"I Just Don't Get Twitter"

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Joel McDonald -- www.AutomatedHomefinder.com

I've got several friends who have tried out Twitter after I bugged them enough, but for the most part, they're still just not getting it.  If you're in that camp, I understand. I didn't "get it" at first either...  However, I'm guessing that's because most of your tweets are announcements about whether or not you chose to super-size your value meal, or what time you woke up this morning.  Furthermore -- you're probably only following a small handful of people who you already know, and they don't yet get it either.  Don't get me wrong -- those kind of tweets are perfectly fine, but if they're all that you have in your arsenal, you'll never get out of the "I don't get Twitter" camp. 

To get the most out of twitter, you're going to want to be more proactive and start interacting with other people outside of your personal sphere who have similar interests (ie: real estate), and talk about interesting things with them.  Even if it's telling someone that their tweet was funny, that's still striking up a 2-way conversation, and it'll be far more effective than one way "I'm eating breakfast" tweets... The best way to do that is to do it in real time.  Waiting 2 or 3 hours after their tweet could confuse them because they may have sent 2 or 3 other tweets since the one you are responding to.

Jeff Turner recently pointed out a great site called TweetGrid, and I can't help but share my elation about this great tool because it is a fantastic way of surveying different conversations that revolve around your interests, and it lets you do it in real-time (but on your own time)!  (By the way, Tweetgrid is just one of many marketing ideas Jeff shares via Activerain, as well as his real estate marketing ideas website: RealEstateShows.com.) 

Now bear in mind that I previously had about a dozen different searches saved via search.twitter.com, and I could "spy" on conversations all around the world about subjects that interested me.  But this service Jeff pointed out has allowed me to take my ADHD to a whole new level.  Now, I can watch dozens of conversations on one page and distract myself into oblivion by jumping into those conversations whenever something new and shiny strikes my fancy.

After watching Jeff's TweetGrid orientation video and once you have an idea of how tweetgrid works, I'd like to share how I use it to find an excuse to talk with other folks in Twitterville who are talking about stuff that interests me, and how those conversations can turn into future business for me.  Because it's easy to get overwhelmed, I've broken my posts into 3 different sections:

  • General real estate discussions
  • Local Discussions
  • Discussions about anything BUT real estate (which will probably become your most valuable discussions.)

General real estate discussions: If you visit this link, you'll see dozens of 140 character conversations about general real estate interests.  It contains anything from up to the minute updates about other Realtors' blog posts, news about real estate or interest rates, debates about the market, and even tweets from Realtors sitting at open houses wanting to be entertained by other Realtors. 

Tweets from this column can help you come up with industry specific fodder for your own posts, show off your knowledge about the industry by responding with helpful information, and help build relationships with Realtors around the country who may very well refer business to you in the future. 

Again, rather than giving you instructions on how to do this, I did it for you so you can start watching other conversations about real estate right now: Here is your pre-populated TweetGrid cheat sheet.  Visit it, tweak it to search for terms that interest you, and occasionally jump in on an ongoing conversation about real estate or loan topics that interest you.  It'll be fun. I promise.

This was part 1 of a 3-part series on ways to engage in conversation with your desired audience.  For part two -- keeping an eye on local real-time chatter, and how you can turn it into local business -- click here.

If you'd like to be updated when I add new posts, subscribe to my RSS feed or follow me on Twitter.


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Charles Stallions 01/09/2013 10:05 AM
Real Estate Technology & Tools
Blogging Etiquette 101
Marketing and Technology Idea Exchange
Free Tools For Real Estate Agents
how does twitter work

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Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD


I'm one of those who still has hard time getting it but after reading your post it makes me think. Maybe there is something to it after all. I'll read your two others when they come out.

Dec 02, 2008 07:25 AM #80
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Joel - great stuff here. I have gotten very active on Twitter but jsut learned about the Tweetgird - missed Turner's post somehow. Thanks for all the great information.


Dec 02, 2008 12:16 PM #81
Sandy McAlpine
Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC

oooooh!!! lala I love this tweetgrid! I haven't seen this yet. I have been using tweetdeck and blackberry twitter but they don't have search functions and follow conversations. wow!!! follow me at @runnergirllkn

Dec 02, 2008 10:47 PM #82
Sharon Paxson
Arbor Real Estate - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - Arbor Real Estate

Joel - great series - I have bookmarked them.

Dec 03, 2008 01:16 AM #83
Brenda Carus
Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate - Monroe, WI

Jeff, wonderful series. 

Dec 03, 2008 02:18 AM #84
Not Yet Licensed

I've got several friends who have tried out Twitter after I bugged them enough, but for the most part, they're still just not getting it.  If you're in that camp, I understand. I didn't "get it" at first either... 

Hi Joel,

I still don't get it.  I know Jason Crouch uses Twitter, so it must be a good thing.  However, when I finally took a look around, it seemed to me like a chat room on steroids.  :)

My time is limited.  I guess the key question is: Are you getting any business from Twitter?



Dec 08, 2008 09:20 AM #85
Joel McDonald
Joel McDonald -- www.AutomatedHomefinder.com - Castle Pines North, CO

Hi Bruce,

Great question, but since I'm a kinda long-winded guy, I posted my response here:


Let me know your thoughts!


Dec 09, 2008 02:30 AM #86
Tami Vroma
West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate - Grand Haven, MI
Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Remeber when you said in this blog about being "overwhelmed" . . .I was already there when I got to that statement. . . .lol  Joel do you have any idea what you have gotten yourself into?  I am ADHD too (seriously) and when I can't understand I go at it until I do . . now your going to be sorry you ever made that comment on my post . . lol

Dec 16, 2008 11:35 AM #87
Doris Freeman
Broker/Agent, Realtor, Madison-Gibson-Crockett

Thanks for the great post, I think I see some value there, I need to re-visit twitter.

Have A Great Day

Dec 17, 2008 02:31 PM #88
Tara Jacobsen
Marketing Artfully - Clearwater, FL
Marketing Artfully

Super great post - mind if I link to it from my blog?!?!?!?

Dec 17, 2008 10:42 PM #89

Tara - you are so kind! I would be honored.  Let me know when you post it! I'd love to read it.

Dec 18, 2008 03:26 AM #90
Joel McDonald
Joel McDonald -- www.AutomatedHomefinder.com - Castle Pines North, CO

Tara - you are so kind! I would be honored.  Let me know when you post it! I'd love to read it.

Doris - keep us posted & let us know your username when you join!

Tami - I do know what I got into, and hope to start seeing some comments/posts about your excitement when things start to happen for you on Twitter! ;-)


Dec 18, 2008 03:33 AM #91
Tina Merritt
Nest Realty - Blacksburg, VA
Virginia Real Estate

I love Twitter and have learned so much from it!  I use Tweetdeck as it allows me to follow specific groups and hashtags.  Please follow me:  @tinainvirginia, @wolkia, @hrrealestate, @virginiais4kids.

Tina in Virginia

Dec 21, 2008 01:26 AM #92
Ervin Alston
EMA GRAPHICS - Virginia Beach, VA

Thank you so much for the post.  I will check it out.  Thanks!


Dec 27, 2008 12:21 PM #93
Andrew Monaghan
Your Phoenix Home Source - Glendale, AZ
CRS, GRI, EPro Associate Broker

I don't get it totally myself but it has its uses, some how my AR blog is linked to Facebook through a Twitter feed, i don't know how it works but i know it does.

Thank you for the rest of the great information


Dec 28, 2008 04:30 AM #94
Brian Griffis
Realty Choice - Springfield, MO

I have to admit, I don't get it either.  It seems like a waste of time for the average person, but may be good for communications in a corporate environment? Have you received any business from Twitter?

Jan 05, 2009 01:17 AM #95
Joel McDonald
Joel McDonald -- www.AutomatedHomefinder.com - Castle Pines North, CO

Yes Brian - I have received business from Twitter. In fact, I wrote a post on this blog about it. Poke around & you'll find it. Thanks for asking!

Mar 14, 2009 05:44 AM #97
Ron Davies Social Media Professional

Well, yes, and no.

I train professionals all over the world on how to use simple social media to explode their market, with my next high end workshop in the UK.

It seems in every profession people get hung up on the same things, and end up with no social media strategy, or plan, just a bunch of things clumped together. tweetgrid is one of them.

Branding and brand monitoring is a completely automated process, but needs to have the right tools. Tweetgrid is more of a toy than a tool, at least in professional social media circles.

Monitoring brand can be as easy as using Google alerts or TweetBeep, to using Twillow or other less elegant services.

Please feel free to use this video to better understand the way we are doing it. There are other ways, but our is likely the most proven. I consult at every level from mom and pop pizza shops to one of the largest hotel chains in the world, and everywhere in between.


I am here if you have any questions.


Ron Davies

Aug 01, 2009 02:15 PM #98
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Just my opinion, it is a total waste of time unless it is midnight and you have nothing else to do and can't sleep. I know I am probably not up to speed but give me a phone and I will run circles around anyone getting deals off the net.

Aug 18, 2009 01:32 PM #99
Joel McDonald
Joel McDonald -- www.AutomatedHomefinder.com - Castle Pines North, CO

[quote]Thanks for being so informative, I will watch for you future post. I haven't had time to tweet but that is something I have on my list.[/quote]

Charles - I'm glad Twitter went from "on your list of things to check out" to "checked out". It's not for everyone.

On another note - I'm glad Claudette was downgraded to "Tropical Depression".  It was looking iffy for the panhandle & Alabama a few days ago.

Aug 18, 2009 01:43 PM #100
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