How NOT to act on the Internet

The Real Estate industry is seeing a bunch of new comers to the Social Web. Social Media Marketing for Real Estate is a sorta new thing for Agents to learn in marketing their services.

One thing everyone needs to know is how to act in online Social World, especially when trying to market their business.

Today’s tip of the day is how NOT to act when engaging people on Twitter.

Many of you have learned that you can be alerted when somebody tweets a key term or phrase, such as “buy a house”. What some of you are doing is instantly following the person who said that phrase hoping that you can be of assistance and maybe get the persons business. DO NOT DO THIS, it makes you look like a total buffoon. When you do something like this the first thought that pops into the consumers mind is:


And then they do this:

Thanks to Jim Duncan at Real Central VA for the image

The same goes for when you are replying to questions on Trulia voices or anywhere for that matter. When you act over eager for someone’s business they will immediately tune you out, send you to the spam box, or they think you sound like this:

I hope you have learned something from today’s lesson.


  1. Josh on October 17, 2008 at 3:51 am

    Well they sure know how to conduct themselves professionally. Looks like the REALTOR tree hasn’t finished shaking the bad apples out just yet.

  2. Mana Tulberg on October 17, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Some really great advice for all of us Realtors.

  3. Ben Martin, Va Assn of REALTORS on October 17, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Interesting. What if I’m a Realtor who’s already following the person who tweets about looking for a new house? Okay to engage them?

    To take it one step further, what if we’re following each other?

  4. Loren Nason on October 17, 2008 at 2:27 pm


    That’s a little different.

    If you are already following them and they are not follow ing you I would say engage lightly.

    If you are already following each other mutually then I would say it is ok to engange.

    If I as a consumer was following a Realtor it would be for 2 reasons – i want to here what they say or I know them personally

  5. Ben Martin, Va Assn of REALTORS on October 17, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Good point. I see it like this:

    1. Engaging when not already following is a little like overhearing a conversation at the next table in a restaurant and saying, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear that you’re about to buy a new home. Can I help you with that?”

    2. Engaging when YOU’RE following, but they’re NOT following you is a little like being at table of 10 and overhearing the same conversation and saying, “Maybe I could help you with that.”

    3. Engaging when you’re mutually following is like sitting with three people; one’s telling everyone else about their home search and you offer to help.

  6. Joshua Hanoud on October 18, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Hi Ben – I think you pretty much hit it on the head… It’s fine to engage people – but you need to know when it’s warranted/wanted. It’s like agents spending time at a Real Estate related forum and constantly being pitched Virtual Tour subscriptions and Lead Generation when all they want to do is vent about the last deal/talk about marketing ideas with other agents…

    I wonder what Ted Truitt would do….

  7. Sam Basel on November 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Just gotta say I busted out laughing at the little audio clip of “MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE.” Almost missed it. Thanks for the entertainment and wise words.

  8. […] How NOT to act on the Internet: If you follow only one rule as a real estate professional on Twitter, this might be the one. […]

  9. Jamie Colucci on April 29, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Well, let’s just say that every new activity has a learning curve; some people just hit the peak a little faster than others! At least some of the “old school” are starting to catch on to the new technologies available and use them! This is a really good how-to for those who still have a few lesson to learn.

  10. Lloyd Chrein on May 19, 2009 at 6:31 am

    I read and enjoy your blog. I wanted to suggest a site to check out, which might be good for a post on online tools for real estate agents and sellers. It?s called TweetLister ( and it just launched last week. TweetLister allows you to post, schedule and manage real estate listings on Twitter, and collect and download contacts you get through those listings. It?s a free service. We?ve already gotten a good amount of buzz, and I would love to read your take on it.

Leave a Comment