Twittering for the Commercial Agent…yeah right!

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Twittering for the Commercial Agent…yeah right!

Ask any Commercial Agent or Chartered Surveyor about their social networking strategy for 2011 and the chances are your enquiry will generate a snort of derision. The traditionally conservative commercial property sector has been slow to see the potential that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn et al could bring to their business development strategy.

And yet this could be an extremely short-sighted view, because social media is indeed perfect for the Commercial Property Agent and the Chartered Surveyor. In a sector where the elements of knowledge, integrity, trust and relationship are all important, a communication channel that enables you to convey these elements with potential clients must be of great value.

The conventional Commercial Agent or Chartered Surveyor would also be under the impression that social networking is purely the realm of the sub 30-year-old user; what marketing bods like to call ‘x’ and ‘y’ gen’s. They would therefore be oblivious to the fact that social networking is now the most popular method of communication across the web, more popular now than email.

Of course any Commercial Agent who plans for the mid to long term will understand that the x’ and ‘y’ gen’s will be clients in five to ten years, but more importantly they represent the pool of prospective talent that your company will seek to employ in the short term. Social networking therefore provides the channel for you to engage with “the cream” of new graduate talent and at the same time, convey what a thoroughly modern and dynamic commercial practice you are.

But it is not all ‘x’ and ‘y’s. As we saw the silver surfer rise at the end of the last decade to become an important part of the online community, an older demographic is now beginning to see how social media can enable them to keep in touch and informed.

So although our conservative Commercial Agent or Chartered Surveyor endeavour to avoid Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and their like, their more dynamic competitor is engaging with their clients via social networking, driving new business to their website and establishing themselves as the Commercial Property expert in the area.

By Philip Burrows, Marketing Consultant