Q&A with Popular Blogger and CRE Broker, Allen Buchanan

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In addition to being a highly regarded broker of industrial real estate in California, Allen Buchanan has also been a distinguished voice in the commercial real estate blogging community since he started his Location Advice publication in 2010. Ever the forward thinker, Allen is also the creator of the popular YouTube video series “Tuesday Traffic Tips” where he creates weekly, 1-2 minute clips offering pragmatic advice for commercial real estate professionals.

Allen is also a member of our Advisory Board.

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What's the most exciting trend you are seeing currently in CRE Tech?

Allen: The melding of apps into a single use platform. I love what RealNex is attempting with REA (CRM), REIWise (analysis), Property Line (inventory), and Ten Eight (packaging and process tracking). The goal is to become a “one stop shop” for all aspects of the deal. ClientLook and Xcelligent are attempting a similar combination. Ownership information should be a part of the “completion” of these solutions.

How do you discover new tech products in the industry?

Allen: Generally from social media. Specifically, I read several blogs that speak to tech…Duke Long, Chris Clark’s CRE Outsider, CRE App Review, and others. I also receive a fair number of contacts from CRE tech entrepreneurs who want to get my take on a new app or piece of technology.

What are some of your favorite commercial real estate technology products you use on a daily basis?

Allen: REA, The News Funnel, CoStar Go

What’s the one area of CRE Tech you wish you had a great product for?

Allen: Showing protocol. We spend an inordinate amount of time contacting listing brokers for brochures and touring instructions (showing protocol). My brother-in law is a residential agent in Little Rock Arkansas. He gets a text when someone is interested in a listing. The house (if vacant) is equipped with a lockbox that lets him monitor showings and ingress and egress by agents. I really don’t understand why someone hasn’t created an easier way to show commercial space.

What advice would you give to a real estate professional that is making their first foray into the CRE tech scene?

Allen: Actually, it’s similar advice that I would give when starting in social media. Learn from the mistakes of those who preceded you, choose a platform that you can sustain, JUST DO IT!