Twitter: I'm about to take the plunge, but already need help!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Broadpoint Properties Cal BRE #01324959

Good Morning.

Last night I had some extra time, so I decided that I would finally take the plunge and join Twitter, and start tweeting my life away. Everyone speaks so highly about the value of Twitter that the positives seemed to outweigh my trepidation.

Here's what I was nervous about:

  • Do I have enough time in the day to use twitter? Or will it take away from my other activities?
  • WHat if I do not have time to use it regularly?
  • How do I use all those widgets and things to connect twitter to my AR blog posts and all of the other things that I do online so that Twitter can work behind the scenes?

Okay . . . those are the things that I am anxious about and about which I still do not have the answers.

But, I decided to go for it anyway. I got on last night, and watched the little cartoon for about the 40th time, and then decided to make my username. And here is where I stopped and this is where I hope that all of you experienced Twitterers can help me out:

I am the broker of a real estate brokerage and it would be great to have a Brokerage presence on Twitter. Should I make a username that relates to the brokerage? That way we could get followers and post our brokerage listings and things like that, right?

Now . . . here is the second concern: My pleasure for short sales. A large portion of my blog posts are about short sales and my short sale negotiation company. Should I set up a separate username for that business and connect that with my AR blogs? Should I name it something related to the short sale business or should I use my own name?

Help! Please advise. What would you do based on your Twitter experience?

Broker, Realtor®

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Rainmaker
420,469
Robert Schwabe
EXP Realty - Orange Park, FL
Orange Park Real Estate

Melissa - I would use you personal name just like Jason recommended. I've been on twitter for a few months now and am note sure of the benefits of it.

Jul 28, 2009 07:12 AM #13
Rainer
42,650
Becky Brand
Shorewest Realtors - Oconomowoc, WI

The biggest recommendation I would have on Twitter is to download Tweet Deck, a free software program.  It allows you to sort tweets by groups and/or subject, it makes it much easier to track conversations and it has the tiny URL converter built in.  You can even track your friends' Facebook status and post to Facebook through Twitter.  It can be a processor hog on your machine, I open it and close it, I don't leave it open all the time.

I disagree with anyone who limits who they follow and who they allow to follow them.  Twitter is all about developing an audience, which you hope leads to relationships, which you hope leads to prospects, which you hope leads to transactions.  Limiting that audience seems counter intuitive to what Twitter is about.

I do NOT tweet about random things during the day.  I spend 15-20 minutes a day reading tweets, responding to those that relate to real estate and local issues.  I think that Twitter should follow the same ratio as your blog, about 80% non listings and 20% listings.

Hope that helps - feel free to contact me with any other questions. 

Jul 28, 2009 07:14 AM #14
Rainer
317,091
Scott Hoen
HollywoodTitleCompany.com - Carson City, NV
COO, Hollywood Title Company 714-270-9607

Make the commitment and consistently participate with the tool -- whether it be once a week, every couple of days or every day -- start it and keep it going based upon what you can commit to and give it some time to work for you.

Jul 28, 2009 07:19 AM #15
Rainmaker
189,766
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Before you jump into twitter...go to www.mytechopinion.com and download the ebook on using twitter for real estate by my good friend Nicole aka @Nik_Nik.  It is my Bible...and it will answer a generous portion of your questions.  Believe me, its totally worth it.

Jul 28, 2009 07:39 AM #16
Rainmaker
488,012
TIM MONCRIEF
Tim Monciref - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

Just remember that the end result of whatever platforms people decide to do is to build relationships.  You forget that and your blogging will be worthless.  It is more important to tell someone how to bake a pie than to pitch your favorite home.  People do not care what you have, they care what they desire.

Jul 28, 2009 08:31 AM #17
Ambassador
1,889,398
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Melissa, GO FOR IT and good luck. I still haven't found that elusive time in the day on my part so I want to know how you are doing post-Twitter immersion. I really don't need MORE exposure. I have ENOUGH friends!!

Jul 28, 2009 09:07 AM #18
Ambassador
702,521
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Melissa - aren't you smart to put your questions about Twitter out in the Rain!  You've got some great tips too (Becky about TweetDeck is right on!). 

My 2 cents... remember whatever name you pick try and keep it short - it does become part of the 140 characters you get to tweet with.  Secondly - it's like anything else - it does take a bit of  time to get accustomed to Twitter but once you've done some reading - watch some videos on YouTube - you'll be tweeting to beat the band!  And all in just minutes. 

Funny - I now find myself checking Twitter before email...  who'd have thought...

@RaleighOnline

Jul 28, 2009 09:11 AM #19
Rainer
65,610
Marcy Eastham
Town & Country Realty Corvallis Oregon - Corvallis, OR

Melissa,

Have fun with it!  It's all about relationships.  I've connected with a lot of people in my community that I didn't expect to want to follow me.

Thanks everyone for all the tips!  Check out www.tweetlister.com for a Twitter tool for real estate listings!

Jul 28, 2009 10:49 AM #20
Ambassador
2,011,077
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I'm still working on Twitter myself.  One thing you can do is have your blog posts here in AR automatically post there.  Some don't think it's a good idea, but it will help you get on Twitter.

Jul 28, 2009 11:51 AM #21
Rainmaker
241,422
SacramentoCommercialLoans Bank Turn downs welcomed
Sacramento commercial loans - Sacramento, CA
Quick closings 916-847-7212

I use it almost as a news flash platform for my current data base. I do not put things like what I had to eat and stuff. I mainly post links to articles that relate to real estate. I think it is a great tool to pass out information more than using it to socialize. 

Jul 28, 2009 12:52 PM #23
Rainmaker
566,488
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Glad you started this post Melissa, it's got me thinking about Twitter now too. I have an account there, but never tweet, because I just don't get what all the fuss is about...(I'm not very good in arranging my thoughts in less that 160 characters either.:-) Your post and all the comments here have got me thinking though. - Thanks!!

Jul 28, 2009 01:57 PM #24
Rainmaker
564,419
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Melissa -- I have not taken the plunge as I don't have the time for yet another social media strategy, so I am curious how yours will work out, thanks for sharing, lots of good comments here.

Jul 28, 2009 03:10 PM #25
Rainmaker
355,153
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

I have started using Ping.fm to update all of my social sites at once.  It is a time saver!

Jul 28, 2009 03:36 PM #26
Ambassador
891,486
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Twitter is interesting, but remember that you need to interact, not just broadcast information. 

Jul 28, 2009 04:08 PM #27
Ambassador
628,293
Roland Woodworth
Q Realty - Clarksville, TN
Q Realty - Power In Real Estate

I have been on twitter for several months now. I'm not as active as others that I follow.. It is a great program

Jul 28, 2009 04:10 PM #28
Rainmaker
292,404
Home Loan Search.Online
Home Loan Search Online - Newnan, GA

I've just started with Twitter. It looks like you are getting a lot of good advice from all these comments. 

Jul 28, 2009 10:58 PM #29
Rainmaker
516,588
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX
Broker,CLHMS,GRI

Melissa, I jumped in to Twitter in May and have enjoyed it. It's been a slow process but there rae really no m istake that can be made beyond obvious gaffes. I like Jason and Tim's suggestions, try it!

Also, you should post youtr Twitter address, mine is @russellmlewis  see you there!

Jul 29, 2009 01:13 AM #30
Rainer
38,079
Gusty Gulas
Brik Realty - Birmingham, AL
#1 Team in Birmingham

Follow me!!

http://www.twitter.com/gustygulas

I am starting to see results from my tweets after being on there for about 4 months. I have had other bloggers blog about me and how I showcase Birmingham Alabama Foreclosures. I made twitter my platform as well as facebook and doing the same with activerain to become an online leader in my community for real estate.

One suggestion is to be personal. I tweet thruout the day with what I am doing and thenthrow in some random real estate posts everyday. People don't like to be bombarded with real estate over and over.

For your short sale pleasure, I would come up with your city shortsale specialist or something along those lines and connect with other people that deal with shortsales.

 

Good Luck!!

Jul 29, 2009 02:20 AM #31
Rainmaker
632,817
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Melissa, thanks for asking the question!  Good comments here, and I will be anxious to see how it works for you.  I have not taken the plunge..I was wondering the same things that you were, so I got a lot of answers from your post.  Congrats on the feature, too!

Jul 29, 2009 05:51 AM #32
Ambassador
1,230,287
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Okay . . .I did it! Thank you all for your support. I decided to set up @Broadpoint for the realtors in our office and for me, @MelissaZavala  Funny story about setting up the username that may make a good blog post for later in the week. I've been checking out a lot of the tutorials and plug ins you all have recommended. Thanks!

Jul 29, 2009 10:58 AM #33
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