- Real-estate agents and brands alike are leveraging TikTok for sales and rentals amid the pandemic.
- Insider spoke to real-estate agents about how the platform has changed their business.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
In the wake of the pandemic forcing their business online, some real-estate agents took to an unlikely platform – TikTok.
Cash Jordan, a New York City-based agent, has over 600,000 followers on the platform and 14.2 million likes. In the past year, he’s shown million-dollar townhomes and $2,500 two-bedrooms, and he says his only regret about TikTok is that he didn’t get on the platform sooner.
As the pandemic pushed realtors into the digital space, some of them adapted into TikTok’s signature short-form video format. Jordan says that the real-estate market, “this dinosaur of an industry,” had to adapt and go online. And TikTok, despite its reputation as an app for teenagers, has been a boon to business.
After New York City shut down, Jordan began posting videos across platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, and saw a huge response.
“It doesn’t seem to matter if the place is $2,000 or $600,000, somebody out there on TikTok is big enough and YouTube is big enough that people see it and are interested,” Jordan said.
Jordan estimated using TikTok had doubled his number of clients.
Similarly, Madison Sutton, who posts on TikTok as @thenycagent, has 95,700 followers and has amassed 1.5 million total likes across her videos. Sutton, who works for Highline, found herself concerned about the safety and efficiency of in-person showings. So in October of last year, she turned to TikTok. “Where else in New York City can you see ten apartments in ten minutes?” she asked.
Sutton, like Jordan, focuses primarily on rentals, and she says business is “five or six times heavier” compared to this time last year. Jordan films and edits his videos himself, and Sutton either uses POV shots or enlists her mother for help with filming. The videos are part apartment tour, part conversation. And it’s intentional: agents like Sutton and Jordan are looking to forge a connection with viewers.
Jordan told Insider about a client who’d been deciding between an apartment listed by his brokerage and another apartment from a competitor – practically identical listings. Her parents got in touch afterwards and said they’d gone with Jordan’s listing because, after watching his videos, it felt like they knew him.
Sutton agrees. Part of her strategy is giving “general New York tips” – outfit ideas, or tips about different neighborhoods. “It makes the process a lot less scary,” she said.
@thenycagent Reply to @deceased I want to move to NYC, when should I look? ##nyc ##nycfood
And it’s not just individual agents amassing major followings. In February, Corcoran partnered with the app for a branded challenge, with agents posting videos of themselves in their homes or properties they were selling, all set to a specific song. The legacy brand then reposted some of the TikTok videos onto its own account, which just passed 20,000 followers and 200,000 total likes. Sydney Perry, director of digital content at Corcoran, told Insider that the brand is “really trying to go global with our TikTok content” as Corcoran expands globally.
Perry also said that TikTok is unique among social media platforms for the way content reaches people and potentially goes viral. Due to the site’s algorithmic “For You Page,” she explained, “You don’t need to have a massive following in order for your videos to go viral and to be seen by hundreds of thousands of people.” Instead, content from new accounts appears in users’ feeds automatically based on their previous interests.
Sutton noted TikTok’s unique interface as part of the reason for her success on the platform as well. Since TikTok videos can be posted to other social media platforms and viewed in web browsers, without users having to download the app like they might with an Instagram video, TikTok content is inherently shareable, even for people who don’t spend their days scrolling through it.
But one of the reasons these agents spend so much time on TikTok, Sutton and Jordan said, is that they enjoy it.
“It’s a good thing people want to watch these videos,” Jordan told Insider. “Because I’m addicted to making them.”