Excerpt from The New #CREcosystem | Download the Full Report Here
On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper made the first call from a handheld cellular telephone. Ten years later, the first commercially available cell phones went on sale in the U.S. for almost $4,000 each; they weighed 2 lbs, offered a talk time of just 30 minutes per battery charge and could store 30 phone numbers. Today, two iPhone 6s handsets have more memory capacity than the International Space Station. As recently as the early 1990’s, most commercial real estate firms communicated via landline telephones, fax machines, and US mail. When contrasted with today’s global connectivity, instant transactions, and real-time collaboration, the impact of mobility on business is nearly impossible to fathom.
Informate’s 2015 International Smartphone Mobility Report finds that the average American:
- Makes or answers six phone calls per day
- Sends and receives 32 texts
- Spends 14 minutes on chat/VOIP
- Spends 26 minutes a day texting.
In our recent report on The New #CREcosystem, we asked a few of commercial real estate’s rising and influential voices about their thoughts on how mobility and social connectivity are becoming cornerstones in modern day business, even in CRE.
How do mobile technologies impact workflow and business performance?
“Mobile technology and portability of information has made customer responsiveness almost instant today. As a wise man told me once many years ago, if you are not saying “Yes” and “Now” to your customers they are going to go elsewhere. Today we can do that with mobile technology and everything MUST be searchable.”
“Mobile technologies help workflow and business performance exponentially. Now that we are able to access almost any file from our mobile devices it makes working on the go much easier.”
“We are able to keep up to date with our clients via email and phone while on the go.”
The quality of customer experience is essential to broker and brand, and CRE pros are quickly recognizing that impersonal mass-market outreach strategies are no longer viable. Until now, mobile and social channels have predominantly been viewed as complementary to traditional activities such as research, relationship building, and community leadership. Insights from our panel reveal a much more dynamic, interactive, and powerful experience enabled by mobile and social-led customer engagements.
“Social media isn’t a tech play, it’s a relationship play.” –@ “#SocialMedia isn’t a tech play, it’s a relationship play.” -@equalman #CREcosystem
Social media has evolved from a one-way communication channel into an ongoing dialogue, growing into a dynamic tool for customer engagement and research. Through this lens, CRE pros are using mobile and social technologies to not only respond to shifting consumer and market demands, but to actively shape the industry around them.
Has your firm developed a strategy to integrate social media into everyday business and marketing practices?
“We understand that social media isn’t a tech play, it’s a relationship play. It’s living, breathing…it’s your customer…your lifeblood. Social isn’t confined to marketing, PR, or customer service. Social media is your customers, partners and employees. It touches every facet of the business.”
“Yes, we are actively conducting marketing research and engaging various social and professional media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) to drive inbound traffic.”
“You have to have your office connected, your workspace connected, and your home connected or you’ll be left in the dust.”
Market knowledge is no longer confined to the realm of marketing studies, but can be acquired by engaging the true content producers – clients. Social and mobile technologies provide natural, intuitive channels for communication and collaboration between colleagues, customers, and service providers. They eliminate traditional communication hierarchies and enhance connections across geography, unlocking unique value.
What is the future of social media in CRE?
“Engagement! Stop automating your marketing. Talk to me like the human being I am! Take risks, make mistakes, always analyze your progress and have fun with live social media platforms! Check out best practices for Snapchat, Peach and Periscope. If your firm hasn’t figured out how to implement these apps into your strategy by now, you’ve already missed opportunities and will continue to do so.”
“Social media will be the glue and soul that keeps CRE relevant, especially on the office side. The lines between people’s work and personal lives are blurred more now than ever and thus it becomes more and more critical that the level of activation in every venue be both well curated and communicated.”
“Full acceptance and integration into mainstream marketing. Enhanced engagement and dialogue with clients and prospects.”
To reap the full benefit of innovative technologies, organizations must adapt their culture by reducing hierarchies, engendering trust, and utilizing tools to make them more nimble. Ultimately, the power of social hinges upon the full and enthusiastic participation of employees and their willingness to share ideas and participate in constructive debate.