Social Media in CRE No Longer Just for Socializing

With An Audience of a Billion, CRE Industry Adopting Social Networks for Business Outreach
By Mark Heschmeyer
February 22, 2012

Commercial real estate brokers and companies are slowly shrugging off their aversions to social media platforms and are engaging more frequently in online marketing, information gathering and client building.

While late to the social networking scene and still in a fledgling state of using websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, many in the CRE industry have started trying to harness their reach in hopes that one day it will lead to deals and dollars. At the same time, many others still refuse to join the fold and flat out state they will resist until they’re the last ones online.

“Clearly social media is still a divisive issue in commercial real estate – the difference in sentiment between enthusiastic adopters and major detractors parallels the sentiments in other industries driven by client relations, such as nonprofits and law firms,” said Angela Brown, external communications manager for Co Star Group. “What is interesting in the similarities is the fact that many of the perceived challenges involved with social media are not insurmountable – platform selection, time management and measuring ROI are actually relatively simple with a bit of education and practice.”

“I also think there is a misperception out there that social media is a magic wand that is meant to replace traditional relationships. It doesn’t work that way,” Brown said. “It should be seen as an inroad to establishing new online relationships and as a bridge to building offline relationships.”

Courtesy of Lee Whistler, Realtor for Century 21 M&M Clovis

Landlords Poised to Regain Upper Hand In Recovering Office Market

By Randyl Drummer

Office space absorption doubled during 2011 as the office-using job base expanded and vacancies declined across nearly two-thirds of U.S. submarkets, CoStar Group reported this week in its Year-End 2011 Office Review & Outlook. The report presented to CoStar clients found that positive momentum in office fundamentals and the continued absence of new construction is expected to result in higher rents for building owners over the next few years. Office sales increased steadily.

Courtesy of Lee Whistler, Realtor for Century 21 M&M Clovis

CRE Price Index Rises for Seventh Consecutive Month

By Randyl Drummer

The CoStar National Composite Index of commercial real estate pricing rose for the seventh straight month since last spring as investment-grade sales made solid pricing gains in November 2011, and the level of distressed sale transactions continued to decline during the month. The composite index rose 0.6% in November from the previous month, with prices now an average 1.8% higher compared to the same period a year ago.

Courtesy of Lee Whistler, Realtor for Century 21 M&M Clovis

No More Fear and Loathing of CRE Lending for Banks

By Mark Heschmeyer

As economic headwinds subside, the commercial real estate lending business for U.S. banks has hit an inflection point. For the first time in five years, a majority of banks are finally talking about their ability to grow their loan portfolios. While the sentiment among banks is neither unanimous, nor the projected lending growth strong, bank executives in analyst earnings calls over the past couple of weeks were clearly signaling they believe they are on the other side of write downs.

Courtesy of Lee Whistler, Realtor for Century 21 M&M Clovis