“Build it and they will come”
When I started this Blog a little over 3 months ago, one of my first posts was: Is Commercial Real Estate beginning to discover Social Media? I didn’t really answer the question in that post, partly because I was just getting started with incorporating social media into my commercial real estate practice. Now after a few months of intense social media study and practice, I feel more qualified to answer the question.
The answer is yes and no. Yes, commercial real estate has discovered Social Media but I can tell you that we are still a long way from reaching the point of adoption into their daily practice by any significant number of commercial real estate professionals. They are still just watching waiting to see if it will be an effective tool.
We seem to be at the point where most companies are aware of social media, and they are beginning to wonder if they should tip their toes in the water. But even then, that likely means they are getting on Twitter and Facebook, without any idea how to use either tool, or if they should be using these tools. They just know those are the sites everyone is buzzing about, so they get on both, and a month later they are wondering “so what should be happening here?”
I believe that any reasonably intelligent business person can see that Social Media is going to play a role in the B2B marketplace. However, these are still the very early days of social media adoption for companies. Eventually Social Media will take on a new meaning, but for the most part the corporate and business community still hasn’t figured out what exactly it is now.
When we reach the point where most companies are using social media, then we will begin to see the commercial real estate brokerage community and other professional service providers increasingly adopt these tools in search of new clients.
Over my 20 year career I have worked with hundreds of companies ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to small business and right now I can only identify a dozen or so that are active in Social Media to any notable degree.
“People Will Come”
As social media entrenches itself in the company marketing, public relations, account management and customer service function. I strongly believe the early adopter has the best chance to be the big winner. I am not sure exactly what it is going to look like and I am not sure anyone does. However, I am subscribing to the “Field of Dreams” approach of “People Will Come”
My entire career at least in terms of business development has been based on “Word of Mouth” advertising and referrals. What better platform to serve your clients, add value and demonstrate trustworthiness than social media, particularly corporate real estate where you are often only providing transactional services every 3-5 years. Those of us that are engaging our clients, adding value and nurturing our relationships during those non-revenue producing periods are rewarded with loyalty. Sure there will still be the nice lunches, rounds of golf and ball games but social media is so much more efficient. My clients are reading this blog, starting to connect on LinkedIn and a couple even appeared on twitter. I can’t think of a better way to create a buzz about your personal brand. “People will Come”