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+ - Can Technology Help Commercial Real Estate?->

Submitted by
greymond
greymond writes "I work for one of the largest commercial real estate entities in the world. Unfortunately our offices as well as our competitors, for the most part, have always been slow to adopt new technologies. While myself and many other of the in-house designers, marketing specialists and PR people have been pushing for years to take advantage of everything that is available to us, we've finally been granted the opportunity to start using a wide variety of online marketing tools. Since our business is primarily a relationship based business we've started to use social tools such as twitter, and blogger, as well as LinkedIn for networking. But more importantly is our work with tying in our database and Google Maps where our listings and managed property can be seen as whole on our offices main sites or on individual broker pages with just their listings, as well as generate what we call "EFlyers" on the fly and pulling people back to that office's or broker's website. These Eflyers are pages displaying multiple photos, PDFs and even YouTube videos of the properties.

While we haven't been a complete stranger to all technologies such as distributing for some time now our Market reports, transactions, press releases and other information via RSS feeds and Podcasts, we've begun to really focus on expanding on all aspects of our online presence. While we've gone back to the basics and started using different SEO tactics for our featured property pages and incorporating Google Analytics into many of our websites pages, we've also began tracking all of our HTML email campaigns as well setting up an intranet that allows us to send text announcements globally.

That all said, my role has me focused on the west coast markets of the US, primarily California and Nevada and I am constantly asked by our managing partners and board of directors if any of this will really make much of a difference over the next year or two given the state of the US economy. Unfortunately I don't always know how to answer this, while I believe had we been utilizing all these tools when they first became available we may have been in a slightly better position, it doesn't change the fact that the US has been struggling very badly with residential properties and I don't think we've seen all of the fallout possible on the commercial side of things. On the other hand, I think that it is important for our company moving forward to incorporate these tools and others into our daily activities so that when the market does improve we may have made some relationships we may not have made otherwise and be in a better position to make deals. But I'm curious, at the end of the day what do the tech savvy really believe of companies like ours using these tools?"

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