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7 Ways to Make Twitter Easier & Worth Your Time


Twitter is jibberish

In a recent comment, a reader said “I still don’t see the importance of using Twitter for Realtors.” People chimed in about why but the reader said, “I still don’t see it… It make no sense to throw out one liners. When I try read stuff on Twitter, it seems very hard to follow any conversation. Just jibberish… Does anyone else find it hard to follow? It makes more sense to blog on your Facebook page because its much easier to follow.”

This reader is not alone. They know that Twitter is useful for some people but it seems like jibberish because they have no organization system set in place yet, so here is how to use Twitter in an efficient way and to make it worth an agent’s time (and less like jibberish):

1. Learn the basics

Learn the basics before you jump in; here’s a video with some links as to how to get started on Twitter.

2. Sign up

Sign up for a Twitter account with a screen name that describes you (your name) or what you do and make it memorable and concise. Silly is permissible in this culture, just be sure you like what you’re going with because people will call you by your Twitter name rather than your real name (unless they’re the same).

Keep your bio interesting, approachable and relevant.  “Realtor specializing in the White Rock Lake area in Dallas, father, dog owner, runner, SPCA volunteer” is much better then “Buy a house from me, I wear a lot of cologne and drive a Porsche.”  Use a modified wallpaper so you’re not using the default (here is how) and use a picture of yourself that is not airbrushed or old- people need to recognize you when they meet you in person (oh and a salesy pic of you holding a cell phone is against the laid back culture of Twitter, just use an informal pic of yourself).

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3. Get organized

Upload a desktop application (I personally like TweetDeck but here is a list of all of them). This will allow you to visually organize all of the data you will eventually be reading through. It can be overwhelming but by using a desktop application, you will be able to legitimately filter through to get only what you need (more on this soon).

4. Network locally

Start locally. Right now, go pick one of the ways to network locally; I like TwitterLocal even though you have to download another application to your desktop. When you open it, click on the usernames of the last 10 people that Twittered in your city and see if they look like a quality connection (teens can be excluded as can people who clearly don’t interact meaning no “@” symbols in their tweets, etc). Start following people in this way.

5. Solidify the connection

When someone follows you back, direct message them but avoid being salesy- they already know what you do, they probably read your bio before following you. Tell them you’re glad to connect and if their last tweet is about beer or something, connect over that common ground by saying something in your direct message. So for example, “thanks for following me back, I saw your tweet about beer, have you tried local brewery Live Oak yet? so good!” Keep it loose like happy hour.

6. Get more specific

Now you’ve followed a few people and within a day or two you’ll see people following you back. You have a desktop application so you can visually see what is coming in and going out of your twitter sphere. You’re finding people locally so you’re not spending too much time on inapplicable connections. Now you need to start targeting your efforts outside of your location to apply to what you’re doing.

Let’s say you’re using TweetDeck- up top, click the magnifying glass button for a twitter search. If you’re in Dallas, search in quotes “moving to Dallas” and it will set up a column for you that constantly searches that phrase, showing the newest up top in a column that stays there until you X out of it. If someone states they are moving to your city and need help, reach out without spamming them. “Hey @mover, I’ve lived in Dallas for 27 years & sell real estate, I’m happy to help or at least show you where the best fajitas are!” Sometimes they’ll ignore you, other times they won’t.

You can set up your TweetDeck to have columns dedicated to groups, so you can have a column for Dallas people, a column for coworkers or peers or other Realtors, a column for active and past clients, and whatever else. All you do is click the button up top with two people (it forms a group), name it, and select who you want to be in the list from everyone you follow. When you follow people, you are not obligated to read every single thing they say, so setting up groups helps you filter who and what you’re really listening for.

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7. Be a community organizer

As a Realtor, your business is local and while you seek out new business on networks like Twitter, you rely on referrals from your new network. Organize a Tweetup! This is so much easier than you might think. Determine a hot happy hour spot, go to TwtVite to create an invitation with a link to the Tweetup and start inviting locals in direct message to come. Here is an example of a Tweetup Benn & I put together a few days ago simply to have a happy hour. Responses aren’t usually this large, but as you get to know more people in your city this number will grow. All we did was say to ourselves, “I wanna have a happy hour, Gingerman is a cool place, let’s go” and within 48 hours had over 70 responses. There is nothing more powerful than the offline connection, this is an easy way to make that happen.

WHY? 93% of social media users expect you to be there

So you now know how to connect locally, organize your time on twitter by streamlining it with searches and groups and how to take these online relationships offline. With 93% of all social media users expecting companies to have a social media presence (see point #2 here), I would speculate that the number of Twitter users specifically expect the same (if not at a higher percentage).

If you want more on how to use Twitter in your real estate practice, simply use the Agent Genius search feature at the top right and search for “Twitter” which will give you hours upon hours of reading if you so choose! Good luck and let us know what questions you have, everyone here loves to help!

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Fred Romano

    July 5, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Thanks for the great Twitter article! Next week when I’m back from vacation I will spend some time to try out your advice.

  2. Matt Stigliano

    July 5, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    @LaniAR I think I learned one of the key concepts to staying connected with Twitter through you. First, when you go on there (and haven’t been on in a bit), look at all your @replies. Those are your current conversations. It’s just like checking your inbox to see who emailed you. Look at your DMs, they’re important too. After that, scroll through what’s been going on. See an interesting reply to something you think you might want to know about? Try and follow that conversation. You can’t read every tweet every day. When I first started using Twitter, I felt I had to, so I would scroll through hundreds of messages that I had missed previously. Time-waster! Now I get to the important stuff first (people communicating directly with me), then if I see a few things I want to involve myself with I will, but I don’t have to if I don’t have the time.

    As you get more followers and start following more people, you begin to realize that you can’t be there 100% of the time reading every word of every conversation. You need to learn to use the data stream efficiently and effectively and the simple ideas you gave me have served me well.

  3. Holly White

    July 5, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Okay okay, I’ll give that Twitter thing another shot. Thanks Lani. You’re a Twitter Genius. 😉

  4. Ricardo Bueno

    July 5, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I’d put emphasis on point number 7! Technology is great because it connects us quickly and easily. But there’s nothing better than when you convert on-line connections into off-line connections. There really isn’t!

  5. jamesbrigg

    July 6, 2009 at 1:49 am

    Thanks ,amzing tip for using twitter save time..

  6. Steve Wiley

    July 7, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Reading: "7 Ways to Make Twitter Easier & Worth Your Time | Real Estate Opinion MAG – AgentGenius" (

  7. Bryan Chaney

    July 7, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Twitter 4 Real Estate

  8. Robert Zuniga

    July 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I’ve received an incredible amount of insight from tweets. Going local first is useful if dealing with a local campaign.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  9. REBAC

    July 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    These 7 tips for making the Twitter process quicker and easier can help you to build your sphere of influence today!

  10. Joe Held

    July 14, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    RT @NARGREEN 7 tips for making the Twitter process quicker & easier can help you to build your sphere of influence

  11. CENTURY 21 JudgeFite

    July 16, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Reading: "7 Ways to Make Twitter Easier & Worth Your Time | Real Estate Opinion MAG – AgentGenius" (

  12. Inez Meehan

    July 16, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Reading: “7 Ways to Make Twitter Easier & Worth Your Time | Real Estate Opinion MAG – AgentGenius” (

  13. Carrie Morgan

    September 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Real estate agents – making Twitter worth your time: Have you discovered AgentGenius mag yet? Useful!

  14. Gary Ashton

    August 20, 2010 at 9:53 pm that I discovered Tweetdeck the twiiter thing doesn’t seem so bad …in fact I’m really getting to like the occasional informative tweet from some of the industry experts. Gary 🙂

  15. Josh Malone | Nashville Homes

    December 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Never really done a lot with twitter for business. The information on TweekDeck sounds incredible. I never new that was even possible. Has anyone had success doing this?

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