The Unconditional Blog

The impartial voice of the industry


Twitter – a personal perspective

Posted on: March 23rd, 2009 | Filed in Agent Tips, Cool sites, The lighter side

istock_000000969383xsmallThe decision by NZ Post to cease collections over the weekend is yet another reminder of how our wired (or wireless) world continues to dominate our lives. Whilst the advent of the web has actually delivered benefits to mail delivery services around the world as a function of online ordering, the reality is less of us actually put anything in an envelope and walk down to the local post box.

More and more of us find the immediacy of email, blogs and now the fast emerging experience of Twitter is the most efficient and rewarding experience to keep in touch with friends, colleagues and connectors.

Twitter seems to have come from nowhere in the space of barely 3 months to be the thing almost everyone I know is talking about. I recall that I first heard about it at a conference in the states 18 months ago and at the time I said to myself a combination of:

  • “Tweet” ??”
  • “Why does anyone want to know what I am doing”
  • “I don’t want people following me”

Subsequently I have come to appreciate the merits of Twitter. For me the most compelling statement made about it came from a well respected online commentator who said in one of his frequent podcast episodes “the most frequent comment I hear from advocates of Twitter is that they all at some stage or other have said – I don’t get it!” – I can relate to that, I didn’t get it until 4 months ago when I started to get it and I started to use it!


Here is my take on Twitter:

  • It is a mico blog – and just with blogging it can mean various things to various people
  • It does not really matter who follows you – let them; it is there life and if they are fascinated to read my tweets then great, if they “unsubscribe” to my tweets then fine, my life does not revolve around them
  • I follow people I know and Tweeters who provide valuable insight and information – these are more often than not businesses rather than people who provide a steady stream of insightful comment in the form of content links not unlike an RSS feed, but far more organic
  • I tweet on a combination of subjects – my thoughts on and insight on the real estate market, things that I observe in my everyday life, events and things I discover.

When people follow me and this is brought to my attention I undertake two quick checks – firstly do I know this person? –¬† if so, I may follow them (they are part of my circle of friends / influence). If they are not someone I know I look to see what they post, if they are mainly posting a combination of answers to questions from others or they post about the minutia of their lives I just don’t follow them . What I am looking for in my twitter stream is interesting news and insight.

Happy tweeting ! – you can follow me at alistairnz – but don’t be offended if I don’t follow you – you will now know why. As to the relevance to real estate¬† well I recall writing a piece on just this subject back in August last year – have a read “Does Twitter have a place in real estate“.

Article Discussion

  1. Dave says:

    Twitter never seems to make sense until the new Twitterer has a network of people to follow. Once they have that feed of tweets, then it all clicks into place and they are away.
    Perhaps, Alistair, you could supply a short list of the better Twitterers in the RE industry that are worth following. You could create an “industry recommended” Twitter list and keep it updated.

  2. Jacqui says:

    Good post Alistair. I’m still struggling with how to keep personal and business life separate online. Sometimes I really just want to natter with my friends, without having to always put on a professional face.

  3. Dave

    An excellent suggestion. I can see an agent adding a further dimension to their role as the “go-to person” with huge local knowledge and valuable insight in the community through the stream of content shared on twitter.

    To date I have not as yet witnessed that in NZ – there are some in the US I have been following who provide this.

    I will await the feedback from real estate twitterers in NZ and then compile that list – it will be subjective to begin with but naturally open to open discussion.

  4. Ross Brader says:

    We have just started using twitter and those who follow us will receive instant updates about our latest property listings, price changes and real estate news from the Ponsonby to Pt Chevalier area. You can follow us at sellrealty

    We will be integrating a twitter widget onto our blogsite and our office website

    Campbell Live broadcast a video clip related to twitter last Thursday. View it here.

  5. Ross,

    Good to see your approach – a clear position of using twitter as a resource feed for prospective and existing clients.

  6. As with blogging I also am attempting to use twitter to understand it’s place. Will be another interesting experience I’m sure! If it can provide the real time relevant information sources that my blog has opened up to me then it will be great.

  7. Sharon James says:

    I was alerted to this post through a tweet Alistair as I’m one of your followers. Like Ross mentions above I will be making Twitter an integral part of my online presence and will include links direct from my blog and websites. As a business broker my geographic area is broad however my main focus for comment will be on activity relating to the Coromandel Peninsula. I can be followed at

  8. Peter Driscoll Peter says:

    Alistair, good post, I’m a cynic but I appreciate your understanding of the mechanism – I can’t quite get my head around the fact that many different segments may follow me – friends, clients, anonymous – all with no confidentiality and the potential for constant interuption – obviously will look into it from now – cheers

  9. Peter,

    Thanks for the comments – just for clarification. Followers cannot interrupt you – they only see what you write – you don’t see them or what they write. Also you are only told when someone starts to follow you – you are never told when someone stops following you (you don’t get any sense of diminishing followers!)- you just see how many people are following you.

  10. Vanessa says:

    Great article.

    I think it is great for personal use and to keep in contact with colleagues, however, I am not so convinced that it is a good way of keeping your clients informed.

    My reasons are;

    Spamming, Information overload (having a blog, then getting tweets, having tweets on your blog….) and having to have a twitter account in order to receive tweets.

  11. I too took the plunge mid April 2009. A late adopter! Remuera’s only real estate twitterer!!

Post your views