Trends & Tides: Traditional vs. Tech Brokerage

07 August, 2017 posted by: CORE

Trends & Tides takes a look at the ever-changing environment of New York City real estate – past, present and future – by offering observations, analyzing perceptions and challenging myths, while giving a dose of reality along the way.

Yesterday, I was privy to an interesting war of words regarding a LinkedIn post. The two sides ultimately battled over whether a traditional brokerage model or a tech-centric model would fare better in today’s real estate environment. The comments were incredibly revealing with one member of a deeply entrenched, once-traditional brokerage clearly pointing out that adaptation is necessary to provide the best service to the consumer and ultimately cement the survival of any company in today’s real estate industry. I couldn’t agree more that a hybrid of tradition and technology best serves the consumer. The traditional broker who turns a blind eye to technology better rethink the ways in which they do business. Or suffer extinction. Similarly, the tech-centric brokerage that spends all of their dollars generating leads for agents, while showing little concern for the quality of customer service they are providing, is also doomed. Both models will fail independently without the other. Let’s look at the pitfalls of each:

Traditional Brokerage:

  • focuses on its brand more than the consumer
  • highly leveraged with office space and expensive leases
  • makes promises to its agents that it can’t deliver due to corporate bureaucracy
  • decreases dollars spent on the consumer in an effort to maintain profit due to high overhead
  • is “trapped in the box” with no ability to truly see outside of it
  • claims to embrace change all the while avoiding it like the plague
  • talks the talk but resists walking the walk

Tech-centric Brokerage:

  • puts all focus on its agents with no regard for the consumer
  • spends a majority of their dollars on lead generation for agents and not marketing property for their customers
  • hires agents blindly, creating an opaque environment that often negatively impacts the consumer
  • claims that their technology is consumer-centric with only an eye on the company’s bottom line
  • talks the talk but resists walking the walk
If there is one thing that seems to get lost in the battle of brokerages trying to stay relevant and profitable, it is the consumer. There is no substitute for high touch customer service when assisting someone with the purchase or sale of one of, if not the largest asset in their portfolio. Sophisticated consumer friendly technology should be a welcome addition to the customer experience. But high touch and high tech do not have to be mutually exclusive, which is why CORE will be launching a new and exciting listings platform. This platform will allow consumers to collaborate with their agents while simultaneously receiving the outstanding high touch customer service for which CORE and its agents are renowned.


Hot Topic: Innovating the Application Process

26 April, 2017 posted by: CORE

Large stack of multi-colored files and paperwork on an office desk. Blue window background. Business themes. No people.

Recently CORE was the first New York real estate brokerage firm to adopt a technology that completely changes—and greatly improves—the co-op board application process. Featured in The New York Times, BoardPackager is a good reminder: if it’s always been done a certain way, it might be time to ask why.

CORE caught up with Ming Ooi, BoardPackager’s COO and Co-founder:

“It has been a tremendous boost for BoardPackager in the real estate, technology and investment sectors to have CORE as an early adopter because the agency’s reputation as a cutting edge brokerage really added to our credibility and opened a lot of doors and opportunities. Furthermore, CORE agents have been instrumental in not just the adoption but providing valuable real-world feedback that has allowed us to improve the platform; and we continue to value and encourage that insight from such tech savvy users.”

Click the link to read the full article on this revolutionary online platform: The Dreaded Co-op Board Application Goes Online


Commercial Basis: Time. Space. Workplace.

17 October, 2016 posted by: CORE


Commercial Basis explores how technology, branding and demographic preferences are shaping office and retail real estate in New York City. As these forces break down the barriers from where we live to where we work and shop, Lead Commercial Specialist Alex Cohen will assess the impact on real estate values and opportunities.

There is no single prototype for the workplace of the future. With that said, below are two unmistakable and disparate trends that are currently driving the planning and design of office space:

  1. Technology, advertising, media and information (TAMI) firms are creating all-encompassing work facilities with an array of amenities intended to not only engage their employees but also encourage them to work on-site and collaborate with each other to develop the branded products, designs and content that generate revenue. For example, Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters includes not only the largest open plan work space in the world but also an array of employee perks including bike repair, a barber shop and multiple dining choices. These perks are designed to increase productivity and ensure the staff doesn’t clock out at 5 PM. When a smaller TAMI company is looking to lease office space in a multi-tenant office building, the available services and facilities, including dining, recreation and shopping within the building and immediate neighborhood, are critical to selecting the most dynamic and creative functional environment.
  2. Professional service companies (consulting, accounting, insurance, finance, real estate) are employing technology to cultivate a mobile and flexible workforce and de-emphasizing fixed and dedicated personal work spaces in favor of work settings for team and client engagement. At the management level, firms like the accounting and consulting giant PWC have eliminated the concentrated “headquarters executive office floor” in favor of a decentralized management team, spread amongst geographies and connected by technology like Google Hangouts and face-to-face interaction as permitted by travel schedules. Thanks to technology, independent contractors and small business owners can work almost anywhere. Co-working environments like WeWork and The Grind offer not only flexibly designed work spaces with the attractiveness of short-term occupancy commitment but also the opportunity to benefit from interaction with similar firms and professionals.

At Working Mothers Media’s 2016 Work Life Congress: Time. Space. Workplace. (, I will be speaking and conducting a seminar for corporate leaders to assess the impact of these key workplace trends on company culture, talent acquisition and employee engagement. Stay tuned.

Photo Credit: For the Love of Chairs


Technology Has No Soul!

18 June, 2014 posted by: Shaun Osher

Find An Architect ipads

It’s just another tool. And I am starting to see more and more real estate sales companies basing their “value add” and business model on superior technology. This is easy to do, because anyone with the right amount of money can buy the right technology. And most competitive technology is readily accessible to everyone at every level. In every industry, the success of a web-based sales company lies in their ability to service their clients. What makes a company like Zappos great is their people and level of customer service.

People have soul. And it’s the soul of the people that lies at the heart of a brand, a culture, and a company that will stand the test of time.

It isn’t the technology that changes the game. It is fundamentally the people using their insight and ability to service the client that is the game changer.


Get With The Program

06 December, 2010 posted by: Shaun Osher

It wasn’t too long ago (relatively speaking) that I was an agent running around Manhattan with a pager on my belt and quarters in my left pocket. If you’re a real estate agent who’s been in the business for more than 10 years, you can relate.

My, how the world has changed! And quickly.

A good friend of mine handed me an email this morning noting all the things that have been a part of our lives that will not play any part of our children’s lives when they reach our age.

The pager, for one…
The home telephone
The current music business
“The material stuff” that computers will eliminate including newspapers, The United States Postal Service, paperback books and so many more…

I first started thinking about the globalization of commerce and industry when I read Thomas L. Friedman’s book The World is Flat while on a plane from Dubai to New York. It was insightful and incredibly timely. I decided at that moment to embrace the new world and adapt my business to all-things-new-and-great about technology and innovative marketing and communication.

The world has certainly changed. A lot!
The deindustrialization of America has created a massive problem that we shouldn’t ignore.
The desire of the consumer is also something we shouldn’t ignore – especially when it comes to buying, selling and developing real estate.
Today’s “new world” consumer expects service and knowledge, and they expect it now…from someone who is the best at what they do!

If you give anything less than that…you will be left behind!