Hacker Connect January 16 in New York
An event for and by the real estate tech community

Should you walk away from a home that’s underwater? Tempe, Ariz.-based Realtor Dean Ouellette (@DeanOuellette) posts an informative and concise video response to that question on his site as well as an answer from a University of Arizona professor in Ouellette’s top 10 real estate posts of the day for Dec. 1. Bottom line: If you can get past the emotional obstacles, you may save a lot of money.

Chicago-based tech trainer Saundra Washington (@techtools4re) proposes using Twitter’s new Lists feature to manage Follow Fridays, a weekly international event in which tweeps (Twitter users) suggest other people for their friends to follow.

The Lists feature allows you to organize Twitter users into categories. You don’t necessarily have to follow a person to list them, so it is useful if you would just like to check up on them once in awhile without having to search. It’s also useful for keeping track of people you want to recommend throughout the week, so you don’t forget before Friday.

Twitter itself was named the most popular English word of 2009 by the Global Language Monitor, shares real estate blogger Nicole Nicolay (@nik_nik). "King of Pop" was the top phrase. She also suggests Top 20 Gift Ideas For Real Estate Geeks, no matter your price range. Lynda.com subscription, anyone?

On a more serious note, Nicolay spots an article on husband Reggie Nicolay’s Cyberhomes blog that says homebuyers will need higher credit scores to get a home loan come Dec. 12, when new rules kick in at Fannie Mae.

Someone with a 20 percent downpayment on a house will now need to have a score of at least 620, up from 580. Although some potential borrowers will be shut out, the rules are an effort to restore credibility in residential-backed securities.

Real estate broker and blogger Jay Thompson (@PhxREguy) recommends a low-tech way to grow your business: the handwritten note. In the age of electronic correspondence, taking the time to write out a note yourself can provide a personal touch and express your appreciation for your customer’s business, writes Thompson.

And then there’s a cheekier suggestion from classified real estate site Sellsius. Inman News columnist, and social media and online marketing consultant Joseph Ferrara (@jfsellsius) recommends taking a cue from the world’s oldest profession with "10 Marketing Tips You Can Learn from a Prostitute."

Among the tips? Market in the places your audience can be found, make the transaction easy, and market happiness. Go ahead, Ferrara says, "Give them a happy ending."

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