REALTOR magazine's 2011 Technology survey revealed that "despite common warnings to not be too promotional on social networks, 48 percent post listings on Facebook." That's good news for you, house-seeker. Eventually, you'll find it tiring to search Zillow or Trulia day in and day out. But if you add a realtor to your friends list on Facebook or Twitter, you'll have local listings just popping up in your social stream. As a bonus, you might get first dibs on new properties — it's probably much quicker for a busy real estate pro to update Facebook with mobile pictures of a new unit than to update a website.
So how do you get social with the real estate crowd? While you're navigating professional sites, look around for social media links and icons. If the realtor has a professional "fan" page where they share up-to-date listings, they'll link it there. If not, you can always try to search the realtors name and city on Facebook or Twitter; many share listings with their personal networks and won't mind if an interested buyer drops in. (Image: 1. Illustration, UnitedEducational.com, 2. RealBird Listing Publisher)