multi-Family go down their segmented paths. Interesting to me was the search for the top 10 Commercial Real Estate brokerages. Not until I got to number 6 did I find any kind of blog at all. May be they are not human after all.

There are some actual humans in Commercial Real Estate who have an opinion and let you know who they are. Two examples are Joe Stampone and John Reeder. (these kids these days) Is it just more natural for the younger generation? (As a side note I have not personally met or talked to any of the Blog authors mentioned above.)

Just more questions

I could go on and on about content, style, readership, layout or the relevance of content for that matter. This post was not intended to be a deep drill down on Commercial Real Estate blogging. I think my time on the Commercial Real Estate Blogsphere just brings up some more interesting questions…

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1. Is blogging for Commercial Real Estate really worth the time?
2. What Content is relevant to Commercial Real Estate clients?
3. Will the conversations about Commercial Real Estate go on with or without us?
4. Who in Commercial Real Estate should be speaking?
5. What is your Commercial Real Estate reputation? And do you control it?
6. Who in Commercial Real Estate are you listening to?
7. Is anyone in Commercial Real Estate or your clients listening to you?
8. What is your voice? And do you need one at all?
9. Why is Residential Real Estate Blogging so far ahead of Commercial Real Estate?
10. Residential Peeps. Who do you know in Commercial Real Estate Blogging and what suggestions do you have for them?

My answers:

1. Of course it is.
2. Start with, property values, taxation, zoning, ROI, land use, etc. Show them you know your stuff.
3. Oh yes, and what do you think is being said?
4. Everyone Period. When is any and all not good?
5. Your reputation is what you tell everyone it is. And you will control it.
6. Just look at the small list above.
7. Do you really need stats of everyone online for X amount of time on X amount of sites a day and so on?
8. Create the authentic voice that really exists for yourself and your brand.
9. Are you kidding me, the answer to this is the classic “That’s a whole other post”
(Residential peeps help me out here and just start linking the Real Estate blogging how to sites)
10. Uh… a little more help please!

Now, the challenge: How many of these questions can you answer? Don’t be shy don’t be afraid. Engage, Interact, Opine, Post your answers. I think you will be amazed at the response.

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Written By

Broker/Owner in Lafayette, IN, whose passion is Commercial Real Estate with focus on Technology, Social Media, and Networking.

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Jason Sandquist

    November 18, 2009 at 1:11 am

    I met today (oddly enough) with a local commercial real estate broker Steve Ladin who I met through Twitter that has fully embraced socmed and is building his biz around it. He’s doing some amazing stuff right now and almost has me convinced to make the switch to work for him because he just ‘gets it’.

    He blogs at the The Real Estate Schmoozer.

    • Duke Long

      November 18, 2009 at 8:16 am

      Jason,
      I agree,Steve does get it. I took a look at his blog and sites.They have a point of view are informative and hey maybe a little funny. It’s called a personality. Here is the link I found https://www.theschmoozer.net/ by the way.I took a quick look at your stuff also.Excellent. Thanks for pointing out some peeps who do truly get it

      • Jason Sandquist

        November 18, 2009 at 10:40 pm

        Thanks for the correction, that’s the one I meant. Sorry Steve 🙂

  2. Square Feet

    November 18, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Duke, great blog post. It’s an honor to be on your list. Those are a lot of questions, but I’ll chime in with some thoughts on a few. First, I’ll make a few comments on the overall commercial vs. residential discussion…

    Commercial real estate has lagged far behind residential in virtually every way, whether it be social media, or even traditional mediums of communicating brand. When was the last time you saw an advertisement for a commercial real estate broker on a shopping cart for instance? You just don’t see it.

    That does not mean it doesn’t work, more likely it hasn’t been tried yet. We’re slowly beginning to see an increased presence of CRE in social media which is something I believe will accelerate as more “new blood” is brought in as well as a result of general economic conditions being as bad as they are.

    Overall though, I’m afraid the change will be slower than most of us would like to see. The reason for this is that residential is an open-book industry compared to CRE. As a residential agent, you need to get a listing up on the MLS within hours. In most commercial corners, no such de facto MLS exists, let alone a requirement to get it posted. This makes information that much more valuable, and limits the extent to which CRE professionals want to “open up”. That doesn’t mean they can’t start a blog to discuss general trends, and whats going on, which is the direction where I suspect most of the blogging will likely head.

    As for the value of blogging, I can say that it is time consuming but also rewarding. First, it provides a reason to stay on the forefront of what’s going on in the industry, which is an increasingly important thing to do given the pace of change. Secondly, it is a tool that can demonstrate your value to clients and peers, efficiently and rather inexpensively. An example would be blogging about a news story days before it shows up in Globe Street, The Wall Street Journal, or anywhere else on the internet.

    Anyhow, I think I’ve taken up enough comment real estate here. I look forward to reading more and discovering other bloggers through the comments they leave here.

    • Duke Long

      November 18, 2009 at 10:48 am

      As I stated in the post. Square Feet does it as well as anyone in CRE. Your comment about the new blood coming in I think is important. They will have no choice in my opinion. Reading your stuff everyday…keep it coming.

  3. Rock Planck

    November 18, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Dead on great post. Lead the way Duke. This is applicable for commercial, residential, and mortgage professionals.

  4. Duke Long

    November 18, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Thanks Rock. We need to work on some CRE lending stuff. That is defiantly the buzz topic right now.

  5. Joe Stampone

    November 18, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Duke, great write-up, I’m flattered to be mentioned in the same post as some of these other guys. You bring up some very interesting points.

    Commercial real estate is such a vast field encompassing so many sub-sectors which makes a blog covering CRE in general extremely difficult. Also, another reason the resi side is ahead of the commercial side is that CRE has been much more opaque than the residential side, although I think that’s changing.

    I think blogging is beneficial for anyone, but the people I really think SHOULD be blogging are the top level executives, similar to Robert Knakal on his blog https://knakalstreetwise.wordpress.com/. His transparency shows why his company has been so successful. He writes good content, but also responds personally to every single comment, that says a lot about him.

    Blogging for me has been extremely rewarding. Not only has it been a slightly selfish way to learn, but it’s been a great networking and brand-building tool. I think carving out you niche within the field is important. For me it’s real estate students and young guys looking to enter the business, continue their education and network with each other.

    There’s no doubt that blogging in real estate will continue to grow and the area with the most room to grow is the commercial sector.

    • Duke Long

      November 18, 2009 at 1:23 pm

      My comment about “these kids” was of course intended as the sincerest form of flattery. Your content ROCKS as you”kids” say. Oh …and Welcome : NEW BLOOD.( I think I need to copyright that phrase!)

  6. Llenrock Group

    November 18, 2009 at 11:23 am

    First, thanks for the love Duke! Now to give you Llenrock’s perspective on the questions you pose:

    1. In the short run its not, in the long run it is. There are many difficulties in first getting started, both from a technological know-how perspective as well as developing organic growth. Assuming you want to reach an audience beyond those people you already know, there are many steps necessary for search engine optimization (SEO) and picking up traffic. The best way is to start with good content. The next best way is to link to other successful blogs that you admire. All of the social networking takes time and effort, but I can tell you first hand that it has led to actual business for our company with people we have never met before, so YES it is worth it.

    2. While all content could be relevant depending on who your target audience is, and what individual readers find valuable for their personal consumption, the answer on a macro level is content about current things in the news. I can tell you that the vast majority of our content that gets picked up by other sites relates to major, significant news in the industry like bankruptcies of major firms, new government policies that affect our industry and so on. If you can put an interesting spin on a story that is being reported on everywhere, that different insight becomes more valuable.

    3. Yes, but not on the internet it won’t.

    4. Whoever has a well-informed intelligent point of view.

    5. We walk in wet concrete in this industry. Our actions and inactions follow us throughout our careers, so it is important to treat everyone diligently and with respect.

    6. Check out out site, and take a look at our blogroll. There are a lot of good ideas, and good opinions out there.

    7. Yes. Not to toot our on horn, but we regularly have readers complement our work.

    8. Of course we have a voice! The main thing that sets blogs apart from mainstream media is that we are allowed to have opinions on the news we are discussing, and frankly, if we do not have a strong opinion, it probably isn’t engaging enough to be worth the reader’s time.

    9. This is a great question. In my humble opinion, i think the reason stems from the fundamental difference between residential and commercial real estate. Residential real estate is, generally speaking, an emotional decision for the buyer, whereas commercial real estate is solely an investment decision. The numbers are what the numbers are, and therefore, it matters less what people’s opinions about the real estate are. In residential real estate, a broker’s value is the life and energy they give their listings. You can only do this with words. Therefore it makes perfect sense that every residential broker seems to have a blog these days. No investor is going to care about the opinion of their commercial broker (Trust me, I was one for many years). A residential broker’s income depends on their ability to accentuate details that will be receptive to their audience, which is EXACTLY what a blog can do. Residential broker’s audiences have the time and inclination to invest in researching expert opinions. Commercial brokers audiences don’t have time for that, and if they do, it usually manifests itself in a magazine subscription to “Institutional Investor” or the like.

    • Duke Long

      November 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm

      Any questions about why you made my top three? Great answers!!!

  7. Doug Lazovick

    November 18, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Duke,

    It’s funny. I’ve had a general blog before, but never one that was specific to commercial real estate. The blog was just something I did on the side for fun. The industry exists so much behind closed doors, I guess it never occurred to me to do CRE specific blog.

    However, if I wasn’t so busy with DeedStreet, I think I would start a local Phoenix Commercial Real Estate blog. Maybe I can find time to do both….we’ll see.

    But yes, I agree that the young blood will eventually bring a social media presence to CRE.

    Doug

  8. Duke Long

    November 18, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I say go for iy. I can’t believe there is not any type of CRE blog for PHX. It is such a major market. and hey…. NEW BLOOD Welcome !!

  9. Candice A Donofrio

    November 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    [I can’t believe there is not any type of CRE blog for PHX]

    There actually are a few…and if you head a little further northwest you will find a lady up in Bullhead…blogging her heart out about CRE and getting all kinds of business from it:

    https://localism.com/blog/az/posts/1285057/Why-I-Think-Commercial

    https://activerain.com/blogsview/1205361/commercial-property-for-sale-in-fort-mohave-az-86426-highway-95-c-2h-land-available-great-deals-

    🙂

    My approach is different…but it’s mine…

    • Duke Long

      November 18, 2009 at 3:57 pm

      Candice,
      The fact that it is YOUR point of view for CRE is what makes it Perfect. Nice stuff and keep cranking it out. You are way ahead of whatever curve there is.

  10. Steven Ladin

    November 18, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks for the kudos guys!

    We’re just trying to take the traditional “stuffy suits” stigma of commercial real estate brokers and spin it to more of a “real” and thus more approachable to the general public. We incorporate information, education as well as humor to engage our audience because frankly, who will really responds to “For Lease or For Sale” posts anyway??

    Steven Ladin
    Chief Executive Officer
    Ladin Ventures, LLC-
    Commercial Real Estate Advisors

    • Duke Long

      November 18, 2009 at 4:03 pm

      Steve,
      Beautiful, Cre peeps are human? What a concept.I came from way old school. Decided to change adapt get real or get ran over.You of course have figured this out already.( you should had said something to me sooner).

  11. Greg Schenk SIOR

    November 18, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Wow , great information
    hard to find time to do it all and this is one area I haven’t kept up on at all.
    We write articles monthly, do seminars and webinars monthly and speak around the country 20-30 times a year along with representing 30 clients a year in Columbus Ohio
    I see your in Indy we should meet for dinner my next trip over there
    Do you know Sam Smith?

    • Duke Long

      November 18, 2009 at 9:38 pm

      First of all Greg I don’t appreciate the Spam blatant sell job response with you web links I received on LinkedIn. Second your Webinar seminar, I have to pay to be in your presence pitch just makes me yawn. And as for your Boy “Sam Smith” ,let’s meet in Haughville ( Indy peeps<<<I am old school) and maybe we will have a bite.
      Other than that …. thanks for the response.

  12. Calgary MLs listings

    November 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    hey Duke, Goldmine of information on RealEstate several unanswered queries. I agree with almost everything you have commented on the real estate scenario, i wish i could emulate the same here in the RealEstate Market in Calgary via the Calgary MLS listings. Way to go Duke, thanks for the eye opener. RealEstate in Calgary has metamorphosed into a juxtaposed market under the aegis of Calgary MLS listings.

  13. David Stejkowski

    November 20, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Good work. You picked three of my favorites too!

  14. Office Space Chris Hancock

    March 2, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    1. Is blogging for Commercial Real Estate really worth the time?
    Yes, but it must be disciplined to be effective.
    2. What Content is relevant to Commercial Real Estate clients?
    It depends on your target. Clients being tenants, owners or the masses?
    3. Will the conversations about Commercial Real Estate go on with or without us?
    Of course, but how knowledgeable are they?
    4. Who in Commercial Real Estate should be speaking?
    Anyone and everyone who is involved,
    5. What is your Commercial Real Estate reputation? And do you control it?
    Slowly but surely – a keen sense of self awareness is crucial
    6. Who in Commercial Real Estate are you listening to?
    Let me get back to you on that…
    7. Is anyone in Commercial Real Estate or your clients listening to you?
    Yes, lots. Not through blogging, but through our other exposures online.
    8. What is your voice? And do you need one at all?
    My voice is that of the downtown Nashville office market – from the perspective of a young and aggressive professional with a passion for prosperity in the downtown Nashville market.

  15. Luke Connolly

    March 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Even finding readable content can be difficult on a lot of real estate blogs. The real benefit of real estate blogs lies in the location-specific information you are able to find. For anyone interested in a very small market area, they are the perfect resource.

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