Commercial real estate pros lag behind widespread adoption of social media

Feb.February 23, 2012 03:00 PM

Though historically averse to social media and online marketing, the commercial real estate sector is increasingly giving these tools a shot, CoStar News reported.

“Clearly social media is still a divisive issue in commercial real estate — the difference in sentiment between enthusiastic adopters and major detractors parallels the sentiments in other industries driven by client relations, such as non-profits and law firms,” said Angela Brown, external communications manager for CoStar Group.

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter might be staples for the younger generation, but many commercial brokers prefer a live handshake to a virtual introduction.

An informational poll by CoStar, in advance of a Social Media for Brokers webinar to be held next Wednesday by Colliers International’s Houston office, revealed the industry was still pretty much split on the use of social media for marketing properties and forming relationships.

“Referrals are a huge source of business in CRE and social media is all about referrals,” said Amy Schenk, marketing manager for Cassidy Turley in Cincinnati. “Over the past year, I have seen a huge increase in [commercial real estate] professionals accepting social media and becoming more open to utilizing it for business,” Schenk said.

But some brokers are less confident in their use of social media, if they even use them. “I am a newbie to social media,” said Greg Rutten, a principal at GRu Ventures in Del Mar, Calif. “I use it but try not to let it run my life.” — Guelda Voien

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