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Real Estate and Social Media: How TikTok is Changing NYC Housing

When COVID-19 shut everything down in 2020, people were not just scared. They were bored. This boredom led folks to download an app thought only accessible to younger generations. This flood of people to TikTok led to many specialized pages. There was dance TikTok, history TikTok, and even frog TikTok. Once the city began to open up again, another brand of TikTok became widespread. Real Estate TikTok is extremely popular with agents and it’s beginning to reshape the NYC housing market in ways social media never has before.

With the advent of social media, wider audiences are being reached, so I encouraged my clients to make the bid they thought would get them the home since there wasn’t too much time for a negotiation,” says Lisa Sulfaro, a real estate agent with Corcoran. She recently used TikTok to help sell a home. Although the buyer didn’t come from TikTok themselves, she says advertising on the platform helped her reach a wider, more diverse audience. This audience is younger than most of the people agents meet the old-fashioned way. 

@lisasulfaro800 #gobestfriend #crownheights #crownheightsbrooklyn #crownheights2 #3bedroom #selling #buying #buyingahouse #fyp #tiktokrealtor ♬ TWINNEM – Remix – Coi Leray

Hector Miranda of Centennial Properties echoes this notion. “The benefit to advertising on TikTok is that short-form content is booming right now,” says Miranda. “The other benefit is that, if you find a way to deliver apartment tours in a fun, quick, and efficient manner, the good feelings you give off can rub off on the client and make them want to work with you.” These tours are an important aspect of these videos. They are usually very quick tours, most under a minute. They can be silent with music underneath them, or the agent can describe the space as the walk-through is occurring. West Village Gem. Rent Stabilized! #nycapartment #realestate #fyp #nyc #westvillage #nycapartmenttour #newyork #realestateagent #dontjudge ♬ Funny Song – Cavendish Music

 Talking while doing the walkthrough is a great skill, as Cam Wenrich, a relatively new name in the real estate game working for Douglas Elliman, explains, “What’s great about TikTok is that if you consistently create quality content and use the right hashtags, the algorithm will eventually reward you. Someone—sometimes many someones—WILL see your content even if they don’t follow you.” That last part is the most important aspect of those advertising homes on TikTok. If you use a trending hashtag, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with real estate, people will see it just because it’s extremely popular. The question is, who are the people seeing it?

@camwenrichde Penthouse R @ The Grand Madison #realestate #nyc #penthouse #luxury #milliondollarlisting #views #newyorkcity #fyp #foryou #douglaselliman #manhattan ♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy

 “The issue that I’ve been finding is that TikTok is heavily saturated with kids who like looking at pretty condos but aren’t old enough to purchase property.” Say Wenrich. Miranda agrees saying, “I hear that people get clients organically through TikTok but for sales it’s far and few between depending on exposure.” This is most likely due to the younger audience on TikTok, many of whom aren’t even old enough to buy a home. The exposure is nice, but most sales are still through brokers and realty sites like Zillow and RealtyHop.

Even so, more and more agents are using TikTok to garner attention and grow their prospective clientele. “People all over the world are interested in what’s going on in NYC. Just living here is an advantage for gaining a following—you have a whole city of opportunities for creating content.” Says Wenrich. Miranda agrees, “Social media and marketing is going to continue to become more and more important for every agent to embrace. If you haven’t started taking videos of every apartment or property you step foot into for marketing purposes you’re gonna fall behind and lose out on deals.” 

Russell is a writer and comic based in New York City. His plays have been featured at Penn State’s Cultural Conversation’s Festival, The NYC Thespis Festival, and Imaginarium’s Inaugural Theater Festival. Follow him on TikTok and Instagram @pooleparty528