How many commercial real estate companies use Facebook to update potential clients on their current building projects? How many rely on Twitter to highlight the achievements of company employees? And how many connect to their fellow industry professionals through LinkedIn?
Not enough. But Kansas City’s Block Real Estate Services is the exception.
The Midwest company is not only participating in the Social Madness Challenge sponsored by trade publication the Kansas City Business Journal, it is thriving in the competition.
As its name suggests, the Social Madness Challenge is a competition to see how effectively businesses throughout Kansas City use social media to connect with clients, build new business and promote themselves.
Block Real Estate Services on June 20 advanced to the second round of the competition in the small company — fewer than 100 employees — division. Block is now the only remaining commercial real estate firm in the Kansas City area eligible to win the contest, it is also one of just eight companies in the region competing for social media supremacy in their divisions.
The second phase of the competition consists of three rounds, which started June 19. This round features head-to-head contests, so Block is facing off against Shatto Milk Co. for the right to advance to the next round. Block will move on if it nabs the most votes on the Social Madness Web site and the most new followers on Twitter; new friends, fans and likes on Facebook; and connections on LinkedIn.
Paige Salveter, director of marketing and communications with Block Real Estate Services, told me that Block officials are taking the competition seriously. The company has long since accepted the importance of marketing through social media, she said.
“We are pushing the edge in the small business category, and even the large companies in the Kansas City market are not taking it to the next level,” Salveter said.
If Block advances far enough in the competition it will next face off against companies on the national level.
Block today is a heavy user of social media. The company runs its own blog (one that is regularly updated), has a busy Facebook page and Twitter account, an active presence on LinkedIn and even its own YouTube channel.
Salveter told me that social media provides Block Real Estate Services with an easy way to connect with current and potential clients. Social media also gives the company yet another avenue to expose the firm to potential clients and provide valuable information about construction trends and projects to the Kansas City-area community. This last point is important; thanks in part to its social media efforts, Block Real Estate Services has established itself as a go-to expert on all matters real estate-related in the Kansas City area.
Will other commercial real estate companies follow the lead of Block Real Estate Services? Those who want to boost their business in a world increasingly enamored with instant information and communication will have to.
— Dan Rafter