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Social Media in Real Estate ERES 2012 - Edinburgh. Christian Focke Verena Rock Stephanie Petzinger Ann Skrollan Schnurr 15th June 2012. Agenda. Social Media in Real Estate. I. Introduction. II. Literature Review. III. Methodology and Questionnaire Design. Agenda. IV. Findings.

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social media in real estate eres 2012 edinburgh

Social Media in Real EstateERES 2012 - Edinburgh

Christian Focke

Verena Rock

Stephanie Petzinger

Ann Skrollan Schnurr

15th June 2012

agenda
Agenda

Social Media in Real Estate

I

Introduction

II

Literature Review

III

MethodologyandQuestionnaire Design

  • Agenda

IV

Findings

V

Conclusion

i introduction
I. Introduction

Is social media an important business tool in the real estate industry?

  • Ambiguous sentiment towards social media in the market, recently obvious through the IPO of Facebook
  • Income sources of social media are questionable, but crucial
  • Do social media provide added value to business clients?
  • Paper investigates attitude and level of activity of real estate industry as client of social media services
  • Goal is to find out
    • whether
    • to what extend
    • for which purposes
  • German real estate companies use / plan to use social media
i introduction1
I. Introduction

What are Social Media?

  • Social media are web-based services which provide the opportunity to set up a public or semi-public profile. By blogging, instant messaging and uploading photos or videos, people are able to publish quickly and cheaply online. In business, social media offer companies the chance of advertisement, while consumers have the ability to address their positive and negative feedback to the company in a public way. However, it has to be considered that there are many variationsof social media [see Boyd/ Ellison (2007); Taylor/ Lewin/ Strutton (2011); Bushey (2010)].
ii literature review
II. Literature Review

Literature on social media use in general

  • Research in understanding and using social media was done [Lipsman (2012); Taylor, Lewin, Struton (2011)]
  • A survey concerning the goals of social media applications in profession in Germany was conducted [Kerst et al (2011)]
  • One research report defines four types of social media using companies [Wilson et al (2011)]
  • Implementing social media as recruiting tool is frequently recommended [Hunt (2010)]
ii literature review1
II. Literature Review

Literature on social media use in real estate

  • Academic studies about the influence of the internet on the real estate market in general have been undertaken [Roulac (1996), Dixon (2005)]
  • Examinations about the number of realtors and shopping centres using social media in the US are existing [Babbage (2011)]
  • Except for some interviews with real estate actors there is a lack of European and especially German research reports
iii methodology and questionnaire design
III. Methodology and Questionnaire Design

Research design

  • Questionnaire design:
    • Part I: usersofsocialmedia (9 questions)
    • Part II: non-users ofsocialmedia (3 questions)
    • Screener: all participants (basiccompanyinformation)
  • Questionnairesent out to 787 real estatecompanies in Germany
  • Survey conducted in 2 rounds, using online surveytool
    • Frankfurt and Aschaffenburg (sample sizeof 220)
    • Germany (sample sizeof 567)
  • Response rate: approx. 10% (80 participants)
iv findings
IV. Findings

What does the industry think about social media?

>>Key characteristics of participants

  • 70% users, 30% non-users
  • Mostly local or regional players
  • Employees between 36-45 on average
  • SME, but with history
iv findings1
IV. Findings

What does the industry think about social media?

>>Type of company – split by users and non-users

Users n=38, non-users n=23

iv findings2
IV. Findings

What does the industry think about social media?

>> Users of social media: favourite social media services

  • Types of social media used
  • Xing (27%)
  • Facebook (24%)
  • Google + (16%)
  • Youtube (13%)
  • Second Life (1%)
  • Other: E-mail newsletters, homepage, real estate internet platforms
  • Purposes of social media use

%

n=47, multiple answerspossible

iv findings3
IV. Findings

What does the industry think about social media?

>> Users: Utilization of different types of social media

answers in %

n=45

iv findings4
IV. Findings

What does the industry think about social media?

>> Users: Changes in business success through use of social media

Whatkindofchanges in businesssuccess?

Issocialmediamoreeffectivethanothermediachannels?

n=41

scalefrom 5=highly relevant to 1=irrelevant

n=39

scalefrom 3=betterresultsthan xx to 1=worseresults; 0=n.a.

iv findings5
IV. Findings

What does the industry think about social media?

>> Non-users: Reasons for not using social media as business tool

n=23

answers in %

iv findings6
IV. Findings

What does the industry think about social media?

>> Non-users: Will social media be used in the future?

  • Only 48% of participants consider using social media in the future
  • If future use seems possible, social media will be used for the purpose of:
    • Winning new customers (26%)
    • Increasing company publicity (23%)
    • Real estate letting (17%)
iv findings7
IV. Findings

Validation of assumptions (I)

  • Firms in the real estate sector currently use social media services for purposes of recruiting and marketing only and do not intend to use them for other corporate activities in the future.
    • Assumption seems partly supported:
      • Social Media in use for Marketing
      • But not for Recruiting (Despite XING being the most frequently used Service)
      • Expansion of use areas not planned
  • Social media services are used more by firms with young employees than by firms with older employees.
    • Not supported! Median age group is the same for both users and non users (36-45 y)
    • Distribution of answers is more skewed to the elder age groups for users than for non users.
iv findings8
IV. Findings

Validation of assumptions (II)

  • Social media services are used more by younger (more recently founded) companies than by older companies.
    • Not supported: Vintage years do not differ between the user group and the non-user group.
  • The greater the importance of private customers among the total customer base of a company, the greater the likelihood that it uses social media services.
      • No clear picture, rather not true.
        • Share of users among commercial developers relatively high
        • Share of users among residential landlords relatively low
        • Individual response: “Our private clients do not want to be displayed in social media.”
v conclusion
V. Conclusion

Summingit all up…

  • Majority of responding firms already use social media services
  • Most of current non-users do not plan to become users in the future
  • For users, a “sound” social media strategy does not seem to be in place
  • Marketing on company-level is pre-dominant reason for social media use
  • Social media are rather used by established companies than by “start-ups”
  • Overall, social media benefits were hard to assess
  • Future research: Derive higher response rate for greater statistical significance