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Selecting A Twitter Application

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I Have Twitter, What Now?

Now that you’ve set up Twitter and are friends with agentgenius and I, let’s take the next step. You know how to go car shopping and you have an idea of what you need, but the bottom line is that you need something with wheels that drives- you may be prepared for 340hp or you may really only need a simple sedan. This brings us to Twitter applications and what program you open on your computer to access Twitter. Pick a car that works for you and gets you from point A to point B.


Web Application

You can go to twitter.com and twit directly from there- it’s fast and easy. There are limitations though, mainly with how the messages appear and it is difficult to see their order.

twitter online


Snitter Application

Snitter is the first application I used- I didn’t like on the Web App that I couldn’t see which messages were directed at me from the general twits from my friends. Snitter works on Mac & PC but on my PC froze frequently or would simply forget to check for updates, but at least it ran on its own web browser.

On most applications, some universal symbols are used like “@” which you click on a person’s avatar and you’ll write a public message that specifically addresses that user (in applications, it will make it a different color to that person so they can see it easily). The heart symbol means you’re making that specific twitter message a “favorite” and by doing so, you can access it later. People will explain in the comments the benefits of favoriting twits…

snitter application


Twhirl Application

Now, I use Twhirl and it’s better so far than Snitter, so I’ll stick with it. Below is a screenshot of the Twhirl application that runs on its own browser as its own application. See in the screenshot below that some messages are colored differently? In one view, I can see my messages (in grey), public messages addressing me (in green) and what isn’t featured is direct messages to me (in yellow) and direct messages I’ve sent others (in tan) that the public can’t see.

When you hover your mouse over the face of another user, four symbols come up: “@” (see Snitter explanation), an envelope (for direct messaging another user), a heart (to favorite a tweet) and a forward button (to re-twitter) that automates these actions for you so you don’t have to type the other person’s username. At the bottom, you can organize tweets by timeline, direct messages and more (see bottom tab that says “timeline” and play around with it).

twhirl twitter application


Spaz Application

@housechick tried twhirl when both spaz and twh in earlier version. spaz would update at faster intervals than twh. got used to spaz. plus how can i NOT use something called spaz? i mean, really.” Check out Spaz here! AG’s own Kelley Koehler endorses it!

TwitBin Application

@gotbob It embeds in FF and I can see it while I am working on webpages without the pop ups like snitter or twirl. It freezes up every now and then.” Check out TwitBin here.

TwitterFox Application

@chrisjohnston it is a Firefox plugin that allows me to post from inside my browser without navigating to Twitter or Facebook.” Chris listed several applications that he has used but seems to have settled on TwitterFox- check it out here!

Hahlo Application

@ResPres Hahlo.com is the closest thing to twhirl on the iphone. I only use it on the iPhone.” So if you’re an iNerd, check out Hahlo here so you can Twit on the go!

More Applications

Apparently, there are many more applications that allow you to organize and see your twittering activities in its own program/application/browser such as Tweeter, Twitteroo, and more (article about FriendFeed to follow, relax!). Let us know in the comments which application YOU use!

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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23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Todd

    July 14, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Hmmmmm, this seems to be too focused on “speaking” and not enough about listening. Any post about Twitter clients, in the context of use by an agent, must address the importance of listening to all 4 million Twitter users. All the desktop client cited above are great ( although Alert Thingy and Posty are not mentioned ), but are only 50% of the equation.

    Twitter listening tools loke Summize, TwitterVision and Twitscoop allow you to create keywords ( “need agent” “selling my house” ) and set-up alerts. By listening, you can “speak” more meaningfully with the desktop clients.

    Mix and match a Twitter listening tool with your speaking tool of choice.
    https://alertthingy.com
    https://www.twitscoop.com
    https://summize.com
    https://twittervision.com

  2. Jason Sandquist

    July 14, 2008 at 10:09 am

    You could use Tweetdeck

  3. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    July 14, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Jason, what do you like about Tweetdeck compared to the others you’ve used?

  4. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    July 14, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Todd, I appreciate your input- this is a part of an ongoing series about Twitter and social media. We have found that addressing this in small chunks that are very focused helps our community to master each step. I happen to have a draft sitting in the backend about how to manage your online reputation, most notably on Twitter… I didn’t know about alertthingy.com, so I’m looking into it right now as we speak, so thanks!!!

  5. Poppy Dinsey

    July 14, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Well I REALLY wanted to love Twitterrific, mainly because the blue bird icon is so friggin cute. But it didn’t get on with me even though it’s a Mac client. So now I use Twhirl and I’m v.happy with it really. I like the pinging sounds, the way you can easily see what you’ve read and all that jazz. I still use the web version of Twitter too though. I don’t know why, I just like doing things the lame way sometimes.

  6. Gia & Grant Freer

    July 14, 2008 at 10:56 am

    We use a combination of applications, for example, Twhirl (when it behaves), TwitterBerry when we’re on the road, Summize, Twellow (which is great for Categories) and Digsby, which is particularly interesting, since it enables you to check Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, GMail and IM Accounts all from the one application.

  7. Cheryl Allin

    July 14, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Great post! (As always) I adore Twhirl – and believe me, I tried at least 6 other apps/websites first. It has the perfect blend for my needs, stays open all day on my 2nd monitor and makes replys, directs, looking up profiles and clicking through to links in posts a breeze.

    Not to overwhelm your readers, but I also love FriendFeed – a website that pulls in all your blog posts, twitter posts, bookmarks and more and allows other friends to comment – a lifestream, as many call it. Well, Twhirl now also supports Friend Feed!

    I second the comment on Summize.com – if you want to find folks to follow by certain keywords (or see who’s talking about you), it’s a terrific website. You can grab an RSS feed, too.

  8. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    July 14, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Easy tigers, your thirst is strong… we will continue the Twitter series and you’ll soon know EVERYTHING about Twitter. 🙂 lol

  9. Vicki Moore

    July 14, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Help! I’m drowning. I can’t keep up. blub…blub…blub

  10. BawldGuy Talking

    July 14, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    I use twhirl ‘cuz Lani told me to. And generally speaking, I pretty much do what Lani says. (Quick learning curve + fear does wonders.)

  11. The Harriman Team

    July 14, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    I usually use a combination of TwitterFox, Twhirl and Digsby, but when I’m in Facebook and want to post to more than one medium, I often use Hellotxt. In addition to Twitter, HelloTxt posts to a large assortment of social media, including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Jaiku, Pownce, Brightkite, Plaxo, Tumblr, Hi5, Identi.ca, Plurk, FriendFeed, LinkedIn and many others. It saves a lot of time when you want to post something to all your social media.

  12. Jason Sandquist

    July 14, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Oh sorry, must have gotten side tracked by none other than Twitter.

    I will piggyback on the comment #2 cause I left it so short. I like the fact that it is easy to group conversations and favorites. You can have all tweets in one category, replies in another and dm’s in another column. You can also search local tweets and summize if you want to hop in on a topic of choice (wink wink ‘local tweets about real estate) all from one source.

  13. Mark Eckenrode

    July 14, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    i love me some Twitterberry on my Crackberry. you can grab it over at https://www.orangatame.com/products/twitterberry/

  14. Todd Carpenter

    July 14, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    I use Twhirl, but have been playing with Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck combines a Twhirl type client with a reader that pulls down Summize searches. For straight posting, I still like Twhirl better.

    Twitterific is pretty cool for my iPhone. I’m on the fence between that and Hahlo. Hahlo is better for reading, Twitterific is better for posting.

    I’m tcar on twitter.

    3 more tips
    Be different by NOT following scobleizer. 😉
    Obama isn’t the one who’s doing the tweeting, so following him is like volunteering to watch political commercials.
    And finally, organize a tweetup. Real life conversations trump 140 character blurbs every time.

  15. Todd

    July 15, 2008 at 8:16 am

    “…will continue the Twitter series and you’ll soon know EVERYTHING about Twitter…”

    Promises, promises. 🙂

  16. Paula Henry

    July 15, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    I use twhirl and online – I’m right behind Vicki in the big pool of twitter apps. I might have to check out Hello txt and Twitterberry.

  17. Ginger Wilcox

    July 17, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Love twhirl. Tried twitterific on the iphone and I don’t like it! I will have to try hahlo. If @respres uses it, that is a good endorsement!

  18. Matt Stigliano

    July 17, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I’m with Bawldguy – I do as Lani tells me. We are all nothing more than robots under her control.

    OBEY!

    (or it could be that she does all the hard work and then we just come in and use the applications she suggests)

  19. Missy Caulk

    July 18, 2008 at 5:52 am

    I like twitberry for my blackberry and use twitbin, so I can look on my side bar and jump in if anything comes up I want to link to or twit about.

  20. Bling Real Estate Chick

    August 3, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Twhirl it baby!

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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

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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