It’s All About The Tweet, Says Google

It’s All About The Tweet, Says Google

With the announcement of an agreement between Twitter and Google as written up on VentureBeat, there is some satisfaction at many levels, and a personal one as well, that those of us who have always been staunch supporters of the business use, and value, of Twitter can celebrate with the quiet confidence that “I told you so” isn’t needed to be said, but it obvious in the outcome – this landmark agreement between two technology giants.

Twitter Opens Fire Hose Feed to Google

The Official Twitter Bird Logo

The Value of Twitter for Real Estate
I have been a huge supporter of Twitter, and it’s power for search engine optimization in real time, since I began using the service in 2008. I spent a great deal of time educating the real estate industry on the benefits and value, the pure elegant power that is Twitter. Some would dismiss it, call it a waste of time, but those that “get it” have always seen the power.

Social networks move in and out of vogue with a near constant ebb and flow, but Twitter has remained mostly consistent in what it does, how it does it and the value proposition it has – wide open for use and interpretation. I have been asked many times, in interviews, at conferences, in meetings, while on stage talking about the power of Twitter, what my favorite social network is, it has always been – and still is Twitter.

It’s Always Been “Cool”
Although there have been times when people turned their noses down at my response, and moments when it was not “fashionable” to like Twitter, I have been steadfast in my belief, and my dedication to Twitter and the value it brings the world. The real time citizen reporter power has proven itself time and time again. The mainstream media accepts it, and recognizes the value of the live and real time conversation.

Twitter chats (using tools like Nurph) have become more and more popular ways to communicate ideas, and bring master mind resources together to brainstorm, share and evolve ideas and uses of the platform, of business use cases, and of customer service.  Look for a new Twitter for Real Estate Chat beginning on February 17, 2015 from EstateSocial.com and @mayaREguru.

The Great Twitter “Told You So”
Quietly Twitter has grown it’s business model, and the power of the data it aggregates. Now, in 2015 Google – the powerhouse of search engine optimized data – acknowledges that Twitter has what it has never been able to build – a truly successful, reliable (no more Fail Whale – mostly) and desirable social network. There is quiet satisfaction in this for Twitter, who does a lot of great things (check out their #Transparency initiatives, to see how pro-user they have always been).

I have always deemed Twitter to be the “One Ring” of social media, to connect them all, and I truly believe this proves that point even more. The true value of Twitter is that it is a totally indexable and open network, unlike Facebook which requires login and access to view, engage and post messages, Tweets are immediately available to be indexed by any spider client of whichever search mechanism.

With the agreement between Google and Twitter to open the “fire hose” feed directly to Google those Tweets will be immediately indexable, therefore the value – and therefore power – of your Tweet and Twitter account has grown exponentially.  Even InmanNews offered an interesting take on what it means to real estate.

To be clear, this is not the beginning of the indexing of Twitter – it is merely a more efficient and expeditious way for that indexing to happen.  To put it simply – the indexing of Twitter isn’t new, just the means by which it will be indexed – the speed, the efficiency, and the availability will all improve.

With that, I am going to start republishing – as well as rewriting – much of my content directed at the use of Twitter for the real estate industry, best practices, how to get the return on your time invested, and the “how to” of Twitter for Real Estate (and beyond). It’s the return of @mayaREguru and my pro-Twitter message, it’s all about positioning yourself for success in social media for real estate professionals – it’s not rocket science, it’s pretty basic and it’s really all about Twitter as the method to share the information.

As the thought leader, Twitter proponent and connector of all things Twitter – Clint Miller said it best, and a LONG time ago “Twitter is a Cocktail Party” – that’s the simplest way to understand the value and power, true social networking. Clint is posthumously proven to be a true innovator, which many of us already knew.  I know he is chuckling down on us all from somewhere in Heaven.

I have told clients, classes, publishers, publications and organizations for a long time how valuable Twitter is to their business growth and development. I think the agreement between Google and Twitter is the perfect way to validate the true quantitative value of Twitter for all those naysayers who always asked “Show me the proof” as they dismissed many of us – it has always been there, if you were willing to see it.

Welcome to 2015, the (deferred since 2007) officially endorsed by Google Year of “The Twitter” for Real Estate.

How are you already using Twitter, or have you abandoned your Twitter account? What are your biggest challenges in embracing and using Twitter? Tell me below in your comments, ask questions, if you need help I will try to offer my expertise.

Expert Answers: What is an AVM?

Today’s question comes from a consumer in Michigan.

Question: “What is an AVM?”

Expert Answer:

An AVM is an “Automated Valuation Model”.   AVM’s have long existed, most frequented used in actuarial processes for lenders or lien holders of real estate.   First, there are many different kinds of value to be determined, is the value “Fair Market” or is it “replacement” or another?

Companies have created systems and algorithms to calculate the value of a real estate portfolio, which could be the total of loans outstanding for a large lending institution or the portfolio of individual real estate investors.  Insurers also have their own methods for creating AVM’s.

Today consumers are most familiar with some forms of AVM’s that are frequently available via real estate search sites – which in reality are really media companies advertising properties to attract consumers and then sell the “consumer lead” to a real estate professional who is paying the media company for the lead.  That is the simplest means to explain these portal websites.

The AVM models displayed are proprietary, created specifically for the purpose of that use.  Data collected determines the results provided, the larger the pool of data the more likely an accurate valuation will be provided.  Many models are based on geographic methodology that might not hold water in a different geographic area.

Much like real estate itself, a property value in California can’t be determined in the same way that a property value in Boston might be.  A zip code is a lousy means to measure a value but is frequently the main means for some of the most popular portals to provide values.

Today, the most current valuations are those that use many sources for data collection.  For instance the National Association of REALTORS has invested greatly in creating REALTORS Property Resource (RPR) to help REALTORS meet the needs of the consumers seeking valuations of their properties.   RPR uses data only available to real estate professionals via listing services (Multiple Listing Services), loan processing services, various data aggregation, public records and more.   The result, as I have tested myself, is an incredibly accurate and powerful valuation model, in this case it is called an RVM – REALTORS Valuation Model.

I have been using RPR for a number of years, and for full disclosure I am a certified contract trainer for RPR.  I have shared my valuations with clients, REALTORS and appraisers.  I have been told numerous times by appraisal professionals that the RPR RVM is “spot on” accurate in the comps, and the values determined.  Yes there is some human input in the final adjusted results, as there should be in any valuation.

People are not machines, and an AVM is not for people – so looking at a portal AVM for your property, or a property you are interested in, without consulting a real estate professional, is not going to give you a realistic – nor fair – view of true value.

Before you put stock in that “estimate” of a properties value, put your faith in having a real estate professional, and even a appraiser, tell you what that true value is.

Pulling Back the Curtain of the Real Estate Industry

Nothing frustrated me more than the current contentious state of relations between the real estate professionals, the real estate industry and the consumer.  Add to that the confusion of all the resources for finding real estate, and the lack of accuracy in some of those resources.   Media companies portraying themselves as “service” sites, while selling advertising to real estate professionals, spending to capture and establish trust with consumers, and then in turn selling the consumers contact information to real estate professionals as qualified “leads”.

In some ways it has become a game of who has the biggest budget, who can manipulate the public perception best, and therefore dominate a market.  The truth is that service is the core of the real estate transnational process.  I have spent the last 8 years helping to educate real estate professional on how to best serve the needs of their clients, through clear and concise communications, client education meetings, mutual expectation discussions and more.

Being a Consumer Advocate
During this process I have long wanted to address the consumers, the sellers and purchasers of real estate, to help facilitate a positive experience, and revise the public perception of what a “Real Estate Agent (Broker/Associate, etc)” is.  I believe that time has come, if not past, and as I see more predatory methods being used to monetize the listings of real property, the native distrust of the real estate professional by many consumers only allows those seeking to profit more opportunity.

There comes a point in time when the curtain needs to be pulled back and the “wizard” behind exposed for all to see the truth.  The goal of EstateSocial.com is to pull that curtain back, to discuss the industry, the process, to help remove misconceptions and prevent misunderstandings between consumers and professionals.

There is so much more to the business of real estate than the two aspects of the professional and the consumer (or client).  There is the brokerage model – and how the business of a real estate brokerage works.  There are many models and agents/licensees decide who to associate with.  By shining a spotlight on the industry and the process the goal of EstateSocial is to facilitate a great understanding and appreciation of what a real estate professional offers a consumer, and to help those professional understand many of the common concerns, or confusion, of the real estate consumer or client.

A Great Divide
There is a disconnect between the real estate consumer and the real estate professional.   A great part of that disconnect is the lack of understanding of how the process of buying and selling real estate works.

On the other foot, the real estate professional sometimes forgets the magnitude and impact of a real estate transaction on an individual, couple or family.

Between professional jargon and acronyms, consumers often are lest wondering what is going on.  What is a FSBO?  What is a CRS? ABR?  REALTOR or Realtor or realtor?  What is the difference, or is there a different between a realtor, licensed real estate agent, broker, etc.

Many terms are often used interchangeably in various media outlets, when in fact they are not.  Consumers need answers, and real estate professionals need reminders of why we all are doing this – as professionals and consumers – to help people.

Customer Satisfaction Starts with Understanding
Real estate, as an industry, is really about customer service and satisfaction.  Serving the needs of the client, putting their best interests first in a real estate professional capacity as their representative (aka Agent).  The consumer needs to understand that the real estate professional works for them, how they are compensated and why “keeping our options open” when looking for a property is more often a disservice to the consumers needs rather than an advantage.

By facilitating conversation, answer questions and providing explanations, EstateSocial.com hopes to help bridge the gap between consumers and professionals to provide a better understanding, mutual appreciation and less frustration on both sides.

Estate Social is a place for consumers, real estate professionals and conversations between the two.  To encourage understanding, compassion and a positive outcome for everyone who buys, sells or transacts real estate in any capacity.