AUSTIN, TX—The link is so clear-cut—using Twitter to access listings of available commercial office space—that it’s surprising nobody has come up with it before. Yet it was up to RealMassive to come up with CRENow, a Twitter syndication service that’s reportedly the first of its kind. It will launch in its home city of Austin first before going nationwide.
Joshua McClure, founder and CEO of RealMassive, the cloud-based marketing platform for commercial real estate professionals, has some thoughts on why indeed nobody joined Twitter to CRE listings until 2014. For the CRE industry in general, “it’s intuitive to maintain data security,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “There’s a lot of focus on looking at data not from an open perspective but from a closed perspective.”
The polar opposite of that kind of closed perspective is the concept of “radical openness,” which has become increasingly popular as the Internet has become ubiquitous. “You see many businesses becoming more and more open,” says McClure. “Instead of hiding information, and instead of hiding failures, they’re publishing it and using a failure as an opportunity to wow customers with how they deal with the failure. Virtually every Fortune 500 company is now on social media and promoting customer service through Twitter.”
Yet for CRE, an industry that has long been accustomed to doing things in the same way, “Twitter is a very new thing. Commercial real estate is a very traditional, risk-averse industry,” and is not likely to take a risk such as providing information on Twitter. “But then an outside company like RealMassive comes in and takes a look at the current situation and says, ‘we can make it better for everyone by sharing availability data.’ Availability data is not proprietary; in fact, we’re batting 1,000 with landlords so far. If we get the availability data out to as many people as possible, that is almost certainly going to increase the occupancy of the building.”
One of the landlords with whom RealMassive has worked on the initial, local roll-out gives CRENow a thumbs-up. “I expect this Twitter syndication tool to have a transformative, permanent impact on the industry,” says Dick Anderson, partner at HPI Real Estate Services & Investments. “The fact that anyone can now simply search for accurate office space listings through Twitter hashtags is a simple but brilliant solution to issues that have long plagued CRE, like stale data.”
Standard use of the organic listing service is free, allowing RealMassive users to instantly tweet available space with the key information prospective tenants need optimized within the listing. This makes it possible for prospective tenants to quickly access details that inform their decisions including square footage, rate, submarket, photos and a link to the space on RealMassive’s website. For an additional cost, CRE professionals can also promote their listings, thereby allowing them to elevate the exposure of listings on Twitter.
McClure says CRENow is initially being rolled out with office listings largely because office space is the least visible from the outside. By contrast, “If you go through a shopping center and look at the storefronts, you can see immediately what’s available,” he says. But listings in other property sectors will follow in due course. Click here for further information on CRENow.