How Twitter Can Find You a Home


It’s no secret that banks are using social networking tools to sell services. But they’re not the only ones. Real estate agents are turning to Twitter to sell homes. If you want follow along, though, you have to know how to play the game.

So why Twitter? Why not? The social networking site is growing by leaps and bounds: According to tech analyst RJMetrics, Twitter ended 2009 with...

  • 75 million users
  • An average of 6.2 million new users each month
  • About 15 million users who tweet 10 or more times

Sure, not all of those users are real estate agents or home sellers putting a potential dream house on the market, but they do exist. Most of the Web sites we found are agents who are offering to connect with homebuyers via Twitter.

To find a good agent (or even a good home) in your target area, open a Twitter account and pop in a zip code or neighborhood search in Twitter’s “Basic Search” area. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see tweets listing homes in your area, or real estate agents who are looking for homebuyers. Click on the link and start following them – a good real estate agent knows how to keep the listings flowing – even on Twitter.

Some other tips:

Check for professionalism. Don’t put much stock in agents who use valuable Twitter time talking about their personal lives. The savvy agents are the ones posting professionally, with listings and tips on buying a new home.

Use all the tools. Twitter has some nice features that make online home shopping easy. Use Twellow and/or Tweetdeck to find listings in real time, in neighborhoods and school districts you desire. Twitter also has a cool feature called Tweetlister, which lists new properties.

Tweet locally. It’s not that an agent in Boston can’t give you a good lead in San Diego – it’s just not likely. One problem with Twitter is separating the wheat from the chaff in following the kinds of real estate agents who’ll actually find you a new home. Your best bet is to stick with local agents who know your community and regularly post on news related to it – including good listings.

Look for the right language. When following real estate agents on Twitter, pay close attention to their messages. An agent who habitually posts about closing new home deals in your community is likely someone with a good track record, and deserves your close attention. But a real estate agent who regularly posts items that promote them personally or uses blanket advertisements is a waste of time.

If someone had told you 10 years ago that you’d be eagerly following a real estate agent’s 140-word tweets on your cell phone or computer, you’d suggest some psychotherapy at best or a rubber room at worst.

But sometimes the best ideas are the ones you never saw coming. With the marriage of Twitter and the real estate hunt, we have a new entrant in that category.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at

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