There are two types of commercial real estate practitioners.
Those who know that they’re talking about.
Those who show that they’re talking about.
I wonder how many commercial real estate professionals are showing their specialized knowledge using social media instead of keeping it to themselves or limiting to traditional communication methods.
According to the 2011 National Association of REALTORS® Commercial member profile 74% of brokers have 26 years or more experience in commercial real estate.
26 years of trust and transactions rest in the mind of the professional waiting for the next phone call, face to face meeting, or email to be sent.
- The phone call serves only one and is over after hanging up
- The face to face conversation only serves a few and is over after you leave
- The email only serves one or a few and usually ends up being deleted quickly or filtered to SPAM.
Social media gives you leverage on…
- Your time by reaching more people faster by sharing your expertise and opinions.
- your relationships because trusted friends will do your marketing for you.
- Your marketing dollar by spending money on content creation and inbound marketing which is cheaper and more effective than traditional advertising.
Let me share with you Seven Ways to Use Social Media to Sell Commercial Real Estate
#1 Google Alerts
I imagine that you are busy and have better things to do than Google yourself, your market, your niche every morning at 7 am. If you do Google yourself every morning then you must have some serious issues. Instead of Googling repetitive searches every morning have the search results come to you instead. Make sure you insert “” around multiple words in Google Alerts to make sure you only populate the exact phrase instead of the words individually.
Example Google Alerts
- “industrial park” Chicago
- “shopping center” charlotte
- “your name”
If you don’t find anything meaningful results alter your keywords, monitor, and adjust over time.
You can also use a tool called SocialMention which is very similar to Google Alerts except there is more analytics available for the keyword search.
#2 Listening on Twitter
In verbal communication it is always better to use your ears and mouth in equal proportions. You can find deals, clients, and be an informed commercial practitioner working with clients if you have a method to your madness.
Use Search.Twitter.com instead of Google for keyword searches.
Use Twellow, the Yellow pages of Twitter, to find other professionals who have added themselves to the commercial real estate category.
Set up Twilerts (similar to Google alerts) to monitor keywords.
If you aren’t a believer of yet listen to Robert Hamman of Sperry Van Ness discuss how Twitter helped him close a real estate deal.
#3 Twitter Hashtags
Use Twazzup to find the most influential commercial practitioners on Twitter that type in a keyword or #hashtag. Use the same keyword searches as you would Google and do some homework to listen to who is tweeting what. You would be surprised how much information is shared specifically to the commercial real estate transaction.
Video can be a great way to share expertise online. The average person can speak 140 words per minute while they can only type 25 word per minute. Record videos using a Kodak Playtouch, Camtasia, or Screenr and then upload them to your YouTube channel.
Here is a list of some great commercial real estate YouTube Channels to check out.
- CCIM Institute
- National Association of Building Owners and Managers
- CBRE Pacific Channel
- Colliers International USA
If a client is interested in a 100 unit multi-family property and wants to see the internal rate of return how would you share this?
Would you say wait till I get back to the office?
I hope not.
Why not send it while you are at the Wendy’s drive thru ordering a number 4 with a diet coke from your mobile phone
In Matthew Cohen’s recent post Don’t Mistake Dropbox for a Real Estate Document Management System he says Dropbox isn’t good for storing contracts and confidential information. I wholeheartedly agree. What Matthew doesn’t mention is how to use the tool in a unique way.
Commercial Real Estate Documents to share with clients on Dropbox
- Internal rate of return (Microsoft Excel)
- Soils engineering report for a new development (PDF)
- Investment portfolio marketing piece (PDF)
- Video explanation of the terms of a lease (.mov, mpeg4, .wmv)
These files aren’t something you would post on the home page of your website however they can easily be stored on your computer, Dropbox, or your mobile phone which makes it easy to share with an investor when the time is right.
#6 Linkedin Groups
In my opinion since Linkedin is the most professional social network, it would be a big mistake to overlook this tool. #1 create a perfect profile and #2 start building a trusted network.
In creating your profile make sure you add applications which will identify your area of expertise as it automatically imports content from other social media accounts.
My favorite Linkedin applicaitons are Box.net, Slideshare.net, Tweets, and WordPress. Check out Rofo which allows you to share you commercial listings on your Linkedin Profile. My Linkedin profile now talks upon visiting. I did this by inserting a YouTube video into a Slideshare presentation and because the video auto-plays and synced with Linkedin the profile plays the video. Check out my Linkedin profile and let me know what you think.
Here are some popular Commercial real estate groups on Linkedin:
Groups were just added to the iPhone and Android phones for quicker networking access.
If so who is benefitting from the PowerPoint on your computer right now? You? Slideshare is like YouTube except it specializes in presentations.
Here are three ways a commercial real estate professionals can use Slideshare:
- Market new developments, center, or your services. Focus more on the needs of the clients and end with links to a call to action. Example Real Estate Investing
- Demonstrate complex processes of acquiring commercial real estate Kansas City Cash Flow Duplexes
- Research company annual reports. Example Merck & Co.
Quick Slideshare tip. After uploading a presentation to Slideshare, choose edit presentation, and then add one or more existing YouTube videos to your SlideShare presentations.
Final Socia Media Tip
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean it is worth doing. If you are just getting started start writing a blog and then move to Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Notice I didn’t once use the word Facebook. I’m sure there are ways to use Facebook to sell commercial real estate however I don’t see to many investors checking their news feeds and uploading photos of their kids.
Take a realistic approach and prioritize your activities. It is very easy to get overwhelmed at first no different than it was your first day on they job.
How do you move a mountain?
One day at a time.
Here are some slides that identify what I’m talking about and be sure to stay tuned for more Commercial Real Estate Social Media Resources.
Doug Devitre is a National Association of REALTORS Commercial Signature Series Speaker and consultant for REALTOR Associations across North America on how to do more with less using the latest technology.
Check out the promo video of an upcoming event as part of the Commercial Signature Series