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Why Should I Twitter?

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Together, we’ve (1) learned how to set up a Twitter account and (2) the language of Twitter. Now that you’re Twittering (or like JB, you haven’t jumped in yet but will by the end of this article), let’s talk about why we twitter.

Twitter can be like happy hour. You’re all in one location, you’re introducing yourself to people and they to you, talking about what you do for a living, how you do it, what kind of pets you have, the dumb thing your kiddo did this week and what your favorite drink is. In this one location, you all know what each other does for a living, but it’s not a sales pitch, it’s networking. By being social, you’re sincerely touching as many people as possible and ask anyone- social media applications like Twitter can be very disarming and often create an instant comfort zone.

Many seemingly simple topics that have risen on Twitter have become private, offline debates, conference calls with several participants, meetings in person between professionals, new business ventures, inspired blog articles, been research data points for articles and YES, even referrals (Benn had one just this morning). Twitter ain’t your granny’s chat room, it’s much more streamlined and purpose-driven.

So why Twitter? The same reason you go to happy hour- to meet people, to make or deepen connections, and to trade ideas while everyone knows what you do but you’re not selling, you’re mingling. Now, who’s up for mingling?

As promised, AgentGenius will continue to rock your Twitter world- stay tuned and don’t forget to include your Twitter username in the comments!

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Cesar

    February 21, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Hey Lani,
    I was at SMC breakfast this morning but didn’t have a chance to say hi (had to run to do some work for a client).

    Anyway, I couldn’t agree with you more. Friends of mine don’t get why I do some of the social media stuff I do sometimes, but I tell them, at it’s core, it’s all marketing. And it’s fun marketing too, not like sitting around writing a press release.

    To me Twitter totally is a huge conversation. The people who stick around to listen/talk are the ones who are going to meet people and make connections. There’s no use in being a social media wallflower.

  2. Erion Shehaj

    February 21, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I re-visited Twitter after your first post to see if there were any additional reasons why I should use it. After all, I had seen Mike Price use it all the time. But I must say… it is too ADD for me. I don’t see the point of it, really.

  3. Jonathan Dalton

    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Haven’t explored the business aspects but it’s been a nice bit of sanity (or insanity, as it where.)

    @DaltonsAZHomes

  4. Cesar

    February 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Oh yeah, @cesart

  5. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    February 21, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    oh yeah @LaniAR I don’t think I’ve shared that yet! *duh*

  6. Jennifer Wilson - Agent Solutions

    February 21, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Great analogy Lani. Twittering is the ultimate “virtual” happy hour. I have been invloved in personal and business related twitter topics and have met some incredible people there.

    It’s all about networking in a less “structured” environment where everyone can be themselves without the stress and pressure of being “on the clock”.

    Awesome post Lani!

    @AgentSolutions

  7. JB

    February 21, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I’m assuming with my Flintstone fingers I’ll need a more accommodating phone, as I can’t even text worth a nickel now.

    What kinda phone do most of you guys use, or recommend?

    Thanks Lani.

  8. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    February 21, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Jennifer, thank you for the compliments. I’m glad to hear that others get it! 🙂

  9. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    February 21, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Jeff, I don’t Twitter via phone. I know you’re tired of hearing “I’ll write about that later,” but I’ll write about obligation levels later. I only twit when I’m at the computer and if I miss something, so be it- this is why “applications” (the programs used outside of your web browser that helps organize your tweet messages) are important- they highlight who messaged YOU while you were gone.

    Others tweet over the phone, but I have way too many people I’m following and that are following me, so I choose not to. You should NOT feel obligated to bite off more than you can chew! Baby steps- try following 5 people at first, and ramp up as your handle on it expands.

  10. Ines

    February 21, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    “virtual happy hour” – priceless!!

    Someone asked me what the advantages if I only network with other agents. The answer is – have a customer inquiring about Austin…….hmmmm (I wanter who I know there), Denver, NY, Colorado Springs, Phoenix…..you get the point. Or to say, I know a great virtual assistant (that was for you Jenn)

    And I am positive that many will think of me when they hear “miami” – it’s part of our branding – and it feels good to be able to talk to someone right away and say…..”I know the perfect agent for you”.

  11. JB

    February 21, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Lani — Very nice, thanks. I’ll move Twitter up to my A-List (Weekend) version. 🙂

  12. Jennifer Wilson - Agent Solutions

    February 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    JB – LOL “Flinstone Fingers”. I know the iPhone is very popular these days. A number of “twitterers” use it and yes I have heard it is is easy to use even with your thumbs.

    Ines – You are too good to me 😉 Thank you. Without a doubt when I hear “Miami” I think of you. You have done an awesome job with your branding. (except you forget to leave your Twitter name @Ines)

    Don’t forget to let us know your Twitter name JB once you have joined. You will be surprised the people you will encounter that are not “agents”. 😉 Hope to see you there soon.

  13. JB

    February 21, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    I’m trying to figure out whether to be an under the radar follower or something slightly more visible.

    It is truly amazing how every now and then one of the gazillion new ‘social’ thingys gets such massive traction. And though I can certainly understand those who partake from a business viewpoint, I’m at a loss as to why so many spend so much time ‘Twittering’ down roads leading literally nowhere.

    That’s not a judgment of any kind whatsoever. It’s a Boomer spilling his ignorance all over the table for all to see. 🙂

  14. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    February 21, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Jeff, guess what? You’re right. Many people will fail at Twitter because of (1) insincere motives other than simply connecting to others (2) the hard sale (3) being voyeurs and not participating. If you go to happy hour and you stand in a corner or aggressively introduce yourself and insist they attend the next seminar or they’re stupid, or you are smarmy, you’ll fail in that too.

    It’s just the fundamentals of networking but it’s sped up via the web and it’s easier to have a larger network than at the bar. Everyone can tell you that their twitter presence is part fun, part deliberate connections.

  15. JB

    February 21, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Lani — Thanks — I can see your ‘Happy Hour’ analogy is right on the money. You network, get known, everyone gets comfortable, and if business happens, it does so naturally and in its own time.

  16. Andy Kaufman

    February 21, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    In essence, Twitter is just another tool to help us build our personal network. By connecting and communicating with like minded people, we’re doing what we were taught in marketing 101. Build our networks and communicate to them regularly.

    I started Twittering last January and by April it had caught on in the Bay Area geek community pretty hard core. I jumped in with both feet, expecting it to slowly die out when all the cool kids moved on to the next shiny object.

    The funny thing is that it kept building and building.

    At Inman Connect SF last year, I asked a panel of early adopters and innovators what they thought of Twitter and I was practically laughed out of the room, all while Paul Chaney and I were live micro-blogging the event using it. I’ve taken so much s**t because I drank the Twitter Kool-aid, but I knew deep down that there was a reason that it kept resonating with so many smart, personable people.

    I started blogging about Real Estate in late 2004 and really got serious halfway through 2005. Early on, I read the Cluetrain Manifesto and it’s theory that “Markets are Conversations” really resonated with me. At that time blogging was where the conversation was. Those conversations are happening on Twitter now. Sure they’re still happening on blogs, but they’re on a different level than what’s going on in short bursts on Twitter and the various social networks.

    I’ve made SO MANY MORE meaningful connections through the active use of Twitter and Facebook than any other social media tool BY FAR. My Twitter network is pushing 800 people and growing. This is a global network of thought leaders that I get to know better each day by connecting, listening and interacting in a way that PROVIDES VALUE.

    Of course, we all know that we do business with people in real life, not the metaverse. Thank god I have a ‘warm’ network of contacts that I feel a kinship with that I can contact offline in order to do so. When I pick up the phone to talk to someone that I only know through Twitter, it’s almost like we’re old buddies…it’s amazing if you think about it.

    As this snowball picks up speed, I’m more convinced than ever that using Twitter to engage the global conversation is one of the most beneficial social media strategies that you’ll ever adopt.

    –Andy
    https://twitter.com/andykaufman

    Hallelujah. Holy s**t. Where’s the Tylenol?

  17. Steven Stearns

    February 22, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Lani,

    …It seems logical that if you are Twittering, you “get it”-social media. It is a distillation of all the other elements, really.

    My twitter name is:

    obeoman

    and I promise not to bug you too much!

    miCr0-bl0g on,

    Steve

  18. Mariana

    February 24, 2008 at 10:36 am

    I Twitter to teach myself how to say things in succinct, yet effective ways. Kind of like a constant Elevator Pitch class.

  19. Lesley

    August 26, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    I am so forwarding this to my boyfriend (lives across the country) who is appalled with my Twitter habit. He joined at my urging and then gave me an instant lecture that went something like this: “I can’t believe you are telling hundreds of total strangers when you eat, go to bed, what you read and that you are mad at me!”.

    I think that last discovery was the one that set him off. However, I haven’t been able to verbalize what twitter is to me and this article did it well enough that it may just shut him up. Or start him back up, but goshdarnit I will win this battle even if I have to use Lani’s words to do it!

  20. Will

    September 18, 2008 at 12:16 am

    I luv twitter good 2 find other industry pros using. Now following you. twit for tat @ YMPlanner

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Coaching

Disputing a property’s value in a short sale: turn a no into a go

During a short sale, there may be various obstacles, with misaligned property values ranking near the top, but it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker!

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magic eight ball

It’s about getting your way

Were you on the debate team in high school? Were you really effective at convincing your parent or guardian to let you do things that you shouldn’t have been doing? How are your objection-handling skills? Can you flip a no into a go?

When working on short sales, there is one aspect of the process that may require those excellent negotiation or debate skills: disputing the property value. In a short sale, the short sale lender sends an appraiser or broker to the property and this individual conducts a Broker Price Opinion or an appraisal, using special forms provided by the short sale lender.

After this individual completes the Broker Price Opinion or the appraisal, he or she will return it to the short sale lender. Shortly thereafter, the short sale lender will be ready to talk about the purchase price. Will the lender accept the offer on the table or is the lender looking for more? If the lender is seeking an offer for a lot more than the one on the table, mentally prepare for the fact that you will need to conduct a value dispute.

Value Dispute Process

While each of the different short sale lenders (including Fannie Mae) has their own policies and procedures for value dispute, all these procedures have some things in common. Follow the steps below in order to conduct an effective value dispute.

  1. Inquire about forms. Ask your short sale lender if there are specific forms that you need to complete in order to conduct a value dispute. Obtain those forms if necessary.
  2. Gather information. Your goal is to convince the lender to accept the buyer’s offer, so you need to demonstrate that your offer is in line with the value of the property. Collect data that proves this point, such as reports from the MLS, Trulia, Zillow, or your local title company.
  3. Take photos. If there are parts of the property that are substandard and possibly were not revealed to the lender by the individual conducting the BPO, take photos of those items. Perhaps the kitchen has no flooring, or there is a 40-year old roof. Take photos to demonstrate these defects.
  4. Obtain bids. For any defects on the property, obtain a minimum of two bids from licensed contractors. For example, obtain two bids from roofers or structural engineers if necessary
  5. Write a report. Think back to high school English class if necessary. Write a short essay that references your information, photos, and bids, and explains how these items support your buyer’s value. This is not something that you whip up in five minutes. Spend time preparing a compelling appeal.

It is entirely possible that some lenders will not be particularly open-minded when it comes to valuation dispute. However, more times than not, an effective value dispute leads to short sale approval.

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Coaching

Short sale standoffs: how to avoid getting hit

The short sale process can feel a lot like a wild west standoff, but there are ways to come out victorious, so let’s talk about those methods:

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short sales standoff

What is a short sale standoff?

If you are a short sale listing agent, a short sale processor, or a short sale negotiator then you probably already know about the short sale standoff. That’s when you are processing a short sale with more than one lien holder and neither will agree to the terms offered by the other. Or… better yet, each one will not move any further in the short sale process until they see the short sale approval letter from the other lien holder.

Scenario #1 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they will proceed with the short sale, and they will offer Bank 2 a certain amount to release their lien. You call Bank 2 and tell them the good news. Unfortunately, the folks at Bank 2 want more money. If Bank 1 and Bank 2 do not agree, then you are in a standoff.

Scenario #2 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they cannot generate your approval letter until you present them with the approval letter from Bank 2. Bank 2 employees tell you the exact same thing. Clearly, in this situation, you are in a standoff.

How to Avoid the Standoff

If you are in the middle of a standoff, then you are likely very frustrated. You’ve gotten pretty far in the short sale process and you are likely receiving lots of pressure from all of the parties to the transaction. And, the lenders are not helping much by creating the standoff.

Here are some ideas for how to get out of the situation:

  • Go back to the first lien holder and ask them if they are willing to give the second lien holder more money.
  • Go to the second lien holder and tell them that the first lien holder has insisted on a maximum amount and see if they will budge.
  • If no one will budge, find out why. Is this a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan? If so, they have a maximum that they allow the second. And, if you alert the second of that information, they may become more compliant.
  • Worst case: someone will have to pay the difference. Depending on the laws in your state, it could be the buyer, the seller, or the agents (yuck). No matter what, make sure that this contribution is disclosed to all parties and appears on the short sale settlement statement at closing.
  • In Scenario #2, someone’s got to give in. Try explaining to both sides where you are and see if one will agree to generate their approval letter. If not, follow the tips provided in this Agent Genius article and take your complaint to the streets.

One thing about short sales is that the problems that arise can be difficult to resolve merely because of the number of parties involved—and all from remote locations. Imagine how much easier this would be if all parties sat at the same table and broke bread? If we all sat at the same table, then we wouldn’t need armor in order to avoid the flying bullets from the short sale standoff.

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Coaching

Short sale approval letters don’t arrive in the blink of an eye

Short sale approval letters may look like they’ve been obtained simply by experts, but it takes time and doesn’t just happen with luck.

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Short sale approval: getting prepared, making it happen

People always ask me how it is that I obtain short sale approval letters with such ease. The truth is, that while I have more short sale processing and negotiating experience than most agents and brokers, I don’t just blink my eyes like Jeannie and make those short sale approval letters appear. I often sweat it, just like everyone else.

Despite the fact that I do not have magical powers, I do have something else on my side—education. One of the most important things than can lead to short sale success for any and all agents is education.

Experience dictates that agents that learn about the short sale process
have increased short sale closings.

Short sale education opportunities abound

There are many ways to become educated about the short sale process and make getting short sale approval letters look easy to obtain. These include:

  • Classes at your local board of Realtors®
  • Free short sale webinars and workshops
  • The short sale or foreclosure specialist designations

As the distressed property arena grows and changes, it is important to always stay abreast of policy changes that may impact how you do your job and how you process any short sale that lands on your plate.

The most important thing to do is to read, read, read. Follow short sale specialists and those who blog about short sales on AGBeat, Google+, facebook, and twitter. Set up a Google Alert for the term ‘short sale’ and you will receive Google’s top short sale picks daily in your email inbox. Visit mortgagor websites to read up on their specific policies and procedures.

Don’t take on too much

And, when you get a call from a prospective short sale seller, make sure that you don’t bit off more than you can chew. Agents in most of America right now are clamoring for listings since we are in the midst of a listing shortage. But, if you are going to take on a short sale, be sure that it is a deal that you can close. And, if you have your doubts, why not partner up with a local agent that can mentor your and assist you in getting the job done? After all, half a commission check is better than none!

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