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Micro-blogging – How to Use Twitter for Market News Alerts

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By Peyman Aleagha

RISMEDIA, June 5, 2009-The real estate marketing gurus who are sold on blogging have been pushing the benefits for a couple of years now. And, many real estate professionals are blogging as a stand-alone Web presence, or as an adjunct to a regular website. But, what if you don’t want to blog, or you are blogging but want to try yet another way to communicate with prospects who you may not yet know?

The new catch word is “micro-blogging.” Some would tell us that it is necessary now for lead generation, or that you must be doing it soon. I’m not in that group, but there is certainly promise in this short and sweet approach to inform past clients and prospects of real estate related events in your area. Basically, micro-blogging in real estate would be releasing “breaking news” type alerts of happenings in the area, especially as they relate to real estate.

Twitter allows you to place these short 140 character or less messages up on the web quite easily, and it’s free. People can subscribe to follow your “Tweets.” The temptation to place an announcement of your newest listing should probably be avoided. There are plenty of places to do that. This communication form should be reserved for “newsy” tidbits that will grab the interest of the reader. You can post to Twitter with e-mail, from your website, by text message, or even with your voice from Jott.com.

True, there are few “earth-shattering” events related specifically to real estate. But, there are important and interesting things going on all the time. It could be an announcement of pre-selling of a new condo project. Or, perhaps a builder is reducing pricing on current completed inventory. What about your Hotsheet? What do you see there on almost a daily basis that would make a great little short but interesting announcement? Try the number of closings in the last week, or three days if your market is moving. How about:

- Average days on market in YourTown drops by 5% this week.
- Median sold home price up for the week to $xxxxxx.
- Three $million+ homes sold this week.
- Value alerts when you see a price decrease that a real deal

You’ll think of more of these opportunities. The very fact that the Twitter format limits your characters will require a “headline” approach, but that’s what’s so great about it. You release an interesting and “breaking” news item in a short headline. You can even place a shortened link to your site, using “TinyURL.com” or a similar service.

You don’t have to stick completely to real estate. You live in the community. What type of happenings would you find interesting, especially if you could hear about them while they’re happening? It could be anything from an update on an event or festival going on at the time, to a quick vote report from the town council meeting.

If you blog, you can have your Twitter posts fed to your blog with a feed, so they end up there permanently as well. Placing a “Follow Me on Twitter” link on your site will direct prospects to your Twitter page to subscribe. Don’t stop there though. They can also end up on Facebook and LinkedIn if they fit your goals on these networking sites.

What you need to remember is that subscribers can receive your announcements as text messages on their cell phones, as well as on their Twitter page. There are so many ways to feed Twitter, and just as many output resources. People like stimulating tidbits of information in today’s mobile and fast-paced world. If you stick with timely and punchy headline news items that people like, you’ll build a growing list of subscribers.

Don’t limit your thinking to the local market either. If you keep up with the news, you could just as easily release breaking news about the latest stimulus announcement intended to boost the real estate market. Or, Congress just approved a $7500 credit for home buyers to stimulate sales. How about having a mortgage broker you work with send you rate changes as text messages? Using Jott.com, you can call in and release your tweet immediately with your voice transcribed to text.

Today’s real estate marketing plan should include every low cost or free resource at your disposal. With Twitter, you have a free, easy and fast way to get your name in front of people on a regular basis. Don’t short-change this business building tool.

Peyman Aleagha is the founder and President of RealtySoft.com. RealtySoft provides real estate professionals with affordable Real Estate Website Design (http://www.realtysoft.com), Real Estate Print Marketing and Free IDX & MLS Search solutions. Find out more about RealtySoft by visiting RealtySoft.com

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