Once deemed a platform purely for youngsters wanting to have fun sharing goofy dance videos, TikTok is now being used by many professionals as a powerful lead generator. It’s time that realtors open up and explore the potential that TikTok for real estate can have for their business.
With over a billion monthly active users, professionals from a wide variety of industries have begun leveraging the app to further their business reach, and this includes the real estate sector.
So just how can a real estate agent leverage TikTok and save a significant amount on real estate marketing strategies? Here are the steps you can take as a real estate agent to maximize the opportunities presented through this video-app phenomenon.
New to TikTok?
If you are completely new to TikTok, you’ll need to set up an account with the app. This is a quick and easy process, and like many downloadable apps, you can register for an account by using your email address, phone number, or via your Facebook or Google profile.
Choosing a Username
As with any additional platform you add to your business, brand continuity is a must. You want your intended audience to be able to find you easily, and for newcomers to your brand to understand what you do at first glance. Therefore it’s ideal if you can include the term ‘realtor’ or ‘real estate’ in your name and possibly the area you serve, too.
The good thing about choosing a TikTok username is that, unlike some other sites and apps, TikTok makes it easy for you to change your username at a later stage.
As you set up your profile, be sure to include a link to your website landing page, or other social media channel if you prefer. TikTok allows users to place one link on their profile page, which followers can directly click on to be taken to the linked site. You could also set up a linked landing page that is specific to TikTok to gain easier insights as to how many leads the platform is generating for you.
How Does TikTok Work?
If you are new to the app, it’s best to spend some time familiarizing yourself with it before you attempt to post anything. Like many social media-style platforms, TikTok shows you a feed of posts by the accounts you currently follow, as well as some suggested content based on your interests.
The ‘Following’ page is the one showing content from the people you are following, while the ‘For You’ page is a feed of content suggestions based on your preferences. Many TikTok users spend a good deal of time on the ‘For You’ section, as it gives them easy access to a range of new materials, businesses, and creators that they may not otherwise have found. The way in which TikTok introduces its users to others allows professionals like real estate agents to capture the attention of new potential leads and build a following relatively quickly.
Leveraging TikTok’s Algorithms
One of the reasons that TikTok is such a phenomenon and as valuable to real estate agents as it is, is due to its ‘For You’ page’s algorithm-driven, quick-fire feed of video content.
The content that appears on a TikTok user’s For You feed is curated using algorithms associated with their location, interests, search history, and the way they interact with online advertisers. Because these metrics determine what content TikTok feeds to its users, new users can create content that has the potential to reach a wide audience and even go viral without needing to pay for promotion or have a large following in place. Leveraging these opportunities can save a significant amount of real estate marketing budget.
9 Tips for Real Estate Agents to Get Started on TikTok
Of all of the real estate marketing strategies that exist, TikTok is the newest and potentially the most powerful. Here are our 9 tips to help you crush it and gain massive exposure for you – and your listings!
1. Consider Niching Down
TikTok’s algorithms and trending patterns make it the perfect platform to establish a niche within the real estate industry. You could choose to focus on specific types of clients, such as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listings. If you opt to keep your targeted client-base broad, you can still create niched content such as for property flippers, or first-time buyers.
You may find that you organically start to attract a particular demographic or client type, and this could lead you in a niched direction. It may certainly be a good indication of what category of potential client you are most likely to continue attracting on the platform. From there, you can focus on maximizing that opportunity further.
2. Repurpose Content You’ve Already Made
When it comes to making the leap and creating your own content, a good place to start is to consider what content you already have that could be repurposed.
Presuming that you already make video content for your property listings and upload them to other sites such as Zillow, Redfin, or even Facebook Marketplace for rentals, you already have material that you could edit to suit TikTok. You could also repurpose existing content from other platforms such as Instagram or YouTube – any content that you can edit to make a great TikTok video can and should be leveraged – half the work is already done, and this can be a great way to get started.
Often, property showcase videos are longer than the maximum 3 minutes TikTok limit. Still, by editing different sections down, you can create multiple TikTok videos that give your audience bite-size tasters of your property listings.
There are a variety of ways that you can make your content significantly more engaging. For example, you could use simple transition editing to separate your videos and invite your audience to keep scrolling for the full picture, or you could speed portions of your video up to create jam-packed content. Check out the success that TikTok’er @heider_realestate is enjoying, thanks to her sped-up property videos edited with vibrant music. It’s also popular to use trending audios on TikTok to make content more entertaining.
According to a survey conducted by video-makers, Biteable, real estate listings that incorporate video content achieve as much as 403% more inquiries than those that do not. Let’s face it, in our highly digitized world, video content is essential for the growth of any business that sells a visual product.
While TikTok does allow videos of up to 3 minutes to be uploaded, it is worth noting that TikTok content that is 15 seconds or less achieves an average watch time of 90% or more. So, wherever you can, keep your content snappy.
Further Reading: Repurposing Content: 15 Specific and Popular Methods
3. Get Creative
While repurposing any existing video content you may have is a great way to get the ball rolling, it’s particularly important that your content on TikTok be highly engaging to maximize your chances of growing an audience. TikTok content is renowned for being fun, light, snappy, and engaging – short bursts of video that quickly get to the point and deliver information or messages in an entertaining way.
You can and should take the time to gain inspiration from currently trending content in the field of real estate, although it’s crucial that you remain as unique as possible, particularly in your delivery. For example, many real estate agents mix up their property listing videos with content that focuses on other aspects of the industry – be it curb appeal, decluttering tips, how to negotiate a sale, and so on.
4. It’s OK to be Camera Shy
If you are a little camera shy or find it difficult to talk on camera, TikTok is the perfect platform to get around these issues. On TikTok, quirky content is not only the norm but is expected and enjoyed by its users.
If you’re a natural on camera, great – feel free to chat and perform away. But, if you’re a little less confident, there are many ways to create engaging content without you being under the spotlight. For example, many realtors upload content that features the key messages in text blocks as opposed to speaking directly into the camera. Depending on the message, the background could feature property images or the agent doing a trending dance – on TikTok, virtually anything goes. You can also shoot a video of you pointing to text boxes and then add them afterward when you edit the content ready for upload. As soon as you take the time to watch a variety of current content, you will see how varied it is, and the ideas will start to flow.
5. Keep it Real
One of the unique things about TikTok is that its users expect and enjoy authenticity over heavily curated content. This means that you needn’t be a natural performer or speaker, etc., to do incredibly well on the platform; you mostly need to be willing to let loose and have fun. That’s not to say that professionally curated content bombs on TikTok, but it typically requires a little creative edge to be well received.
6. Don’t Worry About Editing
If you are new or otherwise inexperienced in editing video content – or you simply need to save time – TikTok features in-app video editing tools and an accessible audio library to make editing your content quick and easy. Features such as ‘stitch’ and ‘duet’ are particularly helpful when editing content.
The ‘stitch’ tool allows you to clip and include scenes from another TikTok user’s content in your own (while credit to the original creator is retained). The ‘Duet’ tool enables users to post their video side-by-side with another creator’s video, with both playing simultaneously in the feed. This can be a great tool for networking through fun collaborations while creating engaging content to drive more leads.
7. Use TikTok Audios
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have likely come across TikTok videos featuring users miming to random audio clips. These audio clips could be anything from movie or TV scripts, song lyrics, or simply random sounds.
Some social media platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram, rely a lot less on audio as a part of video content, but on TikTok, it is important and expected. It is possible to upload silent content to TikTok, but the platform has positioned itself as being powerfully driven by audio, so it would typically seem odd.
In addition, because the app is so audio-driven, many specific audios go through a period of trending. When an audio clip is trending, you will likely hear it multiple times from different users on your feed. Many of these trending audios get millions – if not billions – of views every day, much like a trending hashtag on Instagram.
8. Leverage TikTok Trends to Drive Your Content
The TikTok culture is one of constantly evolving trends in audio, humor, style, dancing, and more. Users are continually uploading fresh content featuring whatever new trend is, well, trending!
Finding a way to include whatever is trending into your real estate content is an excellent way to grow your audience further; you just have to get a little creative. Take this example of prominent real estate TikTok’er @texastattooedrealtoer. She humorously incorporates a trending audio to depict the response of a potential buyer being asked to up their offer on a house.
Examples like this just go to show that not every upload needs to be a serious message regarding a listing or other business angle. The point of leveraging TikTok specifically, is to use the nature of the platform to broaden the way you reach and engage with potential clients.
Further Reading: TikTok Influencer Marketing: The Quick Jumpstart Guide
9. Post Consistently
In the big scheme of things, TikTok is still a relatively new social media platform, and continues to grow rapidly. This is largely due to its unique algorithm-driven content feed that gives everyone an equal chance of growing a massive audience and going viral.
As with any social media channel, it’s pivotal to your success on the platform that you post regularly. The beauty of ensuring that your TikTok posts are consistent is that the app does a lot of the work for you when it comes to organically increasing your reach.
Final Thoughts on TikTok for Real Estate Agents
The unique qualities of TikTok make many professionals, such as real estate agents, hesitant to try it. Its quirky, light, and fun content reputation doesn’t immediately strike you as an obvious place to conduct serious business. However, there are countless ways to create professional content in an engaging way that befits the site.
Real estate agents are quickly learning that there is massive potential to be leveraged on a site that enables significant reach. It just takes a little imagination to craft the right content. With over a billion monthly active users and counting, it’s too big of an opportunity to ignore.
Hero Photo by Mourizal Zativa on Unsplash
Jennifer Seene is a freelance journalist interested in real estate trends, up and coming neighborhoods, home renovation & improvement, and other topics.