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Engagement: How Snapchat for Real Estate Can Boost Your Business

By Laura Kohlenberger | October 30, 2017

Snapchat is the trend of the moment, and it makes sense if you consider how Dolly Meckler and Michael Hoffman use their Snaplistings account on Snapchat sell luxury real estate worth millions. Can you believe that an app favored by teens is such a great tool for realtors?

Snaplistings was created in October 2016 and is the perfect example to show that Snapchat can boost your real estate business. But what’s the secret of its success?

"We love to think outside the box and go beyond our actual jobs," explains Hoffman. "We love having exciting side hustles, but we made sure to do our research for this project."

But they discovered the benefits of the network by accident when Meckler shared a tour of a luxury St. Marks apartment on her personal Snapchat. Because of the direct responses she got, she understood that Snapchat can be efficiently used as an engagement channel to boost real estate revenue. Today, although their focus is sales, they even offer rentals via Snaplistings.

The current star of Snaplistings is real estate agent Jonathan Ben-Ami who shared some of the “secrets” that make this Snapchat real estate account popular in an interview with Cheddar, a Post-Cable Network broadcasting from Post 10 on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and the Sprint Flatiron Building Store. According to Ben-Ami, Snaplistings gets more than 6000 organic views per day. This is because the agents working with Snaplistings know how to appeal to their target demographic with contests and calls to action that engage. Plus, there’s real demand for rentals and properties for sale, enough for realtors to be motivated to use technology to address potential buyers where they are.

But it’s a matter of generations and old-school agents may find technology challenging and difficult to understand. It takes lovers of social media to embrace the trend. Besides, social media consumers prefer authenticity over sales lingo. Dustin Brohm says that he uses Snapchat to “educate people about real estate and smart home technology, as well as to highlight specific homes for sale in the Salt Lake City area.” But he also reminds agents that “people are turned off by the polished, rehearsed salesman giving a sales pitch,” meaning that authenticity is key to appeal to Snapchat demographics.

Why Snapchat can be a great tool for realtors

Snapchat can be a good tool to boost your real estate business. Gary Vaynerchuk, an entrepreneur who invested in Twitter, Snapchat, Uber, and others, says that Snapchat has large adoption among the elite top earners within the 30 to 45-year-old demographic.

“For the cool, affluent 36-year old who can afford a 3-million-dollar apartment in Soho, a real estate agent who is smart enough to create a filter on Snapchat is exactly the person who is going to win that business.”

More than 158 million people were reportedly using Snapchat every day at the beginning of the year, and the number is expected to rise. About 60% of these users are under 25 years of age, which means that early adopters of the platform can build a solid community of potential buyers.

Snapchat user demographics

Snapchat user demographics: Distribution of Snapchat users in the United States as of February 2016 by Statista

And sure, there are many similar apps, including Instagram, but the user-base is what makes Snapchat suck a good platform to showcase real estate. Location is important too. Most of Snapchat’s users are based in the USA, but the app is likely to gain more user worldwide in the following years.

Realtors who join Snapchat now can still count among the “early adopters,” the people who, later on, will have more followers, and will be considered Snapchat “influencers.”

The advantages of using Snapchat are obvious: the app is free to download and easy to use. All you need is a smartphone with a decent camera and a selfie stick to start producing content on the go. You can either snap photos, or short, 15-second video clips to showcase your listings, to offer neighborhood tips, to feature landmarks and attractions, to answer questions, or just to say hello. You don’t need fancy directing and editing skills. The more “unpolished” your content, the better received, because it will be considered authentic and truthful.

You don’t even need to be an experienced social media user: Snapchat is pretty straightforward, and there are many tips on how to use the app effectively on real estate sites, on YouTube, on blogs, and so on. When you are not sure what content you should produce, ask your Snapchat followers. In a future article, I will tell you how you can grow your audience on Snapchat, but you can check out these tips until we publish ours.

Because the content on Snapchat disappears after 24 hours, users who are interested in what you produce will pay attention. If you don’t want your “snaps” to disappear, you can collect them into “memories” – a feature that allows you to save your content in albums for others to see later. The “memories” feature is best used to create stories around specific neighborhoods, featuring their landmarks, best restaurants, schools, hospitals, transportation, and everything else people looking for real estate in that area may be interested in.

Snapchat users are more engaged than users on other platforms like Instagram and Twitter, spending in average 25 to 30 minutes on the app every day. Snapchat’s Live Stories alone attracts 20 million users a day.

Long story short: use Snapchat now to become an influencer later. The network is engaged and is already used successfully by realtors, especially in largely populated areas like LA, New York City, Miami, and so on. Don’t be afraid to be yourself: people dig authenticity. Respond to feedback and listen to your audience. Engagement goes both ways.

Laura is a Realty Biz News contributor, and a seasoned writer specializing in travel and social media techniques.
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