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The Irony of Silicon Valley
Posted By squarefeet On January 29, 2010 @ 4:24 am In Miscellaneous,Trends | 24 Comments
This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while, but until now I was not sure how or what to write exactly. It’s a bit long, but I think it is important.
Silicon Valley is the center of innovation and home to giants of industry. It’s the place companies like Cisco, Google, Facebook, Apple, and HP call home. These local companies and thousands more have helped build and shape the internet and so many other technologies which now play an important role in our daily lives.
When it comes to technology, it’s therefore pretty ironic that cell coverage is still spotty in many local areas, and Verizon’s FIOS service is still not available here. After all, there is a very good chance that Silicon Valley companies have played a role in the development of both of these technologies.
Commercial real estate brokerage in Silicon Valley really is not much different. Take Cornish & Carey commercial for example. You have a commercial brokerage set smack dab in the middle of a region which has brought you some of the biggest names in social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google. Yet you have a company that is ironically against what many of these firms embrace: social media, transparency, and open data sharing. Heck, C&C even represents Facebook and LinkedIn!
But while the rest of the world has been evolving and becoming more transparent, Cornish & Carey has decided to take a step backwards. Several months ago, the firm apparently made a decision to limit the amount of data that they made readily available to the public and other brokers. Whereas before you could search their listings on their site  and get asking rates and available square footage, they have now replaced all that data for their lease listings with the ever useful “Contact Agent”.
I’m not quite sure I understand the reasoning behind this so let’s think about how this affects the different stakeholders:
This is a company who calls themselves the “Dominant real estate force in Northern California” and whose Mission and Value statement emphasizes things such as “C&C’s focus is our clients”.
Like I indicated above, I’m speculating as to why exactly they are doing this, but from what I can tell, the focus of the policy is misplaced – at least when you run through the logic. Who knows, maybe I’m just not seeing it.
But regardless, this is a bigger issue really than just Cornish & Carey. Fortunately the other local firms have not embraced the same practice. Overall however, commercial real estate brokerage in Silicon Valley, despite it being in the middle of the region that is driving social media and the way people and companies communicate, is either standing still or in some cases as noted above headed in the opposite direction. We’re seeing signs that the CRE industry is opening up, but to actually see some firms regressing is pretty ironic when you consider where they are doing business.
For their sake, I hope they come to their senses before their landlord and tenant clients opt to go with a more progressive firm.
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URL to article: http://www.squarefeetblog.com/commercial-real-estate-blog/2010/01/29/the-irony-of-silicon-valley/
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 search their listings on their site: http://www.ccarey.com/resourcecenter/propertysearch/Default.aspx
 Brokerages Announce “Troubled Assets Units”: http://www.squarefeetblog.com/commercial-real-estate-blog/2009/01/17/brokerages-announce-troubled-assets-units/
 Cornish & Carey Merging with Newmark Knight Frank: http://www.squarefeetblog.com/commercial-real-estate-blog/2010/08/04/cornish-carey-merging-with-newmark-knight-frank/
 YoY Local Transaction Volumes: http://www.squarefeetblog.com/commercial-real-estate-blog/2009/09/28/yoy-local-transaction-volumes/
 GVA Kidder Mathews Acquires Wayne Mascia Associates: http://www.squarefeetblog.com/commercial-real-estate-blog/2008/09/21/gva-kidder-mathews-acquires-wayne-mascia-associates/
 Sobrato Nabs McAfee for 240K SF and What It Means For The Market: http://www.squarefeetblog.com/commercial-real-estate-blog/2010/04/02/sobrato-nabs-mcafee-for-240k-sf-and-what-it-means-for-the-market/
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