Things That Make Me Go Hmmm…

So… I assume there’s still some sort of a raging blogwar going on about Greg Swann, but when the man is right, he’s right.  His latest is just some good solid advice:

Give your home a blog.

Every home for sale should have its own web site. What makes a weblog useful and practical is that weblogging software is so easy to use. And the price to get started? Nothing.

What do you want for content? Photos — and lots of them. Good pictures of clean, well-lit rooms sell houses. Your text should be just-the-facts, nothing overtly promotional. Not only can people see through hype, it turns them off.

With a weblog, you can document your house room by room — or by the benefits to be realized from the home’s features and amenities.

So his advice is not the thing that makes me go Hmmm…

This is: (click to enlarge and view)


I mean, there’s no price listed, but let’s just make some quick calculations.  This Loopnet listing (not the same property) in or near Marlborough, MA quotes a price of $225/SF.  Not that they’re apples to apples comparisons, but we’re just looking for ballpark here.  On that basis, this flyer is advertising a building worth $17,235,000.

The entire description is this:

A two-story first class office building situated in the master planned, 157-acre Marlborough Business Center. The building consists of a structural steel frame with brick facade, tinted glass curtain wall atrium and insulated ribbon windows.

Hmmm….  I did a Google Search for 325 Donald J. Lynch Blvd.  No website.

In contrast, here’s a home for sale for $495,000.  Look at how many large, beautiful photos there are.  Look at the description text.  Oh and yes, that’s a website specific to the property.

Now, I know some folks from the Dark Side of the Force will think this is nonsense, because business people are sober, serious men with no time to be browsing a website to find their next corporate HQ.  They just find the right professional to help them, and that’s that.

Besides, who the hell spends $17 million on the Internet?

Presumably, there’s a beautiful, leather-bound 200-page presentation sitting on the broker’s desk filled with high-resolution professional photography, detailed site analysis plans, financial reports on every aspect of ownership, and sale comps going back two hundred years to the days of Puritans tilling the soil, just waiting for a real buyer with real intent to call.  It’s not meant for the hoi polloi, you understand?

That may all be true.  But what makes me go, Hmmm… is, “Why not?”  I mean, how could it possibly hurt your cause to spend some time putting together a nice website with a lot of photos about some corporation’s possible future home?  Besides, it’s a $17 million transaction.  Even if you’re only getting 3% for the whole thing, so 1.5% for your share, that’s $255K in your pocket.

If residential real estate is struggling with Web 1.5 vs. Web 2.0, commercial real estate is still trying to figure out Web 0.5….  Someone could make a lot of money showing commercial brokers to do some marketing things that residential people take for granted.



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Rob Hahn

Managing Partner of 7DS Associates, and the grand poobah of this here blog. Once called "a revolutionary in a really nice suit", people often wonder what I do for a living because I have the temerity to not talk about my clients and my work for clients. Suffice to say that I do strategy work for some of the largest organizations and companies in real estate, as well as some of the smallest startups and agent teams, but usually only on projects that interest me with big implications for reforming this wonderful, crazy, lovable yet frustrating real estate industry of ours.

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