Browse Tag: social media

Reach: What CRE Pros Should Know About Recent Facebook Changes

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Many thousands of agents, managers and brokers use Facebook to great benefit  in their commercial real estate careers.  As with other social networking platforms, Facebook helps maintain the year-round business networking that professionals need.  The cost in dollars is zero to set up a presence such as a page dedicated to your business, and millions of professionals have taken to the site to take advantage of the free networking.

As the site closes in on its tenth birthday, having passed major business milestones such as its 2012 initial public offering, subtle changes in how Facebook works are underway, all aimed at bolstering the company’s bottom line.  Facebook makes its money not as a social networking platform, but as a delivery vehicle for highly targeted online advertising. Increasingly, that revenue is going to come from Facebook users — wether they know it or not.

Reducing The (Free) Reach, Accentuating The Paid

Facebook’s business plan includes directly monetizing the value it provides.  For a commercial real estate professional, that value is in the reach the professional enjoys.  When a property broker (just to take one example of a CRE pro) creates a page dedicated to her practice and posts material on that page, the basic expectation is that everybody who has “liked” that page, e.g. her followers, will see that content in their own newsfeed.  She reaches her followers with her sharing of content.

That was the basic expectation with Facebook for years, but much evidence has come in that the company has radically changed the reach it allows.  The unpaid reach (the industry calls it “organic” reach) is, according to many analysts on the sharp decline:

So far, it looks like brands are suffering pretty hard from the update. Ignite Social Media has put out a report after analyzing 689 posts across 21 brand pages of a variety of sizes and industries, finding that since December 1st, organic reach and organic reach percentage have each declined by 44% on average. Some, it says, have seen declines of up to 88%. One page out of the bunch saw an increase (5.6%).

“As reach declined, the raw number of engaged users plunged as well, falling on average by 35%,” writes Jim Tobin on the Ignite blog. “Some pages saw engaged users fall as much as 76%. Only one page in the data set had an increase in the number of engaged users, coming in at 0.7%.”

“Facebook once said that brand posts reach approximately 16% of their fans,” he writes. “That number is no longer achievable for many brands, and our analysis shows that roughly 2.5% is now more likely for standard posts on large pages. So, a year ago a brand could expect to reach 16 out of 100 fans and now that brand is lucky if they get 3 out of 100. Chilling news for brand pages who have invested resources to ‘build’ a large following of fans.”

Owners of business and brand pages on Facebook now face an altered playing field.  In order to keep up the levels of reach that make involvement with Facebook worthwhile, Facebook offers paid promotion as a means of extending that reach.  The ins and outs of paying for reach on Facebook is a topic for another post – but for now, because users aren’t told about the decline in reach, it’s important to understand that Facebook is increasingly switching to a pay-to-play networking model.

It’s All About.me

It was likely an accident but I may have learned a thing or two on my most recent trip to Las Vegas.  Strolling along from the roulette table to the virtual roulette table, then the ATM, I stumbled upon the 2013 Prudential HIT PLAY Convention being held at Caesar’s Palace. Realizing this is why NAR sent me here it was time to get to work and maybe attend a session or two.

Fidgeting through the program I noticed Terry Watson was holding his session called: Avoiding Road kill – Top 10 Stupid Things That Really Smart REALTORS® Do To Mess Up Their Lives™.  An active speaker on the NAR circuit, Terry is also an instructor for many NAR courses so I made a point to check it out.

A few subjects came up which should not be overlooked by our members, so I decided to share them below.

As a REALTOR® you need to:

1)      Look at yourself as a BRAND-   License your name. Yup, license then protect it. REALTORS® need to realize that their name is a brand. Protect the brand – look up every single photo of yourself on Facebook, including those in which you have been “tagged”. Look into getting reputation management and start a Yelp account in your name before someone else does.

2)      Get some Klout – Many of you may know about Klout, but did you know they have recently partnered with Bing and will now show your Klout score next to your name?  Klout has been touted as an online credit report on how much influence you have in the social media world. As unfair as this may seem to some there are fairly easy ways to raise your score. Getting interactions on twitter and Facebook and posting things that will get forwarded are two of the tips offered to raise your score.  Think grumpy cat.

 

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vitameatavegamin (Photo credit: Sara_Coffey)

3)      Take care of yourself- Are you sick, stressed or tired? No, I am not selling you on a cure all pill or the latest in exercise equipment with assembly required, but I did want to share some of Terry’s suggestions- look at what you take in and do not allowing food sensitivities to control how you feel day to day. If affected, look into the food sensitivity test Alcat, watch documentaries on food production such as fork over knives, and read books such as Wheat Belly.

4)      Create an About.me account – What is About.me? About.me provides free personalized pages on the web where you link all of your social media and contact information in one clean platform- an online business card.  Terry seems to have found out about this site the same way I did –from Nobu Hata, NAR’s Director of Digital Engagement, and checking out his page here.

If you want to learn more about Terry Watson’s programs check out his website at www.terrywatson.com .

 

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Five Great Tips For Doing More Commercial Business From Bret Hunsaker

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Bret Hunsaker lives for new business.  A 25-year commercial real estate pro active in the Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS®, Bret was named by the 3,000-member group 2010 REALTOR® of the year.  What got him there was his talent and skill in acquiring new business, in national marketing and relationship building. The NAR Commercial Intelligence Briefing podcast sat down with Bret and got him to share some of his wisdom on how to do more commercial business.

  • Master, but don’t overemphasize social media: While it is “hotter than battery acid” and Bret says it’s something you have to know and understand, it belongs as part of your overall strategy — not as a replacement.  “It’s only a part,” says Bret. The traditional networking methods are in no way obsolete. “You still have to get out there, cold call, canvas, direct mail.”
  • Go back to existing clients in tough markets:  The thing to remember is that rough times are felt by all.  When you stay in touch with your existing clients even if the deals aren’t flowing, when the gloom lifts, those same people will be calling you. “During the trying times, the best people to go back to are your existing clients. Go back to them. If you step up to clients who know you, and do the right things, you’re going to see the calls coming into your office when the upturn happens.”
  • Always listen. With prospective clients, Bret counsels listening very closely in an initial meeting.  “The number one thing in any new prospect meeting is to listen.  Because in 15-20 minutes,  you’ll know the most important thing to them — and it may not be their business.  Whatever it is,  you should follow up on it.  It could be their family.  It could be a trip they’re taking.  It could be a soccer tournament — whatever it is, build a relationship by listening to what is important to them and following up on what you hear.”
  • Look closely at the trade organizations your clients are members of.  Hunsaker, like all REALTORS, knows the value of a strong trade association.  It brings professionals together to promote ethical opportunities.  The thing for commercial real estate pros to remember is while they may not be eligible to join a client’s trade association, they can still be a source for commercial real estate knowledge.  “I make sure clients tell me what organizations they’re members of.  You can be a speaker, contribute to their websites, be a source for them on CRE.  if you cant join as a member, you can be a guest.  Put yourself in a position to be of value with your expertise.”
  • Hit Your FDO Goals.  What Bret calls FDOs are the Food and Drink Opportunities – those chances to sit down face to face for coffee, lunch, golf — you name it. Counsels Bret: “If you’re in sales and you’re not having personal interaction, you’re probably not doing it right. I count up a maximum of 780 FDOs in a year.  If youre doing under 200 of those in a year, you’re probably not a salesperson.  If you’re doing over 600, you might have to check into the Betty Ford Clinic!”  Bret says to aim for somewhere in that range.   “I plan it out two weeks in advance to make sure the scheduled is filled.  You have to plan, be thoughtful and put yourself out in front of other people.”
You can listen to the entire cast and pick up all of Bret’s great ideas at the NAR Commercial Intelligence Briefing Podcast
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Tips for Beginners from Twitter Commercial Real Estate Influencers

I posed the question of our @commsource followers, “What is your #1 #CRE tip for colleague just starting on Twitter?

Here’s what they had to say..

@BoBarronCCIM:     Follow those with influence and followers and just watch for a month or 2 – then start engaging.

@SB_CRE:     Follow @SB_CRE. 😉 Just kidding. Follow @Michael_MBA, because he posts great links! (My note: DO follow @SB_CRE <- great content!)

@StephenHBenoit:     Don’t make your twitter only about self promotion.

@dukelong:     Wear Dark Glasses.  and Listen!

@clamstorm:     Let your tweets reflect your personality, interests, knowledge and expertise. Enjoy.

@ComAdvisors:     Provide relevant content for your followers, not just about yourself but about your industry/market too.

@JohnZiemba:      Follow the #cre (commercial real estate) hashtag, make lists now, follow industry publications & orgs

@cbrememphis:   Use it as a vehicle to learn, share what you’ve learned and truly connect. Saves the sales pitches for face to face.

@MemphisRealtors:        We think it’s all about the shared community. Growing relationships + making new connections.

@cbrememphisDT:     RE is very tied into the community so realize that you are not only selling your co., but your community

 

I’ll continue to add to this list, and if you have something you’d like to add – please leave a comment below!

Chirp! Chirp!

 

 

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The Great Broker Shakeout And Social Media

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.

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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.