I Finally Got Twitter, PLUS A Free Resource So You Can Too

Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow

Everyone who uses Twitter boasts about what a great tool it is.  So I tried to get into it, I failed.  A few months later I read blog post that inspired me to try again, I failed again.  A few more months later, I learned about # (hashtags to follow things of interest, like a conference or an event).  This was pretty neat, I thought I would try one more time.  This time - it clicked for me. 

Now about four weeks later I have over 400 followers, follow almost that many people, and am usually following at least 3-4 keyword ‘twits' at a time.  Not only is this great distribution for my blog (Active Rain automatically feeds my blog posts to my Twitter account), but I get invaluable streams of real time information and I am brought into a whole new worlds of conversations. 

Now that this Twitter thing has clicked for me, it also clicked why I failed the first times.  I didn't really start with a purpose or a goal of what I wanted to get out of it. 

  • Do you want to build a referral network of real estate agents, then connect with other agents, then talk about real estate.
  • Do you want to connect with people (potential buyers/sellers) in your community, then connect with this group, talk about the community.
  • Do you want to use it socially to keep up with a personal topic of interest, then seek out this community, then talk about this topic.
  • Do you want the latest celebrity gossip, there are many celebs who are twittering multiple times a day who you can follow.  (ok, that was a personal interest plug, follow Ashton Kutcher at @aplusk) 

If you build of network of people you are following for the purpose of building a real estate network, then all you talk about is your kids' school, people aren't going to find you interesting and you won't be followed back or get read - the whole point of doing this. 

The next step of understanding Twitter for me was to download TweetDeck.  This allows me to easily group the topics and people that I am following - sort of bring them to the top of everything else. 

If you want to get started but don't know how, please read this great free eBook (35 pages, easy reading) that @niknik of MyTechOpinion wrote.  The beginning of the book easily lays it all out for beginners. 

If you are more experienced with Twitter, start with Chapter 7.  From here, she describes all kinds of tools and services to take you Twittering to the next level. 


Follow me at www.twitter.com/sbonert


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Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate

Sara, you have at least made me want to take a second look at twitter.  I think maybe I've been approaching it wrong. 

Mar 14, 2009 02:08 AM #43
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

So much to learn about Twitter with not that much time. Hopefully I can be able to use Twitter better. Congratulations on the star. Great post.

Mar 14, 2009 02:39 AM #44
Erika Rogers
Red Rock Real Estate ~ Southern Utah's Largest Independent Brokerage - Saint George, UT
St George Utah Real Estate & Relocation Specialist

I signed up for Twitter a few months back and just couldn't get into it.  I'm still baffled about how and why it works but I'm going to check out the link you gave and see if I can figure it out.  Thanks for the encouragement!

Mar 14, 2009 03:41 AM #45
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I have not yet joined Twitter. Thanks for the ling and the ebook. I will look into it.

Mar 14, 2009 03:46 AM #46
Terri Adams-Scott
J. Rockcliff, REALTORS - Walnut Creek, CA
Realtor, Walnut Creek CA Real Estate

Sara- Thanks for the post and great information!  I have been on twitter a short time and your link to the twitter ebook was just what I needed!!  It answered questions that I felt too silly to personally ask!  I'm off to check out some of the apps and work on a 'welcome message'....thanks!

Mar 14, 2009 04:01 AM #47
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Sara ~ you got it! I am learning it the same way. Being globally connected means we jump into some pretty big conversations and that can be a bit intimidating. Keep the faith, trust the force, find your voice within that context, participate and contribute... the magic is sure to appear.

thanks again for a well crafted post...


Mar 14, 2009 04:31 AM #48
Christianne O'Malley
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Reno, NV
Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno!

Great post. Thanks for sharing!

Mar 14, 2009 04:39 AM #49
Harold "Hal" Benz
Local Impact Real Estate Network - Cranford, NJ
Helping Home Sellers Preserve Their Home Equity


Thanks for the post and the eBook. I'm just getting the hang of twitter. This is helpful...

Mar 14, 2009 05:25 AM #50
Vicki McLellan
RE/MAX Four Seasons - Olympia, WA


Thanks for sharing the information!


~Vicki - redballoonagent.com

Mar 14, 2009 06:25 AM #51
Norma Brandsberg
Marks Realty Co. Inc., Lynchburg, VA, 540-586-9496 - Forest, VA

Have been meaning to sign up for Twitter but am so busy with this blog, have not has the time.

Mar 14, 2009 06:39 AM #52
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Thanks for the resource -- we have not twitted -- as there is just not enough time.

Mar 14, 2009 06:50 AM #53
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Sara - I think I am having the same problem you did at first.  I really had no purpose in mind when I joined twitter.  Now you have made that clear for me to understand.  Thanks for the insight.  I think it will help me.

Mar 14, 2009 07:56 AM #54
Loan Survivor Real Estate Financing Expert
Purchases, First Time Buyers, Pre-Approvals, Refinance - Birmingham, MI

awesome share!

Mar 14, 2009 08:10 AM #55
Brian Guzman
Coldwell Banker - Chicago, IL

Thanks for sharing. I'll have to come back to your post Sunday night.

Mar 14, 2009 09:05 AM #56
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD


Excellent info on Twitter. I'm still trying to get my arms around it, figure out how it can be integrated into my overall marketing campaign. Your blog just gave more reason to dig deeper.

Mar 14, 2009 01:52 PM #57
Joel Williams

I've been struggling with Tweeter as well.  Seems an awful lot of people are tweeting, but, very few seem to be listening.

Mar 15, 2009 03:18 AM #58
Yvonne Coelet
Monument Properties AZ - Lakeside, AZ

Thanks for the info...I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get a clue on how this whole Twitter thing worked. You have taken the mystery out of it. Some of it is still above my head but it will be a great reference source for when I start to become more of an expert.

Mar 15, 2009 09:38 AM #59
Juliet Johnson
Vizzitopia - St Johns, FL
Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing

Hi Sara, this is a great rebuttal to all my friends who think I'm mad to love Twitter.  I do.  I think the rigor of shrinking your thoughts to 140 characters has improved my writing immeasurably.  I love the access to people you'd never hear from via email.

In the beginning, Twitter was lovely just as it was.  But as my # of followers grew, it quickly became impossible to manage any semblance of relationships.  Enter Tweetdeck.  Life was clear once more.  I'm interested you use Tweetdeck for topic research.  I use Tweetlater for that; they send me a nice synopsis once a day.

All good fun.

What is your thought on following back?  D'you believe in automatic reciprocity?

Mar 17, 2009 10:18 AM #60
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

My thoughts on following back - I don't automatically follow back.  First I check out the person's profile.  If it is blank or unrelated to real estate, I don't follow.  If they are in the real estate business I do follow back.  As I get to know people better thru following and if they become a favorite, I move them into a group I call 'special tweeters' in tweetdeck, so I can be sure to see everything they tweet.  (I make special exceptions for celebrities, per my orginal post..haha)

Hadn't heard of Tweetlater, I'll check that out.  Can't imagine Tweetering without Tweetdeck.  In fact, I don't have an iPhone (I think I am the only one), but was thinking of getting one just to have Tweetdeck on the go.

Mar 17, 2009 10:30 AM #61
Juliet Johnson
Vizzitopia - St Johns, FL
Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing

<chuckling>  That would then make 2 of us without iphones!  I like my blackberry - call me oldfashioned!!

Thanks for the free ebook.  I've now read 5 books on Twitter and am feeling pretty expert, I must say!!  Except that it changes all the time.  And then I have to start all over again and adapt.  Plus, I'm coming in on 2,000 and I believe that a lot of things change automatically after that.  But 2 other tips I've found really helpful.

1.  The 80-20 ratio ----- 80% of your tweets are you sharing tools, resources, other people's tweets etc while 20% of your tweets are on your own stuff, positioned as helpful invites

2.  Twellow, Mr. Tweet, Twittergrader  (it was alarming to discover my most often tweeted word was MY)

and my bonus tip for today?  something I stumbled into via Hummingbird's tutorials but it is incredibly useful for all of us


Off to tweet it right now!

Cheers, Sara.  Have a twerrific day <er-hum>


Mar 18, 2009 12:41 AM #62
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