Connect with us
ADVERTISEMENT

House Tours

TikTok home tours are fueling a boom in the luxury real estate market among millennials

ADVERTISEMENT

The days of the open house could be numbered with luxury real estate buyers snooping into their next home from the comfort of their couch.

Real estate agents selling multi-million dollar homes have embraced the TikTok tour trend, giving viewers a taste of everything from mega-mansions to penthouse suites. But the videos aren’t just eye candy, they’re driving sales and getting the next generation of buyers hooked.

It comes amid a slowdown in the US real estate market. In 2023, Wells Fargo expects a decline in new home sales (-6.5%), existing home sales (-13.1%), and single-family home starts (-12%), as well as a decline of 5, 5% in the US. house prices. By December 2022, applications for mortgage purchases were down more than 40% year-on-year.

But search #property on TikTok and you’ll be one of three billion viewers who have looked up the content. Even greater is the power of the tour with #housetour getting 10.1 billion views, #realestate 21.6 billion and #luxuryhomes 3.3 billion.

Both a hunger for escapism and aspiration is driving the trend, said Andres Rivadeneira, a Toronto-based agent who has amassed more than a million likes on his proprietary content. When he first started posting videos in 2021, he “never” could have imagined the impact it would have on his business – both in generating real estate interest and finding new inventory.

He explained: “I had a video that went viral but it was for a condo that had already been sold – you can’t time when things really take off. It was bought by someone who hadn’t seen the property through TikTok , but I was still getting so many messages about it I was gone when a couple approached me who recognized me from TikTok and introduced themselves as the buyers I told them how much interest I was left and they said if I could get them a good deal find, they would be open for sale.

“So I was like, ‘Game on’. One of the buyers through TikTok made them an offer and they made a profit of $30,000 in less than 30 days. The original buyers didn’t even move in, they just owned it.”

Rivadeneira added that thanks to TikTok’s global reach, fame is not only driven by likes, views, comments and shares, but also by producing content that people are “curious” enough to want to check out.

“Luxury property viewings are of interest to people because they want to virtually look through the windows of a property or because they are in the minority who might buy it. I get a lot of calls about my properties from people who live in high-end markets like London, New York or Australia. The content around ‘This is how much you can get for your money here versus there’ is very interesting to people and it carries a lot of danger,” he added.

First buyers bite

Freya Melling is the associate of UK based agent Fine and Country based in Park Lane. She said just because the platform’s demographic is younger doesn’t mean they don’t have money to splash: “I’ve had some serious offers on properties that people have seen through TikTok. We got some people in their mid-twenties interested in apartments around £2m and they first came across the property on TikTok.

ADVERTISEMENT

She added that larger estates that generate interest through TikTok usually do so when children have shown the videos to their parents — or the content has been shared on other sites like Facebook.

But the strategy behind embracing the new platform isn’t just for short-term gains, as brands look to establish themselves with younger audiences. Melling explained that TikTok has an “ambitious feel” that the next generation of buyers and sellers should hopefully associate with the brand. She added that TikTok has a more global reach, while sites like Facebook are more local.

ADVERTISEMENT

Facebook still reigns supreme as the most powerful site for driving traffic to properties, the experts said, followed by Instagram, then TikTok, then LinkedIn.

But just because the condensed video app isn’t ahead of the curve doesn’t mean agents should fall behind, warned Greg Shoulder, digital marketing manager for UK-based real estate agency Parkers.

Analysis of Parkers’ content shows that its reach spans across Europe and Asia, but also extends the company’s reach to the rental and investment markets, as well as home buyers.

“In the luxury market, it definitely creates more conversations as people search for specific hashtags or topics,” Shoulder said. “The short form gives people a peek through the window at what their next home might be and also has that aspirational ‘how the other half lives’ quality.”

How do you make TikTok real estate videos go viral?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing when it comes to the world of content creation. The reason why a video explodes often becomes apparent after it’s been viewed millions of times, Canadian realtor Miranda Caldwell said; however, if you’re trying to make a viral video, it’s less likely to happen.

The sales rep says her style is much more “indirect” than trying to sell the property, as she uses the platform more for her own research and personal brand.

Caldwell explained that she’s incredibly selective about the homes she visits, even turning down real estate requests if she feels it doesn’t fit what her viewers are turning to her for.

“For me, my platform is mostly about research because I’m so interested in design and what people respond to,” she says.

“What’s interesting is that in the luxury market and with a lot of people worried about a recession, the videos that I see doing really well in terms of engagement are the more ‘humble’ properties. Instead of ostentation, people like homes where you can see the human element, as opposed to those homes that people say feel like doctors’ offices.

“I always prioritize the homes that have more charm and history and feel it’s the video interactions that don’t go viral that are really worth it. For example, customers and other luxury agents I’ve met through TikTok tend to connect through comments on videos that haven’t had much of a response.

Learn how to navigate and build trust in your business with The Trust Factor, a weekly newsletter that examines what leaders need to succeed. Register here.