Nothing in life is free; everyone is driven by incentives.

If you think you are getting something for free, think again.  No service is free:

  • Google is selling advertising based on their audience;
  • DropBox is looking to get you hooked on the entry level and have you upgrade to more and more space;
  • Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest are all now trying to monetize their audiences;
  • Designers that do that project for you on the side are looking to use you to build their own name and brand;
  • Network television stays afloat from advertising;
  • Most websites are either advertising for their brand, paid for somewhere else or not free to begin with;
  • WordPress advertises on their free users posts and wants users to upgrade to premium over time.

It’s a circular world where we need to understand what drives the services that we use.

In the Commercial Real Estate space, the words “included with the service” are used a lot and imply “free.”  Sometimes it’s because the service really is necessary as a basic requirement of doing the project – financial analysis or site strategy work for example.  You need to know what those motivations are to understand whether that included service is really right for you and your needs.

Just remember the incentives any particular group may have and you’ll better be able to make sure everyone is getting what they want.