Multifamily Marketing’s New Hot Tool: TikTok

Are you on TikTok? Here's how this exceptionally popular app can boost your online presence among younger generations of renters.

Image by Hello I’m Nik via Unsplash

As the pandemic forced an increasing number of businesses to switch to online operations, the real estate industry took to an unlikely platform: TikTok.

According to official data provided by the platform, 42 percent of TikTok users say they’re using the app to discover new things, from dance trends and songs to lifestyle hacks and pranks, and even multifamily listings—the hashtag “apartment” has 1 billion views, while “real estate” has nearly 6 billion views. What’s more, 57 percent of respondents said they have been inspired to make a purchase or choice by something they saw on TikTok.

READ ALSO: Is TikTok the New Marketing Tool for Multifamily?

Officially launched internationally in 2017, TikTok had nearly 700 million active users as of January 2021 and is on track to surpass 1 billion active users worldwide by the end of the year—that’s nearly 13 percent of the total world population. Not surprisingly, the short-video app has become exceptionally popular among young Millennials and Gen Z renters, making it a valuable tool for multifamily marketers who want to reach out to a younger pool of renters.

“Short videos created on applications such as TikTok and Reels have allowed us to market our properties and lifestyle in a much more relevant way, to a broader audience,” Megan Orser, COO of Smart Apartment Solutions, told Multi-Housing News.

Many might still think these platforms are just for dancing and lip-syncing, and although that could absolutely be part of the mix, the biggest takeaway is using video to “info-tain” someone in less than 30 seconds. The possibilities are endless, not only for prospects but for the existing residents as well, Orser added.

As we dove deeper into the mysteries of TikToking, we’ve put together a list of tips with proven success for multifamily marketing.

Tell a story

Showcase your listings’ personality and combine it with your company’s culture. Put together a narrative that draws the viewers closer to their dream home. Replicate the feeling of familiarity by telling stories about a building’s past, whether you opt for doing it in 10-, 30- or 60-second videos.

According to Orser, the best-performing videos have approximately 17 seconds, so consider going short and focus on the property’s features and benefits in each video. You could also focus on pain points for prospective residents or the ones existing residents face, such as how to use certain amenities or how to apply online. Getting to know the team members is also a good idea.

Engage with your audience

The app allows you to have a two-way dialogue with the users interested in your listings. You can engage with them by commenting on their videos, sharing their content on your own page, as well as replying to comments or mentions on your own.

Keep posting

Smart Apartment Solutions’ TikTok success story. Image courtesy of Smart Apartment Solutions

It’s important to have a frequent and regular posting schedule in order to keep potential renters interested in your listings.

According to Jo Palma, videographer at San Fernando Valley, Calif.-based real estate agency ChernovTeam, there’s a lot of preplanning that goes into the videos. But, while putting together a video might seem too much of a hassle to some, shooting and editing the videos doesn’t take that much time, he said.

Put a face to it

As the pandemic was rapidly spreading, Madison Sutton of New York-based Highline Residential had concerns about the safety and efficiency of in-person showings. So, in the midst of the health crisis, she turned to TikTok. Unlike Jordan, who films and then edits the videos he shoots, Sutton uses point-of-view shots. The videos are a combination of apartment tours with conversations, making the whole process far more personal.

Explore the tools

TikTok offers users a wide array of tools to spark interest in a creative way. Property managers can play with different video formats ranging from Q&As to Duets.

“We have had the most success with repurposing the videos from our virtual tour library and utilizing the Duet or Remix functions, as well as the Green Screen effect, which allows the video of the tour play behind you,” Orser noted.

Creative content can also be shared by pairing a fast-paced apartment tour with popular music. The resulting TikTok video is an interactive package, with available listings in a certain market, accessible to everyone browsing through the multitude of listings on the app.

Additionally, TikTok’s analytics section is a highly helpful tool. Once you set up a Business Account, you have access to the Business Creative Hub and essential insights into your audience’s engagement with the content you post. And by using a combination of organic and paid content you’ll be able to boost your TikTok presence and establish connections across the platform.

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