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Twitter Lists – This Just Might Be a Game Changer

The Big List Debate

prackticaIn recent weeks there have been a number of lists that came out by various people in the space.  Roost is currently on the 4th installment of 50 RE People You Should Follow on Twitter, Stefan Swanepoel’s 2 part series on the 100 Influential & Interesting Real Estate People, and Dustin Luther’s analytical 50 Most Influential Real Estate People on Twitter, to name a few.

The ensuing debate on Twitter was extensive and intriguing spurred by Marc Davisson.  He continued the conversation in his post Measuring Influence on Twitter: Who “Cares?”

So when I saw the Beta for Twitter Lists on my profile, I was not too sure how I felt about it.  As a matter of fact, I committed Beta Twitter sin by tweeting about that uncertainty within moments of seeing the Beta headline.  Someone was kind enough to give me a heads up about my faux pas.

Lists and Influence

I admit, I didn’t do anything for a few days.  I was reluctant and I have to say that even as I began to build my lists, it felt uncomfortable.  It’s as if you are defining a clique of some kind.  But, I began to notice something else.  When I had a new follower, I found myself checking the number of lists they were on.

Normally, I evaluate my desire to follow back by the ratio of followers to those they follow, the number of tweets, and primarily – are they engaging or are the simply broadcasting or spamming their content.  This list feature added a different tool to evaluate their ‘influence’, if you will.

For example, I noticed one follower seemed very connected, very active.  He had 25,000+ followers and over 20,000 tweets.  My initial thought was that he certainly seemed to have an audience for his message.  And yet, with all of those followers, at that point, no one had put him on a list.  Interesting…and it made me wonder, he may have a lot to say, but do people really care?  Is he really connecting?

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Time Will Tell

The Beta is still Buggy and I’m not sure when the roll out will be more extensive.  Only time and a broader use of this new feature will tell what the impact will be, however, I do think this has changed the game quite a bit.

My current perception is that evaluating a twitter follower has changed.  Evaluating influence and engagement has changed.  Following lists, rather than individuals may have a place.

Check out this very interesting evaluation by Robert Scoble.  I’m interested in your experience and insights if you have been playing with the Beta.  And even if you have not, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new Twitter list feature.

Written By

Linsey Planeta is the Broker Owner of Belterra Fine Homes in Orange County, California. Linsey rants regularly on her blog, OC Real Estate Voice. She also provides sellers with tips on how to get their home sold on Why Didn't My Home Sell? She has been an active Real Estate Coach and Instructor and loves working with agents so that they may look at their business with fresh eyes, renewed purpose, and defined systems. Linsey can be found in her office or you can also find her on Twitter@Linsey.



  1. Benn Rosales

    October 28, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Linsey, thanks for sharing your beta experience with AG. I simply wanted to add a simple bit for those that read this. If your goal is to sell real estate, a list means absolutely nothing. Average consumers who utilize Twitter are there for themselves, not to impress anyone. I’m looking for local as local gets, and everything that points to a potential buyer. I’m using online tools to locate and find relos mentioning my city- these are the folks that influence an agents bottom line, not the most popular social media mavens. I say this knowing you know this but to folks new to all of this, I think it important to mention.


  2. Jay Thompson

    October 28, 2009 at 1:50 am

    I found the list building to be tedious beyond belief and buggy as hell (often, no matter what I did, I could not add someone to a list).

    The ability to “subscribe” to other peoples lists is kind of cool, but I’m not sure I see the point.

    “Follower count” is already grossly over-rated — as evidenced by the plethora of systems (and scams) to do nothing but amass followers. I’m sure “list count” systems/scams will follow soon.

    I’ll be sticking with my Tweetdeck. I love that I can set up dynamic searches on it for words that (to me) are important like “Phoenix” “Gilbert” “Tempe” etc. I can have groups there with my RE peeps in one column and my Phoenix peeps in another. I can get loads of entertainment from the column searching the word “realtor”.

    I can see the Twitter list feature being useful for those that only use and don’t use another client to access Twitter. Why anyone would do that is beyond me, but for those that do, a list might be helpful to better keep track of small subsets of people.

    But watch. It is only a matter of time before the gaming of getting added to lists begins as soon as some “gurus” decided that’s what makes you “influential” on Twitter.

    Personally, I still think using Twitter to meet local people face-to-face and hoist a few beers as you get to know each other better is the best use of it, personally and even from a RE business perspective.

  3. Ken Brand

    October 28, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I’m banging along on Twitter because I think as things evolve, a killer surprise use or development will make it a “must do” tool/toy. I don’t obsess over Twitter like I seem to do other things, I plod along, splash around, watch and wait. Whenever I try to explain twitter to Tom, Dick and Jane, they look at me like I’ve escaped from Bellevue (It’s mostly how I explain it and part what it does/is/etc.)

    And, lastly the word seems to be, Twitter Lists is buggy and tedious. No doubt that will change. I have no doubt we’ll wake up one morning and “boom” Twitter lists is suddenly a big deal.

    Having said all that,

    Dear Twitter: Where hell is my Twitter List Beta activation.


    PS. How ironic is it that Twitter sez, don’t Tweet about this?

  4. Linsey Planeta

    October 28, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Ben – you make an excellent point. I admit, my use of Twitter is not always to sell real estate. I have a list of locals that I created and a list of real estate friends. It’s a very social thing for me that turns into face-to-face meetings. Jay articulates it nicely, “I still think using Twitter to meet local people face-to-face and hoist a few beers as you get to know each other better is the best use of it…”

    Jay – you bring up a point about gaming this that I had wondered about as well. That happens, and you’re right – it might – this list thing becomes pointless. I’ve also wondered if Tweetdeck will have the capability at some point of playing nicely with these list. That would make them significantly more interesting.

    Ken – I hear you. It’s only recently that I got my husband to quit calling it ‘Tweeter’, which was profoundly annoying FYI. So this change may or not be ‘big’ for us, but little will change for all those that have no idea why we’re here in the first place. Either way, you definitely should be on the beta dude!

  5. Benn Rosales

    October 28, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Linsey, I absolutely get that 100% because we are local, and we are consumers, we fit into the category of ‘not impressing anyone’ but at the same time, its usefulness as a biz tool is just that a biz to biz tool, or a friends to friends tool. I’ll not be sharing lists of my friends in Austin with other agents, but I’m happy to share my business acquaintances with my biz network, but you get all or nothing, not a pick and choose. I’m still with you on the weirdness level of it all.

  6. Joe Spake

    October 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I keep my lists private. No way I have time to build the lists out the way I would like to because of the tedious process. Time is too valuable to be diffused with these trivial pursuits.
    And what’s this obsession with Lists anyway? There must be some psychological studies out there somewhere. Does it matter if I make it to your “real estate cool kids” list or you make it to mine? Isn’t it really all about being in the Conversation?

  7. Portland Real Estate

    October 28, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    One of the best things about Twitter is the simplicity, I really hope that they dont start mucking things up with additional complications and too many features. They should just stick to trying to keep things fast and up and spam free.


  8. Danny Dunmore

    October 28, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Twitter Lists – This Just Might Be a Game Changer: My current perception is that evaluating a twitter follower ..

  9. Danny Dunmore

    October 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Twitter Lists – This Just Might Be a Game Changer: My current perception is that evaluating a twitter follower ..

  10. Phoenix Real Estate

    October 28, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Twitter Lists – This Just Might Be a Game Changer: If your goal is to sell real estate, a list means absolutely..

  11. BHG Real Estate

    October 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Twitter Lists – This Just Might Be a Game Changer

  12. Katie McCaskey

    October 28, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    RT @BHGRealEstate: Twitter Lists – This Just Might Be a Game Changer

  13. lfabert

    October 28, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Twitter Lists – This Just Might Be a Game Changer: My current perception is that evaluating a twitter follower ..

  14. S Wood Mentoring

    October 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Twitter Lists – This Just Might Be a Game Changer: AgentGenius – Real Estate Magazine- Technology – Marketing -..

  15. Derek Overbey

    October 28, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Great post Linsey. Love the insight from you and Jay on Twitter Lists. I’ve always looked at the lists I’m putting together for Roost a little different than others. People are thanking me for putting them on the lists but I’m doing it for others not for the individual that goes on the list.

    For those that have been on Twitter for a while, it’s obviously easier because you have the people you follow figured out for the most part. But what I was doing when I first decided to do this was remember back to when I first opened an account…I didn’t know who to start following for business, friendships and education. So my purpose was to help those new to Twitter with a starting point of people I find interesting and informative.

    It’s not perfect, but then again it’s not sold as the end all, be all list to use to follow. I’m afraid Twitter Lists are going to be.

  16. Coy Davidson

    October 29, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Twitter Lists – This Just Might Be a Game Changer

  17. Fred Romano

    October 29, 2009 at 10:58 am

    I still don’t “get” twitter… I have it, use it a bit, but think it’s more of a modern open chat room. Still don’t think it has any use in RE but I guess we’ll see.

  18. Matthew Rathbun

    October 29, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    I’ve been on lists and I’ve not been on lists. It neither took money from my pocket nor put any in.

    My question is what is the virtue of the time it takes to build a list of who’s the most influential voices on Twitter?

    There are people who are considered highly influential, but have never actually done the job…

    I can be highly ubiquitous on Twitter with surgeons, but would they ever ask me how to do a heart replacement?

  19. Karen Goodman

    October 30, 2009 at 12:02 am

    I think that the best use of lists will be to find new people. For example, if I was going to be relocating and could find a list of realtors in my destination city, that would be helpful. It will also be a good way to find new local people to follow. I’m currently included in 14 lists, all of them but one being lists of local St. Louis people. The other is a realtor list.

    But since I do everything through Tweetdeck, I’m not going to go to the trouble of creating lists until they are integrated into Tweetdeck, as I’m sure they will be soon. At that point, it will probably be worth switching from groups to lists.


  20. Fred Griffin

    October 30, 2009 at 2:35 am

    RT @agentgenius Twitter Lists – This Just Might Be a Game Changer

  21. Rob McCance

    October 31, 2009 at 1:11 pm


    I enjoyed your reply.

    I gave up the debate a while back. And now that tweets are going to be indexed by Google, I am assuredly steamrolled anyway.

    I personally don’t tweet, or even have an account. I just don’t have time to monitor, or contribute to, one more thing.

    My email inbox scrolls off the screen about every 2 hours as is, and I’ve got about 25 new pages to design for my site, a new IDX to integrate, new AdWord campaigns to go along, clients to service and two kids in four sports here, two of which I coach.

    I’ll play with twitter when I retire if it’s still tweeting.


  22. Derek Overbey

    November 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    @agentgenius Twitter Lists – This Just Might Be a Game Changer

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