Staying connected: Four easy ways to continuous learning in CRE

Are you new to corporate real estate and need foundational information? Did you take on a new role and have to upskill? Or are you off-ramping in your career, but want to stay connected with the industry? With the proliferation of social media and online platforms you can chart your own continuous learning program in corporate real estate at no-cost and minimal effort.

1. Go Google!

Google Alerts is a simple solution that brings relevant web results based on your queries to your email inbox. Alert queries can be for competitors, companies and industry leaders you want to follow. It could be for specific topics of interest such as sustainability, workforce analytics, and alternative workplace programs.

Additionally, you can subscribe to different RSS feeds from websites or online magazines you like and view them in Google Reader at your convenience. A few alerts and RSS subscriptions should do the trick to get your dose of current news, articles, and blog posts.

See this: How to set up Google Alert and Reader

2. Video-Sharing Channels

Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has become a powerful educational platform with videos on CRE topics. A search for Project Management yielded over 100k videos on YouTube (with a 1% relevance rate, that is still 100 videos). CRE service providers and consultants have promotional channels with content such as expert interviews, real estate trends, and news about international or hot domestic markets. Furniture manufacturers have good case studies, building tours, and product information. Industry organizations have videos on events, interviews and conference highlights.

See this: List of Industry Multimedia Channels

3. Use Social Media

LinkedIn: Beyond being a digital contact manager, LinkedIn is a great place for peer learning from professionals in your industry. There are 150+ professional and networking groups on LinkedIn that have “Corporate Real Estate” or “Workplace” in the group title. Search the group directory to find one that fits your niche interest. If you are a subject matter expert, be active in your Group – share links, ask, and give feedback.

Twitter: You can be one of the 40% of 465 million Tweeters who only “listen”. This micro-blogging site is one of the best ways of receiving instant industry news and finding answers. Following the right individuals and organizations that are subject matter experts can connect you to the best and trending content on the Internet. Hashtags (# symbol, followed by a relevant word or series of characters) help categorize messages and can make it easier to search tweets. Popular hashtags for CRE are #workplace, #sustainability, #ROWE, #datacenters, #LEED, #changemanagement, # strategy. Use all with #CRE to get best results.

Pinterest: The latest social media phenomenon may be an unlikely learning platform, but Pinterest’s sheer virtue as a visual pinboard is ideal for real estate. CRE boards are excellent for browsing through curated images of buildings, collocation spaces, furniture, architecture, and infographics.

See this: Visit WomenCRE’s Pinboard

There are other free social media platforms like Facebook and Google Plus that can tap into, however be mindful and selective and stick to a few that you can optimize. Remember your time is at your premium!

4. Sign up for Webinars, Webcasts and Podcasts

Increasingly popular, industry experts and consultants are offering free content on CRE topics. Webinars are online presentations, seminars, lectures transmitted over the web and are typically 30-60 minutes long and may be free or fee-based. Webcasts are on-demand information programs available. Many have interviews, how-to topics, and general skills. You can fine free podcast from the iTunes store. HBRIdeacast, McKinsey Global Institute, Corporate Executive Board, CareerTool all have topics in general management that you can download and listen to while on the go.

See this: CultureRx hosts a radio show called Results-Only Radio at 1:00 p.m. (EDT), every other Tuesday.

My final thoughts:

• Have an online learning strategy. Create a list of topics you need to get educated on, establish priority, and pick the best information source.
• Set time aside. A 15-minute block of time 2-3 times over the day can be helpful in keeping it manageable.
• Once you have hit your daily learning quota and to keep from getting information overload…disconnect!!