3 reasons to claim your online real estate

Stop and claim your social real estate

Building a house, office building or shopping mall is serious commitment. Just like any

other major project, it takesa lot of solid planning and valuable energy to pull off. Good developers take a hard lay of the land long before construction begins.

They research property values. They conduct surveys. They consider lending environments. They look at liens, titles and bank accounts. They pursue the smartest and most cost-effective ways to acquire the properties on which they hope to build.

In the social media space, it’s important for construction pros and real estate agents to grasp the importance of claiming their digital media assets, even if they don’t expect to immediately break ground.

In the world of residential and commercial real estate, finding the perfect location for a potential buyer or tenant is an essential part of closing any deal.

But knowing it’s there isn’t nearly enough.

Talk with your communications team and make sure your social media assets are secure. If you’re considering an electronic public relations campaign, it may be a good time to ask your neighborhood digital media strategist to analyze where you stand in terms of shoring up your online real estate.

Here are three reasons why:

1. It’s commonsense

Why wouldn’t you? With only an email address and password required to sign up for the top social networking sites, it makes sense to lock down and protect those properties. But be careful what email address you tie to your social media accounts. On some sites, your may not be able to make changes once you set establish an owner. The same goes with usernames, handles and customized website addresses. And watch out for duplicates. To avoid potential issues, the best-case scenario for many companies may be to employ or assign a community manager to set up and monitor your social media accounts.

2. It’s cost effective

It’s free. Though properly designing, managing and populating your social media accounts is time consuming, the initial cost to claim and name the applications is next to none. If you do it right the first time, the proper development of those sites could turn into marketing gold.

3. It’s collaborative

Sharing information and collaborating with others is an integral part of any given real estate brokerage or professional services firm’s ability to generate referrals and close deals. And with people are flocking to new social sharing sites such as Pinterest, which has seen some early success with those in the retail, food and fashion industries, personalizing the experience of target audiences is taking on an entirely new meaning. In February, the startup company became third-largest social networking site in the world with nearly 18 million unique visitors that month.

A growing number of real estate brokerages and financial services companies will enter the social media space this year as younger generations of sales agents, tax preparers and other professionals come up through the ranks. A number of national financial advisory firms are already well established on Twitter, and industry associations such as the National Association of Tax Professionals are doing an excellent job of utilizing their digital assets.

I often ask my clients if they are everywhere their customers expect them to be. How would you feel if a customer or prospect went to look for you online only to discover your digital handles had been consumed by another source? As the digital age marches on, and more professional services providers gobble up Twitter handles and Facebook names, a better question may be, “Can you afford not to?”

- Todd Razor, Founder, Three Razors Media

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