Commercial real estate is a collection of people. So what is the financial downturn doing to that collection? A recent post at NAI Global summed one aspect up well by pointing out that the commercial RE brokers who were never really committed to this industry are moving on. This kind of shakeup leaves behind two groups:
1) Older brokers who built their careers on the ability to network, make the essential contacts and to be a indispensable part of the local economic picture.
2) Younger entrants who are learning everything they can about how to do commercial RE in a market characterized at the same time by both great upheaval and incredible opportunity.
Much has been written about the upheaval. But what is new about the modern marketplace that shows such potential?
For one thing, you! You’re using social media – you’re reading this blog post.
There will never be a substitute for concentrated research on properties or markets, so don’t think that I’m saying that blogs, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn will supplant the hard information that commercial brokers need to be successful.
But it is absolutely true that social media tools have already profoundly changed the part of the business that, when mastered, will sustain a professional through decades and through whatever economic upheavals come. I’m talking about the art of making contacts.
Take one example. When you have a buyer or renter and they’re hot on a distressed office property that you know the FDIC is handling, you’re in a real jam. There’s no easy way to get that conversation started; you might place dozens of calls to a bank’s REO department and get nothing but runaround or silence. One look at the bureaucracy of FDIC is enough to give you nightmares. Time slips away and that buyer’s love cools – all on your watch.
But as shown in the NAR Commercial Technology and Intelligence Briefing Podcast for October, social media can absolutely make all the difference to that scenario. You can listen to Robert Hamman, advisor with Sperry Van Ness tell the story of how Twitter helped him get through the above by giving him the right contacts to do a deal – and then some.
That’s just one example of what kind of world is being left by the Great Broker Shakeout. Lots of good news to be had – and plenty of ways to share it.