Viral dances, concise skincare tutorials, fashion, and humor are all part of what has made TikTok a sensation amongst its users. Primarily, the popular social media app consists of members of Gen Z, who seemingly spent most of the last year uploading and sharing these short, creative videos. It would make sense if you’ve already written off TikTok as a nonsensical medium better meant for silliness and trivial content– but you’d be making a hefty marketing mistake. 

Some of the most viral videos showcase extravagant mansions with infinity pools, massive home gyms, home theatres, and driveways lined with Range Rovers and G Wagons. These videos are packed with more than just appeal; they aim to sell a lifestyle millions and millions of people are working to achieve. 

And if you think Gen Z is the only group flocking to the app, you need to take a closer look inside this unbelievably hot social medium. 

Building A Brand

When you hear the term “influencer,” you may picture a young creative with a keen eye for what makes content go viral. Maybe her avenue is lifestyle or quick, healthy meal recipes, and she may be easily dismissed by older generations. In fact, I can confidently say she has been dismissed. But why? In an age where building your brand on social media has led to success for countless influencers, why are we dismissing their pioneering efforts?

Simply put: we have underestimated their power, and somewhere in the process, we told ourselves to fear it. 

Dylan Brush, a Los Angeles-based real estate agent with SJF Group, began sharing luxury properties on TikTok in late January and quickly went viral. His videos have amassed millions of views, and his follower count has grown to influencer status. But it didn’t just take a quick upload or two to make that happen. 

Brush worked on his brand with a constant stream of luxury properties and an edge to go with it. His simple, yet clever “Client Says” captions such as, “Client says I want a place to entertain,” followed by a gorgeous view of the property have helped him cement who he is on the app, and mostly, what he represents: himself. Brush says he gets his listings more exposure than any other platform. This exposure spreads more than just the addresses he’s selling; it’s getting his name out there to people across the globe

Leads, Leads, Leads

As salespeople, we love our leads. Since the Covid-19 pandemic shut down agents’ abilities to host open houses, other avenues of marketing became the new norm. But even with 3-D and self-guided tours, options seemed limited. Dylan Brush’s trendy vibe attracted him leads from all over, with people DMing him on the platform asking for help or referring him out to friends looking to buy or sell their homes. 

“TikTok is creating that Million Dollar Listing and Selling Sunset buzz, which in turn is getting people to reach out to me. The market I work in is Los Angeles, and people love that vibe,” Brush says. 

Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok all share one major roadblock to viral success: challenging algorithms. Even with all the right planning and content-capturing tools, a post can still flop thanks to the algorithms designed to either help or hurt your view count. What agents find works for them the most is posting daily, and oftentimes, reposting content. The trick is to keep going, keep posting, and ensure the content is, for a lack of a better word, cool

Attracting Millennials

It’s not some industry secret that Millennials conduct much of their lives through social media. Whether looking for new skincare tips, the best spots to vacation, or showcasing their own wannabe luxurious lifestyles, Millennials use various social media sites to gather their information. 

While TikTok may seem intimidating outside of its primary audience, industry experts believe agents should invest their time and money into the platform. For one, you never know who is watching your videos. It could be a teen fantasizing about his future, or a Millennial investor looking to grow her fortune. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Myspace all started out with a young audience viewing and engaging with the posts of young users. And while Myspace is no longer with us, the other platforms have rocketed their users to success. 

Scott Durkin, president and chief operating officer at Douglas Elliman, believes that TikTok’s younger user base is actually an advantage. “This is the exact audience we want to be targeting,” Mr. Durkin said. “Millennials are said to buy the most real estate in the next year.”

That’s right: the generation so consumed with dropping their hard-earned cash on avocado toast is the next group gearing up to buy homes. While Millennial millionaires make up only 2 percent of the total millionaire population in the United States, their wealth and influence will continue to grow ahead of the Great Wealth Transfer. Many are turning to real estate to further build their wealth, and more than nine in 10 millennial millionaires are homeowners as of 2019

Millennials may not feel they share much with their younger cronies, but they do have one major thing in common, and that’s a borderline obsession with social media. I don’t make this point to drag these people– quite the opposite. They know that these platforms are what make or break a brand. 

Where To Start

TikTok is the most downloaded app of 2020, and if you’re not on that long list of users, you’re not just missing out on some mindless entertainment; you’re missing out on learning more about what makes a product or service sell. 

The first obvious step is to download the app and get to know its users through their captions, comments, and content. Next, follow the users who are already doing what you aim to do: create your brand, build on it, and use it to your advantage. Much like with any project, it’s in your best interest to do your research. And when it comes to social media, your research never ends. 

Keep up with the trends, comment and engage on posts, and upload the best content that reflects not only your listings but your ideal brand as well.

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