"Speed kills … except for real estate." –Anonymous

People are using Twitter to share their experiences. They are also using it for crowdsourcing: posing questions and problems to a group of people.

They are hoping for a quick and useful reply. They tweet (post on Twitter) for advice. They tweet for referrals. They tweet for real estate advice. Yes, they tweet that they are looking for homes … and Realtors. No kidding.

"Speed kills … except for real estate." –Anonymous

People are using Twitter to share their experiences. They are also using it for crowdsourcing: posing questions and problems to a group of people.

They are hoping for a quick and useful reply. They tweet (post on Twitter) for advice. They tweet for referrals. They tweet for real estate advice. Yes, they tweet that they are looking for homes … and Realtors. No kidding.

So, how do you find these folks?

Here are some tools to help real estate professionals find them quickly and with little effort.

1. DemandSpot is a Twitter real estate search tool designed to help folks find buyers (and sellers). Simply enter a geographic area, a search radius up to 200 miles, and select a real estate keyword from a list.

DemandSpot will return tweets that contain those keywords, together with the link to the person who tweeted it.

Here is a result I found in the New York area, searching under the "condo" keyword: "Looking to buy a condo in NYC area (sic) anyone have any contacts or suggestions?"

Once you locate a person requesting help on Twitter you can engage that individual. Since that person reached out on Twitter, you have that permission to offer help.

A tip: Read the profile and Twitter stream of the person who is seeking help to get a sense of who they are. Then decide how to engage them. Add a link to your LinkedIn or Facebook profile so that person can get a sense of you.

DemandSpot has certain limitations. You cannot choose your own keywords and you cannot subscribe to updates. DemandSpot also wants you to contact the person through them. (To identify and contact the person directly, you can click "All Recent Updates.")

The following tools overcome these limitations. …CONTINUED

2. Twitter search engines: Twitter Search; GeoChirp; Monitter.

Twitter Search: Simply enter search terms you think will locate people tweeting for real estate help.

Some search-term suggestions include: "anyone know a Realtor," "looking for real estate agent," or "house hunting" (very popular).

Tweets will be returned in the results with the search terms highlighted.

This is my favorite Twitter search engine because it’s fast. It has an advanced search feature that lets you tailor your searches and include locations.

The best part is you can get a "Feed for this query" via RSS (really simple syndication) to receive future tweets that meet your search criteria.

Tip: Even if you don’t get instant results on your search, subscribe to the search. Anytime a person tweets the search phrase in the future, it will be sent to your feed reader.

As an example, a recent search of "anyone know Realtor in Arlington" located a very similar Twitter post.

GeoChirp is a location-based Twitter search engine. Enter a location, a search radius up to 50 miles, and a keyword or keyword phrase.

GeoChirp lets you "Subscribe to this search" to have future tweets delivered to you.

Monitter is also a location-based Twitter search tool that allows you to expand the search radius to 100 miles. I like Monitter because you can enter many search queries at one time. Monitter displays the tweets in separate columns and continues to update them in real time. The only negative is that the search results can be fuzzy.

Monitter, like GeoChirp, lets you subscribe to search updates via RSS feed. …CONTINUED

3. Tweetlister lets you tweet your real estate listings to Twitter (see related column here). You can schedule the listing tweet time and frequency. Each listing links to its own detail page with a broker/agent profile. The tweets go to your designated Twitter account.

Tweetlister also provides the number of clicks on your listings.

I know what you’re thinking (and put down that straightjacket) — it’s "unsocial" to tweet your listings. It may be. But I think there may be a way to do it without being regarded as a "Spamapotamus."

Set up a separate account on Twitter to use with Tweetlister. Pick a name with market keywords, such as "Newest Miami condos for sale."

In the profile, tell folks you are using this dedicated account solely to tweet the newest listings in your market area. Link to your property-search page. Use hashtags to identify a neighborhood or building, such as: #southbeach or #trumptower.

Promote this "twitter alert for new listings" tool on your blog or Web site with a link to the account.

Some folks may choose to follow this Twitter feed for new listing because they will not have to disclose their e-mail address (as e-mail registration can scare away some from listings alerts).

Click here to view a sample house-listing detail page.

Give these tools a "twy." Hopefully, they will make it easier for you to connect with clients on Twitter. And comment below to share any other Twitter tools you have used to easily connect with clients.

Joseph Ferrara is publisher of the Sellsius Real Estate Blog and a partner in TheClozing.com, a real estate news aggregator site. He is an attorney with 25 years of experience in New York, and he also coaches agents on the use of blogging and social networking.

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