It’s a fairly common phrase that rolls off the lips of about everyone in real estate. “We are slow to adapt technology, the way we do business works.”

In other words, “Fuck off and leave us alone, we are making a shitload of money, and my job depends on the fact that no one can do what I do.”

That’s the easy argument and is sure to make people smile a bit because they can just gloss over the generality of it all.

If you get deeper, there are some that staunchly defend that position by calling out anyone and everyone who is not a professional.

Their definition of a professional is of course just that, their definition.

They spout off some drivel about quality education, a fair and just marketplace and always, always core values.

By definition: Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. These guiding principles dictate behavior and can help people understand the difference between right and wrong.

Wow, how can you go against that? It’s the difference between right and wrong. If you do not agree or adhere to “their” core values then you are what? Wrong!

Nobody wants to be wrong. Hell, I have never been wrong. It’s awesome.

I have a question. Who in the fuck are “they?” Whose values are we suppose to be following? Who made that shit up and when?

For some reason — that I for the life of me cannot figure out — technology’s adoption in the business of real estate has become associated with eroding those ever ominous core values.

For the most part, the professionals bask in the light of being an advocate for all things good and positive for real estate. The marketplace, the sustainable world, and always the actual user/consumer of real estate.

Big, bad technology can and will make all of the above lose equity, value, and commissions (the number 1 reason for screaming from the high horse).

They claim that technology is only helping those smart big bad money makers on Wall Street or Park Avenue and is adding no value to the real estate industry.

It sounds to me like the real estate industry is making plenty of money. I heard somewhere it’s 24-25-26% of the US GDP.

So let me get this straight, big bad smart Wall Street and technology money = Bad.

But traditional big real estate industry money = good. With maybe a cell phone just thrown in, for a bit of tech savvy.

It sounds like somebody’s is crying and whining that somebody is trying to take their precious rattle and they are looking for a way to make sure that does not happen.

I’m just curious, but what makes you think the industry as we have it now is the only way and by default the only good way for real estate to function?

What if the core values of real estate today are WRONG?

That can’t be possible, or can it? What if “fuck what is the norm or traditional” is better for everyone?

Why does that sound so radical and horrible?

It only sounds that way if someone is getting in your pocket. (Admit it.)

What about other industries and the use of technology to make them what? At the very least better.

How are they getting there? They are getting in there by providing what? Everything you want from every service or product provider you use, more efficiency, cost-saving, time-saving, quality product, fair pricing, etc.

You are driving those other industries how? With your purchasing power. Now that’s BIG Money. That’s Big Power.

Now, I can stand with that BIG MONEY. Big money is THE PEOPLE.

How about this, instead of blaming technology you do something radical and against your core values?

Quit fucking whing and do a better job. You demand it of everyone and every industry but your industry and yourself.

You can try and hide behind those core values if you want, but in doing so, you are saying to the world protect my shit and my shitty way of doing business and make sure it’s just for me.

You are saying fuck the user. You say you are for them. You’re not. You are out for yourself only.

Wrap it in as many words as you want.

I call it the fuck you make sure I get paid big and first, core of the real estate business. That’s core values for you.

Blame tech all you want. Blame the weather. Blame oil production in the Middle East. Blame Russia. Sounds a bit absurd, right?

Blaming technology for taking away the real estate industry’s “core values” is just the same. Fucking absurd.

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.

  • insidestraight

    Fuckin A Bubba! It is me me me. I’ve seen more than my share of it and will enjoy the carnage.

  • RigorFirst

    The national scale brokerages may have the ability to do something (whatever that may be) different and radical that is the future of CRE. But local and regional companies can’t. We can use management and marketing enabling technology to be more efficient, more client facing and full service but will never have the scale to disrupt the traditional models. It may be that the smaller transactions will continue to need our type of brokerage, or it may be that new models will work their way down and eliminate our practice.

    So, practically speaking, it is in our interest to obfuscate, delay, advocate for licensing, try to change the conversation in any way possible to continue to be in the CRE business. The alternative is that 12 people in a tech company, and/or the major national firms will manage a data/software/on-line/IoT solution that eliminates the local broker. Do you have any other solutions?

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