Twitter for real estate professionals: what are all the tweets about?

Tech-savvy real estate agents understand the importance of using the global reach of the Internet to your advantage. They create informative websites that are optimized for search engines, regularly post blogs, and have started creating profiles on various social networking sites like ActiveRain and Squidoo.

A relatively recent addition to the social media sphere is Twitter, a place where you only have 140 characters to write about your day, ask a question, or link to an article or website of interest. Some see Twitter as a place where users “microblog” while others see it more as a chat room with thousands of users “chatting” at once.

Twitter’s original premise was to provide a place for people to post short, simple status updates; to answer the question: What are you doing? Users share stories about their pets, upcoming appointments, their moods, and much more. You can follow the adventures of other users and accumulate your own followers. You can direct questions and answers to specific people, or send calls to everyone at once.

The appeal of this type of technology baffles many real estate agents who have never used the service, but those who have stuck with Twitter see the benefits of this new type of network.

Instead of trying to see Twitter as a revenue producer, it’s important to understand that Twitter is first and foremost a networking tool. Don’t be too promotional in your posts (known as “tweets”). If self-promotion is your main modus operandi, you will quickly lose followers. Users are not interested in being bombarded with spam posts, so if you want to use the site to advertise your services, be very subtle and make sure your personal posts outnumber the more professional ones.

While it may seem counterproductive to be laid back when trying to market your real estate business, you need to be mindful of the intent of social networking sites. They are intended for people to connect with others who share similar interests or who live in the same community. The atmosphere is casual and definitely more personal than your company website. Grammar and spelling rules are relaxed, and you can talk about the pizza you had last night or the rotten movie you just saw. People who follow you will find your posts interesting because you are being authentic.

The more people know and like you, the more chances you have to gain future clients. It’s the same as expanding your circle of contacts in the real world, and it can be very valuable to your business in the long run.

It is essential to understand the idea that social networks are effective in the long term. Unless you’re really lucky, you probably won’t get new customers right away, but you’re building a solid foundation of online friendships that can turn into business relationships.

In addition to being a vehicle for finding potential clients, Twitter is also a great place to network with other agents. You can share tips, ask questions, and refer customers to agents outside of your service area. Other agents will do the same for you. Building relationships with other real estate agents can be educational and emotionally satisfying as they can relate to the stress you face on a daily basis.

Twitter is free and it only takes a moment to create an account. Search your area for people with accounts, or see if someone you already know has an account. You can start following their tweets and engage people in the conversation. Soon you too will have a following and you will begin to appreciate the possibilities that this type of networking can offer. Be open-minded and creative, and you’ll soon see how you can make Twitter work for you and your real estate business.

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