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I wish more real estate bloggers would use Twitter

From the Editor: published in the earliest days of Twitter, this column is one of the very first written for real estate about Twitter for business – when written, if you weren’t at SXSW, you probably hadn’t heard of Twitter. So when it’s called the “new thing,” know that there are many of us out there who don’t see it as new, rather another business tool.

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Twitter

Twitter

I admit it. I am into the whole social media thing.

Facebook? Check.

LinkedIn? Check.

Twitter? Check.

I am a self-professed information junkie, so I find these sites fascinting. I have also found that they are a great way for me to stay in contact not only with my clients, but with other RE.net bloggers out there. I have met plenty of new bloggers and made some great contacts by using Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter seems to be lacking a significant real estate voice, however. Sure, some of my favorite real estate bloggers have Twitter profiles (Greg, Joel, & Jim among them). The problem is, they don’t update them much, if ever. I think this is a real shame.

The bleeding edge

I started using Twitter a few weeks ago. I admit that I came in with a built-in bias against Twitter. To be honest, I find the stated purpose of Twitter (i.e. “What are you doing?”) pretty lame. I don’t think there are a lot of people out there who really care what I am doing at any given moment. I decided that I would try to follow 5 rules when writing my tweets. I didn’t want things to get boring.

In true Web 2.0-spirit, people have taken Twitter and turned into more than just countless status updates of millions of random people. It is truly a great place to find out what has captured people’s attention. All you have to do is seek out people who you find interesting and follow their tweets. It is a great way to stay on the bleeding edge of news and information.

Twitter has also established itself as a premier micro-blogging platform. It has been great for me because I can post links on Twitter that I find interesting, but that I don’t really have the time or inclination to use an entire blog post to discuss. There are plenty of other notable bloggers out there who are doing the very same thing. Sometimes following the tweets of others has inspired blog posts of my own. At the very least, Twitter has become a platform from which to launch discoveries into all sorts of things that I might have otherwise missed.

Real estate bloggers could benefit tremendously from using Twitter.

The micro-blogging aspect of Twitter could be very valuable to people like real estate bloggers, who I am sure have all kinds of great ideas, but not always the time to write about them. Let’s say that I read a great story about mortgage fraud, but I just don’t have the time to devote a full post to it. I can post the link on Twitter, and perhaps someone else who is following me will follow the link and write a post of their own. Even if that doesn’t happen, because bloggers tend to be more plugged-in to what is happening in the industry, Twitter would help everyone stay on top of the industry by offering instantaneous communication and dissemination of information. In a way, Twitter is a living uber-wiki.

The real estate bloggers that I know are all very smart and creative people. Twitter offers a convenient and efficient way to get their message out to not only the rest of the blogosphere, but also to the public as well. I am also confident that real estate bloggers could also come up with alternative uses for Twitter that would benefit us all, bloggers, clients and customers alike.

So, real estate bloggers, if you are reading this, head on over to Twitter and get going– the RE.net needs you!

I'm a REALTOR, basketball referee, happy husband, and Community Manager (in no particular order). I have a passion for the real estate industry and officiating, a passion that I try to turn into inspiration on my blog, The Real Estate Zebra. I am also the Community Manager at Inman News. When I'm not blogging here on AG or the Zebra, you can usually find me on Twitter.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Benn Rosales

    October 12, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    Okay, you make a great case for twitter, but the problem is, I am having problems with being in all places at all times- every 2.0 idea seems to be the end all be all of the known universe! How in the hell are we supposed to know what is and isn’t worth the effort?! Seriously man, ‘uber’ is insanity!

  2. Daniel Rothamel

    October 12, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    Twitter is one of those things that requires very little effort. Like I said, one reason that I like it is that it requires less effort than blogging. I can do either, depending on how involved I want to be.

    By “uber-wiki” I meant that it is superior to your average wiki in that the information is constantly changing on an instantaneous basis. Of course the fact that it isn’t static can be a drawback as well, in that you don’t really have an archive of the information.

    While I don’t think that any of the 2.0 platforms has all the answers, I do think that they can be integrated into a pretty manageable and cool solution. There is a tremendous opportunity for someone to come up with a simple way to integrate all of these things. With Google’s acquisition of Jaiku, and its Orkut social-networking site, it appears as if they might be heading in that direction.

    This year was big for social media sites, and the next few months and years should prove to be even more exciting.

  3. Andy Kaufman

    October 12, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    Great post Daniel,

    Twitter is really something that you just need to take the plunge and participate in to fully appreciate.

    I know that we’re inundated with new services left and right, but microblogging is proving to be a rich communication channel where conversations are taking place and relationships are being forged 140 characters at a time.

    In case you’re on the fence and need another nudge, heres another post that I recently came across that may help

    Confessions of a Twitter Convert- https://db.tidbits.com/article/9228

  4. Jay Thompson

    October 12, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    I have a Twitter account. I’ve twitted (tweated?) a total of one time.

    But I’ll jump in there this weekend, time permitting, and give it another shot…

  5. Jim Cronin

    October 13, 2007 at 2:59 am

    Disclaimer: from treo… being brief.
    I’m kind of creeped out by twitter, after trying it for a few days.
    and
    I really, really no longer have the time to blast messages that 3 people care to follow…
    Nonetheless…I recognize the potential value of leveraging social media for mindshare.

  6. Chris LaBarbera

    October 13, 2007 at 10:30 am

    You just motivated me to sign up. sww you on twitter.

  7. Chris LaBarbera

    October 13, 2007 at 10:31 am

    I totally mispelled my last comment. See you on Twitter. thanks for the Info about the site.

  8. Daniel Rothamel

    October 13, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Chris & Jay,

    I’ll be following. . .

    Andy,

    Excellent points. I’ll continue to follow. . .

  9. Aria Schoenfelt

    March 20, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Although I signed up for Facebook in it’s early days while I was still in college, I didn’t embrace it until a year or two ago. I don’t want to be left behind with Twitter! Just play with it, you’ll find a format that works for you. Click on my link if you’d like to find me on Twitter.

  10. Jim Gatos

    June 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    I’m on twitter but I don’t know what to do with it…

    Kinda feels like I got “assimilated” by “The Borg”…

    and my resistance is futile…

  11. Upstart Agent

    August 8, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    I wish more real estate bloggers used entrecard!

    I don’t know why but I just can’t get into Twitter. It seems so time consuming to me…I suppose it could be worthwhile, but I’m not someone who feels the need to constantly tell people what I’m doing and see what they are doing.

    I am sure I might be missing out on some social networking opportunities that way, it definitely seems like a great way to get a following…

    Hmmm…maybe one of these days 🙂

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Social Media

How this influencer gained 26k followers during the pandemic

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Becoming an influencer on social media can seem appealing, but it’s not easy. Check out this influencer’s journey and her rise during the pandemic.

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Influencer planning her social media posts.

Meet Carey McDermott – a 28-year-old Boston native – more widely known by her Instagram handle @subjectively_hot. Within a few months, since March, McDermott has accrued a whopping 26k following, and has successfully built her brand around activism, cheeky observations of day-to-day bullshit, and her evident hotness.

“It mostly started as a quarantine project.” Said McDermott, who was furloughed from her job at the start of shelter-in-place. “I had a lot of free time and I wanted to do an Instagram for a while so I thought, ‘I might as well take some pictures of myself.’”

To get started McDermott, used a lot of hashtags relevant to her particular niche to get noticed, and would follow other influencers that used similar hashtags.

“I definitely built a little online community of women, and we all still talk to each other a lot.”

Like many popular influencers, McDermott engages with her audience as much as possible. She is sure to like or reply to positive comments on her pictures, which makes followers feel special and seen, and subsequently more likely to follow and continue following her account. She also relies heavily on some of Instagram’s more interactive features.

When asked why she thinks she has been able to build and retain such a large base in just a few months, McDermott explained: “I think people like my [Instagram] Stories because I do a lot of polls and ask fun questions for people to answer, and then I repost them”.

But it’s not just fun and games for @subjectively_hot – Carey wants to use her account to make some substantial bread.

“I’ve gotten a bunch of products gifted to me in exchange for unpaid ads and I’m hoping to expand that so I can get paid ads and sponsorships. But free products are nice!”

Additionally, McDermott was recently signed with the talent agency the btwn – a monumental achievement which she attributes to her influencer status.

“Having a large Instagram following gave me the confidence to reach out to a modeling brand. After they looked at my Instagram, they signed me without asking for any other pictures.”

To aspiring influencers, McDermott offers this advice:

“Find your niche. Find your brand. Find what makes you unique and be yourself – don’t act like what you think an influencer should act like. People respond to you being authentic and sharing your real life. And definitely find other people in similar niches as you and build connections with them.”

But McDermott also warns against diving too unilaterally into your niche, and stresses the importance of a unique, multi-dimensional online persona.

“[@subjectively_hot] is inherently a plus size account. But a lot of plus size Instagrams are just about being plus size, and are only like, “I’m confident and here’s my body”. I don’t want to post only about body positively all day, I want it to be about me and being hot.”

And you definitely can’t paint this girl in broad strokes. I personally find her online personality hilarious, self-aware, and brutally anti-patriarchal (she explicitly caters to all walks of life minus the straight cis men who, to her dismay, frequent her DMs with unsolicited advice, comments, and pictures). Her meme and TikTok curations are typically some of the silliest, most honest content I see that day and, as her handle suggests, her pictures never fail in their hotness value.

For McDermott, right now is about enjoying her newfound COVID-era celebrityhood. Her next steps for @subjectively_hot include getting paid ads and sponsorships, and figuring out the most effective way to monetize her brand. The recent spike in COVID-19 cases threaten her chances of returning to the place of her former employment in the hospitality industry.

With so many influencers on Instagram and other platforms, some might find it hard to cash in on their internet fame. But with a loyal fanbase addicted to her golden, inspiring personality, I think Carey will do just fine.

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Social Media

This LinkedIn graphic shows you where your profile is lacking

(SOCIAL MEDIA) LinkedIn has the ability to insure your visibility, and this new infographic breaks down where you should put the most effort.

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LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a must-have in the professional world. However, this social media platform can be incredibly overwhelming as there are a lot of moving pieces.

Luckily, there is a fancy graphic that details everything you need to know to create the perfect LinkedIn profile. Let’s dive in!

As we know, it is important to use your real name and an appropriate headshot. A banner photo that fits your personal brand (e.g. fits the theme of your profession/industry) is a good idea to add.

Adding your location and a detailed list of work-related projects are both underutilized, yet key pieces of information that people will look for. Other key pieces come in the form of recommendations; connections aren’t just about numbers, endorse them and hopefully they will return the favor!

Fill in every and all sections that you can, and re-read for any errors (get a second set of eyes if there’s one available). Use the profile strength meter to get a second option on your profile and find out what sections could use a little more help.

There are some settings you can enable to get the most out of LinkedIn. Turn on “career interests” to let recruiters know that you are open to job offers, turn on “career advice” to participate in an advice platform that helps you connect with other leaders in your field, turn your profile privacy off from private in order to see who is viewing your profile.

The infographic also offers some stats and words to avoid. Let’s start with stats: 65% of employers want to see relevant work experience, 91 percent of employers prefer that candidates have work experience, and 68% of LinkedIn members use the site to reconnect with past colleagues.

Now, let’s talk vocab. The infographic urges users to avoid the following words: specialized, experienced, skilled, leadership, passionate, expert, motivated, creative, strategic, focused.

That was educational, huh? Speaking of education – be sure to list your highest level of academia. People who list their education appear in searches up to 17 times more often than those who do not. And, much like when you applied to college, your past education wasn’t all that you should have included – certificates (and licenses) and volunteer work help set you apart from the rest.

Don’t be afraid to ask your connections, colleagues, etc. for recommendations. And, don’t be afraid to list your accomplishments.

Finally, users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. You’re already using the site, right? Use it to your advantage! Finish your profile by completing the all-star rating checklist: industry and location, skills (minimum of three), profile photo, at least 50 connections, current position (with description), two past positions, and education.

When all of this is complete, continue using LinkedIn on a daily basis. Update your profile when necessary, share content, and keep your name popping up on peoples’ timelines. (And, be sure to check out the rest of Leisure Jobs’ super helpful infographic that details other bits, like how to properly size photos!)

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This Twitter tool hopes to fight misinformation, but how effective is it?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Birdwatch is a new tool from Twitter in the fight against misinformation… in theory. But it could be overkill.

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Twitter welcome screen open on large phone with stylus.

Social media has proven to be a blanket breeding ground for misinformation, and Twitter is most certainly not exempt from this rule. While we’ve seen hit-or-miss attempts from the notorious bird app to quell the spread of misinformation, their latest effort seems more streamlined—albeit a little overboard.

Birdwatch is a forthcoming feature from Twitter that will allegedly help users report misleading content. According to The Verge, Twitter has yet to release definitive details about the service. However, from leaked information, Birdwatch will serve the purpose of reporting misinformation, voting on whether or not it is truly misleading, and attaching notes to pertinent tweets.

Such a feature is still months away, so it appears that the upcoming election will take place before Birdwatch is officially rolled out.

There are a lot of positive sides to welcoming community feedback in a retaliation against false information, be it political in nature or otherwise. Fostering a sense of community responsibility, giving community members the option to report at their discretion, and including an option for a detailed response rather than a preset list of problems are all proactive ideas to implement, in theory.

Of course, that theory goes out the window the second you mention Twitter’s name.

The glaring issue with applying a community feedback patch to the rampant issue of misinformation on social media is simple: The misinformation comes from the community. A far cry from Twitter’s fact-checking warnings that appeared on relevant tweets earlier this year, Birdwatch—given what we know now—has every excuse to be more biased than any prior efforts.

Furthermore, the pure existence of misinformation on Twitter often results from the knee-jerk, short response format that tweets take. As such, expecting a lengthy form and vote application to fix the problem seems misguided. Simply reporting a tweet for being inaccurate or fostering harassment is already more of an involved process than most people are likely to partake in, so Birdwatch might be overdoing it.

As always, any effort from Twitter—or any social media company, for that matter—to crack down on the spread of misinformation is largely appreciated. Birdwatch, for all of its potential issues, is certainly a step in the right direction. Let’s just hope it’s an accessible step.

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