First : If you’re unfamiliar with Twitter, watch this clever video “Twitter in Plain English” before you read this blog post. The video is fast, fun and explains Twitter very clearly.
Until recently I was anti-social. When Christine Churchill (one of the few true “Search Gurus” out there) told me a few years ago that social media would become a key ingredient in the internet marketing mix I didn’t believe her (sorry Chris). It didn’t seem to make sense to me so I didn’t attend any of the social media events or workshops, I didn’t start a blog and I didn’t read even the first two sentences of Cluetrain Manifesto which states:
“A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed.”
Nothing I’ve seen so far illustrates the truth of that statement more than Twitter does. Twitter allows users to participate in real time conversations about anything that interests them and this “real time” element is the “blinding speed” that makes Twitter so powerful. Now, I’m not sure if Twitter is a huge fad that will pass or if it’s going to “take” and be with us long term. What I do believe is that it is proving that the idea of global, real time communication must be taken seriously. Yes, Twitter is “social” but there are also potential business benefits and personally, that’s what I’m interested in learning more about.
Although Twitter has been around for a few years it’s just recently caught fire. Lots of groups, communities and niches have adopted Twitter in a big way including the real estate industry. Real Estate Agents and Brokers love it. Personally, I opened a Twitter account about 5 weeks ago and my experience has been mostly good (which means some of it has been something other than good).
Over the past few weeks I’ve discovered many really great people and businesses on Twitter. I’ll give you just two examples.
We put a new page on our real estate school website that compares online career education options. I posted a tweet announcing the new page and as a result, it was viewed by someone at a company called Careerealism.com. They have a popular blog that focuses on a wide range of career issues. They liked the information we presented on our website and so they Retweeted the link to their network of 3000+ followers. Then, they wrote an article about why this is a good time to become a real estate agent and posted it on their blog with a link to our online real estate school. Pretty cool, huh? (If you’re a Twitter user you can follow these guys here)
I also connected with a local real estate entrepreneur/consultant who develops real estate brokerage tools and technology. I found tweets posted by Eric Stegemann to be very interesting so I read some of his blog posts. By reading his blog posts I learned that Eric has a great grasp on web marketing especially when it comes to the social aspects. We met face to face last week (#f2f in twitterese) and spent 2 hours discussing internet marketing and the real estate business. I learned a lot in that two hours and made a new friend as well! (You can follow Eric here)
The Not so Good
Just a couple examples of what I haven’t loved about Twitter.
It’s hard to communicate in short 140 character messages. That 140 character limit forces me to take extra time to make my message clear and compact. I sometimes take a few minutes to compose a tweet and then after all that work I decide not to send it. Maybe that’s a built in tactic on Twitters part to discourage people from posting unimportant stuff but it’s annoying to me.
Twitter can be distracting and time consuming. Especially when I was first learning Twitter, it took a lot of my time. It’s getting better now. I figure I’m spending about 30 minutes a day at this point which I think is reasonable. These 30 minutes come in the form of several short visits to Twitter. I need to learn to balance the amount of time I spend with the benefit it is bringing me and my business. Still figuring that out.
I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts and experiences with Twitter. How are you using Twitter to benefit your business? What do you like about it or hate about it? Please post a comment and share your thoughts!
Want to find out if you have what it takes to be a Real Estate Agent or Broker?
About David Goldstein — David Goldstein is an Owner and Founding Partner of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.
PS – Here are a few people I like to follow on Twitter. You may enjoy following them too. Just click on their name and you’ll be directed to their Twitter homepage.
Spencer Rascoff – Zillow COO
Kevin Cottrell – This guy has a crystal ball for news! He keeps me up to the minute with breaking economic and real estate news.
Linda Thomas (The News Chick) – another great source for breaking news.
Christine Churchill– President of KeyRelevance.com
And you can follow me as well! Follow David Goldstein