Everyone uses the Internet these days for everything they do. Purchasing a home is not something to be taken lightly by any means. Real estate professionals are quickly learning how easy it is to maintain contact with buyers, investors and sellers via Twitter. No matter if they’re on their way to an open house or walking through the grocery store, communication has never been easier.
Twitter is a microblog chat room with a close-knit community feel. Each post, or tweet, gives you the opportunity to update your friends, or followers, on the latest. Like every online means of communication, the use of Twitter requires a certain amount of etiquette and respect.
Use Correct and Complete Spelling
Too many people are used to text messages via the cell phone. Shortcuts like using numbers and letters to spell words become commonplace when texting on the go. Twitter is somewhat restrictive on the word count of your messages, but don’t treat it like your usual text program. You are a real estate professional, tweet like one.
Always do your best to use correct and complete spelling while you tweet. Your potential buyers and sellers need to feel that you are professional and competent. Misspelling words just to stuff in some word count is not the way to get around Twitter’s 140 character tweet limit. If you can’t say what needs to be said, link to your website.
Another option is to offer leads your phone number or e-mail address by way of direct message. You’ll be meeting them in person if your marketing plan goes well anyway. Be courteous and kind while passing valuable information to your potential clients.
Create Short Links
Websites like TinyURL allow you to shorten any website address to a manageable length. As you are probably well aware, Twitter allows 140 characters per post. You have to make the most of those 140 characters. Abbreviate where possible and always shorten lengthy website addresses.
Learn “at” Replies and Hash Tags
Twitter has a quite unique way of alerting people that they’re being mentioned. An “at” reply uses the e-mail “at” symbol, shift-2, in front of the username of the person it’s tweeting to. “At” replies are filtered to a specific destination in each user’s account, making it very easy to go read replies directed toward you at any given time.
Hash tags, shift-3, are used to specifically tag words that are important to your particular message. Originally hash tags were used to mark news events only. For example, using the hash tag “(hash tag)PresidentialElection” would group your message with other messages that used the same hash tag.
Keep it Personal and Connect with Your Followers
Make your followers feel that you’re paying attention and you understand their needs. You want to be their Realtor; they have to feel that they know you and can trust you. Provide them with the latest industry information as well as the most up to date real estate listings. But don’t spam them with a business-only atmosphere. Show them that you care about them as human beings as well as clients.
Don’t SPAM or Use All Capital Letters
It is true that your followers can un-follow you as easily as they followed you, but that would be detrimental to your purpose for tweeting. You’re on Twitter to gain leads, make sales and help people find the home they’ve always wanted. Don’t ruin your chances at success by spamming the same messages repeatedly.
The use of all capital letters is considered yelling or screaming. It is perfectly ok to get excited and use capital letters for certain words, but don’t overdo it. Remember, tone does not go well with text. It’s very difficult to express certain emotions via the Internet. Stick to words that describe how excited you are about something instead of using all capital letters.
Don’t Overwhelm Followers
Your followers won’t follow you long if you don’t take the time to explain things. Buying a home isn’t a seat-of-the-pants decision. Buyers and sellers are looking for real estate professionals to do business with. Be careful about crossing the line between friend and business acquaintance, but don’t overwhelm your Twitter followers with facts either.
As a Realtor, you’ve been trained to be a professional. Your training taught you the ins and outs of maintaining a professional atmosphere even in the gravest conditions. Twitter requires the same etiquette, determination and professionalism as a face-to-face conversation with potential clients. Let your professional background guide you through each and every tweet.
Kevin Curtis is a licensed agent with RE/MAX Advantage Plus and The Minnesota Real Estate Team. The #1 Re/Max team in MN For 06, 07 & 08. Kevin was the 2007 Agent of the year for the team and the 2008 sales leader. Search for Minnesota and Minneapolis Real Estate with the mn mls. You can follow Kevin Curtis on Twitter