Navigating Social Networks, latest blog from Warburg Realty President Frederick Peters

An oft quoted stat is that Facebook has 500M users and now it even has a movie, The Social Network, a movie about, well a social network,and other movies in which it is a central character as well.

How have social networks become a part of your lives? Why did you join any? If you have not, why not? I joined LinkedIn what seems like many moons ago, maybe 2003 or around that time .It seemed like a wonderful idea, and for many years, that was the only “social network” I belonged to. I used it heavily in my prior business. I never joined MySpace or anything else like that. I was reluctant to join Facebook, I only finally acquiesced in 2008, in order to play Scrabulous (I love word games-one of my preferred methods of relaxing usually involves a puzzle, or a word game, and I adore Scrabble-shall we play?).Slowly I rediscovered former colleagues, classmates, even teachers and recently as more of my family has joined it is another for us to keep in touch. I love especially that I can check it from my mobile device when out and about in between meetings and appointments.

Like everything today, I approach with caution, as I try to maintain boundaries between various aspects of my life, from the subsets of personal life to my professional world. Aren’t we all trying to balance it all? Seems especially difficult given how “connected” we are, email, cell phones, netbooks, iPads.

Not only have I reconnected with many people from various phases of my life, I have as well connected with many new incredible people using Facebook (and Twitter). An incredible opportunity to connect and discuss, with people within the real estate industry as well as out of it. The spirit of open sharing, and communication and support is amazing. Many of these people I’ve met at various conferences, and after getting to know each other via social networking, there is a foundation of trust, and transparency-I feel that I know them to some degree, being face to face, is always the goal-but these preliminary interactions add depth and color to who may have been just a name in an endless see of names before, now there’s that “aha” moment prior.

This isn’t “new” per se, there were many such communities on earlier systems, from bulletin boards to CompuServe and AOL forums. My approach is the approach I’ve always had; there is no distinction between “online” Nicole and “face to face” Nicole. My photo accurately depicts what I currently look like ,what I choose to share on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn and blogs, shows further insight into who I am, how I run my business and live my life.

How do you view social networks in your world? Are they a part of your world (and if so, how)?

Can’t wait to hear what many of you have to say (of course some of you will share your thoughts with me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or email or *gasp* we may even discuss over cocktails as the holiday season rapidly approaches!)

Nicole Beauchamp
Warburg Realty Partnership,Ltd
30 East 76th Street |New York,NY 10021
O: 212-300-1835 | F:646-422-4039
E: nbeauchamp@warburgrealty.com
Nicole Beauchamp @ Warburg Realty 

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Here’s an up-to-the-minute insight written by

Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty.

You can read more on www.warburgrealty.com/blog

The Social Network

Frederick Peters, President

I know everyone is not on Facebook. My mother doesn’t use it. A number of the agents in our office are suspicious of it. But with 500 (or is it 600?) million users, Facebook is an international connectivity phenomenon unseen in my lifetime. And increasingly the Web 2.0 tools (no doubt soon to be eclipsed by a Web 3.0 I cannot yet imagine) have become an indispensable part of both my business and my personal life.

As Mark Zuckerberg says in The Social Network, “Facebook is cool.” Although I am not on every day, I am on most days. I have built relationships with fellow agents, including some who now feel like friends although I have never met them. I applaud their accomplishments, worry about their surgeries, wish their kids a happy birthday. And when we meet on either side of a deal we will work together more effectively because we have created this connection.

The same is true, only more so, with my blog. Each week I use this forum to think about the issues and ideas which seem to me to inform real estate brokerage here in New York City. In all my years working with our staff to market the Warburg brand, the blog has been the most successful thing I have ever done. I don’t use it to promote our listings. I try not to write much about the company at all. Yet I know that, because the content often seems to strike a chord both with agents and with consumers, it has a viral readership way beyond those I send it to, or who receive it from one of the Warburg agents, or who read it on my Facebook or my LinkedIn pages. When I attend conferences or industry events, people I have never met comment on the blog. Attorneys I have not spoken to for years call to list properties with Warburg, citing the blog as the reason. So do others who have found me, and the blog, on Facebook.

When I am teaching I often tell agents that ours is a relationship business disguised as a transaction business. In recent years this new and in my opinion wonderful way to create relationships has become an enormous piece of our interactive landscape. I am not active on Twitter, but my wife has used it to build a vibrant dialogue among her peers in the not-for-profit consulting world. For me Facebook and the blog have been my networks of choice.

It can be a challenge to not overshare or undershare. No one will relate to a Facebook presence which is all business (it is after all a SOCIAL network) while at the same time our Facebook friends don’t want to know TOO much about us. But once we find our voices, the networks are a wonderful venue for enhancing credibility, building trust, inviting opinion and buy in from the community, and creating connection. All of us – customers, clients, agents, and those in between – can both delight in and benefit from the swirling, energizing, ever-changing conversation going on 24/7/365 in the ether around us.

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