How to use TikTok to market real estate

by alessia girardin

She has only been on Tik Tok for six months, but in that time, Jennifer Brough, a Realtor with Jennifer Homes Realty, has attracted more followers than it took her years to build on Instagram.

And while many of her posts feature real estate listings, the majority are of Brough hanging out home, dancing, lip-synching and generally just having fun. That’s not uncommon for the app, which offers a seemingly unlimited supply of short videos that often include goofing around, special effects and pets.

Her most popular video attracted nearly 70,000 viewers and simply features Brough dancing to the song “Dura” by the band Daddy Yankee in celebration of sticking to her diet.

@miamihomefinderDancing my way to 130lbs ! Start weight 185. Current weight 172. ##dura ##weightlossjourney ##weightlosscheck ##celebratingontheway ##weightlosschallenge♬ Dura – Daddy Yankee

She tells Miami Agent that her work on Tik Tok is not just getting her followers — she is in the process of selling a home to someone who found her on the social media platform. The buyer first saw her on Tik Tok and then was directed to her website. She said the ability to link from Tik Tok to other social media accounts is her favorite feature “because it draws a lot of business into my Instagram” from Tik Tok.

Mike Sherrard, a real estate agent with eXp Realty in Calgary, Canada, who also creates real estate marketing videos, also emphasized the importance of the link feature. The feature is important “because of the strength in my other platforms, and the potential for cross-pollination among different social media outlets,” he said.

The brand awareness Tik Tok creates for real estate professionals could have a long-term impact on their business.
“If you are a true entrepreneur, not just a Realtor, you look at the long-term play and delayed gratification,” Sherrard said.

Instead of just appealing to an older audience through Facebook, the younger demographic on Tik Tok could potentially “create the biggest brand awareness and client traction,” he added.

He said in his YouTube video “How to use Tik Tok for real estate agents” that in just a few years the social media platform has attracted more than 500 million users worldwide.

“I think [Tik Tok] is eventually going to reach the point where you can market pretty strongly there, and that is going to be incredible for massive growth,” he told Miami Agent.

Sherrard’s most popular video has more than 140,000 views and features him and his business partner pulling up to a listing, both driving separate Lamborghinis, to the tune of DJ Khaled’s “All I do is win.”

@mikesherrardPull up to a listing ##realestate ##realtor ##lamborghini ##lambo ##calgary ##foryou ##fyp♬ All I Do Is Win – DJ Khaled / Ric

Sherrard acknowledged that it might not immediately make sense to market your real estate business on Tik Tok because the demographic skews toward those too young to buy a home. “They might not be buying homes now, but you also want to be seen as sort of the cool, hip, fun Realtor in your city, and this is the demographic that in a couple of years are going to be buying,” he said.

One agent using Tik Tok said that demographic is already starting to change. Enrique Metauten, a Realtor with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, said the app has “matured” and is “not just young teenagers doing dance challenges anymore.”

Sherrard emphasized the importance of connecting with clients on a personal level on Tik Tok. He said that, while the app isn’t the only social media platform to offer video as an option, videos there often take a much more playful tone than those on other sites.

“It’s simply forgiving and relatively unprofessional. As you saw, there’s just a lot of people singing, being playful, being silly, comedic — they just don’t care on that platform, which is really invigorating and relieving for us because on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, our clients can actively search us on there and the expectation is that we’re professional on there,” he advised.

That’s an instinct that just comes naturally to Brough, who said she’s able to get “more personal on this platform because it’s just more fun.” She said Tik Tok usage has grown in popularity since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s helped her sales, she said, noting that she hasn’t experienced a dip in business due to the social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

Metauten said he had not seen a dramatic increase in sales since the pandemic, but he did notice an increase in activity on Tik Tok. Metauten has strategically used hashtags to drive more traffic to his Tik Tok posts. That’s when his videos started going viral. His most popular video gained more than 468,000 viewers and features a statue of a bull at Art Basel.

So what should real estate agents be posting on Tik Tok? Sherrard offered these tips:

  • Feature behind-the-scenes footage showing agents having fun and working on their business.
  • Offer teasers of highlight footage that give a snippet of longer videos about specific properties. “Chop up a video of [a property walk-through], put it on Tik Tok, add some text over the top, put a cool song that’s trending …” Sherrard said.
  • Use trending hashtags.“That is something that you should be diligently and actively leveraging. They’re showing you exactly what other people want to see on the discovery page,” he said.
  • Feature playful videos with kids and pets, because they almost always attract viewers.

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