The Mystery of the Missing Commercial Real Estate Blog

Over at 7DS, I wrote up a little treatment on NAR’s finding that 1 out of 10 REALTORS has a blog. But here’s what makes me curious. Why are there so few equivalents in commercial real estate? I did a Google search on “real estate blog” and got about 187 million results. Did the same search for “commercial real estate blog” (with “commercial real estate” in quotes) and got 17 million results.

What’s up?

I would think that content/knowledge-based marketing would be far more effective in the commercial arena, where even sophisticated businesspeople get rapidly confuzzled and turned upside down. Porter’s Wage? Rentable square footage? Triple net leasing? WTF? If you get into commercial financing, of course, now you’re in a whole different universe.

Any theories on why there are so many residential real estate blogs, and so few commercial ones?


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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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6 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Missing Commercial Real Estate Blog”

  1. Rob,
    1.Scale. Take the number of commercial real estate brokers/agents/companies compared to residential. It has to be what??? 1/10th, so that is how many potential people that are even in the CRE biz. Not a huge number. Also not a large audience. If you were a vendor which one would you target?
    2.Content or the perception that there is a lack thereof. I completely disagree with this. I could come up with hundreds of ideas.I personally chose to write whatever I find interesting. If I were to “strategize” I could drill down for days.
    3.Time+ Effort =$$$ You set up a blog you post 2 times a week for a couple of months and then what? How does this make me money .Why would my clients or potential clients need or want to see any of this? Plus my boss thinks this is stupid and I should be on the phone cold calling and getting belly to belly with clients. I have heard this a thousand times.
    4. I literally average 2-3 emails or calls a week from people that want a “start” or outline to CRE and social media. When I mention a blog they are like “What?” ” I don’t have the ability to do that and my assistant doesn’t really know what to say.” My response so far ” Ok” [Sigh]
    5.Demographics: Face it CRE is a bunch of 55 yr old dudes who have no reason to even think about this. That is not a knock. They say “It’s for the next generation” And the old dudes are the ones mentoring the new peeps coming in.
    6. Hit me with some ideas Rob…or I will go for days!


  2. Well stated Duke. CRE is not known for pioneering marketing mediums in general but the fact remains more of what we do is about the other guy than us. Yes, we can schlep our properties or our expertise but the deal making dialogue we seek is not conducted over SM. Yes, it can be initiated there and this is a great opportunity for the ‘next generation’ but adoption in CRE in general lags and the smart ones are still working on figuring out the most useful ways to utilize it. Thanks for the post Rob.

  3. I think you’re right, Duke, in all respects. 🙂 The factor I think is the strongest is #3. But it’s worth thinking about what that word “boss” implies in the difference between residential and commercial real estate.

    I also think there’s a fairly significant difference between the tier 1 CRE and tier 2/3 CRE. That’s also worth exploring.

    I might need to write a series on how I’d do marketing for the CRE firm/agent….

  4. I’m open ears if anyone has a great idea. Real Capital Markets is an online marketplace and provides confidential online marketing to commercial real estate brokers, real estate investment bankers, developers, the top tier banks, and both private as well as institutional real estate principals. I’d love to add social/business networking and yet even our younger officers of the firm can’t explain who’s going to pay us. Maybe I could just hire a great writer and give him top commercial, multi-family, and hospitality people to call, do “you tube videos” with and write about?

    • Hi Steve – I think we’ve spoken on and off over the years, and I have a ton of respect for RCM. But content-based marketing is not something, I believe, than any third-party vendor will need to do. In fact, there already is a very significant amount of content-based marketing today ( being but one example). The issue, frankly, is that all the efforts are geared towards just one small slice of the possible market….

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