LinkedIn, THE place for commercial real estate conversation?

LinkedIn, THE place for commercial real estate conversation?

LinkedIn.  I think we all know it has always been considered to be in the “big three” online platforms along with Facebook and Twitter.   At first it was seen as a resume type/put your business stats and info on kind of a platform.  It looked like it was going to be a HR persons dream set up.  I think that has changed, for the better of all.

Commercial real estate digs in.

Let’s start with over 1500 commercial real estate groups.  The types of groups run the gambit of commercial real estate: corporate, distressed, investment multi-family, brokerage, and so on. Memberships of the groups start with just a few members and other groups with memberships from 1000,3000,10,000 and yes up to 50,000 people.  A quick scan of the groups will net you some quality slideshare presentations, great updates on individuals and quick connects to those same people.

Commercial real estate takes control.

If you have been on LinkedIn for any period of time you may have noticed a change. The groups have become much more self-policing.  This is a very good thing.  It’s all about business.  No Facebook friendliness or cutesy Twitter quips.  If you spend any time at all on any site it is obvious you want quality.  This plays right to the hardcore, no nonsense commercial real estate business.

What I see that is good.

Regional networking at its finest.

Chicago and Florida groups are diverse and at the same time specialized. They are using it to….wait for it…Network to get referral business.

Groups from individual companies have taken over their own groups.

Colliers is a great example.  They have basically said (in a nice way)”Hey quit putting random stuff on here.” “We want to use this for Colliers related peer to peer interaction and conversations.”  They want education, conversation and help from and for each other.  I say great. It’s your group and you can make whatever rules you want.

Joining different and non commercial real estate related groups.

Think facilities management, economic development.  I personally follow a facilities management group. The conversations are educational, interactive, and hey, they know the owners of the buildings.

We are all getting better at this online thing.

This is where I truly get my hardcore commercial real estate content.  This is where I find people to follow on twitter. This is where I find people who blog and people who are actually doing deals. Conversation, debate, peer to peer, education, real people with real credibility. They are staring you in the face.

My super special secret.

This is where I post my blog posts in discussions and get the most comments and response. People are more comfortable commenting in the LinkedIn environment.

I see LinkedIn gaining more and more online traction and credibility within the commercial real estate community.  Is there another online platform that has even a vague chance of competing?  What are your little secrets?  Are we just starting to dip our toes in or are we starting to see this LinkedIn online thing as THE place to do business?

Duke Long


  • Au Contraire. I disagree totally.

    As to the numbers you see in the CRE Groups, for the record, it is based solely on early adaption and mob psychology. Those groups that were started in 2008 were the first to receive the mass membership inflow from the recession. After that, those that followed, for the most part, sought groups by the numbers, not members. The assumption being that one has a better chance of connecting (translates to get a job) if there are more members who see me. Unfortunately, in this economy, nothing could be further from the truth. The result: groups with so diverse a membership in their disciplines, as to be virtually ineffective and irrelevant, from a CRE standpoint. The recent hardline membership rules that have been put in place over these past few months, is nothing more than an outcry from the group owners attempting to recapture relevant banter and perhaps an odd “real deal” here and there. So no, LinkedIn has simply amassed greater numbers or our brethren who are similarly displaced, and when the rank and file flow back to the workplace, so that will leave LinkedIn en masse and seek out niche in which to market themselves and their wares. Why do I think they’ll still stick with social media? Because one of the lessons of this recession is to always maintain your relationships, contacts, and referrals. Something that wasn’t needed before, but should never again be neglected.