Social Media

TikTok: The Real Estate Agent’s Newest Tool

TikTok is the number one downloaded app in the world, and we can teach you why and how you should be using it.

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Are you wary of downloading yet another social media app? You may want to upgrade your storage and consider this one. As the number one downloaded app worldwide, TikTok is continuing to break barriers. We know, we know (insert eye-roll here)… for all you skeptics out there, it’s more than just tweens dancing to trendy music or makeup tutorials. It’s proven to be a hub where business owners, including real estate agents, can market themselves.*

In Sutton’s case, the pandemic put her in the throes of an unpredictable market where she was forced to find creative strategies to market her listings. The pandemic may not be surging through communities like before, however, what has bubbled to the surface is agents’ need to explore alternate, unconventional methods… like TikTok.

So what about TikTok makes it unconventional? Video is taking over social media.

Where Facebook and Instagram were once platforms for status updates and family vacation photos, they are now integrating video more and more into our feeds. But wasn’t that the point of YouTube? Yes, however, the allure of TikTok lies in its short-form content, as in less than 60 seconds per video. The sweet spot for a TikTok is between [7-15 seconds][3]. When compared, watching a 3 minute YouTube video feels almost archaic and overly committal. As attention spans dwindle, quick, digestible content excels. TikTok visitors are looking for brief bursts of entertainment - something they can consume instantly. And with the entire platform dedicated to short-form video, users are skipping Facebook and Instagram and bee-lining straight for TikTok to achieve that instant gratification.

But who are the users? Sixteen-year-olds strolling around the mall? Yes and, more importantly, no. Statistics now say the TikTok userbase is aging. While the majority (32.5%) of users fall in the 10-19 years old category, following suit at a close second of 29.5% are users between 20-29 years old, i.e., the first-time homebuyer crowd. And these users are quite savvy. Raised parallel alongside social media, as it has advanced, so have the users. Facebook was created in 2004. The very first hashtag was used in 2007. Instagram launched in 2010. It’s not a photo, it’s not a video, it’s a Boomerang premiered on Instagram in 2015. TikTok made its first official appearance in 2017.
The 20-29 year-olds have seen it all. We’ll skip the math, but the overarching point is the first-time homebuyer crowd is technologically skilled to get the most out of this app. They know how to search and tailor their feeds specific to their interests... like real estate and cherry-picking what they want to see during their downtime.

Remember, TikTok is more than viral dance moves; it can be informative. Is your houseplant thirsty? Or curious about a squirrel’s intelligence?

If you, as a real estate agent, feel like you don’t have a space on TikTok, you couldn’t be more wrong. Real estate is extremely nuanced and multifaceted. It’s often a complete mystery to those outside the industry, but it is a content goldmine. Don’t be afraid to use what you already have, like your listings or personal knowledge, to extract your content.

TikTok has the power to bring exposure, lead generation, and attract more clients, and for free. It should be said, as with any social media platform, it’s a get-what-you-give scenario. A “lights on” approach to social media is ineffective. You need to be actively spending time and energy to create quality content and repetitively engage with your followers in order to see a return on your investment. It’s not enough to churn out daily TikToks. Quantity will not replace quality. Once again, it’s applicable across all social media – post something meaningful, useful, shareable, funny, and intriguing. Remember your audience… they’re coming to TikTok for short, digestible entertainment. You have a matter of seconds to catch a user’s attention; create intentionally.

With learning anything new, a learning curve follows. It can be incredibly easy to become discouraged and throw in the towel. [Joseph Felling][11], a seasoned Dallas real estate broker, admitted it took a few tries to find success on TikTok. Felling now receives nearly 75% of his leads from TikTok alone, as cited in Griesser, 2021. Don’t feel intimidated by TikTok; embrace the challenge!

If you’re ready to take on the TikTok challenge, here are a few ideas:

Does your listing have a stunning back deck or patio area? Record a walk-thru or tour of the area, pair it with trending music and a fun text overlay.

Unleash your inner comedian. Buyers and sellers are experiencing a ton of pain points in the current market; why not make them laugh?

Share a little behind-the-scenes and offer some transparency.

Offer some industry insight. Notice the agent ends with “follow to learn how to buy your first investment property step by step.”

There’s more where these came from! Explore the hashtag #RealEstate

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