NEW YORK – With the pending ban of TikTok in the U.S., originally slated for January 2025, many agents may wonder, “Is this the end of TikTok?”

The ban on TikTok could be removed if it is sold to a U.S.  entity, or the courts could overturn the new law. Plus, ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, could request a 90-day delay to April 2025.

Find out how one Realtor in Florida has found success on the social media platform TikTok. (Hint: Just posting house-tour videos isn’t going to cut it.)

Time will tell, but the short-form video craze that TikTok created will unlikely go away. Already, we are seeing TikTok videos or videos in TikTok style (vertical shots with bold captions) show up on Facebook, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.

The biggest question for agents: Is TikTok worth your time?

The power of the Tok

With over 1 billion global users, nearly one in four internet users worldwide are on TikTok. In the US, TikTok has over 150 million users, 50 million of whom use the app daily. According to the New York Times, 14% of American adults get their news from TikTok, up from 3% in 2020.

The Times profiled TikTok’s massive cultural influence, which includes the removal of mirrors in some school bathrooms because so many students were filming their videos there, to fostering dozens of trends, from butter boards and glazed donut skin to sleepy-girl mocktails and broccoli freckles.

A viral TikTok video can cause a retailer, like Walgreens, to start rationing sales of a popularized product or, for other online firms, create backlog orders of other TikTok-embellished products.

Even Hollywood and Taylor Swift surrendered to the power of TikTok users. The film industry once feared TikTok, but it has become a ticket-generating promotional machine for studios. TS held up a white flag and recently put her songs back on TikTok after her label (Universal) pulled her music and songs by Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, and Drake from the app.

While TikTok is often discounted as a “teen thing,” over 66% of users are 18-44. Big companies, including McDonald’s, Target, Walmart, Pepsi, and Apple, recognize that. Amazon also spends tens of millions of dollars on TikTok advertising.

For real estate agents, TikTok has matured, creating lead generation platforms, the ability to download new contacts created via TikTok to your CRM, and most recently, the ability to deploy ads. HubSpot offers an impressive free manual, “The Marketer’s Guide to TikTok,” that is a great starter kit for agents looking to TikTok to build their brand and their business.

TikTok for real estate

Many real estate agents embrace TikTok as a major marketing tool. A few industry TikTok influences include real estate coach Tatiana Londono (@tatlondono), who has 2.5 million followers; Glennda Baker (@glenndabaker), who offers a mix of real estate tips and motivational content; Ryan Serhant (@ryanserhant) of Million Dollar Listing fame, who also uses TikTok to provide glimpses into high-end properties; and home designer Galey Alix (@galeyalix), who spotlights weekend home renovations and has 2.9 million followers.

But before you dive in, your best first step is to take time to become a TikTok viewer and familiarize yourself with the app. Check out not only how real estate agents are successfully using TikTok but also look for videos that you can relate to and think about why they attract your interest.

While agents often use TikTok for a brief property tour, others use TikTok to profile top neighborhood features, give real estate tips for buyers and sellers, give a lesson on decoding real estate acronyms, showcase a particular novel feature of a home from one of their listings, and offer insight into current real estate issues and topics like mortgage rate trends, inventory challenges or updates on what’s happening in the headlines related to real estate.

Other agents may use their talents to produce funny or clever short-form videos that entertain rather than inform, but that can be tricky for most folks.

TikTok Tips

1. One of the most common traits of successful TikTok videos is that they are authentic, not super flashy or highly polished productions. Videos are shot in vertical format and often handheld. Captions are crucial, as they add to their creativity and functional value because videos are almost always played on phones and frequently viewed without audio.

2. It’s also essential to keep it short and engaging. TikTok videos are typically 15 seconds to 1 minute long, so content must remain engaging from the start to the end.

3. Look for challenges and trends that might have a real estate connection or could be used as a twist. TikTok is known for viral challenges and trends. Joining in could help you reach a wider audience and boost your followers.

4. Another strategy includes collaborating with other TikTok creators, especially those in your niche. For example, work with a local lender, a home inspector, or another potential partner who uses TikTok. Together, you can give advice relevant to buyers and sellers. This can help you cross-promote your content and gain new followers. 

5. A best practice for all social media success is maintaining a consistent posting schedule to build followers. While top TikTok influencers post at least once a day, quality is always more important than quantity and is better for your brand. Keeping a regular cadence is important, but make sure you maintain the high quality that reflects your brand.

6. Remember to include relevant and trending hashtags in your video descriptions to make your content more discoverable to users interested in those topics. Look at the hashtags top TikTok real estate agents use or employ a hashtag generator such as All Hashtags or RiteTag.

7. Finally, one thing you cannot neglect is engaging with your audience. In addition to creating content that encourages interaction, responding thoughtfully to comments is one of the fastest ways to build community around your TikTok presence. Engaging directly with those who follow you on TikTok helps foster loyalty and encourages them to share your content.

Source: Florida Realtors Tech Helpline;

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