Craigslist. E-mails. Word of mouth. We’ve all found apartments through the usual ways, but did you ever think Twitter could be the key to your next humble abode? In the summer of 2009, Omayah Atassi, a Columbia University student, tweeted about looking for a new apartment. “I was living in the suburbs of Chicago at the time, and I didn’t really know how to go about looking for an apartment when living outside the city,” she says.
Luckily, Stephanie Davis, an associate broker at the Corcorcan Group, replied to Atassi’s query. Within a few weeks, Davis found her a one-bedroom on the Upper West Side. “The apartment is great. There is nothing I could have asked for more,” says Atassi. “Now I believe using Twitter was the best option.” Davis (Twitter handle @stephldavis) is a huge fan of using social media to connect with potential clients. “Twitter has enhanced interaction with the multimedia real estate consumer out there. It’s also a great way to speak to my clients, and in real time, so they’re getting what they need immediately,” she explains.
Danielle Pagano-McGunagle agrees. She bought an apartment thanks to her Twitter relationship with Paul Zweben, aka @HungryDomaine. He’s a real estate agent at Prudential Douglas Elliman and partner of several New York restaurants, including BLT Prime. They bonded over tweets on the NYC foodie scene. “It was a Twitter relationship that started online and [then] we developed a fantastic working relationship and friendship,” says Zweben.
“When my husband and I were looking for a broker, I thought of Paul instantly,” says Pagano-McGunagle. After almost a year on the search, the couple just closed on a luxury apartment at the Pencil Factory in Brooklyn. What stood out to Pagano-McGunagle about Zweben was his friendly persona. “Paul is an individual and personality on Twitter. If it had been a real estate brokerage brand that was tweeting, I would have missed that personal connection. I wouldn’t have that much interest in developing that relationship,” she says. Zweben posts all his listings and open houses on Twitter, but agrees with Pagano-McGunagle about the importance of connecting with your agent. “People with mutual interests start to follow me, and eventually they turn into leads.”