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Questions for the Twittering Realtor

November 21, 2008
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According to Forrester Research, 6% of Americans use Twitter.

Robert Scoble calls bullshit:

There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that many people are using Twitter.

My data shows that the regular users are between 50,000 and 300,000. A high percentage of which are outside the United States. That doesn’t come anywhere close to the numbers required for 6%.

And much debate ensues in the comments sections of geekblogs everywhere.

Here’s the thing, though: whether the number is 1% of 6%… for realtors who are getting into the Twitter action, and espousing “microblogging” as a strategy for business development…

How you liking that 6% number?

Take your relevant market.  My local area is probably 3-6 towns (Millburn, Short Hills, Maplewood, South Orange, maybe Livingston, maybe Springfield).  Say the total population is about 100K people.  6% amounts to 6,000 Twitterers.

How much time should you spend to form connections with that 6,000 people?  Not all of whom are in the market for real estate services, and may not be for six years.

-rsh

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2008 7:39 am

    Its about the audience. I’m finding that more people I want to talk to are on Twitter – folks in real estate, folks in my market area, the local media, Google – you’re connecting with others and creating content for Google.

    Not only that, but from a personal level, I get</em more than I can give from my Twitter friends, and that is the real value.

    I believe that doing anything with the sole intent to “get leads” is not going to generate the fulfillment that I’m looking for – especially Twitter.

  2. November 22, 2008 9:52 am

    Currently Twitter is a niche market so I agree no way is it 6%
    The people that do use it are avid users so you know you will reach them.
    Building a real estate strategy around it would be foolish, but it doesn hurt to have it as part of your communication strategy

  3. November 22, 2008 12:11 pm

    It sure seems like a high number to me too. Only a few people in my office of 150 agents have even heard of Twitter and I think maybe only a couple of others have tried it besides me.

    FaceBook and LinkedIn are another story. They are MUCH more popular than any other social networking platform, except maybe MySpace.

  4. November 24, 2008 12:51 pm

    Twitter is a weapon of the arsenal that is web 2.0. It’s a piece of a puzzle that, if done right, puts that Realtor out there as someone in the community who is seemingly everywhere and knows a thing or two about real estate.
    I Twit more for business than pleasure and that’s not an easy line to walk. I divulge some personal information but I’d rather say I’m showing a house right now in the neighborhood a potential buyer wants to buy in than say I’m having a meatloaf sandwich right now. (which I’m not, btw, but it does sound very good)
    Now that I’m a Broker and in the market for agents to come on board, you can bet that I’m looking for area agents that “get” web 2.0. Twitter isn’t a bad to be looking.

  5. November 24, 2008 3:33 pm

    Most agents are not using twitter properly in my opinion. They all want to connect with other agents, not with their local community. The emphasis is in the wrong spot. I do think twitter can be used to meet people locally. I have actually met quite a few, but I also live in a very tech focused area- the home of twitter. I agree with Kelley, I don’t really use twitter to meet buyers and sellers, but it has opened up a ton of connections for me. I go to a ton of local tweet ups, where I further connect with new twitter fans and develop offline relationships. These connections are a real source of leads, but if you stay in the computer, I don’t think you are going to get much out of it. Using twitter or any other social media tactic exclusively is a guaranteed way to go out of business IMHO.

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