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Madison Marquette isn’t the only commercial real estate firm capitalizing on Web 2.0 technologies. But between its online magazine, its blog and its use of social media, the Washington, DC-based retail investor is earning a reputation as one of the more aggressive players.

The company oversees a portfolio of more than 20 million sf of retail space nationwide. It manages regional malls, strip centers, upscale town centers and mixed-use lifestyle villages that combine retail, entertainment venues and restaurants and owns several retail and mixed-use properties.

However, its use of technology has been generating much of the publicity it has attracted this year. Madison Marquette has earned recognition for its “innovative approach” and ability to let customers talk to management “the way younger shoppers talk to one another,” according to a sampling of published reports.

Madison Marquette’s Kurt Ivey, the executive behind the expanded use of web applications, said the company just wants to create a dialogue with consumers affected by its property ownership or management. “The Internet is a powerful community relations tool because it enables developers to reach the public directly and efficiently,” explains Ivey, SVP of corporate marketing and communications. “There are no media filters and no costly ad buys or direct mail campaigns required.”

The dialogue can give the community a greater feeling of ownership with proposed development, reducing negative publicity. It can also enhance a developer’s ability to understand the type of projects a community can support as well as the present and future demographic shifts likely to affect the project, Ivey says.

Traditionally, Ivey says, developers encounter obstacles from the community during the planning phase of new developments because of misinformation, the influence of vocal minorities and biased reporting.

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