Commonground Site Kicks Off with 8,000 Industry Providers and User-Generated Reviews
Commonground, the global social network for environmental and commercial real estate (CRE) professionals, has launched an innovative Provider Directory that is the first directory for the industry to employ user-generated comments and ratings. The commonground Provider Directory enables users to search more than 8,000 suppliers in one place. Supplier profile will include reviews and ratings by customers, which will ultimately minimize risk in selecting a provider. Commonground was developed by Environmental Data Resources, Inc. (EDR), the leading provider of real estate environmental risk information.
"Today, businesses and consumers make many purchases on the web," said Mark Wallace, Vice President of Social Media for EDR. "Purchasers rely on user-generated content, such as reviews and ratings, to make informed buying decisions. The commonground Provider Directory creates a credible, 21st century means for business professionals and consumers to find providers that will best serve their needs."
Recently, commonground received the 2009 Forrester Groundswell Award as the best business-to- business supporting community as a result of its impact for environmental and CRE professionals, during what has been an extraordinarily challenging period for the industry at large. This business social network has seen rapid growth and expansion since launching two years ago, growing to nearly 6,000 members, more than 1,000 blogs, and over 15,000 posts and comments. Topics addressed, discussed, and debated on commonground range from environmental due diligence, green building, and climate change, to business issues, regulations, and risk management. Members are involved in all aspects of environmental and commercial real estate property transactions. Commonground also recently introduced Due Diligence University; a peer led and developed e-learning course, and real-time market metrics.
According to Wallace, the directory also benefits the providers themselves at a time when they have been looking for a lift. "During the economic downturn, we heard one consistent message from our members in the commercial real estate and environmental due diligence fields: ‘we need a new way to generate new business,’" Wallace added. "Recognizing that the practice of searching, and seeking user-generated reviews and ratings is something that now pervades all aspects of our lives, personal and professional, we moved to action to introduce a state-of-the-art way to help our members gain new customers through expansion of commonground, a trusted industry leading resource. Now, individuals looking to minimize their risk in selecting a qualified provider to fill their need have fingertip-access to insights, peer feedback, and research."
In addition to being included in the directory, providers have the option of upgrading their listing to a Featured or Featured Plus level that allows them to include more extensive details about their firm. According to Wallace, prior to launch, a number of companies involved in commercial real estate transactions opted to expand their visibility on commonground to improve their web presence. Some of those include Professional Services Industries, Inc. (PSI), PM Environmental, Inc., Accutest Laboratories, Greene Group, Inc., Environmental Risk Communications, Inc., EastStar Environmental Group, Inc., Blackstone Consulting LLC, and Risk Management Technologies, Inc.