Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Social Media in CRE, Fad or Future?

The Premise:
I believe that social media will change the way that we as CRE practitioners do business! The trick is to figure out how to embrace the power of the media.

When I started in the CRE field in 1984, I was given a Rolodex and a phone. No one had cell phones, fax machines, or computers. Emphasis was placed upon making calls in person or on the telephone. You followed up with a hard copy of the business card in a "tickler" file. Inventory arrived via a broker mailer of the available space. We catalogued each listing into books of brochures sorted by city and by size. Surveys of avails took quite a while to prepare. Ownership records were accessed via microfiche. The business was much simpler and relied upon face-to-face relationships.

Slow to Change:
The CRE world is SLOW to embrace change as our residential counterparts embrace new things much quicker and more nimbly. Computers were not a necessary tool until the mid 90s and the Internet, websites, email, voicemail, and computerized MLSs weren't the norm until the late 90s.

The Wave...Time to Catch it or Drown:
Those in the CRE field who embrace social media will benefit greatly from the way in which business will be conducted in the years to come. If you doubt this, imagine your practice today without a smart phone, email, GPS, google maps, and all of the tools we take for granted. I found my old Rolodex in a drawer and gave it to one of our new associates, I told him it was my old computer. He looked at me like I was from another planet...youth!

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