I spent a lot of time this week thinking about how social media is changing the stodgy commercial real estate industry. I don’t know if I have all the answers, but I have framed my thoughts in the context of the barriers that exist when trying to achieve a successful partnership. The first barrier is between the broker and tenant.
This one seems the most obvious. While most brokers think that human interaction with a prospective tenant client is achieved through a cold call, stop-in or email blast, it is obvious that in order to get someone’s attention, you need to be playing in their world and luring them into yours. I don’t mean reciprocal golf outings at each others’ country clubs. The @mention on Twitter is the clear winner when drawing attention to your personal brand, and thus creating an interaction with someone you are chasing for business. @mention someone a few times to get into their conversation. They will begin to notice you and follow your tweets.
Creating and broadcasting fresh content on your personal or company blog is also a great way to draw in-bound tenant rep leads into the queue. Of course LinkedIn is a powerful tool when gathering intel and reaching out (warmly) to your prospective customers. Rostering buildings and googling the company phone number is so 2000s. If your prospective customers are on Twitter then go there.
Watch for my subsequent posts on the other barriers. My prediction is that the most interconnected firms with the best use of social media tools and their analytics will leave the others in the dust.