Posts Tagged ‘crowdsourcing’
Noun, informal. A decent, upright, mature and responsible person.
Noun, slang. An awkward, clumsy, or unlucky person whose endeavors tend to fail; a loser.
A couple weeks ago, in one of our Week in Review posts, I discussed an article that explained how last year’s Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) might influence commercial real estate investment. This securities law, intended to bring increased investment capital to start-ups of all kinds, is expected to promote a more “democratic” investment community.
By lowering the capital requirements for “accredited” investors, so that one doesn’t have to be a bona fide millionaire in order to invest in a CRE or other venture. Now, fund managers don’t have to rely on high net worth, corporate, or institutional investors, but can amass needed equity through lots of smaller contributions from investors in lower tax brackets. This “crowdfunding” approach (similar in structure to “crowdsourcing”) will hopefully strengthen the investor base of companies and funds not lucky enough to have Blackstone Group or a Saudi prince in their Rolodex.
Not that anyone uses Rolodexes anymore.
We asked our readers whether or not they approved of crowdfunding in a Llenrock poll. While the response wasn’t overwhelmingly positive, the Yay’s beat the Nay’s with well over 50%, showing some promise for this new investment tool.
Digital-age commerce and marketing have popularized a slew of new, old, obscure, and often unnecessary buzzwords: data mining, analytics, crowdfunding, The Cloud, E-everything, and so on. While much of today’s high-tech jargon is simply a substitute for older, less smart-sounding words or phrases that mean the exact same thing, there’s no question that the techie lexicon is invading just about every industry, including good old commercial real estate.
The needs of a local community–its residents and businesses–are tremendously relevant in making decisions about investment in or development of a particular property, and the exact strategy such endeavors will use. When developing a new apartment building or shopping center, it’s helpful to have local demand, not to mention support. And while there are many ways to understand the needs and “personality” of a particular market, the online world has created yet another tool for such research: crowdsourcing.
According to the authorities over at Wikipedia, crowdsourcing can be broadly defined as
a distributed problem-solving and production model. In the classic use of the term, problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions. Users—also known as the crowd—submit solutions.
Which is to say, you ask people what they think–but in a way that’s far more expansive than old-fashioned focus groups. The Internet has made this incredibly convenient for institutions and developers looking for public input on a project. In fact, there are even crowdsourcing sites like Popularise.com, which caters specifically to the CRE industry (check out Popularize’s snazzy How It Works to learn more). Read the rest of this entry »