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:

Duke Long


  • Individuals, expressing their specific points of view, is at least the precursor to conversation Duke. Real conversation requires listening and engaging, and I don’t think I’ve seen that on the internet, except oddly enough in some (ugh!, sic!) chat rooms. Web 2.0, and the Social Media phenomenon that it was meant to enable, has instead been the impetus for all too many to become “marketers”. Most believe that Social Media is a place where they have to sell themselves and then they can easily sell their product or services. The concept of organic development of one’s social equity, likely because it is a slow process, just never took hold. Too bad. I wonder if, at the point they realize their tactics do not work, they will simply fade away?

  • Duke:
    I like your posts and look forward to the next installment! Much the same way that I enjoy seeing Coy Davidson’s posts and SM mastery. Coy tends to produce much more content to the point that I feel challenged to “keep up”. Your posts are less frequent and have a flavor all of their own. Coy and I have transcended the cyberspace conversations and have actually connected in person via an old fashioned instrument called the telephone…look into it! Social Media enables us to listen, observe, and comment. I know that if my travels take me to Indiana…you are my man!

  • Hi Duke, a great post on a very interesting topic.

    I have felt for some time now that some blogs, wall posts etc are becoming all too like TV Commercials, and less and less like a social interaction or the broadcast of an idea. I, as I am sure like most, barely notice TV Commercials now and seem to have developed a sub conscious ability to “block them out”.

    I have noticed myself doing something similar on Facebook of late, and “blocking” or “hiding” updates from people that are seeming to become incessant and trivial like a TV Commercial.

    I have only connected with what I would call “real friends” but even the amount of “traffic” that comes from them is seeming to become almost overwhelming, again to use the analogy, like TV Commercial, i.e. I am not interested in what Facebook application they may have just played or what they might be thinking right now (mostly).

    I am however interested in a photo they may post whilst on a holiday or of a new car or a child taking first steps etc. I can’t help feeling that we are as individuals feeling like we need to “advertise”, I also think the extreme mobility of communication we all take so much for granted, whilst incredible is also exacerbating the issue.

    Whilst even a couple of years ago, you would not update or check your Facebook page without first finding yourself a fixed line PC or Laptop, going through the ritual of starting up the PC, connecting to the internet, logging in etc, checking email, mobile communication devices have given us the ability to update wherever we might be and whenever we might feel the urge.

    Again, if I or my friends are away on an overseas holiday or away for business this is a great way to stay connected.

    I don’t however think my friends would be interested in what item I am purchasing in the grocery store nor what mundane, day to day, necessary activity I am doing. this is where I think mobile applications have changed the game.

    I am all for a targeted, personalised communication (emails, letters, sms etc) that talks to me and I can understand, relate and respond to. Not something that talks at me, assumes I am interested and continually tries to grab my attention, again like a TV Commercial.

  • Hello Duke,
    You didn’t strike me as a glass is half empty sort of person. Two weeks ago I didn’t know who you were, I had never read your blog, we had never exchanged emails and we were not connected on Linked In. And because of your blog, today the opposite is true. And that all happened despite of the negatives you listed. I would also suggest that the likelihood of you and I having a future conversation is high. That is amazing! (and you know it)

  • In writing a blog, does the reader or the writer learn more? It seems the blogs that try to sell don’t work because they don’t offer too much opportunity to learn something really new.

    When I feel that the writer has actually learned something writing the blog I get excited and interested. I may not enter a conversation – but I may use the opportunity to learn a little more myself.

  • Hello Duke
    Blog posting is about relevant information which you provide to your listening audience. I not only noticed you but am acknowledging your opinions posted.

    Social media is an additional avenue to travel down for maximum exposure of who you are and what you do living your daily life.

    It takes a monumental effort for some us to keep up to speed with technology…. and I am living proof…as in the past twelve months I have made a concerted effort to hone these special skills.

    Although I have grown my connections on FB, T, L, BN, AR personally, I have just reached the stage for my blog. Relevant content will follow.

    This being said, I totally agree meeting one in person and engaging in a telephone conversation must be part of the process.