Today's buyers and sellers have changed the way they locate, then contact real estate agents. Additionally, as information has become plentiful and so easily obtained, buyers and sellers are in need of easy ways to access the information they need to make intelligent decisions. By using Twitter, you can have all this information projected to thousands of people instantly, with your specific brand attached.
Here are the top 10 ways to use Twitter to your advantage:
- Complete your Account Information carefully. Choose an appropriate username, preferably your first and last name if it is available. In this industry, credibility is crucial and your username is the first thing people see. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Next, use the "More Info URL." Here, you should direct Twitter followers to your company's Web site or your professional blog. Finally, and most importantly, fill out your "One Line Bio." This is a quick, concise way to introduce yourself to your followers. Choose this description wisely. Include real estate, but also include something personal about yourself. For example, your bio could read, "Realtor in the Bay Area, avid golfer, mother of four, and one-time tri-athlete." This way people can relate to you on different levels.
- Choose a background and a picture. I know these seem like unimportant, meaningless tasks, but in this day and age, people are visual learners. If you have a boring brown background, we will associate that with you. I would suggest putting an actual picture of yourself as your picture, and choosing your logo as your background. It's important to create a brand for yourself and use that same brand throughout all aspects of marketing and social media.
- Follow local people or people in the area where you're selling real estate. It's important to know your audience and build a name and a reputation in your area. That way, you're more likely to generate a local buzz and get people talking about you.
- Use the auto-follow tool on a third party Web site (such as TweetLater or HootSuite). This means when someone follows you, you automatically follow them back and send them a Direct Message giving them a call to action like "Thank you for following! For more information, visit my Web site at...." This way, you're instantly getting in touch with everyone that reaches out to you.
- Tell your followers to keep you on their "Device Updates." This way, when you tweet an opportunity, they receive it directly to their cell phone. Text message updates are all about speed and personal contact. When a follower/potential client gets a text message it feels more personal than email which can easily get ignored or instantly deleted.
- If you are a buyer's agent and you have a list of buyers, direct them to follow you on Twitter. When a new property becomes available that matches their needs, you can update them from Twitter. And, if they have kept you on their device updates, then you are sending an opportunity to all of your followers directly via text message!
- Use TwitPics. When people are looking to buy a home, they want to see pictures. Sending an E-mail indicating the house has a brand new, updated kitchen with granite countertops isn't enough anymore. Show them the luxurious granite countertops and how great they look with the new stainless steel appliances. And, if you download an application to your phone (like TwitterFon for the iPhone or TwitterBerry for the Blackberry) you can upload photos to your Twitter updates straight from your cell phone!
- If you haven't already, start a blog. A blog is a way to put a personal spin on what you're trying to sell. Also, you can showcase your in-depth knowledge and expertise through your blog and then you can use Twitter to drive people to visit your blog. Put a "follow me on Twitter" badge from a site like this on your blog and you can drive traffic both ways. By doing this, you become credible and potential clients can obtain their information and make a judgment faster.
- Update wisely. It's important to keep your updates personal yet professional. No one cares what you had for dinner. Your followers want to read tweets that show you are an expert in your field. Tell them what you specialize in. Demonstrate your knowledge in your tweets and provide links to intelligent sources/articles/websites etc. that support your premise. Establish yourself as an expert in your area.
- The last tip may be the most important - DO NOT HARD SELL. That is a surefire way to get blocked and destroy the relationships you have been building with your community. Market yourself, but don't sell yourself too much. Don't overload people with many tweets all at once - spread them out and you will reach a wider audience and persuade more people to trust and use you to represent them!
The fast-paced world of real estate is changing, and, especially in today's down marker, you much aggressively change along with it. Twitter is a great marketing tool to have as a piece of your total marketing plan because it enables you to easily reach a large audience, establish your credibility and showcase your expertise.
There are millions of people on Twitter. Many of them are trying to buy or sell real estate. Tweet, and show them you are the person they want to represent them in their next transaction.
@NationalBLS (thanks to Lauren for putting this together www.twitter.com/lauren_hannah)
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