The Evolution of #CRE

By now, we’ve all heard the joke about brokers and the fax machine.  It’s no secret that commercial real estate has a dinosaur reputation when it comes to technology but times “they are a changing”- sort of.  Some brokers have embraced it while others haven’t.

While Facebook- Does it Extend to CRE? pointed to split camps on Facebook and CRE, there is less debate on Twitter, social media’s 140-character microblog.  Twitter is a conversation where experts come out on top of an array of business topics including  our industry’s very own #CRE.

However, not everyone or every top broker is on Twitter: an evaluation of the top 3 brokers (as determined by Co-Star’s annual awards) across 3 disciplines in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago showed that none of these brokers had Twitter accounts.

With that said, there is an excellent community of brokers, brokerage firms and CRE services on Twitter performing some highly effective habits:

1. They are framing themselves as CRE experts by offering their opinion and feedback on various topics, articles and their own blog.

2.  They are using Twitter to promote their Twitter newsletters, blogs and websites.

3. They insert a little personality and conversation to take away some of the “your broker is invested in the sale more than you” façade.

4. They are forging relationships with others.

5. They are creating excellent name recognition with their strong presences online. You often see the same names come up over and over again for recommended tweeters as they align themselves with the connotation of #cre.

Just as important as what one does, there are “don’ts” that effective CRE tweeters practice as well:

1. They are not promoting their spaces or at least, not to excess.  While it seems to be a more popular practice on other mediums such as Pinterest, few major tweeters are listing spaces on Twitter

2. They are not spamming followers with useless and annoying information and hopefully, not viruses.

3. They are not going off topic: top CRE tweeters are known for their CRE expertise.  They are not known for their sports knowledge, photos of their family or anything else.

Are you part of the #CRE community yet? If not, no better time than the present to get started and find us @officespace!

How Important is the Office Neighborhood?

At, Amazon is a part of our lives in more ways than one.  Our headquarters are located in the downtown Queen Anne/Belltown neighborhoods, within one mile of South Lake Union/Denny Regrade, home to Amazon’s new proposed campus, Facebook’s new Seattle office, Vulcan and a number of up-and-coming internet companies.

Recently, Seattle mayor Mike McGinn has proposed increasing the office tower limit to 240 feet, up from the current 124 feet in South Lake Union.

Why are all these companies moving to South Lake Union?  The answer is simple: the neighborhood puts them in the “center of the Seattle universe.”

McGinn even went as far as to credit the neighborhood growth with the success the city has had in recovering from a slow economy CEO Susie Algard was recently featured in a article speaking to the emphasis of transit-options and amenities.

“[The companies] want to be as competitive as possible on the recruiting front,” Algard said in the article.  “They know that people want to work where they can easily walk to lunch and other amenities.”

The office neighborhood has become particularly important with tech companies in the Pacific Northwest.  These companies are competitive with recruiting and know what their young recruits want.

In addition to restaurants, Algard mentioned doctor’s offices, parks, fitness centers and parking lots as important amenities.  On top of these amenities, South Lake Union is bustling with new condominiums.

For this reason, our listings always include a walk score.  Tenants want to know what’s nearby and how their employees will get to work.  Our walk scores are expandable and include a breakdown of transit, restaurant, hotel and coffee options by distance.  Tenants can also search for directions by entering information on their commute.

Let’s hear back from other cities: How important is the office neighborhood to you and what are the quickly growing neighborhoods in your city?’s Seattle Office Market Q2 Quarterly Report released its Seattle Office Market Q2 Quarterly Report today to a steady market and significant office expansions.

Vacancy rates have remained steady rising slightly from 14.4% in Q1 to 14.5% in Q2 while rental rates increased slightly from $25.83 to $26.38 respectively.

The biggest change in Seattle is the anticipated major office expansion from in the Denny Regrade neighborhood. This expansion is expected to add 3,000,000 square feet of class A office space. Additionally, Seattle mayor Mike McGinn has proposed increasing the office tower limit to 240 feet, up from the current 124 feet in South Lake Union.

To purchase this report for more information on major expansions and a breakdown of absorption rates by submarket, please contact John Heimbigner at

Facebook- Does it Extend to CRE?

There’s been a lot of talk regarding why CRE brokers should not promote their business on Facebook. The main gist: Facebook isn’t a professional network. None of your friends are on Facebook looking for a 5,000sf office or a 10,000sf industrial warehouse.

Yes, Facebook is fairly social and personal but on the other hand, as the largest social media engine, Facebook is a perfect branding vehicle for a brokerage firm or individual broker. It’s easy to control content for the most part and is a much more visual medium than many other social media tools. The photo album feature is easy-to-use and links come with a nice preview, even when you are sharing a link from another Page. Coy Davidson and Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial are great examples of broker and brokerage pages with depth.


First, create a Page for your professional life.  Leave your profile personal so your friends who are interested in CRE can follow you on the Page and you can spare the rest.

However, don’t just create a Facebook page because you feel you have to have one. It’s a waste of time to create a page and never use it to communicate with your customers or worse, randomly update it every few months which definitely sends the wrong message. If you have a Facebook page, you’ll want to ensure that it looks as professional and polished as everything else you do.

When posting, it’s important to think about customizing your message for Facebook. Even though sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Slideshare, and blogs provide a way to link back to your Facebook page., you want to post with care. Many Facebook pages look like a mishmash of photos, slideshows, hashtags and’s and other items not properly formatted for Facebook. There are few discussions, replies or status updates formulated specifically for Facebook. In short, it looks sloppy and abandoned.


Facebook culture leaves very little patience for spammers so you want to think twice before linking your twitter feed to your Facebook feed. If you want to use the same tweet, re-do it for Facebook by taking out the hashtags and leaving the URL text out of the body of the update. Real estate is still very much visual and Facebook leaves much more opportunity for photos. Make use of the photo album feature and facilitate and lead discussions. Facebook’s newest format Timeline lends itself to numerous branding opportunities. Create the perfect Timeline cover, include tidbits about your company history in the timeline and rearrange your featured items along the top right (the “photos” box cannot be replaced).

Does Facebook translate for CRE? Yes, absolutely! It’s a great visual social media tool to reach many users. Time might be a premium and there are better websites for CRE specifically, but if you’re going to do it, do it right.