When you think of social media, do you picture Facebook, Twitter and millions of young people posting updates on their lives such as: “Score! Just watched my 15th episode of SVU in a row…” While this obviously happens more often than not, social media is also a constant supplier of the latest and greatest in the world of CRE. Don’t believe me? Here’s three examples of CRE masters who spun social media tools into a lasso for tenants and investors:

1. The Social Media Cowboy with an Appetite for More

Patrick Braswell, Principal of Scotland Wright Associates, started a blog about office space. This quickly boosted website traffic, established him as an expert in his market, and easily led to other social media avenues like LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Google Plus.

The blog ended up being Patrick’s catalyst for higher-level Twitter and LinkedIn utilization and a gateway drug to other online resources – Gist, LoopNet’s app, and the CoStar app for a few. He recently co-founded his own CRE app – Ten Eight. He is the first to recommend that property managers and building owners specifically use these platforms to further their businesses in the social media sphere. In fact, you can hear him do so in this webinar, Casting a Wider Net(work).

His advice: get started, keep it small, focused and fun at first, then let it grow on itself!

2. The Retail Real Estate Convention that Shut Down Twitter

The world’s largest retail real estate convention, RECon 2012, recently housed ICSC’s Technology and Social Media Pavilion in Las Vegas. Those who ventured beyond the buffets, fountain shows and locally legal activities, and made it to the pavilion, got a glimpse at where the cutting edge of the industry are with digital and social media.

From DDR’s ValuText to marketing commercial properties with Instagram, there were quite a few examples of business and social media savvy CRE professionals. One impressive feat was the level of buzzing activity achieved on ICSC’s Twitter stream, which proved so popular that a Twitter handle was shut down for its high-volume use in a short time frame! Check out some of the Pavilion’s other highlights.

3. The REIT with a Social Media Crisis and No Social Presence

More and more brands are using social media to build real connections with their clients and prospective clients online. Unfortunately, the open and far-reaching dialogue in this space can present risks as well as benefits. Knowing how to handle a situation that becomes broadcasted over a social platform could be key to saving an entire brand from destructive cyber-turmoil.

One REIT recently faced a social media crisis where rumors (completely false) of its building’s imminent collapse were flying around the online space. As a public company, relying on unit price and investors, a swift and effective response was critical. To calm the storm, and disseminate the truth, they turned to the source – social media. In a short time they created a Twitter account to respond to the situation in the same place where many of the attacks were being made. See how they handled the situation.

As evidenced by these three examples, social media isn’t just for the kids anymore. It’s time for the CRE world to jump in the sandbox and build a giant social media castle.