Real estate’s reluctant embrace – part 2

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From Matt Giffune
Assistant Vice President
Jones Lang LaSalle

This also appears on Matt’s personal blog: http://mattgiffune.wordpress.com/

Here are three reasons why commercial real estate brokers won’t embrace social media.

CRE sales channels are old school. Their fall back is cold calling, canvassing, leasing signs, mailers, email blasts, “networking,” hunting, and playing golf. Don’t get me wrong, these are all good things and arguably necessary. It’s just that they are all becoming less important.

The internet, especially search engines, are where things are found these days. I was speaking with an entrepreneur recently who just leased 6,000 s.f. in Boston off of Craigslist. The broker that put his listing there won because he benefited from inbound marketing. There are over two billion people on the internet. Lots of them are on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and blogs. So add social media to the mix and dominate.

Reason two: leasing commissions. Yes, I realize that’s how I make a living, but sometimes you can trip over a deal and make enough to buy a house. Or, you can work really, really hard and get no result. It’s difficult to measure a real estate broker’s ROI in terms of time spent working. The mentality for some brokers becomes hang around the net, work hard, add some luck and you will be rewarded.

Social media is too bleeding edge for this way of thinking. It involves being yourself, testing the limits of what’s acceptable in business, and perhaps showing vulnerability.

Reason three is: you don’t know what you don’t know. Remember that time you first got behind the wheel of a car? You knew that what you were doing was something that you were going to have to learn, but it was really uncomfortable. That’s how embracing social media feels at first. Until you take a few spins around the neighborhood, you will never know how cool it feels to cruise and pick up some friends for the ride. Every instance of growth in life requires getting outside your comfort zone.

Let me know what you think of this post. Also let me know if you need help getting off the ground with social media for CRE.

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