Before his first TikTok video went viral, Rick Thompson, a Realtor with Thompson Realty, said he only had 80 followers. In a short period that ballooned to more than 12,000, he recently told Atlanta Agent.
He said the social media platform, which largely consists of short videos that often involve dancing, singing, lip-synching, pets and lots of special effects, has performed better than any other he’s used to market his business.
In one of his most popular videos, which attracted more than 103,000 views, Thompson explains how to turn 7,500 into 75,000 in two years buying and selling real estate.
@rickthompsonjrHow to turn $7,500 into 75,000 with Real Estate￼. ##realestate ##realestatetips ##fyp ##fypage ##buyrealestate ##cashflow ##millionairemindset ##TRA♬ original sound – rickthompsonjr
Thompson said in an interview that he started using TikTok because he wanted to quickly grow his social media following. He was an early adopter of the social media platform, which gave him an advantage in getting a feel for content that would attract clients, he said.
“I want to do business with people who like me, and I am not going to change for people who don’t like me,” he said.
Essentially, he wants to build a community with his clients, so it will become a place where people will genuinely want to partner with him in business, he said.
Mike Sherrard, a real estate agent with eXp Realty in Calgary, Canada, who also creates real estate marketing videos, said the brand awareness TikTok 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 TikTok could potentially “create the biggest brand awareness and client traction,” he added.
He said in his YouTube video “How to use TikTok for real estate agents” that in just a few years the social media platform has attracted more than 500 million users worldwide.
“I think [TikTok] 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 Chicago 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 says in his instructional video that it is easy for agents to stand out on TikTok, compared to the oversaturated platforms of Facebook and Instagram. “One of the main reasons it’s so good for real estate is simply not many other people in real estate are using it …” he said.
Thompson noted that TikTok attracts a younger user, but that’s a good fit for his business, which caters to those in their early 20s. “More people today are interested at a younger age in real estate than they were when I was in high school,” he said.
His viral video “How to buy a home at 21” explains how your chances are increased to becoming a millionaire at 35 if you start early.
If they are not yet prepared to buy a home, there are other reasons appealing to that demographic can reap benefits for your business, according to Thompson. He notes it is important to appeal to that younger demographic because they’ll start buying homes in three to five years.
Other advantages to TikTok is the app’s easy to use and provides a readily available audience, according to Nattalie de la Mothe, an agent with Maximum One Greater Atlanta Realtors. De la Motthe posted her first video in April and already has more than 100,000 likes and 6,000-plus followers.
Her most popular video to date features her giving her infant daughter a belly rub and has been viewed by nearly 270,000 TikTok users.
@nattvibeMy chunky butt. ##baby ##babiesoftiktok ##babygirl ##momlife ##fyp ##foryou ##cutiepie ##vibewithme♬ original sound – tylergoldenn
She said it’s been a good way to get her message out at a time when the real estate industry faces the challenges of a global pandemic. “The advantage of COVID-19 is that you have a greater at-home captive audience than you would ordinarily have,” she said.
She said the app also makes it easy to create a powerful message in a matter of seconds because of the video editing tools and ability to easily add sounds and effects.
Sherrard emphasized in his instructional video that connecting with clients on a personal level is a good way to gain followers. He said that, while TikTok 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 social media 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.
So what should real estate agents be posting on TikTok? 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 TikTok, 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.