Earlier in my career, when my young PR firm started representing real estate companies, I remember how shocked I was at how the brokerage firms operated and managed their talent. It was an “eat what you kill” world. For the most part, I think it still is.
I couldn’t believe that brokers had to pay for so much of their marketing, entertainment and sales tactics out of their own pocket. I get why, but I was still so surprised. I recall saying to many of my broker friends, ”Are you going to this event?” And most of the time it was, “No, my company won’t pay for it.”
To me, this was crazy. I understand that from the ownership side it would be very costly if they shelled out for every event, every ad, every marketing tactic that their professionals wanted. But still, I always thought it was short-sided. In a business where you’re only asset is people, why not invest everything you can in them?!?!
My good friend Jeremy Neuer was one of the few brokers who always had a different approach. He would consistently say to me that he was going to pay out of his own pocket to attend a charity event, networking conference, sporting event, etc… And it clearly worked as he became one of the top professionals in the business.
Over the last few years we both went heavy into the CRE tech space. me as a founder of my own start up, and he as an investor in several startups and a user and experimenter of many new tech products. But one thing struck me about Jeremy’s strategy. At a time when he could have just coasted and relied on his amazing relationships that he spent 20 years in the business building, he still continued this same strategy of paying for many of the tech site’s services out of his own pocket. And I watched his career and personal brand take off even more.
Jeremy’s experience as someone who reinvests in his own business started to get me thinking… the future of CRE tech really is about getting more people like him to see the value in these tools and applications. So much so, that they will want to spend their own hard earned money investing in them. Once that happens, I think there is no turning back and tech will be fully integrated into the life of every real estate professional.