TikTok? What is that? Why does it matter to my real estate business? Isn’t it just for kids?
I get this A LOT when talking to real estate agents about the up and coming social media platform.
I know what you are thinking? Oh great, ANOTHER social media app I need to learn. I don’t even have time for Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, why would I invest time in this, when I have houses to sell and leads to chase?
And that’s a fair point, BUT hopefully, by the end of this guide, I will have convinced you why I think that as a real estate agent, you’ll want to jump on TikTok NOW and I’ll even give you all the tools and guidance to get you started!
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a video-based platform that allows users to create and upload short videos usually set to music.
TikTok is a social media mobile app, formally known as Musical.ly.
This mobile application (available for both iPhone & Android) has been touted as the fastest growing social media app, with over 1 billion downloads in its first year.
TikTok Statistics in 2020:
- TikTok has 800 million active monthly users (Source)
- TikTok is the 3rd most downloaded app globally (Source)
- 50% of TikTok’s users are under 34 (Source)
- The average user spends 52 minutes on TikTok (Source)
Why Real Estate Agents Need to be on TikTok
With half of its audience under 34 years old, you might be wondering if this app ‘is a kid thing’. And I can see why you might think that, however, if 50% of its audience is under 34%, that means half of its audience is OVER 34, and both of those demographics are highly desirable. Here’s why. The average age of a first time home buyer is 33 and the average age of a home buyer is 47. Both of these client profiles fit the TikTok demographic.
It’s Still Very Early.
Getting on TikTok now is the equivalent of buying a property in a neighborhood that is up and coming. (I figured you’d like that analogy). Start building your equity in TikTok so when it does finally explode you are ready to go and cash in!
I’m going to be 100% honest with you. TikTok is NOT at a place right now that makes it easy for Real Estate Agents to connect with potential homebuyers in their local market.
BUT, neither were Facebook or Instagram in the beginning. In the early days, Facebook was a place for connecting with college friends & Instagram was a place to share pictures of your food. But over the years, both Facebook & Instagram figured out a way for businesses to grow a following and connect with their exact target market.
TikTok WILL do the same. It may not be next week or next month or even in the next 6 months, but you can be sure that the smart people behind TikTok are working relentlessly to figure out how to monetize the app & help businesses use it for marketing.
This. Will. Happen.
If you get into TikTok right now, before it officially blows up you’ll find yourself in a great position (with a lot of followers & experience) by the time they actually do give you the tools to connect with buyers & sellers.
Bonus Tip: Another reason to get on TikTok right now, is that there are keyword rich names STILL available! Unlike domain names & Instagram handles, all of the good ones HAVEN’T been taken up yet!
If you’ve been on Facebook & Instagram for a while, you are probably sharing the same types of content. Pictures of your listings, memes, social media quotes, testimonials and if you are really advanced you are even showing videos.
But, let’s be honest. It’s all been done before, right? You’ve shared dozens and dozens of those types of posts on social media.
It’s time to switch it up!
Posting a TikTok to your Instagram or Facebook page is a GREAT way to make your audience stop in their tracks. Why? Because they’ve never seen this type of content from you before.
The very nature of TikTok (videos put to songs) is probably pretty different from the type of videos and updates you’ve been posting. So not only will they be intrigued, but if you do it right, they’ll also be entertained!
It gives your audience an opportunity to see you in a new light. Maybe your personality comes out more in your TikToks. Or perhaps the way that you convey information on your TikToks resonates more with your audience.
The good news is that TikTok makes it VERY easy to share your videos on your social channels. And if your audience likes your TikToks, they may be compelled to follow you over there too!
TikTok for Personal branding
When it comes to choosing a real estate agent, people want to work with someone they like, someone they feel comfortable with and someone that they can relate to.
TikTok gives you an opportunity to show off your personality in the most entertaining way. SONG! Who doesn’t love song?
Now I’m not saying that you have to get on TikTok and learn the crazy dances or do karaoke-style videos. BUT you can use it to show off your expertise, to show your lighter side, and have fun doing it. Your TikTok personality shows your clients and potential clients a side of you that they may miss on Instagram or Facebook.
If you are in a niche market, it also gives you another channel to showcase your niche knowledge. For example, if you are a luxury home agent in Charlotte, NC. You could use your channel to show off some of the luxury homes that you are selling or walking through.
Tech-Savvy Real Estate Agent
We’re always looking for reasons to communicate with our clients, right? Joining TikTok is a GREAT reason to reach out to your clients and encourage them to join you!
If you don’t have the bandwidth to make all of those calls. Send an email or announce it on social media. This announcement will do two things.
- It gives you a reason to reach out to some of your clients that you haven’t talked to in a while
- If your clients haven’t heard of TikTok is a great way to show your new-found expertise in the platform. Which makes you look like a super tech-savvy real estate agent. I don’t know about you, but clients LOVE to see agents using the latest platforms for marketing.
Let them know that you started a new account and tell them what they can expect on your account. Boom! You look like the smartest agent in the room!
How can Real Estate Agents Use TikTok?
Hopefully, by now, I’ve piqued your interest and you are starting to wonder how you can use TikTok in your business. Allow me to give you some wonderful examples of how real estate agents are already using the platform:
Give Real estate buying/selling tips
TikTok allows you to either speak directly into the camera or use text overlays to communicate with your viewers. You can use either of those methods to give your audience real estate related tips.
As you can see in the TikTok above, the agent is giving his audience advice on how to “Own a home in your 20’s”. He gives 3 actionable tips using video, text overlays and background music.
If you look at his other videos, you can see that he gives a lot of tips for the 20-something homebuying crowd. He’s doing a GREAT job at creating a niche for himself with that demographic using TikTok.
Show your personality
Now the next way to use TikTok is to show off your personality. If you are funny or energetic, this is going to be a GREAT platform for you as it naturally lends itself to that kind of content.
I just loved the video above because it is a funny vignette of what it’s like to be a real estate agent. She uses the text overlay to set up the scenario and the punchline of the video goes along with the verse of the song, “working on the weekend”.
Show Funny/Interesting things you see in the field
Everyone loves a behind the scenes view of someone’s life. You can use TikTok to show off the funny, weird, interesting, amazing things that you see every day as a real estate agent!
This agent does a great job of showing a hilarious behind-the-scenes clip of weird real estate stagings. And because this video is title Part #1, it seems that he plans to do a series of these types of videos. Which is a great idea because it gives his audience something to look forward to and a reason to re-visit his profile time and time again.
How to Get Your Real Estate Business Started on TikTok
Now that I’ve told you why you should be on TikTok and how other agents are using it, it’s time to set up your account. Below I will take you step-by-step through the sign-up process.
1. Download the App
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the TikTok app. It can be found in the iPhone App Store or Google Play. The icon for the app is a black square with what looks like a musical note on it.
2. Set up an account & Choose a username
Once you’ve downloaded it to your phone, you’ll need to sign up for an account. TikTok makes the sign up pretty easy by allowing you to sign up for an account with your Facebook, Google or Twitter account.
During the account set up process, you’ll be instructed to choose a TikTok username. THIS IS IMPORTANT.
You’ll want to choose a username that does one of the following:
- Use the same username as your Instagram or Facebook account
- Choose your name (ex: ChrystieVachon or ChrystieVachonRealEstate)
- Represents your niche (ChrystieLuxuryAgent)
- Represents your local area (ChrystieAustinRealEstate)
- Or a combination of any of the above: (LuxuryAustinRealEstate)
There are pros & cons for choosing any of these usernames, but the thing to keep in mind is that you want your name to be memorable, identifiable & consistent with your brand.
During the account set-up, you’ll also be instructed to upload a photo. I would suggest you use an actual photo of yourself and NOT a logo or company branding.
3. Watch other TikToks
Once you’ve got your account set up TikTok will take you right to a feed, known as the For You page. This is a feed of videos that TikTok algorithmically thinks you’ll enjoy.
Spend some time going through the feed and ‘liking’ the videos that you enjoy and relate to. I’m gonna warn you…you will see a LOT of random videos in this feed and may soon start to wonder why you’ve downloaded the app. BUT once you’ve started showing TikTok what type of videos you enjoy, you’ll start seeing your For You page more tailored to your likes.
I would recommend checking out what other real estate agents are doing on TikTok and you can do this by doing a simple search on the app for different hashtags like #realestate, #realtor, #realestateagent
Doing a search for those hashtags bring up all of the videos that are tagged with that specific hashtag. From there you can see what types of videos other agents are creating on the platform and hopefully get some inspiration.
The more videos you watch, the more ideas will start to pop into your head of how you can use the various songs, themes & sound bites for your own videos.
4. Upload your first TikTok
Once you’ve got an idea for a TikTok it’s time to upload your first video! You can do this one of two ways:
- Upload a pre-recorded video, add a song and/or text overlays
- Or you can create a video in real-time using the app
If you don’t feel comfortable recording a video in real-time, you can upload a previously recorded 15-second video to the platform.
How to upload a pre-recorded video to TikTok:
- To do this you should click on the [+] button at the bottom of the screen and then click on the Upload button on the right bottom of your screen.
- Select the video from your camera roll.
- If needed, trim your video to the desired length using the editing tool. Once happy with the length, click on Next.
- From this screen, you will have the option to add sound, use a filtered effect, add text or use stickers.
- To include music, click on the Add Sound button and click on the Magnifying glass icon to search.
- Search for the song that you would like to use in your video.
- Next, you can move on to adding text or a filter by clicking on those icons.
- Once you are done creating your video, click on Next.
- Here you will add a description & hashtags. I recommend keeping the description concise & adding 2-3 hashtags that are relevant to the video.
- When you are ready to post, you click on Post. The video will take a few seconds to upload to the platform, however, once it does it will show up right on your screen.
- From here, you can click on the […] icon to share your video to your other platforms.
How to Record a Real-Time Video in TikTok
If you are feeling brave, you can record a real-time video in TikTok.
- In order to do this, you would click on the [+] button and begin filming yourself by holding down the red circle in the bottom center of the screen.
- You will have 15 seconds to record. At any point, you can take your finger off the button to stop recording. For example, if you wanted to start the video filming yourself and then turn the camera to show a house or kitchen. You would hold the button down and talk to the camera. Then when you are done talking, release the button, turn the view around to whatever you would like to show and then hit the button again when you are ready to start filming.
- If you’d like, you can also press the Timer button, which will give you a 3-second start before filming. This is especially helpful if you want to prop your camera on a tripod to film.
- Once you’ve gotten your video recorded, you would follow the steps outlined above to add music, text or stickers, a description and eventually post your video.
Congratulations, you just uploaded your first TikTok!
Now it’s time to start having fun with it! Try to work TikTok into your weekly marketing routine, uploading at least 1-2 videos per week.
Share those videos on your other social platforms and pay attention to the engagement and feedback you get on those videos. That feedback will be a great indicator of what your audience likes & doesn’t like to see from you!
Do me a favor, once you join TikTok come back here and leave your username in the comments. I’d love to watch how creative you can get with the platform!