Experts share their favorite Twitter accounts for real estate advice.
We’ve all heard success stories of individuals getting rich from a smart realestate investment opportunity. But like any other wealth-building strategy, success in the realestate market isn’t based on luck: It requires real knowledge and skills that can only be obtained through learning.
A good place for aspiring investors to begin educating themselves is Twitter, where the best and brightest minds in the industry come together to share their valuable insights. We asked members of the ForbesRealEstate Council to share follow-worthy Twitter accounts for those looking to enter the world of realestate investing.
1. Landlordology (@landlordology)
This free education site teaches everything to make you a rental investment and management pro. The site contains investment advice, state laws, Landlord Toolbox, and amazingly well-produced Landlord Guides book series, all for free. It’s by far the richest, deepest resource for self-managers, and Lucas Hall, the founder of Landlordology, is a wealth of knowledge for newbies and pros alike. – Gino Zahnd, Cozy
2. Blackstone (@Blackstone)
I grew up studying Blackstone for a number of years and recently had the pleasure of meeting Tony James at an event at Yale. I was blown away by the depth of knowledge and experience they have amassed scaling this business into what is, quite arguably, one of the largest asset managers in the world. – André Bueno, The BM Group
3. Seth Williams (@retipsterseth)
For investing, follow Seth Williams, the founder of REtipster.com. Seth knows other good realestate resources when he sees them, and he’s not shy about sharing their content with the world along with his own expert musings. His content is like a “Learn the Who’s Who of RealEstate 101” course that teaches followers how to find the most valuable realestate information online. – Frederick Townes, Placester
4. Don Campbell (@DonRCampbell)
I would suggest Don Campbell, the founder of the RealEstate Investment Network based in Canada. Don has been running the network for a long time and is also an avid real estate investor. His advice is timely and based on pure facts and realestate trends on a micro and macro level regionally. He has been analyzing and forecasting real estate markets since 1993 and I have found his advice spot on. – Ali Jamal, Stablegold Hospitality
Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only community for executives in the real estate industry. Do I qualify?
5. Joe Fairless (@joefairless)
The one person that comes to mind immediately is Joe Fairless. He talks the talk and walks the walk. Not only is his attention to detail with investment strategy second to none, but his work with Junior Achievement is admirable. If you’re looking for someone to look up to, learn from and model, it’s Joe Fairless. – Abhi Golhar, Summit & Crowne
6. John Burns (@JBREC)
John Burns and his team do and share the best original research on changes you can expect in the realestate market. There’s a reason homebuilders and investors pay attention to what he says. – JD Ross, Opendoor
7. Mitch Stephen (@Mitch_Stephen)
Do you want to start investing in realestate but you find yourself without the knowledge and funding to do so? Check out Mitch Stephen, a seasoned realestate investor and “flipper” from San Antonio, Texas. He shows the masses how to find great realestate deals, then he reveals private funding sources to finance all your real estate ventures. He teaches the entire investing package from A to Z. – Angela Yaun, Day Realty Group
8. Texas A&M RealEstate Center (@TexRec)
I personally follow Texas A&M RealEstate Center because I believe so much of success in realestate is understanding supply and demand. That truly is what determines location priority. – Tim Herriage, 2020 REI Group
9. Veterans For LIFE Foundation (@Veterans4LIFE)
I would definitely follow the Veterans for LIFE Foundation. They are a community of realtors and brokerages dedicated to building homes for families in need, creating social change with every home they buy and sell. Veterans for LIFE is HUD-approved and can provide new investors the opportunity to get into the marketplace. – Richard Wyman, First American Capital RealEstate Services, LLC
Social Media has become a worldwide phenomenon. The growth in usage statistics is staggering across the numerous platforms that make up this online world. In 2016 alone the number of social media users rose by 176 million bringing the total number of active social media users to 2.3 billion.
Social Media for Offline Businesses
Despite these astonishing statistics, the big question still remains…
Does Social Media Belong in Your Business Plan?
The starting point for answering the question “Does social media belong in your business plan?” is the understanding that a business plan is a living, breathing, ever-changing document. It is no secret that too many business owners of small to medium size businesses either don’t develop a business plan at all or if they do, they don’t revisit it periodically to keep it fresh and relevant.
While social media has existed for some time now, its use for business is a rather recent development. This has come about as a result of its increasing acceptance by the population in general, businesses finding ways to capitalize on it, larger businesses dedicating resources to it and the social media platforms offering more business-oriented capabilities.
Those business owners that are keeping their plans current are likely to already have included it as a consideration. For others, this new technology may force them to dust off their current business plan and take a fresh look from a new perspective.
So how should you incorporate social media into your business plan? To answer that question, let’s examine some of the key elements of a business plan.
Has social media had an impact on the specific industry related to your business?
For example, if you own a restaurant you need to know whether any of these platforms could help you grow your business. In this case, two immediately come to mind — Yelp and Foursquare.
It would be important to be proactive with the use of these platforms in your business planning.
You must keep in mind that tech is not just a ‘young man’s’ game anymore. We’ve about reached that point where you’re no longer surprised to see a grandma on a smartphone.
This means no matter your demographic, they are tech-savvy. It’s why AARP has such a large social media presence. Everyone is online.
In this section of your business plan have you analyzed how your competitors are using social media platforms? For example, do they have a business page on Facebook? Do they use Facebook ads?
Along these same lines, you need to consider how investing in these platforms can help you with your competitive differentiation. How can you use them to make your business stand out from the rest?
It’s a simple way of assessing your needs. Look at other similar businesses and see if they are getting good results from social media. Business can be very collaborative so even if it’s not apparent how good the company’s ROI is, they may happily share it with you. Just please contribute something in return.
Organization and Management
The use of these technologies requires resources. Consideration needs to be given to whether these will be internal or external. In addition, social media can provide an effective platform for managing customer service, including issues. It has provided new methods for people to share their opinions about a business and its service.
It is important to follow these developments and pay attention to whether your customers are providing information to their online friends about your business.
Social media also keeps people from asking the same question over and over again. A simple tweet from your company’s social media account may be enough to quell the question of thousands of customers.
Now that’s a good ROI, wouldn’t you agree?
Marketing and Sales
This is a crucial area for those that decide to dedicate time, energy and money to the use of social media. A focused strategy is critical to the success or you may spend thousands of dollars with little return to show for it.
Consistent messages, attracting people to your products and converting them to customers requires proper business planning for successful execution.
It seems like nearly all sales at least start online. Nearly all of us go online before going in-store. Even just to check the general prices on Amazon. With that said, social media ties in nicely. Market and sell to your customers before they go to anyone else.
Unfortunately, most owners of small to medium size businesses spend money on online services such as a website that is never going to give them a return on their investment because the site is not likely to be found among the millions of websites that exist today. However, these new platforms can provide very cost effective alternatives for promoting your business.
New data released by email marketing software provider Yesmail shows that 91 percent of retail brands use two or more social media channels.
In summary, the growth of social media indicates that it is here to stay. That doesn’t mean that every platform will survive, however. It is important to periodically review your business plan to ensure that your business is taking advantage of the growth opportunities that social media has to offer.
This doesn’t mean you need to feel responsible for managing these social media campaigns. There are lots of young people who are eager to prove themselves and all you have to do is give them the keys, a modest budget, and watch the magic.
Okay, well, that’s not all there is to do. But those are ingredients that can lead to big results.
So should your business have a social media presence? Probably. No matter who your target demographic. Even if your demographic is children in Africa. Social media is still useful for letting everyone know what your company is doing for those children. Social media is about giving your company a voice. It’s not about pushing products, singing your praises, or posting funny cat meme’s on Friday’s.
Small business owners feel confident about their prospects, according to the latest Small Biz Index.
The recent survey of 1,000 small business owners was conducted by MetLife (@Metlife) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce between April 30 and April 21, 2017.
According to the data gathered, 60.6 percent of small business owners said they have a positive outlook for their company.
But despite their optimism, concerns over the economy continue to persist.
The survey found businesses are less pleased with the national and local economies — and the time they spend on regulation.
To understand small business owners’ views better, Rieva Lesonsky (@Rieva), Susan Solovic (@SusanSolovic) and Small Business Trends CEO Anita Campbell (@smallbiztrends) led a Twitter chat June 21. The event was sponsored by MetLife.
See excerpts of the discussion below.
Tips for Overcoming Small Business Challenges
The discussion started with participants describing the overall health of their business.
The promos of Bigg Boss 9 have started to appear on Colors, and the speculations of who all will be inside the house have started to surface online. From Amit Tondon, Rahul Yadav to Radhe Maa, the names are as controversial as they can get. To take it up a notch further, news about adult film star Mia Khalifa approached for Bigg Boss 9 trickled on to the Internet, and predictably, this has got Twitter abuzz with reactions.
Mia Khalifa is a Lebanese adult film star, and she entered the industry only in October 2014. In a short period of time, the actor shot to fame and became the number one pornstar on famous website PornHub last year.
This isn’t the first time Bigg Boss has roped in an adult film entertainer, with Sunny Leone appearing as a contestant in the fifth season. The show is expected to go on air on October 11 with Salman Khan coming back as the host. Whether Mia Khalifa enters Bigg Boss 9 or not remains to be seen, but Twitteratis reactions hint that the addition of Khlaifa will do much good for the show’s TRPs.
Facebook agreed to pay an undisclosed amount as out of court settlement to the father of a girl who, he claims, “was exposed to online sexual predators at the age of 11”, Daily Mail reported.
The father, who has remained anonymous, had sued Facebook for failing to enforce its age restriction policy. A trial had been due to begin last week after four years of legal wrangles. His daughter, from Northern Ireland, who is only referred to as GS in legal documents uploaded sexual pictures of herself online and used a series of Facebook accounts to contact men.
The accounts were later taken down by the social network. But the family’s lawyers claimed Facebook had a “duty of care” towards the girl and was “negligent” because it has no system in place to stop users from misrepresenting their ages. ”By registering an account and using Facebook the child might be exposing herself to sexual predators or other grave risks affecting her emotional and physical health,” the court documents said.
Users of Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat and LinkedIn must be at least 13 years old. ”People have to be 13 to sign up to Facebook. When we become aware that someone is under 13 and they have therefore lied about their age, we remove their account,” a Facebook spokesman explained. ”Regarding this legal case, all the parties are bound by the confidentiality terms – including Facebook,” he added.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Facebook to do more against racist comments and hate posts, in comments due to be published in a regional newspaper on Friday.
Germany is expecting a record-breaking influx of refugees this year. Politicians and celebrities have voiced concern about a rise of xenophobic comments in German on Facebook and other social media platforms because of the refugee crisis.
“When people stir up sedition on social networks using their real name, it’s not only the state that has to act, but also Facebook as a company should do something against these paroles,” Merkel told regional newspaper Rheinische Post.
She said Facebook already had the necessary code of conduct, but there was a lack of control and enforcement. “The rules need to be implemented,” Merkel said.
The Rheinische Post newspaper is published in Germany’s most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia which is obliged to take around a fifth of all refugees coming to the country.
Last month, Justice Minister Heiko Maas accused Facebook of doing too little to thwart racist and hate posts.
Maas sent a letter to Facebook public policy director Richard Allan in Dublin saying he received many complaints from users that their protests on racist posts have been ignored. He suggested a meeting in Berlin on Sept. 14.
A spokeswoman for Facebook has said the company took Maas’s concerns seriously and the company was interested in meeting the justice minister.
A spokesman for the Justice Ministry could not be reached late on Thursday to confirm if the meeting will take place.
On Monday, one in seven people on Earth used Facebook – 1 billion people,according to founder Mark Zuckerberg. In a decade, the social network has transformed people’s relationships, privacy, their businesses, the news media, helped topple regimes and even changed the meaning of everyday words.
“A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values,” wrote Zuckerberg in the post announcing the numbers.
These are just some of the ways his company changed everything – for better or worse.
Facebook has changed the definition of “friend”
“To friend” is now a verb. And unlike real life when the ending of a friendship can be deeply traumatic, it is easy to “de-friend”, a word invented to describe ditching a casual acquaintance when they are no longer enhancing your Facebooknewsfeed.
Although the meaning of the words “share” and “like” are essentially the same, Facebook has brought an entirely new weight to the terms.
High school and university reunions have become redundant – you already know whose career is going well, whether the perfect pair have split and you’ve seen endless pictures of your schoolmates’ babies. You won’t be surprised by an ex in the street with a new girlfriend or boyfriend: you already know they’re dating someone else from the romantic selfies.
But unlike in real life, Facebook has no hierarchy of friendships. A classmate from one project at university who you haven’t seen in 15 years, a friend-of-a-friend from a stag do, or a colleague you’ve never actually spoken to in person – they are all Facebook friends in the same way as your closest mate, or your spouse, or your mum.
It doesn’t necessarily mean we see them the same way. Prof Robin Dunbar is famous for his research that suggests a person can only have roughly 150 people as a social group. Facebook hasn’t changed that yet, he believes, but in an interview with the New Yorker, Dunbar said he feared it was so easy simply to end friendships on Facebook that eventually there may no longer be any need to learn to get along.
“In the sandpit of life, when somebody kicks sand in your face, you can’t get out of the sandpit. You have to deal with it, learn, compromise,” he said. “On the internet, you can pull the plug and walk away. There’s no forcing mechanism that makes us have to learn.”
We care less about privacy
There’s a wise saying – if you’re not paying for it, you’re the product. Facebook embodies that philosophy and created an entire industry from it. The astonishing thing is that users know that and they willingly hand over that information.
Pew Research Centre found most young people more than willing to hand over their details. An overwhelming majority of 91% post a photo of themselves, 71% post the city or town where they live, up from 61%, more than half give email addresses and a fifth give their phone number.
More than 80% list their interests, allowing brands to target them most effectively. But most younger users do restrict their profiles, with 60% allowing friends only.
But as so much of a person’s life is shared online, Facebook gives a platform for everyone to cultivate an image and a fanbase. In an article for the Frontiers in Psychology journal, academics described a new phenomenon, the emergence of the “Facebook self”.
“Several cases (7.5%) with large gaps between the true and false Facebook-self were detected, which implies that future research should consider the adverse consequences and treatments of high levels of false Facebook-self,” the research said.
Facebook has created millions of jobs – but not in its own offices
Facebook has essentially created an entire sector, including indirect employment for people whose job it is to make the platform work for their brand.
“It is a tool like no other,” said Michael Tinmouth, a social media strategist who has worked with brands such as Vodafone and Microsoft. “Marketers have an understanding of a brand’s consumers like they have never had before. The data and analytics available to you are extraordinary. You know who your customers are, who they are friends with and how they engage with your brand.”
And advertisers pay a lot for that. Facebook reported ad revenue was up 46%, reaching $3.32bn.
The sector based around Facebook is booming, Tinmouth says. “What was a community manager 10 years ago? There are hundreds of agencies which exist specifically for social media. It is an entire ecosystem for media, marketing, sales and technology. The question is now, how do you cut through the noise, and how do you keep control of the conversation?”
That last question means Facebook is also a minefield for brands. Suddenly, rather than complaint conversations taking place over the phone with a customer service representative, or on a small specialist internet forum, angry customers can post their complaints for hundreds of their friends to see, or even on the page where all loyal fans of the brand have been carefully cultivated. And an injustice can go viral.
Political parties who focus on Facebook win
For the UK 2015 general election, both main parties – Labour and the Conservatives – showed how important social media was for their campaigns by importing the consultants of the world’s first real social media election – the 2008 victory of Barack Obama in the US. The Tories hired Jim Messina, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, and Labour had Matthew McGregor, who was on the frontline for the online fight against Mitt Romney in 2012.
But the parties who ruthlessly focussed on Facebook came out on top. Both the Conservatives and Scottish National party’s social media managers told Channel 4 News that the platform was their main concern. The Conservatives were said to have spent £120,000 a month on Facebook, on Messina’s advice, because they could target floating voters accurately, rather than waste time having “1 million conversations” like Labour.
“Political parties, like any other brands, have the opportunity to say ‘actually, these are the sort of people that we need to reach out to, these are the sort of messages they need to receive’ – and then you can pay for advertising to get those right messages to the right people at the right time,” Craig Elder, the Conservatives’ digital director told Channel 4. “We knew that we could be very targeted and reach out to the people in the places that were going to decide this election.”
Kirk Torrance, the SNP’s digital strategist, had a different but equally effective approach to using Facebook: “This idea of the SNP everywhere – all the activity, all the photographs – any kind of proof, social proof, that the momentum was with the SNP.”
Facebook has been the tool to organise revolutions
Though the Arab spring was dubbed the Twitter revolution, organising demonstrations and direct action has been revolutionised by Facebook.Manchester University’s Olga Onuch found Facebook had been the key medium for reaching half of all the Euromaidan protesters in Ukraine.
Facebook posts signalled the start of the Maidan protests during the hours after it was announced that Ukraine would not sign a free trade and association agreement with the EU, Onuch found. The posts organised live action, not just online anger. Mustafa Nayyem, the Ukraine activist, posted: “Guys, let’s be serious. If you really want to do something, don’t just ‘like’ this post. Write that you are ready, and we can try to start something. Let’s meet near the monument to independence in the middle of the Maidan.”
Many of those interviewed in Onuch’s research said they relied on Facebook for the truth about what was happening – unable to trust traditional media.
But the barrier between social media activism and actual revolution was a source of frustration for many Onuch interviewed. “Our findings show that [social media] use had both a unifying effect, creating a collective identity and shared language of a civic struggle for rights, but also made free-riding easier and more satisfying – since ‘liking’ a protest event gave individuals the feeling that they had contributed to the cause,” she wrote.
Facebook makes news, breaks news, and decides what is news
Roughly 71% of 18- to 24-year-olds say the internet is their main news source, and 63% of users overall, according to the Pew Research Centre. About a third of Facebook users post about politics and government.
Most people will first encounter a piece of journalism or an item of breaking news via Facebook or other social media, and most of those encounters will be on mobiles. Individual articles are now a news brand’s showcase, not the site’s homepage.
Users might never have to leave the site to get their news: Instant Articles – which the Guardian has signed up to – will see stories run within Facebook. It allows news companies to sell ads around their articles, gaining them 100% of that revenue, while Facebook can also sell ads around that article, with 70% of the revenue from the social network’s advertising also going to the news companies.
Greg Marra, the Facebook engineer who designs the site’s news feed, told the New York Times he does not see the site’s role like that of an editor. But some sites rest their fortunes entirely on Facebook shares – in December 2013, when Facebook decided users no longer liked the “clickbait” teaser headlines from sites like Upworthy and Distractify, the sites saw huge dips in traffic. But their method of writing headlines had hugely influenced legacy brands.
Facebook has also changed the ways journalists write stories. It is a resource many reporters cannot now live without. For better or (often) worse, it is a directory to find, contact, and glean information for almost any ordinary person, who might suddenly find themselves at the centre of the day’s biggest news story. Facebook has its own newswire, sharing the most useful user reaction to breaking stories, including pictures and videos.
Users are changing Facebook
It used to be a site to get college students connected, with only an elite number of US universities allowed access.
In 2014, a decade after its launch, 56% of internet users aged 65 and older have a Facebook account. And 39% are connected to people they have never met in person.
Groups have given way to pages, writing on each other’s walls is passé and carefully curated albums have given way to instant mobile uploads. More than ever, the site is a gateway not just to your friends, but to the rest of the internet.
We may as well get used to it, said David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect. “It might very well go away further down the road, but something this big takes a long time to disappear,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “Facebook has proven its ability to morph, and it will continue to be a very, very major player.”