A Real Estate Discussion Blog


I Finally Got Twitter, PLUS A Free Resource So You Can Too

Everyone who uses Twitter boasts about what a great tool it is.  So I tried to get into it, I failed.  A few months later I read blog post that inspired me to try again, I failed again.  A few more months later, I learned about # (hashtags to follow things of interest, like a conference or an event).  This was pretty neat, I thought I would try one more time.  This time - it clicked for me. 

Now about four weeks later I have over 400 followers, follow almost that many people, and am usually following at least 3-4 keyword ‘twits' at a time.  Not only is this great distribution for my blog (Active Rain automatically feeds my blog posts to my Twitter account), but I get invaluable streams of real time information and I am brought into a whole new worlds of conversations. 

Now that this Twitter thing has clicked for me, it also clicked why I failed the first times.  I didn't really start with a purpose or a goal of what I wanted to get out of it. 

  • Do you want to build a referral network of real estate agents, then connect with other agents, then talk about real estate.
  • Do you want to connect with people (potential buyers/sellers) in your community, then connect with this group, talk about the community.
  • Do you want to use it socially to keep up with a personal topic of interest, then seek out this community, then talk about this topic.
  • Do you want the latest celebrity gossip, there are many celebs who are twittering multiple times a day who you can follow.  (ok, that was a personal interest plug, follow Ashton Kutcher at @aplusk) 

If you build of network of people you are following for the purpose of building a real estate network, then all you talk about is your kids' school, people aren't going to find you interesting and you won't be followed back or get read - the whole point of doing this. 

The next step of understanding Twitter for me was to download TweetDeck.  This allows me to easily group the topics and people that I am following - sort of bring them to the top of everything else. 

If you want to get started but don't know how, please read this great free eBook (35 pages, easy reading) that @niknik of MyTechOpinion wrote.  The beginning of the book easily lays it all out for beginners. 

If you are more experienced with Twitter, start with Chapter 7.  From here, she describes all kinds of tools and services to take you Twittering to the next level. 


Follow me at www.twitter.com/sbonert





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Comment balloon 62 commentsSara Bonert • March 13 2009 12:53PM


Sara - since there is no school on twitter or social networking we find ourselves learning on our own. I love the sharing of information to we can learn together!

Posted by Naoma Doriguzzi, New Media Director (Virginia Beach) about 11 years ago

Sara - Great Post!  Its cool that you made the jump and it's working out for you.  You might think about posting this article in the Twitter Group on AR for even more exposure.

Posted by _ _ about 11 years ago

Thanks for this.... I am going to read the T-e-boo

Posted by Kat DeLong, Realtor DRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate ( (LakeView Realty Enterprises, Inc) about 11 years ago

Hey Sara - Twitter is really hot now, isn't it?  I'm getting the ebook, thanks for the suggestion.

Posted by Marzena Melby, Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty) about 11 years ago

Great Post! I have been a Twitter Bird for a short while and I enjoy it. I have been able to get great information and help from many of my Twittier Birds and Twitter Chicks as I call them, from home staging ideas and sites, to more real estate selling techniques. Look me up and I will be more than happy to follow you too!

Posted by Cathy Worrilow (Farm & Home Real Estate & Auction) about 11 years ago

Thank you!  I will check out the Ebook, I am on Twitter for the second time.  Like you, didnt get it the first time...second time wasnt looking too promising either, but I will check out your suggestions and hopefully that will help twitterate me...or whatever you would call that.  Thanks again!

Posted by Chad McDowell, FHA and VA Mortgage Loans Snohomish County, WA (First Time Home Buyers, Pre-approvals, Fixed Rates) about 11 years ago

very cool - love it - thanks for the great write up:)

Posted by Courtney Cooper, 206-850-8841 (Ben Kinney Brokerages Leadership at our Keller Williams North Seattle Office) about 11 years ago

So thankful for your post, i needed this information.

Posted by Lyvia May, ABR, EPRO, SRES (Meybohm Realtors Of Aiken, SC) about 11 years ago

Tweetdeck helps me too.  I don't try to keep up with anyone by any means but I can look at Tweetdeck the way I have it set up and see what is happening locally, in the RE world, in the media and a couple of other "groups"

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) about 11 years ago

It sounds like we have been having the same experience with twitter.

I FINALLY am beginning to get "it". :)

Posted by Mark MacKenzie about 11 years ago

Great info . . . thanks 

Posted by Justin Voisin (RE/MAX Realty 100) about 11 years ago

Wow, sounds like my story.  First time I checked it out nothing, couldn't find who I was looking for, didn't know what i was doing.  Tried a second time and said heck with it.......I am going to try again and read the book you suggested.


Thanks for Sharing,


Posted by Kristin Mason (New Market Title Agency) about 11 years ago

good post cause I am the one who has failed to get it, your post helps

Posted by Kristina Yorke (www.LowestHomeLoanRatesinFL.com ~ FL FHA Mortgage Expert ) about 11 years ago

Sara, thanks a bunch....Yeah, I've tied tweeter....once or twice--so this information should greatly help me to get on board! 

Posted by Amanda Wilson, Real Estate Advisor (EWM International Realtors, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Oops...I mean twitter...you tweet on twitter...

Posted by Amanda Wilson, Real Estate Advisor (EWM International Realtors, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Thanks Sara . . .

I think the tough part (like with any writing, from blogging to that "Great American Novel") is finding the right "voice" to engage people, without being self-absorbed, arrogant, pushy, boring, redundant, annoying, or downright silly.  Which is why I find myself trapped in Twitter silence . . . I'd rather have people think I'm an idiot, as the saying goes . . .

BUT, I'm working on it, and perhaps your resources will help. I'll leave the safety and comfort of the warm nest one of these bright days, and my tweets will be loud and clear! . . .

Posted by Trent Cluley about 11 years ago

Sara thanks from me also.  I still don't really understand twitter very well.

Posted by John Walters, Licensed in Louisiana (Frank Rubi Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Thanks for the Twitter Post.  I just got started with Twitter this week ao am definitely a newbie and can use all the help I can get.

Posted by Jeanette Meggers (Keller Williams Realty Signature) about 11 years ago

I have to say that I have tried twitter and I just dont get it.  One of these days I may figure it out...

Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) about 11 years ago

Thanks Sara.  I will look at Twitter again, with the new knowledge.  This is helpful for sure.  And bookmarked.

Posted by R.E. Renée Hoover, Salesperson, Poconos, Pike, Wayne, Monroe Counties, PA; PA/NYS (Century 21 Geba Realty, Milford, PA; Licensed in PA & NYS) about 11 years ago

Thanks! Really helpful info!

Posted by Roxanna Morey (The Real Buyer's Agent) about 11 years ago

Sara ~ I'm still waiting for it to "click" for me.  I'm still not sure what I'm doing, except I got the "following" thing down.  I'm just trying to figure out what "RT" means at this point! : )

Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) about 11 years ago

Thanks Sara - bookmarked for rainy day reading - twitter is soo busy lately we've been blocked logging on by over capcity messages sometimes!

it's caught on obviously...now for us to 'catchup LOL



Posted by Jeff&Grace Safrin, SpousesSellingHousesTM (F.C.Tucker 1st Team Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Another must-have tool for beginners to utilize - once you have a few followers, chech out MrTweet.com.  He make recommendations for you to follow, based on your current activities. 

Thanks for the comments.  I think like blogging here on Active Rain, you just have to jump in and get involved.  Also like you blog on Active Rain, you have to have a purpose of what you want out of it, and then write and participate in ways that align with that purpose. 

Kathy - RT means Retweet.  When you see something you like, you can Retweet it to your group of followers.  Think about how huge this is.  Say you write a post and it goes out to your group of 100 followers.  Then 5 of your followers RTs it to their groups of 100 follows.  Now your post has reached a potential of 600 people!  This is why writing meaningful stuff is important instead of just always twittering about what you've had to eat all day.


Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 11 years ago

Sara, this blog is so full of invaluable information! I get on and get off of Twitter because I don't use it to its full capabilities.

Posted by Teresa K. Nelson (Windermere Real Estate/HLC) about 11 years ago

Thank you Sara! : )

Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) about 11 years ago

Thanks for the excellent information.

Follow me on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/roykelley REO agent in Montgomery County MD

Posted by Roy Kelley about 11 years ago

Thanks Sara. I recently got on twitter but just can't figure out what to do with it. Many people are following me so I elected to follow some of them and they appear to not have anything to do except write silly stuff.

Posted by Robin Scott, Broker, CRS, ABR, SRS, REALTOR® - Austin Texas (Robin Scott, REALTOR®) about 11 years ago


I am one of those people who gets addicted to stuff. Although I like Twitter I stay away from it for the most part. Every time I sign on I spend waaaaaaaaaaaay too much time there. It's just not healthy for me to be a Twit :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Great Information. Thank you for your sharing.

Posted by Michael Koo CRS,PMM,GRI, People inside house are matters most. (Greenfield Group) about 11 years ago

Sara, great resources for twitter users. Very useful indeed. Congratulations on the star. Well deserved!

btw: Added Roy Kelley to the Official Active Rain-Twitter Account Checklist

EDIT: Sara we didn't see you on the list so we added you too.



Posted by Everard Korthals, Mountain Realty (---Preferred Lifestyle Advisors---) about 11 years ago

Sara - Awesome post !  I look foward to reading that book.  Congrats on your recent growth and use of Twitter !  It is very cool.  BTW, just followed you on Twiter and subscribed to you blog !  You have some great stuff.

I watch Mad Money pretty much every night but have not seen that interview yet with J Stewart but heard about it.  Will go to your other blog post !  ~  Chris

Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) about 11 years ago

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I've been on Twitter for a week and totally lost!

Posted by Allegra Dioguardi, Home Staging & Training, Suffolk Co. Long Island (Styled and Sold Home Staging and Staging Training) about 11 years ago

Sara, THANK YOU for the information.  I, too, have "failed" at Twitter and people are requesting to follow me.  I need all the help I can get :)  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 11 years ago

Sara, I've had the same experience with Twitter.  You mean there's hope?  Thanks for the book.  I've downloaded and will make sure to read it.  I can't possibly be beyond help =)

Posted by Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101, GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay | (eXp Realty LLC) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara -- This is the best post I've read on AR about Twitter. Thank you.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) about 11 years ago

Sara, it took several stops and starts for me on Twitter too.  I've learned to simply leave stuff alone if it's not clicking.  One day, it made sense.  Still don't know exactly what happened. :)

Posted by Lola Audu, Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home! (Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate) about 11 years ago


I am now following you on Twitter!  Thanks for the post and happy blogging to you!

Posted by Jason Neumann, Realtor - www.KelownaRealEstateNews.com (Century 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.) about 11 years ago

Twitter is pretty cool.. I still need to get more in the habbit. Guess I still need to learn more about it.. Also how to better respond to someone...

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) about 11 years ago

Sara - I am just getting into the twitter craze, bur IU have to admit, it's not exactly grabbing me and saying "HEY!" You are the second person I know of that says it works though, so I'm gonna stick to it! Thanks for the encouragement!

Posted by Tim White (Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt - Hart, MI) about 11 years ago

Sara - I too did not get it at first, but once I did I love it.  The trick is also to connect with people in your local area.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) about 11 years ago

Thanks for the info-I've tried it to, as so many others have, but was never able to get into it. Maybe now I will.

Posted by Lisa Schlitz, Realtor - Wellington, Florida Homes 561-214-3216 (Home Run Real Estate, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Sara, you have at least made me want to take a second look at twitter.  I think maybe I've been approaching it wrong. 

Posted by Brian Brumpton, Boise Idaho Real Estate (Keller Williams Boise) about 11 years ago

So much to learn about Twitter with not that much time. Hopefully I can be able to use Twitter better. Congratulations on the star. Great post.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) about 11 years ago

I signed up for Twitter a few months back and just couldn't get into it.  I'm still baffled about how and why it works but I'm going to check out the link you gave and see if I can figure it out.  Thanks for the encouragement!

Posted by Erika Rogers, St George Utah Real Estate & Relocation Specialist (Red Rock Real Estate ~ Southern Utah's Largest Independent Brokerage) about 11 years ago

I have not yet joined Twitter. Thanks for the ling and the ebook. I will look into it.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 11 years ago

Sara- Thanks for the post and great information!  I have been on twitter a short time and your link to the twitter ebook was just what I needed!!  It answered questions that I felt too silly to personally ask!  I'm off to check out some of the apps and work on a 'welcome message'....thanks!

Posted by Terri Adams-Scott, Realtor, Walnut Creek CA Real Estate (J. Rockcliff, REALTORS) about 11 years ago

Sara ~ you got it! I am learning it the same way. Being globally connected means we jump into some pretty big conversations and that can be a bit intimidating. Keep the faith, trust the force, find your voice within that context, participate and contribute... the magic is sure to appear.

thanks again for a well crafted post...


Posted by Rene Fabre, Marketing in the Digital Age (First American Title) about 11 years ago

Great post. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) about 11 years ago


Thanks for the post and the eBook. I'm just getting the hang of twitter. This is helpful...

Posted by Harold "Hal" Benz, Helping Home Sellers Preserve Their Home Equity (Local Impact Real Estate Network) about 11 years ago


Thanks for sharing the information!


~Vicki - redballoonagent.com

Posted by Vicki McLellan (RE/MAX Four Seasons) about 11 years ago

Have been meaning to sign up for Twitter but am so busy with this blog, have not has the time.

Posted by Norma Brandsberg (Marks Realty Co. Inc., Lynchburg, VA, 540-586-9496) about 11 years ago

Thanks for the resource -- we have not twitted -- as there is just not enough time.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) about 11 years ago

Sara - I think I am having the same problem you did at first.  I really had no purpose in mind when I joined twitter.  Now you have made that clear for me to understand.  Thanks for the insight.  I think it will help me.

Posted by Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com) about 11 years ago

awesome share!

Posted by Loan Survivor Real Estate Financing Expert (Purchases, First Time Buyers, Pre-Approvals, Refinance) about 11 years ago

Thanks for sharing. I'll have to come back to your post Sunday night.

Posted by Brian Guzman (Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago


Excellent info on Twitter. I'm still trying to get my arms around it, figure out how it can be integrated into my overall marketing campaign. Your blog just gave more reason to dig deeper.

Posted by Esko Kiuru about 11 years ago

I've been struggling with Tweeter as well.  Seems an awful lot of people are tweeting, but, very few seem to be listening.

Posted by Joel Williams about 11 years ago

Thanks for the info...I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get a clue on how this whole Twitter thing worked. You have taken the mystery out of it. Some of it is still above my head but it will be a great reference source for when I start to become more of an expert.

Posted by Yvonne Coelet (Monument Properties AZ) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara, this is a great rebuttal to all my friends who think I'm mad to love Twitter.  I do.  I think the rigor of shrinking your thoughts to 140 characters has improved my writing immeasurably.  I love the access to people you'd never hear from via email.

In the beginning, Twitter was lovely just as it was.  But as my # of followers grew, it quickly became impossible to manage any semblance of relationships.  Enter Tweetdeck.  Life was clear once more.  I'm interested you use Tweetdeck for topic research.  I use Tweetlater for that; they send me a nice synopsis once a day.

All good fun.

What is your thought on following back?  D'you believe in automatic reciprocity?

Posted by Juliet Johnson, Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing (Vizzitopia) about 11 years ago

My thoughts on following back - I don't automatically follow back.  First I check out the person's profile.  If it is blank or unrelated to real estate, I don't follow.  If they are in the real estate business I do follow back.  As I get to know people better thru following and if they become a favorite, I move them into a group I call 'special tweeters' in tweetdeck, so I can be sure to see everything they tweet.  (I make special exceptions for celebrities, per my orginal post..haha)

Hadn't heard of Tweetlater, I'll check that out.  Can't imagine Tweetering without Tweetdeck.  In fact, I don't have an iPhone (I think I am the only one), but was thinking of getting one just to have Tweetdeck on the go.

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 11 years ago

<chuckling>  That would then make 2 of us without iphones!  I like my blackberry - call me oldfashioned!!

Thanks for the free ebook.  I've now read 5 books on Twitter and am feeling pretty expert, I must say!!  Except that it changes all the time.  And then I have to start all over again and adapt.  Plus, I'm coming in on 2,000 and I believe that a lot of things change automatically after that.  But 2 other tips I've found really helpful.

1.  The 80-20 ratio ----- 80% of your tweets are you sharing tools, resources, other people's tweets etc while 20% of your tweets are on your own stuff, positioned as helpful invites

2.  Twellow, Mr. Tweet, Twittergrader  (it was alarming to discover my most often tweeted word was MY)

and my bonus tip for today?  something I stumbled into via Hummingbird's tutorials but it is incredibly useful for all of us


Off to tweet it right now!

Cheers, Sara.  Have a twerrific day <er-hum>


Posted by Juliet Johnson, Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing (Vizzitopia) about 11 years ago