And it starts with a phone call…..
On the phone the other day with of course another brilliant person within the commercial real estate industry.
The conversation started to lean towards the commercial real estate community in general and the “perceived online” commercial real estate community. Then we started to throw around some numbers.
How many really?
Now I am not going to sit here and waste my time or yours droning off stats.
For example there are numbers thrown around about the number of actual working active brokers ( 500-600-700k) in the U.S. and Canada. Is that accurate? Hell if I know.
Start to think about the industry beyond brokers. Throw in building owners facilities maintenance engineers, architects investors, appraisers and on and on and on. Oh and please please do not include lenders…that will make my skin crawl. How many can that possibly be? Has to be millions right?
If there are millions in the commercial real estate community. Where are they?
Well we know they are out there working their tails off everyday. Obliviously they are communicating with each other offline and online also by phone and just about any other way you could imagine.
So when they do get online to connect where do they go?
Communication structures set up within their companies? Example: Worldwide construction company.
Online interactive structures set up between specific job types? Example: Architects.
Niche commercial real estate networks. Example: CREOPoint Hey Jean Claude. I will at some point take you up on the invite to the villa in the south of France.
Major social networks. Example: LinkedIn. Twitter. FaceBook. Quora.
So this represents basically the entire online commercial real estate community?
We may pop on three or four different ones each day and that satisfies our needs for communication and interaction.
Now don’t jump on me with “they all have a specific purpose and serve a specific need” comment. I KNOW ALREADY.
I am not trying to suggest that they are anything different than just that.
So have I covered all the possibilities? No need to dig any deeper? We already have too many anyway?
What reasons if any are there to be online anyway?
Of course there are as many answers to that question as there are answers. You know how I am so why not take a shot at a few.
Learning. Flat out is is one of the best ways to listen follow and source information about commercial real estate from the entire world if need be.
Connection. Do I even need to explain this one? If you don’t have this one down yet throw your computer out!
Brand Building. Go from unknown to top of mind awareness for free in front of your customers and competitors. (Priceless)
Uh..Community Influencer. I know this is strategically calculated and measured by major brands. For me personally that is hard to define. Interesting that I was voted the Top Influencer on Twitter by CCIM’s in a poll. Thanks to all. By the way I average 2.5 tweets a day. Which takes about one minute out of my day. Oh and I should write a book about the supposed “influencer” role in commercial real estate. If I do it will make damn sure that I am never invited to meet talk to email DM or breathe near anyone in commercial real estate ever again. Maybe it wouldn’t really matter because who in the hell do I think I am anyway.
Someone mentioned that there are “maybe 20-30 real commercial real estate influncers online anyway.”
If you are not doing at least some of the above online do you actually exist?
We know that there are millions of people involved in commercial real estate.
We know that they get online and communicate and interact in many ways over several platforms.
We have at least a basic understanding of why they choose to be part of the commercial real estate online community.
I NEED YOUR HELP!
Give me some stats.
Show me a white paper or two.
Throw me something specific from your niche within the industry.
Blatantly blast out your opinion.
Bust out an old school spread sheet and show me your math skills.
Visualize it into a holographic 3-d presentation and slap it on YouTube.
Give me your definition of The Real Size Of The Online Commercial Real Estate Community…PLEASE!
Comments opinions and points of view or always appreciated.