Social media is an integral part of many people’s lives today, and one of the most popular sites in 2023 remains TikTok. It’s changed the way people interact with each other, it’s created countless trends, and now it seems to be even changing how we shop - and that even includes how we find and buy houses.
A search on TikTok for videos with the hashtag #property has four billion views, while a search for hashtag #EstateAgent has 256 million video views. It seems that prospective buyers are now looking to social networking sites to find their future home and, in turn, estate agents are creating their own profiles to help sell properties they have for sale.
One of the UK-based estate agents who appear top of the #EstateAgent search on TikTok here in this country is a branch of Ewe Move Estate Agents, in Long Eaton, Nottingham. The account, which was started just three years ago, has an impressive 25,500 followers and 411,000 likes. It’s full of videos of staff members showing viewers around the properties they have for sale and rent, as well as other helpful video guides for buyers including how to declutter your home and how to improve your house’s curb appeal.
So, just what is it that made the staff there start using TikTok, alongside their website and other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube? “We have found it to be an effective way to reach a younger demographic who are often more active on social media platforms,” branch director James Roberts told NationalWorld. “By creating informative videos about our properties, we are able to capture the attention of potential buyers who may not have found our listings through more traditional channels”.
[This is] how I want people on Tiktok to do their house tours.
After recognising the potential of TikTok to help them increase the exposure of their properties, Ewe Move decided to give their staff training in how to create videos for the platform - and it’s now a common part of the job for many estate agents, although some were unsure at first. “Some of our staff members were hesitant to use TikTok as it was an unfamiliar platform for them, however, they have now become very comfortable using it and have even started to enjoy creating the videos. They’re all officially converted TikTokers,” said Roberts.
A quick browse of the videos on the estate agents’ TikTok page reveals that most of their videos have comments from people who may be interested to buy or view the houses they have for sale, including many asking for more details about them, such as the price. There are also many TikTok users who share the videos with their friends and family by tagging them in the comments. Staff at the branch have also won praise for their approach to the videos, which are kept within the short style the platform is known for but still detail the full layout of the home. One person said: “[This is] how I want people on Tiktok to do their house tours so I know how it's set out.”
While staff at the Long Eaton Ewe Move branch are yet to secure a house sale through TikTok Roberts said there has been “a significant increase” in interest and inquiries about properties after posting videos on the platform and he believes this has “helped to drive up the selling price for clients''. He added that homeowners are often shocked that TikTok is such a useful tool in the house selling process, but they are excited to try it once the benefit is explained to them.
TikTok is typically favoured by the younger generations such as Gen Z, and so it is no surprise that for some older people who are looking to sell their home it is their children who encourage them to take advantage of the platform. Roberts said: “We have even had some homeowners' children become involved in the process, helping to create the videos and share them on their own social media accounts.” He added that it’s also often kids who tell their parents to buy a house after seeing it on TikTok.
James Roberts, Ewe Move Estate Agents
Social media in general is definitely going to be the future for estate agencies.
Roberts said he believes that social media platforms, such as TikTok, are becoming increasingly important in the real estate industry. He said: “We’re seeing more and more buyers attracted to our properties from these channels so it's important for estate agents to have a strong presence on these platforms to reach a wider audience.” He added that he is seeing more people discover properties via social media than through traditional marketing channels. He said: “It’s still early days but social media in general is definitely going to be the future for estate agencies.”
He advised, however, that social media should be used as part of a larger marketing strategy, and should not be relied on exclusively. “A well-rounded marketing approach that includes both traditional and digital channels will ultimately be the most effective in selling properties”, he said.
It’s not just TikTok that is helping estate agents to sell houses either. Claire Cossey, the owner of Just Knock estate agents in Hockliffe, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, has found Youtube and Instagram particularly helpful in helping her to get more exposure for the houses she brings to the market. She does have a very unique way of showcasing her homes also - she sings about them.
Cossey, who has become known as the singing estate agent after a Youtube video of her singing a song about one of the properties she had for sale went viral in December 2022, told NationalWorld that social media is huge in the housing industry now. She said: “You have to be different these days. Our new audiences are getting younger and are more social media based. I personally think that social media is the way forward.”
The aforementioned video, called the Never Ending Property, gained 590,000 views on the agency’s YouTube channel, 90,000 views on Instagram, and also 8,000 views on Cossey’s personal TikTok account. Cossey, who is a professional singer, said enquiries about the property went “crazy” after this. She added that singing about her properties was “more of a bit of fun to start with”, but she decided to continue doing so after realising that it had a great impact with prospective buyers and sellers on social media.