Social media can be so useful, yet so intimidating. Twitter can be especially daunting since it has an entire etiquette that can almost seem like a foreign language. Here’s one easy Twitter trick that can increase the chances of an active listing getting profiled on the neighborhood blogs without the agent having to pay a dime. It’s called, simply, the hashtag.
The hashtag is that thing that is also referred to as a number sign (#) and it can be the easiest way to make sure a listing doesn’t get lost in the sea of tweets out there in cybersapce. In the world of Twitter the # symbol makes it easy for tweets to show up in keyword searches. By simply putting a # in front of words anyone in Twitter who searches for those specific words will see the tweet (and, most importantly, the information it contains).
What does that have to do with real estate agents, you ask?
Short answer: Neighborhood Blogs.
In the Washington area for example, all the highly populated areas have a blog about the different neighborhoods and every single one of them is hungry for daily news about what is going on around town. Their writers are actively searching Twitter every day for any mention of the neighborhood. Here’s a hypothetical example of a tweet that is guaranteed to get plenty of attention:
#LoganCircle 2 bed, 2 bath for $799K just went on the market. Open house Sun. http://mrislistings.mris.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.aspx?k=20XX0X0XXBP&p=NW-003-06763170
(we used a placeholder listing just as an example).
Since Logan Circle is so popular all the major blogs will search for #LoganCircle news on Twitter at least once a day. Many of the reporters at the larger newspapers also follow Twitter for local breaking news and you can bet the hot neighborhoods are on their search list every week. If you can add any eye-catching fact that increases the chances of the listing getting some attention.
So, let’s tweak our tweet:
#LoganCircle 2bed,2bath for $799K. Circa 1890. Original heart pine floors. Open house Sun. http://mrislistings.mris.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.aspx?k=20XX0X0XXBP&p=NW-003-06763170
One more thing:
Since the brevity of twitter isn’t conducive to the long web addresses that come with each individual listing it makes sense to do a quick (and free) shortening of the URL. We’ll skip the technology magic that makes this happen since all you have to do if you have a long web address is copy it and go to the website: https://bitly.com/.
There you can paste the long address into the box at the top of the page, press Shorten, and a new, shorter address will appear that acts exactly the same as the address you pasted in the box. Anyone who clicks on the shorter link will be directed to the same page as the one with a long URL. That way you don’t have to devote as many characters of a tweet to just the URL. So now we have even more space to add information:
#LoganCircle 2bed,2bath for $799K. Circa 1890. Original heart pine floors. Parking spot! Open house Sun http://bit.ly/11CVQ1t
Give it a try a few times for neighborhoods that have well-trafficked blogs and see if it gets onto their weekly house hunting round-ups. It’s free and takes about five seconds so it can’t hurt.
Editor’s note: When marketing properties using social media you must provide the necessary disclosures required by your State Licensing Laws and MRIS. Displays of minimal information (e.g. “thumbnails”, text messages, “tweets”, etc.) of two hundred (200) characters or less are exempt from this requirement only when linked directly to a display that includes all required disclosures. Display of other brokers’ listings is subject to IDX rules. If you have any questions, please contact MRIS Compliance at (301) 838-7140 or visit www.mris.com/mris-customers/compliance.