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Google+: A Quick Perspective

I am sure everyone has heard or read the buzz about Google's latest offering, Google+. Call it the first real challenge to Facebook's rein or call it Google's next flop [Read: Google Wave]; I think it has a shot to make a dent in the social media universe and thus the multifamily space. But, it’s way too early to speculate an end game.

Thanks to an invite from Mark Juleen, I've had the opportunity to play around with Google+ for the past four of five days and I must admit I like it. On the surface it seems like a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook with a few additional touches. It doesn't have great aesthetics but maybe that is part of the appeal. I do like simple, clean and easy. 

One key differentiator is the ability to segment the various audiences you speak to with ease. Be it family, friends, co-workers, multifamily maniacs, biker buddies, consultants, thought leaders and the list goes on and on. You simply drag and or toggle them into Circles that you can give specific names to. It seems to add a level of security that FB makes you work for.  It also does a good job of recommending people that you might want to connect with or Circle up with you will, a feature I think will get better over time with more users and more personal data points.

Do I see this making an impact in the multifamily space? Not just yet as the platform has not offered up the ability to build business pages. I can’t imagine that is too far down the road, however. And, I do think it really depends on Google giving people a very compelling reason to migrate. 

If you think about it people have been loading data into FB for a very long bit of time. Photos, links, videos, rhetoric, etc... It's a lot of time invested so if the ease of migration to include all that data is not there, it might not get the penetration it deserves or desires.

All that said there are implications for the multifamily space. The following are my top of mind 1:10 in the morning thoughts... 

Top of Mind Implications for Multifamily – In no particular order

1.       It could be a game changer in terms of SEO/SEM if it’s links carry more weight in Page Rank

2.      Segmenting the various audiences you serve can/will have it’s benefits [Read: Traffic vs. Current Base]

3.      Town halls [Read: Resident Surveys] become a very rich and meaningful instant feedback mechanism. And, quick to press

4.      While I have not ‘hung out’ – a cool video feature that allows you to see and talk to your audiences no matter the number as I understand it – this could be a powerful addition to the leasing/sales/retention aspects of our business. And, with Google’s Translate that could be uber cool in the way of serving non-English speakers

5.      It could lend a very powerful forum for internal and external customer collaboration

6.      Does the +1 button have a lot more meaning now? I think so…

7.      How about buzz? Does social sharing on a specific unit level become buzzable +1able and Page Rank meaningful

8.      The big boys are there – Zukerberg included.

9.      Ease of SMS integration into your offerings if GVoice gets baked in somehow

10.  Think about recruiting talent to your organization – we could rethink posting jobs

11. The mobile implications are huge 

12. And, just for giggles - what does it mean for partnerships like For Rent/Oodle/Facebook

To close, thanks Brent for reaching out and asking for a perspective. I am quite certain that people much smarter than me will add some crazy cool stuff to this list; I hope it’s at least a good primer. 


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