Luxury Real Estate

Reels Estate: Why luxury agents are turning to casual TikTok and Instagram videos to market some rather magnificent properties

Real Estate TikTok and Instagram

You are probably well aware of how incredibly successful TikTok videos and Instagram Reels have become. Perhaps you even enjoy scrolling through them for fun. But did you know that these seconds-long videos are becoming some of the best marketing tools out there? They’re completely free to use and have the potential to reach thousands of a business’ potential clients.

In the case of real estate, that means clients looking to buy and sell homes. What’s more, agents who sell luxury real estate are making much more use of fun TikTok videos and Instagram Reels when it comes to marketing their properties and themselves. It’s a new frontier for the luxury space — and the early adopters are already there. Below, we dig into the phenomenon.

Why agents should care about TikTok and Instagram Reels

These days, people do almost anything online — from their jobs to meeting people with similar interests, to reading the news. So, when they’re looking to buy or sell a house, it only makes sense that their first port of call would be their favorite search engine.

“Ninety-three percent of people start the buying or selling process online,” Brandon Tyler, a real estate agent at Mahler Sotheby’s International Realty in Wisconsin, told Inman. “Forty percent of purchases are influenced by social media. Seventy percent of people use smartphones to search about the home-buying process. I have to have a presence on these platforms because the numbers don’t lie in terms of where consumers obtain their content.” At the moment, real estate TikTok and Instagram are growing exponentially, and riding that wave is simply a smart business move.

Even more eye-opening? Nearly two-thirds of TikTok’s users are Gen Z — and Gen Z is set to become one of the primary spenders in the luxury industry by 2025, accounting for a whopping 20 percent of net luxury spending. Combined with the millennials, these two generations will account for a 180 percent growth in luxury markets between 2019 and 2025.

Consider another critical insight for a luxury brand: More than 85 percent of luxury purchases in 2020 were influenced by digital content or digital marketing efforts. Luxury brands with a robust online presence leverage their digital footprint to boost sales.

The benefits of marketing a property on TikTok and Instagram

When people search for certain real-estate-related keywords, it’s crucial that their search returns platforms related to an agent’s brand. By establishing themselves on a variety of social media channels and posting content with relevant captions and hashtags, they are multiplying the chances that their business is the one people come across in their research for real estate agents in their area.

Once buyers and sellers find themselves on an agent’s TikTok or Instagram page, their next job is to keep them there by offering content that will entertain or impress them. “In my market, people use social media to understand who I am and what I do,” Tyler said. “Some will ask questions about a home or about the market, while others want to know how I’ve scaled my business. In the end, it’s about being accessible and omnipresent.” Sometimes, this can translate to hundreds of inquiries, and generate more sales than an agent can even imagine, as it did for agents interviewed by CNN Business.

The video format itself offers so many possibilities for showing off listings in a more interactive way than through photos alone — and if it’s a particularly impressive listing, or one owned by a celebrity, that could be the making of a viral social media video right there. The more creative agents get, the more views, likes and sales will follow.

How agents are using TikTok and Instagram Reels to grow their business

If you haven’t seen how agents and brokerages are maximizing the trend for quick, casual videos — even for marketing luxury properties — take a look at the Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Instagram and TikTok pages for a little inspiration. The brokerage has partnered with the developers of a new video-making app designed especially for agents, called Vuse. It has transformed their phones into sales tools they are using to shoot, edit and publish quality videos — with no video skills required. It’s easy to use, too, and it walks them through every step of making fun, quick videos about houses, neighborhoods, you name it. Agents are especially wise to create videos that are about access, exclusivity, luxury, wit, trends and insider knowledge: The TikTok and Reels audiences love to feel as if they are being let in on something. As more and more agents explore creating video content, they should heed Tyler’s advice: “First, get in front of that camera,” he says. “Second, if you aren’t creative, find someone who is and invest in them. Third, have a mixture of relatable and informative content. … If you aren’t obtaining social media leads, then someone else is.”

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