Can you sell houses on TikTok?

MAIN IMAGE: Flow Co-CEOs and Co-Founders, Gil Sperling and Daniel Levy; Ross Levin, licensee for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl, Cape Town

You may be forgiven for thinking that TikTok is a fun, short video platform teens use to amuse themselves. However, data released by ByteDance reveals TikTok now has 11.83 million active users, aged over 18 in South Africa. Their ads now reach nearly 29.6 % of these users which is a big jump from 16% in 2022.

Agents all over the world are increasingly using social media to reach clients, and while Facebook still takes the lead in South Africa, one of the advantages of TikTok is that competition is minimal here, because it’s a comparatively new network.

Ross Levin, licensee for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl, Cape Town shares that, “While we are well aware of the huge growth of TikTok among realtors, we have explored it extensively, but each time we look into it, our agents remind me of the metrics and target audience that uses TikTok, none of which matches our market.

If we were to invest in TikTok, it would be directed at first time and future buyers, but the ability to actually market on TikTok and the platform they use for adverts is not as refined as Meta products. It follows that at this stage, we still see other social media platforms and products as more aligned with our marketing efforts, and we are making extensive use of other Meta products such as Facebook etc.”.

All platforms need to start somewhere, so if you’d like to be an early(ish) adopter, how could you make TikTok work for you?

We reached out to Flow Co-CEOs and Co-Founders, Gil Sperling and Daniel Levy who explained that “social media algorithms have changed from showing people more content from their friends and connections, to giving them more based on the kind of content they consume. That’s great news for agents, since if they use TikTok effectively, the right people will see their content on the right platform, at the right time. They just need to be consistent and authentic”.

For those who find the platform a bit daunting, Flow can automatically create social media ads from agents’ listings, helping them to target the listings to engaged audiences who are already searching for properties. The tech removes the need for agents to understand the complex advertising targeting tools which are a feature of social media platforms, giving them more time to focus on what they do best – helping their clients buy and sell homes.

The Flow dashboard also gives agents an overview of how their ads are doing and gives them the opportunity to fine-tune them. It allows for comprehensive reporting, which can be a huge benefit for agents in demonstrating the reach of their ads, to sellers.

Sperling and Levy advise agents who want venture into the content creation space, to “Be themselves and communicate with would-be buyers and sellers in the same way online, as they would IRL. Some mediums require more polished content than others in terms of effectiveness, but TikTok is a great example where a more authentic approach can actually be helpful in building audiences”.

Do it yourself

For those who want to try their hand at creating content themselves, Rentrendi provides a few useful tips on the kind of content that works for estate agents:

  • Video tours – a high-speed virtual tour is your must-do when you show a property.
  • How-tos – share some guides and tips for sellers, buyers or renters like, for instance, how to use Craigslist to post your listings or how to avoid rental scams.
  • Attractions and conveniences nearby – attract new clients with the short videos shot in the neighborhood. Show them the nearest shopping malls, cafes, theaters, etc.
  • Comparisons – show contrasts, for instance, staging homes vs staging apartments or try the “before” and “after” effect.
  • Answers to FAQs – find the most bothersome questions from buyers and answer them to the fullest.
  • Yups & Nopes – use the “Nope Yup” trend for myths about home buying, flipping, renting and the like.
  • Behind-the-scenes content, etc.

We’ve also done a quick round up of several top performing agents on TikTok for more inspiration:

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