April 1, 2010Kyle KazanComments 0
Recently, I was at Staples Center watching a Lakers game and when there was a time-out, I checked the e-mail messages on my blackberry. My father (a baby boomer), pointed out the many people doing the same. Moments later, the people in the seat next to us asked me to take a photo with their iPhone which they immediately uploaded to their Facebook page.
The next day, I thought about how technology changed our way of life and how it never stops progressing. I remember greeting my dad at the airport and watching he and a large group of business passengers (mostly male) head to a bank of pay telephones to communicate. My dad always kept a handy roll of dimes with him and he knew where there were payphones along routes he would take.
Federal Express made possible for those documents that absolutely, positively had to be somewhere overnight to get there. The fax machine made transmission even faster.
Next came the internet and e-mail which allowed for even faster communication. A generation (Generation Y) has grown up with the internet and that is their primary source for information.
Social Media is defined (by Wikipedia) as media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers.
In fact, Generation Y (born 1980 – 1994) will outnumber Baby Boomers (born 1945 – 1964) by 1.3 million people in 2010. This young group of Americans use social networking (facebook, twitter, myspace, etc…) to communicate and gather information.
By 2015, Generation Y is expected to comprise 34% of the residential renting market.
Yesterday, I was asked to tour a 17 unit apartment complex with a person who is in escrow to buy the property. The building is two doors down from a 96 unit complex that my company manages. The big difference is that the 17 unit has five vacancies and the 96 unit has one (both properties are the same vintage and have on-site managers). I asked the manager of the small building where they advertise and he said the local paper (and nowhere else). The large complex doesn’t advertise in print media at all but is listed on over 20 websites. The person selling the small building is a long time owner who has clearly not kept up with the societal shifts. That lack of knowledge is costing him a lot of money as he sells an underperforming investment.
1 out of 8 couples married in the US last year met through social media.
Social media allows users to rate goods and services that they buy and rent, instantly. As it is important to understand our customers’ tastes and how to communicate with them, we must stay current with the technology.
Technology and (because of it) the world are becoming smaller and faster. Consider learning how to use a multimedia-enabled smartphone (ie. iPhone, Blackberry, etc…) which is essentially a computer in a phone and joining a social networking site (ie. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc…). The platforms will change over time but staying on top of technological advances will keep you in touch with your customers.