A group of estate agents in New York have started a side business called ‘SnapListings’, which is successfully marketing multi-million dollar properties by exclusively using Snapchat stories.
Following Snapchat’s announcement that London will be the home of its international operations, DMZ looks into how SnapListings actually works and investigates the growing trend of using social media to reach potential property buyers.
New Yorker Dolly Meckler was so impressed when visiting a friends upmarket apartment she decided to film and broadcast it to her Snapchat followers. She was quickly inundated with direct messages from friends asking who the estate agent was for the property and if she knew of similar properties for rent in the area.
Alongside friend Michael Hoffman, Meckler created the ‘SnapListings’ account on Snapchat.
The pair invite agents to broadcast a live virtual viewing of properties on the SnapListings account, providing potential buyers not only with a live tour, but also an on-screen text and animation presentation describing the features and benefits of the space. This include a link to agents personal account so would-be clients can direct message them during or straight after the live virtual viewing.
“Most of the leads are coming from lower-priced rentals and apartment listings due to the younger Snapchat audience. With that said, we also are featuring listings upwards of $6 million+ which are proving great entertainment value for our real estate interested followers”, said founders Hoffman and Meckler.
The instant client response garnered from using Snaplistings has proved incredibly popular with estate agents in New York.
Adam Werner works for the high-end Corcoran Group in New York who employ around 2,000 agents in the city, “I’m on the account every Monday…now I know to block out Mondays for Snapchat, and then half of my Tuesday to follow up on emails that came in from the day before.”
The parent company of Snapchat, Snap Inc, are looking to IPO this year at a valuation of anything between $25-35Billion, surpassing the $21Billion Facebook paid for messaging service WhatsApp in 2014 and dwarfing the $1Billion Facebook bought Instagram for in 2012.
Closer to home, Facebook has also been used to sell property directly.
In Plymouth, Malin and Eunice Lobb took photos and advertised their £350,000 converted church, offering a £1,000 finder’s fee to anyone who secured the couple a sale. Former estate agent Gemma Sechatis shared the post with a friend who promptly put in an offer that was accepted.
DMZ doesn’t envisage a long-term market for direct sales that cut-out agents altogether using social media, but we do see an opportunity for SnapListings-esque communication with London buyers.
Using social media platforms to target and engage with clients is long overdue in London. Snapchat attracts a young audience with over 70% under the age of 34 and 10+ Million users based in the UK – the perfect audience for an agents new rental listing.
US estate agents regularly use social media platforms such as Instagram to connect directly with clients in both the sales and lettings market. A prime example is Fredrik Eklund of Million Dollar Listing New York fame. Eklund told The New York Times that regular property posts to his 740,000 Instagram followers have “helped business tremendously.”
Everyone at DealMakerz is wondering which agent is going to step up to become Eklund’s London equivalent…