Has Pinterest Helped Your Business Grow?

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media websites on the Internet. The mere act of talking about Pinterest is trendy. Penning an article about how to use Pinterest to grow your business-well, that’s even cooler.  This is not one of those articles.

At OfficeSpace.com, we’ve been reading these articles promising success stories of Pinterest and we, too, have been pinning diligently. We developed a strategy and pinned our favorite offices, office supplies, furniture and photos of spaces featured on our own website.  We have 175 pins, 18 boards and 16 followers.  These just all seem to be numbers without meaning at this point and we keep having this discussion- so what?

There’s talk about what the social media phenomenon is worth if they sell. Forbes thought $7.7 billion last April, but one major question remains: how does pinning actually turn into business?  We read about the large affiliate fees that Pinterest earns but not sure how that translates into revenue for us.

Sure Pinterest seems like great fun for crafts and food, but what about branding? I always see tips but haven’t heard many success stories.

To other CRE-industry folks out there, we’re curious: are you using Pinterest? Do you find that it has made a difference in your personal branding or grown your business?

We’d love to hear your stories!

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 OfficeSpace.com, 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

OfficeSpace.com CEO Susie Algard was recently featured in a Friends.org 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 OfficeSpace.com 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?

#CRE a Little Spam Sandwich For Everyone?

Social Media is all you hear about these days and Commercial Real Estate is catching this wave.

But I have to ask, why does it seem that the twitter #CRE is a regurgitation of other’s breaking news retweeted to insure that the headline has been reinforced subliminally?  Is anyone really responding to the new “hot” listing via twitter? Is this just the nature of twitter? or are we taking the proverbial ‘first steps on the moon’? Am I just missing the point?

I especially love some of the well respected tweeps start talking about the spamminess of #CRE yet they too are contributing their share of 150 or so retweets/day.  I guess we are all guilty of this and the sense of lost opportunities by not getting on the social media express is tough to ignore.

I certainly don’t have the answers but would love to hear from you!