We sat down with industry veteran and CRE guru Coy Davidson to discuss how he leverages technology to grow business.
Coy Davidson isn’t your average commercial real estate broker.
Currently a Senior Vice President at Colliers International’s Houston office, Davidson has spent 27 years building a successful brokerage with a focus on office, medical and healthcare properties. The secret to his success? A willingness to adapt in a changing digital landscape.
An Early Adopter
Historically speaking, the CRE industry has — somewhat unfortunately — not been known for its technological savvy. In fact, Davidson acknowledges that CRE professionals, unlike their residential counterparts, have been particularly slow to adopt both in-office tech resources and social media marketing tools.
Despite his somewhat anomalous mastery of digital channels, however, Davidson admits his own introduction to social media took him by surprise.
“Like everyone else, I had a personal Facebook page,” he says. “One day, I decided to write a blog post describing what I did, day to day, as a commercial real estate broker. People knew I was in CRE, but they had no idea what I actually did.”
Almost immediately, Davidson says, he heard from an old high school friend who had become a restaurateur with over 25 restaurants. “He had just closed a deal on a corporate headquarters for his company and said he would have used me had he known what I did. I knew right then that social media was a powerful tool.”
Davidson didn’t stop at Facebook posts, however. Today, the digital platform most essential to the continued growth of his business is his blog, The Tenant Advisor, which he notes has generated numerous leads.
“Even if somebody recommends you to a potential client,” he explains, “the first thing that client does is Google you. I wanted to control what they saw when they typed in my name. I could just have a website, like everyone else, but by creating content, I suddenly looked like an expert. I saw my business skyrocket after that.”
Finding Success as an Introvert
A self-described introvert, technology has empowered Davidson to avoid cold calls — a part of his job he used to dread. While he did ultimately force himself to overcome an initial fear of sales early in his career, Davidson appreciates the impact that emerging platforms and CRE tech tools have had in streamlining communication with both current and potential clients. “I have not made many cold-calls over the last ten years,” he says.
More than that, he explains, CRE technology is transforming the pace of the industry. “The speed at which business is now conducted, how clients gather information, and how both client and brokers can manipulate information and data toward better business decisions — it’s accelerating the traditional industry model.”
Reaping the Rewards
After nearly eight years of actively using social media platforms, Davidson has seen a consistent and significant impact on both his business and his reputation within the industry. Despite running his business out of Houston, Texas, he has clients throughout the United States and around the world.
In fact, Davidson recently helped a company based out of Silicon Valley expand into new commercial space in Houston. How’d they find him? On social media, of course.
He also recently completed a corporate relocation from Houston to Fort Worth for a major chemical company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
“They found me on the internet,” Davidson tells us. “They saw an article I had written online about rents in the Texas office market and called me in for an interview. The truth is, I competed with no one, got the business, and closed a major transaction. And it all happened through social media.”
An online presence, Davidson says, often pre-qualifies for meetings with clients. “They’ve already seen my credentials,” he says. “I don’t have to waste time selling myself, and can focus on the client’s goals.”
Interested in learning more? Follow Coy Davidson on Twitter. To uncover other CRE Professionals on Social Media – read our list of the top 11 CRE professionals on Twitter.
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