How to Use TikTok to Grow Your Real Estate Business

A Beginner’s Guide to Using TikTok (and Instagram Reels and Youtube Shorts) as a Real Estate Agent

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Should you use TikTok (and Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, and Youtube Shorts) to market your real estate business? And, if yes, how?

Before answering those questions, let’s first address the TikTok sized elephant in the room. We're writing this post in 2024, and TikTok has been mired in controversy since it was first introduced to the US market in 2018.

Back in the early days, TikTok was known as “that dancing app” or "the Vine copy." It didn’t pick up steam until the pandemic in 2020. With nowhere to go and nothing but time, everyone from teenagers to grandparents started uploading content to this social media app. Its short-form videos were not only easy to watch but also easy to create. TikTok became addictive and wildly popular, and has since spawned many competitors in the form of Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, and Youtube Shorts.

In the years since its release, TikTok has grown to over 170 million users—and that’s only in the US. But it’s also the subject of political debate and bipartisan criticism. At the end of April 2024, the U.S. House of Congress passed legislation to ban TikTok if its Chinese-based owner doesn’t sell the company within one year. At the time of writing, this bill has been passed by the Senate and has been signed into law by President Biden.

So what does this all mean for you?

A potential ban may be impending, but it’s not a guarantee. If the app is sold to a US-based company it won't be banned, and will continue to be available in the US. There's a good chance that this happens: The app is extremely popular and it’s not slowing down speed. Its US market has grown by 31% since last year, despite the impending ban. That's why analysts believe that a savvy investor group will rescue the app before it’s permanently banned in the US.

And what if TikTok does end of up getting banned? All of these tips also apply to marketing yourself with short form video on Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, and Youtube Shorts. Your potential clients likely aren't on every platform, so you'll probably want to post your content on all of these different platforms anyways.

In fact it's best practice to post any content that you create for TikTok on those other platforms, too. You should never put all of your marketing eggs in one social media basket.

So continue reading below to learn how short form video can add value to your real estate practice, no matter what platform it's posted on!

Why Use TikTok as a Real Estate Agent?

Using TikTok as a real estate agent can be a game-changer. Here’s why:

1. Visual Storytelling - Real estate is all about visual appeal, and short form video is the perfect platform for showcasing properties through engaging video tours, aesthetic slideshows, and creative storytelling. A quick video can highlight the best features of a home and make it irresistible to potential buyers who are scrolling through their feeds.

2. Reach a Wider Audience - With millions of active users daily, your property listings have the potential to be seen by a huge audience. This includes many first time homebuyers who are increasingly using TikTok as a search tool for purchasing their first homes. Fun fact: 40% of US TikTokers use the app as a search engine.

3. Build Your Brand - Short form video allows you to craft a relatable and authentic brand image. Share behind-the-scenes looks at your day-to-day activities, celebrate your successes, and even share the humorous aspects of real estate. This can help build trust and make you the “go-to” agent in your area.

4. Engagement - TikTok, Reels, and Shorts' algorithms favor high engagement, so interactive content like Q&A sessions, polls about what buyers are looking for in a home, or fun challenges can boost your visibility and engagement.

5. Educational Content - Offer value by creating educational content that informs viewers about the buying and selling process, mortgage tips, or home maintenance advice. This positions you as an expert and a helpful resource.

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How to Use TikTok to Grow Your Real Estate Business

After setting up a professional TikTok account that’s separate from your personal one (if you have one), here’s how to maximize TikTok:

Plan Your Content

Planning out content for TikTok as a real estate agent involves a mix of strategy, creativity, and understanding of the platform's unique environment. Here’s how to craft engaging content that can promote your real estate business:

Start by defining your goals - Are you aiming to generate more leads, build brand awareness, or position yourself as a local market expert? Your goals will dictate your content approach.

Know your audience - Understand who you’re targeting including their interests, pain points, and what might motivate them to buy/sell. Tailor your content to engage them specifically. A video that works for first time buyers will probably fall flat with homesellers, and vice-versa.

Build your content strategy - Create between three to five core content pillars or themes. For example: Neighborhood tours, listing previews, home buying tips, market updates, etc. This provides structure to your page.

Have a mix of content types - This includes:

Create a content calendar - Map out a calendar with specific video ideas for the upcoming week. Or, if you’re so inclined, you can even plan for a month at a time. Note holidays, local events, and prime real estate seasons to sync your content.

Study the TikTok trends - Browse TikTok, Reels, and Shorts to see what hashtags, sounds, filters, and trends are popular. You can piggyback on these trends to get more eyeballs on your content.

Be consistent - Short form video platforms reward consistency, so publish new videos on a set cadence (such as three videos per week) so your audience can anticipate your next video.

Analyze and optimize - Use the built-in analytics to see what content performs best, then give your audience more of what they've engaged with highly.

Create a strategic, cohesive content plan that provides value, appeals to your target audience, and incorporates TikTok's viral beauty trends and sounds.

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Creating and publishing your content is half the fun. The other half of the fun is engaging with your followers. TikTok users are responsive, so don’t miss the opportunity to participate in conversations. By building relationships and community, you help establish trust and rapport with your potential clients.

Here are some strategies to effectively engage with your TikTok audience:

1. Respond to Comments Make it a habit to respond to comments on your videos, whether they’re questions, feedback, or just friendly banter. This shows your audience that you value their engagement and are willing to interact. Respond promptly and with a personal, conversational tone.

2. Host Q&A Sessions Periodically, host live Q&A sessions or use TikTok’s question sticker feature to invite your audience to ask you anything about the real estate market, the buying/selling process, or your expertise.

3. Feature Audience Content Encourage your audience to create and post TikTok videos related to their home buying/selling journey using a branded hashtag. Then, duet their content to showcase their stories on your account.

4. Run Contests/Giveaways People love free stuff! Run contests or giveaways that require engagement like commenting, duetting, or creating TikToks using your hashtag. This incentivizes audience participation while extending your reach.

5. Share Behind-the-Scenes Give your audience a peek behind-the-curtain with fun, casual videos from open houses, office activities, or day-in-the-life snippets.

6. Respond to Trends/Sounds Pay attention to trending sounds, filters, or video challenges, and create your spin on them relating to real estate/your brand. This allows you to ride the viral wave on short form video platforms.

7. Ask for Audience Input Ask your followers for their opinions, suggestions, or for real estate topics they want to learn more about. This lets them feel invested while providing valuable content direction.

Bottom line? Embrace these platforms' interactive, community-driven nature. The more you engage your audience, the stronger your presence and brand loyalty will become.

Final Thoughts

Despite the controversies and potential ban, TikTok’s current popularity makes it a valuable marketing tool for real estate agents, and the skills to market successfully on TikTok also apply to other popular short form video platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube Shorts. So no matter what short form video platform you choose, dive in, experiment with different types of content, and watch your reach and client engagement soar.

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