How to Connect with End Users: The Language of Commercial Real Estate

Rich Berliner

Posted on June 17, 2019
Rich Berliner, CEO & Publisher, Connected Real Estate Magazine Talks with Safer Buildings Coalition’s John Foley

Connected Real Estate Magazine, which is produced and published by 5th Gen Media, is an active member of the Safer Buildings Coalition. SBC Managing Director John Foley caught up with 5th Gen Media Publisher & CEO Rich Berliner prior to the NY State Wireless Association (NYSWA) Wireless Forum where Rich and John will participate in the "Public Safety:  Keeping the Big Apple Protected" panel as, respectively, moderator and panelist.

Q: Rich, thank you for taking the time to speak with us.

So many companies in the in-building wireless space got started selling and providing services to the wireless carriers. What is different about trying to connect with end-users and particularly Commercial Real Estate (CRE) professionals?

A: Thanks, John. The key challenge is not simply deciding that you would like to resonate with CRE owners; it’s becoming a part of the commercial real estate community. We are attending over 25 shows this year, and about half of them are CRE-related. We’re there to not only hand out our magazines, but to meet with and talk to the key players in the CRE industry.

Q: We hear the buzzword “PropTech.” What is that?

A: PropTech is a catch-all word for anything related to real estate technology – it’s short for “property technology.” This can refer to anything from tenant management software, to keyless entry, to water leak alarm systems.

Q: Are property owners interested in providing wireless connectivity to their occupants and visitors?

A: They haven’t been up until now, but in a “WeWork world,” they’re realizing they have to be in order to remain competitive.

Q: What are the obstacles to overcome in winning direct-to-end-user projects?

A: The long sales cycle. CRE owners will have lots of questions over a long period of time. Frankly, the biggest obstacle is their desire to wait for 5G to make changes. Our advice to them is: DON’T WAIT!

Q: How are property managers different from property developers / owners? It is worth it to pursue property managers and property management companies?

A: It’s one big community. You never know who the decision maker is which is why it’s important to do your research.

Q: Among CRE Professionals, what is the relative level of awareness about fire and building codes requiring in-building public safety radio coverage?

A: Near zero. But awareness is rising rapidly due to changes in codes and laws.

Q: What can industry do to improve awareness of these requirements?

A: Our publication, Connected Real Estate Magazine, is a great resource for public safety requirements. We’ve devoted nearly one-third of our newest issue – available now – to helping CRE owners understand changing codes while providing them with helpful tips and everything they need to prepare to meet evolving public safety communication standards.

Q: For companies interested in better understanding and connecting with CRE professionals, which industry events and trade shows would you recommend?

A: We hope companies will call us to help them target the best shows to attend and other ways to connect with CRE professionals.

Q: Can you suggest a few topics industry should focus on when communicating with CRE professionals?

A: Certainly: Focus on your credentials and highlight successfully completed projects. Proven accomplishments mean a lot to CRE.

Q: How does your magazine – Connected Real Estate – help the in-building wireless community reach the CRE industry?

A:We focus on helping companies working in the CRE and Public Safety spaces get their brand in front of valuable commercial real estate enterprise clients. We understand the language CRE leaders speak and can help translate the often-technical jargon of the public safety, wireless, and connectivity industries. We are dedicated to making introductions for our advertisers and cooperators.

Q: You’re on the road quite a bit, frequently speaking and moderating panels. Where will you be headed in the near future?

A: I just came from Realcomm in Nashville where I spoke about Public Safety and DAS. Earlier this week, I was in Las Vegas at the In Building Wireless Congress show. Next week, I’ll be moderating a panel about Public Safety at the NYSWA conference – and you, of course, will be on the panel for that session as well.

Q: Thanks for your time, Rich. And thanks again for being a Safer Buildings Coalition member.

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