Sunday, March 23, 2014

Five reasons NOT to outsource #CRE social media

Allen C. Buchanan, Linda Day Harrison,
Howard Kline, and Chris Barbieri
Should you outsource your social media activity?

This assumes of course that you conduct ANY social media activity as a CRE practitioner...but if you are reading this post, there is hope!

As a disclaimer, 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. I have also blogged, tweeted, Facebooked, Linked In, and YouTubed to my heart's content (no pun intended) for the past five years in an effort to engage, connect, and build relationships through social media. This qualifies me as some sort of an expert...I believe! 

Before I delve into the subject of outsourcing, a bit of background...

The foursome pictured at the left is a Tweetup (an in person meeting that resulted from an initial engagement on Twitter) that I attended at the prompting of Linda Day Harrison of theBrokerList. Linda, with her assistant Dana, was on a weekday junket to SoCal and wanted to make the "in person" acquaintance of a few of her SoCal stalwarts...of which I claim allegiance! If you don't know the three other than me...check 'em out! 

Linda Day Harrison: Linda Day Harrison founded theBrokerList.com in an effort to create efficiency and streamlined operations for the commercial real estate industry, property and facility management, leasing and brokerage.

Howard Kline:  Howard is the host of CRE radio. A nationally syndicated talk radio program geared toward all things commercial real estate...AND a practicing real estate attorney in Southern California.

Chris Barbieri: In 2006, Chris, a practicing CRE broker,  became frustrated with the CRM tools in the market for commercial real estate agents, and started developing a CRM for his personal use. Six years later; four fully functional prototypes; three additional offices; thousands of hours of design tweaks and refinement; and one great recession later, Building Blocks CRE was launched in 2012.

The Tweetup conversation was a group of old friends catching up (even though I had never met Linda or Chris in person)...until the subject of assistants and outsourcing arose. Fortunately, we ALL agreed on the approach...DON'T outsource your social media efforts...outsource other tasks so that you may INCREASE your social media engagement. 

But why? I have catalogued several reasons below to justify my (our position) which I hope will help you understand why outsourcing social media is a BAD idea.

Would you send an assistant to meet with a new client? I certainly hope not. The client wants you. Why should an online relationship vary?

Does your assistant understand the biz as well as you do? Once again, I hope not. As a result, the depth of discussion and engagement can never approach yours. My company recently engaged a professional social media company to author a few blogs...what a disaster! They asked us what to write about, what was important about the subject and why it would appeal to our clients. What we received was a milquetoast pile of crap that no one could understand and had zero appeal.

Are your emotions, reactions, and perspective the same as your assistants? I seriously doubt it. Therefore, the way in which you engage and thus remain authentic to your social media relationships, is unique to you. Recently, I read on Facebook that one of my high school classmate's father had died. I knew the man really well and was able to express condolences in MY way.

Would your assistant substitute at a speaking engagement where you're the keynote? I am guessing that would be your last speaking invitation. The audience wants YOU!

Would you allow our assistant to answer your email...without your authorship? With your reputation, an livelihood at stake, you wouldn't relinquish your control.

Instead, consider directing your assistant (assuming that you have one...if you don't, more in another post) to accomplish the things that will allow you to face more clients, potential clients, and strategic referral partners through in person and social media interaction.