Over the past few months, we’ve been asking our clients for feedback about their experience in social media, particularly those who outsource these efforts to our company. In September, we talked with Mimi Reeves, Owner of Balloons and More, in November, we talked with Susan Pera, Owner of The Cornerstone Coffeehouse, and in January, we interviewed Ann Dennison of Advanced Physical Therapy and Fitness.
We’re proud to say that all of these clients have been working with us for at least a year. This month, we reached out to Mike Kushner, Broker and Commercial Realtor® for Omni Realty Group. Below is his interview. You can follow Mike on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn or “like” Omni Realty Group on Facebook.
There are folks in commercial realty who think social media is a waste of time. What is your response to this?
The statistics validating social media’s ability to positively impact performance more than serve as adequate evidence that commercial real estate professionals should be actively engaged in social media marketing.
Although many commercial real estate professionals may want to think differently, our business is not any different from other businesses. Believing that certain immutable business principals don’t exist for commercial real estate professionals is very dangerous thinking. Not only have I personally benefited from social media on several levels, but I am also aware of numerous examples of both service providers and end-users alike that have received benefit from their investments into social media. Commercial real estate almost always lags behind other industries in terms of adopting new technologies and means of information sharing. We will see a repeat of this trend as the number of social media naysayers is reduced to a scant few within the next 24 months. As an aside, as of April 2009, more people spend time on Twitter, Facebook, etc., than they do on email.
What made you decide to hire a social media manager? What qualities were you looking for in a manager?
There are two reasons why I decided to hire a social media manager. First, as a small business owner, I need to devote my time to running my business and providing outstanding service to my clients. Marketing is a discipline that I can outsource. Second, I don’t have the expertise or industry knowledge to manage all of my social media accounts.
I believe that Rachel helped me to understand how to make social media a working tool in my every day business plan. I really appreciate her advice to start w/certain social media sites initially and how she lays out a specific social media schedule to prevent me from being overwhelmed.
How has social media impacted your business?
Social media has increased my presence and visibility on the search engines, exposure to deals, prospects and information, my ability to improve my position relative to competition, my ability to demonstrate subject matter expertise by expanding distribution for my thoughts and ideas, the ability to reach more people with greater velocity, and the list could go on and on…The bottom line is this: It has been said that as high as 80% of all purchasing decisions and diligence efforts begin with an internet search.
Anything else you would like to add about your experience?
Regardless of where you are in the commercial real estate value chain, you won’t be able to ignore social media and remain competitive in today’s marketplace. I would offer my strongest encouragement to anyone not actively involved in social media to develop a strategy for implementation.
Tell us about your business and your industry, your experience with social media, and your thoughts on outsourcing the efforts.