Reality Check: Tweet & Sell on Twitter

“Twitter” used to be a word associated with bird sounds or general excitement, but now it’s synonymous with a high-flying social media service based at Twitter.com. Oprah, actor Ashton Kutcher and CNN have recently nudged Twitter further into the national conscience, but the publicity was hardly necessary. Unofficial figures for the free service that bills itself as a place for friends to connect estimate monthly users in the millions.

The networking potential of the hot new medium is not lost on Naples real estate broker Mark Weber. The owner of White Sands Realty reports he has been posting “tweets” on his site for about three months and has good results.

“I’ve heard from people from various parts of the country and even from a man in Greece,” the Naples realtor says. “I like the immediacy of it and the opportunity to create a global presence.”

Weber’s Twitter account, NaplesProperty, includes a short biography, family photo, some quotes, real estate advice and, at one point, a virtual tour of a $16.4 million sold property that has drawn a lot of response, he says.

“Twitter is as much about giving your knowledge freely as it is self-promotion,” he says. “It’s truly an interesting balance, siding on giving. Then, every once in a while, when you need to promote something truly worthy, your followers will listen to your request. A good, but unwritten, rule is that for every self-promoting tweet, you should give seven tweets of unique, free information.”

For example, Weber recently informed followers about a new addendum to real estate contracts concerning Chinese drywall and supplied a link for those who want more information.

“Tweets are limited to 140 characters,” he explains, “so you have to be concise and plan your content carefully.”

Followers, as they are called, can access Twitter through their cell phones or computers. Those who have a registered site can also forward material received. Weber says he likes his heightened profile and the increased prospects for new business.

“There may be potential home buyers out there with whom I’m making a connection, or fellow professionals with whom I can forge mutually beneficial,” he says. “One guy in California contacted me about referrals, and a couple seeking a local condo also found me through Twitter.”

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