In September of 2008, I got an email from a local marketing guru about Twitter and how the guru refused to use Twitter as a marketing tool. I had never heard of Twitter at that point. I was not even using social media or social networking sites to build up my Internet presence let alone my real estate credibility. I had a LinkedIn account and Facebook profile, but I was relatively a "no show" on the latter sites until that email.
From that unsuspecting email, I created my Twitter handle: NJrealtor1. I had absolutely no idea what would come from my use of Twitter, but I figured that one message with 140 characters, 3 times a day about things that I was doing in my business was an easy task to handle. Micro blogging seemed simple enough to do from the web or from my cell phone; it is not time consuming and it costs nothing except your desire to answer: What are you doing right now in 140 characters or less.
So, here I am, almost 696 tweets later, I find myself with over 400 followers, which in the Twitterverse, is a relatively low number, yet I find that I am absolutely satisfied with my tweet leads. Yes, I have leads from Twitter and that's the beauty of Twitter. People who follow you are generally interested in what you do, what you tweet about and as you reply (@username) or Direct Message (DM) each other, you can start to build a relationship with your followers or even the people you choose to follow. (Yes, it is true that people who follow you may also want to sell you something and fortunately, you have the option to block people who are only interested in pitching you, but more about that later).
The following are my Top 10 Tips for Practical Uses of Twitter for Real Estate Agents. These Twitter Tips have earned me clients and I have had some success worth blogging about, but please note that what works for me, may not work for you. It works for me because I am committed to tweeting. I also like sharing.
Without further ado, here are your top ten Twitter tips.
- Create an account with a Twitter username that has something to do with real estate. I created two Twitter accounts under different names: One was under my full name: Angie_Perez and another NJrealtor1. I find that since I have the word realtor in my twitter name, I get more followers related to my industry based on my NJrealtor1 name despite the fact that I tweet about real estate topics from both accounts. With a handle like NJrealtor1, you automatically know what to expect from my tweets without having to read my bio. I believe this is the reason people choose to follow me under this username more so than under my full name.
- Once you have your Twitter account, set up favorable settings. From the web, click on settings in the upper right hand corner after you create your account.
- Add a Photo. Realtors like you and me are notorious for being a little vain in that we brand ourselves with our face, our name and our company logo. On Twitterverse, your photo or icon is important for quick recognition from your eventual followers. Keep your image consistent and do not change or update it.
- Notices. You have three options to choose from. Do you want to receive notifications from Twitter that you have a new follower, a new DM or an email newsletter that you receive with the inside scoop. I find that an email that I have a new follower can be an interruption to my day. I would rather know when someone sends me a direct message only. (You can only receive DMs from people you follow back). As a result, I have my settings to send DMs, in one email as I receive them.
- Set Your Location To Your Market Area. You have 30 characters for your location.
- Do not select protect my tweets. You want people to follow you and sometimes when your tweets are made public on the Twitter public timeline, you might pick up a new follower or two.
- Your Bio is 160 characters: I have "Saving the Economy One House Sale at a Time." This is a good place to display your elevator pitch or to highlight your interests along with how you want people to relate to you.
- Add your homepage or blog url so that you can redirect people to your website.
- You can add a Twitter Widget to your blog or website for additional exposure.
- Find people in your sphere of influence that are tweeting. You can look for people on your AOL, Yahoo or Gmail network. Once you search for them, click on follow and as a courtesy, you can expect for them to follow you back.
- Background Use freetwitterdesigner.com to customize a background for easy recognition. If I were you, I would start tweeting first and when you are comfortable with Twitter, use freetwitterdesigner.com to differentiate yourself. Or try twitbacks.com, which will allow you to display links to your website and web addy to your other business networking or social networking profiles.
3. Start Tweeting About:
- Open house dates, times and location. Include Broker's Open, then provide updates about what's happening at the open house or Broker's Open.
- Success stories of what is sold in your area by you, for how much and how long did it take.
- Provide market updates or news, including a link to where you found information that could be helpful to your followers.
- Add your blog titles and web address or urls for people to read and comment on.
- Ask questions and answer questions.
- Tell about your new listings or the type of house your new buyers are looking for.
- Tweet about the places you like in the neighborhood or upcoming events. People looking to move want to know what is there to do in town.
- Retweet content or other people's useful information to show you are reading and truly following other people.
- Talk to your followers. Use @yourfriends name and DMs when appropriate. @yourfriendsname is visible to everyone, especially if your tweets are public. DMs are visible only to the person you are directing your message to.
- Share your experiences about your products or services that you have used or intend to you.
- Ask for and give referrals.
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