Friday, December 20, 2013

THANKS to Social Media...and #CRE REAL people!

I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California...AKA, I sell and lease commercial real estate for a living and have since 1984.

As the year closes and we wax philosophical, we are thankful for many things this time of year...family friends, health, life, and faith...that great CRE year!

Certainly, I am grateful for ALL of those...but...I am thankful for social media this year and the way it's connections...with REAL people...have enriched my life and my commercial real estate practice.

The title is a double entendre (of which I am a fan)..."Thank You" for the engagements that social media has generated...and..."because" of social media the connections are much deeper!

I thought it would be fun to review a few of this year's social media highlights...so here goes!

Duke Long lunch and meetings: Duke and I connected in 2010. I became an ardent reader of his posts and one day picked up the phone and called him...he is a real person! We continued to talk via the social media channels until this year when he visited SoCal twice! We lunched, coffeed, and met several of the Lee folks locally as 42 Floors was gaining traction. Duke was kind enough to pen this post about our time together. I am pleased to say that I made all four Duke Long lists this year! Brokers you must follow on Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs...and the coup de grace...the "Dukey"!...Top ten most influential CRE folks.

Coy Davidson dinner, meeting, and CREW OC presentation: I began following Coy in 2010. One of the young associates in my office recommended that I check out Coy's impressive social media presence. I was blown away! I realized that Coy was the "gold standard" for #CRE and social media and that if I accomplished one tenth of his social media visibility, I should be proud. Like Duke Long, I called Coy. Whattaya know...another real person! Coy and I share the state of our birth...Texas...and realized we had several mutual connections from his days at UT. We nearly made a deal when one of my SoCal clients was considering a Houston location...I called Coy. When Coy was asked to speak at the July CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) of OC luncheon, we had dinner the night before and I was one of only four dudes...the room was packed mind you, BUT, it was a women's only event...in the room to hear Coy speak...cool stuff!

Howard Kline (CRE Radio) lunch, radio show, Lee Summit and dinner: This is a funny connection...not the people, the circumstances. Howard commented on one of my LinkedIn shares. I watched Howard's interview of Lee's former CEO, Ed Indvik. We connected on Twitter. We attempted to meet. The problem was that neither of us bothered to figure out that we live ten minutes (approximately 15 miles) from one another! I thought Howard lived in New York and he thought I lived in San Diego...oh well, we made up for it. BTW, I should mention that Howard is a real person. We lunched, I was honored to be Howard' radio show guest, Howard conducted CRE Radio from our Lee and Associates broker Summit in Las Vegas and we had dinner together with our wives. Howard is now engaged (he is a practicing attorney, you know) to help a building owner of mine with a tenant collection issue.

Matthew Smith coffee: I noticed that Matt from REA was an avid re-tweeter of my stuff...VERY kind of him. I was headed down to Carlsbad for a presentation and called Matt. We met for coffee and had a great time. You guessed it...he is a real person!...starting to see a trend here? Matt and I are scheduled to panel a webinar together on LinkedIn in January...should be epic!

Bridget Williard lunch with Tom Riggins of Riggins Construction: Bridget was an early adopter of social media for CRE...before there was such a thing in 2009. As the construction industry suffered through its most difficult time in SoCal, Bridget found herself at a desk, with a computer, and with lots of free time (no one was building or remodeling any commercial buildings) so she decided to jump into the social media fray. Thousands of us follow Bridget on Twitter, read her blog(s), and learn daily from the Guru! Well, guess what?...yep...she is a real person! We lunched, connected with her company's owner, Tom Riggins and this creative post soon followed...sorry for the pun! I learned that Riggins Construction provides building inspections (pre lease or purchase) in addition to the construction work that they accomplish...a real "arrow in my quiver" of referral partners!

The News Funnel guest blog post: My thanks to Lindsey Kacher of The News Funnel and Funnel Cast! She actually called me and discovered...I am a real person! I was honored to be her guest blogger recently...and one of the 30 most influential CRE folks on Twitter!

Linda Day Harrison: Last but not least. Linda and I became Twitter pals last summer. She, like Matt Smith, REALLY promotes CRE brokers! Linda's theBrokerList is the foremost resource for CRE practitioners through the published "haves" and "wants" and broker profiles. If Linda doesn't re-tweet one of my tweets within five minutes...I start to worry that I goofed...she is THAT responsive and supportive! The ONLY reason Linda and I haven't met in person (she is a real person, I have the photos of Howard Kline and her to prove it) is geography...She lives in Chicago...maybe we will meet in person in 2014!

Have I made any money with this stuff? YES!...but the currency of engagement...with real people...is the special gift I received this year!

I have several notable "real people" on my "hit parade" for 2014...watch out Barbi Reuter, John Orr, Bo Barron, Todd Stewart, Carol Stephen, Chris Clark...I may call you for a meeting when visiting a city near you.