Most Estate Agents On Twitter Are Assholes

Estate Agents On Twitter

Meh, as pointless and shitty as I think Twitter is, to my despair, it’s become another one of those irritating social media rages that I’ve been forced to embrace. Yes, forced. Apparently Facebook, Myspace and LinkedIn weren’t enough to maintain our virtual lives. We need to do more.

I’ve been signed up to Twitter for a while now, but I’ve only recently started to use it actively. I’m not using it because I like it, or because I necessarily get it, I’m using it to stay in tune with the latest online fads. To be honest, I think most people are using, or started using Twitter, for the same sheepish reason.

While I don’t entirely get it, I’ve learned to accept it. It doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere soon, so like my Aunt Mable’s hairy neck mole, I’ve learned to accept it.

However, there’s one thing I refuse to accept on Twitter, and that’s the blubbering idiots behind the majority of the accounts representing Estate & Lettings Agents. A lot, and I mean an excessive amount, of Estate Agents have an account on Twitter and it’s a total car-crash situation.

Estate agents have flocked to Twitter for the same reason as every other company in other industries, to see if it can be wielded as a marketing tool. I’m a rabid fan of online social marketing, but only when it makes sense and when it’s done right. Sadly, most estate agents are doing it all wrong. So wrong! It’s actually painful.

Since I’m a “property blogger”, it was only natural to start following estate agents on Twitter, in hope of connecting with useful industry information/folk.

Yeah, that did not workout at all.

It quickly became apparent that the majority of agents on Twitter are spamming assholes; they’re mostly just relentlessly Tweeting links to hundreds and hundreds of properties they currently have available for sale and let, while under the impression that it’s good marketing and that someone actually gives a flying fig.

For the love of God stop! Immediately! In case you’re guilty of being one of the donkey agents, let me try and explain why

Why Estate Agents should stop spamming Twitter with property links:

  • Anyone that’s serious about buying a property WON’T follow an estate agent on Twitter to achieve their goal. That would be ridiculous. If you think otherwise, you’re a total disaster.

    Most people that follow Estate Agents on Twitter are either fellow estate agents or have some involvement or interest with the industry.

  • Let’s assume we live on another planet where everyone is mentally-impaired by birth, consequently we’re all inclined to follow agents on Twitter to buy a property.

    Now, what are the chances of actually displaying a suitable property for a prospective buyer the very moment they’re logged into Twitter so it appears on their live feed? Practically zero! That’s why we use “search filters” on property portals.

  • If someone wants to use the internet to search for properties, they’re going to use dedicated property websites like Rightmove, not bloody Twitter.
  • Constantly sending out links to ‘properties for sale’ is BORING for everyone; not even the most enthusiastic, mundane, zit-infected, unsociable property geek would pay attention.

    Case in point, I stopped following 99% of estate agents because my profile was getting flooded with property links.

  • You need to consider what kind of person would actually follow a Twitter account that relentlessly Tweets spammy links (yes, that’s what they are, spammy links. Please don’t fight it!). They’re either people that are affiliated with the company or people that have died of boredom.
  • Now, finally, let’s put the final nail in the coffin.

    Ask yourself, would YOU, an estate agent, follow a Twitter account if you wanted to buy a house? Hell NO! So why are you undermining your audience with this bullshit tactic?

Forget trying to generate sales and increase pointless pageviews by Tweeting links to properties, it’s futile and a total waste of time.

Your time is better spent focusing on growing your brand and building relationships with other agents and property enthusiasts by spreading useful and insightful industry drivel. By-all-means, if you have a compelling property for sale, whether it be unusual, over or under priced, or it’s interesting for whatever reason, share. But save us from all the other shitty links.

I’m done (and hopefully you are with spamming Twitter).

If anyone wants to follow me on Twitter, Tweet, Tweet.

Love always xo

20 Join the Conversation...

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BenWeb 13th April, 2009 @ 18:40

Don't get me started on twitter! I work as a webdesigner, and the funniest client we have had yet to start tweeting crap all over the www is a fencing company.Yes thats right a company that makes fence's.

I do wish I had the sheer confidence to create such a rubbish idea and manage convince people to use it. For that you have to give credit!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 14th April, 2009 @ 08:07

Hey Ben,
So many people are just abusing Twitter, and filling the place with crap. I don't get it! Your client is just adding to the crap. I'm sure he'll get a huge following of people interested in fences =]

Twitter have basically taken the "status" function from Facebook. Go figure.

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Dan Harrison 14th April, 2009 @ 10:41

As a web consultant, I'm seeing that certain popular individuals command a great deal of power. As a result, just mentioning a site on Twitter can give a website thousands of hits.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 14th April, 2009 @ 11:25

Hey Dan,

Yeah, those individuals are most likely bloggers and influencial people, right? They're probably linking to blog articles they have written.

It's an entirely different market. Every time I publish a new blog article, I'll Tweet it. It acts like an RSS feed, and my followers know what they're getting.

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Dan Harrison 14th April, 2009 @ 11:59

They are bloggers and influencial people, but they only sometimes tweet an article they've written. They tweet about articles that are related to their interest. It seems to be very popular (and powerful) in the web dev world.

Your points about estate agents not thinking about their twitter market is very apt. It's a very common problem with most businesses, since they just don't target their customers correctly. They then wonder why their business is not performing!

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FNW 14th April, 2009 @ 22:46

s'funny, was looking at Agents today on Twitter. More like a load of twits. Hardly any with anything vaguely interesting. Just links to news items or properties, sooo creative.

Not sure I really get twitter other than it's a must have as social marketing is the new, actually I'm not really sure what it's the new. But it isn't marketing. But what do I know?

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GillsMan 16th April, 2009 @ 20:50

I subscribe to a couple of uber geeky podcasts about the world of IT (I work in said field) and have been aware of Twitter for a long time. I agree with everything in the article, but there is one point I'd like to make:

There's an English company which are setting up some sort of search facility which is going to facilitate people searching for jobs on Twitter. Sounds crazy at the moment, but it could just take off and if it does, expect the housing market to follow suit. So, essentially, it's not the worst idea to use Twitter if you're an estate agent - but I agree that the way they're using it currently is dull and unimaginative and unlikely to attract business!

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Jose Marques da Costa 24th April, 2009 @ 18:29

Wonderful article. I’m a RE/MAX agent in Lisbon, Portugal. I’m new to Twitter and I try to tweet as a person first and as a real estate agent. next. I tried to connect to other agents around the world and thought “Why don’t they use corporate email to show their listings and send messages about company internal matters?” When I tweet about real estate I try to think on things that could help customers – some new law, new proceedings, tips on buying or selling, etc. But even these I post them step by step.
I’ll follow you on Twitter for sure. My name on Twitter is labirinto. Good tweets!

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ILRealEstate 28th April, 2009 @ 00:12

"Whoa... Nice shootin, Tex!" Everybody slow down. Twitter can be great. And I personally think you "get" Twitter more than most twits.

I think Twitter can be a great resource for keeping you ear to the ground... finding out things much faster than your counterparts. You can also reach potential buyers/sellers that never knew you existed, as long as you don't scare them away with a bunch of uber-hype.

As an agent, I don't particularly find any interest in knowing who's going to what closing, or how many clients some agent picked up today. I think Twitter is better served as solving a consumer's problems, than patting yourself on the back.

Twitter is turning into MySpace really quick IHMO. Let's hope the TwitterHeads will try to keep it from getting out of control.

Love the rant! Keep bringing the content. I appreciate it.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 28th April, 2009 @ 07:06

Hey ILRealEstate,

I completely agree (although didn't mention in my rant), Twitter is also great for those things you mentioned- solving a consumer’s problems, finding out the latest news...etc.

kind regards

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Paul Endacott 4th May, 2009 @ 14:38

www.twitter.com/1stavenuelondon

I couldnt agree with you more! I call these agents "twatters". No insight! We tweet about anything and everything, property focused or not.

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Sarah Stelmok 30th June, 2009 @ 14:33

I stumbled across your blog post today. First, I think you're wrong. I happen to have quite a few twitter freinds that are in the real estate industry and they are all engaging and add value to my day. Second, how long have you been using twitter? You only have a few hundred tweets. Who are you engaging? Who are you attracting with your quality of tweets. A blind squirrel will eventually find a nut. You get back what you put out on the internet. Maybe you just need to practice tweeting a bit more and your quality of followers will go up. Just a suggestion.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 30th June, 2009 @ 16:05

Hey Sarah,

I get the impression that you didn't understand my post, or perhaps you didn't even attempt/want to understand it, beyond the title (Most Of The Estate Agents On Twitter Are Idiots). I didn't say ALL estate agents were idiots, I said those that aimlessly tweet links to "properties for sale" are idiots, because the chances of converting through that kind of marketing exploit is SLIM. And believe me, the majority of them are, or at least were, tweeting aimlessly like that.

I have no qualms with agents that are actually engaging with one another and trading useful information- that's how it should be, which is exactly what I stated. I'm under no impression that estate agents like that don't exist because I follow some great Real Estate Twitters!

Now, to answer your questions...

I'm attracting all kinds of idiots- most of the accounts following me are spammers (agents tweeting links to properties) and dead accounts. But amongst the dead weight, I'm only engaging with the 50 or so people I'm following, which are real people involved in the industry. They don't aimlessly tweet "properties for sale", they provide interesting tweets, resourceful info, and help solve problems.

I've been using twitter for a while; my Landlord account wasn't my first or primary account. I initially started following over 100 estate agents, and they were all trying to sell property on Twitter, which was ridiculous. I removed 99% of them. Now, tell me, how many "friends in the real estate industry" are you following? I hope it's a credible sample portion for you to defy my thesis. Unfortunately, I fear your "few twitter freinds in the real estate industry" are exactly that, "a few"

I've sampled a fair enough portion to stand by my comment- Most Of The Estate Agents On Twitter Are Idiots!!!

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The Red Rocket 6th August, 2009 @ 09:06

Great post and agree 100% with your pov on estate agents on Twitter. I'm trying to buy a house at the moment and it's bad enough having to deal with them as it is, let along having spam sent to me via Twitter. The good estate agents out there learn about what you need and only send relevant stuff. Like the annoying ad says: simples.

Don't agree with some of the other comments here bashing Twitter generally. Personally I find it incredibly useful, but only if used in the right way. Flogging houses isn't it.

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London Estate Agent 11th October, 2009 @ 01:05

We are yet to be convinced of the value of Twitter. We have local and property followers and we get a few site visits from it.

I don't think the property industry moves fast enough for this type of thing.

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claire stokoe 9th December, 2009 @ 17:20

Hi Landlord,

I love your tweets, they are funny and to the point. I agree that tons of companies are using twitter badly, filling it full of salesy nonsense that people simply block.

I work in social media so i spend alot of time trying to get Brands to use Twitter effectively, ideally as a customer service tool. It is a long hard road and as soon as companies understand that Twitter is about communicating and not simply selling, it should get better.

great post by the way

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Michael Leatherbarrow 17th January, 2010 @ 16:43

Hi there
I am not currently on twitter and doing a little research before I start, it was suggested to me by a leading local estate agent that I should be on twitter as it will increase my google rankings.

I found your article very interesting and I will definately try and keep my tweets relevent and not just send out relentless property links !

Many thanks
Michael

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Surresh Raju 22nd October, 2012 @ 11:00

twitter.com/BHorseProperty

Thanks for the heads up, I've started following people within the property industry and will stay away from tweeting properties.

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Melissa Williams 16th April, 2014 @ 11:51

As the Marketing Manager for a leading UK estate agent I agree that agents will always get it wrong if they are talking to the wrong audience - in this case buyers & tenants

Getting Twitter right for us is about how you can help and add value for sellers / landlords AND getting them to find you. Sounds simple but sadly not - most of the landlords / sellers we come across arent big twitter fans (yet!)

The SEO benefit of tweeting shouldnt be the goal instead creating the quality blogs that the tweets link back to should be. Those tweeting purely for SEO should instead focus on their Google+ accounts . . .

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SheLandlord 12th September, 2015 @ 11:57

I agree with most of what you say in this article - I don't want to read a load of crap about what people are doing, eating, when they need a new suit.....

Those who use Twitter well, give a short intro to the nature of the info that they are sharing then use hash tags to point it to those who are interested in that content, followed by a link to more information. I check subjects that have been tagged which I am interested in and I find it a quick and easy way to keep up with industry news. I follow those who I know share interesting content and un-follow those who bore me. I re-tweet good content.

Estate Agents who want us to look at their web sites need to provide interesting information and if it's a good site people will look around and find the properties that they are selling but I agree NO ONE looks on Twitter when they are looking for a property to buy.

Most of Twitter is white noise and is more about "I've got 10K followers" than it is about serious marketing but it does add to your "online" presence and therefore either use it well or don't use it at all.

Follow me on Twitter @She_Landlord

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