4 questions for a pro: Shayla Twit



Shayla Twit of Dwell Real Estate

Shayla Twit of Dwell Real Estate is one of a new breed of young real estate agents in town who uses "social media" on the Internet to promote her business.

Twit came to Sarasota from Wisconsin in 2002 after graduating from college with a degree in business administration. In the residential real estate business for 10 years now, the 33-year-old focuses on the University Park and Lakewood Ranch areas, but ventures as far south as Osprey and Nokomis, and as far north as Parrish. In 2008, she received a Five Star Best Award in client satisfaction.

She is an unabashed Green Bay Packer fan and a competitive body builder in her spare time.

Correspondent Chris Angermann interviewed her at the Dwell Real Estate office downtown on Central Avenue to talk about her approach to marketing and promotion.

Q:What social media sites do you use?

A:I have my regular Facebook page and a business page, and I try to keep the two separate. I have my profile on Zillow (an online real estate database and search engine), and you can connect to my website, my LinkedIn profile and my Facebook page from there. We also have our office website, and I have a Twitter account for purposes of web optimization. If you Google my name, I'm on the first three pages.

I work on my Facebook website about an hour every day, including weekends, unless I'm too busy. I try to be different and put up comments that are not mundane. I write about the changing market, especially right now, when we have low inventory. I'll put up homes that I just sold, so people know I'm active helping buyers, and show any interesting new listings I have. People in the community know me from what I do, and I try to keep my name in front of them.

Q:How is it working?

A:Last week, an agent in Michigan sent me a referral on my Facebook business page. I had never met her or heard of her before. She said, "I have a client who's coming down to Sarasota in a week, and this is what he's looking for."

I think the Internet is so important because we have so many European and Canadian clients. Putting up good photos and good information about our listings is the best way. Plus, it's free. I think, as much as I put into it, I'll get out of it.

But it's not like I'm putting all my eggs in one basket. You can't do that in real estate. I throw a lot of stuff out there to see what will stick.

Q:Such as? How else do you promote your business?

A:I try to always have my business cards on me, so that I never have an excuse not to promote myself. Real estate comes up in conversations a lot. I hand out my business card at the gym. I recently met a guy there, and we started to talk. He said he had a house in Lakewood he wanted to sell, and sent me the photos. We're just starting to communicate. I've given him my feedback and my goal is to get an appointment with him.

I try to have one day for myself when I'm not working. But it's hard not to respond to emails. You want to capture the lead and reply right away, because if you don't, the potential clients will go to somebody else. Even if it's just a quick text-back — a lot of clients text now — or a quick call-back.

Q:Do you concentrate on a particular area of the business?

A:A lot of us are trying to focus on listings, because right now we have a lot of multiple-offer situations, and that can get frustrating. I may be working with a buyer on a property and five other buyers are looking at it, too. Or a house has been on the market for 90 days and nothing has happened, and all of a sudden there are other offers.

You want to have inventory and work with sellers. If I work with a buyer and miss out on a deal, it means starting from square one, whereas if I had the listing, I'll have a hand in the transaction when it sells.

Last modified: December 15, 2012
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