Commercial Real Estate Online Conversations?

Posting about CRE and technology the other day I received some interesting feedback and comments about the post.   Specifically from Bob Schecter.   We bantered back and forth about tech and cre ,but what got me thinking was the “conversation” we were having.  Was it really a conversation or just two individuals expressing their specific points of view?   Why blog, tweet, post or spend anytime online for that matter?  Do we need to converse online at all?

What’s happening now.

I think blogs are great for sparking discussions but in terms of real conversation, they lack the momentum of the real thing – and are very much, an incarnation of letters to the editor.

Most blogs that have comments, create a little back and forth.  Some Bloggers respond to the comments and some don’t.

Those that do have comments, usually have no further comment from the person who left a comment in the first place.  That’s not a conversation.  That’s feedback.

Individuals not leaving a comment to engage in a conversation, but simply to promote their own links or to chest-thump.

We talk about how Social Media humanizes our business through these conversations…so, where are the conversations?

Twitter doesn’t really bring out a conversation.  It’s a great place to broadcast and get some quick tidbits, but let’s face it, it’s hard to have substance in 140 characters or less.

Facebook has some great banter with the wall posts and status updates, but it’s more chatty than conversational and it’s not an open/public environment.

LinkedIn is still a broadcasting medium  like a blog.  The best place or cre conversation ?

The Noise?

So, the fire hose of content and oceans of streams is killing the conversation.  Basically, it’s a scenario where everyone is publishing and simply waving their arms for that millisecond of attention from others.

I’m not sure that we really want a conversation, at least, nothing beyond an average interaction like in a retail transaction.

Content generators (marketers, brands, bloggers etc) are also to blame for this.  There’s no exchange.  They build it, the audience comes.  Someone leaves a comment, no one responds.  They don’t listen and don’t acknowledge the input in a meaningful way.

Some form of remedy

Conversations take time and effort.  And yes, they aren’t scalable for one person.  But, it would be nice to see people stop worrying about their notoriety or their personal brand and, come back down to earth and actually start showing how conversations in social media and commercial real estate can lead to business.  Otherwise, the social media channels will, over time, become just like typical push marketing channels.  Or are they already there?

I’m suddenly realizing that my Blog is much more about my education (putting my thoughts down and critical thinking) with pushing those ideas further through the comments and the flow of the back and forth.  I may have all been weighing too heavy on this concept that everything must be a conversation. Perhaps, it doesn’t and there’s nothing wrong with that, and there is no depreciation of value.

I think we have had a lot of engagement in commercial real estate online, I’m just not sure that we’re neck-deep in real conversations… yet. Maybe they need to happen in person or maybe we’re over-thinking this all, and Blogs, Twitter, LinkedIN, and Facebook act as a great place to publish ideas with feedback and engagement, but the conversations need to happen somewhere else?

Are we seeing a new shift in Social Media and Commercial Real Estate?   Are the conversations dead?   Were they ever really alive at all?    What do you think?

Photo via Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/monicamuller/

Duke Long

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