This week, we are introducing something new to the Keepin’ It Real blog: interviews! We recognize that there are people with far more experience, far more knowledge, and far more to impart than us, so we’re lining up interviews with them to provide additional insight, thoughts, and information.

This week we were fortunate to chat with a good friend of the ReaLync team, Jon Milonas. We captured a great dialogue about the current state of video use in commercial real estate and what the future video landscape could look like.

Jon is a First Vice President in CBRE‘s Tenant Representation Group in the Chicago Region. Focusing his practice on developing comprehensive and strategic real estate plans, structuring and negotiating office leases, and assisting with the renewal, relocation, and disposition of leased properties, Jon has completed over 175 transactions on behalf of national and global organizations.

Check out these highlights from the interview between Jon and Realync CEO, Matt Weirich:

MattDescribe the current state of video in commercial real estate and how it is or is not being used today.”

Jon: “From the perspective of downtown office leasing and corporate real estate, most of the people who have embraced video are owners / leasing agents that are sending video of three things: 1) a space that has just been built out with very nice finishes, 2) a space that has recently been demolished and offers a nice clean floor plate to see what the views and ceiling height look like, or 3) an architectural rendering type of fly through of a space (which isn’t really a video though and is getting really expensive).”

“On the tenant side, I will use video if I have a client that is in another city and they ask me to go do a preview tour of a space. I will grab my phone and walk around recording it, then give my phone to my admin to upload it. Then based on the size of the file we might be able to email it, but more often than not we’ll have to send an FTP link which is quite a cumbersome process.”

Matt“Why do you think video really hasn’t been adopted and used widely in the industry?”

Jon: “In general, the commercial real estate market is probably more process oriented than it is ‘finish’ oriented. Maybe the reason is that most tenants of size (50 employees or more) will make a lot of changes to the space that they lease. Therefore showing a video of an old space traditionally hasn’t gotten anyone excited. In general, the industry is a little archaic even when it relates to using pictures. Maybe that’s because CoStar is our main ‘MLS’ system and it’s a little bit cumbersome to select a space and see pictures, unlike residential real estate where you can just pop up RedFin on your phone.”

Matt“Have you experienced any personal pain points or challenges while showing or touring spaces with challenges that video or a touring technology could supplement or aid?”
Jon: “Absolutely. The question is: how much work is it for me to streamline it? We’ve been functioning this way for a long time. To get to the level where I’m using recorded technology on everything is a big jump — not just for me to manage it with my team, but to also coordinate with my clients and make sure they have everything downloaded the right way, etc.. However, a lot of value could be brought to me if I didn’t have to have clients fly in for a tour. It’d be great to have out of town clients join virtually so that they don’t have to fly in. Or if I’m doing work in other markets, I would have a CBRE colleague of mine do the tour in Miami (for example) so that I don’t need to get on a plane. It’d be great if I could sit at my desk and still interact with the team and my client instead of having to spend a full day, buy plane tickets and stay in a hotel for that experience. There is something to be said about ‘touching and feeling’ an actual building, but that doesn’t need to happen as much as it is right now.”
Matt“Any last thoughts about challenges, concerns, or cautions to those of us trying to change the industry?”
Jon: “Two things: 
  1. Make sure that the video quality and feed can withstand going up and down elevators, and in and out of interior rooms in a huge building. 
  2. Make it very easy for someone like me (brokers) to adapt to the technology and thereby making it very easy for the client to adapt and learn the technology.”

We want to thank Jon from CBRE for taking the time to talk with us this week and hope you all found value in the market analysis and insight that he provided for us. If you’d like to check out the entire interview, you can listen to it here.

Do you know an industry professional that is known as a thought leader by their peers and could be a great resource for those looking to impact the real estate industry on a global scale with technology? Let us know by emailing us at
Until next time…keep it real!