Many real estate developers have been slow to adopt social media to help market completed residential or commercial construction projects. But those who have are seeing the value in how it can bring to life the branding of new neighborhoods or shopping districts, or draw in prospective tenants or buyers.However, there is one area where developers are still lagging on the social media front: the permitting and community relations phase of a project. This is not surprising -- after all, many developers want to attract as little attention as possible to something that could be controversial and they believe that having a presence on Twitter or Facebook provides a stage for angry abutters to air their complaints.
The truth is, if neighbors are upset, they will take to social media to express their views regardless of whether a developer is on social media. And this is where having established social channels outweighs not having them, for the following five reasons:
While social media does not replace the all-important face-to-face meetings that drive the community relations and agency approval process, it does allow developers to hear more opinions early on, and prevent a problem from escalating, which may save time and money. It also allows them to meet their constituents where they are, and that is online.