By 2022, real estate agents know the importance of maintaining a social media presence, where platforms have become an accessible (and often free!) way to market themselves and their business.
As the digital space continues to evolve, industry experts credit the pervasiveness of social media — as well as algorithms — for enabling them to connect with new prospects.
Elli Jennings, a realtor and a member of the Jennings Real Estate team at RE/MAX Real Estate Center in Ames, Iowa, joined TikTok in 2020, initially unsure of the platform’s longevity or target audience. However, she soon found that the social networking app offered new ways to market her business, showcase her personality, and connect with potential clients — especially first-time home buyers.
“I’ve been growing my other social media channels for five years, but TikTok has definitely increased my online presence the most,” says Jennings, whose account has more than 24,000 followers and amassed nearly 1 million total likes.
Consider these ways realtors can use a presence on TikTok to grow their real estate business.
Don’t hesitate to get started
There’s no better time than now to get started with TikTok, because to understand that there might be an initial learning curve when it comes to figuring out what content works best. While agents may be reluctant to create videos — and be in the videos themselves — TikTok offers an easy way to create short video snippets.
“Let’s just say you only get 200 views for your TikTok video. 200 is more than zero, right?” Jennings explains. “Of those viewers, someone will surely find your content helpful and remember you.”
Social media also allows agents to humanize their profession by giving their brand a face, a voice and a personality. Consumers are better able to connect with an agent after learning their style and expertise through online content before initiating a meeting.
“I think the most important thing people want in a real estate agent is someone they can trust. And what I hope to do on my social media platforms is build trust so people feel like they know me,” says Jennings.
Create content that adds value
Realtors are the experts in their specific facets of real estate – and should consider using that expertise to create valuable, digital content.
“Use your tried-and-true real estate knowledge to create videos that answer questions you are commonly asked by potential home buyers and sellers,” suggests Abby Lee, senior vice president of marketing and communications at REMAX. “TikTok offers a great opportunity to connect with new people and become a trusted source for consumers on real estate.”
Lee points to the brand new RE/MAX TikTok channel as an example of a curated mix of content that addresses popular real estate topics.
Jennings often films short videos of new offerings to increase consumer interest. However, she advises agents to always get permission from all parties involved before advertising homes on social media.
In addition to real estate-specific content, TikTok also offers the opportunity to support the community.
“I’m really proud of where I come from. I was born and raised in Iowa and I love living here. But one comment I got a lot on some of my TikTok videos was, ‘Why would anyone ever want to live in Iowa?’” Jennings recalled. “And that really encouraged me to show everyone why they would love to live in Iowa.”
A benefit to consumers and local businesses alike, Jennings uses her platform to promote activities and small businesses in the area. After all, the real estate profession is rooted in building community and helping others, in person and through social media.