L. Burger, CPM®, CRX, CSM
There seems to be so much chatter these days about
disintermediation sites--websites that perform the services once got from live
people--travel planning, for instance, or hotel bookings. Airbnb is just such a
site, where people can share homes rather than booking at a hotel or even
renting an apartment in the traditional way.
Such sites are making major inroads in all areas of
commercial real estate--from brokerage to finance. And understandably, there’s
no shortage of speculative hand-wringing among those of us who ply more
traditional ways of doing business.
We at EBMC, however, are not of the hand-wringing ilk.
Here’s why. First of all, as regular readers of this blog know, we are firm
believers and professional practitioners of the art of personalized service.
And, we believe there will always be a market for this. But more important,
adaptation is key to survival. It’s as true in business as it is in any other
I like the comments made in a recent magazine article
put out by the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors.
In it, Geoff Kasselman, SIOR, states that if you
don’t recognize the challenge built into all of these technological changes to
our business, your only option is to experience them as a threat. What will
catch people off guard, he believes, is “the speed and completeness of the
change. Most people aren’t ready to acknowledge the exponential growth of
computing power and the transformational convergence that it drives.”
In fact, he cites Moore’s Law, which states that, “since
1958, computing power has been doubling every 18 to 24 months and price
performance has been doubling along with it, meaning prices are cut in half.”
Projecting that forward, he says, “between now and 2020, with just two more
iterations of Moore’s Law, everyone’s world will be turned upside down,
irreversibly, and it’s beyond stopping.”
There should be no surprise there. Of those who reside in
the threat camp, and those who see such new developments as Airbnb as an
opportunity, we at EBMC rest comfortably in the latter grouping. And we are
doing what most forward-thinking firms are doing in the face of the coming
We see such advances as potential tools in our arsenal of
capabilities. Granted, how exactly that plays out remains to be seen, whether
that be through some revenue-sharing model or some other iteration. We’re
watching and we’re learning how to adapt the new generation of services to the
betterment of our company--which means service to our residents.
Steve Burger, President
EUGENE BURGER MANAGEMENT CORPORATION