How redefining your role around clients could be the future of CRE

Buildout CRO Kris Krisco worked with the rest of our leadership team for months on transitioning his role from Chief Revenue Officer to Chief Customer Officer. We interviewed him about the change and how it reflects the direction CRE is heading.

Buildout: What led to the decision to reframe your position?

Kris: The role that I wanted to take on inside Buildout was the one that always asks, “what would the customer be thinking right now?”—making sure they’re always equally represented in every decision we make. I’m talking with customers and prospects about the future of our product and how they’re going to benefit and having the word “revenue” next to my name can seem like a conflict of interest.

Ultimately, the position changed to reflect what’s most important to me, and what’s most important to Buildout. We believe that only by listening intently and understanding the actual needs of our customer, will we find the complex challenges facing CRE that we have the unique ability to solve.

Buildout: You worked at a brokerage here in Chicago before joining Buildout—how do you think your ideas on customer focus have evolved since your time as a broker?

Kris: When I came in as a broker, it was still very much a “build your database, know your database, and know your market” sort of world. Your value proposition as a broker was how well you could collect that information on your market. There’s been a pretty dramatic shift since then. It’s the practical evolution of tech finally coming into CRE—more of that data is readily available.

Now that you have that data it’s about leveraging tools to gain insights that guide your clients to the right opportunities for them. It’s less about brokering transactions than it is about becoming the trusted advisor that understands your clients specific CRE needs.

Buildout: How do you think the broker role is changing as tech becomes more prevalent?

Kris: Whether people want to believe it or not, machines are going to be relevant everywhere. It’s changing every day. The brokers that understand that and learn how to work with technology are going to be the ones who dominate in their markets because it will free them up to deliver the human side of things.

The reality is that human relationships are actually going to be more important in the 2020s than they have ever been. That element of the human touch and having someone you trust, someone with empathy for your experience… as machines pop up more and more, that’s what’s going to shine through.

Buildout: Borrowing your question here—what do you think our customers would be thinking right now in this conversation?

Kris: I imagine customers are asking, “Buildout is the tech company, so what’s next?” They’re looking for the stuff that meets them where they are, the software they need in their office right now to be more successful. There are inefficiencies across every department of brokerages because, frankly, there haven’t been great tech companies in this industry before. Our customers are looking for more products that service more aspects of their business.

We’re here to deliver that tech: solutions to complex problems—but practical problems, problems you actually have today. We’re looking at day-to-day tasks and asking how we can help. It’s about meeting our customer where they are and showing them there is a better way to do what they’re doing.

If you’d like to learn more about how Buildout can help you solve the inefficiencies in your office, talk to sales today.