Count commercial real estate professionals among them. They'reusing Facebook to market themselves and their firms, cultivatecontacts and generate interest in projects and deals.

|

It's not particularly surprising. Facebook announced late lastmonth that it now has about 100-million active users worldwide,with the fastest growing group those 25 and older. FacebookAdvertising gives businesses an opportunity to reach thoseusers through "targeted advertising to the exact audiences theywant," the company says.

|

They can also create Facebook Pages, which give users--with aninterest in a particular business--the opportunity to interact withit in much the same way they interact with their friends, or formFacebook groups to link users with similar interests. The bestpart, company executives note, is that they can create a presenceon Facebook-and potentially generate buzz about products, services,deals or themselves-free of charge.

|

Dubai Real Estate and the International Council of ShoppingCenters both have a Facebook presence. So do a long list of firmsand loosely organized groups, including NY Commercial Real EstateProperty Investors, NYC Commercial Real Estate Brokers, Developers,and Investors; Commercial Real Estate, The Ackman-Ziff Real EstateGroup; Real Estate Investors; Real Estate Entrepreneurs; RealEstate Investing Network; Commercial Real Estate Gurus; CreativeCommercial Real Estate Lending: Office, Apartment, Hotel &Retail Premise International Real Estate And Development, EdmontonCommercial Real Estate, Greater Boston Commercial Real Estate andCommercial Real Estate of North Carolina. There's even a group thatpurports to explain "how anyone can buy Commercial Real Estate in120 days."

|

For a corporate Facebook page to succeed, Toby Kilgore, aprincipal in Deloitte's financial services group, explains, it hasto be distinct from the company's regular website. It has to offerunique benefits--games, videos and contests, for instance--and ithas to allow negative comments or it will seem disingenuous, headds. The goal is to connect and create conversations with clientsand customers, to really carve out a niche on the network.

|

A presence is one thing. But using social networks to market ormanage properties takes that presence to another level. Residentialreal estate agents pioneered the use of social networks, fillingpage after page with community information and listing details.With tools like Web 2.0 Real Estate Directory, they can includeinformation, as well as audio, video and images of listingsdirectly to Facebook.

|

Some companies are making an effort to keep the tone more socialthan business. In June, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC launched aHousetrology quiz on Facebook, which it claims "allowsparticipants to uncover their inner house signs and betterunderstand the various factors that influence their home stylepreferences."

|

But it was only a matter of time before commercial players beganexploring their options, too. In January, Washington, DC-developerMadison Marquette created a Facebook profile forthe "Blue Castle," a former trolley barn in the Southeastneighborhood near the new Nationals Major League Baseball stadium.Company SVP Kurt Ivey describes the move as a "way to cut throughthe clutter and embrace technology "to better understand the bestoptions for redeveloping the site.

|

Now DouglastonDevelopment is using the unarguably edgy slogan ofWilliamsburgEdge: Live Here Or Die to market its new waterfront condodevelopment in New York City's historic Brooklyn neighborhood.

|

And in Washington State, community leaders in the City ofBellevue began the Downtown Bellevue Network page on Facebook to offerinformation on issues such as local construction, condos, shoppingand entertainment. The team includes Brian Biege, a commercial realestate broker at CB Richard Ellis.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.