I consider myself fairly technologically adept, especially considering that I’m a Realtor and I’m over 40. Most Realtors over 40 don’t understand technology and don’t necessarily like learning new technologies in order to sell real estate. I figure that I either learn and adapt or retire. Since I have a wife, two kids, a dog, and a mortgage, I continue to work.
One of the newer technologies that I am learning is Twitter. I recently set up an account “losaltoshomes” and began to stalk follow other’s tweets. The more I read the various tweets, the more I began to think “what a waste of time.” Who cares whether I had steak for dinner or not? The bantering back and forth among the fellow Twits (Is that correct? Are we Twits for using Twitter?) is fun, but hardly developing my business. I began to doubt whether Twitter had any value at all to my real estate business. Yes, it was nice to follow what everyone was doing, but how could this median be useful? My interpretation of the value of Twitter for me and my business has recently changed.
A week ago Monday, I received a tweet from InmanNews (no I didn’t win the free registration to Real Estate Connect San Francisco 2008. Unfortunately, I was number 123 and Jason Sandquist, number 20 won). Below is the tweet from InmanNews
I read the link and realized that a loan on one of my client’s homes was in jeopardy. Unfortunately, they got their loan through IndyMac. My client’s were waiting for loan documents when the announcement was made and only had ten days to close escrow. Instead of loan documents, my client’s had to go out and get a new loan.
In somewhat of a panic, I attempted to contact the loan broker to suggest that we might want to get a backup loan in place should IndyMac not perform. As luck would have it, the loan broker was in the Caribbean sailing with limited internet access and no phone.
The following morning, I called the loan broker’s office to see if anyone was following these events and to get a status update on my client’s loan. I finally was able to speak with the managing broker, who, having no knowledge that his loan agent was in the Caribbean, tried to see if IndyMac would send loan docs and then fund the loan.
Unfortunately the loan was dead. At first, IndyMac said that it would honor all loans that had been locked. But reality hit a few days later when IndyMac seized operations. We needed a loan and we needed it fast.
My client’s were able to submit a new loan to a different lender, who managed to get the loan through and they closed on time. Had we waited a few more days, my client’s would not have had the time necessary to re-apply for a new loan and could have possibly lost their house.
Had it not been for the Inman News Tweet, I doubt very much that any loan would have been able to be secured within the time lines of our original purchase contract.
I still haven’t grasped all the intricacies of Twitter and am sometimes bored to death by some of the tweets (some people have way too much time on their hands). However, I have found Twitter to be useful and if you asked my clients who are new homeowners, I think they would agree.