Episode 009 – John Crossman – CEO Crossman & Co

I had the privilege to sit with John Crossman, another of the Orlando Business Journal’s CEO’s of the year (2018) and CEO of Crossman & Co., the Orlando-based property management and development firm which manages primarily retail properties across 8 states in the Southeast. John discussed the way technology advances the way societies advance. He emphasized the importance of relationships and human connection, and how companies such as Publix, one of Crossman’s best clients, have created relationships with their customers by designing positive technological, physical and emotional experiences.

He talked about how the data his industry has been collecting regarding shopping habits and trends, and how some of that data, while reaffirming many of the decisions currently being made in property development, also provide insights into how retail outlets can improve their relationships with current and potential customers. The relationships between online retailers and brick-and-mortar outlets have an interesting balance, and John highlighted how technology influences consumers’ choices, and the end results aren’t necessarily what some popular assumptions may assert. He thinks that as technologies evolved over recent decades, companies such as Blockbuster should have been a viable competitor to Netflix and Sears could have had a serious rivalry with Amazon. Looking at data over longer terms, there may be potential to see a changing trend in retail such as the potential financial demise of such companies or industries.

Augmented reality and other new technologies create interesting and new opportunities for retailers, but also have legal implications that have to be considered. Outside influences such as self-driving vehicles, AR marketing campaigns, and demographic changes can create liabilities that developers and retailers may not have considered even just ten years ago. Other technologies affect how communities react during crises, and how building development is considered.

The way Orlando’s unique retail environment affects the rest of the country was an interesting insight, with companies such as Darden creating and testing new concepts here, with international exposure through the area’s expansive tourism industry. John also enjoys participating in the online forum “Quora” and is impressed with the way information is shared and distributed through those kinds of mediums.