Last year I decided to sell my house, like a lot of people probably do every now and then. Since I’m a huge champion of the value of social media and knew all about the power of networking and believed firmly in online marketing, I figured it would be an interesting case study. So I documented the entire process, to see what worked and what didn’t and maybe learn a little something about how to make things work better.
Boy, was I in for a wild ride.
Everything began in
September June, specifically the 26th of June, when, in one hectic afternoon, I posted a tweet and a Facebook update about the sale of my house, posted ads on Magicbricks.com, 99acres.com, OLX.in, Quickr.com and watched to see what would happen.
Of the actual ad creation process, MagicBricks and 99Acres had the most painful, irritating processes. Mainly because they all try to up-sell you with Premium listings (actually it turns out there are many flavors of premium listing and keeping track of all of it without a slide rule and a log table is nearly impossible.) OLX and Quickr were much faster, but they obviously lacked the detail of the other, realty-focused sites.
Now, while all this was going on, and even when I was planning it out, somewhere in the back of my head I felt that Twitter and Facebook were really going to be the game changers. My rationale for this was that while realty sites attract audiences that are definitely interested in buying property, the large amounts of listings, the unfriendly design and ultimately the large size of deals when it comes to housing would probably mean that I might get some feelers from those sites but not really have anything concrete materialize from there.
On Twitter, I posted a short note about my house and a request to retweet as well as to DM me for more info. Within an hour I had 100 RTs. By the end of the day I was up to 240. Of course this was largely due to my shameless pimping and getting a lot of highly influential friends to RT my initial tweet. (Incidentally, fully 100 of my first-day total of 240 RTs came after one person RTed me!)
With the retweets came a flood of DMs and requests for information. I stayed up till quite late, answering all of these queries. I ended up sending about 75 emails that night, to people who had specific questions. In the race to help sell my house, Twitter was far in the lead, providing contacts of people who were interested, as well as getting me some level of insight into the asking price, the kind of amenities that people were interested in, etc. (Incidentally, a shockingly large number of people care very passionately about whether or not a flat comes with stilt parking versus open parking. What cars are you guys driving, that need houses of their own?!)
Far behind Twitter came Facebook – but this was my own fault since I’d been neglecting my FB for a long time, having only posted occasionally over the last year, and rapidly losing touch with friends even on a social network. (I know, irony.)
And shamefully plodding in at last place were the realty sites, some of which were in a ‘pending’ mode, where my listing was waiting to be reviewed by humans. While this makes sense and I can see the value of having a moderation process, it felt just plain frustrating at the time.
Typing this up felt like it was quite quick, but apparently I’m closing in on about 600 words, which is the target I had for the whole piece in total! Snap decision: this is now a 2-part piece! You’ve learned about the first day so far. Stay tuned for what happened after, which
will be uploaded soon is here! Please let me know in the comments if you’ve had similar experiences?