Having a sense of community in the commercial real estate industry is something that many consider to be a crucial aspect of the profession. Cynthia Mills with The Leaders Haven, who is an expert on interpersonal skills, says that “community is creating a spirit among a body of people that has them feel like there is a quality of being at home, regardless of how they gather”. Community can professionally prove useful by providing one with opportunities to learn from others, potentially grow business, or strive to do better due to a sense of friendly competition. There are many other ways that this concept can apply in a beneficial sense, so it is important to know how to build community with others and what ways there are to accomplish this goal.
While there is no one correct way to go about building community, in these current times it is the relevant role of technology that needs to be examined. Technology is everywhere, present in almost every action that transpires, all the time. So, when trying to build up a sense of community, using technology as a tool can be a wonderful way to move forward.
Throughout the pandemic, a vast increase in use of video conferencing and virtual meeting platforms was observed. These applications allowed for continued interaction and community even through complete isolation. It is important to continue to value these tools, even as most physically return to work. Applications such as these can allow one to make connections with more clients or colleagues in a day, providing a way to simply check in and chat. Having the option to be consistently available goes a long way to build community. To become truly accessible, one will have to continue to rely on these methods.
Social media is another exceptional medium that can play an important role in building community. This concept is an easy way to build up community by simply interjecting your presence into what others are viewing. Cynthia explained that when used correctly, social media “is a connector” of people. Whether posting business related content, links to other posts, or even something personal that may not pertain to the profession at all, it all serves to connect people. This helps an audience become more familiarized and comfortable around those that posted and therefore fosters community between the individual behind the post and those engaged with their social media.
It is important to realize that utilizing technology cannot be the only way that building this sense of community is accomplished. This is especially true in the commercial real estate profession. Cynthia went on to say that in this industry, the sense of community has a “tangible feel to it”. One must get in some actual face time in terms of visiting properties, meeting and interacting with tenants or coworkers. This may even be a simple in person greeting and conversation. Without these physical interactions, the community that is present in commercial real estate will start to fade. These quick and easy in person methods all provide just as much benefit to growing this community as complex remote options do. They help to truly get to know and be there for others. So keep in mind that while technology undeniably serves an important and useful role in building community, it cannot be the sole way to move forward.
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