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Does social networking work for commercial real estate?

Michael Griffin, real estate technology blog, ClientLook CRM

Social networking makes lots of promises, but I’ve always wondered if it works for commercial real estate. We’re led to believe that everyone is on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Facebook and YouTube. All you need to do is create a “voice,” so that the masses can appreciate your brilliance and scramble for your services. What’s the real story, though?

You know these guys

Like many of you I marvel at brokers like Duke Long or Allen Buchanan (cited because I know and follow them) who have built incredible audiences seemingly from scratch. People listen to them and know their names in markets across the country. They’ve spent a lot of time and effort building their personal brands, but is it worth the time?

It’s not about you

The big challenge with social networking for commercial real estate is finding your audience and then consistently communicating with them. The people who do it right will pick a segment like brokers, owners, tenants or investors and tailor their content appropriately. Try to remember that it’s not about you. Succeed in creating a following and building your business through social networking by focusing on the needs of your audience. Measure your success by how your posts positively impact your audience in a way that’s meaningful and relevant.

Golf for the digital age

I never learned how to play golf. I have lots of friends who are great golfers though. It always amazed me how the business community frequently translated golf prowess into business acumen. If you were a good golfer, then you were worth doing business with. These days it seems like social networking notoriety bestows a similar level of intangible credibility. Got lots of followers and a great blog? Then, you’re someone to reckon with in commercial real estate. Don’t discount this trend. It’s real.

Is anyone listening?

We use social networking to communicate with our ClientLook commercial real estate CRM community. We have accounts on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube. We have an active blog. However I always wonder whether anyone is really paying attention to our posts. Social networking does not provide immediate gratification. It’s a war of attrition and takes time. There’s nothing worse than a blog that hasn’t been updated in months, or a vacant Twitter feed. We have certainly been guilty of this. If you undertake a social networking effort, then stick to it. It’s a marathon and not a sprint.

Social networking ROI

Ultimately only guys like Duke and Allen can attest to the return they get from their social networking investments. They are consistent, quality communicators that create content that’s compelling and original. I may have never crossed paths with either of them had it not been for their blogs, which are both great. Social networking has great potential to help you create a name for yourself too. This kind of notoriety could certainly help open some doors. Strive to enrich the world with valuable information and you could find other people writing about you.


By: Michael Griffin

Chief Product Officer, Xceligent, Inc. 

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