Duke and I shoot the shit on a somewhat regular basis and it generally revolves around CRE, tech, sports/cocktails/cracking jokes about anything and everything. No sacred cows here; not with the two of us.
A couple weeks ago I was particularly dismayed at a series of #CRE tweets and went on one of my (too?) frequent rants about people not using their brains. It was cathartic for me and hilarious for Duke. He said that I should to write a rant blog about CRE so he could post it and laugh (most likely, at me). I said I needed a natural prompt. The powers that be handed me the prompt I needed around lunchtime on October 24. I decided to scroll the #CRE hashtag on twitter to see if I could find some new articles or learn anything.
I learned that the twitter #CRE hashtag feed is really, really lame.
I find that 99% of the #CRE feed on twitter falls into one of the categories below, which renders the feed near useless for finding anything new or worthwhile.
- 1. Redundant & Outdated Tweets
- 2. Dailies!
- 3. Out of Market Tweets
- 4. Not Reading the Article/Indiscriminate RT’s
- 5. Being a Shill
Let’s examine each item real quick. This post may (will) run a bit (lot) longer than Duke’s typical rant, but bear with me and have a laugh.
1. Redundant & Outdated Tweets:
First, PIG? I can’t tell you how many times I had to click that profile while asking myself CRE PIG? Professional Investor Group, eh? Not buying that. I just call these the PIGs. Poor choice in twitter handles.
Second, why does @cbcre RT every single tweet from a PIG and the PIGs constantly RT each other? Thanks but no thanks. I’ve already seen these links.
Third, those links to videos are from mid 2011. I shit you not. 16 months old at this point. I ask you to keep your eye out for the “loan workout” and “non-traded REIT” tweets shown here. They are scheduled, literally, 3 times a day, maybe more, every.single.day. Bar-none these are the tweets that annoy me more than any other on twitter. I would rather read Kim Kardashian’s twitter feed for life than see those tweets again.
I have not looked into how much effort goes into a paper.li daily website but I will assume it involves zero effort and is completely automated. If it isn’t automated then every person actively using paper.li is wasting their time. These never have anything to do with CRE except MAYBE 1 or 2 tweets, and that is being generous.
How meta can you be? You created a web page that pulls in random tweets from people we already follow or care not to follow to show us tweets we can read on twitter. Thanks?
Oh, and by the way, I picked this example because I received this tweet as I was saving the images for this rant. I clicked the link in the tweet to see which of my tweets was used. No, there was not a tweet by me in your Daily. Bang up job you’re doing.
3. Out of Market Tweets:
Michael, buddy, you manage malls out of San Diego, CA. Why do you feel the need to tweet about the Essex House Hotel in Midtown Manhattan? Not even an indiscriminate RT either. You actually took the time to tweet that. You’re not breaking that story.
I must have viewed that article in my email and on twitter no less than 18 times today (and the sale is a month old at this point – it even says so in the article). It’s a big headline in a huge publication. No one needs to feel the urge to tweet that. It adds zero value. It does cause me to waste 3 minutes typing this though.
And Andrew, my friend, apartments in Abu Dhabi? Maybe you fly from Portland, OR to the UAE on a regular basis. I have no clue. I don’t know you or interact with you on twitter. But the time you took to write that tweet was wasted. The number of people that care about investing in Abu Dhabi multi-family is less than 100. 100. In the world. The whole.entire.world. Not to mention the issues with Islamic law with regard to property ownership and lending (or lack their of), etc, etc.
Side note: the lack of sewers & the process of disposing of waste in Dubai is actually a really funny thing to tweet about (at least to me).
Can’t people find articles to tweet about in their home markets or markets they practice in? You don’t need to challenge the WSJ and Bloomberg to break national & international CRE news.
4. Not Reading the Article/Indiscriminate RT’s:
Chelsey, it is painfully obvious you didn’t bother to read that article. First, see item #1 as that link has already been overexposed for the last 3 days. Second, the report is a national report, not about the Los Angeles market. Third, the LA Times did not say anything – they regurgitated a couple sentences out of a press release from Urban Land Institute and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. The pdf from PwC, released nearly 2 weeks before your tweet, and weighing in at 104 pages, says that 2013 is “a recovery anchored in uncertainty”. I would actually characterize the report as “cautionary” and I said as much. But, hey, you didn’t read the article let alone skim the pdf report.
Jim’s tweet could really land under item #3 because his twitter bio says he is in Kansas City. But his firm has addresses in Santa Monica & New York. So I put it here because CAP rates are not 4% in any market. Maybe for the most Core, Trophy assets in a gateway city you could catch a high 4% CAP, but just no. I don’t know what you read, but no.
Where is the photo of an indiscriminate RT you ask? Truthfully, I was just going to screen cap Michael’s twitter page and show a string of 73 RT’s that cover any and every topic on the face of the earth. But I figured I’d already hit on him once and that image would have been insanely long. Really though, I think he has an Outlook alert set to scroll through his feed at the top of every hour and just indiscriminately RT 37 tweets before hibernating for another hour. He should just outsource his Re-Tweeter feed (see what I just did there? Heh) to India. Or a recent college graduate in his office.
5. Being a Shill:
JUST KIDDING, DUKE!! Duke actually shouts out companies/products he vets so he doesn’t gum up the #CRE feed with crap.
Seriously though, just pick any tweet from any global, national, regional CRE firm. Or any of their marketing/PR people. Talk about a circle jerk. They just tweet listings or “market info” which has no real value to anyone. An executive of your firm just said what at a conference/luncheon I’ve never heard of? Excellent! Why does JLL need to RT JLL India? It’s pointless. Why these firms pay some recent college grad $25,000 a year to tweet preapproved BS and not engage other twitter users is beyond me.
Also, as any person will tell you, they want information and personality on twitter. Look at who you follow. Every twitter handle you follow is either news or personality. And the ones you enjoy most have both. That’s why people love @dukelong and @CoyDavidsonCRE. They talk about CRE and also about lots of other topics. They’re people. And people you love to follow.
While JLL’s PR department would prefer to believe my USC or Sunday Night Football tweets mean I’ve been hacked (really, their “social media rockstar” emailed me about it in the middle of the game), it just so happens that I like sports and tweet about them so my feed isn’t completely links I’m spamming into the #CRE twitter feed. I actually discuss many, varied topics with people on twitter. That makes it not boring and informational to use.
Rant complete. Relaxation achieved.
What we in CRE are really looking for from twitter is value add. The above practices are not value add. We are all guilty of these sins. Let us try to minimize these instances.
See you all in the comments where you can beat up on me.