A Few Reasons Why Landlords Should Use Twitter

Oh damn, I’m about to eat my own dick here. To cut a long and shameless story short, I’m just going to say it…”I’ve started to get Twitter.

A few months ago I mentioned how I thought Twitter was a pile of donkey shit, and how Most Of The Estate Agents On Twitter Are Idiots. While I still maintain the latter to be true, the former “donkey shit” claim can be retracted. I don’t know whether I’ve seen the light, or merely adapted to a bad situation. Either way, somewhere along the line I’ve managed to utilise Twitter and extract some usefulness from it.

People use Twitter for all kinds of reasons; I’m only speaking as a Landlord that is using it to seek useful industry knowledge and contacts. Coming from that perspective, let me stress, Twitter isn’t useful “off-the-shelf”. It only becomes useful if you make it useful- Twitter is about manually building a functional community.

Drilling down to a good list of Tweeters

The thing I’ve found with twitter is that it’s filled with parasites: spammers, users that chat shit, and users that are purely trying to generate business for themselves. Tweeters like that are the spawn of Satan, and are what I call Twitter cancer. Consequently, it can take time, patience and good judgement for Twitter to actually become useful to a Landlord. It’s taken me approximately 3 months to actually build a community that’s proved to be useful to me. The key to Twitter really is about following the right people, and getting the right people to follow you!

Each Tweeter you follow should be a sharp tool

I don’t follow many Tweeters, but those I do follow are generally quality folks. Twitter is about quality and not quantity. The rate of success on Twitter is pretty low. By that, I mean, I can follow 50 new people on Twitter, all being related to property, but if I’m lucky 1 or 2 of them will prove to be useful. I see each Tweeter as a tool- some being sharp, some being blunt as an overused vibrator. I ditch or replace the blunt tools immediately.

How Twitter has helped me as a Landlord

Believe it or not, I don’t know everything about being a Landlord. In fact, I’m still learning every day; I doubt I’ve even covered an eighth of the relevant information I should know. So if ever I need advice/help, I just Tweet, and sure enough, someone usually comes good with a response, whether it be from a letting agent, a fellow landlord, or some other form of industry professional.

The other day I wanted to see different examples of Guarantor forms that other landlords/agents were using, so I could see how they compare to the one I use. So I threw this Tweet out there:

Guarantor forms Twitter

Before I knew it, I had 3 letting agents emailing me examples of their Guarantor forms thanks to my Tweet. That’s the power of Twitter. And that’s what I now get, which I didn’t before. Seriously, once you build the right network and get the key users following you, Twitter is a GREAT source for information. I’m sure i’d be able to extract good results from my Twitter network no matter what I asked.

In principle, Twitter can help anyone in any industry in the same ways I’ve demonstrated. But i’m keeping it all about Landlording, because that’s what I do!

How do Landlords build a good Twitter following?

Well, this is how I did it:

  • 1) Have a property related description in your bio. I have this:

    I’m a Landlord that likes to bitch about being a Landlord while loving the job.

    If you have keywords like “landlord” in your bio, property related tweeters will find you, and start following you.

  • 2) Find a few big names on Twitter like, Rightmove, Findaproperty and the alike. Go through their followers and add as many property related Tweeters as you can.
  • 3) Monitor the quality of tweets you get hauled with, and unfollow those that produce worthless crap. Look out for Tweeters that actually engage in conversation- they’re the keepers.
  • 4) Talk about landlord/property related stuff, and throw in keywords like “tenant”, “landlord” and “tenancy”. As with stuffing keywords into your bio, property related folks will start following you by following this principle.
  • 5) Somehow Twitter has managed to attract all kinds of professionals from the smallest of industry niches. Try to find Tweeters that specialise in areas you may need information on as a Landlord. For example, add tweeters in the world of letting agents, Home Information Packs, Landlord law, landlord tax…etc.
  • A list of Useful Tweeters

    Here is a list of Tweeters I follow- all of which I consider to be valuable and interesting for any Landlord:

    If I missed you out, I apologise. If you think you should be on the list, let me know, and I’ll moderate your claim for superiority and act accordingly.

    You can all follow me, The Landlord on Twitter

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7 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
GillsMan 4th August, 2009 @ 21:51

Wow - I get a mention! *blush*

As well as being a landlord, I'm also a computer geek (I work in IT), and I find Twitter incredibly useful for keeping up to date with the tech world, and I definitely agree with your advice on how to use Twitter. I'm going to follow some of the Twitterers you mention, as I'm not following too many property-related ones at the mo.

I agree, Twitter is really useful - as long as you prune your Following list from time-to-time. Someone that posts too often (usually with banal crap) usually gets dumped from me as well!

1
Guest Avatar
GillsMan 4th August, 2009 @ 22:00

Also, I'm moderately shocked you haven't suggested this one:

http://twitter.com/sarahbeeny

2
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 4th August, 2009 @ 22:12

Ha, thanks for your full credentials, Gillman!

Damnit, cannot believe I missed her out. I've rectified the issue :)

3
Guest Avatar
Dan Harrison 5th August, 2009 @ 07:54

Thanks for the mention! The stuff I tweet is very much a mixed bag though. Although I do the landlord stuff, I also do a lot in the web dev world.

Dan

4
Guest Avatar
Roberta Ward 5th August, 2009 @ 20:01

Wow! Im honoured! fanx [blush] for the mention. If I might add a few more tips for you re Twitter:

1) add your name to the 'wefollow.com' database-with hashtags (#) related to what you do- ie: #landlord-this will enable others with similar interests to follow you more easily.-you also get indexed by Google easier.
2) If you tweet about property use the #property etc tags in your tweets-then anyone interested in that subject that follows tags will see yours and likely comment and follow you.
3)if you give info-you tend to get info back and quality tweeters. Dont just tweet about your latest 'this that or other' very boring.
4) always use shortened URLs to post something because the object is not just who is on your list but who else you can get to RT (re-tweet) your stuff to THEIR list.Hence word gets around about you or your product in a more viral/ natural way.
5) twitter is like texting to people you dont know but would want to-its very immediate.
6) If you get mostly young tenants for your props ask them if they are on twitter-save you a fortune on texts/ phone calls.
7) download free Tweetdeck or Hootsuite you will find twitter makes more sense when you use these tools as you can follow whats going on and being said much easier.
8) if you see an interesting article or something funny- RT -re tweet it-this is a great way to connect with new people and open a dialog with them.

Hope this helps you understand what its all about folks.
Roberta

Twitter me: @RobertaWard

5
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 7th August, 2009 @ 09:17

Eggcellent!
Many thanks for that, Roberta. I never actually made use of using the hashtags (#), but I might just do that in the future! Maybe!

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Guest Avatar
Noidontdrinktea 8th August, 2009 @ 08:45

Oh thanks for the tips Roberta, not sure i'll be telling my tenant i have twitter anytime soon though! Shall try the hash tag thing!
And thanks for the mention landlord! However i do rarely tweet about anything intresting!!

Fee.

7

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