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Commercial Real Estate Turn Facebook Off!

Yes, that’s what I said.  “Turn Facebook Off”.

Facebook to many has promised to be the greatest conversation channel and relationship builder in the history of human kind. Yes, I think some one actually said that…most likely the investors in Facebook or that Berg kid.  For commercial real estate that’s just pure BULLSHIT! Let’s take a look at the daunting stats.

Facebook Facts:

1. Facebook has over 500 million users.

2. If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s 3rd largest country.

3. An average Facebook user spends about 55 minutes a day on the site.

4. An average Facebook user spends about 6.50 hours a week on the site.

5. The average Facebook user spends 1.20 days a month on the site.

6. Facebook’s translation application support over 100 languages.

7. There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)

8. Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events

9. Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month

10. More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.

11. ** In a sample survey of 2884 people across 14 countries, Facebook is studied to have the highest penetration. The top 3 sites include Facebook (51%), MySpace (20%), and Twitter (17%).

12. **Over 300,000 users translate the site through the translations application.

13. **Over 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites every month.

14. **Two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites are integrated with Facebook.

15. **There are over 100 million active users accessing Facebook currently through their mobile devices.

Source:

* Online sample survey of 2,884 consumers spread over 14 countries between the age of 18 to 55 years old byOnline Media Gazette.

** Statistics from Facebook press office.

You are on there why?

500 million people on the site spending how much time?  Who cares?  Is it just for brand building,relationship marketing,top of mind awareness?  Are you just “liking” and updating for fun? Obliviously you crave attention and acceptance….just human nature right?  Maybe if you don’t you become invisible and irrelevant according to “today’s” society.

Why real estate people think they are on Facebook.

1.  To encourage past clients and new clients to ‘friend’ you or ‘add’ you to their networks.  You can include links to your profile in your marketing materials, business cards etc.  Build out a brand new online “sphere”.

2. Creating Groups – This is the most obvious way to use the site. Create a “Nashville Commercial Real State” group for example and help investors or potential tenants with their questions.  Leverage your expertise to become the expert in the group.

3. Creating a unique Group is also a great way to keep in touch with business networking contacts you meet ,  maybe something like “Tech Start-ups”

4. Sharing-  Using Facebook to market properties to a select group or share properties with friends . A handy bookmarklet lets you add external links to your Shares.

5. If you’re a blogger, add your RSS feed to your profile. You could find new readers and even drive traffic back to your blog by sharing your posts with your network.

6. Maximize exposure of your services, commercial real estate is very dependent on networking.  500 million people…can’t go wrong …can you?

7. Building up that precious e-mail marketing list.

8. Personal brand building…..!!  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wilmington-NC/Your-1-Real-Estate-Agent/45127282776

9. Creating “real” conversations.

Commercial Real Estate Reality

1. I cannot think of anyone and I mean anyone that I have done a deal with who is actually my”friend” on Facebook.  They are most likely too embarrassed or professional to let me see their ” personal ” or “real”  lives. Or better yet they are not on there at ALL.

2. Put your Facebook profile on your business card or commercial website…and watch them smile and look at you like you are 12 years old. Count the clicks from your website to Facebook…Cajillions of clicks… right???

3. Commercial real estate groups…..what part of no one knowing what your multi-million dollar personal and professional business is….are we in commercial real estate not a part of?

4. Special groups…..the minute you let them know who you are and what you do…do you think that they will really open up on a public forum and tell everyone what their plans and needs are?

5. “Sharing “your listings…do I even have to explain?

6. Driving traffic to your blog…..one word..LinkedIN.

7. Exposure to 500 million…really…how many have opted in to your pitch? All of those friend/like/friend/like/friends..buying millions of dollars of buildings?!

8. Brand building…now where did I lay that glam shot with that nice tie my mom gave me again? Reference number #8 above.

9. E-mail list builder…. oh yes they are going to love the Property Blasts as much as I do.

10. The most meaningful conversations/connections/likes I have are with my 15 year old niece and  6 year old nephew. Both hundreds of miles away. Now that is Real quality.

11.As a little side note:

Check out how they use you personal information…..scary??

http://socialmediaseo.net/2010/11/13/google-social-search-engine/

http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=165228

Conversation and Relationships.

I am just not sold on the fact that Facebook provides any value to a commercial real estate professional.  I would love to see and hear of any examples to the contrary.  Commercial real estate creates it’s own conversations and builds relationships on an entirely different level. Online…in certain forums and networks…but not Facebook. TURN IT OFF! Your thoughts?

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  • Duke, Duke, Duke.

    It is what you make of it! I am connected to many clients on Facebook, as well as members and leaders of my local business community. If you don’t think there is value in that, you’re using it wrong

    (disclaimer: most ppl waste all day on FB. don’t do that)

  • Duke – I couldn’t agree more. Facebook is perfectly suited for B2C, where I can influence my Network on a personal level, and be influenced.

    For B2B the best social media tools in my kit are:
    1 – Blog – write content that people want to read. If it is good they will share it.
    2 – LinkedIn
    3 – Twitter
    4 – YouTube

    I agree with Benjamin, it is what you make of it….but I would rather spend my time making these other tools work.

  • but haven’t you sat through all the amazing webinars that all the realtors hold?

    • Jason,
      I think that the comment has been made that I probably should take a class!

      • I’m tempted every time I see a agent or broker say “hurry, hurry six hours left until my how to piss off your facebook friends by constantly telling them you’re in real estate webinar” to click…. 🙂

  • I think that you’re all right. I count Twitter separately, but in the case of Facebook vs. LinkedIn – and measuring the value of both strictly from a CRE Broker’s perspective – I can see where one would be more useful than the other with these as variables:

    1) Geography
    2) Product Type
    3) Product Size

    …since brokers from certain geographies representing certain product types/sizes are more/less likely to have an audience that includes more/less of these types of individuals as those they tend (or wish to) communicate with directly via their preferred social media channel (Facebook or LinkedIn)….

    1) Other CRE Brokers
    2) Eventual Owners or Space Users

    I would say the bottom link in most CRE markets that I am familiar with is that, if your communicating directly with other CRE brokers, LinkedIn is your “go to” SM channel. If your communicating with or selling in a more direct fashion to the eventual space user, then – much like in residential real estate – Facebook may be your “go to” SM channel.

    Thanks for presenting the topic.

    • Dave,
      I hate it when i just “agree” without a witty response…but you are usually right. We need to disagree on something just to mix it up!

  • not a problem….. Go Cubbies!

  • OHHH I forgot…where is the delete button>>??>< #WhiteSox!

  • Quote from my CRE peep John:
    ” Facebook vs. LinkedIn-like ants at a picnic.. Put a little pile of sugar off the blanket for the ants (facebook) so they let me eat my meal (linkedIn) in peace”

  • Bob

    Patience, patience, my curmudgeonly friend. Despite its seeming infiltration of every facet of our lives, social media is in fact relatively new. Exactly how it will become useful is still an unknown to us all, and especially to Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn for that matter. That it will somehow prove useful and I dare say valuable is a given. Simply look back in order to see ahead. New concepts take time to fully evolve into useful tools, and social media,. the place where, sooner or later, everyone is bound to end up, can’t be all that terrible a place to be. As always, early adopters tend to make the most of new technologies, so get it there, and hang in there. We’re still not too old to tread water for a bit while waiting for that perfect wave.

  • I agree that fb is more of a personal place than a business place (I agree with Chris on the B2C/B2B). That said, I have more traffic coming to my business blog from fb than LinkedIn.

    • Seth,
      I have just seen more value from LinkedIN for CRE. THX for commenting

  • Duke,

    The real issue with social media platforms like FB is being able to understand what market that platform touches, how to use that platform, and how to measure success or failure with that platform.

    Quite honestly, I ask myself the question…what else could I be doing with the time to be more productive and get a higher rate of return.

    Yes, I’m on FB, but not for CRE. Does it mean I won’t get a CRE deal via FB? No. But it is not the best ROI. So I spend very little time on FB, except for automatic cross post from my other media sites for content I deem appropriate to share on FB.

    Likewise, you do the same on LinkedIn by using the #in filter, just like you use the #CRE to mark Twitter feeds as CRE related.

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  • Lowell

    Duke your comments contradict.. I thought you were ahead on this curve. Think about the future. The success of LinkedIn or FaceBook depends on the active network one builds. FaceBook has yet to realize the potential in business, I think, but is building quickly. I do not need to connect with everyone on the internet but a growing community of people in my sphere.. Did I miss something on your comments?

    • Anonymous

      No…I turned it off and never looked back. More value form other networks.

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  • Jess

    One different way I’ve seen CRE companies use it is development or property specific pages to connect with the community around it. Smaller target audience, but can be a good tool for that.

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